Norton VS McAfee 2020

Norton VS McAfeeNorton VS McAfee: Which Is Better?

Norton vs McAfee the battle of two software that controls the antivirus software market. If you wish to know which one out of the two Norton and McAfee is the best player of the anti-virus game, then by the end of reading our comparison analysis, you will be able to conclude the most authentic outcome.

With us relying entirely on the internet and instilling our whole data and information on it, new and easy possibilities have opened up for hackers and criminals to steal it. New types of viruses, malware, and ransomware are being spread out in the online world to ruin the users' convenience. It is the reason why we need to be more vigilant and arrange for resources that are capable of tackling and solving our virus infection issues heads on. Norton and McAfee are two of the giants in providing protection against viruses and other threats. In this editorial, we will analyze different facets of both anti-virus services and give you a final verdict on which vendor is better than the other.

Norton vs McAfee brief comparison

Time is money, and we understand this fact to the fullest. It is why we have managed a synopsis of the entire article for you with the names of the winners at the end of each comparison so that you could move on with your work and learn which anti-virus is best for you at the same time:

  1. Pricing – There is much more diversity within the pricing packages of McAfee, which are not only cheaper of the two but offer premium features for a much lower price as compared to Norton and it is why we are giving this round to McAfee Anti-Virus software;
  2. Protection – It was impossible to distinguish any fault between the two anti-virus services when it came to protection rating. Both software performed well under methods like real-world testing and the latest malware detection. It is why we had to give this round to both of the services(Tie);
  3. Features – McAfee had much more linear functions for its all of its users, no matter which package they purchased. On the other hand, Norton had more features for individuals who got their most expensive plan, which is why this round went to McAfee Anti-Virus software;
  4. System-Performance Impact – Both Norton and McAfee has minimal effect on the performance on the system they operated on. They worked well while we opened countless websites and apps and it is why we declare the system performance contest to be a Tie;
  5. User Interface – Norton had a more open interface which was easy to use and understand for a user who had very little knowledge on how to handle an app The winner was Norton;
  6. Customer Support Service – Although the support section of both Norton and McAfee offered the same options, Norton’s customer care software had more information with an extensive gallery of how-to videos. It is why we make Norton the winner of this round;
  7. Popularity – Norton’s parent company Symantec rules the market, and it is why we had to give the popularity ribbon to Norton;

Our brief rating system laid out in the table below will allow you to compare the scores of both Norton and McAfee side by side. It will assist in establishing your decision on which service to get for your computer system finally.

An average user decides on getting a product for the purpose of using it for a long time, and when it comes to the anti-virus, one should always commit to a service for a more extended period. It is because there is no seemingly no way to control the influx of data viruses and the harm they carry with them. According to recent stats, there have been billions of encrypted virus attacks on average computer systems in the year 2019, and the number is expected to increase in the coming years.

Anti-virus software like McAfee and Norton give a sense of security and calm in this growing chaos, and it is the reason why we have arranged for brief comparative analysis of both the services based on their features, prices, impact on an average PC’s performance, and protection against new and more deadly malware attacks.

McAfee offers more attractive price packages comparing to Norton's antivirus

It is known that users with less technical and low-economic backgrounds are prone to become victims of virus attacks and getting their data stolen from cyber-thieves. It is because most of these users do not possess the financial strength to purchase expensive applications such as anti-viruses and VPNs to get the essential protection they need. What they do not realize is that most of the service providers understand the mental struggle of such individuals, and it is why they offer reduced prices for longterm commitment and multi-device usage across several platforms. In this part of the editorial, we will show you the various price plans of both Norton and McAfee, which will bring a decision into the light on which software best suits your budget.

Norton’s Packages:

From offering a package on a single device to an unlimited number of them, Norton offers versatile price plans for its soon to be customers looking to get foolproof protection from unfortunate attempts at stealing their data. You can use Norton on your Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS devices whenever you like.

