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Norton vs AVG: which antivirus is better?

Norton and AVG are popular and well-known antivirus software providers. Both of them offer impressive feature packages, excellent malware detection rates, and intuitive apps. So it can be overwhelming to differentiate which of them is truly a better antivirus option.

To help you out, we researched and tested both providers to find out what each of them has to offer. In this Norton vs AVG antivirus comparison, we’ll test their malware detection rates, performance, and research their security, features, prices, and more.

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Norton vs AVG

Norton AntivirusAVG AntiVirus
⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#2 out of #25#13 out of #25
🔥 Coupons:Norton Antivirus coupon 58% OFFCybernews Antivirus Coupons
💵 Price:From $29.99/yearFrom $31.20/year, 1 PC
✂️ Free version:NoYes
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, macOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, macOS, iOS, Android

Norton vs AVG: which offers better protection?

AV-TestTop ProductTop Product

For any antivirus, it’s extremely important to provide the highest level of protection possible. Luckily, both Norton and AVG are great options for this and it will be shown by both independent lab testing and our own in-house testing experience.

According to independent testing, Norton and AVG passed with flying colors and were awarded the highest grades through all three different tests.

AV-Test graded both Norton and AVG with Top Product badge, meaning that both of these antivirus were marked 6 out of 6 in protection, performance, and usability.

Moving on to the AV-Comparatives, here once more both antivirus providers were graded with the highest Advanced+ rating. However, when it came to false positives, Norton performed much better. Norton protected the device with a 100% success rate and logged 4 false positives.

On the other hand, AVG protected the device with a 99.98% success rate and logged even 10 false positives.

Finally, the SE-labs test graded both Norton and AVG with the highest rankings. So, overall, no matter which antivirus you pick, you’ll get reliable protection for your device.

Although, when you look at the tools that Norton and AVG provide to secure your device, it’s easy to see that Norton offers more variety of customization and features for security tools. Which is why it is just slightly better.

Wrapping up
While Norton and AVG are both scoring top scores in the independent lab results, Norton is just a slightly better option. Norton’s security features offer more customization and cover a broader range of protection against malware than AVG.

Malware protection

Norton and AVG both have solid tools to protect your device from malware. Their real-time protection features are reliable, secure, and manage to block both known malware and zero-day threats.

Norton’s real-time protection tool seeks to protect you from malware threats before they get a chance to infect your system. The protection starts at the browser level, so you don’t accidentally visit malicious sites.

Norton real time protection with text

This feature works based on AI and machine learning to monitor all types of online threats and protect your device from malware.

AVG’s malware protection feature also works excellently. The real-time protection feature also works based on AI and machine learning to protect your device from even the newest of malware threats.

The real-time protection feature from AVG enables the software to protect your device from online threats without the need to scan every file you download or open.


Norton has several scan options available:

  • Smart scan –only scans the locations where malware is usually detected.
  • Quick scan – quickly scans the entire device and looks for privacy issues with the wifi connection.
  • Full scan – scans the entire device system and is the most demanding of your device resources.
  • Custom scan – you can specify which files, folders, or disc locations need to be scanned.
  • Norton Insight – marks suspicious files that would require a custom scan.
Norton full scan with text

Out of all of the scan options, during our testing, the full scan was the best. During the full scan, Norton found all 10 malicious files that we’d planted, it lasted over 11 minutes, however, the CPU load was between 70% and 100%.

AVG allows for a quick scan and the full system scan. Once again, the quick scan just checks the locations where viruses usually appear, while the full scan checks your entire system.

During our own tests, AVG’s full system scan was slightly slower than the competitor’s. However, it was just as accurate. AVG caught all 100% of the malware that we’d planted. So you can be certain that this antivirus will provide the needed protection for your device.

AVG scanning options

Additionally, with AVG you can perform USB and DVD Drive scans. Also, the performance scan helps you optimize your OS and fix the issues that lag your device.

Overall, Norton offers more thorough scanning options with a lot more customizations available.

Firewall protection

With Norton smart firewall feature you also get intrusion protection. This firewall offers more protection than just monitoring your network traffic, including both the sent and received to your computer.

The intrusion protection monitors the internet traffic to prevent unwanted communication. This way your device will be protected from intrusion attacks. Additionally, the vulnerability assessment feature will note all possible ways your device might be attacked by cybercriminals and guard against them.

Norton firewall feature with text

Also, you will always be informed about any possible vulnerabilities encountered and informed of possible resolutions to the problem.

