Norton vs. TotalAV — Which Is the Better Antivirus in 2023?

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Norton vs. TotalAV: Which Is Right for You?

Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
Junior Editor

Norton vs. TotalAV: Which Is Right for You?

Norton and TotalAV are powerful antiviruses with excellent malware detection rates and really good additional features. However, they do have some slight differences. For example, Norton has slightly higher malware detection rates than TotalAV, but TotalAV offers more options in its PC optimization feature than Norton does.

I’ve summarized their core strengths and differences below to help you decide which one is right for you.

Norton vs. TotalAV: Final Verdict:

  • 1st place: Norton. Norton vs. TotalAV: Final Verdict:
  • 2nd place: TotalAV. Norton vs. TotalAV: Final Verdict:

Norton has better malware protection, web security, extra features, and customer support. If you want the best antivirus in 2023, go with Norton.

TotalAV has better PC optimization tools and a better VPN. If you want to improve the performance of your computer and also get the best antivirus-bunded VPN on ther market, go with TotalAV.

Norton vs. TotalAV: Malware Protection

Norton provides a powerful malware scanner that uses machine learning, heuristic analysis, and a vast malware database. It can detect zero-day and known malware threats (including trojans, worms, rootkits, and more).

I downloaded an extensive database with 1,000s of malware samples to test Norton’s malware scanner. I hid the samples throughout my Windows 11 PC and ran a full system scan. The scan only took 40 minutes to complete and found 100% of malware samples — which is super impressive. I could also stream HD video while scanning my computer without experiencing any slowdown.

Norton also offers excellent real-time protection that blocked every malware sample I attempted to download. This included malware samples hidden in encrypted folders.

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TotalAV’s malware scanner is based on Avira’s anti-malware engine — one of the most powerful anti-malware engines on the market. It uses a large malware database and heuristic analysis that can detect known and zero-day threats.

To test TotalAV’s malware scanner, I downloaded the same malware database containing 1,000s of malware samples that I used to test Norton. I hid the samples throughout my Windows PC and ran TotalAV’s full system scan. The full system scan took an hour to complete, which is slightly slower than Norton, and detected 99.6% of malware samples — which is more or less perfect.

TotalAV’s real-time protection is excellent. It blocked every malware sample I tried to download — including those in compressed folders — and automatically quarantined them.

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Norton vs. TotalAV: Web Security

Norton’s web security stops you from accessing phishing websites that try to steal your data or contain malicious file downloads. I also really like how Norton helps you spot false positives through community reviews.

I tried visiting 100s of phishing website samples to test Norton’s web security. Norton blocked more sites than most competitors and even blocked websites that the default protections on Firefox, Edge, and Chrome allowed through.

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TotalAV’s web protection (WebShield) works like Norton’s and blocks online malware distributors and dangerous phishing websites. However, I found TotalAV isn’t as user-friendly and makes whitelisting false positives a bit more complicated. There’s also no access to community reviews, so you have to make your own decisions.

That said, TotalAV uses its own AI-based system to detect dangerous websites, and I found it worked really well. In my tests, it blocked every phishing website sample I tried to visit, including those that the default protections on Firefox and Chrome missed.

I also really like how TotalAV provides phishing protection for free. You can download TotalAV’s WebShield as an extension for your browser without purchasing a TotalAV plan.

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Norton vs. TotalAV: Features

Norton 360 Deluxe protects up to 5 devices and includes:

  • Malware scanner.
  • Real-time protection.
  • Firewall
  • Virtual private network (VPN).
  • Password manager.
  • Dark web monitoring.
  • Webcam protection (Windows only).
  • 10 GB cloud storage.
  • And more…

I particularly like Norton’s firewall, which is much more effective than the built-in firewalls on macOS and Windows. It provides customization features and easy rule-setting for advanced users, but beginner users can just leave it running in the background and still get the best protection.

Norton also includes a really good password manager that has 256-bit AES encryption, unlimited password storage, password vault auditing, and more. It’s not as comprehensive as a standalone password manager, but it’s better than most password managers that come packaged with antivirus software. Many only have the basics and don’t include Norton’s extras, such as password vault auditing.

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TotalAV Total Security offers protection on up to 6 devices and includes:

  • Malware scanner.
  • Real-time protection.
  • System cleanup tool.
  • VPN.
  • Password manager.
  • Ad blocker.

I really like TotalAV’s system cleanup tool. It includes more features than most system cleanup tools on the market, and after running it, I noticed a significant improvement in my computer’s speed. It can also clean up your browser to help keep your online activity private, which is cool.

TotalAV’s VPN performed really well in my tests, too. While it’s still not as good as a standalone VPN, it very secure and very fast. I didn’t notice any slowdown while running it, and I appreciate how it shows individual server speed, making it easy to change to a faster server if necessary.

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Norton vs. TotalAV: Ease of Use

Norton’s user interface is intuitive once you’ve gotten used to it. However, it can initially be challenging to navigate due to its many features.

That said, Norton allows you to pick between a modern view, a classic view, or a web-based dashboard. This freedom allows beginner users to experiment and choose a view that suits them best. I particularly like the web dashboard, which is laid out clearly, easy to navigate, and has every feature accessible with one click.

