Antivirus programs are much needed to keep your devices secure from any harmful malware or unauthorized users from gaining access. In this guide, we will be looking into Kaspersky vs Norton to check which is the better choice of the two to keep your computer safe from cyber threats.
We tested both security suites (2018 Editions) and checked their malware detection skills, ease of installation as well as just how user friendly the programs are, their security features, their impact on your system’s performance as well as their price points to determine the best option between Kaspersky vs Norton.
Kaspersky was the WINNER
Kaspersky scored brilliant results on all tested categories and with an attractive price point of only $39.99 for an annual subscription, offering protection for not one, but three devices, it’s clear that getting Kaspersky for your home is the better choice of the two.
Kaspersky vs Norton: Test Results
Kaspersky (Editor's Choice)
- Minimal impact on system performance
- Excellent Firewall
- Parental Control
- Bonus Security features
- Built-in VPN
- Excellent scores from independent testing labs
- Virtually unchanged UI from earlier versions
- May need a few minutes to get familiar with the program
- One annual subscription plan protects ten devices
- Online storage for back up
- Advanced bonus features
- Strong Firewall
- Parental Control features
- Mac users are short changed, with the program lacking parental control features
Kaspersky Labs: Knowing More
A Russian global cyber security provider, Kaspersky was founded in 1997, with the company being headquartered in Moscow. It has grown to be a top favourite for European users and is considered a leader in researching cyber-espionage, uncovering multiple cber0-threats since its creation 20 years ago.
Norton: Knowing More
Developed by the parent company Symantec Corporation, Norton specializes in computer security products since its creation in 1991. Using proprietary technology to detect and remove malware, Norton has become a well reputed antivirus provider in today’s market.
Which Independent Testing Labs Does BlueGadgetTooth team Trust
BlueGadgetTooth prides itself in delivering accurate and unbiased reviews on many antivirus products, and the one way it manages to do that is by trusting the two leading independent testing labs in the world - AV-TEST.org, a lab based in Germany and Av-Comparatives.org, an Austrian lab.
Both labs conduct tests on a regular basis, exposing various Windows versions to tens of thousands of malware, trying to check which defences are weak and which ones are the best in protecting your systems from malware entering your system.
This helps not only companies perfect their products, but it also helps our readers to be well informed on which antivirus program really delivers on its promise.
With over 250,000 new malware being registered every single day, it is important to have reliable protection layers for your computers.
Round One: Malware Detection
When it comes to antivirus program, this should be the main category that everyone should focus on. A certain brand may be cheaper, but if is not adequate protection against malware, then it is as good as not having any.
With this category being our main consideration point, the BGT team looked not only to creating their own tests to determine whether Kaspersky vs Norton was the best, but also referred to the two independent testing labs for their results.
Kaspersky managed to detect 94.1% of malware while in offline mode, with the percentage increasing to 97.8% when online. It was heartening to see that Kaspersky’s malware detection rate was excellent both in offline and online modes as our computers may not always be and it’s good to know that they are being protected well when our computers are not in use.
The Online Protection rate stood at 99.86% which is pretty good!
Norton did have excellent results as well, scoring a near perfect 99.99% in its Online Protection Rate. However, it scored pretty low in Malware Detection when offline, with the percentage standing at only 78.7%, with it increasing to 99.9% when online. It’s great to see that when it is online, the detection and protection rate is so high, but we feel a little perturbed by the low offline malware detection rate.
With Norton having 274 false alarms vs Kaspersky’s 10 false alarms, Norton may be doing its job too well, identifying possible harmless work files as potential threats.
Kaspersky Test results from av-test.org
Kaspersky did very well in tests from av-test, getting a perfect 6.0/ 6.0.
Norton did very well getting 6.0/ 6.0 in av-test.org’s testings.
Winner of Round One: This was a tight round, and Kaspersky did very well – we’re not surprised because Kaspersky is known for its amazing cyber security products and protective security layers, but this round belongs to Norton.
Round Two: Installation & User Interface
Just as important as malware detection, is just how user friendly a program is. If the program is reputed to be great, but is so complicated to run it that it makes your head spin – then perhaps it’s not worth your time. All of us have many things to do in a day, figuring how a simple program works should not be one of those many things.
Fortunately, many security suites have been designed to be easy and automatic in their running.
Kaspersky had a very simple installation process, with each step of the way being easily navigable. You have the option to choose your preferred language, choose your settings and be able to view everything clearly on one main window.
It was clear to see just how much of the file was downloaded and how much of the installation process was complete which I really appreciate. Two desktop icons are created, one for the main program and the other created for browsing financial sites.