  • Norton 360 Standard – You can acquire it for $39.99 per year, it is available for download on one Device;
  • Norton 360 Delux – It is on sale $49.99 per year, and it supports up to 5 devices of various platforms including Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS;
  • Norton 360 with Lifelock – Available at $99.99 per year on up to 5 machines of multiple platforms including Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS;
  • Norton 360 with Ultimate Plus – Best suited for business owners as you can use it on unlimited devices of all platforms at $299 per year;
  • Norton Secure Line VPN – You can get the online protection you deserve with Norton’s VPN for a small price of $39.99 per year for one device. It is also available to be used on as much as 10 different platforms for $59.99 per year;You can utilize the 30-day free trial and the generous 60-day return policy of Norton to check the full features and cement your decision once and for all!


  nortonnorton norton norton norton norton norton
Norton AntiVirusPlus
nortonnorton norton norton norton norton norton
Norton 360Standard
nortonnorton norton norton norton norton norton
nortonnorton norton norton norton norton norton
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
Discount for our readers -20% -30% -40% -50%


McAfee’ Packages:

The McAfee anti-virus software offers a wide variety of packages that very few vendors bring to the table. It provides a 30-day trial period, to begin with, and requires no credit card information from its users in return.

mcafee products

It is available on platforms like Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, which you can use on a maximum of 10 different devices, depending on the package you pick, which we will display in a list below.

  • McAfee’s Free Trial – It does not require any credit card information from you and allows the complete freedom to use its premium services free of cost for 30 days;
  • McAfee Total Protection – It is available for $34.99 per year across one device. You can enhance the plan for multiple devices such as $39.99 per year(5 devices) and $44.99 per year(10 platforms);
  • McAfee Gamer Security – McAfee offers complete security for avid games against DDoS attacks along with an enhanced game engine for a price of $19.99 per year;
  • McAfee Mobile Security for Android – McAfee provides coverage for its Android users around the world for $29.99 per year with features such as web-protection, memory booster, lost device tracking, and anti-theft;
  • McAfee for iOS – You can get the features like web-protection, memory booster, lost device tracking, and anti-theft for your iOS gadgets for a rate of $29.99 per year;
  • McAfee Safe Connect VPN – The VPN service is available for a 7-day free trial, and you can purchase it for $47.99 per year and use it on your Windows, Android, and iOS systems;


  Norton VS McAfee
AntiVirus Plus
Norton VS McAfee
Internet Security
Norton VS McAfee
Total Protection
Norton VS McAfee
Award-winning PC anti-virusHome network protection yes yes yes yes
McAfee WebAdvisor yes yes yes yes
PC optimisation tools yes yes yes yes
Apple iMac protectioni yes yes yes yes
OS phone and tablet yes yes yes yes
Android phone tablet yes yes yes yes
Social media guard yes yes yes yes
Anti SPAM security close yes yes yes
Safe Family close close yes yes
True Key identity manager close 1 user 5 user 5 user
McAfee File Lock close close yes yes
Secure Cloud Storage close close close yes
Discount for our readers -50% -50% -50% -50%

When it comes to getting the job done at more reasonable rates, then the winner is McAfee as it offers more coverage across multiple devices at lower prices.

Winner: McAfee Anti-Virus.

Norton and McAfee have shown identical results on a virus protection rate.

While keeping the increasing number of threats to user data in mind, the next thing that you should look and compare upon between Norton and McAfee is their vitality against new and improved malware. According to the various independent platforms, 350k new types of viruses(malware) were recorded in 2019, and it was predicted that such figures were bound to increase with the days to come. We conducted our own protection analysis for both Norton and McAfee and came up with the conclusion that both software were competitive in dealing with newer and deadly threats. You will see their scores in the section below:

McAfee Protection Rating:

We used the McAfee ant-virus software across 300+ different samples of malware through the real-world testing procedure, which included viruses inside emails and other downloaded files from the internet. It was terrific to see McAfee perform so well against every obstacle. We also put approximately 30,000 new versions of malware and concluded that McAfee deserved a rating of 10 out of 10.


