Mcafee vs Norton – Which Antivirus Software is the Better Choice?

When it comes to protecting your computer from malware and other online threats, two names that immediately come to mind are Norton and McAfee. These two giants in the antivirus industry have been battling it out for years, offering a range of security products to keep your devices safe. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the features and performance of Norton and McAfee, and compare them to help you make an informed decision for your protection.

Norton, a subsidiary of Symantec Corporation, is one of the most well-known names in the antivirus industry. With over 30 years of experience, Norton has developed a reputation for providing robust, reliable, and comprehensive security solutions. Their antivirus software offers real-time protection against various types of malware, including viruses, ransomware, spyware, and phishing attacks.

On the other hand, McAfee, now owned by Intel Security Group, is another well-established player in the antivirus market. McAfee offers a wide range of security products, including antivirus software, internet security, and total protection suites. Their antivirus software provides real-time scanning, firewall protection, and web protection to safeguard your devices from malware and online threats.

When comparing Norton and McAfee, it’s important to consider factors such as malware detection rates, system performance impact, ease of use, and additional features. Both Norton and McAfee have consistently scored high in independent tests when it comes to malware detection rates, meaning they are effective at identifying and blocking malicious software. However, Norton has been known to have a slightly lower impact on system performance compared to McAfee, making it a preferred choice for those who want their antivirus software to run quietly in the background.

The Importance of Antivirus Protection

Antivirus protection is essential for the security of your computer and personal data. In today’s digital world, where cyber threats are constantly evolving, having reliable antivirus software is crucial to protect your devices from malware, viruses, and other malicious software.

One of the top antivirus software options available is McAfee. Compared to Norton, McAfee offers a wide range of features that provide comprehensive protection against various types of cyber threats. McAfee’s advanced scanning engine and real-time protection ensure that your computer is safeguarded from malware and viruses at all times.

On the other hand, Norton is also a popular antivirus choice. Norton offers robust protection against a wide range of online threats, including malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks. Norton’s antivirus software is known for its efficiency and effectiveness in detecting and blocking threats.

Both McAfee and Norton have their strengths and weaknesses, but one thing is clear – antivirus protection is essential in today’s digital age. With the ever-increasing number and complexity of cyber threats, having reliable antivirus software installed on your devices can help prevent data breaches, identity theft, and other potential risks.

Whether you choose McAfee or Norton, investing in antivirus protection is a wise decision. It not only protects your personal data but also provides peace of mind knowing that your devices are shielded from the constantly evolving threats that exist online.

Mcafee and Norton Overview

When it comes to choosing the best antivirus software for your protection, two popular options that often come up are Mcafee and Norton. Both of these companies have been in the antivirus industry for many years and offer a range of features to keep your devices safe from cyber threats.


Mcafee is a well-known name in the antivirus market and has been providing security solutions since 1987. The software offers comprehensive protection against various types of malware, including viruses, spyware, ransomware, and more. Mcafee is known for its robust scanning capabilities that can detect and remove threats from your system effectively.

In addition to virus protection, Mcafee also offers additional features such as a firewall, secure web browsing, password manager, and identity theft protection. These features help to ensure that your personal information is safeguarded from hackers and other malicious entities.


Norton is another trusted name in the antivirus industry, with a history that dates back to 1990. Like Mcafee, Norton provides comprehensive protection against various types of malware. It uses advanced detection technologies to identify and remove threats from your devices.

One of the standout features of Norton is its emphasis on online security. Norton’s software includes features such as a secure VPN, safe web browsing, and a password manager to protect your online activities. Norton also offers a robust backup solution, allowing you to securely store your important files and documents.

Mcafee, compared to Norton, has a more extensive selection of additional features, whereas Norton is known for its focus on online security. Both antivirus software options have their strengths and weaknesses, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference and specific needs when deciding which one is better for your protection.

Mcafee Norton
Comprehensive malware protection Advanced detection technologies
Additional features like firewall and identity theft protection Focus on online security including secure VPN and safe web browsing
Long history in the antivirus industry Robust backup solution

Features and Functionality


Mcafee offers a range of powerful features and functionality to protect your devices from various types of cyber threats. One of its key features is real-time scanning, which constantly monitors your system for any suspicious activities or malware. Mcafee also provides a firewall that helps block unauthorized access to your network and prevents hackers from stealing your personal information.