AVG’s firewall is less feature-rich than Norton’s. AVG offers a firewall that is designed to monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic that is connected to your network. The most customization that you can apply to this feature is that you can pick the strictness of your firewall.

avg enhanced firewall

This firewall also has a separate mode when you’re connected to public wifi, so it automatically switches to stricter settings to ensure stronger protection for your device.

Overall, Norton’s firewall is a lot more customizable when compared to AVG’s. However, both of them fully perform the needed tasks to protect your device from threats.

Features overview

Both Norton and AVG provide you with all the needed essentials, yet Norton takes the lead due to having slightly more useful freebies for cheaper prices. You can see how the features compare down below.

Real-time protection
Virus scan
Password manager
Parental controls
File shredder
Webcam protection
Performance optimization tool

One of the clear losses to AVG is the lack of a password manager, while Norton has its own. Both antivirus software offer a VPN, webcam protection feature, virus scans, and real-time protection.

However, Norton adds performance optimization tools and parental controls, additionally. Yet, AVG has a secure file shredder while Norton doesn’t.

Overall, it’s clear that Norton offers an antivirus package with a lot more features included. This is not to say that what AVG offers is bad, just that it can’t compare to Norton’s amazing suite of features.

Wrapping up
Norton is the winner of the feature comparison. This antivirus software offers a more comprehensive and broad security features list. On the other hand, AVG isn’t lacking features overall. It just simply can’t compare to Norton.

Norton features

Norton antivirus package includes various security features for your device.

Real-time protection detects and protects against common online threats. Additionally, there’s a virus scan option and, during our testing, it was very accurate in catching malware. The full system scan caught 100% of threats.

Another useful feature that Norton offers is the secure VPN, which encrypts your online activities, hides your IP data, and offers an additional layer of security for your data online.

Norton secure vpn with text

Additionally, with the VPN you also get an ad blocker, wifi security feature, and split tunneling to choose which apps or websites require a VPN tunnel and which don’t.

Another useful feature is Norton’s password manager. Not only can you store all your passwords here, but it can also generate secure passwords for you, autofill personal information, wallet feature saves your credit card information, and the safety dashboard informs your password safety.

Norton password manager with text

The parental controls are useful for selecting the devices your children use and setting up different rules. For example, time supervision, web or search supervision, amongst others.

Another feature to provide additional security is dark web monitoring. So you can track if your data has been leaked and whether you need to take certain actions to protect yourself.

To clean up your device and optimize its performance, Norton has a very useful feature called system optimization. This tool scans your device for duplicate, old, or unnecessary files and removes them.

To read more about Norton features visit our review.

AVG features

AVG antivirus has a strong security features package. Real-time protection is constantly monitoring your device for threats, virus scans protect you from malware, and phishing protection secures your browsing online.

AVG phishing protection

The phishing protection works based on AI detection. This antivirus checks for domain meta information, suspicious tokens, and visual elements to decipher if there are phishing threats.

AVG’s secure browser is a free feature that is seamlessly integrated into the AVG antivirus package. It offers a private browsing mode, blocks ads, and prevents tracking.

Another useful feature is the anti-theft phone tracker. So, if you accidentally lose your phone or it is stolen, then you can set this feature up and then remotely erase your phone data, or change your screen lock.

AVG anti-theft protection

What’s more, the sensitive data shield protects your most important files. It’s done by controlling which applications have access to those files, so no hacker can reach them.

Check detailed feature descriptions in our AVG antivirus review.

PC performance

When comparing Norton vs AVG and the effects these antivirus software have on your PC performance, it’s clear that Norton is a lot lighter on your device.

To compare Norton’s smart and most in-depth scan options, the smart scan took around 2 minutes and the CPU usage was between 5% and 20%. While the full systems scan took around only 7 minutes, it did take up 75%-89% of CPU usage. Additionally, the background scans, when tested on a 16GB RAM computer, used only 70-90MB. So, this antivirus is pretty light on your device.

On the other hand, AVG was a little more demanding. Also comparing the two scan options, AVG’s smart scan took only 1 minute to complete and used up 5%-14% of CPU usage. The deep scan was longer, lasted around 32 minutes, and averaged 9%-14% of CPU usage. So while actively running scans, AVG is lighter on your device, it also takes up more time.

Additionally, while working in the background, AVG took up around 200MB of RAM usage on the same 16GB RAM device.

Wrapping up
Overall, Norton is the winner here as well. This antivirus is a bit more demanding while actively scanning your device, but it is quicker. Also, while working in the background, Norton is easier on your device’s RAM usage than AVG.


Both Norton and AVG have plenty of plans for you to choose from, but Norton offers cheaper prices and comes with more features. Meanwhile, AVG has a decent free version that comes with real-time protection.

