Norton vs Bitdefender 2023: Which Antivirus Is Better?
Norton and Bitdefender have long battled for the #1 spot as the top antivirus brand, so you’re not alone if you’re finding it difficult to choose the better option. To narrow down the choice, I compared Norton and Bitdefender across 15 categories to see which antivirus would come out on top.
I was impressed that both antivirus programs provide excellent defense against all strains of malware — but Norton ultimately outperformed Bitdefender in security, performance, ease of use, and extra features. In comparison, Bitdefender’s standout features are its device optimization tools.
Don’t just take my word for it. You can test Norton for yourself using its 60-day money-back guarantee, which lets you try every feature risk-free to see if it meets all your needs.
No Time? Here’s a 1-Minute Summary of Category Winners
After comparing Norton and Bitdefender in 15 different areas, I found that Norton outperformed Bitdefender in malware detection rates, real-time protection, and extra features. Norton was the better antivirus in features and performance almost across the board.
|Virus Scanner||4 scan types with a perfect malware detection rate||5 scans available with a perfect malware detection rate (but more false positives)|
|Real-Time Malware Protection||Detects 100% of new malware threats||Detects 99.7% of new malware threats|
|System Performance||Minimal impact on the system||Slight delays when launching new webpages|
|VPN||Accesses popular streaming services with no data limit||Restrictive daily data cap and fails to access most streaming sites|
|Parental Controls||Easy to set up with a range of features for multiple devices||Easy to set up but iOS app lacks most features|
|Firewall||Customizable firewall available on all plans||Robust firewall but only available on premium plans|
|Password Manager||Unlimited password storage with a unique auto-change feature||Unlimited password storage|
|Gaming Mode||Silent Mode stops interruptions and optimizes performance||Game Mode stops interruptions but has a heavier system impact|
|Optimization Tools||Few optimization tools, but with no noticeable impact||OneClick Optimizer speeds up my system|
|Other Features||Cloud backup, webcam protection, browser extension, and identity theft protection (US only)||Webcam and microphone protection, email monitor, browser extension, file shredder, and secure browser|
|Device Compatibility||Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS||Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS|
|Customer Service||24/7 support with prompt and knowledgeable responses||Fast and helpful 24/7 support|
|Price||Premium features available on every plan, but more expensive||Budget plans have fewer features, but cheaper overall|
|Free Version||✘||Free plan includes basic malware protection and some extra features|
|Money-Back Guarantee||60 days||30 days|
How I Tested and Compared Norton vs Bitdefender
A good antivirus should have many quality features to be considered good. Since we’re comparing two competent solutions, we’re stacking them against each other in 15 categories. Those are:
- Virus Scanner — How effectively each antivirus is at blocking and removing malware and the available scanning options.
- Real-Time Malware Protection — How well both antiviruses detected the newest threats.
- System Performance — Measuring each antivirus’s impact on my system.
- VPN — Contrasting the speeds, security, streaming capability, and server coverage of the VPNs bundled in each antivirus.
- Parental Controls — Whether they offered a parental controls app and tested the features to see if they were any good.
- Firewall — How easy it is to customize the firewall and if it provides solid network security.
- Password Manager — How both password managers work and what their features are.
- Gaming Mode — Whether they have a dedicated gaming mode to see if it improves my gaming experience.
- Optimization Tools — Total number of optimization tools and testing them to know which one offers better features.
- Other Features — Any other features included with both antiviruses.
- Device Compatibility — Which platforms are supported by each antivirus.
- Customer Service — How easy is to contact, the speed of response, and the helpfulness of each support channel.
- Price — Available plans for each antivirus to find the best value.
- Free Version — Whether the antivirus has a free plan and if it’s any good.
- Money-Back Guarantee — How fast the money-back guarantee can be used for both services, and how long it is.
Stay protected with Norton 360
1. Virus Scanner — Norton’s Fast Scans Detect 100% of Known Malware
Norton and Bitdefender both offer perfect malware detection rates. However, Norton emerges as the winner due to its exceptionally fast scanning times. During my tests, it took Norton just 2 minutes to detect 100% of the malware samples I planted on my test machine when I ran the quick scan. The full disk scan was equally fast, taking just 12 minutes, which was impressive considering that many other AVs take hours for such scans.
