Bitdefender vs Norton – Which Antivirus Wins?

In this Bitdefender vs Norton antivirus comparison, we will overview each provider’s offerings. We will determine which antivirus software is better based on their security packages, performance, pricing, and customer reviews.

So, if you’re conflicted about choosing Bitdefender or Norton, read on to see which software is the better antivirus.

Bitdefender vs Norton Compared

Both solutions have close to perfect protection, performance, and usability scores, with Bitdefender jumping ahead in the latter two categories. This means that Bitdefender has less impact on your system and throws fewer false alarms than Norton.

Overview Bitdefender Norton
Starting Price $29.99 (first year) $29.99 (first year)
Antivirus Testing Results Protection: 6/6
Performance: 6/6
Usability: 6/6
Protection: 6/6
Performance: 5.5/6
Usability: 5.5/6
Compatibility Windows, Mac, Android, iOS Windows, Android, Mac, iOS
Firewall
Real-time Protection
VPN
Max Devices Supported 25 10
Moneyback Guarantee 30-days 14-days: monthly subscriptions and 60-days: annual subscriptions
Site

    Bitdefender vs Norton Pricing Compared

    Winner: Norton

    The table below shows the different pricing points of each provider. If you are looking for a free antivirus solution that covers a single device, Bitdefender is for you. You can test drive any of Norton’s plans for seven days before you commit.

    Bitdefender Norton 360
    Free Version Free for one device 7-day free trial
    Plan 1 Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
    $29.99
    Includes multi-layer ransomware protection, malware, spyware, adware protection, a File Shredder, and a VPN with 200MB
    Norton AntiVirus Plus
    $29.99
    Includes malware and ransomware protection, a Smart Firewall, a password manager, and cloud backup (2GB)
    Plan 2 Bitdefender Total Security
    $74.36
    Includes everything from the Plus plan, as well as a password manager and data breach detection
    Norton 360 Standard
    $39.99
    Includes everything from the Plus plan, as well as a VPN and
    dark web monitoring
    Plan 3 Bitdefender Premium Security
    $84.99
    Everything from the cheaper plans, plus priority customer support and unlimited VPN data
    Norton 360 Deluxe
    $49.99
    Everything from the Standard plan, plus 50GB of cloud storage, privacy monitor, and parental control
    Plan 4 Bitdefender Ultimate Security
    $106.24
    Everything from previous plans, plus parental controls, identity theft protection, and webcam protection
    Norton 360 with LifeLock
    $99.99
    Everything from previous plans, plus LifeLock identity theft protection and cloud storage of 250GB

    Both of these providers offer similar pricing points. However, Norton gets cheaper further down the line than Bitdefender. Norton also offers more additional features in its entry plan than Bitdefender. For example, it has a password manager in its base plan, whereas Bitdefender doesn’t.

    Furthermore, while both providers offer parental controls, Norton’s is included in its basic plan.

    Now, talking about free antivirus software, Bitdefender has an unlimited-time free plan, while Norton has a 7-day free trial option.

    Regardless, both providers have money-back guarantees for trying out the product. While Bitdefender comes with a standard 30-day money-back guarantee, Norton offers a more generous 60-day money-back guarantee.

    Bitdefender vs Norton – Which One is Safer?

    Winner: Bitdefender

    While both providers offer exceptional protection against malware and other online threats, Bitdefender detected fewer false positives in its latest tests by AV-Test. This makes Norton the underdog, as it flagged 7. That being said, other independent lab results by SE Labs underline how similar these two products are regarding internet safety.

    This section will look at security features like scanning types and real-time antivirus protection. We’ll also examine malware and firewall protection to see which provider stands out.

    Real-time Malware Protection

    Both providers utilize up-to-date threat databases to compare and react to dangerous threats in real-time. Furthermore, AV-Test awarded both of these providers maximum points when it comes to malware protection.

    Bitdefender’s Shield combines a huge malware directory with machine learning to detect all types of malware threats. It then adds behavioral learning tools to detect new threats not included in the malware directory. This method is so powerful that more antivirus vendors are expected to use it in the future.

    Bitdefender Antivirus Malware Detection

    Norton also uses AI in its malware detection, advanced heuristics, and an updated malware directory. This combination helps to detect all kinds of malware attacks.

