Compare Norton vs Avast
Which is better Antivirus: Norton vs Avast in 2020?
Avast vs. Norton Antivirus: Which is Better?
These days, it is becoming quite rare to find people who do not use a technological device like a laptop, desktop computer, or even an advanced mobile phone. The use of these devices has made communication and data dissemination very easy and affordable.
However, it has exposed users to potential fraud and data hacking. Last year alone, over 400 million Friend finder website accounts were hacked by online criminals, so this has increased the need for better online security.
Anti-virus software programs are widespread, and users have the luxury of using one or more programs to protect their activities and information online. Two widely used applications are Norton Symantec and Avast Antivirus software.
These two programs offer users advanced protection both online and offline, but when it comes to picking one out of the two, Norton Antivirus happens to be the better program. If you wish to know why, read further as we evaluate the capabilities of both programs, and show why Norton wins it in the Norton vs Avast contest.
The first thing users look out for when deciding on an Anti-virus program is security. The security capability of the program is one of the most important features to be considered when rating antivirus software. In this regard, Norton Symantec and Avast Antivirus are highly rated. Norton offers users real-time threat protection from external hacking and virus infection.
The developers of this program also provide users with an extra security feature for protecting their private and financial information. Furthermore, Norton Symantec has a smart firewall which is designed to adapt to the needs of every individual user. It’s rounded the clock anti-threat feature makes it a very reliable software.
Avast does not fall short in this regard also. This intelligent Antivirus program works with a home security network which blocks out phishing and fake sites. Its password enabler makes it very difficult if not impossible for hackers to break into your system to steal information.
Just like Norton, Avast is durable and reliable and offers 24 hours protection. As good as both programs are, the security features of Avast antivirus software are slightly superior to Norton because it offers a little bit more options for data and user security.
When it comes to protecting your device against the virus, both Norton Symantec and Avast offer both free and paid versions but how do they compare against each other. To find out, let us attempt to analyze the antivirus feature of both programs in detail.
Devices are infected with virus either from the internet or corrupted file, external drive or disc. The virus may also be contracted from infected application. Norton antivirus program is one software that is specially designed to deal with viral infections.
To begin with, it provides users with protection in real-time. What this means is that the moment you download and install this program, it is already up and running in your system. There is also a device management portal that has been designed to help you navigate from one page to another a lot more easily. From this portal, you can access security reports and evaluate threats to your device.
The app download check feature also scans all the application and programs on your device for viruses. If any is found, you will be notified of the virus which can be eliminated with just a single click of your button. In all, Norton Symantec offers users you round the clock antivirus protection through:
- Real-time virus threat protection
- A smart firewall against hacking
- Encryption of your personal details
- An app download security checker
Now let’s look at how much protection Avast truly offers. For starters, Avast has a home security network which protects your connection lines from intrusion. With a password that’s only known to you, you can use your system without fear of negative externalities. Just like Norton, Avast also has a very sturdy firewall that provides sufficient protection for all data saved on your device.
This intelligent antivirus program also has a very secure DNS and a smart scan feature for scanning for viruses. You can either choose to conduct scans personally, or you can allow the program to run scans periodically. In a nutshell, Avast
- Protects your device with a firewall that is passworded
- A smart scan features
- Cyber capture feature to provide protection when you are online
- Safe zone browser
- Anti-spam feature
- Home network security
- Secure DNS
Verdict: Norton is a very reliable program, but Avast wins in this category because it has more security features, and is indeed a smart virus software.
In the Norton vs Avast competition, another thing we want to look at is the scanning capabilities of both programs. By scanning, we mean how both programs scan for threats.
Whether you are using the entry-level Norton Antivirus Plus or the more advanced Norton 360 Deluxe with LifeLock, both programs operate similarly when scanning for the virus. The only difference is that the more advanced version has more features than the basic version. Norton Symantec programs have an in-built firewall for system protection. Basically, this program is designed as a preventive app which explains the presence of a smart firewall. All your information is encrypted and can only be accessed by you or whomever you give access to.
Unlike other programs of this ilk, Norton possesses a jamming feature which prevents unauthorized webcams and websites from accessing your device or the files in your device. This program is more of a defensive program for insulation against external threats.
Avast, on the other hand, offers something similar to Norton but with a slight difference. Avast Internet security version and other advanced versions have Sandbox technology for running potentially dangerous files in a secured environment so as not to put your entire system at risk.
Avast also has a smart scan feature for scanning all your files and apps for the virus as often as you wish. There is also a password and email filter for locking messages and blocking out spam.
