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Compare McAfee vs Norton

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Money back Guarantee
Real-time Antivirus
Manual Virus Scanning
USB Virus Scan
Registry Startup Scan
Auto Virus Scanning
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Chat/IM Protection
Adware Prevention
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Personal Firewall
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McAfee vs Norton: Which One is the Best in 2020?

Hackers come up with new malware all the time, and a good antivirus should try its best to keep up with their progress. That’s why we seek the best solution all the time. And you should, too. It’s vital to keep your guard up at all times. Online attacks become more sophisticated, targeted, and challenging to detect. So advanced antivirus solutions are our only hope now as it gets harder for a human to detect even such obvious threats like phishing.

To choose the most suitable solution, you should consider several criteria such as features, level of protection, and price, of course. Free antivirus software usually provide users with a decent amount of security, but often it’s still not quite enough. To help you fathom what you actually need, we have created this McAfee and Norton comparison. Together we will take a look at all the details aiming to see which provider does its job better.

We will also take a look at differences between the software these vendors offer for various devices because all your gadgets need protection. And we are going to take a look at free versions – how reliable and filled with necessary features they are.

Features Comparison of Norton vs McAfee

Before we jump to the features, let’s take a look at the reliability of these antiviruses. Comparing McAfee total protection vs Norton internet security in terms of the results of lab tests, we can see that the latter clearly wins. During the latest AV-Test, Norton blocked 100% of 0-day malware attacks, while McAfee could conquer only 98.7% of those. That’s still a very high percentage but the result is lower than Norton’s. However, both antiviruses successfully blocked 100% of known malware.

Now we will compare the features of both tools, considering apps for Android, Windows, and Mac. In this section, we’re taking a look at paid packages for home use, so keep that in mind. Free versions offer fewer functions, and we will talk about them later.

McAfee Antivirus

McAfee Screenshot

We are beginning with the cheapest Individual package, which offers quite many functions. Along with detecting malware, McAfee will provide you with a firewall for your home network. This feature should keep all the devices connected to your WiFi safe from hackers. Also, this antivirus will help you use less bandwidth when you’re browsing the Internet by blocking annoying auto-play videos.

In addition to that, McAfee suits you up with a password manager that will help you keep your login details safe and accessible for you. That’s a great chance to change all your passwords to different complex combinations because you won’t have to remember them anymore – McAfee does that for you. Also, you will get secure storage protected with 256-bit AES encryption that will keep your local files safeguarded. And McAfee Shredder will let you wipe sensitive files without leaving any traces.

McAfee will block risky sites for you as well with the Safe Web Browsing feature. Thus, you can surf the Internet, not worrying about phishing and other threats. And finally, you’re getting access to online support and full technical assistance.

The more expensive Multi-Device package will quite obviously offer you McAfee apps for all your gadgets. Also, you get an additional feature – Identity Theft Protection that will suit you with identity monitoring and recovery instruments. The most expensive Family plan adds just one new function – Safe Family that protects kids online.

Norton Antivirus

Norton Scanning Screenshot

Norton’s list of features is more sophisticated than McAfee’s, and there are some unique functions. So the cheapest package Norton AntiVirus Plus will protect you from malware, viruses, spyware, and ransomware. Also, it will keep you safe from online threats and suit you up with a firewall.

Additionally, the automatic Cloud Backup feature will keep all your local data backed up and stored in a secure cloud repository so that you can have it if something happens to your device. Similarly to McAfee, Norton provides you with a Password Manager. But there is a unique feature, too – Virus Protection Promise. This function means that Norton will refund your money should your device get infected by an unremovable virus.

Then goes Norton 360 Standard package that adds more features to those we named. You get to use a VPN service, which can be handy if you’re connected to a public WiFi hotspot, for example. Also, there is a PC SafeCam function that will protect your web camera from hacker attacks. And finally, if you get this package, Norton will monitor the Dark Web to see if any of your data was leaked.