Industry Average

December January
Protection against 0-day malware attacks(Real-World Testing) – 425 samples used




Detection of malware discovered in the past 4 weeks since the test – 19852 samples used




Protection Score: 10 out of 10

Norton’s Protection Rating:

Norton anti-virus software by Symantec was able to follow the same route as McAfee did in performing against the latest versions of Malware, and it showed the full potential of detecting spam and malware from various emails we sent on the device. With an impressive industry average of 99.4% against real-world testing, we were inclined to give Norton a rating of 10 out of 10.


Industry Average

December January
Protection against 0-day malware attacks(Real-World Testing) – 425 samples used




Detection of malware discovered in the past 4 weeks since the test – 19852 samples used




Protection Score: 10 out of 10

After putting both the anti-virus software against thousands of new malware and other data viruses, we were unable to distinguish between the two. Not only that, both Norton and McAfee were able to detect several unknown viruses, but they were also quick to respond and move them to the quarantine section of their own interface. We consider this round to be a tie between the two, as it was impossible to distinguish any fault in either one of them.

Winner: Tie (Norton Anti-Virus by Symantec & McAfee)

According to our test results both software made very similar results on the system impact

Given the task that we ask our anti-virus to perform in order to keep us safe from any bug or virus, it is no surprise that it takes quite a significant amount of power from the system that it operates on. But if an anti-virus software is dragging the efficiency of the computer system down the drain, then it is no point in using the service. It is because a less efficient PC may allow a virus to go unnoticed, which may wreak havoc on the computer later. The performance impact rating basis mainly on the fact that which software between Norton and McAfee takes the fewer resources of memory and storage of the system and works more efficiently.

It is worth mentioning that similar PCs were used to conduct the screening process to determine the impact on performance while using both Norton and McAfee. We placed the performance of the PC based on the following behavior:

  • Slowing-down during the launching of popular websites;
  • The slower download of frequently-used applications;
  • The more delayed launch of PC’s built-in software;
  • More time-consuming installation of popular apps;
  • More time-consuming copying of files;

Norton’s System Performance Rating:

While using Norton anti-virus in the background, scanning the PC for various virus threats, we kept up doing our routine choirs on the PC and performed multiple tests. These tests include how the anti-virus behave when we copy new files on to the PC, install new apps, launce the already installed apps, and when we open URLs via high memory consuming browsers while the anti-virus is working in the background. After conducting the tests, we noted the following results and concluded that Norton deserved a performance rating of 9.8 out of 10.

McAfee’s System Performance Rating:

We used the same techniques mentioned in the previous section and came to the conclusion that McAfee had minimal impact on the performance of the computer system while it continued to work to its full capacity in the background. For that, we gave McAfee a rating of 9.8 out of 10.

  nortonnorton norton norton norton norton norton Norton VS McAfee
Slowing-down when launching popular websites 6% 15%
Slower download of frequently-used applications 0% 1%
Slower launch of standard software applications 21% 6%
Slower installation of frequently-used applications 27% 25%
Slower copying of files (locally and in a network) 2% 2%
Overall rating 9.8 9.8


Upon putting both Norton and McAfee anti-virus software through stressful circumstances and accessing high-performance apps and websites, they gave excellent results. It is why we were unable to determine a clear winner and decided that this bout between McAfee and Norton in terms of the impact on system performance was a definite tie.

Winner: Tie (Norton Anti-Virus by Symantec & McAfee)

McAfee has to offer better security features comparing to Norton antivirus software

Nowadays, people fixate on the additional features of a software product rather than making their decision based solely on the presentation of its premiere ability. The same is the case for the anti-virus applications, as most of the service providers offer everything from a cloud storage facility to manage their user’s account passwords. Some vendors go the extra mile and provide VPN coverage for the sake of protection of privacy when a person scrolls through the unknowns of the internet. In the next section of our comparative analysis of both Norton and McAfee, we will show you their extensive range of features that ensure user security and the additional tools they offer alongside their first job of killing viruses from the PC and keep the device safe from any other type of harm.