Bitdefender on the other hand took almost an hour for a similar full disk scan. Below is an overview of my test results for the most-used scan types for both AVs on my Windows laptop, which has 500GB of data.
|Quick Scan||Full Scan|
|Norton||First Scan||2 minutes||12 minutes|
|Subsequent Scan||>1 minute||3 minutes|
|Bitdefender||First Scan||7 minutes||48 minutes|
|Subsequent Scan||3 minutes||10 minutes|
I particularly like that Norton’s scan times improve even more with its “Insight” feature. This feature learns which files are secure and excludes them from future scans, allowing Norton to reduce scan time by 75%. Bitdefender employs a similar technique to reduce its scan times, but it’s not as effective as Norton’s.
I also compared how many legitimate files both wrongly flagged during scans. Some antiviruses can be overly aggressive and mark safe files as malicious, so you have to spend time manually recovering them. I was impressed to find that Norton didn’t have a single false positive in tests. In contrast, Bitdefender had 7 false positives, and I found it inconvenient to go through the quarantine folder and restore them.
I did like that Bitdefender has more scan types, including a Rescue Environment Scan that reboots your device in safe mode to detect the toughest threats. Norton has a similar Power Eraser feature, but it’s only available for Windows devices.
Both antiviruses caused minimal CPU spikes. Both Bitdefender and Norton bumped my CPU usage up from 4% to 9%, which wasn’t enough to cause a noticeable difference in performance.
Although these 2 antiviruses provide top-tier protection from known malware — Norton provides more reliable malware detection with no false positives and faster scans.
Virus Scanner Winner: Norton
Remove malware with Norton 360
2. Real-Time Malware Protection — Norton Is More Effective at Finding New Threats
Norton has a perfect detection rate of the latest cyber threats. However, Bitdefender scored exceptionally well at 99.7%. Both antiviruses are effective at catching threats in real time, including malware, phishing links, malicious URLs in scam emails, and other web threats.
During my tests, I opened over 250 known phishing links on my web browser. While Norton detected 99% of phishing links, Bitdefender only detected 96% of the links. However, both antiviruses surpassed the industry average of 85% detection for phishing URLs and blocked 100% of the malicious links.
Both Norton and Bitdefender use similar protection technology. Bitdefender’s Threat Detection uses behavioral detection to recognize threats before they infect your devices. Norton’s SONAR analysis uses 2 methods to secure your devices; first, it matches known threat signatures against the files or websites you interact with; second, it examines the behavior of software to determine potentially malicious activity before the threat is widely known. Using this 2-step approach, Norton is slightly more effective at finding new threats.
I particularly like that Norton and Bitdefender don’t require any manual input when they detect malware. The malicious files are sent directly to quarantine, where they cannot infect your device. You can delete them later, or they can stay in quarantine indefinitely.
These antivirus services have excellent real-time protection from advanced threats like viruses, spyware, and ransomware. However, if you want the absolute best, then Norton is the top choice because of its excellent detection rates.
Real-Time Malware Protection Winner: Norton
Get rid of threats with Norton 360
3. System Performance — Norton Has a Much Smaller Impact System Performance
Norton and Bitdefender are designed to be as low-impact as possible, consuming only minimal system resources. However, Norton wins this round due to having almost no impact on your system.
You don’t want antivirus software that takes a heavy toll on your PC as it could slow it down, which could be very frustrating. Luckily, Norton only utilized 4-9% of my CPU power, even during full-system scans. I didn’t experience lag during scans; I could download and launch apps quickly, and I even transferred a 5GB file without slowdown.
Similarly, after installing Bitdefender on my computer, I didn’t experience any major system slowdown. It had a similar CPU usage as Norton when running scans (jumped up to 9%), but I noticed a much bigger impact when launching websites.
Bitdefender slowed my PC by 17% when I opened a new web page, which equates to a few more seconds of wait time. This isn’t a huge issue for me as my computer didn’t freeze, but it was a noticeable difference and added up over time.
Here’s an idea of how both antiviruses impacted my system performance.
|Slower copying of files (locally and in a network)||7%||5%|
|Slower download of frequently-used applications||1%||3%|
|Slower launch of standard software applications||10%||10%|
Overall, both antiviruses didn’t impact my system by a lot. However, if you want your devices to work at top speed continually, then Norton’s software makes a noticeably smaller impact on your system’s performance. Norton is lightweight software, and you’ll find that it doesn’t interrupt other activities you carry out on your system.