If you have kids, opt for the Norton 360 Deluxe package that adds a Parental Control feature. It will keep your children safe online. And finally, the most expensive plan – Norton 360 with LifeLock Select. It will provide you with Identity protection, which means you will receive alerts if something suspicious is happening to your identity. And Norton’s Identity Restoration Specialists will help you out.

For some reason, Norton also takes responsibility for your wallet if you get the most expensive package. The provider considers a stolen wallet a possible stolen identity, so it will help you manage all your credit cards, documents, and so on. Also, if it’s impossible to restore after the identity theft, Norton will cover your expenses, and even provide you with lawyers for up to $1 million.

As if that’s not enough, Norton will monitor your credit file and everything connected to credit files to detect any signs of fraud.

With all these ridiculously over the top features, Norton wins the battle McAfee total protection vs. Norton internet security when it comes to the number of functions.

Сomparison McAfee vs Norton for Android

Both providers offer apps for Android devices, and both do a rather good job protecting them from cyber threats. McAfee’s app will safeguard you from malware, ransomware, and viruses by scanning installed apps, WiFi connection, and files. Also, you’re getting a VPN service and Safe Web Browsing feature that will keep you protected when you’re connected to public networks. Thus, you can browse the Internet without any worries.

Moreover, you can lock specific apps to prevent unauthorized access to them. And finally, McAfee will help you recover a lost or stolen device. And some features will help you boost your battery and the performance of the device.

Norton’s Android app also protects you from malware, ransomware, and viruses. But also, it will safeguard you from adware and privacy leaks. The app will monitor your device to detect vulnerabilities that could become ways for hackers to get into your device. Also, the antivirus will help you stop spam and fraud calls and detect malicious websites.

It’s hard to tell who is better when it comes to an Android app – McAfee or Norton antivirus – because both providers offer quality protection and enough features. The sets of functions are different, so it’s up to you to choose which ones you need more.

Сomparison McAfee vs Norton for Mac

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of antiviruses for MacOs because of the stigma that Macs are invincible before viruses. But this was true when Apple desktops only began to appear in households, and the majority of computer users had Windows installed on their PCs. Today Macs are just as vulnerable as Windows-based desktop devices. And you need to protect them.

We have described the features above, so let’s have a quick recap. The basic package McAfee offers protects you from malware, ransomware, and other cyber threats that suit you up with a firewall, Password Manager, and secure storage for your local files. Also, you get a Shredder tool that will let you wipe the files without any traces left. It will block malicious websites and annoying auto-play videos as well.

The more expensive package will add Identity Protection to these features. And if you need to safeguard your kids online – the most expensive suite with the Safe Family feature should be your choice.

Norton also protects you from all kinds of threats and provides a firewall. The cheapest plan includes the Password Manager, as well as automatic cloud backup. Additionally, Norton will cover your expenses if you catch an unremovable virus. Norton 360 Standard suite adds a VPN, camera, and identity protection. And the Deluxe package will protect your children online. The most expensive suite comes with all those extra identity protection features we described above.

McAfee vs Norton for Windows

Both providers have identical software for Macs and PCs. So there is no need to describe the features once again. Let’s better see how useful those functions are.

McAfee LiveSafe: review, pros and cons, installation, interface

McAfee offers a rather standard set of tools, which, however, is sufficient for reliable protection from all kinds of threats. It is a good antivirus that will keep your Windows device safe and sound while you can enjoy surfing the Internet without worrying about malicious websites or some other threats. Although McAfee lacks web camera protection, which is a downside, as a lot of hackers try to spy on users through the camera to blackmail them then.

Norton offers security for your web camera to keep you safe. However, this provider focuses more on identity protection, as you could already notice. The cheapest package doesn’t offer any features related to safeguarding your identity, but starting from the Standard suite, you already get Dark Web monitoring. And as the price you pay for Norton increases, you get more and more identity protection tools. The most expensive suite offers fairly ridiculous functions. Although it’s up to you to decide whether you need them or not, if those features make you feel safer in this world, you should get the most advanced package.