Norton’s security features:

Norton anti-virus software is one of the dynamic applications out there in the open market that offers a wide variety of features while performing excellently in spotting and destroying all kinds of virus software. These features include a VPN facility that keeps the user’s online endeavors private and safe, a handy cloud-storage data backup option(ranging from 10GB to 250GB), and a password manager. Here is a brief introduction to all of its features that vary upon the type of Norton 360 package you get:

  • Complete protection against spyware, malware, and ransomware with a dedicated Firewall;
  • Secure Line VPN that features 10GB bandwidth coverage and several IPs;
  • The Dark Web Monitoring feature will alert you about the presence of any traces of your personal information on the dark web;
  • Data allowance of 10GB in cloud backup that you can access at any time, if you ever lose it;
  • Password Manager allows to handle the passwords of your different account ranging from social media to payment information, automatically;
  • The SafeCam feature will detect any anomaly with your PC’s webcam and see if some unauthorized entity is using it or not;

The most expensive package of Norton the 360 Ultimate Plus allows coverage across an unlimited number of devices offers these additional plans:

  • The Fictitious Identity Monitoring feature will alert you if someone is found tinkering with your online identity;
  • The Bank & credit card Activity Detection will always keep your payment information secure away from prying eyes;
  • 401(k) & Investment Activity will notify you if something out of proportion occurs with your investments and 401k funds.

McAfee’s security features:

By utilizing the 30-day free trial of McAfee’s premium plan, you will be able to all of its key features that make the anti-virus service among the very best in the world:

  • The Antivirus service keeps the device protected from several kinds of viruses including spyware, ransomware, and malware, it doesn’t matter how deadly they are, McAfee will complete the kill with precision;
  • Performance Optimization feature minimizes the bandwidth usage and blocks autoplay option of streaming sites such as Youtube;
  • With Home Network Security hackers will not be able to penetrate the Wi-Fi of the user;
  • McAfee’s Password Manager will take full control of your passwords and keep them secure where no one other than you will have the authority to access them;
  • With Safe Web Browsing you will forget about opening malicious websites that contain come of the most harmful viruses on the internet;
  • Through the McAfee Shredder feature, you will be able to bury all of your deleted files for good, where no data recovery app will reach them;
  • The Encrypted Storage offers you 128-bit AES encryption, rendering it improbable for data hackers to decrypt them for their gain;
  • McAfee monitors whether your identity is being used elsewhere by someone other than you with its Identity Theft Protection feature;

If you understand the data security features that every VPN and anti-virus software claims to offer to their users to keep them protected from viruses and data leakage, then you will know that the features that both Norton and McAfee presents are top-notch. Such supreme capability of the anti-virus software makes our decision making all the more complex. It would be unfair not to acknowledge the variety of security coverage that Norton offers, but the fact remains that these features are not linear, and they are spread out across several package plans.

On the other hand, McAfee offers pretty much similar features for both its multi-device and family plans. This is the factor why we are giving this round to the McAfee anti-virus software.

Winner: McAfee Anti-Virus.

Norton's user interface is more attractive then McAfee's

By the end of the day, if you are paying money for a service, there are certain expectations that it should meet, and an intuitive interface of the application is one of them. Not everyone possesses the time and resources to check the support section of the software service every time a problem with the app occurs. If the interface of the anti-virus software is easy to use, then most of the time, the user would be able to solve issues by themselves without resorting to live chat or how-to guides. In this section, we will show you our experience of checking the intuitive nature of the apps of McAfee and Norton.

Norton’s Interface:

Once you open the Norton anti-virus app, you will be completely able to distinguish between the options/features that you wish to utilize with the assistance of the software. On the dashboard of the interface, you will see the following block, along with the notification on whether those certain features are offering protection or not:

  • Security;
  • Identity;
  • Performance;
  • More Norton;

If you in the upper middle portion of the interface, you will see a big message board saying “You are Protected,” implying that the anti-virus is doing its job. Norton allows you to perform a quick scan of the PC to check for new virus threats.

