Both Avast and Norton are great antivirus programs, and when you’re choosing a security suite for your computer, you want the best. But when you’re caught between Avast vs Norton, which one would you choose?
Our readers had this same conundrum and approached the BlueGadgetTooth team to look into these options, and this is exactly what we did!
We judged them based on their capabilities in detecting malware as well as dealing with them effectively, their impact on your computer’s performance as well how much they would set you back by. Based on these categories, we came to the conclusion that Avast was the better option of the two.
Avast 2018 as the Winner
Why was Avast chosen? Apart from being a global computer and cyber security company, with an army of products under their brand that will make short work of the malware and antiviruses, they also performed better in most rounds of this comparison guide.
Norton is a very good antivirus program in its own right, but when compared against Avast, it fell short based on our experiences dealing with Norton.
Avast vs Norton: Test Results
Avast (Editor's Choice)
- Bonus security features can be unlocked with additional payments instead of being included in the overall package
- Protects multiple devices with one subscription plan – up to 10 devices
- Great parental control
- 25GB online storage for backup
- Multiple bonus features
- Strong firewall
- Mac users have limited protection features, including a lack of parental control features
Avast: Knowing More
Avast has grown exponentially since its initial release date in 1988, marking this year to be its 30th anniversary in computer protection. Having so much experience behind it, Avast controls majority of the online security segment, with its products being compatible with Android, Windows and Mac users. It recently acquired AVG, another online security company.
Norton: Knowing More
An antimalware software company that is developed by Symantec Corporation, the parent company, Norton has been dealing with computer security products since 1991. They use proprietary technology to intercept, detect and remove malware, which has made it a top favourite amongst antivirus users.
Which Independent Testing Labs Does BlueGadgetTooth Prefer?
When it comes to getting accurate results, the BlueGadgetTooth team relies on the results provided by AV-TEST.org, a lab based in Germany, and AV-Comparatives.org, an Austrian lab.
Both labs have stellar reputations when it comes to figuring out performance issues and results of various antivirus programs, testing them constantly on a monthly basis, exposing the computer systems running on various Windows versions to get accurate, real world results for our reference.
Over a quarter million new malware are registered at the AV-TEST Institute daily and this makes it a very reliable source for knowing which antivirus program performs better in various fields.
When it comes to choosing the best antivirus program for your home or business, the BlueGadgetTooth team looks to these two independent testing labs for unbiased results.
Round One: Malware Detection
This is perhaps the most important category for testing and we did not take this lightly. Your computer system is your main connection from working from home/ office to the online world and protecting it should be a top priority.
However, knowing just how good an antivirus program is in keeping malware at bay will affect your decision in choosing the best one for your home. Apart from trying out our own tests, we look to av-test.org and av-comparatives.org for their results.
Looking at the results, Avast did well, detecting 97.5% malware when offline, with the score increasing to 99.3% when online. The Online Protection rate stood at 99.86%, a pretty good score.
Norton Symantec scored only 78.7% in Offline Malware Detection tests, but this score increased to a near perfect 99.9% when Online. The Online Protection Rate also stood at a near perfect 99.9%.
On the other hand, Norton had a whopping 274 false alarms, whereas Avast had only 4.
Av-test results above for Avast – 6.0/6.0
Even results from AV-Test showed Norton as a top favorite, getting a score of 6.0/ 6.0
Winner of Round One: Norton wins the first round in Avast vs Norton, with the latter faring better in the test results revealed by Av-Comparatives. In Av-test, both Avast vs Norton scored perfect scores – meaning that they both are great options to buy as protection for your online home security.
Round Two: Installation & User Interface
We like straightforward installation processes which are easy to follow, and Avast was a prime example of what we like to see in an antivirus’ set up process. From downloading to installing it, it took us a mere fifteen minutes. We like the design approach Avast has taken with Avast Premier – minimalistic, non-intrusive and very well thought of.
So many antivirus programs have huge windows that tend to hog up your entire screen, but Avast takes up only a small footprint on your screen space, minimalizing to a small window on the corner of your screen to show you the progress of the download and installation process.
After the set up process is complete, a small shortcut icon is created on your desktop for easy access, and a small window will let you know if there are any threats found, so you can continue with your work, uninterrupted by large scan windows. This notification window also allows you to choose what action you will take against the threats found in your computer.
Norton may a good choice for many. But when we downloaded the antivirus program, it caused more hassle than we’ve ever faced with any antivirus installation processes. In the beginning, it detected another antivirus program and shut down my computer, making it go into a loop of restarting and a blue screen.
However, we knew how to get past that, and soon the problem was eliminated. However, the installation process wasn’t complete. You get an email, which sends you to the Norton website to create a Norton account to validate the email address.
