McAfee vs Norton 2024: which Antivirus is Better?

McAfee vs Norton

McAfee vs Norton The changing technology landscape has led to an increased threat of malware and virus attacks on your devices. To protect against such risks, using third-party antivirus software is a wise decision, especially for business users. McAfee and Norton are two popular options for antivirus protection, both offering strong defense against malware and viruses. However, there are differences between them that should be considered before making a choice. McAfee includes advanced features such as parental controls and identity theft protection for comprehensive device security, while Norton provides faster scanning speeds and improved customer support. Factors like price, ease of use, compatibility, and customer support should be evaluated when selecting the most suitable option for your needs and budget. It’s important to note that while these products offer excellent protection, they are not infallible. Practicing safe browsing habits, keeping software up-to-date, and regularly backing up important data are essential for minimizing potential threats.

McAfee vs Norton 2024

McAfee and Norton are two of the most popular antivirus programs in the market that offer state-of-the-art real-time protection against malware. However, choosing between these two competitors can be challenging, as both Norton 360 and McAfee Total Protection come with extensive feature suites that include encrypted storage, password managers, Internet security suites, and VPNs.So which antivirus software is better?

In this comprehensive comparison of McAfee vs Norton, we will delve into the pros and cons of both products to help you make an informed decision on which one can provide maximum protection to your device and cater to your specific needs. Factors such as pricing, user interface, malware detection rates, additional features, customer support, and compatibility with different devices will be evaluated to give you a clear picture of what each product has to offer. Ultimately, the choice between McAfee and Norton depends on your requirements and preferences.

McAfee vs Norton Quick Overview

Norton Antivirus McAfee Antivirus
⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank: #2 out of #25 #7 out of #25
🔥 Coupons: Norton Antivirus coupon 66% OFF McAfee Antivirus coupon 70% OFF
💵 Price: From $19.99/year From $39.99/year
✂️ Free version: No Yes (Android, iOS)
🖥️ Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

McAfee vs. Norton: At a Glance

McAfee and Norton provide antivirus software packages at an affordable price for single-user and single-device coverage. They also offer more expensive business software packages for unlimited device coverage. Norton’s basic antivirus package covers a single device and includes a firewall, password manager, and cloud backup. It also features a comprehensive security suite designed to safeguard against various types of malware. Upgrading to higher-tier plans provides extra features and increased cloud storage.

McAfee’s introductory antivirus package is designed to offer “basic device security” and can cover up to 10 devices. To enhance your security, McAfee offers various upgrades that include features such as firewalls and virtual private networks (VPNs). With a wide range of upgrades available, you can choose the one that best suits your needs. All plans come with 24/7 technical support and a money-back guarantee. McAfee understands the importance of keeping your devices safe from cyber threats, and their antivirus programs are designed to provide comprehensive protection against malware, viruses, spyware, and other online threats. Their upgrades offer additional layers of protection, such as secure browsing and anti-phishing tools, making McAfee a reliable choice for safeguarding your digital life.


Why We Picked It

McAfee is an affordable antivirus software that detects malware in real-time across all devices. In addition to standard features like firewalls and Wi-Fi security, it offers file shredders, PC cleaners, identity protection, and VPNs. With easy installation and a user-friendly interface, McAfee provides constant protection by scanning for malicious activities. The software also includes features like file shredders to permanently delete sensitive information, PC cleaners to optimize performance, and identity protection against cybercriminals. Lastly, McAfee’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) ensures secure browsing and protects online privacy by encrypting data traffic and assigning a new IP address.

McAfee, a cybersecurity company that has been in operation for over 30 years, has received numerous awards and recognitions for its products. These honors are a testament to the trust and confidence that customers have in the brand. McAfee offers a wide range of products that cater to different budgets and requirements. One such product is McAfee Security Scan Plus, which performs an extensive scan of your PC to identify potential vulnerabilities and then recommends the best antivirus, firewall, and online protection software to keep your device secure. This tool is an excellent option for individuals who want to ensure that their devices remain protected from cyber threats while also staying within budget.