System Performance Winner: Norton
4. VPN — Norton’s VPN Accesses More Streaming Platforms
Norton’s Secure VPN beats Bitdefender’s equivalent by providing unlimited data for free. Only a few antivirus programs offer worthwhile built-in VPNs. Norton’s VPN is good for streaming and other online activities. I was even surprised that the VPN is available on all of Norton’s plans as a separate app and doesn’t cost extra.
Unlike Bitdefender, which only gives you 200MB daily, you won’t be restricted by a tiny data allowance with Norton. You can use Norton’s Secure VPN as much as you want for online browsing, shopping, and banking.
A VPN creates a secure tunnel that encrypts your connection, allowing you to surf the web safely. You can also use it to access your home content on streaming services when traveling, as well as keep your data secure when surfing the web.
I was especially pleased that Norton’s Secure VPN could access popular streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. However, the limited number of server locations (30 worldwide) did result in slower speeds and some buffering while streaming.
Bitdefender’s VPN has faster speeds for streaming without lag — over 40Mbps in most locations, which is fast enough for Ultra HD quality, but it could only access BBC iPlayer. While Bitdefender’s VPN offered slightly more server locations than Norton, the 200MB data cap made it impossible to do more than check my emails and run a speed test.
If you’re looking for an antivirus with a free integrated VPN, Norton’s Secure VPN is a better option than Bitdefender.
VPN Winner: Norton
Browse Securely with Norton 360
5. Parental Controls — Norton Is the Better Antivirus for Families
Norton’s parental controls are the clear winner, providing full coverage and customizable protection. While Bitdefender is decent (especially its geofencing feature), it’s too complex to configure and use daily.
I found it easy to install and use Norton’s parental controls app. The parental controls are only available through the standalone Norton Family app, which is included free in all subscription plans. After subscribing to a Norton plan, you only need to download the Norton Family app on mobile or the browser extension on a desktop, sign in with your login credentials, and create a child profile to start using it.
I like that I can access parental controls from anywhere. I monitored my child’s iPad activity through Norton Family’s central dashboard from my Chrome browser. This gave me peace of mind that I could check on them whenever needed.
Bitdefender’s parental controls apps were equally easy to use. All I had to do was configure parental control, create a child profile (by adding name and age), install the Bitdefender Parental Control app on my child’s phone, and create an account. I found it easy to navigate through the app. The only downside I observed was that you could only link 1 device to a child. I don’t find it convenient having to create multiple child profiles across my daughter’s 3 devices.
Both antiviruses have content filtering (blocks inappropriate websites) and GPS tracking (tracks and locates your child’s device). You can also schedule downtime and set time limits, which is useful for monitoring overall screen time. I like that both plans include app control too, allowing you to block apps that aren’t appropriate for your children. This includes social media and messaging apps like Facebook or Twitter.
Norton’s parental controls are much more effective on Android and iOS. I found that Norton’s coverage was similar on both apps, featuring GPS tracking and app control on both. With Bitdefender, parental controls for iOS were almost non-existent and only included call monitoring.
Parental Controls Winner: Norton
6. Firewall — Norton Offers a More Sophisticated Firewall
Bitdefender and Norton both have intelligent firewalls, but Norton’s Smart Firewall offers more customizable options. A firewall blocks all unauthorized traffic on your computer, preventing cybercriminals from hijacking your system.
Norton’s firewall is very impressive in itself, as it needs no configuration. It offers many advanced features missing in the built-in firewall for Windows and macOS. As soon as you launch the app, Norton’s firewall completely protects you from incoming and outgoing threats through its Intrusion Prevention System.
Norton has one of the most sophisticated firewalls I’ve seen in an antivirus. It provides advanced security features, such as:
- ARP and DNS spoofing protection
- Content tampering detection
- Uncommon protocols filtering
- SSL man-in-the-middle attack detection, and
- Port access detection.
It’s also very customizable, making it an excellent choice for more advanced users who want greater control over how apps connect to the internet.
In addition, Norton’s firewall allows you to “whitelist” apps that can access the internet freely. While you can manually configure the whitelist, the firewall will also gradually learn which apps are safe through frequent use and background monitoring.
