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Norton vs Kaspersky: which antivirus is better?


Norton and Kaspersky are well-known antivirus software providers which have powerful malware protection tools. With these antivirus suites, you can not only eliminate existing malware but also prevent the attacks in the first place.

Additionally, both Kaspersky and Norton ensure that you’d get an all-round protection and offer additional features. For example, they include VPN services, a password manager and even Parental controls to protect your kids from dangerous content.

Although both antivirus suites seem impressive, I’ve completed a comprehensive Norton vs Kaspersky comparison to find out which one’s better. This article goes over their pricing, features, and security to make the final decision. So, keep reading.


Editor's disclosure: We join the worldwide community in support of Ukraine and support the sanctions inflicted on the Russian government. Bloomberg reported Kaspersky Lab, the Russian-owned developer of Kaspersky antivirus software, to be in close contact with the country's Federal Security Service (FSB). The leaked emails indicate that the company provided FSB with real-time intelligence and identifying data of customers' computers. Cybernews do not tolerate the bloodshed, human rights abuses, and alleged Geneva Conventions violations the Russian army has inflicted on the Ukrainian people and won't stand in support of companies that might help enable it. Therefore, we will stop endorsing Kaspersky products.


Norton vs. Kaspersky

Norton AntivirusKaspersky
⭐ Rating:
4.7
0
🥇 Overall rank:#2 out of #21-
🔥 Coupons:Norton Antivirus coupon 66% OFFCybernews Antivirus Coupons
💵 Price:From $19.99/yearfrom $29.99/year
✂️ Free version:NoYes
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, macOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, Mac, Android, iOS

Features overview

The security features you get with an antivirus software highly depend on which subscription plan you choose. With the basic packages of Kaspersky and Norton, you get standard protection against malware and online threats. However, more advanced features are only available with their premium packages.

NortonKaspersky
Real-time protection
VPN
Password manager
Cloud backup
Dark web monitoring
Webcam protection
Parental controls

Even though both providers are generous when it comes to additional security attributes, Norton offers less limitations. For example, Norton Secure VPN doesn’t limit traffic while Kaspersky has a 300 MB daily cap.

Additionally, Kaspersky offers cloud storage and a password manager only with its top-tier subscription. Norton, on the other hand, gives 2 GB of storage space and provides password management services with its basic AntiVirus Plus plan. Thus, it’s quite evident which one takes the lead in terms of security features.

Norton features

Norton appears to be a truly all-round antivirus suite that can help you not only protect your device from malware, but also keep your personal information safe. Among the standard real-time protection, firewall, and virus removal features, it provides some extras.

Each subscription option includes a Norton password manager that can help you keep all your credentials in one, safe place. This feature significantly reduces the re-use of identical passwords for multiple accounts since you no longer need to remember them.

Norton password manager

Additionally, with Norton 360 Deluxe or LifeLock Select plans you get a VPN that you can use on up to 5 devices with no traffic cap. It’s very useful when you want to remain anonymous online, especially when using public wifi.

It also performs dark web monitoring to check whether any of your private details have been leaked on the illegal marketplaces. You merely need to enter your email address and if any related information is detected, you’ll be notified.

Norton cloud backup

Apart from that, Norton plans also give from 2 to 500 GB of cloud storage for you to keep your important documents or files. This feature helps in case of ransomware since you can easily restore all sensitive information from the backup and avoid paying the ransom.

Kaspersky features

Kaspersky offers security features to prevent malware infiltration and avoid online scams with all subscription plans. You can get the real-time protection, anti-phishing technology, and system optimization tools even with the base subscription.

However, more advanced features are only available with the premium plans. For example, Kaspersky Internet Security and Total Security packages include a VPN that can help you protect your browsing activity. Yet, it comes with the 300 MB daily traffic cap.

Kaspersky VPN

Additionally, Kaspersky offers a password manager to keep your passwords safe, as well as cloud storage to protect important files. Just keep in mind that these features are also limited to the Total Security plan subscribers only.

Kaspersky password manager

Apart from that, you can also get WebCam protection to prevent hackers from monitoring your activity. If you have children using your device, there’s an option to set Parental Controls and prevent them from accessing adult content.

Norton vs Kaspersky: which offers better protection?

NortonKaspersky
AV-TestTop productTop product
AV-ComparativesAdvancedAdvanced+
SE LabsAAAAAA

For an accurate conclusion whether Norton or Kaspersky offers better protection, I’ve looked at the test results completed by the independent testing firms, like AV-Test, AV-Comparatives, and SE Labs. These companies perform unbiased research that examines the performance, malware detection rates, and usability of well-known antivirus suites.

In October 2021, both Kaspersky and Norton were identified as the Top product by the German IT-security institut, AV-Test. They received 6 out of 6 points in terms of each examined category – protection, performance, and usability.

Norton and Kaspersky AV-Test results

Additionally, AV-Comparatives listed Norton’s protection as Advanced when performing the Real-World Protection test, and Kaspersky’s as Advanced+. Similarly, these antivirus suites gained the highest AAA rankings from SE Labs in the Home Anti-Malware Protection testing as well.

