Norton vs bitdefender 2017

Norton vs bitdefender 2017 DEFAULT

Question Bitdefender VS Kaspersky VS Norton

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Bitdefender Vs Norton, which anti-virus software is a much better choice in 2021? Keep reading Colorfy’s article to know!

Our specialists have put together this detailed Bitdefender versus Norton comparison that will assist you to make a smart choice.

Some people believe you could eliminate using free online safety, which lacks a detailed firewall in today’s electronic world of today. They could not be more wrong.

See also:

In 2017 alone, 412 million distinct user reports were stolen out of popular FriendFinder websites, which number has just gone up since then. You see, the events of malware attacks are just increasing in number.

So much so the worldwide offense harms are expected to cost around $6 billion yearly by 2021. In addition, the AV-TEST Institute enrolls over 350,000 new malware samples each and every moment?

Consequently, should you want to keep safe online, the opportunity to spend in your future protection and get yourself proper antivirus protection is currently. Do not settle for something affordable that will not adequately protect you; buy something rewarding and worth your cash.

Bitdefender Vs Norton Comparison

Bitdefender Vs Norton Comparison


First off, we will get into what every antivirus firm brings to the table concerning features and advantages. We’ll Begin with Bitdefender.

Bitdefender’s Features

The very first product from Bitdefender is a freeware named Bitdefender Free Edition. It is a Windows-only program that provides some protection from malware threats but does not offer much concerning innovative features.

The very first paid coverage in the provider includes Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2021, yet another Windows-only bundle. This product includes a number of useful features:

  • Firewall – provides total protection from all types of malicious cyber-attacks.
  • In-depth Scanner – lets you remove viruses that may have infiltrated your computer’s records.
  • Secure Internet Browser – provides protections from deceptive and malicious websites.
  • Ransomware Filter – protects against fiscal frauds and could be automatically added to your email address.
  • Password Supervisor – conserves and secures all of your password and login info to reduce abuse by hackers.
  • Limited-use VPN – allows you to temporarily to navigate the Net with anonymity.

Bitdefender Internet Security 2021 is another tier of coverage given by the business. This bundle includes everything in the Antivirus Plus package in Addition to some added features:

  • Document Encryption – simplifies the transmission of information to reduce interception by hackers.
  • Parental Controls – keeps tabs on your children’s browsing habits and restricts their access to undesirable sites and programs.
  • Vulnerability Checker – scans your system for security loopholes as well as the existence of obsolete software.
  • Webcam Protection – protects you and your loved ones from being spied on by hackers.

Bitdefender Total Security 2021 is your premium policy by Bitdefender. This package has everything from Prior packs and a few additional features:

  • Anti-Theft Function – allows you to find any lost or stolen devices that have Complete Safety installed on these.
  • Optimizer – improves the general speed and fluidity of your computer by eliminating and organizing temporary or junk documents that may take up precious RAM.
  • Bitdefender Photon – assesses and monitors your computer’s hardware and applications, optimizing their working as an Optimizer does. But, Photon goes much deeper for greater outcomes.
  • Rescue Mode – functions as a reset button to your personal computer without wiping off your precious files. This feature can be especially useful in case a damaging virus manages to lodge to a computer’s core code, and the scanner can not eliminate it.
  • Wi-Fi Security Advisor – alerts you to unsecured Wi-Fi networks also creates recommendations based upon safety threats.

Bitdefender’s finest features include its own upper antivirus echelons, but its lower tiers also leave you somewhat lacking compared to a lot of competitions.

Bitdefender Total Security provides the very best value for the money, considering all its functions. But if you would like a single subscription to guarantee all of your household’s’ malware protection demands, it is possible to really go for Bitdefender Family Packs 2021 instead. The family package provides 10 licenses together with the choice to add more.

For Macs especially, it is possible to check out Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac. This product provides a number of crucial security advantages for customers of Apple products. All of Bitdefender’s safety suites include unlimited customer support via email, online chat, and telephone call choices.

Norton’s Features

Now let us find out what Norton provides you into its own bundles.

Norton’s tiers of protection start with Norton Antivirus Plus. The product provides many cool features:

  • Smart Firewall – provides real-time tracking and protection from all sorts of malware threats. The firewall receives daily upgrades for malware definitions.
  • Ransomware Protection – prevents your financial data and personal information from becoming a victim of hacking attacks.
  • Antispyware Protection – prevents hackers from misusing your apparatus through malicious programs too.
  • Password Protector – keeps your passwords and login credentials protected from being stolen.
  • Social Media Protection – assesses any Facebook connections you set up, in addition to your email attachments, making sure that nothing gets without you knowing it.
  • Cloud Backup – 2GB of cloud storage is available for Windows apparatus so it’s possible to save a copy of your important files with accessibility from any other device.

Norton 360 Standard is another tier of policy from Norton. This package includes everything that Antivirus Plus offers. There are some added features Also, for example:

  • Safe VPN – allows you to conceal your internet identity and browse together with more anonymity than normal. This feature also offers access to region-specific content.
  • Dark Internet Tracking – provides webcam protection and constant observation, powered by LifeLock performance, to procure sensitive info on the darknet, webpages hidden behind passwords or firewalls. The attribute immediately alerts you if your data has been used without consent.
  • Cloud Backup – that the bundle includes 10 GB of cloud storage area.

Norton 360 Deluxe is another step upward, and this really is a five-license bundle that comes with exactly the exact same 360 Standard package features and 50GB of storage that is the cloud. It is essentially 360 Standard for 5 devices with the inclusion of:

  • Full-blown Parental Controls – track your kids’ online activities and restrict their access to inappropriate sites. This attribute helps provide a healthy and secure online experience to the kids.
  • Norton 360 Deluxe with LifeLock Select is another offering. It is like the preceding package, also it’s supercharged LifeLock features for 5 devices. This bundle also includes:
  • LifeLock Identity Alert System – allows you to know if your identity has been used elsewhere through the world wide web, cutting off efforts to financially hurt you.
  • Credit Tracking – serves an identical function for the own credit as the identity alarm system together with a fund protection scanner for tracking your own electronic trades.
  • Million Dollar Protection Package – provides insurance for around $1 million in the event of stolen capital (terms apply).
  • Cloud Backup – This package contains 100GB of Cloud Backup.

Should you do a great deal of company online, this bundle is a fantastic choice only due to all of the concentrated security that encircles that sort of lifestyle.

Norton provides 24/7 customer service for many of its superior products.

Read also:Webroot Vs Bitdefender – Which Is Greater? [FULL Guide 2021]

User Interface and Influence on the Program: Norton vs Bitdefender

Formerly, antivirus software has been known to consume the energy for its wants and earn a turtle from your PC. Nowadays, antivirus programmers claim to accelerate system performance and create your devices work better. However, do Norton and Bitdefender understand about it?

Norton antivirus

User Interface and Impact on the System - Norton

Several AV evaluations have proven that Norton’s performance is extremely easy and non-disturbing. Your blogs and sites will not take long to start when you are running a Disk Verify.

You are able to download the Tune-Up tool to upgrade your older computer and utilize valuable suggestions for the antivirus.

Power Eraser was made, particularly for performance improvement functions. In any case, you can get it for free for 30 days.

Utility Premium is just another friend of yours if you need your PC to function quicker.

Your RAM is clean since Norton stops or eliminates programs that drain your computer’s memory.

The User Interface seems fairly great with controlling green, gray, white, black, and orange colors. It’s simple to navigate and place up.

Bitdefender antivirus

User Interface and Impact on the System - Bitdefender

The very first step to generate the operation smooth and nice would be to bid farewell to crap or unnecessary documents. The One-click Optimizer feature cleans little and big-sized documents and may uninstall the brand new programs.

When there’s a problem, try the Disk Cleanup to eliminate junk files sitting in the depths of your apparatus.

You do not need to change out your SSD to hasten the boot. Use the Startup Optimizer and find out your system begin quicker and programs opening snappier.

Anti-Theft will look after the vital documents and programs from accidental loss. Additionally, it will not let any offender steal your sensitive information.

Customer Ratings

Let us look at how real clients consider these anti-virus firms to receive a measure of general recognition.

To begin with, we will assess the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a score company that collects clients’ testimonials and averages the results to a closing alphabetic score from A to F.

According to the BBB, Bitdefender stands apart with a fair C score as Norton handles to score a wonderful A+ out of the organization, signaling greater client satisfaction.

However, this picture changes dramatically with, a consumer evaluation firm that really does similar services as the BBB but rankings products onto a 5-star scale. Bitdefender, it turns out, has four out of five stars. Norton, on the other hand, has a bad 1-star rating, suggesting a large number of consumer complaints.

See also:How do you handle antivirus alerts

Norton or Bitdefender?

At this time, you’ve got all of the intricacies of the software’s features, it is quite simple to ascertain which of both to come out on the top.

Still can not decide which is your best antivirus alternative for you from the available choices i.e.Bitdefender or Norton? Well, BitDefender is one that easily gets the top palms over Norton in the majority of the regions and that is the main reason it has won the majority of the rounds of this evaluation conducted previously.

BitDefender is now protecting over 500 million programs around the world and in addition, it supplies a 30-day money-back guarantee. What’s even more astonishing is you will have the ability to obtain the free trial for each one the suites made accessible from BitDefender, including Norton’s.

Video: Do Antiviruses Still Slow You Down? (2020)

Last update on 2021-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Bitdefender vs Norton: Which one to choose?

Bitdefender vs Norton, Norton vs Bitdefender, malware protection, system performance, customer support, pricing, comparison, which antivirus is better

Being a hot commodity, antivirus software solutions never stop from providing users with diversity and new features. Aside from regular scans and trash cleaning, antivirus programs such as Bitdefender and Norton can also offer something more. 

For example, they can scan your device for viruses, infections, and other threats, block trojans, phishing attacks, and remember the passwords you’ve used on different websites. Want to find out more? Welcome to our review!

Main Features of Norton and Bitdefender

Both antivirus software platforms are not bad in terms of toolsets and efficiency. Their primary function is to get you as far from trouble as possible. That is why the leading cybersecurity minds have equipped these platforms with decent protection tools and even more.

Norton Antivirus

Bitdefender vs Norton, Norton vs Bitdefender, malware protection, system performance, customer support, pricing, comparison, which antivirus is better

The rich set of Norton skills includes:

  • Compatibility with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
  • The variety of plans (LifeLock Select, Deluxe, Small Business, Family Premier, Standard, Ultimate Plus) for different budgets and needs.
  • Independent tools that could be bought separately (Secure VPN, Privacy Manager, Computer Tune-Up, Ultimate Help Desk for 3 devices, Utilities Premium).
  • Free Trials for Android, iOS and Family Premier.
  • Real-Time Threat Protection (Protect your sensitive data 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year).
  • Dark Web Monitoring (If your data appears somewhere outside of the “Surface Web,” they’ll let you know).
  • SafeCam (You get a notification if other people are using your web camera).

