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Norton vs TotalAV: which antivirus is better?

Norton and TotalAV are among the top choices in antivirus software, and experts and home users trust them. Both Norton and TotalAV are reliable and effective at detecting viruses. So, choosing between them can be challenging.

Each antivirus has its strengths. Norton excels in protection and has many features. Meanwhile, TotalAV shines with outstanding PC performance, user-friendly apps, and additional benefits such as a free version, great pricing, and exceptional customer support. With these differences, users often wonder which software is truly better overall.

For this TotalAV vs Norton comparison, we'll outline the strengths and weaknesses of each product, based on our testing experience. In this article, we aim to assist you in choosing the antivirus that best fits your needs.

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Norton vs. TotalAV

TotalAVNorton Antivirus
⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#1 out of #25#2 out of #25
🔥 Coupons:TotalAV coupon 80% OFFNorton Antivirus coupon 58% OFF
💵 Price:from $19.00/year, 4 devicesFrom $29.99/year
✂️ Free version:YesNo
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, macOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, macOS, iOS, Android

Norton vs TotalAV: which offers better protection?

Independent testsGreat marksHighest marks
Real-time protectionOver 99%Over 99%
ScanningEffective, caught 10/10 malware threatsEffective, caught 10/10 malware threats

To find out which is better, Norton or TotalAV, we first checked the independent test results from the German AV-Test Institute. Norton received a "Certified" badge, while TotalAV earned a "Top product" rating. This indicates that TotalAV outperforms Norton.

When it comes to AV-Comparatives, both Norton and TotalAV managed to score near-perfect online protection and detection rates. However, TotalAV got a better offline detection rate – 93.4%, while Norton got 86.0%. TotalAV also got no false alarm rate when Norton got 12 of them. So in this regard, TotalAV is better than Norton.

In our testing, both antivirus programs did well. We tried different scans to see how they handle malware. Norton and TotalAV both caught all 10 samples without slowing down our device too much.

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

How good are they at finding malware?

Norton and TotalAV have reliable threat prevention systems tested in real-world protection scenarios by AV-Comparatives.

During testing from July to October, Norton found 16 false positives compared to 5 for TotalAV, putting Norton at a disadvantage. However, Norton has a higher malware detection rate of 99.9% compared to TotalAV's 98.8%, giving Norton a slight advantage.

During our in-house tests, Norton and TotalAV caught 10/10 malware we planted on the device.


Norton and TotalAV didn't find a single malware we had planted during the quick scan test.


Despite that, TotalAV and Norton are trusted antivirus options leading the market.

Pricing and plans

Norton and TotalAV offer three different plans, as you can see in the table below. Norton assures a 60-day money-back guarantee, while TotalAV provides a 30-day guarantee. Norton doesn't have a free version but offers a 7-day free trial to test the antivirus. Meanwhile, TotalAV delivers the best free antivirus software.

Free versionYes
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 discountGet our discount

TotalAV is slightly cheaper across most plans. Norton entry plan costs $29.99/year, standard – $39.99/year, while the Deluxe plan costs $49.99/year. TotalAV charges $19.00, $39.00 and $49.00 per year for comparable plans.

TotalAV being cheaper and offering a free version results in a win against Norton.

Norton plans

Norton provides three subscription options to suit different device security needs. Here's a quick look at them:

  • Norton AntiVirus Plus – $29.99/year, 1 device (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)
  • Norton 360 Standard – $39.99/year, 3 devices (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)
  • Norton 360 Deluxe – $49.99/year, 5 devices (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)

Norton Antivirus Plus starts at $29.99/year, and offers protection against hackers, viruses, malware, and ransomware for one device. Norton 360 Standard costs $39.99/year and adds a VPN to the package for three devices. Norton 360 Deluxe, priced at $49.99/year, not only includes a VPN but also parental controls for up to five devices.

TotalAV plans

TotalAV offers three subscription plans and one free option for different security needs. Here they are:

  • TotalAV free – 1 device (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)
  • TotalAV Antivirus Pro – $19.00/year, 3 devices (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)
  • TotalAV Internet Security – $39.00/year, 5 devices (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)
  • TotalAV Total Security – $49.00/year, 6 devices (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)

TotalAV offers a free version with an anti-malware scanner and anti-phishing protection for one device. TotalAV Antivirus Pro starts at $19.00 and provides essential security features such as real-time protection, system clean-up tools, and defense against ransomware and malware for up to three devices. TotalAV Internet Security, priced at $39.00, adds a VPN with the mentioned features for five devices. TotalAV Total Security, priced at $49.00, includes a VPN, ad blocker, and password manager and supports up to six devices.

Wrapping up
So, all in all, although the prices are pretty similar, TotalAV offers a free version and a little bit cheaper plans. This makes TotalAV a winner in the plans and prices category.

Which has better features – Norton or TotalAV?

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.

Impact on PC performance

When we performed in-house Norton tests, it showed pretty good results. Smaller scans, such as quick or smart scans, use 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%.


TotalAV’s performance during scans was really good. The quick scan, even though it used only around 8% – 38% percent of the CPU power on average.


The full system scan showed TotalAV that uses from 17% to 99% of CPU power.

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

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

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.

24/7 live chat
Knowledge base
Community support/FAQs

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

In this Norton vs. TotalAV comparison, TotalAV comes out on top as the better antivirus. It excels in protection, PC performance, and affordability. With a free version, enhanced customer support, and user-friendly manuals, TotalAV stands out as the best antivirus in the 2024 market.

PC performance
Free version
Wrapping up
TotalAV and Norton performed well in our in-house testing. However, independent tests consistently indicate that TotalAV outperforms Norton across nearly every category. This makes TotalAV a better choice than Norton.

TotalAV and Norton performed well in our in-house testing. However, independent tests consistently indicate that TotalAV outperforms Norton across nearly every category. This makes TotalAV a better choice than Norton.

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