Norton VS Malwarebytes (2019 update)

by Tomas Statkus - -

Norton VS Malwarebytes

Various cyber threats such as spyware, ransomware, and other types of viruses are targeting Internet users every day. This is why reputable and trustworthy Internet Security and Antivirus software[1] is relevant.

However, users can get confused while choosing a security provider. So in order not to get too confused, make sure to check out Reviewed by Pro. Our team constantly test and try security applications, in order to provide customers with the latest and up-to-date information about Security, Privacy, Recovery software and other utilities that can increase users’ security and privacy and devices’ performance.

If you are struggling to choose between Norton and Malwarebytes, check out this article.

Which is better Norton or Malwarebytes?

If you do not have time to read the entire article, check out the table below. It reveals the winner according to different tested categories.



Antivirus protection

10 9.9

System-performance impact

10 9

User interface

10 10


7 9
Overall rating 10 9.5
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Norton Overview

Norton[2] is an Internet Security and Antivirus brand developed by a security giant Symantec[3]. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, California, United States, and has centers in Pune, Chennai, and Bengaluru. Symantec focuses on digital security services since 1982 and owns names such as SurfEasy VPN, Norton, LifeLock, and other famous brands.

This American-based company provides products for individual users, enterprises, small and medium businesses across the globe. Norton also offers users security products across the major operating systems, such as Norton Security for Mac, Norton Security & Antivirus for Android, iOS and other smart home devices.




Antivirus protection


Additional features

Full-featured antivirus solution

System-performance impact

Minimal hit on a system

Scanning performance

System scans are slow but stable

User interface

Very bright and simple

Malwarebytes Overview

Malwarebytes[4] is one of the most popular anti-malware applications. It was first released in 2006, but various updates are still coming regularly to this day.[5]

This software is known for its reliability and ability to find various threats surprisingly quickly, including all kinds of malware

The company provides home users with anti-malware protection across all the major operating systems including Malwarebytes for Windows, Malwarebytes for Mac, and Malwarebytes for Android. In addition, Malwarebytes offers Malwarebytes Premium that is capable of protecting small offices, teams, and startups.




Anti-malware protection


Security and privacy features

Limited feature set

System-performance impact


Scanning performance

Fast and accurate scans with a negative impact on a system

User interface

Intuitive and simple to use


Norton Offerings

Norton also offers a variety of packages to suit every customer needs. Norton has a range for home and business users across all the major operating systems. For home users, Norton offers the following:

  • Norton Security Standard – comprehensive protection for Windows and Macs.
  • Norton Security Deluxe protects all the data of all the devices including Windows, Macs, Android, and iOS.
  • Norton Security Premium can protect up to 10 devices, adds cloud PC storage and Parental Controls.
  • Norton Security Deluxe with LifeLock Standard protects all the data on the devices and includes LifeLock Standard Identity Theft Protection.
  • Norton Security Deluxe with Norton Secure VPN.


Norton AntiVirusPlus
Norton 360Standard
Norton 360Deluxe
Norton 360 withLifeLock
PC or 1 Mac 1 1 5 5
Anti-Spyware, Antivirus, Malware, and Ransomware Protection yes yes yes yes
Online Threat Protection yes yes yes yes
Smart Firewall yes yes yes yes
Cloud Backup 2 GB 10 GB 50 GB 100 GB
Password Manager yes yes yes yes
Virus Protection Promise yes yes yes yes
Secure VPN close yes yes yes
SafeCam close yes yes yes
Dark Web Monitoring Powered by LifeLock close yes yes yes
Parental Controls close close yes yes
LifeLock Identity Alert™ System close close close yes
Credit Monitoring close close close yes
Million Dollar Protection Package close close close yes
Price from $39.99 $49.99 $59.99 $99.99
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Norton has flexible plans, it also offers Identity Theft Protection service and a VPN service.

