We have combined this comprehensive comparison based on seasoned experts’ research and the top independent labs in the world. That way, you can make an informed decision when choosing the best antivirus for you.

We follow four labs that regularly release detailed reports: AV-Test Institute based in Germany, MRG-Effitas, and SE Labs in the UK and AV-Comparatives based in Austria.

In its 2019 State of Email Security Report, Mimecast found that 53% of organizations experienced a ransomware attack that led to at least a partial disruption of business operations. The previous year, only 27% of organizations reported experiencing these types of malware attacks.

AV-Test Institute reports that the total number of malware has grown over 100 million in the last year from 923 million to 1.06 billion. When 25% of breaches are motivated by espionage, a staggering 71% are financially motivated.

In this head-to-head battle, you’ll see the security products, features, and tools both companies offer. We look at how they stack up against each other regarding malware protection, system performance, user interface, cost, and more.

Here are the most important factors that we’ve compared:

  • Protection
  • Performance
  • Usability
  • Features
  • Pricing

We do this, so you have an easy way to choose the software that best serves your needs. And you may never have to pay criminals for your data.

So let’s get on with it.

A quick overview of the results

We have created this quick overview for an easy comparison of all the important facts. If you’re in a bit of a hurry, that’s the right place to start.

  • Protection

    Both AVG and Norton offer excellent protection. Still, Norton is a little better, according to two out of three labs.

  • Performance

    Norton shows better test results than AVG in every aspect. It lets you load websites, download, and open applications faster.

  • Usability

    Both our competitors have easy-to-use interfaces, but AVG had some problems with false reports. Norton never showed any false notifications.

  • Features

    Both companies offer products for every need you may have. That is why we really can't point out a clear winner.

  • Pricing

    When comparing the prices, we can see that Norton offers the best bang for the buck. Its products are available at lower price points.

A short verdict

Norton is better antivirus software than AVG. With 100% protection abilities and highest-class performance, it is the best in the business, available at a much more reasonable price.

  1. Our top-rated software
    Norton Antivirus logo

    Norton

    Norton has been performing with 100% results in all of the tests. It's the highest-rated software in the independent labs' eyes, and we see the reasons as well. If you want the best in the world, you'll get Norton.

    Special offer - up to 60% offGet the best dealFrom $29.99 / year
  2. Comprehensive security
    AVG Antivirus logo

    AVG

    AVG offers everything you need for securing your computer against viruses, malware, and more – both offline and online.

    Special offer - 43% offGet the best dealFrom $39.99 / year

Detailed results

To get the best overview, we have to dive into the details and get to know the products through and through. It’s the best way to make an informed decision. So let’s see all the stats and details we uncovered during our research. We put AVG and Norton head-to-head in all the categories using data gathered by our experts and test results of top independent testing facilities.

Time to dig in.

Protection

The results in this category are undoubtedly the most important when choosing which antivirus software to buy. After all, its ability to keep you and your files, photos, and documents safe is why you’re considering installing it in the first place.

The last tests run by independent test facilities show that AVG and Norton are excellent choices. Both offer high-grade security for your computer.

Here are the test results from three labs, AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives, so that you can see for yourself.

AV-Test put both software up against 402 samples of 0-day malware attacks and 20606 samples of malware during a four week period.

AVG and Norton protected against all threats and detected every single sample of malware.

Industry average AVG Norton
Protection against 0-day malware attacks, inclusive of web and email threats

402 samples used

Detection of widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks

20 606 samples used

Source: av-test.org

SE Labs use a bit of a different testing method. It conducts tests and gives each product a protection score based on the overall level of protection, making no distinction between neutralized and blocked incidents. For each product, they add blocked and neutralized cases together to create a straightforward tally. AVG scored 98 out of 100. Norton earned a perfect 100 points.

AVG Norton
Protection score

Source: selabs.uk

AV-Comparatives put our contenders up against 754 threats, and both did well. AVG’s protection rate was 99,7%. Norton got a perfect result in that lab as well. One of only 3 in the world that blocked all the threats.

AVG Norton
Blocked
Compromised
Protection rate

Source: av-comparatives.org

As you can see, there are two excellent examples of great protection. Still, Norton did a little better, according to SE-Labs and AV-comparatives.

Winner: Norton

Performance

Choosing between two software can be tough when both offer excellent protection. That’s why you must consider other aspects. One of the most important things to look at is how much of a toll it takes on your computer. Does it slow the computer down, or are you able to do everything you need with ease?

Our experience has shown, it can be quite a problem in some cases.

AV-Test conducts tests to find out how antivirus software impacts the computer’s ability to perform. Results show that AVG lets you install frequently-used applications faster than the industry average. There are some problems when launching websites or apps, though.

Tests also show that Norton performed better than the industry average in all the categories. These are some of the best results we’ve ever seen. Nice job.

Industry average AVG Norton
Slowing-down when launcing popular websites

50 websites visited

Slower download of frequently-used applications

20 downloaded files

Slower launch of standard software

12 test cases applied

Slower installation of frequently-used applications

19 installed applications

Slower copying of files (locally and in a network)

7388 files copied

Source: av-test.org

Norton shows better test results than AVG in every aspect. It lets you load websites, download, and open applications faster.