Bitdefender antivirus

Bitdefender vs Norton, Norton vs Bitdefender, malware protection, system performance, customer support, pricing, comparison, which antivirus is better

This guy here can also boast of some cool specs. For instance:

  • Two different plans for Home and Business needs.
  • Free tools (Virus Scanner for Mac, Traffic Light).
  • Free Antivirus Trials (for Mac OS and Android, Premium Security, Total Security 2021, Family Pack 2021, Internet Security 2021, Antivirus Plus 2021, Antivirus for Mac).
  • VPN for safe browsing experience.
  • Quick Scan for virus detection and removal.
  • Prevention of phishing and masqueraded attacks.
  • Password Manager to enable you to quickly access your online banking services and make transactions in a nick of time.


In this battle Norton vs Bitdefender, the winner is Norton. It has more features and provides advanced solutions. 

Malware Protection: Norton or Bitdefender

We’re looking for an antivirus program that can make us forget about the outside threats once and for all. Let’s look at some features to see who is the best in the battle Bitdefender vs Norton!

Norton antivirus

Bitdefender vs Norton, Norton vs Bitdefender, malware protection, system performance, customer support, pricing, comparison, which antivirus is better

  • System Scan performs a usual scanning and cleaning.
  • Reputation Scan scans specific folders or files that you believe could be a threat.
  • Multi-Boot Scan checks other operating systems on your device. For example, if you’re a Mac user but have Windows going through as your back-up OS.
  • Anti-Spyware, Antivirus, Malware & Ransomware Protection is a versatile tool that gets you covered if anything malicious is trying to get through your firewall.
  • Virus Protection Promise is a unique feature promising to give your money back in case Norton isn’t able to deal with some virus or spyware.
  • LifeLock Identity System notifies you whenever something unusual has landed on your computer.

Bitdefender antivirus 

Bitdefender vs Norton, Norton vs Bitdefender, malware protection, system performance, customer support, pricing, comparison, which antivirus is better

When it comes to malware protection, Bitdefender is ready to stand out. Numerous features that provide you with real protection from cybercriminals willing to steal your credit card password are proof to that:

  • System Scan is a deep scan for hidden threats pretending to be usual downloads;
  • Rescue Environment provides you with solutions to get rid of unbearable digital infections;
  • Vulnerability Scan will show you if your system is or could be subject to a hacker’s attack;
  • Threat Defense stands battle to viruses of different disguise, size, and origin;
  • Manage Spammers is a curious feature letting you see who tends to send you spam messages or ads.


Again, Norton steals the victory from Bitdefender’s hands and occupies the first place. Will Bitdefender fight back or remain at the tail end? Who knows.

User Interface and Impact on the System: Bitdefender vs Norton

Earlier, antivirus software was known to eat the power for its needs and make a turtle out of your computer. Today, antivirus developers claim to speed up system performance and make your devices work even better. But, do Norton and Bitdefender know about it?

Norton antivirus

Bitdefender vs Norton, Norton vs Bitdefender, malware protection, system performance, customer support, pricing, comparison, which antivirus is better

  1. Several AV tests have proven that Norton’s performance is highly smooth and non-disturbing. Your progs and websites won’t take long to open when you’re running a Disk Check.
  2. You can download the Tune-Up tool to update your old computer and use precious suggestions for the antivirus.
  3. Power Eraser was made, especially for performance improvement purposes. Besides, you could get it for free for 30 days.
  4. Utilities Premium is another friend of yours if you want your PC to operate faster.
  5. Your RAM is clean because Norton stops or gets rid of apps that drain your computer’s memory.
  6. The User Interface looks pretty good with dominating green, grey, white, and orange colors. It’s easy to navigate and set up.

Bitdefender antivirus

Bitdefender vs Norton, Norton vs Bitdefender, malware protection, system performance, customer support, pricing, comparison, which antivirus is better

  1. The first step to make the operation nice and smooth is to say goodbye to unnecessary or junk files. The Oneclick Optimizer feature cleans small and big-sized files and can uninstall the unused programs. 
  2. If there’s still a problem, try the Disk Cleanup to get rid of junk files sitting at the depths of your device.
  3. You don’t have to replace your SSD to speed up the boot. Use the Startup Optimizer and see your system start faster and apps opening snappier.
  4. Anti-Theft will take care of the important files and programs from accidental loss. It also won’t let any criminal steal your sensitive data. 


Well, after testing both the protection programs, we’ve concluded that Norton defeated Bitdefender again. These guys are crazy, what are they going there, huh? 

Pricing: Bitdefender or Norton

Usually, people want to pay for things as little as they can and tend to download pirated versions of the programs that could compromise their security. Then, they start looking for the lowest prices. Check out who’s the budget king now!

Norton antivirus

Comprehensive protection plans from Norton are the following:

  • 360 with LifeLock Select – $149.99 a year
  • 360 with LifeLock Advantage – $249.99 a year 
  • 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus – $349.99 a year

The pricing for other tools looks like this:

  • 360 Deluxe – $99.99 a year 
  • 360 Standard – $79.99 a year 
  • AntiVirus Plus – $59.99 a year 
  • Secure VPN – $79.99 a year for 5 devices
  • Family Premier – $49.99 a year
  • Mobile Security for Android – $29.99 a year
  • Mobile Security for iOS – $29.99 a year
  • Utilities Premium – $39.99 a year – up to 10 devices

Small Business:

  • 5 devices – $99.99 a year
  • 10 devices – $149.99 a year
  • 20 devices -$249.99 a year
  • Computer Tune-Up – $49.99
  • Student Discounts

Bitdefender antivirus

What do we have here?

  • BOX – $199.99 a year
  • Premium Security – $149.99 a year for 10 devices
  • Total Security – $89.99 a year for 5 devices
  • Internet Security – $79.99 a year for 3 devices
  • Antivirus Plus 2021 – from $39.99 to $79.99 a year (1-10 devices) 
  • Family Pack 2021 – $119.99 a year 
  • Antivirus for Mac – from $39.99 to $59.99 a year (1-3 devices)
  • Mobile Security for Android – $14.99 a year
  • Mobile Security for iOS – $14.99 a year
  • Premium VPN – $139.98 a year for 5 devices
  • Small Office Security – $149.99 a year for 10 devices


It’s hard to give gold to either of them. That is why this round ends up in a draw. The prices seem to be the same, just ranging in one plan or another. Norton has this special offer for Students (which is very thoughtful), while Bitdefender has more business plans. We believe it’d be fair to single out neither Norton or Bitdefender.

Customer Support

Customer support is an essential part of every antivirus comparison. The variety of communication channels between the customers and company, the wait time, and the effectiveness of troubleshooting determine whether a client will further use the service of a certain antivirus provider or give it up for somebody else.

Norton Antivirus 

Norton provides the following ways of interaction:

  • 24/7 live chat and minimum wait time (the support team is pretty friendly and is always there for you when you need them);
  • Facebook and Twitter pages to support you via social media (they use their pages both as information-sharing means and forum; you won’t have to talk or chat with someone in person if you have social anxiety or other disorders);
  • Phone Support for urgent issues (24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year);
  • A huge FAQ section where you will probably find an answer to your problem and won’t have to bother contacting the Support Team.

People from independent sources say that Customer Support reacts fast and almost always resolves the issues that bother you. However, there are some unsatisfactory remarks about pricing, but that’s a whole different story.   

Bitdefender antivirus

Bitdefender answer the question about means of communication like this:

  • E-mail (send a detailed e-mail so that the Bitdefender team could come up with the solution for your particular issue);
  • Forum (here, you can find some recommendations and pieces of advice on how to deal with different problems from both the users and the team; maybe, someone has already deal with a similar problem to yours and written a helpful step-by-step instruction);
  • Chat (live-chat with Customer Support 24/7 to handle any problem of yours);
  • Hotline (call them if it’s an emergency and get answers right now; besides, it’s a widely used method of communication when you’re doing your Tune-Up because you can speak and do the necessary enhancements at the same time).

Some reviewers say that they have problems with undesired automatic Bitdefender software updates. We hope that their software developers have already fixed that.


Norton seems to handle Customer Support a little bit better than Bitdefender. (No offense, Bitdefender). It’s probably because of age and market experience. But, word on the street that Bitdefender’s Support Team responds within a few minutes in a chat and almost always gives useful information about your issue.  

Our Verdict

Well, well, well. We’ve looked at all the most interesting and pressing aspects of the antivirus programs Bitdefender and Norton. In most cases, Norton was unbeatable and won the first prize thanks to better optimized and responsive software.

If you’re still wondering which antivirus is better for you, answer the following questions:

Since both programs have different plans, they’re likely to meet everybody’s needs. They even have free trials. These are darn good offers. 

  • How many of your devices need protection?

Business plans are ready to protect up to 20 devices. But, an average user will likely need a smartphone, laptop, PC, and tablet protected. If you’re such a user yourself, opt for Standard or Premium packages. Both Norton and Bitdefender are doing well here. 

  • Do you need antivirus for home or business needs?

Even the most upgraded plan for home can’t protect the devices in your office. Bitdefender has more business packages to offer in this case. 

  • Does market experience matter to you?

If yes, opt for good old Norton. If not, choose any of the two.

That’s pretty much it. Good luck!

Bitdefender highlights:

  • Bitdefender comes with many outstanding features, including anti-fishing/fraud, autopilot, work/movie/game modes, Wi-Fi SA (Security Advisor), online banking protection (it’s awesome), safe browsing, and more.
  • This is, by far, one of the most intuitive and simple antiviruses on the market.
  • Impressive third-party test results (only rivaled by Kaspersky).
  • There’s a 30-day free trial for most packages. Total Security offers a 90-day trial.

Norton highlights:

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

Kaspersky vs. Bitdefender vs. Norton: Which is the Best Antivirus Software for Windows 10?

Cover Photo:norton

1, The top 3 best antivirus brand

Bitdefender , Norton and Kaspersky are among the best for antivirus protection.

1.1. Kaspersky provides the best antivirus protection overall

Kaspersky combines one of the world's top-rated malware-detection engines with a ton of useful features. It's the best antivirus software you can buy today.

Click here if you're in the U.S. (Kaspersky Lab)

Click here if you're in the U.K. (or anywhere else) (Can get up to 18% Cash Back with Kaspersky UK)

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Kaspersky Anti-Virus has the highest detection rate and malware removal rate in virus scanners. For example, the latest malware removal test completed by AV-Comparatives was awarded the highest "Advanced+" rating of Kaspersky Antivirus 2013, and it was able to successfully delete all 14 malware samples used in the detection and subsequent file detection. The acclaimed Ars Technica ranks Kaspersky as one of the best antivirus options on the Windows platform. Kaspersky Anti-Virus was "A-listed" by the UK PC journal PC Pro in late 2007, where it scored very highly for detection and removal of malware. PC Pro attributes this to “a combination of the software’s heuristic scanning and uncompromising approach to database updates. While many packages check for new virus signatures on a daily basis, Kaspersky runs to an hourly schedule, improving your chances of being immunized before an infection reaches it.”

