Avira vs Norton

Avira has been around since the early 2000s and now secures around 30 million devices. Norton has a more solidified reputation of over 30 years in the industry to become a household name for consumer security, protecting around 80 million customers around the globe. But which is best between Avira and Norton?

In this article, I’ve put both antivirus providers side by side to help you to select the best provider for your requirements. You’ll find the best performer as the result of in-depth malware testing as well as the impact they have on our machines. Additionally, I’ve included the available pricing, customer support, features, and usability of each product.

Don’t want to hold out for the winner? Norton won the head to head with its excellent range of pricing, broad range of features such as a password manager and parental controls, and better customer support options. Check out the full comparison below to see how I reached the conclusion.

Summary: Avira vs Norton

Avira

  • Missed some malware during testing
  • Good real-time scanning results
  • Automatically updates your apps

Norton

  • Excellent malware protection
  • Webcam protection
  • VPN & cloud backup
No valueAviraNorton
Antivirus and Antispyware
Firewall
Password Manager
Ransomware protection
Parental controls
Webcam protection
PC Cloud Backup
VPN
Banking and Payment Protection
Network Attack Protection
Secure data encryption
Automatically update apps
File Shredder
Performance Optimization

BEST DEAL FOR AVIRA:Save 40% on Avira Internet Security and get a 60-day no-hassle money-back guarantee.

BEST DEAL FOR NORTON:Save up to 66% on your first year of Norton Antivirus and get access to all of its features.

Background

Avira

Avira, established in 2003, is based in Tettnang, Germany, and currently has around 1.5 million paying customers. Avira employs staff in China, Romania, the US, and the Netherlands to maintain its cybersecurity landscape and works with some of the biggest corporations worldwide, such as Dropbox.

Norton

Norton, formerly Symantec, was founded in 1991 and employs 3,659 staff in its Arizona headquarters. What began as antivirus software evolved into a full-featured internet security package in 2006 under the Norton 360 branding. Norton acquired Lifelock Identity Protection in 2017 and renamed it Norton Lifelock.

Avira vs Norton pricing

As promised at the beginning of this article, I’ve researched the various packages offered by Norton and Avira to help you understand what your hard-earned cash will get you with each level of pricing.

Avira pricing

No valueAvira Free SecurityAvira Antivirus ProAvira Internet SecurityAvira Prime
First year priceFree$44.99$34.99$59.99
Renewal price$44.99$57.9999.9999.99

Kicking things off is Avira, which has four pricing tiers ranging from free security to an all-in-one security suite. It’s worth noting that Avira’s one-year plans don’t include any discounts. The way to save with Avira is by increasing the number of devices and the subscription term.

Avira Free Security

As you may have already guessed, its first plan, Avira Free Security, won’t cost you a penny. Each device has a dedicated app, and you can install the software on as many devices as you need. Ransomware, real-time virus, and malware detection are included.

Avira Antivirus Pro

For $40 per year, you can upgrade to Avira Antivirus Pro, which includes the free plan features plus mail protection that monitors your emails for any phishing activity. It also includes web protection which prevents access to dangerous links and stops hijacking attempts. The price covers installation on one device.

Avira Internet Security

Avira Internet Security is up next, coming in at $52 per year for single device protection. All features of the previous plan are included in addition to the auto-update tool, which detects outdated apps and updates them in the background. It also includes a password manager.

Avira Prime

Its highest-tier plan, Avira Prime, has everything that the other plans include, plus tune-up and performance tools and an unlimited VPN for $114.78 per year. While you can only install the software on a single device, there’s an option for 25 installations that costs $149.67.

You’ll benefit from Avira’s 60-day money-back guarantee with any plan selected, letting you try all features for two months before committing long-term.

Norton Pricing

No valueNorton Antivirus PlusNorton 360 StandardNorton 360 DeluxeNorton 360 with LifeLock Select
First year price$19.99$39.99$49.99$99.48
Renewal price$59.99$84.99$104.99$149.99

Let’s dig into Norton with four different pricing plans ranging from antivirus protection to ultimate security protection.

Norton AntiVirus Plus

Its first plan, Norton Antivirus Plus, costs $19.99 for the first year and then increases to $59.99. For the cost, you’ll enjoy real-time antivirus and antimalware protection, 2 GB of cloud storage, ransomware protection, and a password manager for a single device.

Norton 360 Deluxe

At $49.99 for new users and $99.48 for renewals, Norton 360 Deluxe is a step up from its base protection software. It includes all the features of its first plan plus 50 GB of PC cloud storage, parental controls, dark web monitoring, webcam protection, and a VPN that you can install on 5 devices.

Norton 360 + LifeLock Select

New users can enjoy Norton 360 + LifeLock Select for $99.48 in the first year, and after that, it’ll cost $149.99. You’ll get all the features of the other plans in addition to stolen wallet protection, credit monitoring, ID verification monitoring, and 100 GB of PC cloud storage for 5 devices.