In terms of refund policies, both providers offer standard 30-day money-back guarantees. They both have free trials, too. While Norton offers it for 7 days, AVG extends it to 30 days.

AntiVirus Plus vs Single device$29.99/year$31.20/year
Standard $39.99/year
Deluxe vs Multiple Devices$49.99/year$51.99/year
Check Norton DiscountsCheck AVG Discounts

Overall, Norton offers a bigger variety of plans for a cheaper price. The AntiVirus Plus plan from Norton costs from $29.99/year and covers one device. The Standard plan is slightly more expensive at $39.99 per year with coverage for three devices.

The largest number of device coverage that you get is 5 with Norton’s Deluxe package which costs $49.99/year.

On the other hand, apart from the free plan, AVG also has another two options. The Single device plan costs $31.20 a year and covers, you guessed it, 1 device. The multiple devices plan covers up to 10 devices and costs $51.99/year.

Wrapping up
Norton antivirus packages are cheaper than AVG's. Even though AVG has a pretty impressive free version, it’s no competition to the paid premium plans. And when it comes to premium subscriptions, Norton offers better budget-friendly deals.

Apps and interface: which is more user-friendly?

Norton and AVG offer pretty much the same developed apps for both desktop and mobile users.

Both of these antivirus software cover Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. Additionally, the apps are easy to install, use, and navigate for both experienced users and novices.

Wrapping up
Norton vs AVG ease of use comparison ends up in a draw. These two antivirus providers are equal in the quality of their desktop and mobile apps, therefore we can’t claim either of them as the winner.

Desktop apps

Norton’s desktop apps are very clean looking and easy to navigate. All the features are easily accessible through the main dashboard. So even a novice user won’t get overwhelmed.

Norton 360 Desktop interface

However, several of Norton’s antivirus features open outside of the app. For example, if you want to enable dark web monitoring or check parental controls, the app will redirect you to the Norton website.

The AVG antivirus apps are also minimalistic and easy to navigate. Luckily, all AVG features can be managed through the app and you won’t be redirected to the browser page.

You can find your security levels at the top of the dashboard and all of the other features are easily accessible from the main screen.

AVG antivirus desktop interface

The main dashboard provides a lot of information, for example, at the bottom of the screen you’ll see the date of the last virus scan that was performed.

Mobile apps

Norton’s mobile apps are set up really well. They are feature-rich, easy to use, and there are pretty much no differences between the iOS and Android apps.

All of the main features are listed on the main page. Additionally, this app will run quick scans constantly, so your device security will be taken care of.

Norton's Android app

To prevent you from falling for malicious links, Norton’s link guard will monitor your online behavior constantly.

One drawback to Norton's mobile apps is that for certain features you will need to download different apps. So just having the antivirus app will not be enough for full security. The separate features are for the VPN, password manager, and parental controls.

AVG’s mobile apps are available for free with limited features, or with a premium subscription with no limitations.

The Android and iOS app versions are a bit different. The Android app is a bit more developed and offers features like the anti-theft feature, app lock and a camera trap. The iOS app doesn't have these security tools.

AVG Android app

Additionally, the iOS app lacks the virus scan option, while the Android has it. However, both versions include a secure photo vault, secure browsing, a VPN, and others.

Customer support

24/7 live chat
Phone line
Knowledge database
Community support/FAQs

Both Norton and AVG offer many and great customer support options. If you need human assistance, you’ll find a 24/7 live chat, email, and phone line available with both providers. During our tests, the response times of both providers were rather impressive.

If you tend to DIY it, you can go through either AVG or Norton’s knowledge bases or FAQ sections. They’re both filled with helpful articles and content.

Overall, in terms of customer service, you won’t miss out no matter which provider you stick to. Both Norton and AVG include plenty of flexible support options for you to pick from.

Final verdict

PC performance
Ease of use
Customer support

The Norton and AVG comparison ended up with Norton being the clear winner. This antivirus software was the leader in security, features, and pricing comparison topics and left no possibilities for the competitor.

Norton is one of the best antivirus software on the market right now. It offers the highest level of protection against known and zero-day malware, the additional features offer not only device security but also protect your personal information. Additionally, it offers some of the best deals for the antivirus software package. Overall, it is the better choice in this comparison.

On the other hand, AVG is quite an impressive antivirus. With a reliable but slightly restricted free version, it’s a good option for those who don’t want to pay for antivirus software. Additionally, the premium subscription offers a variety of useful features, has a high protection rate for your device, and the apps are easy to use even for beginners.

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