Norton Security Online Safety

Malwarebytes home users offer proven Malwarebytes antivirus technology for various devices:

  • Malwarebytes for Windows
  • Malwarebytes for Android
  • Malwarebytes for iOS
  • Malwarebytes for Chromebook




Protects your identity and privacy from hackers yes yes
Protects your documents, financial files from ransomware yes yes
Protects you from malicious and fraudulent websites yes yes
Stops malware that degrades computer performance yes yes
Crushes malware attacks that corrupt your programs yes yes
Suspends Malwarebytes notifications when using selected programs yes yes
Cleans up an already-infected computer yes yes
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Malwarebytes offers Malwarebytes Free and paid Malwarebytes Premium for a single device and Malwarebytes Premium for Home for up to 10 devices that can be mixed and matched. Once the software is downloaded and installed Malwarebytes provide users with a 14-day trial of the full version.


Malwarebytes Anti-malware



All Norton Security products offer protection against spyware, phishing emails, and ransomware.

  • Norton Security Standard provides users with real-time protection and safeguards users against existing and emerging malicious software, including viruses, ransomware, and other threats, protects private and financial information while surfing the Web. If you require more features, such as parental control, or online backup you can choose more expensive Norton tier Deluxe or Premium.
  • Norton Security Deluxe offers all Norton Standard features, covers all user devices with a single subscription and ads easy-to-use Web portal.
  • Norton Security Premium offers all the mentioned features and also backs up important users information, includes 25 GB of automatic online backup and Premium Online Family Safety features.

LifeLock Standard and Norton Secure VPN. These tools can be added together with security software or purchased as standalone applications.

Malwarebytes provides users with a free version of the application that scans the system for malware, viruses and other similar cyber threats and PUPs, and cleans infected devices.

  • Malwarebytes Free complements antivirus and can be used along with other security and antivirus application.
  • Malwarebytes Premium is able to replace the antivirus application and has more features.
  • Malwarebytes Premium and Malwarebytes Premium Home (up to 10 devices) can replace antivirus software and can be mixed and matched between Windows, Mac, Android, and Chrome OS. It also ads adds anti-malware and anti-ransomware features, protects from malicious and fraudulent websites, stops malware that decreases computer performance, cleans up infected computers, and protects Identity and Privacy from hackers.

As you can see, Norton is a full-featured program while Malwarebytes mostly focuses on anti-malware and antivirus protection.


Antivirus protection

In order to protect PCs against malware and viruses, Norton uses traditional signature-based malware detection and heuristic monitoring. In addition, the defenses include intrusion prevention which analyzes network traffic. All of the suspicious files detected are sent to the company’s cloud-based servers for further analysis.

When it comes to malware detection rates, Norton demonstrates flawless results. In the latest AV-TEST[6] testing lab results, Norton detected 100% of both, zero-day malware attacks, including web and e-mail threats and widespread and prevalent malware samples.

Malwarebytes uses a traditional signature matching engine and heuristic monitoring. All of the detected suspicious icons are sent to the companies’ servers for further examination.

Malwarebytes is a powerful anti-malware tool, so we expected better detection rates. It’s antivirus engine managed to detect more than 98% of malware on our test computer.

We have also compared our results with the results from AV-TEST. However, Malwarebytes’ antivirus protection was rated only 5.0 out of 6.0, as the program detected 99.2% of zero-day malware attacks, including web and e-mail threats, and 99.7% of widespread and prevalent malware.

As you can see, Norton Security demonstrates flawless antivirus protection rates.


Protection rate norton
Protection agains 0-day malware attacks (web and email threats) 100% 99.4%
Detection of most common spread malware in last 4 years 100% 99,5%
Protection Score 10 9,9
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System-performance impact and scans

Norton provides better performance results than the market average, as it does not slow down the system or cause interruptions or lags.

When we tested the resource usage of Norton, the antivirus demonstrated average results – the boot time was a bit slower in comparison to other products in the competition; however, it didn’t make a big impact. During the full scan, the application slowed down the system by 17%, which is not that much considering the program does a difficult job scanning every corner of the computer.

Norton was also tested by AV-TEST. You can see the results below:

  • Slowing-down a system while launching popular websites – 10% (19%)
  • Impact on a system while downloading frequently-used applications – 0% (1%)
  • Impact on a system while launching standard software applications – 6% (8%)
  • Impact on a system during the installation of frequently-used applications – 25% (25%)
  • Impact while copying of files – 0% (3%)

The full system scan for us took almost an hour and 10 minutes, while the quick system scan took almost 4 minutes. Users are able to limit scans to the most dangerous files, then the full system scan will be finished in less than half an hour.