Verdict: Avast is essentially designed to deal with viral threats as soon as they occur, but Norton is designed to stop such threats from taking effect. This best explains why Avast works with an advanced smart scan feature while Norton uses a smart firewall. Both programs have scanning and firewall capabilities, but Norton wins the argument. Why? Norton blocks out the threats before they become active.
Let us evaluate the firewall feature of both programs even further.
Norton Antivirus software possesses a Dark web monitoring feature. It stays active when you are browsing the internet, and their firewall is one of the best in the market today. Take the Norton 360 Deluxe with LifeLock for instance. This advanced program helps you keep track of how your information is being used online.
In situations where an unauthorized user is using your data or used in a way that is not permitted by you, the program notifies you. From your device management portal, you can lock down such a file or information with just a single click.
Avast also has a firewall for device protection. It’s Anti-spam utility, and Wi-Fi inspector protects users from intruders and data hacking. It also has a Real Site utility that guards against DNS rerouting and hijacking. For dealing with webcam intrusion, it has a webcam shield which can be turned on permanently or occasionally depending on the user.
Verdict: The contest between Avast vs Norton is a close call under this category as both programs have very reliable firewalls. On the surface, Avast may appear as the more superior program, but at a closer look, Norton offers users a more advanced firewall and a dark web monitor which has more value. Norton wins.
Malware and Phishing Protection
Of what use is an Anti-virus program if it cannot provide the user with maximum protection against malware and phishing sites? Let’s compare both programs under this category by taking a quick look at test results released by two reputable test institutes this year.
To arrive at a conclusion regarding the Norton vs Avast debate based on malware and phishing protection, we looked at test results released by AV-Test institute this year (April 2019). The institute tested Norton and Avast against the same malware samples to evaluate their capabilities. Norton came out tops with a perfect score of 6/6 indicating its superior malware and anti-phishing capabilities. Avast, on the other hand, scored a good but slightly lower score of 5.5/6.
We didn’t want to reach a hasty conclusion just yet so we looked at the results released by another test institute, AV-Comparatives. Unsurprisingly, their results proved that both programs are reliable when it comes to detecting malware threats. Both programs received a B+rating for their abilities to provide devices with ample protection against all kinds of malware threats.
Verdict: It’s a close call, but Norton nicks it due to A+ results posted in similar tests conducted this year alone.
Our comparison of these programs will be incomplete if we do not analyze their respective features in detail.
The developer of this program offers users four different versions. The first version is the Norton Anti-virus Plus, which is free by the way. This entry-level suite provides malware protection along with the smart firewall feature already pointed out in this article. The Plus version has a password Manager for storing personal details.
Next in line is the Norton 360 Standard for Windows and Mac systems. Standard 360 offers users all the benefits enjoyed with Norton Plus, albeit with a little extra. It has a 10 Gig cloud storage as well as a secured VPN for unrestricted access online. There is also a SafeCam feature for blocking out unauthorized webcam access. Also, you have the Dark Monitoring feature which alerts you in cases of intrusions.
Norton 360 Deluxe is a more advanced suite which possesses all the features found in Norton Plus and Norton Standard. Added to the mix however is 50 Gig of cloud storage. Up to 5 different devices can also use Norton 360 Deluxe at a time. There is also a parental control feature for securing files and data not suitable for children.
Norton 360 Deluxe with LifeLock Select is the most advanced version and the developer’s top tier program. Containing all the packages found in lower versions, LifeLock Select has a finance protection scanner, credit monitoring feature, and an anti-identity theft alert system which notifies the user of stolen information. Furthermore, users can monitor their credit score rating with the credit tracking tool.
Avast offers five different versions of their products. Four for Windows and a separate version for Mac Computers. Let’s see what they have to offer.
The first program is Avast Free Antivirus software. Its capability is limited, but it does offer protection against all kinds of malware.
The next version is the Avast Internet Security software, which is also a Windows-only program. This version has a host of features and tools for malware protection. Included in this version is an Anti-spam utility tool, WiFi inspector for protection against hackers, smart firewall and Sandbox technology for running questionable files in a secure location. Avast Internet Security also has anti-jacking DNS suite, an email filter, and a password manager.
Avast Premier is next in line. The Premier version has all the utilities contained in Avast Free and Avast Internet Security with some extra utilities. Among the long list of extra utilities includes a Webcam shield, a Data Shredder for destroying previously deleted files, and a Software Updater tool.