Bitdefender’s firewall is equally powerful and customizable, but if you choose a low-cost plan, you’ll miss out. On supported plans, you can configure the firewall for different networks (like home, work, and public) to adjust the protection settings. Bitdefender also includes a unique Stealth Mode that hides your presence on a connected network.
Overall, both firewalls are effective at securing your network from threats. However, Norton is slightly better as its firewall is available on all plans, is more customizable, and offers more protection against network intrusion attacks.
Firewall Winner: Norton
Stay protected with Norton 360
7. Password Manager — Norton Makes Password Management Hassle-Free
After testing the password managers bundled in both antivirus suites, I found that Norton had the superior password manager. A password manager is an essential component of the best antivirus programs. A good password manager allows you to:
- Store all your passwords in a secure vault (away from hackers)
- Generate secure passwords
- Auto-fill your logins across multiple sites, and
- Check if your passwords have been compromised in a data breach
Both antivirus contenders offer these essentials and more. Still, Norton’s auto-change feature is something I haven’t seen on other password managers, giving it the edge over Bitdefender in this category. I found Norton’s auto-change very useful for improving my account security. I used it with sites like Facebook, Reddit, and Netflix to update passwords at risk of being compromised.
Norton created a new secure password and automatically changed it on the website. It’s a convenient feature as I didn’t have to change any of my passwords to upgrade my security manually. Auto-change doesn’t work for every site, but it has broad functionality across popular websites and streaming services.
Both Norton and Bitdefender have unlimited password storage, which is ideal if you have a lot of online accounts. They’re also both straightforward to use and set up. I found both password managers worked well when auto-filling credentials and logging in — I didn’t have to wait long to access my accounts.
Bitdefender’s auto-fill feature was a little faster than Norton’s, taking about 1 second to fill in my details automatically. I also like that Bitdefender’s auto-fill feature could quickly fill complex website forms, which makes inputting payment information seamless when shopping. However, Norton’s unique auto-change feature and easy-to-use interface make it the top choice.
Password Manager Winner: Norton
8. Gaming Mode — Norton’s Silent Mode Lets You Game Without Interruptions
Norton and Bitdefender have features that optimize gaming. Bitdefender labels this feature as Game Mode, while Norton calls it Silent Mode, but it’s basically the same thing. It allows you to carry out full-screen activities without interruptions.
When it’s switched on, Norton’s Silent Mode will stop notifications so you can play games without interruption. It also diverts CPU power away from background processes and sends it to your full-screen app or game, resulting in smoother gameplay.
Whenever I opened a full-screen app, Norton’s Silent Mode was automatically turned on, but there was also the option to switch it on for specific programs on my system manually.
I was happy to see that Norton boosted my computer’s performance while gaming. I checked Norton’s Performance Graph Tool and found that many apps are minimized to boost overall performance.
Bitdefender’s Game Mode is highly configurable, making it a solid choice for users who want to customize which games or apps it works with. I like that when Game Mode is combined with Bitdefender’s AutoPilot, the software learns how you use your device and makes optimizations automatically.
Like Norton, Bitdefender’s Gamer Mode minimizes CPU usage by stopping unnecessary background tasks and notifications and assigning more system resources to the gameplay. It was very helpful when I played Call of Duty: Warzone. I didn’t experience lags throughout the time I was gaming.
However, Bitdefender does have a slightly higher system impact, so Norton is the better choice for gamers.
Gaming Mode Winner: Norton
9. Optimization Tools — Bitdefender’s Tune-Up Tools Improved My PC Performance
Bitdefender won this round because its optimization tools had a noticeable impact on my overall system performance. Other than that, both AVs offer basic optimization tools.
You’ll get 4 optimization tools in Norton’s 360 plans.
- Disk Optimizer — Defragments your drive to create free space
- File Cleanup — Scans and removes temporary, duplicate, and browser registry files
- Startup Manager — Select which programs start when your computer turns on
- Graph — As mentioned above, shows all changes Norton makes on my PC and monitors processes and their CPU usage
I tested these optimization tools and freed up some space, however, I didn’t notice any significant improvement in the performance of my PC.
In comparison, Bitdefender’s Optimizer comes with all its paid plans. Its “OneClick Optimizer” has 3 optimization tools automatically activated with one click.
