Are Norton and McAfee The Same?

Are Norton and McAfee The Same?

Are Norton and McAfee The Same? Norton and McAfee are two of the most popular antivirus software options available in the market. Although both offer similar features, they are not the same. Here are some differences between the two:

  • Pricing: Norton offers a lower-priced basic plan than McAfee. However, McAfee offers more upgrades with different features, and each plan includes 24/7 technical assistance and a money-back guarantee 1.
  • Ease of use: Norton is known for its user-friendly interface and easy-to-use features. McAfee, on the other hand, has a more complex interface and can be difficult to navigate 1.
  • Performance: Norton is faster than McAfee when it comes to scanning and detecting malware. Norton also has a lower impact on system performance than McAfee 2.
  • Compatibility: Norton and McAfee state that their security programs are not compatible with each other. If you try to run both, it may result in malware infections, sluggish computer performance, or program errors 3.

While both Norton and McAfee offer excellent antivirus protection, they have their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to evaluate your needs and choose the one that best suits your requirements.

Differences Between Norton & McAfee

Differences Between Norton & McAfee

Norton and McAfee are two of the most popular antivirus software options available in the market. Although both offer similar features, they are not the same. This article provides a comprehensive comparison between Norton and McAfee, highlighting key differences in pricing, ease of use, performance, compatibility, and more. It’s important to evaluate your needs and choose the antivirus solution that best suits your requirements.

1. Additional Features

Feature Norton (Benefits) McAfee (Benefits)
Malware Protection 100% detection including ransomware, low impact on system, fast scan times​1​. 100% detection including ransomware, scans external drives, medium impact on system​1​.
Web Security Secure browser, blocks phishing sites, stops drive-by downloads, and blocks keylogging scripts​1​. Blocks phishing sites, stops drive-by downloads, scans downloads for malware​1​.
Additional Features Firewall, VPN, password manager, parental controls, cloud storage​1​. File shredder, identity protection, PC optimization tools, and VPN​2​.
Device Coverage Covers up to 10 devices​1​. Available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices, with plans covering up to unlimited devices​2​.
Identity Protection Dark web monitoring (not explicitly mentioned as identity protection)​1​. Credit monitoring, identity monitoring, and identity restoration services​2​.
Parental Controls Offers advice and control for family safety online​1​. Monitor child’s activity, set rules and time limits, location tracking on live map​2​.
Optimization Tools Device optimization tools, startup manager​1​. PC cleaner, PC optimizer to declutter and speed up your PC​2​.
VPN Service Included with coverage​1​. Bank-grade encryption, automatic protection, and anonymous browsing with up to 5 licenses​2​.
Price & Trials 60-day money-back guarantee​1​. Free 30-day trial, various price points for different needs and budgets​2​.

Norton and McAfee both offer 100% malware detection, with Norton having a faster scan time and lower system impact. Norton’s web security includes a secure browser and comprehensive phishing protection, while McAfee provides robust identity protection and PC optimization tools.

Norton’s additional features include cloud storage and device optimization, whereas McAfee offers a file shredder and various packages tailored to different needs. Both have VPN services, but McAfee’s is highlighted for its bank-grade encryption.

Norton offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, while McAfee provides a free 30-day trial. The choice between them may hinge on the user’s specific requirements, such as device coverage or particular security features.

2. Customer Support

Both Norton and McAfee offer various support options, including phone, email, live chat, and community forums. Norton is known for its fast response times, while McAfee’s response times may vary depending on the issue and support channel used. Both companies provide knowledgeable and helpful support staff, but user experiences may vary depending on individual cases.

Availability: Norton and McAfee both offer 24/7 customer support for their users, ensuring assistance is available whenever needed.

3. Independent Test Results

3. Independent Test Results


McAfee Total Protection’s performance in independent tests demonstrates its capability in detecting and protecting against malware. According to the latest results published by AV-TEST, an independent IT-Security Institute:

  • Protection: McAfee scored a perfect 6.0/6.0 in protection. It showed 100% protection against both zero-day malware attacks, which includes web and email threats, and detection of widespread and prevalent malware. This indicates a top-tier ability to protect against malicious attacks​1​.
  • Performance: In terms of performance, which assesses the software’s impact on computer speed, McAfee also scored a perfect 6.0/6.0. This score reflects the software’s minimal impact on system performance while conducting various tasks such as visiting websites, downloading and launching applications, and copying files​1​.
  • Usability: Usability tests measure the impact of the security software on the overall usability of the computer, including the frequency of false warnings or blockages. McAfee achieved another perfect score of 6.0/6.0, showing that it does not significantly interfere with the use of the computer while maintaining security—a crucial balance for user experience​1​.

The overall score of 18/18 from these categories, as per the AV-TEST reports, indicates that McAfee Total Protection performs exceptionally well in all critical areas of security software evaluation. These results place McAfee among the top products in this independent testing, demonstrating its effectiveness in real-world conditions against a wide range of malware threats.


Norton 360’s independent test results also showcase its strong performance in malware detection and overall efficiency:

  • Protection: Norton 360 achieved a perfect score of 6.0/6.0 in protection, demonstrating 100% detection rates for both zero-day malware attacks and detection of widespread malware, which suggests excellent protection capabilities​1​.
  • Performance: Norton’s influence on computer speed scored a 5.5/6.0. While generally performing well, there was some impact when launching websites and installing applications, indicating a slight room for improvement in terms of system speed during these activities​1​.
  • Usability: In usability, Norton scored a perfect 6.0/6.0. The tests showed no false warnings or blockages when visiting websites or during system scans, which implies that the software has a negligible impact on the usability of the computer for the user​1​.