The most advanced Avast program for Windows is the Avast Ultimate. This top tier suite comes with a Secure VPN tool for browsing the internet unrestricted, and Avast Cleanup utility for erasing cached items and unwanted files from your hard disk.
As for Mac systems, there is the free version and the Premium version. The free version offers essential malware protection and not much else while the Premium version has advanced features such as a Wi-Fi inspector and a multi-layer ransomware tool.
Verdict: It’s a tie. Both Norton and Avast possess a host of features that offers users value for money.
Protecting your device from ransomware and malware is very important, but what is equally important is the level of impact your Antivirus program has on the device. Many users of various programs often complain of system under-performance when they activate an antivirus program on their devices, but this is to be expected.
However, the need for such a program is only as useful as your ability to use your device without limitations. When comparing both Norton and Avast based on system impact, we took a look at AV-Test and AV-Comparatives test results and saw what we found.
Performance score: Norton posted a perfect score of 6/6 while Avast came second with a 5.8/ score.
Performance score: Norton and Avast posted highly positive results were rated ADVANCED.
Verdict: It’s a tie. Both programs have a minimum impact on system performance.
The user interface is another aspect of both programs that we want to look at. A program that has an intuitive interface is easy to use even for people who have limited skills operating a computer. Ease of use is a very fundamental aspect of application development, which is why developers put in a lot of effort to simplify the usage, especially for novices with limited experience.
Norton user interface
Norton has both a desktop and a mobile view with very little difference between the two. The main menu has a big check mark that is green in color. This check mark signifies that all is well with the device. If there is a problem, however, the mark turns into a warning sign. To start a system scan, there is a Quick scan button which can be activated with just one click. Users can also check the last time they scanned their device by skimming through the Quick scan timelines.
Avast also has a very modern home page from which users can navigate to different tabs with just a few clicks. The green mark is an indication that the device is virus free while the red mark notifies the user of issues. Scans can also be initiated from the scan menu, and there are links to access all your user information in the Settings bar.
Verdict: Norton’s settings is more modern and has been upgraded recently. This makes it easier to use than Avast. Norton wins.
Avast vs Norton, which software offers more value for money? Let’s compare the pricing policy of both apps using simplified tables.
|Norton Antivirus Plus||$39.99 per year||1 Device|
|Norton 360 Standard||$49.99 per year||2 Devices|
|Norton 360 Deluxe||$59.99 per year||5 Devices|
|Norton 360 Deluxe with Life Lock||$99.99 per year||5 Devices|
|Avast Internet Security||$59.99 per year||1 Device|
|Avast Premium||$69.99 per year||1 Device|
|Avast Ultimate||$119.99 per year||1 Device|
|Avast Security for Mac||$59.99 per year||1 Mac Device|
Verdict: As can be seen from the tables above, Norton is actually the most economical option of the two. Norton offers users more value at a far lower price. Norton is the clear winner.
Trial and Free Version
It is only normal that you would like to test software to see how effective it is before investing in it, and this is what free and trial versions are for. Norton and Avast offer users a free version which serves their need for security both offline and online, but how do they stack up against each other? Which program offers users the best protection for free?
Norton’s free version is the Norton Antivirus Plus. The Plus software provides excellent malware protection as well as a smart firewall for restricting access to unauthorized users. Also, there is a window monitor which enables the user to keep track of network usage when online.
This free version also has a password manager for storing and organizing confidential user information and personal details. Norton Antivirus Plus protects one device, but more can be added if you want. It works well on Windows and Mac iOS.
Avast Free Antivirus offers utility value as it’s freeware also protects your device from external digital threats. All its more advanced features are locked away and can only be accessed in the other paid versions.
Verdict: Norton Symantec has more options in its free version, unlike Avast freeware which offers very little. Norton wins.
Payment and Money Back guarantee
Not every Antivirus developer offers a Money Back guarantee for the use of their software, but surprisingly, Norton does. When subscribing for any of their paid products, there is a Money Back guarantee clause included in the contract. If your identity is stolen or you incur losses while using Norton, you will be financially compensated for losses suffered at the time.
Verdict: Avast does not provide any form of financial protection to users, but Norton does. For this category, Norton wins because they offer users not only digital but financial security.
From our long list of the comparison above, we can see that the contest between Norton vs Avast has produced a clear winner. Although both programs protect users well enough, Norton offers the same value at a much lower price. They also offer users price flexibility and the advantage of choice. Norton antivirus software has a modern interface and offers users more benefits even with the Norton Anti-virus Plus (free version) Avast is equally a very good program, but Norton offers so much more for far less $ making it the clear winner.