Pros & Cons


  • Identity protection service is included with all plans
  • Real-time malware detection
  • Works with Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices


  • Fewer features on Apple products, both Mac and iOS
  • No email security offered
  • Too many different pricing plans

McAfee Antivirus Review


Why We Picked It

The Norton 360 antivirus lineup is among the most comprehensive security and privacy suites available in the market. Apart from its antivirus software, it also includes a password manager, backup software, online storage, parental controls, unlimited VPN connections, and three levels of identity protection. With such an extensive range of features on offer, Norton 360 provides users with complete protection against various cyber threats. The password manager ensures that users’ login credentials are secure while the backup software allows for easy data recovery in case of a system crash. The parental controls feature lets parents monitor their children’s online activities while the unlimited VPN connections keep user traffic private and secure. Lastly, the identity protection feature provides an extra layer of security against identity theft and financial fraud. Overall, Norton 360 is an ideal choice for users who prioritize their online security and privacy.

Norton offers all-in-one Windows antivirus packages for users who want a comprehensive solution without the need to mix and match different applications and services. While the integration of features comes at a cost, Norton’s antivirus solution is one of the most feature-rich options available, providing real-time malware detection alongside essential protection.

Pros & Cons


  • Real-time malware detection and live dark web monitoring
  • Secure VPN and smart customizable firewall
  • 50gb cloud storage


  • Webcam protection for Windows only
  • Desktop app is not as user-friendly
  • Identity theft protection in the United States only

Norton 360 Antivirus

How Antivirus Software Stacks Up

McAfee Antivirus Norton 360
Forbes Advisor Rating
Price Upon Renewal $89.99 per year $39.99 per year
Starting Price $29.99 for the first year $19.99 for the first year
Free Trial Yes, 30 days Yes, 7 days
Monthly Payment Option No Yes, for LifeLock and Gamers plans
Security Real-time malware detection and removal Real-time dark web monitoring and malware detection
Scan Speed Slow Very fast
Platforms Windows, Mac, Android and iOS Windows, Mac, Android and iOS
Customer Support Phone, forums and frequently asked questions (FAQs) 24/7 live chat, phone and FAQs

When it comes to antivirus software, both Norton 360 and McAfee have their own set of advantages. While Norton 360 is more affordable than McAfee and provides monthly payment options for some plans, McAfee is superior overall. One reason for this is its user interface, which we found to be more user-friendly compared to Norton’s. However, Norton 360 boasts a faster scan speed and offers round-the-clock live chat customer service, which can be a game-changer for some users. Ultimately, the choice between these two security solutions will depend on your specific needs and preferences. It is essential to weigh all the pros and cons before making a decision that ensures maximum protection of your devices.

Norton promotes the superior features of its anti-malware engine available in the market. It utilizes advanced machine learning (ML), heuristic analysis, and a comprehensive malware database to detect and prevent malware attacks. In initial assessments, it was observed that McAfee’s antivirus software operates noticeably slower compared to Norton’s. Numerous users have experienced decreased video streaming and gaming speed with McAfee, making Norton the preferred option for those seeking fast buffering and minimal lag.

Web Security

When it comes to web security, Norton 360 stands out from its competitors with its advanced features like smart firewalls and dark web monitoring. Its Safe Web security shield is compatible with popular browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari – and can block thousands of phishing sites. In comparison, McAfee’s web shield has limited capabilities and is only compatible with Windows.Norton’s dark web protection automatically monitors forums on the dark web for any leaked identities or information. It also offers a bundled password manager that provides an extra layer of security for user credentials. Overall, Norton 360 is a comprehensive solution for individuals looking to secure their online presence. With its advanced features and compatibility across different browsers, it offers robust protection against potential cyber threats.

Ease of Use

While Norton 360 has robust features, it can be challenging to use, especially for non-technical users. However, the online dashboard and mobile app have received praise for their ease of use. The online dashboard simplifies managing your Norton 360 account with a user-friendly interface. The mobile app is designed for a seamless user experience and allows remote control of devices and security settings on-the-go. Despite challenges with the desktop app, Norton 360 is worth considering for tech-savvy individuals or enterprise-level businesses. Alternatively, the online dashboard and mobile app offer a streamlined experience without sacrificing essential security features.

McAfee’s apps are designed to be user-friendly, with an intuitive main dashboard displaying various protections and features. However, some of its features can only be accessed through the web app, which may prove to be inconvenient for users. Another issue is that not all controls are located in the same place, which can make it challenging for users to navigate through the app. Despite these drawbacks, McAfee offers a comprehensive range of security features such as malware protection, firewall, and password management, which makes it a reliable choice for those looking for robust cybersecurity solutions.