- Disk Cleanup — Removes all junk and duplicate files within your system
- Registry Cleanup — Fixes registry issues
- Privacy Cleanup — Removes browser cookies and unwanted browser files
During my tests, Bitdefender’s One-Click Optimizer removed 3.89GB of junk files from my PC, but I couldn’t find in-depth details for all the files that were being removed. Also, it lacked a Startup Manager feature that would have sped up my boot time by preventing some programs from starting when I started my PC
Bitdefender also offers other optimization features built into the software. These include:
- Photon — Helps the software to adapt to your system and the way you use it, making automatic optimizations to improve overall performance, speed, and increase computing resources (not available on Antivirus Plus or Internet Security plans)
- Battery Mode — Saves battery life by making small changes to device settings, like Bluetooth, system updates, and display settings
I particularly like the Photon feature, which works in the background to constantly monitor and optimize your device. Overall, Bitdefender’s optimization tools work well to boost performance and create valuable space on your device.
Optimization Tools Winner: Bitdefender
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10. Other Features — Bitdefender Has More Bonus Security and Privacy Tools
Bitdefender offers many more security features than Norton. It is important to stay protected from hackers, keyloggers, phishing scams, and other online threats, but not all antivirus suites offer comprehensive protection. Luckily, Bitdefender’s app includes features that make browsing, banking, and shopping online much more secure.
Here’s a breakdown of the extra features offered by both antivirus suites.
|Identity Theft Protection||✔||✔|
Norton also offers a few extra features, and some, like its Identity Theft protection, are only available for US customers. It lacks the file shredder and secure browser features that Bitdefender offers.
However, I do like the addition of Cloud Backup on all of Norton’s plans . This is a way to protect your sensitive information from ransomware attacks — if your data is in cloud storage, hackers can’t hold it for ransom. The amount of storage you get depends on your chosen plan, ranging from 2GB to 500GB.
Other Features Winner: Bitdefender
Stay protected with Bitdefender
11. Device Compatibility — Both Antiviruses Support Desktop and Mobile Operating Systems
Both Norton and Bitdefender are compatible with popular operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. They offer user-friendly interfaces across the supported devices and make navigation very easy.
I tested both antiviruses on my Windows PC and noticed that they are both optimized for all the latest Windows versions, such as Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11. Likewise, Norton and Bitdefender support macOS 10.10 and later.
I’m particularly impressed with Bitdefender’s apps, as all the features are explained in detail. This means you can make easy changes without worrying about switching off an important setting, which is reassuring especially for first-time antivirus users.
Norton’s desktop apps are also very user-friendly, although I had trouble locating the firewall feature hidden in the settings section.
I also found it easy to install Norton and Bitdefender on Android and iOS. The Android app for both antiviruses offers more comprehensive features than the iOS options. It’s understandable, however, given that iOS “sandboxes” its apps, so full system scans aren’t possible.
Here’s a quick look at what Norton and Bitdefender include in their Android apps:
The iOS apps for both antiviruses have minimal features and don’t have real-time malware protection. These apps are largely designed to scan for existing malware and add a few security features, like anti-phishing and web security. Norton has a few more iOS features than Bitdefender, including call blocking and a privacy report that monitors your personal details.
Device Compatibility Winner: Tie
Protect your device with Norton
12. Customer Service — Norton and Bitdefender Offer Helpful 24/7 Support
I was pleased to find that both Norton and Bitdefender have excellent customer support. Both antiviruses have a 24/7 live chat, phone support, and community forum.
Norton’s 24/7 live chat support was fast to connect with, as was Bitdefender’s. I was connected to an agent in less than 1 minute. The support staff was knowledgeable, and I was given thorough answers that fully resolved my issues. You’ll get fast and helpful support across all channels when you subscribe to any of Norton’s plans.
Phone support is equally excellent for both antiviruses. I waited around 10 minutes before being connected to support agents. Norton’s phone support is available in 53 countries and languages, such as English, French, Mandarin, Arabic, and German, while Bitdefender offers phone service in 17 countries and 10 languages.
After subscribing to Bitdefender, I was impressed with the quality of support I got when I had a few technical issues. Bitdefender’s email support is surprisingly fast — I got a response in just over an hour. The email I received was polite, helpful, and answered my question. Overall, both Norton and Bitdefender have top-tier customer service.
