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Norton vs TotalAV: which antivirus is better?

Norton and TotalAV are two leading programs in the antivirus industry – both ranking as top choices with independent antivirus testing labs and home users alike. And the time has come to finally see which of them is better, and decide on a winner once and for all.

In this Norton vs TotalAV comparison, we will be evaluating which provider better protects your devices from malware, and which offers more and/or better features. We will also take a look at performance stats, pricing, as well as ease of use, and user support systems.

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Norton vs. TotalAV

Norton AntivirusTotalAV
⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#2 out of #25#3 out of #25
🔥 Coupons:Norton Antivirus coupon 58% OFFTotalAV coupon 84% OFF
💵 Price:From $29.99/yearfrom $19.00/year, 3 devices
✂️ Free version:NoYes
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, macOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, macOS, iOS, Android

Norton vs TotalAV: which offers better protection?

AV-TestTop ProductCertified

While both Norton and TotalAV are at the top of their game when it comes to protection, Norton is just a tad bit better.

AV-Test independent antivirus testing lab gave Norton a maximum of six points in all tested areas: protection, performance, and usability. Norton has been given the Top Product badge on the AV-Test website.

The same lab also tested TotalAV. It scored six points in performance and usability, however, for protection, it got five points out of six. The TotalAV test results earned it a Certified badge, which is a step lower than Norton's.

Another testing lab, AV-Comparatives, uses a slightly different scoring system. Both Norton and TotalAV were tested for malware protection, performance, and real-world protection.

Norton scored a maximum of three stars for malware protection and performance, and one star in real-world protection testing. Meanwhile, TotalAV got three stars in malware protection, two stars in performance, and no stars at all in real-world protection.

Wrapping up
Overall, Norton is more secure than TotalAV. Both providers have been tested and evaluated by independent testing labs, and Norton was the one that excelled in all categories, earning the top certifications. Meanwhile, TotalAV wasn’t far behind but still lacked in protection and performance categories.

Malware protection

Both Norton and TotalAV have real-time protection available for their users, like any other respectable antivirus software provider. This feature protects your device at all times from malware and online threats.

Norton’s real-time threat protection is quite an extensive feature. Not only does it employ sophisticated artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to monitor and protect your device, but it also allows you to safely interact with potentially dangerous websites in Isolation Mode. The real-time protection feature also works with social media feeds and emails, and warns you about anything suspicious. It will prevent you from accidentally clicking on malicious links or falling for scams.

TotalAV’s real-time protection is enabled by default when you first login to the app. Unlike Norton, TotalAV doesn’t use AI to detect threats but employs advanced cloud scanning – any suspicious programs or activity are dealt with in the cloud. If a legitimate threat is detected, TotalAV gives you a warning and recommendations for further action.


An antivirus wouldn’t be an antivirus if it didn’t have at least some scanning systems. TotalAV and Norton have plenty. Not all scanning options are as efficient as they could be, but both of them do a pretty good job in catching viruses on your device. Let’s take a closer look.

Norton has several scan types:

  • Smart scan, which scans temporary files, system files, and any other places where malware is usually found.
  • Quick scan, which checks for privacy or network security issues, as well as tunes up the system.
  • Full system scan, which fully scans your device without leaving anything out.
  • Custom scan, which scans specific files, folders, and disk spaces chosen by the user.
  • Norton Insight, which flags any suspicious activity or files which might need a custom scan.

The Smart and Quick scans on Norton are, unfortunately, pretty useless at detecting malicious files. The full scan, however, is greatly efficient and managed to detect all intentionally planted malware during in-house testing.

Norton full scan on desktop app

TotalAV offers scan options as follows:

  • Quick scan, which scans the temporary files folder.
  • System scan, which is essentially a head-to-toes scan for your device.
  • Smart scan, which allows for scheduling malware, tracking cookies, and junk file scanning.
  • Custom scan, which scans your chosen files, folders, or disks.

Much like Norton, TotalAV’s quick scan didn’t find any of the 10 malicious files during in-house testing. The system scan was more successful, as it identified all 10 malware.

