Norton vs Bitdefender: Which Antivirus is Better?

Norton vs Bitdefender

Bitdefender and Norton have been fighting each other for the antivirus crown for years. But after 20 years in the making, we think it’s finally time to declare a winner.

In this article, we will compare Bitdefender and Norton in terms of four key aspects. These are features, malware protection, system performance, and pricing. We will declare a winner in each category, as well as our overall winner on both software at the end of this article.


At a time when computer users are always living on the edge and almost at the mercy of cybercriminals, the tools that have constantly come to our rescue are Bitdefender and Norton.

Norton originated from a Macintosh antivirus protector back in 1989. And Bitdefender is a Romanian company that arrived on the scene in 2001 and has been giving Norton a run for its money ever since. This rivalry is more than two decades old.

While both are incredibly good at their jobs, we can’t help but wonder which one of them is actually better. Of course, we know the answer is never straightforward. So, if you have narrowed your options down to these two, you may be having a hard time choosing one. It’s understandable, as each one offers the highest level of protection.

Features Comparison

As you know, both Bitdefender and Norton offer a wide range of plans, each one coming with different features. So first let’s check Bitdefender Features then we will move on to norton features.

Bitdefender Antivirus PlusBitdefender Internet SecurityBitdefender Total Security
OS SupportWindows, macOS, Android, and iOSWindowsWindows
Device Optimizer
Privacy Firewall
Parental Control
Protection against malware, spyware, adware
Multi-Layer Ransomware Protection
Buy NowBuy NowBuy Now

The first plan is Bitdefender Antivirus Plan. It’s an entry-level plan but it comes with impressive features like multi-layered malware protection, a password manager, a secure browser, a file shredder, and a vulnerability scanner.

Next up, we have Bitdefender Internet Security. Expectedly, it comes with all the features found on the entry-level plan, and then some unique features like a file encryption utility, parental controls, anti-spam mode, webcam protection, and a smart two-way Firewall.

Last on the lineup is the company’s top-of-the-line product – Bitdefender Total Security. Along with all the features in the previous suites, it adds a few extra perks, which include protection for up to five devices (including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS), a OneClick Optimizer, and DiskCleanup, and a helpful anti-theft module. The company also offers the Bitdefender Family Pack, which is ideal for folks who need to protect many devices running on different platforms. It can cover up to 15 devices.

Norton AntiVirus PlusNorton 360 StandardNorton 360 Deluxe
Real-time Threat Protection for your DeviceReal-time Threat Protection for your DeviceReal-time Threat Protection for your Device
Password ManagerPassword ManagerPassword Manager
Smart FirewallSmart FirewallSmart Firewall
100% Virus Protection Promise100% Virus Protection Promise100% Virus Protection Promise
2GB Cloud Backup2GB Cloud Backup50GB Cloud Backup
Secure VPNSecure VPN
Dark Web MonitoringDark Web Monitoring
Parental Control
School Time
Privacy Monitor
Buy NowBuy NowBuy Now

Now, let’s see the features that Norton offers. Unsurprisingly, Norton also offers a range of suites for various needs, with their beginner suite being Norton Antivirus Plus. The different features you can expect to enjoy with the Norton Antivirus Basic include real-time threat protection, a smart firewall, a password manager, and 2GB of cloud backup. This product is only compatible with the Windows platform.

Up next in their lineup of suites is Norton 360 Standard. Of course, it comes with all the features seen on the entry-level suite, and then some advanced features like 10GB Cloud Backup, protection for one PC, one Mac, and one smartphone or tablet, compatibility with both Windows and Mac, 2-way firewall, dark web monitoring, webcam protection, a secure VPN, and a virus protection promise.

Next up is the multi-platform compatible suite: Norton 360 Deluxe. It’s also our recommended product in the Norton lineup. It offers all the features of the previous products, and adds unique perks like protection for up to 5 devices, parental controls, a privacy monitor, and up to 50GB of cloud space.

So if you’re a normal computer user, you might not need these advanced features and Norton 360 Deluxe should be sufficient for you. In the end, we believe Norton wins this round by a slight margin. While Bitdefender also holds its own with some incredible features, it’s just difficult for any company in this industry to match or beat Norton in terms of features.


Next, let’s take a look at how each performs when it comes to protection against malware.

We will consider the latest independent protection test results of both software from AV-Test, which is a reputable antivirus testing firm that regularly conducts comprehensive tests to evaluate the performance of leading antivirus software in terms of malware protection and system performance.