We then continued with the process, and this led us to a window where we had to input personal data like your phone number, email address etc, the screenshot of which is shared below.
The program was finally installed, but when we ran the scan, our computer shut down yet again, and restarting it gave us the option to run on Windows 10 or another antivirus program option came up. Being curious, I clicked on the other antivirus program – which had already been uninstalled from my computer the day before – so I don’t understand why it came up – but it just resulted in the computer going into Safe Mode.
While uninstalling Norton, they ask you the reason why – and I would have happily told them, but the section for comments or messages had disappeared, which made me skip that process.
Winner of Round Two: Between Avast vs Norton, Avast was the winner by far. Norton just gave us too many hassles to be worth our time.
Round Three: System Performance Impact
Scans of various antivirus programs can take their own sweet time, but a job needs to be done thoroughly and we understand and appreciate that. However, knowing just how much a program can affect your system’s performance is vital when considering your options.
If your work is heavily affected by the antivirus program, it may not be the correct option or you – as many of us don’t have the luxury of twiddling our thumbs while waiting for a scan to complete.
Avast has a quick installation process, as mentioned in our last round, and as an antivirus program, it had minimal impact on our systems. We could use Word, browse through the internet to our hearts content and we could notice no lags as such. Avast scored 5.0/ 6.0 in av-test.org, with its results being a little lower than industry average. We did notice that the performance was impacted when running a power hungry application as the scan was underway.
Norton (results shared below) fared much better in terms of performance, with only slowing down in the installation process of frequently used programs. It received a score of 5.5/ 6.0.
Winner of Round Three: Avast vs Norton had Norton coming up tops in av-test.org’s findings. However, to play devil’s advocate, when we ran Avast vs Norton on our computers, we actually felt that Avast was better, facing minimal lags – whereas Norton caused hiccups along the way for us. A very frustrating time. You could consider this a tie, but the BGT team will lean towards Avast as per our own findings.
Round Four: Security Features
- Password Manager for protecting all online accounts
- Cyber capture to save your computer from suspicious files and malware
- Excellent Firewall
- Spam Filter
- Data Shredder- Making sure that all deleted files remain deleted, making recovery at a later stage not an option
- Automatic Software Updates
- Ransomware Shield
- Browser Cleanup – Saving you from annoying pop-ups and add-ons from certain websites
- Webcam Shield – Protecting you from spies and hackers that could use your camera for malicious purposes
- Parental Controls
- Password Manager
- Two Way Firewall
- Online Storage
- Rescue Disk
- Parental Controls
Winner of Round Four: Avast is the clear winner here, with its huge number of features included in the package.
Round Five: Price
Avast Premier is the top of the line in the Avast range of antivirus packages, so it comes as no surprise that protection for your PC could set you back by $79.99. There are bonus security features that could be added at the checkout point, like Avast Cleanup Premium which adds $29.99 to your bill, Avast Password, which adds $9.99 and Avast SecureLine VPN Multi Device which could set you back an additional $39.99.
Norton is priced at $109.99/ year – but before you raise your eyebrows, it offers protection to 10 devices instead of just one. There are many discounts as well offered during the year, some offering $60 off the asking price – leaving you paying only $49.99/ year for protection for ten devices! That’s a pretty sweet deal!
Winner of Round Five: Norton is clearly the winner in this price war between Avast vs Norton.
Why You Need Antivirus Software
The world doesn’t have only good people who fart out rainbows. There are people out there who look for every opportunity to take advantage of a weakness to make an illegal profit at someone else’s expense. There have been many cases of people’s bank accounts being hacked, funds being transferred and bank accounts being emptied. This happens more often than you think, and sometimes the situation is a lot closer to home.
We all work hard for our money, which we save for a rainy day or for expenses we know which are due. Nobody wants to be in a situation where everything they’ve worked hard for is lost due to a loophole in their system.
Everything we do is slowly progressing to an online platform – from accessing bank accounts, your email addresses which could be linked to various social media accounts and also your identity. If a person gets through your computer’s meager defences, they could steal your identity which could put you in a world of trouble or turn your world upside down by gaining access to your social media accounts.
If you don’t want to be a victim, you should get protection for your computers, because you never know who or when the next victim of a cyber crime will be.
Protecting your family and your online accounts is extremely important – which is why you need a reliable and trustworthy antivirus program.
Final Verdict: Avast vs Norton 2018 Edition
Even though Norton performed very well on various rounds, the BGT team chooses Avast as the winner. Avast is a global company dealing with cyber protection, and we trust their features. We also trust the tests we personally conducted and the experiences we had with both programs.
Norton may be a great antivirus program, but anything that causes that much of a hassle is not worth buying.