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Norton vs Avast: Which antivirus is better in 2020?

Overall Score:
9.4
Features
Value for money
Support
Ease of use
Price:$39.99
Overall Score:
9
Features
Value for money
Support
Ease of use
Price:$69.99
Norton Antivirus Review - iconNorton Avast antivirus reviewAvast
Pricing
Price$39.99$69.99
Money back Guarantee
Scanning
Real-time Antivirus
Manual Virus Scanning
USB Virus Scan
Registry Startup Scan
Auto Virus Scanning
Scheduled scan
Threat type
Anti-Spyware
Anti-Worm
Anti-Trojan
Anti-Rootkit
Anti-Phishing
Anti-Spam
Chat/IM Protection
Adware Prevention
Compatibility
Windows
Mac
Android
IOS
Usage
Ease of use
Extra features
Personal Firewall
Parental Controls
Gamer Mode
VPN Service
Smartphone Optimizer
Device Tune-up
Safe browser
Support
Live Help
Phone support
Ticket support

Avast Antivirus vs. Norton Antivirus

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. 

Avast vs Norton

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.

Compare Security

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.

Anti-virus Protection

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.

Norton Antivirus

Norton components

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

Avast

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.

Scanning

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.

Norton Antivirus

Whether you are using the entry-level Norton Standard or the more advanced Norton 360 with LifeLock Select, 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

Avast shields

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.

Firewall Protection

Let us evaluate the firewall feature of both programs even further.

Norton

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 with LifeLock Select 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

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 2020). 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.

Compare Features

Our comparison of these programs will be incomplete if we do not analyze their respective features in detail.

Norton Antivirus

Norton features

The developer of this program offers users four different versions. The first version is the Norton 360 Standard. This entry-level suite provides malware protection along with the smart firewall feature already pointed out in this article.Norton 360 Standard has a password Manager for storing personal details.

Next in line is the Norton 360 Deluxe for Windows and Mac systems. Deluxe 360 offers users all the benefits enjoyed with Norton 360 Standard, albeit with a little extra. It has a 50 GB 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 with LifeLock Select is a more advanced suite which possesses all the features found in two previous packages. Added to the mix however is 100 GB of cloud storage. Up to 5 different devices can also use Norton 360 with LifeLock Select at a time. There is also a parental control feature for securing files and data not suitable for children.

Norton 360 with Ultimate Plus is the most advanced version and the developer’s top tier program. Containing all the packages found in lower versions, Ultimate Plus 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

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 Premium 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 Premium 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 Passwords Premium, 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.

Compare System Performance

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.

AV-Test Results

Performance score: Norton posted a perfect score of 6/6 while Avast came second with a 5.8/ score.

AV-Comparatives

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.

Compare User Interface

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.

Compare Pricing

Avast vs Norton, which software offers more value for money? Let’s compare the pricing policy of both apps using simplified tables.

Norton Pricing

Norton 360 Standard
$39.99 per year  1 Device
Norton 360 Deluxe
 $49.99 per year  5 Devices
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select
 $99.99 per year  5 Devices
Norton 360 with Ultimate Plus
 $299.99 per year Unlimited Devices

Avast Pricing

Avast Premiun Security, Single Device
$69.99 per year 1 Device
Avast Premium Security, Multi Device
 $89.99 per year 10 Devices
Avast Ultimate $99.99 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 trial and free version, respectively, 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 trial. It 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. You can test Norton Antivirus during 30 days.

This free version also has a password manager for storing and organizing confidential user information and personal details. Norton Antivirus 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 trial 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.

Conclusion

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 entry-level of Norton Antivirus. Avast is equally a very good program, but Norton offers so much more for far less $ making it the clear winner.

Norton highlights:

  • Safe and reliable files and data storage
  • Blocking of illegitimate software
  • Flexible scanning options
  • User-friendly interface
  • Decent variety of packages

Avast highlights:

  • Compatible with all modern platforms.
  • Different levels of protection against malware.
  • Effectively detects phishing sites.
  • A strong security plug-in for browsers which automatically detects suspicious websites.
  • New passive mode for running multiple security products in parallel.

