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Norton or Avast

I. Introduction

Antivirus software has become an essential tool for protecting devices in the digital age. As cyber threats grow more advanced, relying on a reputable antivirus solution is crucial for individuals and organizations to secure sensitive data. Two popular antivirus providers, Norton and Avast, both offer robust protection. But they differ across areas like system resource usage, privacy features, malware detection capabilities, and additional utilities offered.

This article provides an in-depth comparison of Norton and Avast to examine their respective strengths and weaknesses based on key criteria. We evaluate and contrast factors like performance impact, breadth of security protections, effectiveness against threats, available business-oriented features, and device optimization capabilities. Comparing the two assists consumers in determining the best antivirus solution matching their specific use case requirements and priorities around elements such as system resource usage, privacy, and cost.

II. Performance Comparison

System performance drag represents a key potential downside of running any antivirus suite alongside normal workloads and applications. Both Norton and Avast maintain competitive performance across metrics like website load impacts, installation times, and passive resource consumption.

A. Impact on System Responsiveness

Specific benchmarks evaluating webpage load slowdowns with Norton vs Avast installed show minimal impact from either suite even while conducting background scans:

  • Website Launch Delay
    • Norton: 2.7% slower
    • Avast: 2.1% slower
  • Application Download Time
    • Norton: 1.1% longer
    • Avast: 1.3% longer

So both options induce negligible system lag during everyday usage based on industry Antivirus Testing Standards Organization (AV-TEST) testing. Updates downloading in the background also refrain from interrupting normal operations.

B. Installation and Upgrade Efficiency

Excessively long setup wizard processes represent another variable friction point when migrating existing systems or clean installing antivirus suites. Tests analyzing full software deployment cycles highlight the scaled efficiencies of both commercial solutions:

- **Initial Full Install Times**
- Norton: 4 minutes 3 seconds
- Avast: 5 minutes 52 seconds
– **Large File Copy Operation Speed**
– Norton: 6% slower
– Avast: 9% slower

Results indicate Norton holds a slight edge minimizing install friction. ButAvast falls well within competitive ranges as well – avoiding the extensive bloatware bundles dragging down some consumer-targeted rivals.

So while users notice Norton adding marginally less passive and active overhead during normal operations and maintenance events, Avast also wisely minimizes demands on computing resources.

III. Privacy & Security Protections

Antivirus tools access extensive device and usage telemetry to carry out their protective duties. But consumers rightfully grow wary of excessive or overreaching data harvesting practices. Both Norton and Avast provide transparency options and enhanced privacy modes catering to user oversight and control preferences.

A. Privacy Controls


Norton furnishes the Norton Privacy Monitor dashboard offering visibility into security software data permission settings and active monitoring status. It allows selectively enabling/disabling monitoring of elements like device camera access, microphone access, location tracking and content usage statistics.


The Avast Trust Center details collected usage statistics and offers options like password-protecting software changes and toggling off exterior network communications as desired. Unique identifiers mask underlying device specifics shared with Avast data centers as well.

So both Norton and Avast provide interface dashboards for reviewing and adjusting monitoring permissions, although Norton offers slightly more fine-grained user consent controls.

B. Security Capabilities

Core Security Features

Norton and Avast share highly competent core antivirus engines combining signature-based scanning, heuristics, emulated environments, machine learning and cloud analytics. Both maintain firewalls, WiFi protections, malicious traffic filters and breach detection response as well.

But Avast goes further offering integrated tools for password protection, software patching, data shredding and DNA file identification while Norton prioritizes identity theft monitoring with privacy dashboards instead.


On pricing, Norton 360 plans start around $99 per year for 5 device coverage, while Avast One Individual plans run about $80 yearly. So they align closely in overall subscription costs granting full access to all feature sets.

IV. Business Use Cases

Beyond consumer devices, both vendors cater to small and midsize business customers needing scaled management capabilities securing mixed endpoint fleets spanning desktops, servers and mobile devices.

A. Norton for Business

The Norton 360 for Business suite furnishes a central console securing Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android devices against malware, phishing and hacker exploits. Multi-layered endpoint protection integrates seamlessly with Office 365 email security as well maximizing threat resilience.

Administrators gain transparent oversight into security health through centralized reporting tools tracking detections, quarantined items and remediation statuses across networked endpoints. Grup policies also ease configuration changes and permission settings rather than individually maintaining each endpoint.

Norton 360 for business runs just over $100 yearly for 10 devices catering affordably to smaller sized organizations.

B. Avast Business Solutions

Avast also offers dedicated Business suites supporting network-wide cybersecurity protection for companies large and small. Core capabilities like cloud-based remote endpoint management, attack prevention visibility, and role-based controls carry over from Avast’s consumer products into Business editions.

Additionally, Avast Business introduces capabilities like:

  • Server security safeguards
  • Integrated WiFi protection
  • Firewall and spam filter management
  • Secure automatic backup processes
  • Dedicated technical account management

So both consumer security veterans now deliver scaled platforms securing essential business infrastructure, data, and employee devices as well. Norton offers slightly more transparency into company-wide threat statistics, while Avast prioritizes network traffic analysis and remediation workflows.

