Bitdefender and Norton are the best internet security suites out there. They both have perfect malware detection rates, a wide range of useful extra features, and excellent customer support.
However, there are a few differences that it’s useful to know about. I’ve summarized each product’s core strengths and differences below to help you decide which one is right for you.
Bitdefender vs. Norton — Final Verdict:
Norton is better for overall security and extra features. If you want the best protection available in 2023, go with Norton.
Bitdefender is better for price, ease of use, and is more lightweight. If you want a secure, easy-to-use, and affordable internet security suite, go with Bitdefender.
Bitdefender vs. Norton: Malware Protection
|Antivirus||Overall Malware Detection Score||Ransomware Detection||Full System Scan Time||Quick Scan Time||Scan’s Impact On System Performance||Scans External Drives|
|Bitdefender||100%||100%||1 hour||10 minutes||Low||✅|
|Norton||100%||100%||40 minutes||5 minutes||Low||✅|
Bitdefender has a powerful but lightweight malware scanner. It uses machine learning combined with a huge malware directory to detect all kinds of malware threats. And because it uses a cloud-based scanner, it has no noticeable impact on your device’s performance during scans.
Bitdefender’s full scan found 100% of my test malware. I downloaded hundreds of malware samples onto my computer for the tests, and the scan found everything in around an hour. The real-time protection is also excellent — it successfully blocked 100% of the malware files in my tests before I could start to download them.
Norton’s powerful anti-malware engine is one of the best around. It uses machine learning, advanced heuristics, and a consistently updated directory of malware, and it’s capable of finding every kind of malware — including viruses, trojans, ransomware, cryptojackers, zero-day attacks, and more.
Norton’s scanner detected every malware file I hid on my computer, and its real-time protection successfully blocked every new piece of malware I tried to download. The full disk scan also only took around 40 minutes, had minimal impact on my computer’s performance, and reported no false positives.
Bitdefender vs. Norton: Web Security
|Web Security||Blocks Phishing Sites?||Stops Drive-By Downloads?||Scans Downloads for Malware?||Isolated Secure Browser?||Blocks Keylogging Scripts?|
Bitdefender has excellent anti-phishing and web protection. Its anti-phishing protection works by comparing any website you visit against a regularly updated database of millions of known dangerous sites, blocking access to any matches. I tested this tool by trying to access over 50 known phishing sites, and Bitdefender successfully blocked every one. It also shows a useful summary of what has been blocked and why (and allows you to easily whitelist any false positives).
Bitdefender can also block access to webpages with downloadable malware, encrypted websites, or sites with fraudulent content.
Norton provides excellent anti-phishing protection via its Safe Web browser extension, which is available for all major browsers.
Safe Web successfully detected every single phishing site I tried during my tests, including a number that Chrome’s built-in protections missed.
Bitdefender vs. Norton: Features
|Additional Features||Firewall||VPN||Network Scanner||Anti-Theft Protection||Parental Controls||Password Manager|
Bitdefender has a range of plans that cover up to 10 devices and include:
- Advanced malware detection and real-time protection.
- Secure browser for online finances.
- Web protection.
- Wi-Fi network protection.
- VPN (limited to 200 MB/day on most plans).
- Parental controls.
- System optimization tools.
- File shredder.
- Password manager.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- And much more…
Bitdefender has a great range of extra features, and the vast majority of them are excellent. The parental controls are particularly noteworthy — they include a huge range of useful customization options, and you can even set restricted geographical locations on the mobile app.
The password manager is probably a little too basic for most people, and the VPN only includes 200 MB/day on most plans — however, it’s as good as most standalone VPNs, and it does come with unlimited data on the top plan, Premium Security, which is also one of the most affordable and best-value plans on the market.
Norton has a range of excellent plans, but Norton 360 Deluxe is its best-value plan — it covers up to 5 devices and includes:
- Premium malware detection and real-time scanning.
- Smart firewall.
- Web protections.
- Device optimization and cleanup tools.
- VPN (with unlimited data).
- Password manager.
- 50 GB cloud storage.
- Parental controls.
- Dark web monitoring (select markets only).
- 60-day money-back guarantee.
- And lots more…
Norton has the best additional features of any antivirus software in 2023. The password manager is one of the best that comes bundled with an antivirus. The parental controls are excellent, the optimization tools are really useful and easy to use, and the dark web protection is better than that offered by most other antiviruses.
The VPN is also decent. It has really good security features, pretty fast speeds, and works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max (but not Disney+ and Hulu). However, it doesn’t allow torrenting on all servers.
Norton has a huge range of plans, all of which are worth exploring — especially the LifeLock plans (US customers only) that include advanced identity theft tools such as credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, social security and driver’s license monitoring, and much more.
Bitdefender vs. Norton: Apps & Ease of Use
(GravityZone plan only)
|✅||✅||Android app only||❌|
|Norton||✅||✅||❌||✅||✅||Android app only||❌|
Bitdefender is very user-friendly, with a well-designed and intuitive desktop dashboard. All features are organized into three main categories — Protection, Privacy, and Utilities — making it easy to find everything.
Bitdefender’s default settings are good enough for most users, but there are also lots of customization options for almost every feature — including a Quick Action button that lets you customize your interface by adding more buttons to the main dashboard.
Bitdefender’s mobile apps are well designed and very intuitive to use, but while the Android app is excellent with a wide range of features, the iOS app is very limited.
Norton is relatively intuitive and easy to use, but there is a bit of a learning curve. Norton is a huge program that has far more additional features than most antiviruses, so it’s mainly just the case that there is a lot to find your way around.
The main interface is clean and uncluttered, and there are lots of customization options, which is great. But the main dashboard only displays the core tools, and some of the other features are hidden behind a few too many sub-folders.
Norton’s mobile apps and online dashboard are really well designed and easier to use than the desktop app, with the features designed in a slightly more intuitive way.
Bitdefender vs. Norton: Customer Support
|Antivirus||Email Support||Live Chat||Phone Support||Active Community Forum||Social Media Support||FAQs & Setup Guides|
Bitdefender has excellent customer support. It includes live chat, phone, and email support, as well as a large knowledge database and community support.
The phone support and live chat are both available 24/7 in English, and during local office hours in a wide range of other languages. The phone support even has 28 local numbers in various countries, as well as a worldwide line.
I had an overall positive experience with all the available support options. The responses I received were prompt, informative, and delivered in a friendly manner. Whether it was through email, live chat, or the community forum, I consistently received fast and helpful assistance. The community forum, in particular, proved to be quite active, as I received helpful responses from fellow community members within a few hours of posting my queries.
Norton has a decent range of customer support options. It offers both phone and live chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it supports a wide variety of languages, including English, German, Dutch, Mandarin, Arabic, and more.
I had a great experience with the phone support — my calls were answered quickly and I received friendly and knowledgeable assistance. However, the live chat was surprisingly bad, with very slow and buggy connections.
Norton also has a good range of product guides, a handy FAQ section, and a decent community support forum.