Customer Support

Norton and McAfee both provide robust customer support with various contact options available. Norton 360 offers customer support via telephone and live chat in multiple languages such as English, German, Dutch, Arabic, and Mandarin. Although Norton’s live chat operates 24/7, some customers have expressed dissatisfaction with the support received. Additionally, Norton offers an extensive range of FAQs, videos, and guides on its website, reducing the need for users to seek customer support.

McAfee is a company that provides their customers with multiple support options, including telephone support, FAQs, and a vast forum and knowledge base. According to most user reviewers, they have received good customer service from phone representatives. However, many users complain about the website being disorganized and lacking updated articles that match the current versions of the software. This can lead to confusion among users who may not be able to find the information they need. It is important for companies like McAfee to regularly update their website and ensure that all articles are relevant and helpful to their users. Additionally, providing multiple support channels can help improve customer satisfaction and make it easier for users to get the help they need when encountering issues or problems with their software.

How we tested and compared these two antivirus programs

Choosing the best antivirus software always depends on what exactly you need this AV for. The relevant characteristics change based on your OS, the level of protection you need, your financial situation, and more.

However, there are a few main criteria that we follow no matter what:

  • Independent antivirus testing. Having the antivirus software tested by the companies like AV-Test Institute or AV-Comparatives helps us to know how legitimate the AV is. We can clearly see how well the antivirus software detects and fights threats.
  • In-house antivirus testing. While third-party results are helpful, running tests on our own reveals how well the antivirus performs multiple times. It’s especially helpful when testing adware, spyware, and other types of malware.
  • False positive detection rates. Just like in real life, the cyber world also requires security to react to danger properly. Therefore, we always pay attention to how many false positives the AV catches to avoid oversensitive protection.
  • Extra features. Nowadays, only basic antivirus features aren’t capable of detecting and stopping evolving cybercriminals. Hence, we care if the antivirus app includes bonus features, such as a firewall, spam filters, a VPN, and more.
  • Performance. Having robust antivirus software on an older device might be quite challenging. As there are constantly running processes, it’s important that the protection software wouldn’t have too much effect on your gadgets.
  • Price. After testing dozens of antiviruses, we aim to select only those that offer the best quality and price ratio. After all, cybersecurity shouldn’t be a luxury item.

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Bottom Line

When it comes to antivirus software, both Norton and McAfee are strong contenders with similar functionality. However, there are some differences that make each option better suited for certain groups of users. Norton is a popular choice for gamers and streamers who prioritize speed and affordability over ease of use. On the other hand, McAfee is still considered the best option for businesses due to its established reputation. It is also a preferred choice for those who may not be as tech-savvy as it offers simpler navigation and installation processes. Ultimately, the choice between Norton and McAfee depends on individual needs and preferences.

McAfee vs Norton 2024: Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better: McAfee or Norton?

McAfee and Norton both provide high-quality antivirus software with similar effectiveness in blocking malware and safeguarding users from harmful websites. Norton promotes faster scan speeds and includes a robust dark web monitoring system, whereas McAfee is perceived as more user-friendly and suitable for business use.

What devices does Norton Antivirus support?

All Norton 360 packages include protection for various devices like PCs, Macs, iPhones, and Android smartphones, whereas Norton Antivirus Plus is limited to installation on only one PC or Mac.

Do I really need antivirus software?

While Windows PCs and Macs have some built-in protection, it’s important to remember that online threats are widespread. There are numerous websites with malicious code, and scammers may even target you through email. It’s wise to consider additional protection for your valuable assets, regardless of your level of tech expertise. Take a look at the top antivirus software options available.

Will antivirus software slow down my computer?

When antivirus software is actively scanning your computer, it can lead to a decrease in performance, with some users experiencing slower internet speeds. Many antivirus programs offer the option to schedule scans for times when the computer is not in use. Norton’s software is said to be quicker at scanning compared to McAfee.

What makes antivirus software secure?

Antivirus programs identify, mark, and delete viruses and malware. They also provide continuous protection against various threats. A reliable antivirus program should safeguard your online activities such as web browsing, software downloads, online shopping, and email opening. To enhance cybersecurity, it is advisable to use multiple security measures like VPNs, password managers, and secure storage.

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