If you are searching for reliable antivirus software for your computer, figuring which one best addresses your specific needs and budget can be quite difficult given the large number of options you have to choose from.
If you spend enough time going through all the information you can get on the internet, your search will eventually lead you to these two extremely popular antivirus software options: Avast and Norton.
Before we try to decipher which of these two systems reigns supreme, let us take a closer look at each one:
Avast provides all of the basics one would want from an antivirus system. It allows you to browse the web safely and blocks any malicious attacks that come your way. It provides an additional firewall, gives you improved privacy, and helps you deal with the hordes of spam that you are constantly being bombarded with.
Avast also offers a feature known as “Safezone” that allows gamers to navigate potentially dangerous servers without having their PC compromised. It provides an added layer of security for all of your game profiles and private information – like your credit card information – associated with your profile.
The one glaring weakness of Avast is the lack of parental controls. However, it is free to download and use, and it certainly offers a lot of features.
Without a doubt, Norton is the more established brand when it comes to providing internet security. The brand is recognized all over the world, even by those who aren’t computer savvy. It does an excellent job of defending your computer from any malicious programs that come its way, and it also give you more options as far as how you want to deal with each particular threat it finds. That might not mean much to those who aren’t particularly knowledgeable about the inner workings of a computer, but technology geeks will certainly appreciate it.
Norton is well-known for providing stellar coverage across a wide range of devices, and that has led to a few accolades for the software brand over the years, including a bronze award for AV testing.
With Norton, the user is in full control of how the software works. There are easy-to-use parental controls that give parents the ability to control what their children can do on the computer when they are not around. If you need to free up some processing power, there is a sleep mode that allows Norton to run in the background. Norton also monitors your network for any disruptions or attacks. There’s also a two-way firewall.
Another noteworthy feature of Norton; it helps you create a recovery disc that can be used to backup your operating system and most important files. If your computer ends up crashing or becomes unrecoverable for any reason.
Norton does all the little things you don’t always think to do. It scans discs that are inserted automatically, addressing any malicious programs that might be hidden in it before there is an opportunity for the virus to infect other files. It also scans attachments you receive with your messages to ensure they are safe before you download them.
There is a well-established customer support system that can be reached at any time of the day, so there is always someone to talk to if you require assistance. Norton’s support staff is well known for how quickly they respond to support tickets.
Comparing the two systems
Just by going over these two systems individually, it’s hard to argue against the fact that Norton offers a lot more protection and features. That’s to be expected considering the fact that Norton is one of the older antivirus software manufacturers, so the company has had lots of time to fine-tune their product.
The only thing that makes some people hesitate before committing to Norton is that it requires a paid subscription to use. From time to time, the company does offer limited promotions, typically a 30-day free trial. If you have not used a free trial for their software in the past, you might be eligible to try it out for free.
Regardless of if you decide to continue with a paid subscription or not, Norton is certainly the more complete package.
The best thing about Avast is the fact that it is completely free, so, if you end up with a PC that does not have any current protection, and you do not feel like shelling out a few bucks to purchase a Norton subscription, getting Avast’s free antivirus software is the next best thing. With Avast, you still get all the basic things that you need to keep your computer safe from the typical threats that you are exposed to when surfing the internet.
Malicious scripts are automatically blocked. You can scan your system for known threats, and the software automatically removes any virus it detects during the scan. You also have the option of performing a quick scan, which only targets the locations on your PC that are most susceptible to attacks. Another noteworthy feature is the boot-scan option. This allows you to scan your entire system before your operating system is booted. This is especially useful if you have malware that’s hidden when your PC is running.
It is no surprise that Avast is one of the most downloaded antivirus software systems in the world. It’s hard to believe that something that’s free can be so useful. If you decide to upgrade to a subscription, you get access to a few more features like the “Real Site” feature that helps you detect phishing sites and other shady websites. With a paid subscription, you also get access to a sandbox which you can use to test any files you want virtually without any risk to your PC. You will also be able to utilize the firewall when you get a paid subscription.
As you can see from all the information we shared above, Norton and Avast are two excellent options to go with if your goal is to keep your computer safe from online threats. Norton is the more comprehensive program, but that comes with a price tag. Norton isn’t just an antivirus system, it a complete PC management tool.
Avast on the other hand is a complete antivirus program that will keep your computer safe when you browse the web, and it has a few features that help you manage your computer as well. All of these come free of charge, and if you are willing to spend a little to upgrade to a subscription, you get access to a few more tools and features.
It comes down to what works best for you. If you are simply looking for a way to protect your PC, Avast is the way to go. If you are looking for a way to manage your PC, and control how others in your home can use it and your internet network, and keep all your important files regularly backed up, the benefits you would get from a Norton subscription surely outweigh the costs.
Norton key features
- Virus scans
- Helps monitor wireless network
- Creates backup files
- Parental controls leave you in charge
- Excellent support staff