Another notable feature of Mcafee is its web protection, which safeguards your online browsing by blocking malicious websites and preventing phishing attacks. It also offers a password manager that securely stores your login credentials and enables you to easily access them across different devices.

Additionally, Mcafee includes a vulnerability scanner that identifies potential security weaknesses in your system and provides recommendations on how to fix them. It also has a file shredder feature that permanently deletes sensitive files to ensure they cannot be recovered.


Norton is known for its comprehensive set of features and functionality that provide robust protection against online threats. Its antivirus engine is equipped with advanced detection algorithms to detect and eliminate malware, viruses, and other malicious software.

One of Norton’s key features is its intelligent firewall, which monitors network traffic and blocks suspicious connections. It also includes a secure VPN that encrypts your internet connection, ensuring your privacy and anonymity while browsing.

Norton also offers a web protection feature that actively blocks malicious websites and phishing attempts. It has a password manager that securely stores your passwords, making it easier for you to access your accounts without compromising security.

Moreover, Norton includes a system optimization tool that helps improve your device’s performance by removing unnecessary files and optimizing system settings. It also offers a cloud backup feature that allows you to store important files and data securely in the cloud.

In summary, both Mcafee and Norton offer a wide range of features and functionality to protect your devices from cyber threats. However, the specific features and their effectiveness may vary, so it’s important to carefully evaluate your needs and preferences before choosing between the two.

Virus Detection Rates

When it comes to virus detection rates, both McAfee and Norton are considered to be top antivirus software providers. However, there are some differences in how they perform in terms of detecting and removing viruses.

McAfee has a strong reputation for its powerful virus detection capabilities. It uses advanced algorithms and real-time scanning to quickly identify and eliminate threats. McAfee also provides regular updates to ensure that it stays up-to-date with the latest virus definitions. In independent tests, McAfee has consistently shown high detection rates, effectively detecting and neutralizing a wide range of malware.

On the other hand, Norton is also known for its reliable virus detection rates. Norton uses a combination of signature-based and behavior-based detection methods to identify and remove viruses. Norton also provides regular updates to keep its virus definitions current. In various tests, Norton has demonstrated its ability to detect and block known and unknown threats, making it a popular choice among users.

When compared, it is difficult to determine which antivirus software has a higher virus detection rate as both McAfee and Norton have proven track records in this area. Both provide excellent protection against viruses, but the final choice may depend on factors such as personal preferences, additional features, and pricing.

In conclusion, whether you choose McAfee or Norton, you can rest assured that you are getting a reliable antivirus solution with high virus detection rates. It is always recommended to regularly update your antivirus software and exercise caution while browsing and downloading files to ensure the best possible protection against viruses and other malware.

System Performance Impact

When it comes to system performance impact, both McAfee and Norton have made significant improvements over the years. However, there are still some differences to consider.


McAfee has focused on optimizing their antivirus software to minimize its impact on system performance. They have developed a lightweight and efficient solution that runs seamlessly in the background without slowing down your computer. McAfee’s real-time scanning feature is designed to be resource-friendly, ensuring that you can work, browse, and play without any noticeable performance issues. This makes McAfee a great choice for users who prioritize system speed and efficiency.


Norton, on the other hand, also puts a lot of effort into optimizing system performance. They have implemented various technologies and algorithms to minimize the impact of their antivirus software on your system. Norton’s antivirus runs quietly in the background and intelligently adjusts its resource usage based on your computer’s needs. This means that you can expect a minimal impact on system performance while still receiving top-notch protection. Norton is an ideal choice for users who want a balance between performance and security.

To summarize, both McAfee and Norton have made significant improvements in terms of system performance impact. McAfee focuses on providing a lightweight and efficient solution, while Norton aims to strike a balance between performance and security. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

User Interface and Ease of Use

When it comes to user interface and ease of use, both McAfee and Norton have made significant improvements in recent years. They have modern and intuitive interfaces that are easy to navigate, even for users with limited technical knowledge.