TotalAV testing results

Firewall protection

Firewalls are regarded as a staple part of any antivirus suite. However, in this Norton vs TotalAV battle, only one contender actually has this feature – Norton.

Norton’s firewall protection feature is called Smart Firewall. It not only protects your device from incoming outside attacks but also monitors both outgoing and incoming network traffic whenever you are online.

Norton firewall feature

Some of the more advanced features of Norton’s smart firewall are intrusion protection, which protects you against any attempts to hack your device by online means. There is also a vulnerability assessment option that informs you about any insecurities your device may have, as well as offers ways to fix them.

Features overview

Both Norton and TotalAV have more than the standard antivirus features, ranging from ad blockers and safe browsing features to full-fledged password managers, VPNs, and even secure crypto miners. Take a look below to see how both antiviruses compare to each other in terms of available features:

Real-time protection
Secure VPN
Ad blocker
Safe browser
Anti-phishing protection
Password manager
PC cloud backup
Webcam protection
Parental controls
Dark web monitoring
System optimization
Secure crypto mining

While both providers have a lot of different and useful features, TotalAV falls shorter than Norton just by four – it doesn’t have a firewall, cloud backup, parental controls, and the secure crypto mining feature. While the usefulness of the latter could be argued, the rest of them are quite essential for a full-fledged antivirus program.

Wrapping up
All in all, Norton wins against TotalAV in the battle of features. Norton offers a more rounded security suite that includes a firewall, parental controls, and cloud backup options, which is not the case with TotalAV.

Norton features

The features you get with Norton depend on the pricing plan, however, even the cheapest subscriptions will get you a pretty good deal. Such features as Smart Firewall, password manager, real-time protection, and even cloud backup are included in all plans.

If we go further, Norton gives its users the opportunity to further secure their online presence with a VPN. There is also a webcam protection feature and dark web monitoring. The latter two will protect you from identity theft and/or alert you if anything is amiss with your personal data.

Norton secure vpn dashboard

The most advanced version of Norton antivirus includes, besides previously mentioned features, parental control, crypto miner, and School Time. The latter is another feature for parents who want to monitor their children’s online activities and interactions with devices.

To learn more, check out our Norton antivirus review.

TotalAV features

The real-time protection with TotalAV comes enabled by default, and together with it – numerous device scanning options. But there is still so much more to discover here.

The more prominent features of TotalAV include a password manager and a VPN. Both are essential in today’s digital world where having one password for everything equals a death sentence for your personal data, and online anonymity is a luxury few can afford.

Some other neat built-in TotalAV gadgets are the WebShield browser extension and System Tune-Up. The former is a well-rounded online protection feature – it blocks malicious websites, and phishing attempts, and deals with other online security threats. The system tune-up checks your device for junk files and cleans it thoroughly.

TotalAV tune up

For more information, read our TotalAV review.

PC performance

In this battle of the best antiviruses, performance is also important to take into consideration. If the program slows down your PC too much in order to protect it, it is no good at all.

During our tests, Norton showed pretty good results. The smaller scans, such as the quick scan or the smart scan, used only around 30-40% of CPU power. The full system scan, being more extensive and intensive in general, took a slightly bigger bite out of the CPU – the average usage hovered around 70%, occasionally reaching 100%.

TotalAV’s performance during scans was really good. The quick scan, even though it didn’t find any malware, used only around 23% percent of the CPU power on average. This is quite significantly better than Norton’s quick scan results. The full system was a little difficult to judge – it could go from only 19% to 99%. However, 19% is still better than 70%.

Wrapping up
Overall, it looks like TotalAV has better stats than Norton, so the former wins in the performance category. TotalAV’s CPU usage is roughly half of Norton’s, which is a clear indication of better use of resources


AntiVirus Plus/Pro$29.99/year$19.00/year
360 Standard/Internet Security$39.99/year$39.00/year
360 Deluxe/Total Security$49.99/year$49.00/year
Get our dicsountGet our discount

TotalAV and Norton pricing plans don’t differ much – in all cases except for one, the price difference is exactly $0.99. Norton is the more expensive one, in every single pricing tier.