Norton 360 + LifeLock Ultimate Plus

Norton’s top-end plan, Norton 360 + LifeLock Ultimate Plus, will cost $299.88 in year one and then $349.99. This plan lets you install the software on unlimited devices and includes 500 GB of cloud storage plus social media monitoring, bank and credit card activity alerts, and court records scanning.

Norton offers 60 days to change your mind and request a full refund, giving you ample time to see if Norton is a fit for your requirements.

Effectiveness against malware

For this next part of my research, I wanted to see how Norton and Avira performed when I put them up against some viruses and malware samples. For context, I used three live virus samples in zipped executable format. I also used four samples from the EICAR (The European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research) consisting of one executable, a .txt file, and two compressed executables.

No valueAviraNorton
Eicar Sample 1BlockedBlocked
Eicar Sample 2AllowedBlocked
Eicar Sample 3BlockedBlocked
Eicar Sample 4BlockedBlocked
Live Sample 1 (Adware)BlockedBlocked
Live Sample 2 (Trojan)BlockedBlocked
Live Sample 3 (Trojan)BlockedBlocked

Real-time test

I enabled real-time scanning for both providers, which is supposed to detect and block malware downloaded from the internet as soon as it reaches a system.

Avira blocked all samples except for the .txt EICAR files, which it failed to identify.

Avira EICAR results

Norton 360 blocked all EICAR files and live virus samples.

On-demand scan results

While real-time scanning picks up files downloaded from the web, on-demand scanning scans file systems for existing threats such as those introduced via USB or external storage devices.

I disabled real-time scanning and ran both full and quick on-demand scans with each provider.

Unlike real-time scanning, on-demand scans look for files that have attempted to infect a computer through offline methods like a USB device. On-demand scans also look for threats that already exist in a system.

To begin with, I ran a quick scan with Avira, which failed to detect any of the samples. I moved on to run a full scan of my system with Avira, which allowed two EICAR test malware files and two live malware samples.

Next, I ran the same scans with Norton, which missed all malware samples during the quick scan but detected and blocked all samples as it did during real-time scanning.

Scan benchmarking

I always like to tally up my results with world-leading test labs to see how the research compares. I use a Real-World Protection Report from AV-Comparatives and a Malware Detection Test from AV-Test.

For context, the Real-World Protection Test produces false-positive results for the software it tests. The lower the false positive score, the better, as this means legit software isn’t being recognized as malware. The report also uses 743 test samples to see how providers react to threats from an online source.

In contrast, AV-Test’s report produces a protection score gauging how the software deals with threats  introduced via offline methods such as external storage drives.

AV-Comparatives

One of the most recent reports is from July – to October 2021.

The report showed that Avira produced one false positive and achieved a protection score of 99.2% for blocking 737 malware samples.

For Norton, 37 false positives were detected. However, it achieved a higher protection score of 100%, having blocked all test threats.

AV-Test

January-February 2022 is the latest report for Avira from AV-Test. For protection against 0-day malware attacks, inclusive of web and e-mail threats, Avira scored 99% in January and 100% in February. However, it scored 100% in both months for detecting widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks.

January – February 2022 is also the most recent report for Norton, showing an excellent 100% protection rate in both months for detecting widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks. It also scored 100% in both months for protection against 0-day malware attacks, inclusive of web and email threats.

Impact on PC performance

For the next part of my research, I looked at how both antivirus products impacted the performance of my Windows PC. I checked the resource usage using Windows Performance Monitor during full, quick, and background scanning and recorded my results.

No valueAviraNorton
Full Scan Time (minutes)29121
Full Scan # Items Scanned6128511,420,276
Full Scan CPU Utilization %3984
Full Scan Memory Utilization %7275
Full Scan Disk Utilization (seconds)170381
Control CPU Utilization % (no scan)914
Control Memory Utilization % (no scan)6572
Control Disk Utilization (seconds) (no scan)3113
Quick Scan Time (seconds)41171
Quick Scan CPU Utilization %3237
Quick Scan Memory Utilization %7076
Quick Scan Disk Utilization %3641

Avira completed a full scan in 29 minutes, scanning 612,851 items. Its quick scan finished in 41 seconds.

Norton took longer for its full scan at 121 minutes but scanned a much more impressive 1,420,276 files. A quick scan finished in 171 seconds.

Norton was more resource-heavy during quick, full, and background scanning than Avira. I noted higher CPU, memory, and disk usage, which makes sense considering Norton’s scanning was more in-depth.

Similarly to benchmarking my research in malware testing, I refer to AV-Comparatives and AV-Test to see how their performance tests compare.

AV-Comparatives

AV-Comparatives performance report takes several categories into account to produce a performance score. These include:

  • Downloading files
  • Browsing websites
  • File Copying: first and subsequent run
  • Installing and uninstalling applications
  • Archiving and unarchiving

October 2021 is one of the latest performance reports from AV-Comparatives. Other than the first-run file copying category, Avira performed pretty well. Norton performed well in everything except for launching applications.