McAfee offers a simple and straightforward interface that allows users to quickly access all the important features and settings. The main dashboard provides a clear overview of the security status, with color-coded indicators for different areas of protection. The menu is well-organized, making it easy to find specific features and customize the antivirus to suit your needs.

Norton, on the other hand, has a sleek and modern interface that is also user-friendly. The main dashboard provides an overview of the security status, with clear notifications and recommendations for any actions that need to be taken. The menu is organized in a logical manner, allowing users to easily navigate through various settings and options.

When compared, both McAfee and Norton have similar user interfaces that are easy to use. They both provide a good user experience and make it simple for users to manage their antivirus software.

McAfee Norton
Clear and intuitive interface Sleek and modern interface
Well-organized menu Logical menu structure
Color-coded indicators for protection status Clear notifications and recommendations

Pricing and Subscription Options

When it comes to pricing, both McAfee and Norton offer various subscription options for their antivirus software. However, there are some differences to consider when comparing the two.

McAfee Pricing

McAfee offers different tiers of antivirus protection, including McAfee Total Protection, McAfee LiveSafe, and McAfee AntiVirus Plus. The pricing for these packages varies depending on the number of devices and the duration of the subscription.

Package Devices Duration Price
McAfee Total Protection Up to 10 devices 1 year $39.99
McAfee LiveSafe Unlimited devices 1 year $49.99
McAfee AntiVirus Plus 1 device 1 year $19.99

Norton Pricing

Similarly, Norton offers different subscription options, including Norton 360 Standard, Norton 360 Deluxe, and Norton 360 with LifeLock Select. The pricing for these packages also varies based on the number of devices and the duration of the subscription.

Package Devices Duration Price
Norton 360 Standard 1 device 1 year $49.99
Norton 360 Deluxe Up to 5 devices 1 year $59.99
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select Unlimited devices 1 year $99.99

In terms of pricing, Norton’s packages tend to be slightly more expensive compared to McAfee. However, it’s important to consider the features and level of protection offered by each antivirus software when making a decision.

Customer Support and Satisfaction

When it comes to customer support and satisfaction, both McAfee and Norton are known for providing excellent services. They offer various channels for users to reach out to for help, including phone support, live chat, and email support.


McAfee has a dedicated team of customer support professionals who are available 24/7 to assist their customers. They have a user-friendly website with a comprehensive knowledge base that provides answers to frequently asked questions.

McAfee also offers phone support for immediate assistance. Users can call their customer support number and speak to a knowledgeable representative who can help troubleshoot any issues they may be facing.


Compared to McAfee, Norton also provides exceptional customer support. Their website is easy to navigate and provides helpful resources, including articles and video tutorials, to assist users in resolving their queries.

Norton’s customer support team is available around the clock and can be contacted via phone, live chat, or email. Their representatives are trained to provide prompt and effective solutions to any user concerns.

Customer Support Features McAfee Norton
24/7 Phone Support
Live Chat Support
Email Support
Comprehensive Knowledge Base

Both McAfee and Norton prioritize customer satisfaction and strive to ensure that their users have a smooth and hassle-free experience with their antivirus products. With their reliable customer support and comprehensive resources, users can rest assured knowing that help is just a call or click away.

Additional Security Features

When it comes to additional security features, Norton has an edge compared to McAfee. Norton offers a wide range of advanced features that provide enhanced protection to your devices. Some of these features include:

  • Smart Firewall: Norton’s Smart Firewall safeguards your internet connection and prevents unauthorized access to your network.
  • Safe Web Browsing: Norton’s Safe Web feature blocks malicious websites and protects you from online threats while browsing.
  • Identity Theft Protection: Norton’s Identity Theft Protection keeps your personal information secure and helps you prevent identity theft.
  • Parental Control: Norton’s Parental Control feature allows you to monitor and limit your children’s online activities, ensuring their safety on the internet.
  • Email and Spam Protection: Norton provides robust email and spam protection, protecting you from phishing attempts and spam messages.

While McAfee also offers some of these features, Norton’s comprehensive set of additional security features gives it the upper hand in terms of overall protection.