Therefore, when concluding the results from multiple sources, it’s evident that Kaspersky and Norton offer equally strong protection for your devices.

Real-time protection

Real-time protection is a number one feature that you should be looking for when choosing an antivirus software. While the majority of security suites can help you eliminate existing malware, ransomware, or spyware, only the ones with real-time protection can help you prevent the infiltration of viruses in the first place.

Norton protection

Norton offers real-time monitoring for malware with all of its subscription packages. According to AV-Comparatives, it successfully blocks 100% of infections with a rate of 14 false positives.

Kaspersky also protects your device from cyber threats in real-time with every subscription plan, except the free version. The research shows that its protection rate reaches 99.9% with zero false positives which are equally impressive numbers, just as Norton’s.

Scanning

Effective malware scanning tools can help you identify malicious programs even if they’re hiding deep inside your system or disguise themselves under legitimate software names.

With Kaspersky, you get a selection of basic scan modes, like a Quick, Full, and Selective scan, as well as a few extra ones. For example, it offers the Vulnerability scan which checks whether your apps are up-to-date and if your system needs any patches.

Kaspersky scan modes

Norton also offers multiple scanning options. You can run a Full scan that examines each system component for malicious codes and later, perform regular checkups with the Quick scan. It’s worth mentioning that there’s an option for a Custom scan where you can manually select which files or folders to check.

Apart from that, the provider additionally has the Norton Power Eraser tool that is designed to detect and eliminate powerful malware. However, you have to download the application separately if you want to run this type of scan.

Firewall protection

Firewall protection is a feature that protects your device from outside attacks that come through your internet connection. In simple terms, it monitors the incoming and outgoing network traffic for malicious components whenever you’re online.

Firewall on Norton antivirus

Both Kaspersky and Norton offer reliable firewall protection. You can customize this feature according to your needs and whitelist certain applications or networks that you trust. With each provider, you can alter your firewall preferences directly through the dedicated application.

Impact on PC performance

Each antivirus solution takes a portion of your computer’s resources when performing scans to identify potential threats. Using large amounts of CPU power can have a negative impact on your PC performance, such as causing noticeable slowdowns. So, I have tested the performance of both Norton and Kaspersky when running a full and a quick scan on the computer.

Overall, Kaspersky showed better results as it was using from 40% to 60% of CPU when performing scans. Norton, on the other hand, took a higher percentage of resources when scanning – from 80% to 100%.

Kaspersky CPU usage

However, it’s essential to point out that both of these antivirus solutions provide highly effective protection against malware and so it requires a significant amount of computing power. Therefore, even though Kaspersky performs better, I wouldn’t call this a complete drawback from Norton’s perspective.

Pricing and plans

When it comes to the pricing, both Kaspersky and Norton offer multiple plans to choose from. You can get standard protection from $19.99/year with Norton while Kaspersky has a higher price – $29.99/year. Generally speaking, Norton offers better prices since not only its basic subscription is cheaper but the top-tier packages include security features with less usage limitations compared to Kaspersky.

NortonKaspersky
Free
-$0.00
AntiVirus Plus/Anti-Virus
$19.99/year$29.99/year
Deluxe/Internet Security
$49.99/year$39.99/year
Select/Total Security
$99.48/year$49.99/year
Check pricingCheck pricing

For example, even though the intermediate subscription of Kaspersky costs $39.99/year and Norton – $49.99/year – Norton 360 Deluxe package protects up to 5 desktop or mobile devices and includes an unlimited VPN, parental controls, and the SafeCam feature in addition to everything in the basic plan. For the same price, Kaspersky Internet security protects only 3 devices and limits the VPN usage to 300 MB per day.

Since the same tendency remains throughout other packages as well, I would definitely say that Norton has a better pricing with feature-rich security plans. Therefore, if you want to get the best value for money you should go with Norton instead of Kaspersky.

If you want to get advanced security for your device, but these prices don’t fit into your budget – check out our Norton Coupons and Kaspersky Coupons for discounts.

Norton plans

Norton gives users the flexibility to choose from multiple subscription options, so you can select the most suitable plan for your protection needs. Currently, Norton offers the following plans:

  • Norton AntiVirus Plus – $19.99/year for 1 device
  • Norton 360 Deluxe – $49.99/year for 5 devices
  • Norton 360 with LifeLock Select – $99.48/year for 5 devices

If you’re seeking a basic subscription, with Norton AntiVirus Plus you get malware and ransomware protection, a smart firewall, 2 GB of cloud storage, and a password manager for $19.99/year for 1 Windows or macOS device.

The mid-tier Norton 360 Deluxe package supports up to 5 desktop and mobile devices for $39.99/year. It includes 50 GB of cloud storage, an unlimited VPN, parental controls, and the SafeCam feature in addition to everything in the AntiVirus plan.