If there is a program that could potentially interfere with Kaspersky, it will inform you about the program, before asking permission before said application is deleted. You will then need to restart your computer.
The final scan itself is a thorough process, and the initial scan does take time – when it detects a threat, that threat is sent to quarantine for your review. You can then check if that threat is actually a threat or just a harmless work file. You can then delete the file or restore it.
The actual antivirus scan did take a bit of time, but it was quite thorough, finding threats where we didn’t know we had any. Once a threat is detected, it was sent to Quarantine so that the threat could be contained, as well as for you to review if the threat actually is a threat, or a program which you are familiar with. You can decide to delete the quarantined file or you can restore it.
If there are files that require updates, Kaspersky will notify you via a small window on the bottom right hand corner of your screen.
Norton is a well reputed antivirus program, but it detects many files to be potential threats that it could be a bit more of a headache. The BGT team did face problems in the installation process, which we could fix. However, the process itself is not completely straightforward.
You download the file and run it, and then an email is sent to your inbox after which you have to create a Norton account for your email address’ validation.
After that, you are sent to a different window where you have to fill in personal data like your phone number etc. Your computer does restart during this process if other programs are detected which could interfere with Norton.
When you run a scan, you could face more issues – Norton is so thorough that it detects threats that sometimes are not there, which could result in yet another restart.
Winner of Round Two: Kaspersky was a dream to work with in comparison to Norton. If we had a choice to choose between Kaspersky vs Norton, I think it’s clear to see which the BGT team would favour.
Round Three: System Performance Impact
The BGT team ran a series of tests to check how much our system’s performance was affected by the antivirus programs.
Kaspersky has a reputation for having an extremely low impact on system’s performance, and all our tests confirmed this. We also referred with the two independent testing labs to check if our findings correlated with theirs.
We tried the basic tests – like opening multiple browser windows to check if they were affected. We could check our mails, social media, watch videos – basically nothing was lagging. Then we put the tests up a notch and opened certain Windows programs to run alongside as we surfed the internet.
Kaspersky System Performance
We faced no problems. Next, we ran a power hungry program and there were no issues faced with Kaspersky running in the background. The tests from av-test gave a score of 6.0/ 6.0 to Kaspersky.
With Norton we did face certain lags and the tests from Av-test confirm our results as well, receiving a score of 5.5/ 6.0.
Norton System Performance
Winner of Round Three: Kaspersky comes out tops in this round. With its low impact on our system’s performance, there was no other contender in this round.
Round Four: Security Features
- Safe Money Browser for financial and baking sites – to protect your privacy and confidential data
- Spyware Protection – Prevents unauthorized users from gaining access
- Privacy Cleaner
- Parental Controls – manage the internet access your kids have
- Trusted Application Mode
- Updates software automatically
- Rescue CD
- Secure Connection VPN
- Excellent Phishing Protection
- System Watcher
- Rescue CD
- Two Way Firewall
- Online Storage
- Parental Controls
- Password Manager
Winner of Round Four: Kaspersky has a huge number of security features included in its security package and it definitely stands out to be the winner in this battle between Kaspersky vs Norton.
Round Five: Price
Kaspersky comes with a very attractive price tag of $39.99 for a yearly subscription, offering protection for three devices, while Norton is priced at $109.99/ year for protection up to ten devices. Both work out to good prices, when you factor in the cost per device. In fact, there are good discounts offered from time to time – if you keep an eye out, you could enjoy some big savings!
Winner of Round Five: We’ll call it a tie for this round.
Why is Antivirus software so Important?
We pay a lot attention to the security of our homes - we look at the latest security cameras to place everywhere, intruder alert alarms, keep our valuables in a very safe place. But what of our online accounts?
How much attention do we really pay to our online security?
Yet, it is easier for an unauthorized user to gain access to all your confidential data to either hold it ransom against you, to hack your accounts to do damage to your reputation, to steal your identity for nefarious purposes, or to simply rob you blind.
A good antivirus program is built to act like a protective layer between your confidential data and hackers. These security suites are updated on a regular basis, making sure that your computers are safe all the time. Without these antivirus programs, your computer would be infected with viruses and malware within minutes, causing untold damage.
Why wait to be a victim or for something to happen? A good antivirus program could make a world of a difference between being secure and being compromised.
Be safe, even at home.
Final Verdict: Kaspersky vs Norton
Norton did have some impressive scores in our performance tests, but the BGT team declares Kaspersky to be the winner. Kaspersky has built a reputation for providing excellent security and constantly researches cyber espionage and other related fields to ensure that Kaspersky users get the best of what the antivirus world has to offer. Combine that with a great price – and you’ve got an incredible product for an unbeatable deal.