Compatibility with Operating Systems

When it comes to compatibility with operating systems, both Norton and McAfee offer robust protection across a wide range of platforms, ensuring that users can enjoy a secure online experience regardless of the device they are using.

Norton is compatible with various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. This means that whether you’re using a Windows PC, a MacBook, an Android smartphone, or an iPhone, Norton has got you covered. Its multi-platform compatibility allows you to protect all your devices under a single subscription.

Mcafee also supports a range of operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. With Mcafee, you can protect your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet, regardless of the operating system you’re using. This flexibility makes it an excellent choice for users who have multiple devices running on different platforms.

Both Norton and McAfee regularly update their software to ensure compatibility with the latest operating system updates and security patches. This ensures that users can benefit from the latest security features and protection against evolving cyber threats.

In terms of compatibility with operating systems, both Norton and McAfee are reliable choices that offer comprehensive protection for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. Users can choose the antivirus software that best suits their specific needs and enjoy a secure online experience across all their devices.

Firewall Protection

When it comes to firewall protection, Norton and McAfee offer similar features and functionalities, but there are some notable differences to consider.


Norton provides a robust firewall that actively monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic. It uses advanced algorithms to detect and block potential threats, such as unauthorized access attempts or suspicious activity. The firewall also includes customizable settings, allowing users to define specific rules and permissions for their network connections.

In addition to the traditional firewall, Norton also offers a two-way firewall that provides an extra layer of protection by monitoring both incoming and outgoing traffic simultaneously. This feature helps prevent malware or malicious software from establishing unauthorized connections to your system.


Compared to McAfee, Norton’s firewall is generally regarded as more robust and comprehensive. McAfee’s firewall provides standard functionality by monitoring network traffic and blocking potential threats. However, some users have reported issues with its performance, such as difficulties in configuring advanced settings or occasional bugs.

It’s worth noting that both Norton and McAfee regularly update their firewall software to ensure optimal protection against evolving threats. However, Norton’s firewall is often praised for its ease of use and reliability.


While both Norton and McAfee offer firewall protection, Norton’s firewall is generally favored for its advanced features, customizable settings, and reliable performance. However, individual preferences may vary, and it’s recommended to try out both solutions to determine which one better suits your specific needs and preferences.

Malware Protection

When it comes to malware protection, McAfee and Norton are both strong contenders. However, McAfee has an edge when compared to Norton.

McAfee’s malware protection features are comprehensive and include real-time scanning, file encryption, and ransomware protection. It also offers a unique feature called “Active Protection,” which constantly monitors and blocks emerging threats.

Norton, on the other hand, also provides solid malware protection with features like anti-phishing, firewall, and exploit protection. However, McAfee’s active protection and advanced detection techniques surpass Norton in terms of safeguarding against the latest malware.

McAfee’s malware protection is continuously updated to keep up with the evolving threats, ensuring that your device remains secure at all times. Norton, although reliable, may not have the same level of real-time protection as McAfee.

Ultimately, if you prioritize advanced malware protection and want to stay one step ahead of cyber threats, McAfee is the better choice compared to Norton.

Phishing Protection

When it comes to phishing protection, both Norton and McAfee offer top-notch features to keep you safe from online scams. Norton is known for its robust anti-phishing technology that constantly scans websites and emails for potential threats. With Norton, you can browse the internet with peace of mind, knowing that the software is actively monitoring and blocking malicious sites.

McAfee, on the other hand, also provides excellent phishing protection. Its anti-phishing feature identifies and blocks fraudulent websites that try to steal your personal information, such as passwords and credit card details. By using McAfee, you can stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and avoid falling victim to their scams.

When compared, both Norton and McAfee offer reliable protection against phishing attacks. However, it is important to note that no antivirus software can provide 100% protection. Cybercriminals are continually evolving their tactics, so it’s crucial to stay vigilant and employ safe browsing habits.

  • Always double-check the URLs of websites before entering any sensitive information.
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious email links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.
  • Keep your antivirus software and operating system up to date to ensure you have the latest security patches.
  • Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible for an extra layer of security.
  • Educate yourself about common phishing techniques and learn how to recognize telltale signs of a phishing attempt.