Kaspersky's extras are often underpowered, but the core antivirus engine is accurate and reliable, even with zero-day threats. Kaspersky has a similar set of features to Bitdefender, but reserves some, such as the secure online banking browser, for more expensive plans.

Kaspersky's 2021 Windows lineup offers the traditional Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security programs, plus three Security Cloud services, one of them free. They all use the same malware-scanning engine but differ on extra features.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus is for Windows only, and its password manager is limited to 15 sets of credentials. It also protects against stalkerware, quasi-legal spyware that business partners or jealous lovers can use to monitor you. It costs $60 per year for  three PCs or $80 for five, a bit more than Bitdefender's comparable Antivirus Plus.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus is a proprietary antivirus program developed by Kaspersky Lab,headquartered in Moscow, Russia. Over the years, the United States has repeatedly accused Russian hackers of hacking into the US system and even disrupting the US presidential election. Intelligence agencies have also been investigating possible connections between Kaspersky Lab and the Russian government.On September 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ordered all federal agencies to ban the use of software produced by Kaspersky Lab.In December 2017, under pressure from public opinion, Kaspersky closed the Washington office that sold products to government agencies, but the products continued to be sold to non-federal customers in the United States.In other words, if you are in the United States, you may need to use a VPN to purchase Kaspersky, which also increases the cost.

1.2, Norton packs in everything but the kitchen sink

Norton's antivirus products offer a password manager, unlimited VPN data, identity theft protection, parental controls and even online storage -- almost every kind of digital security you could ever need.

Click here if you're in the U.S. (Can get up to 20% Cash Back with Norton)

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Norton AntiVirus is an anti-virus or anti-malware software product developed and distributed by NortonLifeLock since 1991 as part of its Norton family of computer security products. NortonLifeLock is a global leader in consumer network security. NortonLifeLock is committed to helping protect the devices, identities, online privacy, and family and family needs of approximately 50 million consumers, providing them with trusted allies in the complex digital world. In the United States, Norton (Symantec) is the number one antivirus software in the market.

Overall, Norton 360 is our favorite antivirus software in 2021- it has a powerful anti-malware engine, extensive Internet security tools, an intuitive online dashboard and good customer support.

Norton 360 Standard, Norton 360 Deluxe and Norton 360 with LifeLock include the most complete antivirus-software and identity-protection-service combinations you’ll find today.

Norton's anti-malware engine uses machine learning, advanced heuristics, and a constantly updated malware catalog to identify malware-from viruses and Trojan horses to advanced ransomware (such as ransomware and cryptojacker).During our testing process, Norton's comprehensive scan and real-time protection were able to detect every malware file we tried to download, while the system running speed was reduced to a minimum, and there were no false positives.

1.3, Bitdefender offers the best value in antivirus software

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus combines great malware protection with an assortment of useful features and an easy-to-use interface, all at a great price.

Click here if you're in the U.S. (Can get up to 20% Cash Back with BitDefender)

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Bitdefender is one of the best antiviruses on the market in 2021. Bitdefender's antivirus protections are just a hair behind those of industry leaders Kaspersky and Norton among the best antivirus software, but its programs pack in more useful features at lower prices.

Bitdefender is a global security technology company that provides advanced threat protection to both business and consumer customers. Bitdefender is headquartered in Bucharest, Romania, with offices in the United States, Europe, Australia and the Middle East.

Bitdefender products are distributed through partners in more than 150 countries/regions, and the US market generates more than 40% of revenue.

As of 2020, the company has more than 1,600 employees worldwide. The company currently holds 440 technology patents. 10% of patents pertain to machine-learning algorithms for detecting malware and other online threats, with deep learning and anomaly-based detection techniques playing an important role in proactively fighting new and unknown threats.

We recommend any Windows 10 users who do not need parental control to use the entry-level Bitdefender Antivirus Plus.Bitdefender has only moderately adjusted its 2021 product lineup, and there are still five product ranges, from the basic Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition to Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Bitdefender Internet Security and Bitdefender Total Security to the flagship Bitdefender Premium Security with its unlimited VPN use.  All five use the same malware-detection technology.

2, Kaspersky vs. Bitdefender vs. Norton: Comparison Tables

2.1, System’s  Performance (or Speed)

Norton> Kaspersky> Bitdefender

Because security products must run continuously in the background like any other computer application to protect the computer from real-time malware attacks. Therefore, if an antivirus software is resource-intensive, needless to say your system’s performance (or speed) will suffer – especially if your computer is behind the times.

I’ll review the most recent performance tests by the independent labs to see which of these three software has the least impact on system performance.

Norton and Kaspersky both received a perfect 6/6 star rating, while Bitdefender only received 5.5 points (out of 6 points).

2.2, Ease of Use

Bitdefender> Kaspersky> Norton

Bitdefender provides a much more intuitive and customizable design functionality that is suitable for both casual users as well as skilled professionals.

Bitdefender uses sharp contrast to divide its interface into two prominent parts. One of these parts is the black rail on the left, which shows buttons for different functions and features. You can expand these buttons to enter more specific tasks.

The white screen on the other side of the interface occupies nearly 80% of the space and contains large blocks, each of which represents a different function. You can move or modify the utilities you want to view on the home screen according to your preferences.

With Bitdefender, payments will be processed immediately, so you can install the client. Its size is nearly 500 MB, one of the largest among antivirus software providers I have ever seen. Therefore, if you are using a smaller Optane module on your operating system, you should plan in advance to have enough space.

Kaspersky adopted green and white as the primary colors and carried out an open frame design. The large green horizontal panel at the top of the screen displays the security status with a light-colored check mark. However, if there’s an issue, the mark will turn to a red cross demanding your immediate attention.

Under this panel, different functions are divided into two rows. You can easily access any function from the home screen. If needed, you can further personalize your screen settings to suit your preferences.

At the bottom of the screen, the interface displays your current subscription status and notifies you when you need to renew. Overall, the design is easy to operate, intuitive and very user-friendly.

Norton 360's settings are more complicated. First, you may run into issues when trying to pay for the service.

They have multiple website versions, such as and

However, suppose you are using the Norton 360 US version. In this case, it will rank higher, and if you click on it, it will not be redirected to a website in a specific country.

The fact is that the British version includes all available countries and the United States. While the US version only has the US with nearby territories. This may aggravate your confusion and increase your frustration. Even if you register, you must wait for a while to get a confirmation letter, which contains a payment link for payment and a download link for your customers.

Norton’s user interface is simple and clear, with shades of green and white. If everything is in check, you will see the same "You are protected" message in the main window. In addition, you will find four horizontally arranged modules (Security, Identity, Performance and Other Norton) on the main screen. Each module is self-explanatory and consists of related functions (and settings).

2.3, Pricing

Kaspersky ProductsRegular PriceDiscounted Price
Kaspersky Anti-Virus$59.99/yearCheck here
Kaspersky Internet Security$79.99/yearCheck here
Kaspersky Total Security$99.99/yearCheck here
Kaspersky Security Cloud (Personal)$89.99/yearCheck here
Kaspersky Security Cloud (Family)$149.99/yearCheck here
Kaspersky Small Office Security$149.99/yearCheck here
Kaspersky End Point Security Cloud$300.00/yearCheck here
Norton ProductsRegular PriceDiscounted Price
Norton Antivirus Plus$59.99/yearCheck here
Norton 360 Standard$79.99/yearCheck here
Norton 360 Deluxe$99.99/yearCheck here
Norton 360 with Lifelock Select$149.99/yearCheck here
Norton 360 with Utimate Plus$349.99/yearCheck here
Norton Small Business SecurityVariesCheck here
Bitdefender ProductsRegular PriceDiscounted Price
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus$59.99/yearCheck here
Bitdefender Internet Security$79.99/yearCheck here
Bitdefender Total Security$89.99/yearCheck here
Bitdefender Family Pack$119.99/yearCheck here
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac$59.99/yearCheck here
Bitdefender Small Office SecurityVariesCheck here
Bitdefender GravityZone Business AVVariesCheck here

Since Norton 360 does not have a free version, it is obvious which option you should choose if your budget is limited.But Bitdefender also provides a free version, which includes antivirus and malware protection.Kaspersky has a 30-day free trial period.Both of these are good ways to try out the service before buying.

Kaspersky and Bitdefender match each other at the most basic price, but as features increase, they begin to change. In terms of overall security level, Kaspersky is more expensive. The price of the first tier of Norton 360 and Bitdefender is the same-$29.99, but only for the first year. Then, the price of Bitdefender Plus rose to $59.99 per year, and the price of Norton 360 Standard rose to $84.99 per year. For the "full protection" level, Kaspersky charges US$99.99 per year, which is equivalent to US$8.33 per month. Bitdefender's fee is $89 per year, and the monthly fee is $7.42. Compared with Kaspersky, Bitdefender offers value for money for its best quality products, and the number of licenses is unlimited. In addition, for multi-device/multi-year plans, Bitdefender charges lower than Kaspersky. E.g:


Three Windows computers on two-year plan: $62.99 per year for the first two-year period and $89.99 per year for subsequent two-year periods.
Three Windows computers on three-year plan: $83.99 per year for the first three-year period and $119.99 per year for subsequent three-year periods.


Three Windows computers on two-year plan: $59.99 per year for the first two-year period and $119.99 for subsequent two-year periods.
Three Windows computers on three-year plan: $89.99 per year for the first three-year period and $179.99 for subsequent three-year periods.
As you can see, Bitdefender offers mild to substantial savings over longer subscription periods.

Norton 360 plans
If you’re concentrating solely on the antivirus service and skipping LifeLock, there are really only two options. It’s either Norton 360 Standard or Norton 360 Deluxe.
Norton 360 Standard starts from $29.99, but the first year will have a discount. So after a year, the price will almost triple to $84.99. 

Norton 360 Deluxe starts from $39.99, but as you would expect, this is only for a year. Then, it’s $104.99 a year. You’ll be able to install the tool on 5 devices, get the same features as the Standard version with some additional parental controls.

2.4, Features

Norton> Bitdefender> Kaspersky

Norton has more advanced features than its competitors, especially in high-end products. Kaspersky is rich in features, but Bitdefender provides more features and much more functionality across its products.


Kaspersky Free is the company’s free antivirus product. It provides a basic level of malware protection, can scan downloaded files for malware, and can also defend against online attacks.