    Norton malware detection

    Overall, Bitdefender and Norton are excellent at detecting malware in real-time, which is just one of the reasons why these solutions are among the best antiviruses on the market.

    Firewall protection

    Bitdefender comes with a functional firewall that adds an extra layer of protection by tracking all connection attempts. It also has port scan protection, which can block port scan attempts on any network.

    Furthermore, it automatically creates rules when applications attempt to connect to the internet. You can also set up custom rules and edit any existing rules, giving you more control. This way, you can ensure the firewall caters to your specific needs.

    Having said that, Norton’s firewall offers more customization options than Bitdefender.

    Bitdefender's Firewall

    Norton offers a smart firewall with loads of customization options. It also has a unique intrusion prevention system that analyzes incoming data packets and blocks any attacks before they can happen.

    Norton's Firewall

    Regarding its customization options, you can cloak inactive ports on your computer. This protects against attempted hacking techniques, like port scanning. Furthermore, it will warn you of improper connection attempts, such as if an unauthorized device is trying to connect to your system or even if a program you have is trying to create a connection to another device.

    Scanning

    When scanning with Bitdefender, you’ll find it scans slower than Norton does; however, it also offers various scan types, including quick, full, and custom scans. It’s also less resource-intensive than Norton.

    Bitdefender uses cross-platform scanning. This means that it will check Windows devices for threats typically found on Apple devices, and vice versa. This feature is particularly useful if you transfer data from one device to another on a regular basis.

    Bitdefender scan options

    Interestingly, Bitdefender offers a rescue environment for Windows only, in which it can scan and remove sophisticated malware like rootkits before your system boots up.

    Norton offers loads of customization regarding scanning. You get the standard quick scan, full scan, custom scan choices, and a lot more.

    Norton's scan options

    Once you run a standard scan, you can use Norton’s Power eraser tool to pick up hard-to-find threats and remove them from your system. Furthermore, you can run custom tasks within the scanning menu to do multiple jobs, like running a live update and performing various performance-related tasks.

    Overall, both Norton and Bitdefender offer excellent scanning options. Bitdefender is less resource-intensive; however, the sheer number of customization options from Norton gives it the win in this category.

    Bitdefender vs Norton – Ease of Use

    Winner: Bitdefender

    Bitdefender has a well-designed interface with an intuitive dashboard. All the main features are organized into three categories: Protection, Privacy, and Utilities, making it easy to navigate.

    Bitdefender interface

    Its dashboard is also customizable, with a quick action button that allows you to add more buttons to the main dashboard.

    Its mobile apps are very well designed. The iOS app is slightly less feature-rich than the Android app; however, both apps are clean in their design, and navigating them is easy enough.

    Bitdefender mobile interface

    App Anomaly Detection is an interesting Android feature from Bitdefender, essentially acting as real-time protection for Android; it monitors the behavior of all the apps on your device. If there is anything suspicious that may indicate malware, you will be alerted.

    When it comes to Norton’s interface, you’ll find a lot more going on. Setting Norton up takes more effort, and while the main interface is uncluttered, many of its features are hidden behind sub-folders, making them harder to find.

    Norton interface

    That being said, Norton’s mobile app is easier to use than its desktop counterpart. The Android version is also richer in features than the iOS version. One of the more notable features is the App Advisor, which scans apps before downloading. It also monitors already-existing apps, indicating any privacy risks, among other things.

    Norton mobile interface

    Bitdefender vs Norton Key Features

    Winner: Norton

    Web Protection Features

    Both solutions offer excellent web protection features. This includes anti-phishing, isolated browsers, and the ability to block keylogging scripts. Furthermore, they both have features that stop drive-by downloads and can scan any downloads for malware and other threats.

    Bitdefender is known for its advanced web protection capabilities. In place of a multi-layered defense strategy, Bitdefender employs a real-time scanning engine that can block malicious websites and prevent phishing attacks.

    Bitdefender Web Protection

    It also utilizes a secure browser known as Safepay; however, this one is notable as it aims toward financial safety. It’s designed for financial transactions and offers an isolated and protected online banking and shopping environment.

    Norton uses a multi-layered defense strategy. By utilizing a global threat intelligence network, it can identify and block dangerous websites in real-time. Norton has a Safe Web feature that scans search results and warns users about potential dangers.

    Norton Web Protection

    Furthermore, its anti-phishing capabilities can actively detect fraudulent websites and completely block them before they can obtain sensitive information.