By following these best practices and using either Norton or McAfee, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to phishing attacks and protect your personal information.

Password Manager

Both Norton and McAfee offer password manager features as part of their antivirus software packages. Password managers are important tools for keeping your online accounts secure by securely storing and managing your passwords.

Norton Password Manager

Norton Password Manager is a built-in feature of Norton security software. It allows you to securely store your passwords and login information so that you don’t have to remember them yourself. Norton Password Manager can also generate strong, random passwords for you, making it easier to create secure passwords for new accounts.

With Norton Password Manager, you can also easily access your stored passwords across multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets. This ensures that you always have your passwords available when you need them, regardless of the device you are using.

McAfee Password Manager

McAfee also offers a password manager as part of its antivirus software. McAfee Password Manager provides similar features to Norton’s offering. It allows you to securely store and manage your passwords, and it can also generate strong passwords for you.

McAfee Password Manager also offers the ability to sync your passwords across multiple devices, making it convenient to access your passwords from anywhere. Additionally, it includes a password strength indicator, so you can easily see how secure your passwords are and make any necessary changes.

Overall, both Norton and McAfee offer reliable password manager features that can help you improve your online security. However, it’s worth noting that there are standalone password manager apps available that may offer even more advanced features and customization options compared to the built-in password managers provided by Norton and McAfee.

Overall Verdict

When it comes to choosing between McAfee and Norton, both antivirus software offer excellent protection against online threats. However, there are a few key differences to consider.

McAfee is known for its comprehensive suite of security tools, including antivirus, firewall, and identity theft protection. It offers a variety of features such as real-time scanning, automatic updates, and secure web browsing. McAfee is also compatible with multiple platforms, making it a versatile choice for users.

On the other hand, Norton focuses on providing strong antivirus protection with advanced ransomware and malware detection. It offers a user-friendly interface and is known for its excellent performance and minimal impact on system resources. Norton also provides additional features like a password manager and webcam protection.

Overall, both McAfee and Norton are reputable antivirus software options, but their key strengths differ. If you value a comprehensive security suite with a range of features, McAfee may be the better choice for you. If you prioritize strong antivirus protection with a user-friendly interface and minimal system impact, Norton may be the better option.


What is the difference between McAfee and Norton?

McAfee and Norton are both popular antivirus software that provide protection against malware, viruses, and other threats. One major difference between the two is the user interface, with Norton being known for its sleek and easy-to-use design. Additionally, Norton offers a wide range of features including online backup, parental controls, and a password manager, while McAfee focuses more on core antivirus protection. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on individual preferences and needs.

Which antivirus software offers better protection?

Both McAfee and Norton offer comprehensive protection against malware and viruses. They constantly update their virus definitions and use advanced detection techniques to identify and eliminate threats. It is difficult to determine which software offers better protection as their effectiveness can vary depending on the specific threat and the user’s behavior. It is recommended to regularly update and use whichever antivirus software you are comfortable with, as well as practice safe browsing habits to enhance your overall protection.

Is McAfee or Norton more resource-intensive?

Both McAfee and Norton have optimized their software to have minimal impact on system resources. However, some users may find that one software performs better than the other on their specific system. It is recommended to try the free trials of both software and see which one is more compatible with your computer’s performance. Additionally, regularly updating to the latest version of the software can also improve resource usage and overall performance.

Can McAfee and Norton be used together?

It is generally not recommended to use multiple antivirus software simultaneously, as they can interfere with each other’s functions and cause conflicts. McAfee and Norton have their own real-time protection and scanning processes which can clash and result in system instability. It is best to choose one antivirus software that meets your needs and stick with it. However, you can use other security tools alongside your chosen antivirus program, such as a firewall or anti-malware software, to enhance your protection.

How much do McAfee and Norton antivirus software cost?

The cost of McAfee and Norton antivirus software can vary depending on the specific package and the number of devices you wish to protect. Both companies offer different plans and subscription options. Norton typically has a range of plans starting from $39.99 per year for a single device, while McAfee offers plans starting from $34.99 per year for a single device. It is recommended to visit their official websites to get the most up-to-date pricing information.