Winner: Norton

Usability

Suppose you’ve found the perfect antivirus that keeps you safe and doesn’t take a toll on your computer. In that case, you also have to consider its everyday usability.

There are two aspects to compare. Firstly, its interface and how easy it is to use. Secondly, the software’s false reporting. False error notifications can get annoying quickly. And when a real one shows up, we might even ignore it altogether.

To find the best option, let’s compare the interfaces first.

AVG has a simplistic, modern design that is easy on the eyes. The excellent color contrast makes information easy to grasp, and minimalist icons are understandable at first sight.

The first thing you notice is a green tick that says if your computer is protected. If there are some problems with malware or any of the features is disabled, it lets you know.

On the main screen, you will find all the features separately as well – Computer, Web & Email, Hacker Attacks, Privacy, and Payments.

You can also see when you ran the last scan and when the virus definition database was updated.

With just one click, you can start a smart scan. If you prefer to run a different scan, click on the three dots that are part of the button.

AVG User Interface Screenshot

Norton’s design creates a pleasant atmosphere with a scenic photo on the left of its main window. You can also see your subscription status there.

On the opposite side is the most crucial information about your device. You can see your security, VPN, cloud backup, and password manager.

With ease, you can open up the security panel or configure any of the above options.

Norton Main Screen User Interface Screenshot

The security window lets you dive even more into detail. You can quickly start a new scan and see the date of your last scan.

You can also add devices if you have a bundled option or subscribe for more.

You’ll get easy access to all the features you have subscribed to in the bottom part of the window. Plus, there is the length of your remaining subscription there.

Norton User Interface Screenshot

Now let’s dive into false reporting.

AV-Test labs also gather information on false reporting. The results show that AVG had a few false notifications pop up, while Norton had no problems.

Industry average AVG Norton
False warnings or blockages when visiting websites

500 samples used

False detections of legimate software as malware during a system scan

964 585 samples used

False warnings concerning certain actions carried out whilst installing and using legitimate software

87 samples used

False blockages of certain actions carried out whilst installing and using legitimate software

87 samples used

Source: av-test.org

As both our competitors have easy-to-use interfaces, it all comes down to false reporting. Norton dominated that test with no false reports. AVG, on the other hand, performed below industry average with five false notifications.

Winner: Norton

Features

AVG and Norton have a wide range of security options available. There are bundled options as well as separate applications to keep you and your files safe.

Let’s see what AVG has to offer first.

AVG’s product line consists of security, performance, and privacy tools. Let’s talk about the most important ones first – the security line.

AVG entry-level product is actually free and called AVG Antivirus Free. It is available both on PC and MAC, as well as for your mobile devices. You can scan your device and find the viruses, spyware, ransomware, and other malware. It also blocks unsafe links, downloads, and email attachments. AVG’s free option can also point out any performance issues your PC has.

But if you want real ongoing protection, it’s better to opt for AVG Internet Security with a lot more features. That way, you’ll get real-time security updates, and your webcam is safe from any peeping Toms. AVG’s enhanced firewall will keep any hacker out, and your private folders will get an extra layer of ransomware protection. AVG Internet Security will also help you avoid fake websites so you won’t get scammed online. It’s available as one device option and a ten device bundle for families.

AVG performance division offers two products – AVG TuneUp for PC and Mac, and AVG Driver Updater for PC. TuneUp lets you get the most out of your computer with automatic maintenance and removing unneeded files and apps. Driver Updater keeps all your drivers up to date without you having to lift a finger.

AVG also offers three privacy products – AVG Secure VPN and AVG Secure Browser for PC and Mac, as well as AVG AntiTrack for PC. Secure VPN will secure any WiFi wherever you go, so your browsing, banking, and online payments stay hidden and protected. It will also keep your online activity private with an encrypted connection. That means nobody sees what you do online, including hackers, your ISP, and even the government. VPN also gives you unrestricted, worldwide access. A list of anonymous international servers lets you pick a country of your choice, and surf and stream as if you were there.

All of AVG products are also available as a big bundle called AVG Ultimate. It consists of AVG Internet Security, TuneUp, and Secure VPN. When going for this option, you’ll get all of AVG’s products at a reasonable price.

View all AVG products

Now let’s take a look at what Norton has to offer.

Norton’s entry-level security product is called Norton AntiVirus Plus, available for PCs and Macs. It comes with real-time threat protection, a password manager and a firewall. If you’re using Windows, you’ll get 2 GB of cloud backup as well.

Norton also has a separate VPN option called Norton Secure VPN. It helps secure private information like your passwords, bank account details, and credit card information when using public Wi-Fi on your PC, Mac, or mobile device.

There are three options for the software – 1 device, 5 devices, and 10 devices. You’ll get bank-grade encryption and can browse anonymously if you’d like to. These options prevent you from being tracked by online advertisers and other companies.

Norton Secure VPN also offers you access to your favorite websites, videos, or apps when traveling. Even if these sites are not available in the location, you are right now.