    Overall, both Norton and Bitdefender excel in their web protection capabilities. Norton focuses on a comprehensive defense network, whereas Bitdefender stands out with its real-time scanning engine. That said, we think Bitdefender takes the cake thanks to a dedicated secure browser for financial transactions.

    Parental Controls

    Both of these solutions offer parental controls. Norton offers its version in the family package, which starts at $49.99 per year. Bitdefender’s parental control can be found in its Total Security Suite, which is more expensive at $69.99. If you’re on a budget, Norton is for you.

    Both Bitdefender and Norton offer similar parental control features. You’ll get content filtering, time management features, and location tracking. A notable addition is the ability to monitor your child’s social media activities. This can be implemented on Facebook, X (formally Twitter), and Instagram.

    Parental Controls by Bitdefender

    Norton’s parental control features include website filtering, which allows parents to block inappropriate websites and content based on certain categories. You can also manage your child’s time on their device, ensuring a healthy balance between screen time and other activities.

    Norton Parental Control

    Norton also provides insight into your child’s online activities by offering detailed reports on the websites they visit and what search terms are used. There’s even a location tracker embedded into this feature, which allows you to keep tabs on your child’s whereabouts.

    Password Manager

    Bitdefender offers a basic password manager. It can do standard things like create strong passwords and audit existing passwords for weaknesses. However, it doesn’t allow for two-factor authentication or offer master password recovery. It also doesn’t offer auto-fill. A limitation that Norton doesn’t have.

    If you want a password manager similar to the one Norton offers, it comes as an add-on, starting at $19.99 for a single account. Alternatively,, it’s also available in their premium package. Overall, Norton’s password manager is more feature-rich and affordable.

    Bitdefender Password manager

    Norton comes equipped with a password manager as part of its Antivirus Plus package. Compared to Bitdefender, this password manager is a better fit. With it, you can create strong passwords, audit existing passwords to determine if any of them are weak, and then automatically update them with a more complex password.

    It’s also able to sync across other devices and auto-fill forms, as well as has the ability to set up two-factor authentication (2FA).

    Norton Password Manager

    VPN

    Both Norton and Bitdefender include a VPN in their security packages. Norton’s is available in the Norton 360 Standard plan, which starts at $39.99 per year. Bitdefender is available in the Total Security package.

    Norton’s VPN offers unlimited data, while Bitdefender’s is limited to 200 MB daily on most of its plans. If you want unlimited data with Bitdefender’s VPN, you have to subscribe to the Premium security plan.

    Norton VPN

    Norton’s VPN is really good as it offers fast speeds and works with many of the large streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max. However, you might struggle with Disney+ and Hulu. It also allows for torrenting, but not on all its servers.

    On the other hand, Bitdefender’s VPN isn’t the best VPN around, especially if you want to use it for streaming. It won’t unlock Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services apart from BBC iPlayer.

    Bitdefender VPN

    That being said, they both have a no-logs policy and offer AES-256 encryption. In regards to tunneling protocols, both offer OpenVPN, but Bitdefender also offers WireGuard, whereas Norton has yet to implement this protocol.

    Dark Web Monitoring

    Norton packs dark web monitoring into its antivirus plans, while Bitdefender has a separate package for this feature. If you want dark web monitoring as part of an antivirus, then Norton is your best bet.

    You can add personal information such as bank account details, address, driver’s license details, and more. Norton will then monitor the dark web to see if your details have been leaked.

    Bitdefender’s version will cost you an additional $39.99/year for Digital Identity Protection. With this plan, Bitdefender will constantly monitor the public web and the dark web on your behalf.

    If it finds anything, you will be notified immediately to take action. What’s nice is that it gives you an overall identity protection score, which indicates how safe your details are.

    Unique Features

    Bitdefender has a unique feature called Photon Technology. This feature uses adaptive technology to learn how you use your PC, so it can gradually optimize the performance of your system. It might not be the same as Norton’s LifeLock feature; however, it’s nice to see that Bitdefender remains intuitive with its features.

    Norton includes its LifeLock identity theft protection in its most expensive plan. This feature will alert you to possible threats, and if your identity gets stolen, Norton will work to fix this for you. Their technology scans for the use of your personal information; for example, if someone wants to open a 401k with your personal details, you will be notified via text, email, or phone call.

