In our cyber-dependent age, it’s never been more crucial to have a trusted form of antivirus software installed on your devices. But the antivirus market is now huge, and it’s tough to make a choice on which provider is best for you. So, we’re going to compare two major antivirus programs, McAfee and Norton, to see which is better suited to your preferences.
Norton vs. McAfee: Price
These days, antivirus programs can be pricey, and the varying plans can leave you paying for more than you need. Let’s cover the basic prices of McAfee and Norton to see how much you really need to be paying.
Both Norton and McAfee have various subscription plans with different features, perks, and limitations. Let’s first get to the ascending McAfee plan prices for a one-year subscription:
- Basic: $29.99.
- Plus: $39.99.
- Premium (or Total Protection): $49.99.
- Advanced: $89.99.
Here’s a list of Norton’s various plan prices (also in ascending order):
- AntiVirus Plus: $19.99.
- Standard: $39.99.
- Deluxe: $49.99.
- Select and LifeLock: $99.99.
As you can see, Norton’s most basic antivirus plan is the cheapest, at just £19.99 for the year. But McAfee’s basic plan isn’t far off from this, at $29.99 yearly. The more advanced plans have additional tools and features, which is why the prices increase quite significantly in some cases. Depending on how you use your devices, some plans may suit you more than others. We’ll get into the features offered by each kind of plan next.
Norton vs. McAfee: Features
We’ll cover each antivirus plan one by one, so you know which is best for you.
Firstly, you’ve got McAfee’s Basic plan. This can only be used on one device and offers a firewall, password manager, identity monitoring, antivirus protection, a protection score, web protection, file shredder, and online support. What’s more, you can use McAfee’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) service with the basic plan, as well as all higher plans. This is a great deal if you’re looking for antivirus and VPN tools combined.
The Plus and Premium (or Total Protection) plans are pretty similar but can be used on more devices (five for the former and an unlimited number for the latter). The Premium plan also offers personal data cleanup scans—but not the full cleanup feature—though that’s where the differences end. All in all, you won’t be getting an awful lot more in the Plus and Premium plans, except for a higher device limit.
All the additional features come with the McAfee Advanced plan, which is almost twice the price of the next plan down. Using McAfee Advanced, you’ll have access to credit monitoring and reports, lost wallet protection, identity restoration support, and the full personal data cleanup service. This is on top of all the features added by lower plans.
The most basic Norton plan, known as AntiVirus Plus, can be used on one device and offers protection against viruses, malware, ransomware, and hacking. The next plan up, Standard, can be used on three devices, and has a VPN and dark web monitoring on top of the features added by the previous plan. With Deluxe, you’ll also get a parental control tool and can use Norton on five devices.
The last plan, known as Select and LifeLock, is twice the price of Deluxe, but can be used on 10 different devices and offers LifeLock, an identity protection service. You can pay for the Select and LifeLock plan on an annual or monthly basis.
Both antivirus providers also offer additional tools, such as McAfee’s Safe Family and Norton’s Computer Tune Up, on top of their antivirus plans. These will cost an additional fee, though prices vary from tool to tool.
Both Norton and McAfee have highly successful levels of protection against malware, both sitting at over 95 percent, so you can rest easy knowing that your devices are being safeguarded effectively.
Norton vs. McAfee: Customer Service
It’s natural for software programs to malfunction, and sometimes they can just be tricky to navigate. This is why customer service is important for antivirus users.
Luckily, both Norton and McAfee offer a range of customer support options. If you’ve got a question or issue, you can get in touch with Norton and McAfee via telephone, live chat, and email. Both providers also have an FAQ page for common queries. If you’re facing an issue at an awkward hour, Norton and McAfee offer their live chat on a 24/7 basis, so there’ll always be someone around to help.
What’s more, both providers offer additional support if you’d prefer to try fixing the issue yourself first. McAfee has customer service knowledge articles and a handy webinar series for many issues and questions. Norton, on the other hand, has an array of getting-started guides and useful notes, as well as a forum where you and other users can post or answer questions.
Norton vs. McAfee: Ease of Use
If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, some antivirus programs can be a little tricky to use. But don’t worry, you won’t face this problem with Norton and McAfee. Both providers offer a clean, simple, user-friendly interface that can be understood by just about anyone. However, Norton’s settings can be a little tougher on novices compared to McAfee.
But overall, with clear main panels that can be navigated easily, you’ll likely catch on very quickly with Norton and McAfee’s interfaces. Nonetheless, if you are confused, you can head to the providers’ help pages or contact customer support.
Which Is Better: Norton or McAfee?
In terms of basic plans, Norton is the best pick here. It offers the same features as McAfee’s basic plan, but for a lower cost. So, if it’s just standard antivirus protection you’re after, Norton is a great choice.
But this isn’t to say that McAfee is sub-par. This service is a little more expensive but offers great security features and unlimited device usage on its two top-tier plans. McAfee and Norton also have very high protection rates, so you won’t be vastly more at risk with either program.
However, if you’re dead set on using a VPN, note that McAfee’s cheapest plan offers this feature, while Norton’s does not. You’ll have to pay $39.99 for VPN protection with Norton, but only $29.99 with McAfee.
Norton and McAfee are Both Solid Antivirus Programs
While Norton has come out on top as the best value-for-money antivirus software, both providers are high quality. There’s no doubt that McAfee and Norton can provide solid levels of protection to their users, as well as an array of useful additional features in their varying plans. If you want to keep your device safe, these are both great options, regardless of their slight differences.