In our cyber dependent age, having a trusted form of antivirus software installed on your devices has never been more important. But the antivirus market is huge now, and it’s difficult to choose which vendor is best for you. So we’re going to compare two major antiviruses, McAfee and Norton, to see which one better suits your preferences.
Norton vs McAfee: Price
Antivirus programs these days can be expensive, and the different plans can mean you end up paying more than you need to. Let’s cover McAfee and Norton’s base prices to see how much you really have to pay.
Both Norton and McAfee have different subscription plans with different features, benefits, and limitations. First, let’s look at the increasing McAfee plan prices for an annual subscription:
- Base: $29.99.
- Plus: $39.99.
- Premium (or Total Protection): $49.99.
- Extended: $89.99.
Here is a list of Norton’s different 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 per year. But McAfee’s $29.99 annual base plan isn’t far off. The more advanced plans have additional tools and features, which is why the prices sometimes increase significantly. Depending on how you use your devices, some plans might suit you better than others. Next, we’ll dive into the features offered by each type of plan.
Norton vs McAfee: Features
We cover each antivirus plan individually so you know which one works best for you.
First, you have McAfee’s Basic plan. This can only be used on one device and offers a firewall, password manager, identity monitoring, virus protection, a protection score, web protection, file shredder and online support. In addition, you can use McAfee’s VPN (Virtual Private Network) service with the basic plan as well as all higher plans. This is a great deal if you’re looking for combined antivirus and VPN tools.
The Plus and Premium (or Total Protection) plans are fairly similar, but can be used on more devices (five for the former and unlimited for the latter). The premium plan also offers personal data sanitization scans – but not the full sanitization feature – although that’s where the differences end. All in all, you won’t get much else on the Plus and Premium plans, other than a higher device limit.
All additional features are included in the McAfee Advanced plan, which is almost double the price of the next plan. McAfee Advanced gives you access to credit monitoring and reporting, lost wallet protection, identity recovery support, and full personal data sanitization service. This is on top of any features added through 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 higher plan, Standard, can be used on three devices and has a VPN and dark web monitoring in addition to the features added by the previous plan. With Deluxe you also get a parental control tool and you 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 annually or monthly for the Select and LifeLock plans.
Both antivirus vendors offer additional tools like McAfee’s Safe Family and Norton’s Computer Tune Up on top of their antivirus plans. These cost an additional fee, although prices vary from tool to tool.
Both Norton and McAfee have extremely successful levels of protection against malware, both exceeding 95 percent, so you can rest assured that your devices are effectively protected.
Norton vs. McAfee: Customer Service
It’s normal for software programs to malfunction, and sometimes they can just be difficult 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 have a question or problem, you can contact Norton and McAfee via phone, live chat, and email. Both providers also have an FAQ page for common questions. If you’re faced with a problem at an inconvenient hour, Norton and McAfee offer 24/7 live chat so there’s always someone to help.
Additionally, both providers offer additional support if you prefer to troubleshoot the issue yourself first. McAfee offers customer service knowledge articles and a handy webinar series for many issues and questions. Norton, on the other hand, provides a number of getting started guides and helpful hints, as well as a forum where you and other users can post and answer questions.
Norton vs. McAfee: Ease of Use
Unless you’re particularly tech-savvy, some antivirus programs can be a little tricky to use. But don’t worry, with Norton and McAfee you won’t have this problem. Both providers offer a clean, simple and user-friendly interface that can be understood by almost everyone. However, Norton’s settings can be a bit more difficult for beginners compared to McAfee.
But overall, you’ll probably get to grips with the Norton and McAfee user interfaces very quickly, with the main windows being uncluttered and easy to navigate. However, if you are confused, you can go to the providers’ help pages or contact their customer service.
Which is better: Norton or McAfee?
In terms of basic plans, Norton is the best choice here. It offers the same features as McAfee’s basic plan, but at a lower cost. So if you’re just looking for standard antivirus protection, Norton is a good choice.
But that’s not to say McAfee is below average. This service is a bit 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’re not at significantly higher risk with either program.
However, if you are determined to use a VPN, note that McAfee’s cheapest plan offers this feature, but Norton’s does not. You 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 asserted itself as the best value for money antivirus software, both vendors are of high quality. There is no doubt that McAfee and Norton can offer their users a solid level of protection as well as a number of useful additional features in their different plans. If you want to keep your device safe, these are both great options regardless of their slight differences.