Customer Service Winner: Tie
13. Price — Bitdefender Is Cheaper, but Norton Offers More Value for Money
Bitdefender is considerably cheaper than Norton — it doesn’t cost much to get a good number of features across the pricing plans. However, Norton’s feature-packed plans are great value for money.
- Antivirus Plus — A basic Windows-only antivirus with ransomware protection
- Internet Security — A mid-tier plan only for Windows, but it lacks a device optimizer
- Total Security — An upper-mid-tier plan that includes most security features except for identity theft protection, and it protects 10 devices.
- Premium Security — Includes every security feature except for identity theft protections and protects 10 devices.
- Ultimate Security — Includes every security feature as well as identity theft protection and protects 10 devices
Norton offers multiple subscription plans as follows:
- Norton Antivirus Plus — Offers malware protection, covers only 1 device but offers additional features like online threat protection, 2GB cloud backup, a firewall, and a password manager
- Norton 360 Standard — Includes all the features of the Plus Plan, supports up to 3 devices, PC Safecam, and dark web monitoring.
- Norton 360 Deluxe — Supports all the features in the Standard plan. It covers 5 devices and offers 50GB of cloud storage, parental controls, school time, VPN, and a privacy monitor.
Norton 360 Select — Has all the Deluxe plan features, offers 250GB cloud storage, covers 10 devices, stolen wallet protection, identity restoration, credit monitoring, and ID verification monitoring.
Every Norton plan has real-time protection, a firewall, a password manager, VPN, and webcam protection. Every plan also supports Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. Norton’s most expensive package even has unlimited device licenses.
In contrast, Bitdefender’s firewall isn’t available on the 2 cheapest plans, and the optimization tools are only included in the most expensive plan.
Both antiviruses offer steep discounts for the first year’s subscription and double the cost on renewal. It’s worth considering how much the price will jump if you continue your subscription. Norton’s lowest price starts at $9.99, while Bitdefender starts at $19.99, but in the long run, Norton costs more.
If you’re looking for a high-quality antivirus that is a bit more budget-friendly, Bitdefender is an excellent choice. However, you can sign up for Norton’s plans to have more comprehensive antivirus protection. I find the Norton 360 Select plan of great value, seeing that it protects up to 10 and gives me 250GB of cloud backup.
Price Winner: Tie
Try Bitdefender free for 30 days
14. Free Version — Bitdefender’s Free Plan Includes Malware Protection
Bitdefender wins this category by default as Norton does not offer a free plan. That being said, I’m impressed by the coverage you get with Bitdefender’s free plan. You can use it on up to 25 different devices on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
You can sign up for Bitdefender Free without any credit card details. You’ll get the basic virus scanner, anti-phishing and anti-fraud protection, web filtering, and optimization tools. However, Bitdefender Free is missing ransomware protection, which isn’t full coverage. That said, if you’re not using your device to store sensitive data like banking information or confidential work, Bitdefender’s free version is better than no protection at all.
Free Version Winner: Bitdefender
Try Bitdefender free for 30 days
15. Money-Back Guarantee — Norton Gives You a Generous 60 Days to Test the Service
Norton and Bitdefender both offer money-back guarantees, but Norton wins this category, given that its money-back guarantee period is twice as long as Bitdefender’s. If you’re no longer satisfied with the service, Norton makes it easy to get a full refund. By subscribing to Norton, you get access to the 60-day money-back guarantee.
I only had to message a Norton representative via its 24/7 live chat to process my refund during my tests. The agent offered to troubleshoot the software and even add a free month to my subscription to get me to reconsider. However, the agent promptly processed my refund when I confirmed I wanted to cancel. I had the money back in my account in 5 days.
Unlike Norton, Bitdefender offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. While shorter, when combined with the 30-day free trial, you get 60 days as well to test Bitdefender. However, Bitdefender takes longer to get a refund confirmation. The process is just as easy — I sent an email to Bitdefender’s customer support canceling my subscription — but it took 5 days to get a response.
This worried me a bit as I wanted to make sure my cancellation request was within the deadline. I recommend sending an email well ahead of the 30-day deadline to ensure you don’t miss out on the money-back guarantee. After I received confirmation, I had my money back from Bitdefender in 5 days.
It’s always worth testing antivirus software to ensure it’s right for you. I recommend you sign up with Norton’s 60-day money-back guarantee as it’s a generous amount of time (plus you get almost instant confirmation of your refund).