    Norton will put you in contact with a live, U.S.-based identity restoration specialist who will work to resolve your identity theft issue.

    Bitdefender vs Norton – Compatibility

    Winner: Bitdefender

    Norton is compatible with all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It also works with all major internet browsers, including Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari.

    The same can be said for Bitdefender. However, it also has a specific solution designed for Linux servers. While you can use Norton on Linux, some features won’t work. For example, Norton’s VPN is not supported on Linux. Regardless, both solutions cover up to 10 devices.

    Bitdefender vs Norton – Customer Reviews

    Winner: Norton

    Norton has received a rating of 4.2 out of 5 with over 22,500 reviews. According to Trustpilot, this is a Great product.

    Trustpilot ratings for Norton

    Norton’s customers love the large range of features at a competitive price point. Getting hold of customer service can be done in various ways, including online forums, live chat, and over the phone.

    Norton Customer Review

    Bitdefender, on the other hand, has fewer customer reviews. It’s been given an average rating, receiving only 3.6 out of 5 with less than 8,000 reviews.

    Bitdefender Trustpilot ratings

    Customers are mostly happy with the antivirus Bitdefender provides; however, some say that it’s hard to cancel a subscription, and the renewal is set to auto, and it’s complicated to change this. Furthermore, customers aren’t happy that many features aren’t included in the antivirus package but are paid add-ons.

    Bitdefender customer review

    For additional comparisons see our Bitdefender vs Kaspersky and Bitdefender vs Malwarebytes guides and our complete Norton Antivirus review.

    Conclusion: Bitdefender vs Norton – Which One Wins?

    Bitdefender Norton
    Price
    Security
    Ease of Use
    Features
    Compatibility
    Customer Reviews
    Overall Winner

    As you can see, both products are very similar. However, Norton does have a slight edge over Bitdefender, as the former is slightly cheaper and has a wider range of features. Existing customers also seem to be happier with the service.

    We recommend Norton if you’re looking for a good and affordable antivirus solution.

    How We Test Antiviruses

    • Performance testing – Apart from our own testing of the product, we also supplement our findings with other independent lab results, like AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.
    • Features – We also take note of each provider’s features and how effective they are. Does the antivirus include a malware scan, real-time protection, or a firewall? We also consider whether there are any additional tools, like a password manager or a VPN, included.
    • Ease of use – Regarding ease of use, we look at the overall interface and how easy or difficult it is to navigate. In this review, we determined that Bitdefender has an easier interface to navigate due to the amount of extra features that seem to be ‘hidden’ away with Norton.
    • Third-Party Reviews – To get a better understanding, we also read real user feedback. This helps in understanding what actual users are looking for in the product.
    • Pricing – It’s commonly believed that pricier things offer higher quality. That’s not always the case. So we evaluate everything the provider has to offer and see whether that’s a good value for money.

    How to Choose the Best Antivirus Service

    To find the best antivirus solution for you, you should investigate the following aspects:

    • Independent antivirus testing – Before committing to antivirus software, ensure it offers good performance and security. This can be done by visiting AV-Tet and reviewing the provider’s performance report.
    • Ease of Use – A good antivirus should be easy to use and set up. So, when choosing the best antivirus for yourself, look at the dashboard, its layout, and all the features accessible there.
    • Compatibility – Make sure your chosen antivirus software is compatible with all the devices you plan to use. Most providers will offer Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and other popular operating system antivirus apps.
    • Key Features – Check out the features of the antivirus package and ensure that all the tools you need are already there. Alongside basic features like malware scans, real-time protection, or virus detection, look for freebies like a VPN, password manager, and more.
    • Customer Support – Consider whether the provider offers customer support 24/7. How many channels of support are there? Furthermore, some higher-tiered plans include premium support, while lower-tiered plans only offer a knowledge base on their website.
    • Price – Do the plans offer good value for money? Will you need to pay additional fees for features normally included with other solutions? Cost is always an important factor to consider. Another important factor is how easy it is to cancel.

    FAQs

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    Justin Van Gent
    Technology Writer

    With a background in telecommunications and renewable energy, and having studied engineering and web design, Justin’s technical expertise shines through with his content. He has written pieces spanning numerous tech verticals for Techopedia and The Tech Report, but he specializes in VPN, antivirus, and hosting content. His pieces are known for their accuracy and insight and for delivering informative content for Techopedia's audience.