AV-Test

AV-Test ranks providers out of 6.0 based on their impact on PC performance. In the reports from January-February 2022, Norton and Avira achieved 6.0/6.0.

Avira vs Kaspersky features

Internet security packages offer much more than antivirus and antimalware protection to keep up with the latest threat trends. Below are some of the features you can expect with Avira and Norton.

Avira Internet Security

  • Anti-ransomware
  • Device Control
  • Real-time protection
  • Secure surfing
  • Data and identity protection
  • Next-gen AI for real-time threats

Norton 360 Deluxe

  • Anti-Spyware
  • Antivirus
  • Malware & Ransomware Protection
  • Online Threat Protection
  • Smart Firewall
  • PC Cloud Backup 50 GB
  • Password Manager
  • Parental Controls
  • Secure VPN
  • PC SafeCam

I’ve broken down some of the exclusive features below to help you understand how they can benefit you.

Avira Internet Security

  • Secure surfing: Avira Browser Safety is an add-on for your browser which blocks malicious links online and keeps your browsing private when you need it.
  • Anti-ransomware: Avira looks for suspicious behavior in your files and apps to prevent hackers from hijacking your file system and exploiting your data.
  • Data and identity protection: Identity scanning monitors the internet and the dark web to check for any involvement of your data in a breach. If it finds anything suspicious, you’ll be notified right away.

Norton 360 Deluxe

  • PC Cloud Backup 50 GB: Norton 360 provides an online backup allocation to store your important files and folders. If your system fails or you lose your device, you have peace of mind knowing your files are backed up safely.
  • Password manager: Generating secure passwords and remembering them is a thing of the past. Generate a password and lock it away in Norton’s secure vault to access when you need it.
  • Parental controls: Parental control tools help keep your family safe online. Monitor kids’ screen time and prevent them from accessing dangerous websites with the touch of a button.

Sign up and installation

Having purchased Avira and Norton 360, I went through both providers’ sign-up and installation processes.

Avira uses the traditional checkout process as you’d see with any subscription, and you’re directed to a downloads page after payment completes to obtain the software. It was downloaded in minutes and installed quickly. Real-time scanning was enabled the moment installation was completed.

I also tested their refund policy, which required me to request a refund by email. I had a response within 48 hours, and the refund was processed immediately.

Norton is also a smooth checkout experience, directing you to a dedicated download page after payment. The file is pretty big, so an initial setup file is downloaded, and then the remaining files are downloaded during installation.

Norton 360 download page

Norton makes it easy to request a refund via live chat, and when I did, it was processed the same day.

How easy is the interface to use?

I used both products a fair amount during my testing to get to grips if I was in the shoes of a new user.

Avira Internet Security uses a lightweight design using black, white, and grey colors. A banner at the top of the dashboard illuminates green when things are going well and turns amber when items need to be addressed.

Avira interface

There’s a large Smart Scan button that helps to start a scan of your system, and the dashboard is laid out with the most popular options, including Security, Privacy, and Performance.

Norton 360 looks a lot more sleek and corporate, with many more options for the advanced user. On-demand scanning and past reports are listed under the security panel. Your browser protection is found under Internet Security. You can use your PC cloud allowance under the backup option. System optimization tools are located in Performance, while your account and subscription details are found in My Norton.Norton 360 dashboard

Norton gets my vote for usability.

Customer support

Customer support is vital to give you peace of mind that someone is around to help when you need it the most.

Avira’s main support offering comes in the form of phone and email support, which is useful for times when you need to speak to someone urgently instead of getting snubbed by a chat robot. Avira regularly updates its websites to highlight app changes and improvements, and a plethora of video guides are useful for helping new users get used to the software.

Norton is more fulfilling with its support options, giving users the choice of 24/7 live chat and phone support. It has advisors available on social media and a community forum where you can post questions or check for previously answered queries. They also have a huge knowledgebase for less urgent queries.

Avira vs Norton conclusion

Nice work for reaching the end of this article without reading the spoiler at the beginning of this article! Oh, you did? Let me reiterate. Norton is the winner, with the better malware detection results in my testing and the tests run by world-leading test labs.

It has an excellent selection of new user discounts for annual plans, a better customer support offering, and a slick user interface that’ll suit beginners and experts alike. It also has a broader range of features, including a VPN, cloud backup, webcam protection, and parental control tools.

Antivirus FAQs

Does Norton 360 include a VPN?

Yes, Norton 360 includes security and Norton Secure VPN, which will bolster your privacy by encrypting your connection at unsafe wifi hotspots and letting you watch the content you already pay for at home from abroad.

Can I use Avira and Norton simultaneously?

I wouldn't recommend using Avira and Norton simultaneously on your computer, as this may cause a software conflict. Generally, Norton will scan your system during installation for any other antivirus software, but if it doesn't detect other software you know exists, I'd recommend removing it before you use Norton.

Does Avira scan for spyware?

Yes, Avira Internet Security scans for spyware, viruses, malware, ransomware, and rootkits.