Kaspersky’s entry-level premium product is Kaspersky Anti-Virus. In addition to everything included in the freeware, it also provides ransomware protection, silent mode utility (for interruption-free experience), and vulnerability scanner (checks for outdated software and other system vulnerabilities).

Kaspersky Internet Security is the company's most popular suite. It adds a two-way firewall (monitors network traffic and thwarts hacking attempts via network), enhanced browser for safe shopping/banking, and webcam and microphone protection. A limited parental control module is also included in the suite. It can help you control which websites your kids visit and how much time they can spend online.

Kaspersky Total Security is the company's complete set of products. In addition to everything in the "Internet Security" suite, it also adds a data shredder (allows you to safely delete sensitive files so that they cannot be recovered), an unlimited password manager (securely stores all your passwords at one place for logins hassle-free), and a file backup utility with 2GB of online space.

The "Total Security" suite also includes a fully functional parental control filter and file encryption utility. In addition, a single order of Kaspersky Total Security can protect all your PCs, Macs and mobile devices. Kaspersky also includes a limited free VPN in all packages (with the data cap of 20MB).


Bitdefender Antivirus Free is the company's free antivirus product. Barebone free software provides limited malware protection and does not contain any protection-related advanced functions or redundant utilities. These functions have become common tools in modern antivirus suites. However, the free product includes protection against malicious websites and phishing attacks.

Bitdefender's entry-level paid product is Bitdefender Antivirus Plus2021. It not only has a strong malware protection function, but also provides an enhanced browser for safe online shopping/banking, a password manager (store all passwords in one place), a file shredder, WiFi security advisor (helping to fix vulnerabilities in the network) and battery saver utility.Silent mode function (for interruption-free experience) and vulnerability scanner (check for outdated software and other defects) are also part of the product.

The next level of upgrade is Bitdefender Internet Security2021. Here, you will get everything included in the "Plus" package, as well as a two-way firewall (to monitor network connections and prevent malicious attempts through the network), file encryption utility (to protect your sensitive files from ransomware and webcam protection.Parental control functions and an anti-spam module have also been crammed into the "Internet Security" package.

Another upgrade is Bitdefender Total Security 2021, which is the company's most popular suite. In addition to everything included in the "Internet Security" suite, it also adds a useful anti-theft module (helping to find stolen/lost devices) and some performance optimization tools such as DiskCleanup and OneClick Optimizer.

With a single license of Bitdefender Total Security 2021, you can protect up to five devices (PC, Mac, iOS or Android). In addition, the "Total Security" suite is compatible with Mac and Windows.

 If you want to protect more than five devices, Bitdefender Family Pack 2021 may be your best choice. It contains everything in the high-end " Total Security " suite, and only requires one license to provide protection for an unlimited number of PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices.


Unlike other antivirus software companies, Norton does not provide free software.

The first suite in the product line is Norton AntiVirus Basic, which is the company's entry-level advanced product. It provides powerful protection against viruses, ransomware, worms and other online threats, but there are no advanced security-related features or other utilities in this suite. Norton AntiVirus Basic is only compatible with Windows.

The next level is Norton Security Standard. In addition to everything in the entry-level kit, it also has excellent protection against various malware threats. It provides a two-way firewall (to prevent hackers from accessing your computer through the network) and advanced customer support.

You can use Norton Security Standard to protect 1 PC and 1 Mac or 1 mobile device. Norton also provides a 100% virus protection guarantee through this suite, according to which Norton experts will  “help keep your device virus-free, or give you a refund.”

Another upgrade is Norton Security Deluxe. It adds a web portal (which can help you easily manage all devices) and several PC optimization tools, such as File Clean-up and Disk Optimizer.Under this kit, you can protect up to 5 PCs, Macs, mobile devices or tablets.

Norton Security Premium is the company's best-selling (and most popular) antivirus suite. In this way, you will get all the content that comes with the “Deluxe” package, as well as advanced family security features (helping kids browse the Internet safely), automatic backup of important files, and 25GB of secure cloud space for data storage.

The price of Norton Security Premium varies from 1 to 10 depending on the number of PCs, Macs, mobile phones and tablets to be protected.

2.5, Customer support


If you encounter problems, you can contact Norton's customer support through online forums, live chat, or over the phone. Therefore, customers who like to send text messages and talkative customers can choose to solve all problems in the way they like. Norton Anti-Virus provides telephone and live chat support, and provides a useful "Q&A" section on its site. Since Norton is a paid service, the queue time is not long, so you can quickly contact a customer support agent.

Kaspersky provides assistance through on-site visits, emails or phone calls.

Bitdefender's support center is by far the most comprehensive, featuring all of the above as well as superb email support and "Virus Encyclopedia," pushing them ahead of the competition.

 Bitdefender is unique in that it even provides customer support options to free users. You can contact their customer support team via live chat, phone or email. You can also find FAQs and other guides on their support website. The waiting time is very similar to Norton, so no matter which method you choose, you will not be alone if certain operations cannot be performed normally.

3, Here’s the best antivirus for Windows 10:

Norton 360: Powerful malware protection against viruses, spyware, ransomware, adware, and more. Comes with a VPN, parental controls, secure storage, and a password manager.

Get the best Windows 10 antivirus here (58% off first year, terms apply).

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Vs 2017 norton bitdefender

(Last updated on January 12th, 2021)

Bitdefender or Norton, which antivirus software is a better pick in 2021?

Our experts have put together this comprehensive Bitdefender versus Norton comparison to help you make a wise decision.

Some folks think that you can get away with using free internet security, that lacks a comprehensive firewall, even in the modern digital world of today. They couldn’t be more wrong.

In 2017 alone, 412 million different user accounts were stolen from popular FriendFinder sites, and that number has only gone up since then. You see, the incidents of malware attacks are only growing in number.

So much so that the global crime damages are expected to cost up to $6 trillion annually by 2021. Moreover, the AV-TEST Institute registers over 350,000 new malware samples every single day?

So, if you wish to stay safe online, the time to invest in your future security and get yourself proper antivirus protection is now. Don’t settle for something cheap that won’t adequately protect you; get something worthwhile and worth your money.

Editor’s Note: We have spent over 150 hours examining all the top antivirus software out there, so you can get the best antivirus product for yourself and those you love.

At the moment, we think that Norton is the best antivirus software available in the market. It offers exceptional anti-malware security with minimal impact on system performance, as evidenced by the recent independent lab tests conducted by the AV-Test Institute.

Currently, Norton is offering an exclusive 70% discount to our readers for a limited time, so grab your copy of Norton before the sale ends.

Best Antivirus Software for 2021

  • Unbeatable anti-malware protection
  • Minimal system impact
  • Exceptional value for money
  • Recommended by PC Mag, CNET & TechRadar
  • 100% virus protection promise
  • 60-day risk-free money-back guarantee

Get Discount Now

Compare Plans >>

But how can you know which antivirus product to choose? Let us help. In our guide today, we’ll examine Bitdefender and Norton, two top-tier antivirus companies, to see which one provides better protection.

Breakdown of the Comparison

Here’s what we’ll cover in this Bitdefender vs. Norton comparison:

  • Features
  • Anti-Malware Protection
  • Impact on System Speed
  • User Interface
  • Pricing
  • Popularity
  • Customer Ratings

In a hurry? Take a sneak peek at the comparison to find out the winners in each category.

Comparison at a Glance

Features… Bitdefender has a selection of great features, but Norton specializes in identity and financial protection. What you will prefer depends on your use of the internet.

Anti-Malware Protection… It’s close, but Bitdefender edges ahead of Norton in one of our unbiased tests. In the other, they tie, so we have to give the edge to Bitdefender.

Impact on System Speed… Both companies perform equally well here and don’t negatively impact performance on standard computers.

User Interface… Bitdefender and Norton both have streamlined, simple interfaces. But Bitdefender offers more customization for seasoned users.

Pricing… You get more licenses for less money with Bitdefender, whereas Norton appears to be rather expensive in comparison.

Popularity… Independent survey reports put Norton slightly ahead of Bitdefender in overall market share and popularity.

Customer Ratings… Both companies rate Bitdefender and Norton as superior to each other. However, in the bird’s eye view, Bitdefender is slightly better than Norton at customer support.

The Winner

Bitdefender has a better protective capability that comes for less money than Norton. This edge makes Bitdefender a no-brainer for most folks, although if you do business online, you might still consider Norton for its specific features.

2021’s Top Antivirus Picks

#1 (Best Overall)

  • Extensive feature-set
  • Award-winning malware protection
  • Minimal system impact
  • competitive pricing structure
  • Intuitive user interface
  • 100% virus protection promise
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

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#2 (Very Good)

Bitdefender Logo 1
  • Robust Feature-set
  • Excellent Anti-malware security
  • Zero System Slowdowns
  • Exceptional Value for Money
  • Intuitive User Interface

View Plans

Get 60% Off

Let’s get into details now.

1. Features

First off, we’ll get into what each antivirus company brings to the table in terms of features and perks. We’ll start with Bitdefender.

Bitdefender’s Features

The first product from Bitdefender is a freeware called Bitdefender Free Edition. It’s a Windows-only software that provides some protection against malware threats but doesn’t offer much in terms of advanced features.

The first paid coverage from the company comes with Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2021, another Windows-only suite. This product comes with a number of useful features:

  • Firewall – provides complete protection against all kinds of malicious cyber-attacks.
  • In-depth Scanner – allows you to eliminate viruses that might have already infiltrated your computer’s files.
  • Secure Internet Browser – provides protections from phishing and fraudulent sites.
  • Ransomware Filter – guards against financial frauds and can be automatically added to your email.
  • Password Manager – saves and secures all your login and password information to prevent misuse by hackers.
  • Limited-use VPN – lets you temporarily browse the internet with anonymity.

See Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

Bitdefender Internet Security 2021 is the next tier of coverage offered by the company. This package includes everything from the Antivirus Plus suite as well as some additional features:

  • File Encryption – secures the transmission of data to prevent interception by hackers.
  • Parental Controls – keeps track of your kids’ browsing habits and limits their access to unwanted websites and apps.
  • Vulnerability Checker – scans your network for security loopholes and the presence of outdated software.
  • Webcam Protection – protects you and your family from being spied on by hackers.

Bitdefender Total Security 2021 is the premium coverage by Bitdefender. This suite has everything from previous packages plus some extra features:

  • Anti-Theft Function – lets you locate any missing or stolen devices that have Total Security installed on them.
  • Optimizer – improves the overall speed and fluidity of your computer by removing and organizing junk or temporary files that might take up valuable RAM.
  • Bitdefender Photon – monitors and examines your computer’s hardware and software, optimizing their functioning as an Optimizer does. However, Photon goes even deeper for better results.
  • Rescue Mode – acts as a reset button for your computer without wiping away your valuable files. This feature can be particularly useful if a harmful virus manages to lodge into your computer’s core code, and the scanner can’t remove it.
  • Wi-Fi Security Advisor – alerts you to unsecured Wi-Fi networks and generates recommendations based upon security threats.