Norton Scans

As we tested Malwarebytes on our test PC, the application had a relatively heavy impact on system-performances and can cause lags and interruptions and it consumes more system resources than most of the antivirus products. Malwarebytes, according to out test, had an impact of 30%, which is more than the industry average.

When it comes to testing conducted by AV-TEST, the independent testing lab rated the antivirus system’s performance 5.0 out of 6.0.

  • Impact on a system when launching popular websites – 14% (19%).
  • Impact on a system while downloading frequently-used applications – 0% (1%).
  • Impact on a system while launching standard software programs – 28% (8%)
  • Impact on a system while installing frequently-used programs – 54% (25%)
  • Impact on a system while copying files 1% (3%)

Malwarebytes Anti-malware offers users quick and stable scans. The application offers users three types of scans, including the full system scan or the Threat Scan, Custom Scan and Hyper Scan.


Malwarebytes Premium


As you can see, Norton demonstrates better performance rates in the tests conducted by the independent testing lab, as well as in our simple test.


System-performance norton
Slowing-down when launching popular websites 10% 11%
Slower download of frequently-used applications 0% 0%
Slower launch of standard software applications 6% 23%
Slower installation of frequently-used applications 25% 70%
Slower copying of files (locally and in a network) 0% 0%
Overall rating 9.9 9
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User interface

Norton’s user interface is very informative and provides users with many options and data. However, some users can find it a bit complex and difficult to use. Most of the features can be found on the main screen which includes tabs for Security, Scans, LiveUpdate, Advanced and Add Devices.

When we used Malwarebytes, we noted that at the first sight the tool can seem a bit complex, as it hosts of status details, multiple icons, assorted buttons, and five tabbed areas. However, once we used it a bit more, the program became very intuitive and simple.

Even though Malwarebytes in a longer run seemed an intuitive application, we can say that Norton's interface is more convenient and simple to understand even for beginner users.



The OPSWAT’s streamlined Windows Anti-malware Market Share Report. OPSWAT includes the most recent data collected for 6 months. It reveals the brands' popularity in Anti-malware market.[7]


Manufacturer/Brand Market share
avast 18.44%

bitdefender 10.54%
eset 9.09%
webroot 7.03%
spybot 6.29%

Malwarebytes appears in third place and takes 12.23% of the market share, while Symantec with Norton is only in tenth place taking 3.27% of the market share.

As you can see in the graph above, other popular products in the report include Avast, McAfee Inc., Bitdefender, ESET, Webroot, Kaspersky, Safer Networking Ltd with SpyBot Search & Destroy, Avira.

The final verdict

Norton is one of the most customizable and flexible security solution available in today's antivirus market. The application always demonstrates excellent malware detection rates and great performance. However, it may seem to lack some features.

Malwarebytes is an anti-malware program focused on antivirus will protect your computer not only from the usual malware, but from ransomware, infected sites, and various small threats. Malwarebytes is a great anti-malware software and worth its price after all if you need real and reliable protection against the latest threats on the Internet.

According to the latest tests results and our experience using the programs, Norton would be our first choice.

The antivirus provider offers flawless antivirus protection with only a minimal impact on a system. It also includes helpful customer support and generous feature set.

The table below summarizes our test results – Detection rates, Performance, and Usability. As you can see, Norton Security wins in this battle.


Antivirus protection

10 9.9

System-performance impact

10 9

User interface

10 10


7 9
Overall rating 10 9.5
Regular pricing From 39.99 / device for 1 year From $39.99 / device for 1 year

Discount for our users

-20 Off -25% Off
Try it for free try for free try for free


If you are still not sure which program to choose, our researchers constantly test and review different security applications for Windows, Macs, and Android devices. Check out our Security section and choose the right solution for you!

About the author

Tomas Statkus
Tomas Statkus - Team leader

Tomas Statkus is an IT specialist, the team leader, and the founder of He has worked in the IT area for over 10 years.

Contact Tomas Statkus
About the company Esolutions


Norton VS Malwarebytes (2019 update) snapshot
Anti-malware market share report

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