Adblocking is also available that block unwanted tracking technologies to avoid being tracked by online advertisers and other companies.

Norton also offers bundle options with the name Norton 360. These are newer versions of Norton Security packages that the company no longer provides.

Norton 360 gives you all-around protection, both offline and online. All the bundles are available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices.

The entry-level package is named Norton 360 Standard and allows you to protect 1 PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet. It also includes a Secure VPN for your device.

If you’re using Windows, you’ll get a bit more than mac OS users, including 10 GB of cloud backup and SafeCam. This feature alerts you to attempts to access your webcam and helps you block unauthorized access to it.

If you opt for the mid-tier option Norton 360 Deluxe, you can use the software on up to 5 devices. Cloud storage size is upped as well to 50 GB.

For all the parents out there, one significant benefit is also its parental control features so that you can manage your kids’ activities online. It helps them to explore, learn, and enjoy their connected world more safely. Unfortunately, this option is only limited to PCs and smartphones.

Norton has developed an option for people who have a lot of devices or big families. Norton 360 Premium lets you use it for up to 10 devices and gives Windows users 75 GB of cloud storage.

Both Norton 360 and Antivirus Plus come with 100% virus protection promise. But to be eligible, you must have a qualifying subscription with automatic renewal.

If you choose to subscribe to one of Norton 360 bundles, a 24/7 phone, and chat support is also available.

View all Norton products

As you can see, both companies offer products for every need you may have. There are separate antivirus and VPN options available, as well as bundles. That is why we really can’t decide on a winner.

Winner: It’s a tie

Pricing

When deciding which option to go with, pricing is one of the most important factors. You have to take all the details into account to make the best decision. When investing in antivirus software, you are not purchasing an application but rather an ease-of-mind that your digital life is in safe hands.

It’s usually believed that the more you pay, the more you get. But that isn’t always the case. Let’s compare the price points of AVG and Norton to find out what’s the situation.

  1. AVG Antivirus logo

    AVG Internet Security

    Antivirus, ransomware protection, a customizable firewall, and more.

    Special offer - 43% offGet the best dealFrom $39.99 / year
  2. AVG Antivirus logo

    AVG Ultimate

    Antivirus, tuneup, and VPN in one ultimate package.

    Special offer - 33% offGet the best deal $79.99 / year

Norton offers its products bundled and independently as well. For the best all-around protection, it’s better to go with complete packages, so we’ll start with these.

  1. Norton Antivirus logo

    Norton 360 Standard

    High-grade antivirus and VPN for 1 PC, Mac, or smart device. 10 GB of cloud backup included for Windows users.

    Special offer - 60% offGet the best deal $29.99 / year
  2. Norton Antivirus logo

    Norton 360 Deluxe

    High-grade antivirus and VPN for up to 5 PCs, Macs, or smart devices. 50 GB of cloud backup and parental control options included for Windows users.

    Special offer - 58% offGet the best deal $39.99 / year
  3. Norton Antivirus logo

    Norton 360 Premium

    High-grade antivirus and VPN for up to 10 PCs, Macs, or smart devices. 75 GB of cloud backup and parental control options included for Windows users.

    Special offer - 52% offGet the best deal $49.99 / year

Norton AntiVirus Plus is available individually as well. If you go with this option, keep in mind that you don’t have a VPN bundled in, but you can get it separately.

  1. Norton Antivirus logo

    Norton AntiVirus Plus

    Powerful protection for your one device and the personal information it stores. 2 GB of cloud backup included for Windows users.

    Special offer - 57% offGet the best deal $14.99 / year
  2. Norton Antivirus logo

    Norton Secure VPN

    Bank-grade encryption, private browsing, and tracking block for PC, Mac, Android, or iOS.

    Special offer - 43% offGet the best dealFrom $39.99 / year

As you can see, Norton offers both it’s entry-level products and high-end bundles at a lower price point. When you mix in all the other factors discussed earlier, the winner is quite obvious.

Winner: Norton

Final Thoughts

Comparing Norton with any other antivirus, you’re going to end up with the same result. Norton offers better protection. It also performs better and is available at a reasonable price. That’s why AVG didn’t stand a chance in this head-to-head battle.

Keep in mind that we give our best to get you all the facts to make an informed decision for what is the best option for you. After all, you are the one that is going to use the software. We hope this review has been helpful to you.

  1. WINNER
    Norton Antivirus logo
    The best protection, performance, and usability you can get.

    Norton

    Norton has been performing with 100% results in all of the tests. It's the highest-rated software in the independent labs' eyes, and we see the reasons as well. If you want the best in the world, you'll get Norton.

    Special offer - up to 60% offGet the best dealFrom $29.99 / year

Top 3 best antivirus software in 2020

  • Norton Antivirus logo

    The best protection, performance, and usability you can get.

    Special offer - up to 60% offGet the best dealFrom $29.99 / year
  • Avira Antivirus logo

    Professional grade protection for home users.

    Visit websiteFrom $34.95 / year
  • Kaspersky Antivirus logo

    High-level of protection with low impact on performance.

    Special offer - 50% offGet the best dealFrom $25.99 / year