See Bitdefender Total Security

Bitdefender’s best features come with its upper antivirus echelons, but its lower tiers also leave you a little lacking compared to many competitors.

Bitdefender Total Security provides the best value for your money, considering all of its functions. But if you want a single subscription to ensure all your family’s’ malware protection needs, you can go for Bitdefender Family Pack 2021 instead. The family suite offers 10 licenses with the option to add more.

See Bitdefender Family Pack

For Macs specifically, you can check out Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac. This product provides several key security perks for users of Apple products. All of Bitdefender’s security suites come with unlimited customer service through email, online chat, and phone call options.

See Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

Bitdefender Security Suites and Features

Norton’s Features

Now let’s see what Norton provides you in its packages.

Norton’s tiers of protection begin with Norton Antivirus Plus. The product provides many cool features:

  • Smart Firewall – provides real-time monitoring and protection against all kinds of malware threats. The firewall receives daily updates for new malware definitions.
  • Ransomware Protection – prevents your financial information and private data from becoming a victim of hacking attacks.
  • Antispyware Protection – keeps hackers from misusing your device through malicious apps as well.
  • Password Protector – keeps your passwords and login credentials secure from being stolen.
  • Social Media Protection – checks any Facebook links you put up, as well as your email attachments, ensuring that nothing gets through without you knowing about it.
  • Cloud Backup – 2GB of cloud storage is available for Windows devices so you can store a backup of your important files with access from any device.

See Norton Antivirus Plus

Norton 360 Standard is the next tier of coverage from Norton. This suite comes with everything that Antivirus Plus offers. There are some additional features as well, such as:

  • Secure VPN – lets you mask your online identity and surf with more anonymity than usual. This feature also gives access to region-specific content.
  • Dark Web Monitoring – provides webcam protection and constant monitoring, powered by LifeLock functionality, to secure sensitive information on the dark web, pages hidden behind passwords or firewalls. The feature instantly alerts you if your information is being used without consent.
  • Cloud Backup – the package includes 10 GB of cloud storage space.

See Norton 360 Standard

Norton 360 Deluxe is the next step up, and this is a five-license package that comes with the same 360 Standard suite features and 50GB of cloud storage. It’s basically 360 Standard for 5 devices with the addition of:

  • Full-blown Parental Controls – monitor your children’s online activities and limit their access to inappropriate websites. This feature helps provide a healthy and safe online experience for your children.

See Norton 360 Deluxe

Norton 360 Deluxe with LifeLock Select is the next offering. It’s same as the previous suite, plus it has supercharged LifeLock features for 5 devices. This package also includes:

  • LifeLock Identity Alert System – lets you know if your identity is being used elsewhere across the internet, cutting off attempts to financially harm you.
  • Credit Monitoring – serves a similar purpose for your credit as the identity alert system along with a finance protection scanner for monitoring your digital transactions.
  • Million Dollar Protection Package – provides insurance for up to $1 million in case of stolen funds (conditions apply).
  • Cloud Backup – This suite includes 100GB of Cloud Backup.

If you do a lot of business on the internet, this package is a great pick simply because of all the focused security that surrounds that kind of lifestyle.

See Norton 360 With Standard Lifelock Select

Norton provides 24/7 customer support for all its premium products.

Norton Security Suites and Features

The Winner: Both. The features are different, not better, between the two companies. Bitdefender has better features for everyday use by most people. But if you spend a lot of time doing financial work online, you’ll love what Norton has to offer. This category is a tie, and your preference depends on what you use the internet for.

2. Anti-Malware Protection

An antivirus software’s greatest asset is its malware protection capacity. So we’ll examine both Bitdefender and Norton to see which one provides better coverage in this regard.

To find that out, we’re going to look at independent tests from two different organizations with a reputation for unbiased testing and rigorous standards.

The first of these, The AV-TEST Institute, conducts three tests in Protection, Performance, and Usability categories; each of which has a rating from 1-6 points, with 6 being the best.

For the Protection test, Bitdefender scored a perfect 6 out of 6.


Norton easily matched Bitdefender with a 6 out of 6 of their own. Both companies performed equally well here.


AV-Comparatives, another testing organization, scores the competitors through awards. For their Real-World Protection Test, Bitdefender received an ADVANCED+ (3 stars) award for Protection.

However, Norton received only an ADVANCED (2 stars) award from the company, indicating that its protective capabilities are somewhat lacking compared to Bitdefender’s.

Another protection test run by AV-Comparatives is called the Malware Protection Test, gauging transmission of viruses through network drives and USB keys.

Here too, Bitdefender was ahead of the game with the ADVANCED+ award while Norton received the ADVANCED award once again, mainly due to the high frequency of false alarms.


The Winner: Bitdefender. Staying ahead of Norton in 2 out of 3 tests, it’s clear that Bitdefender is better at pure system protection than Norton.

3. Impact on System Speed

The next most important factor to consider when choosing antivirus software is its tendency to affect your computer’s daily performance. If you can’t enjoy or use the computer as well as before installation, your antivirus software might have slowed your computer just as much as real malware!

Let’s look at some more unbiased tests to find out how Bitdefender and Norton measure up in this area.

AV-TEST Institute ran its Performance Test for both companies, once again with a 6 out of 6 metric. Bitdefender scored a perfect 6 out of 6, just like it did with the Protection test.


Norton matched them once again and also got a 6 out of 6, indicating that both companies perform well on standard computers.

Norton Security Performance Test Results AV Test Evaluations July-August 2019

AV-Comparatives carried out their Performance Test, where Bitdefender got another ADVANCED+ award. Norton also received an ADVANCED+ award, showing that it can keep up with Bitdefender in this regard.

The Winner: Both. Both companies performed exceptionally on both performance tests and proved to be each other’s equal in this category.

4. User Interface

After protection and performance, now we turn our attention to see how user-friendly each software’s interface is. After all, it affects your enjoyment and productivity day in and day out. The more user-friendly an interface is, the better it can serve your needs.

Bitdefender has a single module that you activate from your desktop and can be modified with smaller panels called “quick actions.”

You can personalize these shortcuts to optimize your use of the antivirus operations. For instance, if you like running a daily scan, you can have a quick action panel specifically for that function.

An autopilot setting can help you find recommended actions based on Bitdefender’s analysis. Furthermore, Bitdefender’s controls are even more customizable thanks to the ability to pair or group actions together into tiles or combinations.

Basically, with this interface, you can streamline all your daily activities on your antivirus control panel to better suit your preferences.

Bitdefender Antivirus Interface

Let’s see how Norton compares to Bitdefender’s high customizability.

Norton’s central hub is pretty similar to Bitdefender’s, except that Norton uses pop-ups to alert you when it thinks something is amiss. That can be annoying or helpful, depending on your perspective.

Norton’s overall interface is excellent for mobile devices, or tablets use since it’s clean, simple, and minimal. The buttons and icons are big in size, and flipping through screens is easy since everything is clearly marked.

Norton, being a little simpler, doesn’t have the customizability of Bitdefender’s panels. However, all of its functions are distinctly organized for easy access, on the left-hand side of the interface. Those who aren’t very computer literate will appreciate this functionality.

Norton Antivirus Interface

The Winner: Bitdefender. Bitdefender offers amazing customizability that Norton lacks in its design.

5. Pricing

Now let’s take a look at how these two companies compare according to your wallet. Pricing is a huge determinant in making a purchase decision and, therefore, an important aspect to consider.

Bitdefender ProductsRegular Price Discounted Price
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus $59.99/yearCheck here
Bitdefender Internet Security $79.99/year Check here
Bitdefender Total Security $89.99/year Check here
Bitdefender Family Pack$119.99/yearCheck here
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac$59.99/year Check here
Bitdefender Small Office SecurityVariesCheck here
Bitdefender GravityZone Business AVVariesCheck here
Norton ProductsRegular Price Discounted Price
Norton Antivirus Plus$59.99/yearCheck here
Norton 360 Standard$79.99/yearCheck here
Norton 360 Deluxe$99.99/year Check here
Norton 360 with Lifelock Select$149.99/year Check here
Norton 360 with Utimate Plus$349.99/yearCheck here
Norton Small Business SecurityVariesCheck here

Bitdefender Total Security seems to be the best choice by far, costing only $44.99 for 5 licenses with top-quality protection features, which is why it’s our favorite too. Moreover, this suite is also fit for all Windows, Macs, and mobile devices.

The Winner: Bitdefender. Bitdefender wins here; you get so much bang for your buck that it’s hard to compare against Norton’s pricing model. You get more licenses for less money at every tier with Bitdefender than you do with Norton.

6. Popularity

Now we’re going to see which company has a higher market share to gauge their overall popularity among users. For this purpose, we are going to use survey reports from two famous companies: OPSWAT and Statista.

As per OPSWAT’s recent Windows Anti-Malware Market Share Report, Bitdefender holds a good 11.2% market share. However, Norton is just ahead of Bitdefender, with an 11.98% share.

Looking into the August 2019 survey report from Statista, we find Bitdefender and Norton at the same positions with Bitdefender at 10.17% share, just short of Norton’s 10.27% market share.

OPSWAT Antivirus Market Share

The Winner: Norton. It is evident from the survey reports that Norton is slightly more popular than Bitdefender.

7. Customer Ratings

Finally, let’s look at how actual customers consider these antivirus companies to get a measure of their overall popularity.

First, we’ll check the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a rating company that collects customers’ reviews and averages the results into a final alphabetic score from A to F.

According to the BBB, Bitdefender stands aside with a mediocre C rating as Norton manages to score an amazing A+ from the organization, indicating greater customer satisfaction.

However, this picture changes drastically with, a customer rating company that does similar services as the BBB but ranks products on a 5-star scale. Bitdefender, it turns out, has four out of five stars here. Norton, on the other hand, has only a poor 1-star rating, indicating a high number of customer complaints.

The Winner: Bitdefender. Bitdefender wins here with a slightly better rating from one source against Norton’s disappointing score from the other. However, it seems that customers generally enjoy both companies, but there are some outspoken complaints against both as well.

Bottom Line

It’s a close call. Norton offers a lot of value with its amazing features that are optimized for identity and financial protection. Ideal, if you’re in online business or do a lot of transactions digitally. However, Bitdefender is the better choice for almost everyone due to their better pricing model and slightly better overall security, which comes packed with amazing perks. Protection Status
Norton Antivirus Review 2021 \u0026 Real Test

Norton AntiVirus

Anti-virus software

Norton AntiVirus is an anti-virus or anti-malware software product, developed and distributed by NortonLifeLock since 1991 as part of its Norton family of computer security products. It uses signatures and heuristics to identify viruses. Other features included in it are e-mail spam filtering and phishing protection.

