Norton is the best antivirus in 2023. It includes one of the best anti-malware engines on the market, comes with a good range of additional features, and has an intuitive and easy-to-use online dashboard.
AVG’s anti-malware engine is also excellent, but its web protection isn’t as good as Norton’s. Also, its most advanced plan is a bit more expensive than Norton’s. However, it has some really good additional features and is easy to use.
AVG vs. Norton — Final Verdict:
- 1st place:
- 2nd place:
Norton ties with AVG for malware protection, but it’s better for web security, features, ease of use, and customer support. If you’re after the best antivirus in 2023, then go with Norton.
AVG has really good malware protection and is better than Norton at optimizing your computer. If you want to speed up your PC while staying protected from malware, go with AVG.
AVG vs. Norton: Malware Protection
Norton’s malware scanner protects your computer from malware using machine learning, heuristic analysis, and a vast online malware database. It can detect and remove worms, rootkits, trojans, ransomware, and more. The full system scan took less than an hour to run on my computer, and I didn’t notice any slowdowns.
Norton’s malware scanner found every malware sample in my tests. I tested the malware scanner by hiding an archive containing thousands of malware samples on my computer, and Norton identified and removed all of them, including those I’d hidden in zipped folders.
I also really like Norton’s real-time protection — I couldn’t even begin to download any samples when I enabled it. I launched multiple simulated ransomware attacks against my machine, and Norton stopped every simulation before any files were encrypted.
AVG’s malware scanner also works really well. Like Norton, it uses machine learning, heuristic analysis, and an online malware database to find malware on your computer. The scanner only took 5 minutes longer to complete than Norton’s malware scanner, and I didn’t notice any slowdown while running it.
AVG also found 100% of my malware samples. For testing, I downloaded the same malware samples that I used to test Norton and ran AVG’s deep scan. I was impressed with AVG’s scanning results, especially because it also found malware in encrypted folders.
Finally, AVG’s real-time protection works well. It intercepted any malicious file downloads before they could be saved onto my computer. I also ran the same ransomware simulator I ran while testing Norton, and AVG stopped my files from being encrypted.
AVG vs. Norton: Web Security
Norton’s Safe Web feature is a great way to stay protected from phishing attacks. In my tests, Norton blocked every sample phishing site I tried to visit, including those that Firefox and Chrome’s default protections missed.
Norton also offers color-coded assessments of every website listed in search results, which is pretty cool. Green websites are safe, orange websites are potentially unsafe, and red websites contain malware or are known phishing sites.
AVG’s web security is pretty good, but it’s not as good as Norton’s. It uses a massive database to block dangerous websites and keep you protected from phishing attacks, online exploits, and more.
In my testing, AVG blocked the majority of phishing websites I tried to access, but it didn’t block quite as many sites as Norton did.
I also prefer Norton’s color-coded website assessments to AVG’s. AVG claims it marks dangerous websites as red and safe websites as green, but I only ever saw safe and grey “unknown” websites in my testing.
AVG vs. Norton: Features
Norton offers coverage on up to 10 devices and includes:
- Web protection.
- Smart firewall.
- Dark web monitoring.
- Parental controls.
- Password manager.
- Virtual private network (VPN).
- Performance optimizer and clean-up tools.
- Identity theft protection (US only).
- 60-day money-back guarantee.
- And more…
I really like Norton’s Smart Firewall. It monitors inbound and outbound network traffic and alerts you to any network intrusion attempts. It works well, and it was able to block exploit attacks that Windows’s built-in firewall failed to block.
Norton’s parental controls are also pretty good and have various features to keep your kids safe online. They allow you to monitor your kids’ YouTube and Hulu activity, block apps on their Android devices, and set limits and usage schedules across all of their devices.
AVG can protect up to 10 devices and includes:
- Web protection.
- Rescue disk.
- System tune-up tool.
- VPN (with unlimited data).
- Dark web monitoring.
- Password protection.
- Webcam protection.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- And more…
AVG’s system tune-up tools are really good. You can speed up your PC, free up disk space, run maintenance, or fix problems. For example, AVG highlighted several unnecessary programs on my PC I’d left installed and over 500 broken registry items left in my computer’s database. The only downside to the system tune-up tools is that you have to install them as a separate application.
I also like how AVG provides a built-in rescue disk. Norton also offers a bootable recovery tool, but you have to download it separately, which, as with AVG’s tune-up tools, is pretty annoying.
AVG vs. Norton: Ease of Use
Norton is pretty simple to download and install. Once you’ve installed Norton, you’re offered two interfaces: My Norton and Classic. My Norton takes you to the default interface, which contains all of Norton’s features on the main screen. Classic is similar to My Norton and offers large buttons to access certain features.
I much prefer Norton’s online dashboard to the desktop app. The online dashboard is responsive and clearly laid out. It lets you configure all of Norton’s features, access the password manager’s vault, and more.
Norton’s mobile apps are really good and easy to use, too. They come with some unique features not available on the desktop version of Norton. For instance, Norton for Android includes an App Advisor that scans the Google Play Store and alerts you to any malicious apps before you download them.
AVG is easy to download and install, and the user interface is simple enough to navigate. AVG’s main features are separated into 2 categories: Basic Protection and Full Protection. Basic Protection lets you access the virus scanner and web protection, and Full Protection lets you access features like the password protection tool and webcam protection.
It’s disappointing that AVG doesn’t provide any kind of online dashboard like Norton does. And it’s super annoying that its features are spread across a bunch of different apps.
That being said, I like AVG’s mobile apps for iOS and Android. They’re well-designed and simple to navigate, and like with Norton, they come with unique features not included in the desktop version. For example, both the Android and iOS apps provide a photo vault where you can store personal pictures.
AVG vs. Norton: Customer Support
Norton offers several customer support options including phone chat, live chat, FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and a community forum. The phone and live chat are available in multiple languages, including English, Dutch, Mandarin, Arabic, and German. No matter which option you pick, you can get in touch with someone most hours of the day.
Most of the time, I connected with a phone chat representative quickly, but I had a harder time getting in touch with a live chat representative. There were a couple of instances where I had to wait (and one instance where the live chat crashed before I could talk to someone). Still, overall I had an excellent experience getting hold of customer service representatives. Each representative was really helpful and offered clear instructions on how to resolve any issues I was having with Norton.
AVG provides various support options, including email support, phone support, live chat support, a community forum, and a knowledge base. However, while AVG operates multiple phone lines around the world, I was disappointed to see they’re all in English-speaking countries: USA and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. As mentioned above, Norton operates phone lines in multiple languages. That said, AVG’s knowledge base is provided in 10 different languages.
Overall, I had a good experience with AVG’s customer support. I could always connect with a live chat or phone representative, and they were helpful. My only complaints are that AVG wouldn’t answer basic questions without needing my subscription details first, and that I had a hard time finding the email for AVG’s email support (it’s not listed on their contact page, so I had to Google their support email to find it).