V. Malware Protection Capabilities

At their core purpose, antivirus solutions live and die on precisely detecting widespread malware variants and new attack strains. Norton and Avast both score very well leveraging global threat intelligence harvesting newly identified risks as they emerge.

A. Protection Against Malware Samples

Recent large-scale independent testing analyzed detection rates across both embedded legitimate applications and over 5 million malware samples:

Avast (Q3 2022)

  • Malware Detection: 99.9%
  • Legitimate Software Accuracy: 72%

Norton (Q3 2022)

  • Malware Detection: 100%
  • Legitimate Software Accuracy: 63%

So both exhibit near perfect malware detection with room for improvement avoiding misclassifying harmless everyday software. Norton scores marginally higher on malware owing to advanced machine learning algorithms trained off its extensive consumer installed base telemetry.

B. Impact on Responsiveness

Antivirus suites temporarily throttle system performance conducting deep scans analyzing suspicious activities. But minimized throughput drag represents a vital product requirement as well.

Specific independent benchmarking indicates reasonably limited impact from bothheavy hitters during intensive scanning operations:

  • Average Slowdown During Quick Scans
    • Norton: 14%
    • Avast: 15%
  • Average Slowdown During Full Scans
    • Norton: 37%
    • Avast: 33%

So consumers experience reasonably responsive workflows even while comprehensive scans operate in the background monitoring system-wide threats. Both options avoid severely disrupting normal usage.

VI. Additional Features

Expanding beyond pure antivirus capabilities, supplementary utilities also sway buying decisions catering to specific consumer preferences. Norton takes a privacy-centric value-add route while Avast focuses on technical device tuneups.

A. Cloud Backup & Storage


  • 50GB secure cloud backup space
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Parental control content filters


  • Intelligent browser clean-up
  • Software update manager
  • Startup application manager

So Norton looks to shield personal and family identity data. Avast optimizes technical health speeding up sluggish Windows PCs instead.

VII. Transitioning Between Old and New Versions

With frequent vendor acquisitions and standalone product sunsetting in the security marketplace, questions around moving between legacy solutions and current packages emerge as well. Both Norton and Avast furnish support resources easing upgrades to modern product generations.

A. Norton Upgrade Guidance

Many longer-tenured Norton customers rely on previous generation anti-virus suites like Norton AntiVirus or Norton Internet Security. Transitioning to the latest Norton 360 successor platform follows a smooth automated process continuing existing subscription entitlements.

Detailed Norton documentation guides users through uninstalling legacy products before installing Norton 360 generations, transferring license keys, and optionally importing old settings and custom configurations. So customers gain continued access to the most up-to-date protection capabilities Norton offers without losing existing preferences or device security history even when upgrading from years-old suites.

VIII. Industry Consolidation Impacts

The cybersecurity software arena continues undergoing extensive consolidation with several major acquisitions in recent years. Most notably, NortonLifeLock acquired rival Avast in 2022 for over $8 billion dollars – merging two industry titans under one roof.

A. Impacts of Avast Acquisition

Early indications suggest Norton will preserve both consumer solution families leveraging Avast’s deep technical capabilities enhancing behavior-based threat detection backed by machine learning algorithms. Avast also expands Norton’s global consumer and small business customer footprint reaching over 435 million total devices.

Joint cybersecurity research efforts against sophisticated attacks now benefit from shared threat intelligence and telemetry gathered across both companies’ extensive user bases as well. So the merger spurs continued innovation and advancement of protections flowing into converged offerings as new capabilities launch.

Consumers stand to gain improved security powered by the merged vendors’ combined platform strengths and industry leadership. However, the gradual winnowing of standalone options also decreases market competition long term.

IX. Conclusion

Both Norton 360 and Avast One represent industry-leading consumer antivirus suites bundling robust core protections along with value-added features suiting differing priority preferences. After comparing critical capability metrics and usage scenarios, key guidelines emerge around optimally choosing between the two heavy hitters.

A. Summary

Norton 360 Advantages

  • Very high malware detection rates
  • Strong business management capabilities
  • Privacy protection focus

Avast One Advantages

  • Lower performance drag
  • PC optimization tools
  • Enhanced threat behavior analytics

B. Recommendations By User Needs

For privacy-focused consumers:

Norton 360 furnishes market-leading identity protection services like dark web monitoring and encrypted password managers.

For performance-constrained systems:

Avast adds lower passive resource overhead during idle monitoring states.

C. The Road Ahead

With Norton’s acquisition of Avast, convergence around a consolidated product suite leveraging both vendors’ advantages lies ahead. Consumers benefit from accelerated feature development but face eventually losing standalone alternative solution capabilities longer term as the merged entity charts its roadmap strategy. But for now, both Norton 360 and Avast One represent thoughtfully crafted, mature endpoint security suites standing on their own merits.