Money-Back Guarantee Winner: Norton
And the Winner Is… Norton
Both antiviruses provide excellent protection and features, but Norton emerges as the winner and comes out on top in 9 out of the 15 categories. Norton will protect all your devices from malware threats, giving you all-around security. It also includes important features like a firewall, password manager, VPN, and cloud storage in all its plans, giving it an edge over Bitdefender.
Bitdefender also provides robust security features. However, it shines more with its optimization tools. You get features like its OneClick Optimizer, Photon technology, and antivirus profiles that boost your device’s performance. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for an antivirus that will speed up your device.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure a product is right for you is to try it yourself. You get 60 days to test Norton risk-free using its money-back guarantee. The refund confirmation takes a couple of minutes, and you’ll have your money back in 5 days or less.
You can equally test Bitdefender for free for 30-days using either the 30-day free trial or the 30-day money-back guarantee, which, combined, gives you 60-days to test the service. But if you need to process your refund, Bitdefender takes longer to confirm the refund (up to 5 days), but you’ll still be able to get your money back in less than a week.
- Virus Scanner — Norton
- Real-Time Malware Protection — Norton
- System Performance — Norton
- VPN — Norton
- Parental Controls — Norton
- Firewall — Norton
- Password Manager — Norton
- Gaming Mode — Norton
- Optimization Tools — Bitdefender
- Other Features — Bitdefender
- Device Compatibility — Tie
- Customer Service — Tie
- Price — Tie
- Free Version — Bitdefender
- Money-Back Guarantee — Norton
Overall Winner: Norton
How To Download Norton on Your Device
- Sign up for an antivirus plan — Go to Norton’s website and subscribe to any of the antivirus plans. Norton 360 Select plan offers robust security features for 10 devices.
- Download and install the app — Download the antivirus program to your device and run the installer file.
- Launch the app and run a full scan — Once installation is complete, launch the antivirus program and run a full scan to ensure your device is malware-free.
FAQs About Norton vs Bitdefender
What makes an antivirus good?
A good antivirus program should provide comprehensive security features such as malware detection, VPN, password manager, firewall, and phishing protection. Most importantly, it should offer real-time protection against zero-day threats and shouldn’t consume too many system resources. Luckily, both Norton and Bitdefender are good antivirus suites. So, whichever option you choose, you’re good to go.
Is Norton better than Bitdefender?
Yes. While Norton and Bitdefender offer excellent protection against malware and other security options, in our tests, Norton has an edge in performance and features. It detects more real-time threats and offers more useful additional features.
Bitdefender is still a great antivirus, excelling in optimization tools and a wide range of extra features. It’s a great choice if you need an antivirus that will make your device faster.
Is the Norton 360 Deluxe plan better value than Bitdefender’s Total Security plan?
Yes. Norton’s 360 Deluxe plan offers better value than Bitdefender’s Total Security plan. On a price basis, Bitdefender Total Security is cheaper and covers up to 10 devices. In comparison, Norton 360 Deluxe covers only 5 devices and costs slightly more. However, Norton 360 Deluxe provides up to 50GB of secure cloud backup, unlimited VPN, and perfect real-time protection scores with zero false positives, making it a more valuable plan.
What devices can I use Norton and Bitdefender on?
Norton and Bitdefender are both compatible with all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Both desktop and mobile apps are user-friendly and give you maximum protection against malware and other threats on up 10 or unlimited devices on the top-tier plans of Bitdefender and Norton, respectively.
Do I need a VPN?
Yes. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an important tool for everyday internet users. It creates a secure tunnel and encrypts your internet traffic, allowing you to stay protected from hackers and malware, stream your home content when traveling, and browse the web securely.
ExpressVPN offers one of the best VPN services on the market. It provides super-fast speeds, secure servers, and military-grade encryption technology, protecting you when surfing the internet.
Can I use a free antivirus?
Yes, but not all free antiviruses are safe. Some free antivirus like Avast has been caught selling their user’s data to third parties. Bitdefender offers a free antivirus that is safe to use. However, I usually caution against free antiviruses for privacy concerns and their limited features.
If you value your privacy and want top-notch security features, you should consider investing in a premium antivirus. Norton offers robust protection against malware and a host of additional security features, which will keep you safe from cyber threats.