I also like Norton’s mobile apps, which come with tons of unique features to protect you. They’re easy to navigate and include SMS spam filters, an app advisor (Android only), a secure calendar (iOS only), and more. Honestly, my only complaint is you need to download multiple apps to access every feature.

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TotalAV is easy to set up and can be installed in as little as five minutes. It features a simple, intuitive dashboard that makes things like scheduling virus scans quick and easy.

Like Norton, TotalAV provides an online dashboard. I love that the dashboard offers video tutorials and FAQs for every TotalAV feature. Still, I was a little disappointed in the lack of remote device access, which Norton includes.

However, I love how feature-rich TotalAV’s mobile app is. It can do nearly everything Norton’s mobile apps can and even includes a device tuneup feature for mobile, which works really well. It cleared over 1,000 MB of junk files on my Android in my tests.

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Norton vs. TotalAV: Customer Support

Norton provides excellent customer support. I like how the phone and live chat support are accessible in English, Turkish, German, and Mandarin. A lot of competitors don’t provide such a wide range of language options.

When I tested Norton’s phone support, I could always contact an agent instantly. Each time, the agent was helpful and able to answer my questions no matter how complicated they were.

I struggled a little with Norton’s live chat though. Sometimes I couldn’t open it, and other times I had to wait a while to receive a response. TotalAV’s live chat always responded instantly.

Finally, I like Norton’s knowledge base, which includes FAQs, product guides, and more. It’s so comprehensive that I could often visit the knowledge base instead of contacting Norton’s customer support team to get my answers.

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TotalAV offers three support options, including email, live chat, and 24/7 phone support. I particularly like how TotalAV offers specific phone support in 7 different countries.

When I contacted TotalAV’s phone support team, they answered me quickly every time and gave helpful and precise instructions.

However, I was slightly disappointed in the email support. I had to wait 18 hours for a response.

That said, I quite like TotalAV’s live chat. While the countries you can access it from are restricted, the live chat team is always helpful and responsive.

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Latest Positive Review*User reviews are not verified
Sep. 28, 2022
Better than McAfee
If your a MAC user and are using the latest Tech with OS - use Norton.
Apr. 8, 2022
Satisfactory For Me
I have seven devices using this product , and find it very effective ...
bob longo
Feb. 1, 2023
So Far
doing what i expected them to do, it's worth the money
Jan. 27, 2023
+Good protect
I recommand Tatal IAV It gives users a good protection
Latest Negative Review*User reviews are not verified
Sep. 5, 2022
I had identity theft added this past week. I have been a Norton customer...
Jul. 30, 2022
NOT the best
When I was locked out of my own online Norton account for almost 6 months...
Sep. 15, 2022
Ability to talk to a real person.
There are some problems a subscriber may have that require the ability to...
Cliff Mobile
Jun. 18, 2022
totalAV effectiveness
totalAV seems to work well on my Mac-mini. I am disappointed in its...
Our Verdict
Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
Junior Editor
Both Norton and TotalAV provide really good malware scanners. Norton’s malware scanner has perfect detection rates, and TotalAV only missed 0.4% of malware samples. Norton provides excellent web detection, security, and more. Meanwhile, TotalAV offers a really good system optimization tool and an excellent web shield that you can download for free. Norton offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, and TotalAV provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try them risk-free.
Time To Decide Which One Is Best For You

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the best antivirus for me?

The first thing to do is to understand what you need — all antiviruses come with different internet security tools to help you stay protected, so identifying what level of protection you want will help you figure out which product is right for you.

Some antiviruses have a virtual private network (VPN), some have safe browsing extensions, and some have a password manager. Some only work on certain operating systems, while others cover all operating systems across multiple devices.

It’s important to compare the best antiviruses on the market to find the perfect one with the functionality you need.

What makes an antivirus secure?

A high-quality antivirus suite will detect, flag, and remove viruses and various types of malware. It will also offer real-time protection against all threats, regardless of whether you are browsing the internet, downloading software, shopping online, or opening email. For additional security, many antivirus suites offer a VPN, secure storage, and a password manager — these things all add several layers of protection against various cyber threats.

For more information on how antiviruses work, read this.

What do I need to look for when searching for an antivirus?

An antivirus needs to protect against all types of malware — trojans, rootkits, worms, spyware, viruses, ransomware, and anything else that might cause damage to your devices. This is done in a variety of ways, but the most essential feature of an antivirus is real-time protection — this makes sure that an active threat is effectively stopped before anything serious can happen.

Other things to look for include — excellent detection rates, fast system performance, included extra features (like a VPN, password manager, etc.), easy-to-use interface, good customer support, and overall value.

Go here for a list of the best antivirus software of 2023.

How do I know if one antivirus is better than another?

When researching antiviruses, it’s a good idea to visit a few well-known antivirus software websites such as Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender to directly compare each antivirus’s features.

You can also look at the expert opinions of our reviewers at to find the most up-to-date and unbiased information about the best cybersecurity products on the market today.