Last Customer Reviews: Norton vs Avast

Richard Stevens
You have given Norton a top rating and I have been using Norton on my computers for several years. However, after I had tried a Software cleaning program for a year then decided to uninstall it, it left an annoying nag pop up that Norton did nothing about. I tried Malwarebytes and it immediately detected it as malware and eliminated it. Shouldn't Norton have done that? What other programs would have worked like Malwarebytes since I notice that Malwarebytes doesn't get a top review from you?
Bridget Cunningham
April 2020--I have been a Norton customer for years. My subscription auto-renewed in January 2020. I began getting error messages on my laptop saying that my subscription has lapsed, which it had not, and that the virus protection programs could not run or update. I spent 3 hours on the phone with Norton Support for them to correct the issue. Supposedly, the issue was fixed. The same issue with error messages occurred again in February. Another 3 hour phone call, with the issue supposedly fixed. The same issue occurring in April. I had 2 more 3+ hour phone calls, with the Support person telling me in the end that he could not fix the issue and that the issue had to get raised to their engineering team and that I would hear back from them in 7-10 days! The support person had enabled and disabled dozens of settings on my computer so that my computer function was negatively impacted. I ended up having to spend another 5+ hours on the phone with Dell Support. In the end, my computer function had been so negatively impacted by Norton Support that Dell had to do a complete factory reset on my laptop. They had to remove Norton from my computer as a part of the exercise. I since spent another hour on a chat with Norton trying to find out when Norton Support is going to rectify the issue and get Norton replaced on my computer. I am paying for this service that I don't even have. They said another 7-10 business days! They have limited staff due to Coronavirus and everyone is working from home?? How does that even happen to a tech company??!! No capability to work from home. Are you kidding?? So, in the meantime, I have no virus or malware protection, and I am inundated with ad's. Awful. And I have no remedy. Beyond angry and I will post negative reviews on every site that I can find.
Frank Johnson
I've been using Norton antivirus for years and never been disappointed. It is a very good software with which everything can be secured & protected. Truly delightful product to use. I would recommend to a friend.
Maria
I was scammed by this company. Avast was saying I had two accounts when they never notified me about the second one nor did I ever agree to it. I found out when I canceled my subscription to the one account I knew about but even though I took out my card information avast was still able to charge me from the second account that I never agreed too. When I tried to get my refund they tried to say it was my fault for not reporting it when avast wouldn't answer the phone or get return my messages. For what reason would I have two accounts that doesn't make any sense but they just want to keep my money without understanding any reason. They never even sent me a email confirmation about this so called second account. I was forced to change my card number so that they can't steal my money and blame it on a third account I never agreed too. I will definitely not be recommending Avast to anyone my experience with them was terrible.
David
i once subscribed to these services. My Microsoft program became corrupted and I suspected Avast to be embattled with the security provided with Widows. I canceled my subscription and reloaded my operating system NO REFUND AFTER 30 DAYS even though I paid years in advance. Guess what? My cancellation was avoided by Avast. After 20 months, my card is again charged hundreds of dollars. After much effort Avast billing credited my account. Only partially, as one charge for $47.91 did not show on their records. I was forced to call my credit card company and it took 1 hour 27 minutes to finally talk to a representative and get a dispute started. I don't know what the results will be, as I indicated Avast, they have no record of my payment being submitted. SAY WHAT?
Karl
I've Used AVAST (PAID) for 3 Years. Just wanted to check out How it stacks up. It works very well most of the time. BUT, it has 1 Nasty Habit. I can be browsing on one tap and a new tab will say NO Internet connection. ??? Or it will Kick U off the Server whenever it sees a change in the connection. Very Touchy. If Anything, it's Overprotective. Oh, and you CAN NOT Use the VPN on Netflix. Otherwise, Stellar!! And Yes, Excellent, Thorough Review.