Finally, if you want all-round security, the Norton 360 with LifeLock Select plan costs $99.48/year for 5 devices. This package is the most feature-rich and gives everything as in the previous packages, plus 100 GB cloud storage, dark web monitoring, and even a US-based identity restoration specialist if your credentials have been compromised.

Kaspersky plans

With Kaspersky, you also get a possibility to choose from the following subscription packages:

  • Kaspersky Anti-Virus – $29.99/year for 3 devices
  • Kaspersky Internet Security – $39.99/year for 3 devices
  • Kaspersky Total Security – $49.99/year for 5 devices

Kaspersky Anti-Virus costs $29.99/year for 3 devices but it only works with Windows operating systems. However, you get protection against viruses, anti-phishing technology, and PC optimization tools.

Kaspersky Internet Security plan also protects 3 devices but supports Windows, macOS, and Android systems for $39.99/year. Along the features included in the Anti-Virus plan, you also get Webcam protection and a VPN with a 300 MB daily traffic cap.

Finally, the top-tier subscription of Kaspersky Total Security offers a password manager and cloud storage as additional features. You can get this plan from $49.99/year for 5 mobile or desktop devices.

Apps and interface

When evaluating the experience of installing and using Kaspersky and Norton on desktop devices, I was very impressed. The installation process of Windows and macOS applications took a few minutes without any complex steps. Their interface is also user-friendly and intuitive.

However, the experience with mobile apps was different. I quickly installed Norton’s app on both Android and iOS devices, as well as enjoyed the density of included features. Kaspersky, on the other hand, provides three different apps to get the full antivirus package that you have to install separately.

In turn, it took me a while to install all these applications and get familiar with their interfaces. It’s definitely not convenient and takes much more effort and time. Thus, I would say that Norton is a better option if you seek an antivirus to protect all of your devices.

Desktop app

Norton has a simple and minimalistic desktop app which is compatible with both Windows and macOS devices. You can directly access each provided security feature from the dashboard, including:

  • Malware scanning
  • Dark web monitoring
  • VPN
  • Password manager
  • Parental Controls
  • Cloud backup
Norton desktop app interface

Its well-designed layout allows you to easily navigate through the app and find everything you need within a few clicks. Thus, I would say that it’s one of the most user-friendly apps that suits the needs of both professionals and home users.

Kaspersky also supports Windows and macOS devices and has a simplistic interface. Its dashboard contains four quick access options, including:

  • Scan
  • Reports
  • Database update
  • On-screen keyboard
Kaspersky Desktop app features

If you wish to access more of its features, you’ll have to dig deeper through the More Tools button. Overall, I would say that the application is quite intuitive and shouldn’t cause you any trouble when trying to access its features.

Mobile app

Norton has dedicated antivirus apps for both Android and iOS devices. However, they slightly differ in terms of available features.

For example, you can use the VPN, an ad blocker, and receive warnings when connected to an unsecured network on iPhone devices. Android app includes all of the mentioned features, plus it scans apps upon installation for malware, prevents spam calls, and notifies when suspicious applications drain your battery.

Norton mobile application interface

Overall, I would say that Norton’s mobile apps definitely are among the best antivirus for Android and the best iPhone antivirus, as not many security suites offer so many features for smartphone protection.

Kaspersky also supports Android and iOS devices. However, their antivirus solution comes as three separate apps providing specific security features. This method applies to both Android smartphones and iPhones. So, for full Android protection, you’d have to download the Kaspersky Security Cloud, Internet Security, and password manager applications.

Kaspersky mobile app interface

Iphone users also have to get the Kaspersky Secure VPN, Security Cloud, and a password manager to achieve full protection. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s the most convenient method, as most antivirus solutions come all-inclusive within one app.

Customer support

NortonKaspersky
24/7 live chat
FAQ
Knowledge base
How-to guides
Phone support
Community forum
Facebook and Twitter support

Norton and Kaspersky truly put their efforts towards quality customer support as they both offer an impressive list of choices. You either choose to find relevant answers to your questions by yourself or get a dedicated support agent to help you.

Both providers have multiple 24/7 support options that are probably the fastest way to fix any issue. You can contact support agents of Kaspersky and Norton by phone or write a direct message in the live chat. They even answer queries on social media, like Facebook or Twitter.

However, if you’re keen on finding relevant information yourself, you can use the guidelines, a FAQs section, or an extensive knowledge base on Norton and Kaspersky websites. I checked the help center of each provider myself and all tutorials seemed to be well-organized and informative.

Final verdict

CategoryNortonKaspersky
Features
Protection
PC Performance
Pricing
User interface
Support

Even though Norton and Kaspersky are both among the best antivirus software, they have a few differences which make one slightly better than the other. Norton excels in almost every examined category since it offers strong security features, has high malware protection scores, and provides user-friendly apps for all major platforms.

Kaspersky is also a high-quality antivirus that blocks the majority of cyber threats and doesn’t have a negative impact on the PC performance. However, the majority of its security features are either limited in terms of usage or require the subscription of top-tier plans. So, Norton just has a better value proposition and unfortunately, outperforms Kaspersky.

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