Symantec distributes the product as a download, a box copy, and as OEM software. Norton AntiVirus and Norton Internet Security, a related product, held a 61% US retail market share for security suites as of the first half of 2007. Competitors, in terms of market share in this study, include antivirus products from CA, Trend Micro, and Kaspersky Lab.[1]

Norton AntiVirus runs on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS. Windows 7 support was in development for versions 2006 through 2008. Version 2009 has Windows 7 supported update already. Versions 2010, 2011, and 2012 all natively support Windows 7, without needing an update. Version 12 is the only version fully compatible with Mac OS X Lion. With the 2015 series of products, Symantec made changes in its portfolio and briefly discontinued Norton AntiVirus.[2] This action was later reversed with the introduction of Norton AntiVirus Basic.[3]


In May 1989, Symantec launched Symantec Antivirus for the Macintosh (SAM).[4] SAM 2.0, released March 1990, incorporated technology allowing users to easily update SAM to intercept and eliminate new viruses, including many that didn't exist at the time of the program's release.[5]

In August 1990 Symantec acquired Peter Norton Computing from Peter Norton.[6] Norton and his company developed various DOSutilities including the Norton Utilities, which did not include antivirus features. Symantec continued the development of acquired technologies. The technologies are marketed under the name of "Norton", with the tagline "from Symantec". Norton's crossed-arm pose, a registered U.S. trademark, was traditionally featured on Norton product packaging.[7] However, his pose was later moved to the spine of the packaging, and eventually dropped altogether.[8]

By early 1991, U.S. computers were invaded by hundreds of foreign virus strains and corporate PC infection was becoming a serious problem. Symantec's Norton Group launched Norton AntiVirus 1.0 (NAV) for PC and compatible computers.[9] Ads for the product, with suggested retail $129, featured Norton in his crossed-arm pose, wearing a pink shirt and surgical mask covering his nose and mouth.

With the 1998 version 5.0 update, SAM was renamed Norton AntiVirus (NAV) for Macintosh.[10]

Windows edition[edit]

Product activation was introduced in Norton AntiVirus 2004, addressing the estimated 3.6 million counterfeit Norton products sold. An alphanumeric code is generated to identify a computer's configuration, which ties in with the product key. Users are allowed to activate their product five times with the same product key.[11]Spyware and adware detection and removal was introduced to the 2005 version, with the tagline "Antispyware Edition".[12] The tagline was dropped in later releases. However, Norton AntiVirus 2009 Classic does not include spyware or adware detection. The Classic edition is marketed alongside Norton AntiVirus 2009, which does include spyware and adware detection.

Existing users of the 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 versions can upgrade to the latest 2010 version without buying a new subscription. Upgrading will preserve the number of days left on a user's subscription.[13]

Version 2006 (13.0)[edit]

The redesigned main graphical user interface aggregates information in a central user interface.[14]CNET reports the Norton Protection Center, while useful, attempts to advertise additional products. To further facilitate detection of zero-day malware, Bloodhound disassembles a variety of programming languages, and scans code for malicious instructions using predefined algorithms.[15] Internet Explorer homepage hijacking protection was introduced in this release as well; however notably missing is search engine hijacking protection. CNET highlighted Norton AntiVirus 2006's noticeable impact on system performance.[14]

Operating system requirements call for Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 or Windows XP. 150 MB of free space and a 300 MHz processor is required under either operating system. 128 MB of RAM is required under Windows 2000, while 256 MB is required in Windows XP.[14]

Version 2007 (14.0)[edit]

Norton AntiVirus was released on September 12, 2006.[16] Symantec revised Norton AntiVirus with the goal of reducing high system resource utilization.[17]Windows Vista compatibility was introduced in this release as well. Despite having about 80% of the code rewritten, CNET reports mixed results in performance testing.[17]

Windows 2000 compatibility was dropped from this release. Compatibility with 32-bit versions of Windows Vista was added to this release with a patch from Symantec. Hardware requirements under Vista call for 150 MB free space, an 800  MHz processor and 512 MB RAM. Requirements under Windows XP similarly call for 150 MB free space, a 300 MHz processor, and 256 MB of RAM.

Version 2008 (15.0)[edit]

Norton AntiVirus 2008 was released on August 28, 2007. Emphasizing malware prevention, new features include SONAR, which looks for suspicious application behavior. This release adds real-time exploit protection, preventing attackers from leveraging common browser and application vulnerabilities.[18][19]

When installed in 32-bit versions of Windows XP Service Pack 2, 300 MB of free space, a 300 MHz processor, and 256 MB of RAM is required. When installed in 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, 300 MB of free space, an 800 MHz processor, and 256 MB of RAM is needed.

Version 2009 (16.0)[edit]

The main user interface of Norton AntiVirus 2009

Norton AntiVirus 2009 was released on September 8, 2008. Addressing performance issues, over 300 changes were made, with a "zero-impact" goal.[20][21]Benchmarking conducted by Passmark Software PTY LTD highlights its 47-second install time, 32 second scan time, and 5 MB memory utilization. Symantec funded the benchmark test and provided some scripts used to benchmark each participating antivirus software.[22]

The security status and settings are now displayed in a single main interface. A CPU usage monitor displays the total CPU utilization and Norton's CPU usage in the main interface. Other features include Norton Insight, a whitelisting technology which cuts scanning times by mapping known safe files using information from an online database.[23] To address malware response times, updates are delivered every 5 to 15 minutes. However, such updates are not tested by Symantec, and may cause false positives, or incorrectly identify files as malicious. The exploit scanner found in the 2007 and 2008 versions was dropped from this release.

When installed in 32-bit versions of Windows XP Service Pack 2, 150 MB of free space, a 300 MHz processor, and 256 MB of RAM is required. When installed in 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, 150 MB of free space, an 800 MHz processor, and 512 MB of RAM is required.

Two variations on Norton AntiVirus 2009 are also marketed by Symantec. The Gaming edition provides finer control over when Norton downloads updates and allows components of the suite to be disabled either manually or automatically when the computer enters full-screen mode. The Classic edition cannot find or remove adware and spyware.

Version 2010 (17.0)[edit]

The main GUIof Norton AntiVirus 2010

Version 17.0 was released on September 9, 2009.[24] Several features have been updated in this release, including SONAR, now dubbed SONAR 2. It now uses more information to determine if an application is truly malicious. Norton Insight can present users with information about the origins, activities, and performance of applications along with reputation data.[24] A new feature codenamed Autospy helps users understand what Norton did when malware was found. Previous releases removed threats on sight and quietly warned users, potentially confusing when users are deceived in downloading rogue security software. Much of this information is placed on the back of the main window; a toggle button switches between the sides.[25] Symantec has also added Windows 7 support. Aside from that, Symantec has also added the Norton Download Insight to prevent drive by drive downloads.

Version 2011 (18.0)[edit]

The main GUIof Norton AntiVirus 2011

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (February 2012)

Version 2012 (19.0)[edit]


This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (February 2012)

Version 2013 (20.0)[edit]


This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (September 2013)

Version 2014 (21.0)[edit]


This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (September 2013)

Lack of 2015 version[edit]

Symantec briefly discontinued the standalone Norton AntiVirus product in 2015 instead replacing it with Norton Security.[26]

Version 2016 (22.0)[edit]

The main GUIof Norton AntiVirus 2016-present

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (February 2017)


FBI cooperation[edit]

The FBI confirmed the active development of Magic Lantern, a keylogger intended to obtain passwords to encrypted e-mail and other documents during criminal investigations. Magic Lantern was first reported in the media by Bob Sullivan of MSNBC on 20 November 2001 and by Ted Bridis of the Associated Press.[27][28] The FBI intends to deploy Magic Lantern in the form of an e-mail attachment. When the attachment is opened, it installs a trojan horse on the suspect's computer, which is activated when the suspect uses PGP encryption, often used to increase the security of sent email messages. When activated, the trojan will log the PGP password, which allows the FBI to decrypt user communications.[29] Symantec and other major antivirus vendors have whitelisted the Magic Lantern trojan, rendering their antivirus products, including Norton AntiVirus, incapable of detecting it. Concerns around this whitelisting include uncertainties about Magic Lantern's full surveillance potential and whether hackers could subvert it and redeploy it for purposes outside of law enforcement.[30][31]

Graham Cluley, a technology consultant from Sophos, said "We have no way of knowing if it was written by the FBI, and even if we did, we wouldn’t know whether it was being used by the FBI or if it had been commandeered by a third party".[32] Another reaction came from Marc Maiffret, chief technology officer and co-founder of eEye Digital Security who states: "Our customers are paying us for a service, to protect them from all forms of malicious code. It is not up to us to do law enforcement's job for them so we do not, and will not, make any exceptions for law enforcement malware or other tools."[33]

Proponents of Magic Lantern argue the technology would allow law enforcement to efficiently and quickly decrypt time-sensitive messages protected by encryption schemes. Implementing Magic Lantern does not require physical access to a suspect's computer, unlike Carnivore, a predecessor to Magic Lantern, since physical access to a computer would require a court order.[34] FBI spokesman Paul Bresson, in response to a question about whether Magic Lantern also needed a court order to deploy, would only say "Like all technology projects or tools deployed by the FBI it would be used pursuant to the appropriate legal process."[35][36]

Update disables legitimate software[edit]

On January 28, 2010 Symantec Anti-virus update marked Spotify as a Trojan Horse disabling the software across millions of PCs.[37][38]

Product support[edit]

Retail customers report slow and indifferent service on bugs. Examples include a faulty error message stating current subscriptions had expired.[39] Users received an error stating "Your virus protection cannot be updated." This error occurred after an update to the software and refused to allow daily updates.[39] Though the bug was reported in 2004, it was not corrected for the 2005 or 2006 versions.

Another incident occurred in May 2007, when Norton AntiVirus flagged components of the Pegasusemail client as malicious, rendering the program corrupted.[40] Symantec customer service addressed the problem by running through a checklist of troubleshooting steps which were not always successful.

Faulty update[edit]

On July 25, 2006, Symantec released a faulty update for Norton AntiVirus 2006 users. Users reported an onscreen message stating "Norton AntiVirus 2006 does not support the repair feature. Please uninstall and reinstall.".[41] Symantec claimed the faulty update was downloaded to customers between 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM on July 25, 2006. Symantec developed a workaround tool and has listed troubleshooting steps, available here. The company released a statement, stating they expected to deliver a repair patch to affected users by Monday, July 31, 2006."[42]


Norton AntiVirus has been criticized for refusing to uninstall completely, leaving unnecessary files behind.[43][44] Another issue is versions prior to 2009 installed LiveUpdate, which updates Norton-branded software, separately. The user must uninstall both Norton AntiVirus and the LiveUpdate component manually. The LiveUpdate component is purposely left behind to update other Norton-branded products, if present.[45] In response, Symantec developed the Norton Removal Tool (SymNRT) to remove leftover registry keys and values along with files and folders.[46] However, neither route of uninstallation will remove subscription data, preserved to prevent users from installing multiple trial copies.[citation needed]
SymNRT can only remove these Norton programs:

Once SymNRT has started the removal process, it cannot be stopped. It is recommended to close all running programs prior to running SymNRT. ACT! and WinFax users are recommended to back up their databases before running SymNRT.