Norton Security ActiveNorton Security Active Screenshot

Norton keeps its users well-informed and everything on the app accessible through a one-click operation. Norton’s app also keeps the user updated regarding the time left on their subscription with a display message at the bottom of the app display.

The Interface of McAfee:

McAfee’s simple interface is an amalgam of its crimson red logo, white background, and a dark grey menu option. The whole app is relatively simple to use with the opportunity to run a full/quick scan(available in the middle of the interface) immediately when you open it. On the left side of the panel, the app tells all about the detail of the system’s security status.

mcafee user interface

The primary options, such as PC security, Identity, Account, and Privacy, are available at the top.
At the top right corner, the subscription message lets the user know about the status of their package and the remaining time. Although McAfee’s interface is easy to handle, the app seemed a bit botchy and slow to our liking.

After using both McAfee and Norton’s app on a PC and testing various built-in options of the interface had offered, we came to the conclusion that Norton’s interface was smoother than McAfee’s and it is why we are declaring Norton to be the winner of this round.

Winner: Norton Anti-Virus by Symantec.

If you care about the customer support, Norton provides better customer support service then McAfee

It does not matter if you possess the necessary technical know-how to operate a software software or not as everyone can have an off day, and sometimes we may miss the most straightforward solution to fix it. For that purpose, almost all the online and offline businesses offer a free consultation service through the means of live chat, email, how-to guides, and video tutorials. In this part of the article, we will show you’re the dynamic nature of the support software of both McAfee and Norton.
The Customer Care Service of Norton:

Norton’s customer support section offers the following services to its users:

  • FAQ section, including download & install and renewal & purchase;
  • Community forum;
  • A 24/7 live chat feature;
  • Threat removal guide;
  • Phone call support depending on the area you live in;
  • An out-and-out Youtube channel filled informative videos and how-to guides;

The Customer Care Service of McAfee:

McAfee’s customer care service is spread out across separate offline sections for its Windows, macOS, mobile/tablet users, along with a 24/7 live chat with its virtual assistant to fix smaller issues quickly.
Other than that, you will find solutions to commons FAQs under the following sections:

  • Download & Install;
  • Subscription, Renewal & Refund;
  • How-to Guides;

McAfee also offers a community forum for all its subscribers who wish to share their solutions to several unorthodox issues related to the service.

Even though McAfee’s customer support section seemed a bit easy to use, the fact the Norton has additional options such as a separate Youtube channel working primarily to fix every small to a big problem for its user makes it the winner of this round.

Winner: Norton Anti-Virus by Symantec.

Norton is more popular comparing to McAfee, but it can be just a matter of time

Norton and McAfee anti-virus software are the best when it comes to detecting and deleting every kind of virus online, and it is no surprise as according to a survey conducted by OPSWAT based on Marketshare in December 2019 McAfee and Norton by Symantec hold the top two spots with 13.67% and 12.94% of the market share respectively.

Ranking Anti-Virus Programs Market Shares

Manufacturer/Brand Market share
Norton VS McAfee 13.67%
Norton VS McAfee 12.94%
eset 12.98%
bitdefender 10.06%
avast 9.09%
webroot 7.45%
Norton VS McAfee 6.4%

Norton VS McAfee

Cylance Inc. 4.19%
Trend Micro 3.67%
Other 15%

Winner: Norton Anti-Virus by Symantec

To sum up the results

With the growing threat of online hacking attacks and new viruses, it is essential to understand that getting an anti-virus software is a no brainer, and there should be no debate on it. The vital aspect of this comparison editorial is to allow the decision making of you getting the best software on the market much more convenient.

Although Norton succeeded in the popularity contest and there is no denying its competency, McAfee has affordable and far-reaching pricing plans, appropriate for every user around the world. And if you wish to use the anti-virus software for your family or on multiple devices at once, then McAfee is the one for you, and it is the reason why we are affirming it to be the worthy winner of this contest of anti-virus champions.

The Final Decision: McAfee Anti-Virus.