There are, however, some other things to be noted. For example, only TotalAV of the two antiviruses offers a completely free plan – albeit it is very basic and doesn’t include anything besides standard scans and malware and phishing protection.

On the other hand, Norton doesn’t have a free plan, but its Plus plan, which costs x, includes not only basic scans but also a password manager, cloud backup, and a smart firewall. TotalAV offers a VPN and system clean-up tools – for a dollar less.

Wrapping up
So all in all, although the prices are incredibly similar, TotalAV offers a free version, and Norton offers more features, but for a little higher price. Both antiviruses cancel each other out and therefore neither wins in the pricing category.

Apps and interface: which is more user-friendly?

Both Norton and TotalAV apps are very well designed from a usability standpoint. They have clean interfaces, and good layouts and the features are easy to find.

However, the Norton desktop and mobile apps have one disadvantage – a lot of features open in separate windows, or you need to have separate apps for them. This definitely takes away some usability points.

The ease of use category comparison ends with TotalAV winning. Norton and TotalAV don’t differ much in appearance and are both equally easy to use. However, Norton’s opening-separate-tabs scheme is just too inconvenient.

Desktop apps

Norton’s desktop app is really straightforward, easy to install and to use. Once you log in, the app will even offer you a guided tour to inform you about where to find which feature. And even without it, the whole interface is easy to navigate.

Our only complaint with the app is that a lot of its features open in new tabs – this can be annoying, especially with features such as Dark Web Monitoring or Parental Controls, which open on the web altogether.

Norton 360 interface with text

TotalAV’s desktop app has a simple interface, and four main categories of features, which make navigating between them even easier. If you want to do a quick scan, you don’t have to go far or look deep – everything is on the main antivirus page. The app also conveniently provides information about device security levels.

TotalAV desktop app

Mobile apps

Norton’s mobile apps aren’t much different from the desktop version. All the features are easily accessible through the main page. The scans also start right away once you open the app.

However, the same problem that we had with desktop apps also persists – some features are available only with separate applications, namely the VPN, the password manager, and parental controls.

Norton app on Android

TotalAV’s mobile apps are simple, easy to use, and nicely designed. All of the features, including the VPN, password manager, and scans, are available on the home page – you don’t have to swipe or scroll endlessly to find something you need.

TotalAV Android app

Customer support

24/7 live chat
Knowledge base
Community support/FAQs

Customer support at both Norton and TotalAV are available through many different channels. People have the option to browse through extensive knowledge bases and FAQs or ask their fellow users for help in community support channels.

There are also live chat and phone support options with both antivirus programs. In TotalAV’s case, it doesn’t even matter if you’re a free or a paid user either.

However, we must note that Norton doesn’t have email support, and to reach a real and live support agent through the chat, the user has to go through numerous steps of logging in, chatting to a bot, and then doing some more waiting. It is a bit of a hassle.

Wrapping up
In conclusion, although both antiviruses have a lot of support options, TotalAV is just more accessible than Norton. The latter doesn’t have email tickets, and the process for the live chat is just too lengthy and inconvenient.

Final verdict

PC performance

It’s been a close battle, one which Norton wins by a fraction – ease of use and support might not be Norton’s strong suit, but at the end of the day, it’s the protection and security that are the deciding factors.

Norton is an excellent antivirus program, with a number of useful features and near 100% protection rate, evaluated as the top product by several independent testing labs. During our tests as well, it performed remarkably well, and deserves the attention and praise as one of the best antivirus suites.

As for TotalAV, there are some aspects that make it an attractive choice for many. Namely, the free version and more convenient interface. However, TotalAV’s protection rates are worse than Norton’s, which is the deciding factor when comparing antiviruses. Besides, TotalAV lacks some essential features such as a firewall or cloud backup space.

All in all, since the quality and efficiency of protection is the name of the game, awarding Norton anything else than the winning title would be simply unfair. Nevertheless, both antivirus providers offer excellent protection and are worth their fame and longevity in the antivirus market.

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