Overall, Norton 360 excels in protection and usability, with a high performance score, indicating a well-rounded and effective security product.


Feature Norton McAfee
Protection Score 6.0/6.0 (100% detection rate) 6.0/6.0 (100% detection rate)
Performance Score 5.5/6.0 6.0/6.0
Usability Score 6.0/6.0 6.0/6.0
Impact on Speed Moderate impact on website launch and application installation Minimal impact on daily usage
Real-World Testing 100% protection against 0-day malware 100% protection against 0-day malware
Additional Features Ransomware protection, VPN, Cloud backup, Webcam protection Ransomware protection, Parental controls, VPN

4. User Reviews and Ratings

4. User Reviews and Ratings

When it comes to user satisfaction, Norton stands out with an impressive score of 8.7 out of 10 on TrustRadius, reflecting a strong approval among users. Individuals frequently cite its comprehensive protection and robust performance as key benefits, with scores often reaching a stellar 9 out of 10 in user-submitted reviews​1​​2​​3​​4​​5​​6​​7​​8​​9​​10​.

Conversely, McAfee’s reception is notably more mixed, with an overall satisfaction score of 2.2 out of 5 on ConsumerAffairs, based on over a thousand user ratings. While a segment of users has rated it positively, a considerable proportion have voiced concerns, particularly regarding post-subscription service and customer support. Issues such as unexpected pop-ups following subscription expiration, difficulties with software removal, and customer service dissatisfaction are recurring themes in recent reviews​11​​12​​13​.

These user testimonials offer valuable insights into the real-world performance of these antivirus giants, with Norton generally receiving more favorable reviews compared to McAfee’s mixed feedback from its user base.

User Reviews

For Norton:

“Norton adds a great value in relation to protecting our computers in the organizations from any sort of attack on our files.” – Review from TrustRadius, March 20, 2023​1​.

“Norton is an incredibly useful and trustable antivirus in the market and has a history in desktop and web security.” – Review from TrustRadius, June 05, 2022​2​.

“Norton is the best and provides complete protection from all types of threats.” – Review from TrustRadius, April 19, 2021​3​.

For McAfee:

“My subscription ran out and I would have renewed except my card had expired and they could not renew from their end. I was immediately flooded with pop-ups from them every 30 seconds or so with various notices and warnings.” – Review from ConsumerAffairs, November 6, 2023​4​.

“A scam and just won’t stop lying to get my money. When I got my computer McAfee was the default antivirus software. It actually was some help with scanning downloads. However, when I accidentally got hit by malware it immediately started blowing up my screen with notifications…” – Review from ConsumerAffairs, November 4, 2023​4​.

“They are not reliable once if you do autorenewal, they overcharged our account and provided very poor service.” – Review from ConsumerAffairs, October 31, 2023​4​.

5. System Requirements and Compatibility

Both Norton and McAfee support Windows, macOS, and Android devices. However, Norton also offers limited support for iOS devices, while McAfee does not. Both antivirus solutions have similar minimum hardware requirements, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of devices. Norton and McAfee both offer mobile security apps for Android devices, providing additional protection for smartphones and tablets.

6. Subscription Plans and Pricing

Both Norton and McAfee offer 30-day free trials and money-back guarantees, allowing users to test the software before committing to a subscription. Both companies frequently offer discounts and promotions, making their antivirus solutions more affordable for users. Norton and McAfee offer multi-device plans, allowing users to protect multiple devices with a single subscription.

Business and Enterprise Solutions: Both Norton and McAfee provide business and enterprise solutions, catering to the security needs of organizations of various sizes.

FAQ: Are Norton & McAfee the Same?

Q: Can I use McAfee and Norton antivirus programs simultaneously?

A: Running two antivirus programs together can lead to conflicts and diminished PC performance. It is advisable to use a single antivirus solution for real-time protection. However, you can complement your antivirus with a dedicated firewall for layered security. For instance, pairing the Windows Firewall with either Norton or McAfee antivirus is a suitable strategy, as it doesn’t overlap with the antivirus functionality.

Q: Do I need to remove McAfee before installing Norton?

A: To ensure seamless protection and avoid potential software clashes, it’s recommended to uninstall any existing antivirus software, including McAfee, before installing a new security product like Norton. This preemptive measure helps prevent issues during and after the installation process of your new antivirus solution.

Q: Who is the owner of Norton antivirus?

A: Norton is a well-established name in cybersecurity and has been part of the Symantec Corporation portfolio since 1990. The company offers a broad range of services, including digital security and identity protection.

Q: Is Norton antivirus reliable and safe to use?

A: Norton’s suite of antivirus and security products is recognized as safe for download and use. These products are designed to provide robust protection against a variety of digital threats, ensuring the safety of your devices and personal information.

Q: Which is preferable, Norton or McAfee?

A: Choosing between Norton or McAfee depends on your specific needs. If secure cloud storage for sensitive documents is a priority, Norton offers solutions that include this feature. Conversely, McAfee might be more appealing if you’re looking for a cost-effective option without the need for cloud storage. Both services provide secure and private options to manage your passwords and personal data.


While both Norton and McAfee offer excellent antivirus protection, they have their own strengths and weaknesses. By considering the factors discussed in this article, you can make an informed decision and choose the antivirus solution that best suits your needs and preferences.

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