Compare McAfee Free vs Norton Free

Both providers don’t offer free versions of their antiviruses. However, there are free trials you can get to see if the software fits you. McAfee allows users to try McAfee Total Protection for free, which includes protection from viruses and malware, Safe Browsing feature, password manager, and the encrypted storage for local files. Finally, you get to use identity theft protection tools. The free trial offers all the features the paid version has so that you can test the antivirus without any limitations.

McAfee’s trial period lasts for 30 days, and the antivirus is compatible with all devices. After the trial ends, the software becomes inactive. Then you have to decide if you want to stick to the McAfee Total Protection Suite, choose another one, or delete the antivirus altogether because you didn’t like it.

Norton offers three free trials. One is tailored to the needs of Android users. You get to test the mobile antivirus for 30 days getting all the features the paid version offers. Thus, you can see if the software works for you. The same goes for iOS users – they get a separate trial as well. Just like Android devices, Apple gadgets get a full suite of functions offered under a paid subscription. The trial for iOS users also lasts for 30 days.

And finally, PC and Mac users get to test the Family Premier antivirus that provides devices with protection from malware, viruses, and other threats, web safety feature that keeps you away from malicious websites, and numerous tools for parents that help them protect their kids online.

McAfee vs Norton Price Comparison

Package First-Year Pricing Regular price
McAfee Total Protection Individual  $34.99 $79.99
McAfee Total Protection Multi-Device $39.99 $99.99
McAfee Total Protection Family $39.99 $119.99
Norton AntiVirus $19.99
Norton 360 Standard $39.99 $79.99
Norton 360 Deluxe $49.99 $99.99
Norton with LifeLock Select $99.99 $149.99

McAfee’s Individual plan offers:

  • Protection from viruses, malware, and other threats
  • Firewall
  • Bandwidth minimization (blocks auto-play videos)
  • Password Manager
  • Safe Browsing
  • File Shredder
  • Encrypted Storage
  • Online Support

The Multi-Device suite supports different devices and adds Identity Protections to all the listed features. And the Family plan also protects kids online.

Norton’s AntiVirus plan offers:

  • Protection from spyware, viruses, malware, and ransomware
  • Online Threat Protection
  • Cloud Backup (2GB cloud storage)
  • Firewall
  • Password Manager
  • Cost coverage if you catch and unremovable virus
  • Norton 360 Standard also offers:
  • 10GB cloud storage
  • Web camera protection
  • Dark Web monitoring

Norton 360 Deluxe offers 50GB cloud storage and parental control feature. And the LifeLock Select provides users with lots of advanced identity protection features and 100GB cloud storage.

Which is Better: McAfee or Norton?

As we have finished our McAfee and Norton comparison, we can see which solution is better. Norton did better during zero-day lab tests, although it’s hard to tell how close those tests are to the reality. The experience of users suggests that McAfee does a great job protecting devices from cyber threats.

When it comes to features, both McAfee and Norton offer quite good suites. The latter went quite far with identity protection. However, less expensive plans are rather simple and basic. If you feel overwhelmed with Norton, McAfee will be a better fit for you as it offers all the necessary tools.

The prices of both antiviruses are more or less the same, considering the features offered in packages. And if you need only essential protection for as little money as possible, Norton’s AntiVirus plan should satisfy your needs for only $20 per year. But note that the price can change, and in the next year, you might get charged more money for the subscription.

Highlights McAfee vs Norton


  • Intuitive navigation and simple interface
  • High-quality real-time virus and malware scanning
  • Protection against ransomware
  • Excellent customer support
  • Detects 99% of malicious files and URLs


  • Full-featured protection
  • One of the most user-friendly and intuitive options on the market
  • Offers great value for money
  • 60-day money-back guarantee 
  • Protection for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices
  • Doesn’t need much processing power to run in the background
  • Various Norton Security packages to choose from

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