Incompatibilities with ZoneAlarm[edit]

Norton AntiVirus 2007 will not install alongside ZoneAlarm. This incompatibility has caused annoyance for Norton customers who purchased Norton AntiVirus 2007 with no prior warning or notice of the incompatibility.[47] Symantec recommends removing ZoneAlarm, then reinstalling it with its Internet Worm Protection feature disabled, which controls what applications can access the Internet and which protocols they can use to do so.


On March 9, 2009, some users of Norton AntiVirus 2006 and 2007 experienced a firewall warning stating a Norton-associated file, "PIFTS.exe", was trying to connect to the Internet.[48] Although this file was revealed to be a harmless diagnostic patch, the program gained attention in the media when Symantec removed posts from their forum concerning PIFTS. With no information available about the purpose of the program there was speculation that the program was malware or a backdoor.[49]

The SANS Internet Storm Center claimed to have spoken to a Symantec employee who has confirmed that "the program is theirs, part of the update process and not intended to do harm."[50] Graham Cluley, a consultant from antivirus vendor Sophos found PIFTS connected to a Symantec server, forwarding product and computer information.[51]

On March 10, Symantec made an official response to the PIFTS program, claiming posts in the support forum were deleted due to forum spam rules; however the deletion of PIFTS-related posts began before the spam attacks.[52] Symantec stated PIFTS itself was a diagnostic patch.[49] Cole stated the purpose of the update was to help determine how many customers would need to be migrated to Windows 7-compatible versions of Norton AntiVirus. PIFTS apparently was released without a digital signature to verify its identity, causing firewalls to prompt for permission when it attempted to connect to the Internet.[53]

Consumer complaints[edit]

Symantec has been criticized by some consumers for perceived ethical violations, including allegations that support technicians would tell customers that their systems were infected and needed a technician to resolve it remotely for an extra fee, then refuse to refund when the customers alleged their systems had not actually been infected.[54]

Macintosh edition[edit]

Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac introduced support for Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard platform, with the capability to detect both Macintosh and Windows malware. Other features include a vulnerability scanner, which blocks attackers from leveraging software exploits.[55] Norton AntiVirus 11 also includes the ability to scan within compressed or archived files, such as Time Capsule volumes. Operating requirements call for Mac OS X Tiger.[56] A PowerPC or an Intel Core processor, 128 MB of RAM, and 100 MB of free hard disk space are also required. Norton AntiVirus Dual Protection for Mac is intended for Macintosh users with Windows running on their systems, using Boot Camp or virtualization software such as VMware Fusion. It provides a license for both Norton AntiVirus 11 with Norton AntiVirus 2009.[57][58]

Comparison with other software[edit]

From the 2009 to 2012 editions, Symantec made huge changes to their products' speed and performance. Norton products now have only 2 running processes, using about 24 MB of RAM.[59] As soon as a virus is recognized, information in regards to the virus (a virus signature) is stored in a pandemic definitions file, which contains the vital know-how to become aware of and get rid of the virus.[60] According to tests sponsored by Symantec, PassMark Security Benchmark 2012 Norton AntiVirus and Norton Internet Security are the lightest suites available. also tested these products and gave similar results.[61] PCMag recognises 2011 and 2012 lines as the fastest and strongest in protection.[62] PCWorld's tests of security software put Norton Internet Security 2009 in the 1st place.[63] In 2011, in a test of PCWorld, Norton Internet Security was the winner.[64] Dennis Technology Labs (in tests sponsored by Symantec) confirms the performance and effectiveness of Norton 2011 and 2012 lines.[65]

Norton AntiVirus vs. GCSB Amendment Bill[edit]

On 14 August 2013 the Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key addressed what he identified as "misinformation" surrounding the GCSB Amendment Bill, claiming that the actions of the Government Communications Security Bureau were analogous to Norton AntiVirus.[66]

See also[edit]


  1. ^"Channel Best-Sellers: Winning Security Players". CRN Staff. United Business Media LLC. November 23, 2007. Archived from the original on March 10, 2009. Retrieved March 9, 2009.
  2. ^"New Norton Security to Replace All Nine Products of Norton". Venkat. TechDows. August 19, 2014.
  3. ^"Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic". PCMAG. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  4. ^SAM Identifies Virus-Infected Files, Repairs Applications, InfoWorld, May 22, 1989
  5. ^SAM Update Lets Users Program for New Viruses, InfoWorld, Feb 19, 1990
  6. ^"COMPANY NEWS; Symantec to Acquire Peter Norton". Lawrence M. Fisher. The New York Times Company. May 15, 1990. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
  7. ^"Legal Notice – Symantec Canada". Symantec Corporation. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
  8. ^"SYMANTEC BRAND IDENTITY"(PDF). frog design inc. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
  9. ^Foreign Virus Strains Emerge as Latest Threat to U.S. PCs, InfoWorld, Feb 4, 1991
  10. ^Symantec Brings New Version of Top-Selling Macintosh AntiVirus Software into Norton Family of Products Press Release.
  11. ^"Symantec adds product activation". David Becker. CBS Interactive Inc. August 26, 2003. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  12. ^"Norton Internet Security 2005 Antispyware Edition". Robert Vamosi. CBS Interactive Inc. April 18, 2005. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
  13. ^"Update Norton to the latest version". Norton By Symantec. May 2018.
  14. ^ abcsralls (October 3, 2005). "Norton AntiVirus 2006 Internet security and firewall reviews – CNET Reviews". Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  15. ^"Bloodhound". Symantec. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  16. ^"Symantec's Norton AntiVirus 2007, Norton Internet Security 2007 Provide State-Of-The-Art Security and Performance to Protect Against Today's Newest Threats". 12 September 2006. Retrieved 2010-05-29.
  17. ^ abRobert Vamosi. "Norton AntiVirus 2007 Internet security and firewall reviews – CNET Reviews". Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  18. ^"New Zealand PC World Magazine > Symantec unveils Browser Defender in its 2008 consumer security software". 2007-08-30. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  19. ^"Symantec unveils Browser Defender in its 2008 consumer security software". Gregg Keizer. Fairfax New Zealand Limited. August 30, 2007. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  20. ^Rubenking, Neil J. (2008-11-25). "Symantec Launches Norton Antivirus 'Gaming Edition'". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  21. ^"Symantec Launches Fastest Security Products in the World". Symantec, Corporation. September 9, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  22. ^Passmark Software (February 2009),Antivirus, Internet Security and Total Security Products Performance Benchmarking (2009) Vista/Dual Core Hardware, retrieved 4 October 2012
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  24. ^ abNeil J. Rubenking (July 2, 2009). "Symantec Releases Norton 2010 Betas". PC Magazine. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
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  27. ^Sullivan, Bob (2001-11-20). "FBI software cracks encryption wall". MSNBC. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
  28. ^Ted Bridis. "FBI Develops Eavesdropping Tools," Washington Post, November 22, 2001.
  29. ^"FBI Has a Magic Lantern". Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  30. ^"Invasive Software: Who's Inside Your Computer?"(PDF). George Lawton. July 2002. Archived from the original(PDF) on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  31. ^ (2001-12-11). "The FBI's "Magic Lantern" Shines Bright". Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  32. ^Jackson, William (2001-12-06). "Antivirus vendors are wary of FBI's Magic Lantern – Government Computer News". Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  33. ^McCullagh, Declan (2007-07-17). "Will security firms detect police spyware? – CNET News". CBS Interactive, Inc. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  34. ^"IMPLICATIONS OF SELECT NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND PUBLIC SAFETY". Amitai Etzioni. Harvard Journal of Law & Technology. 2002. SSRN 1438669.[dead link]
  35. ^"FBI Confirms 'Magic Lantern' Project Exists"(PDF). Elinor Mills Abreu. At Home Corporation. December 31, 2001. Archived from the original(PDF) on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  36. ^"THE CASE FOR MAGIC LANTERN: SEPTEMBER 11 HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED FOR INCREASED SURVEILLANCE"(PDF). Christopher Woo & Miranda So. Harvard Journal of Law & Technology. 2002. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  37. ^"Spotify is detected as an Trojan Horse? | Symantec Connect Community". Retrieved 2012-10-04.
  38. ^"Spotify defined as a trojan by Symantec". Retrieved 2012-10-04.
  39. ^ ab"Error: "Your virus protection cannot be updated" when running the Intelligent Updater". Symantec Corporation. July 27, 2007. Archived from the original on September 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
  40. ^"Pegasus Email Client Being Flagged as a Trojan Program". DanB. TNPC Newsletter. May 18, 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-09-05. Retrieved 2009-05-27.
  41. ^"Faulty Update Stymies Norton Users". The Washington Post Company. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  42. ^Vamosi, Robert (2006-07-31). "Symantec ships faulty Norton AntiVirus 2006 update – Alpha Blog –". Archived from the original on 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  43. ^"Symantec uninstaller may not finish the job". Scott Dunn. February 7, 2008. Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
  44. ^"How can I fully remove Norton Antivirus from my system?". Dave Taylor. Archived from the original on 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  45. ^"PCWorld". PCWorld. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  46. ^"Download and run the Norton Removal Tool". Symantec Corporation. Archived from the original on 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
  47. ^Schofield, Jack (2006-11-02). "Norton AV versus Zone Alarm – can't you have both?". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  48. ^Beaumont, Claudine (2009-03-10). "Internet conspiracy theories abound over Symantec Pifts.exe file". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. Retrieved March 10, 2009.
  49. ^ abKrebs, Brian (2009). "Users Complain of Mysterious 'PIFTS' Warning". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  50. ^Frantzen, Swa (2009). "Conspiracy fodder: pifts.exe".
  51. ^Cluley, Graham (2009). "The mystery of Symantec and PIFTS.EXE".
  52. ^Cole, Dave (2009). "Norton product patch "PIFTS.exe" and Norton Users Forum". Archived from the original on 2009-03-27.
  53. ^"Cybercrooks Take Advantage of Symantec PIFTS.EXE Fuss". Lucian Constantin. Softpedia. March 11, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
  54. ^"Consumer complaints about Norton". Retrieved 2010-11-09.
  55. ^"Norton AntiVirus 11 for Leopard Announced". PC World Communications, Inc. December 10, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
  56. ^"Norton Antivirus 11.0 for Mac". Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  57. ^"Norton AntiVirus 11 for Mac". Symantec. Archived from the original on 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  58. ^"Norton AntiVirus Dual Protection for Mac". Symantec. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  59. ^"2012 Consumer Security Products Performance Benchmarks (Edition 1)"(PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-04.
  60. ^"How Norton prevents infections". Archived from the original on June 9, 2016.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  61. ^"Performance Test Internet Security Suites – July 2011"(PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-04.
  62. ^Rubenking, Neil J. "Norton Internet Security 2012". PC Magazine.
  63. ^Larkin, Erik (2009-01-22). "Top Internet Security Suites: Paying for Protection". PCWorld. Retrieved 2012-10-04.
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External links[edit]


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The Best Security Suites for 2021

Everybody has antivirus protection these days. Even if you don’t install anything or if you let the third-party antivirus trial that came with your computer lapse, Windows Defender steps in to offer at least a modicum of protection against spyware, ransomware, and all kinds of malware.