In the recent AV-Test assessment, Bitdefender did really well, and the results were nothing short of remarkable. The malware protection test was divided into two main categories: Protection against 0-day malware attacks and Protection against widespread and prevalent malware. Bitdefender scored 100 percent in both categories, and got a full score of 6 out of 6 – which is quite magnificent.

Now, let’s see Norton’s malware protection performance. Tested for the same categories, Norton also scored 100 percent in both tests, which is a screaming testament to the tool’s effectiveness against malware. Overall, it also scored 6 out of 6, which caps what we’d label a flawless malware protection performance.

Both tools delivered incredible performances in the last assessment conducted by AV-Test, so we’ll have to settle for a draw here.


How does Bitdefender fare in this regard? While it’s almost difficult for an antivirus software not to impact the performance of your computer, Bitdefender has done well in keeping the impact at the minimum.

When you are running the antivirus software with a standard PC, you only experience a slow-down of 15 percent when launching popular sites. If you use a high-end PC, the impact becomes even smaller, at 14 percent. Meanwhile, when you download frequently used applications, you only experience a speed loss of 1 percent, regardless of the type of system you are using.

In the end, Bitdefender scored 5.5 out of 6 for system performance. It’s not a perfect score but still a good score.

Now, let’s see how Norton fared in this regard. If you thought Bitdefender performed well in terms of impact on system performance, wait until we break down Norton’s.

When you are launching popular sites on a standard computer, you only experience a slow-down of 9 percent, which is 7 percent smaller compared to the industry’s standard of 16 percent. It becomes slightly better when you use a high-end computer, with the impact dropping to 8 percent. When you download frequently used apps, you experience no impact at all. This is quite impressive, considering that the industry standard is 1 percent for both standard and high-end computers.

Considering all of these, it’s not surprising that Norton scored a perfect 6 out of 6 in AV-Test’s latest evaluation on system performance. Overall, Norton wins this round by a slight margin.

User Friendliness

When it comes to user-friendliness, both providers make signup easy, but Bitdefender provides a much more seamless payment and account setup process. It’s easier to get lost in Norton’s weeds because of its multiple domains, regional versions and separate softwares. It’s not the hardest nut to crack, but it’s certainly clunkier than Bitdefender’s.

On their respective desktop apps, Bitdefender’s UI is simple, clean and easy to navigate. Norton’s isn’t quite as intuitive. Like it’s set up process, it’s more convoluted than Bitdefender’s seamless presentation.

On mobile, both apps are extremely limited when it comes to iOS. Both Norton and Bitdefender offers some useful functionalities on Android, including malware removal, but Norton can be much more difficult to download because of its geo-blocking on some Google Play Store versions.

Both softwares offer excellent customer support, live chat, phone lines, dedicated emails, online forums, guides and FAQs. The service is all top-shelf and there are easy-to-find solutions readily available right online.

Bitdefender offers customer support to free users as well, so that way no one is left in the cold if they face any issues.

Price Difference

Bitdefender Antivirus PlusBitdefender Internet SecurityBitdefender Total Security
Buy HereBuy HereBuy Here

Bitdefender offers four plans, which are Antivirus Plus, Internet Security, Total Security, and Family Plan. The Antivirus Plus suite is the cheapest, being priced at just $23.99 per year. Internet Security costs more, coming at $32 per year. And as you’d expect, it delivers more value. The company’s star plan is Total Security, and it’s a combination of both Antivirus Plus and Internet security, and then some more. It costs just $36 per year. Unlike the first two plans that are only compatible with windows, Total Security supports Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

Norton AntiVirus PlusNorton 360 StandardNorton 360 Deluxe
Buy HereBuy HereBuy Here

If we look at Norton’s pricing structure, Norton primarily offers three plans for home users. These are Norton Antivirus Plus, Norton 360 Standard, Norton 360 Deluxe. Norton Antivirus Plus is the cheapest, costing $19.99 per year. After that comes the 360 Standard, which is priced at $39.99 per year. Then comes the 360 Deluxe, which costs $49.99 per year.

Final Words

Norton is an amazing service with top-notch features, but the lack of a free version, different service levels based on location and the higher prices mean, well, it’s not the easiest recommendation. Bitdefender on the other hand is quite simply the very best antivirus provider on the market although the Mac and iOS support lack features.

Overall, we believe both Norton and Bitdefender are exceptional software. But right now, Norton is our number one pick for the best antivirus software – thanks to its range of excellent features, flawless malware security, exceptional system performance, and competitive pricing structure.

Best Apple Black Friday Deals 2023 3 Telegram Bots that You Should Try Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max 3 Apple Products with Weird Design Will the iPhone 15 come with USB-C?