Norton and McAfee are both recognized names in the computer security business; both sell anti-virus and anti-malware software. In that respect, they provide very similar products and don’t differ greatly. Choosing one comes down to preference and what you want from your security software. When comparing Norton and McAfee products, make sure that you’re comparing similar products; don’t put the basic home version of McAfee against the business edition of Norton and expect meaningful results.
Accuracy and Protection
The most important element to choosing an anti-virus software is accuracy: how well it finds and stops potential malware and other threats. In terms of protection, Norton is king. In tests by PC Magazine, Norton consistently rates the best in terms of firewall protection, virus removal/blocking, anti-spam, privacy protection, and parental controls. McAfee rates well in terms of firewall protection, virus blocking, and anti-spam, but otherwise falls short of Norton.
Norton Ranked as Best Antivirus when compared with Mcafee have similar product lines. Both companies offer security solutions for both home and business users; in fact, both companies run a product called “Internet Security,” which focuses on the security needs of habitual home Internet users. Both companies offer anti-virus software for PCs and Macs. Both also offer family security solutions and mobile security apps. McAfee offers different solutions for small businesses and enterprises, with products tailored to meet the needs of the system.
Pros: No-limits VPN. Excellent scores in our phishing protection and malicious URL blocking tests. Hosted storage for online backup. Powerful, self-sufficient firewall. Supports Windows, macOS, Android, iOS. Virus protection promise.
Cons: Android anti-theft to be discontinued. Security protection limited on iOS devices. Parental control and backup unavailable on macOS.
Bottom Line: In addition to cross-platform security, hosted online backup, and a ton of security features, Norton 360 Deluxe gives you a no-limits VPN and full-featured parental control system that would cost plenty by themselves. It’s a high-security bargain.
McAfee Total Protection
Pros: Security for every Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS device in your household. No-limits VPN. Excellent phishing protection. Password manager. Identity theft monitoring. Safe Family parental control. File encryption.
Cons: Mixed antivirus lab. Encryption weakened by the use of simple security questions. Identity theft remediation no longer includes reimbursement. Parental control could use work. Many separate utilities slowed boot time in testing.
Bottom Line: McAfee Total Protection offers excellent security and password management for all your devices and parental control for all except Macs. The suite’s new no-limits VPN is an enticing extra.
What to buy for a small business
When dealing with multiple users and multiple devices, it’s worthwhile purchasing a Small Business package. Both McAfee and Norton offer dedicated solutions for a small business with multiple users that require support. McAfee Small Business Security is $80 for 1-5 users with that price increasing $16 per additional user. The product is essentially McAfee Total Protection spread over multiple devices. It offers comprehensive antivirus protection, cloud-based threat analysis, as well as a firewall for blocking any malicious network access attempts. Its safe web browsing involves a color-coded rating system that alerts your employees of any potentially nefarious website they may be trying to access.