Antivirus is the minimum. But are you satisfied with that minimum? Upgrading to a security suite gets you a whole army of tools to protect your data and your devices. These bonuses can include network-level protection against exploit attacks, detection systems focused specifically on ransomware, parental monitoring software to keep your kids safe online, online backup (the ultimate security), and more. And the incremental price jump to go from standalone antivirus to full suite can be fairly small.

Some security companies just add the most essential components to create a suite, while others rope in a huge variety of security elements. Just which of these security juggernauts should you choose? We’ve reviewed nearly 40 different suites and pulled together the best, from simple entry-level suites to cross-platform multi-device lollapaloozas.

This article briefly mentions the many tests we use to evaluate security suites and determine which are the best. If you want more details on the torture tests we perform on every product we review, please read the full explanation of how we test security software.

Basic and Advanced Security Suites

Most security companies offer at least three levels of security products, a standalone antivirus utility, an entry-level security suite, and an advanced suite with additional features. Most entry-level suites include antivirus, firewall, antispam, and parental control. The advanced "mega-suite" typically adds a backup component and some form of system tune-up utility, and some also add password management, a VPN, or other security extras.

When a new product line comes out, we start by reviewing the antivirus. In our review of the entry-level suite, we summarize results from the antivirus review and dig deeper into the suite-specific features. And for a mega-suite review, we focus on the advanced features, referring to the entry-level suite review for features shared by both. Your choice of a basic or advanced security suite depends entirely on what features matter to you, and what you're willing to pay for them.

The suites we've rounded up here aim to protect consumers. You can use any of them in a small business, but as your company grows you may need to switch to a SaaS endpoint protection system. This type of service lets an administrator monitor and manage security for all the company's computers.

Windows Defender? Maybe

Over the years, the Windows Defender program built into Windows 10 has evolved into Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center. That imposing name reflects the fact that in addition to antivirus protection it manages Windows Firewall and other Windows security features. It doesn't truly qualify as a suite; it's just an antivirus that manages other Windows components. Independent antivirus test scores for Windows Defender have literally come in below zero in the past, but its scores have been steadily improving. You can still get better overall protection from the best third-party free antivirus utilities, but Windows Defender is looking better all the time. Even so, it can't replace a full-scale security suite.

Fighting Malware, Adware, and Spyware

Malware protection is the heart of a security suite; without an antivirus component, there's no suite. Naturally you want a suite whose antivirus is effective. When evaluating an antivirus, we look for high marks from the independent antivirus testing labs. The fact that the labs consider a product important enough to test is a vote of confidence. The very best antivirus products get high ratings from many labs.

We also perform our own hands-on testing. For one test we use a relatively static set of malware samples that's replaced once per year. We note how the antivirus reacts when we try to launch those samples and score it on how well it protects the test system. For another, we try to download very new malicious files from URLs no more than a few days old. Lab test results, our own test results, and other aspects like ease of use go into our antivirus rating.

Firewall Choices

A typical personal firewall offers protection in two main areas. On the one hand, it monitors all network traffic to prevent inappropriate access from outside the network. On the other, it keeps a watchful eye on running applications to make sure they don't misuse your network connection. The built-in Windows Firewall handles monitoring traffic but doesn't include program control. A few security suites skip the firewall component, figuring that Windows Firewall already does the most essential firewall tasks.

The last thing you want is a firewall that bombards you with incomprehensible queries about online activity. Should I let IndependenceDay.exe connect with IP address 2600:1406:40:193 on port 8080? Incoming or outgoing? Allow or Block? Once, or always? Plastic or paper? Modern firewalls cut down on these queries by automatically configuring permissions for known programs. The very best also handle unknown programs by monitoring them closely for signs of improper network activity and other suspicious behaviors.

Squelch Some Spam

These days, most of us hardly ever see spam messages in our inboxes because our email providers filter them out. If you don't get this service from your provider, it can be hard to even find your valid mail amid all the offers of male enhancements and magic COVID-19 cures.

If your provider doesn't squelch spam, it's smart to choose a suite that has spam filtering built in. Look for one that integrates with your email client. Client integration lets it divert spam into its own folder, and sometimes lets you train the spam filter by flagging any spam messages that get through or, worse, valid messages that wound up in the spam pile.

Phishing and Privacy Protection

The best antivirus in the world can't help you if a fraudulent website tricks you into giving away your security credentials. Phishing sites masquerade as bank sites, auction sites, even online gaming sites. When you enter your username and password, though, your account is instantly compromised. Some clever frauds will even pass along your credentials to the real site, to avoid raising suspicions. We test phishing protection using real-world fraudulent sites scraped from the internet.

Steering users away from phishing sites helps protect privacy, but that's not the only way suites can keep your private information out of the wrong hands. Some offer specific protection for user-defined sensitive data, credit cards, bank accounts, that sort of thing. Any attempt to transmit sensitive data from your computer sets of an alarm. Some contract with third-party companies to offer credit protection. Other spyware protection techniques include foiling keyloggers, preventing misuse of your webcam, and supplying a hardened browser that lets you do online banking in an environment isolated from other processes.

What About Parental Control?

We don't penalize a suite for omitting parental control. Not everyone has kids, and not every parent feels comfortable about controlling and monitoring their children's computer use. However, if parental control is present, it has to work properly.

Blocking inappropriate websites and controlling how much time the child spends on the Internet (or on the computer) are the core components of a parental control system. Some suites add advanced features like instant message monitoring, limiting games based on ESRB ratings, and tracking the child's location. Others can't even manage the basics successfully.

VPN Protects Your Communications

Local antivirus and security suites protect your data and documents, but their protection doesn't extend to your internet communications. A virtual private network, or VPN, secures your internet traffic and can also serve to hide your actual IP address or location from snoops. Most VPN companies have just the one product, but some security suite companies have ventured into the VPN realm.

Typically, though, you don't get full VPN protection as part of your suite. Some install a free edition, or a free trial. Others offer a link that sends you online to subscribe. Norton 360, McAfee Total Protection, and Panda Dome Premium are rare exceptions, both offering a VPN without such limits.

Don't Bog Me Down

One big reason to use a security suite rather than a collection of individual utilities is that the integrated suite can do its tasks using fewer processes and a smaller chunk of your system's resources. Or at least, that's what ought to happen. Few modern suites have an appreciable effect on performance.

For a hands-on measure of just what effect installing a suite has, we time three common system actions with and without the suite installed, averaging many runs of each test. One test measures system boot time, another moves and copies a large collection of files between drives, and a third zips and unzips that same file collection repeatedly. Suites with the very lightest touch have no measurable effect on the time required.

Backup and Tune-Up Utilities

In a sense, having a backup of all your files is the ultimate security. Even if stray debris from an uncontrolled Chinese rocket destroys your computer, you can still restore from backup. Some companies reserve backup for their mega-suite offering, while others include it in the entry-level suite. Read our reviews carefully, as backup capabilities vary wildly. At the low end, some companies give you nothing you couldn't get for free from IDrive or another online backup service. At the high end you might get 25GB, 50GB, or even more online storage hosted by the company, along with the separate ability to make local backups.

Tuning up your system performance has no direct connection with security, unless it serves to counteract the security suite's performance drag. However, tune-up components often include privacy-related features such as clearing traces of browsing history, wiping out temporary files, and deleting lists of recently used documents. For a dedicated system-cleaning app, read our roundup of the Best Tune-Up Utilities.

Mac, Android, and iOS Security

Windows still dominates the desktop, but many households include Macs as well. Cross-platform multi-device suites give you once source of protection for all your devices. Typically you don't get as many features on macOS. In fact, most companies just offer a Mac antivirus, not a full suite. Do take advantage of the option to protect your Macs. They're not immune to malware.

Android devices are ubiquitous, and the Android platform isn't locked down the way iOS is. Even if you stay away from third-party app stores and refrain from jailbreaking your device, you can still get hit with Trojans, ransomware, and other kinds of Android malware. Smart users protect their devices with an Android antivirus. All the best Android antivirus utilities include antitheft features such as the ability to locate, lock, or wipe a lost or stolen device. Some include bonus features like blocking unwanted calls or warning when you connect to an insecure Wi-Fi network.

As for iPhones and other iOS devices, Apple's built-in security makes life tough both for malware coders and antivirus writers. Many cross-platform suites simply skip iOS; those that don't typically offer a seriously stripped-down experience. Given the platform's intrinsic security, it rarely makes sense to expend one of your licenses installing protection on an iPhone.

What's Not Here?

We've evaluated nearly 40 security suites, including entry-level suites, feature-packed mega-suites, and suites that extend protection across multiple different platforms. The products listed in this article have all received at least four stars.

In some cases, multiple products from the same company appear in the chart. For example, Bitdefender Internet Security is an Editors' Choice for entry-level suite, and Bitdefender Total Security earned the same honor as a security mega-suite. The same pattern holds for Kaspersky; Norton also claimed two entries with two products earning four stars or better.

What's the Best Security Suite?

This article identifies nine security suites that we definitely recommend, including multi-device suites, mega-suites, and entry-level suites. If you're looking for a suite that covers the basics without getting in the way, Bitdefender Internet Security and Kaspersky Internet Security are our Editors' Choice winners. In the mega-suite range, Editors' Choice goes to Bitdefender Total Security, with more features than you can imagine.

Norton 360 Deluxe and Kaspersky Security Cloud are our Editors' Choice products for cross-platform multi-device security suite. Note that to get more Norton licenses, you must upgrade to one of the subscriptions that bundles LifeLock identity theft remediation—each level gets you more suite licenses and VPN licenses, as well as more hosted storage for online backup. With a powerful, integrated suite protecting your devices, you can stay protected without worrying about balancing security against performance.

Editors' Note: We are aware of the allegations of Kaspersky Labs' inappropriate ties to the Russian government. Until we see some actual proof of these allegations, we will treat them as unproventreat them as unproven, and continue to recommend Kaspersky's security products as long as their performance continues to merit our endorsement.


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