Bitdefender vs. Norton 2024: Too Close To Call

Bitdefender is a reliable antivirus with some simple interface tools that work seamlessly with Windows, while Norton gives users a powerful antivirus suite with plenty of features.
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Best for Windows

4.8
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Bitdefender's website

Bitdefender
  • Antivirus software offering reliable security
  • Simple yet powerful interface tools
  • Perfect protection score in third-party tests
  • Premium features incur additional subscription fees

Best for a cybersecurity suite

5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Norton 360 Antivirus's website

Norton 360 Antivirus
  • Easy-to-install antivirus protection
  • Secure VPN and password manager included
  • Parental control features
  • Multi-tab navigation may be overwhelming at first

We recommend Bitdefender for Windows users who don’t mind paying for premium features. Bitdefender will work on your Mac, but you won’t get to schedule scans or use the firewall.

We recommend Norton if you want all the cybersecurity essentials with one subscription. On top of its antivirus program, you can get features like Norton LifeLock identity theft protection, a virtual private network (VPN), and a password manager.

Let’s jump in and review the features of both powerhouse products so you can choose the right one.

In this article
Bitdefender vs. Norton: review at a glance
Bitdefender vs. Norton: prices
Bitdefender vs. Norton: features
Bitdefender vs. Norton: test results
Bitdefender vs. Norton: compatibility and customer support
Bitdefender vs. Norton FAQs
Bitdefender vs. Norton: Which is better?

Bitdefender vs. Norton: review at a glance

Norton starts a bit cheaper than Bitdefender. If you want the more budget-friendly option and need to cover only one device, you can pay $29.99/first yr for Norton Antivirus Plus. With Norton’s cheaper subscription, you still get a firewall, password manager, and 2 GB cloud storage.

Compare that to Bitdefender’s starting price of $29.99/first yr for Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. But Antivirus Plus only comes with protection against malware, spyware, and adware, as well as multi-layer ransomware protection. For more features, like the device optimizer and privacy firewall, you’ll at least need Bitdefender Total Security. Still, if you use Windows, Bitdefender is one of the best antivirus programs around.

Bitdefender vs. Norton compared


Bitdefender

Norton
Starting price Starts at $29.99/first yr Starts at $29.99/first yr
Free version
Max number of protected devices 15 10
24/7 customer support
Compatibility Windows, Android, macOS, iOS Windows, Android, macOS, iOS
Real-time protection
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Learn more Get Bitdefender

Read Bitdefender Review

Get Norton

Read Norton Review

Bitdefender vs. Norton: prices

Our Pick
Price range $14.99–$49.99/first yr $29.99–$99.99/first yr
Best value plan Bitdefender Total Security for $49.99/first yr Norton 360 Deluxe for $49.99/first yr
Money-back guarantee Yes — 30 days Yes — 60 days
Learn more Get Bitdefender

Read Bitdefender Review

Get Norton

Read Norton Review

Norton starts at a lower price than Bitdefender, but also tops out a good bit higher. But it has a plan to fit just about any budget. The best value is the Norton 360 Deluxe plan, which covers three devices for $49.99/first yr You get the benefit of a secure VPN, password manager, 50 GB of cloud backup, and more. Even better, Norton includes a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you have lots of time to try it risk free.

For the best value, Bitdefender chose its Total Security plan and we tend to agree. It protects five devices and includes many more features than Bitdefender Internet Security, including the privacy firewall, device optimizer, and parental controls. Bitdefender includes a money-back guarantee for 30 days, so you can try it out before you commit to the product.

Winner: Norton wins this round, as it has more pricing options with tons of features and double the time on the money-back guarantee.

Bitdefender vs. Norton: features

Our Pick
Manual and scheduled scans
Real-time protection
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Firewall Yes, for Windows
Parental controls
Password manager
VPN
Ad blocker
Device optimization tools
Learn more Get Bitdefender

Read Bitdefender Review

Get Norton

Read Norton Review

Bitdefender and Norton offer many of the same security features. However, Norton includes a password manager with all of its pricing tiers, while Bitdefender doesn’t include a password manager unless you purchase one of its premium suites. That may not be a big deal to some users, but password managers are useful for keeping your data more secure.

If you have Windows, Bitdefender includes a firewall, but if you’re using macOS, you won’t get this function. With Norton, you get the smart firewall no matter your operating system.

Bitdefender includes a VPN with its Total Security plan, but you’re limited to 200 MB of data per day. You get unlimited VPN traffic only from Bitdefender’s premium plans. Norton offers its Secure VPN starting with the Norton 360 Standard plan and there doesn’t appear to be a data limit. Although Norton doesn’t specifically include an ad blocker, the VPN does block ad tracking, which may reduce the ads you receive from online marketing companies.

We tried out Norton Secure VPN and found it was easy to use.

Winner: Norton wins again. It includes a password manager and firewall no matter what device type you have. We think Norton has more features most users would enjoy.

Bitdefender vs. Norton: test results

We rely on third-party tests to give an accurate, non-biased view of how antivirus products perform in real-world scenarios. That helps us give you a review that includes our testing experiences and the results of independent organizations that rate products against realistic threats. For this review, we used AV-TEST, which is a reputable independent third-party site.

Bitdefender vs. Norton malware protection scores

Our Pick
AV-TEST Windows score 18.0/18.0 17.5/18.0
AV-TEST macOS score 18.0/18.0 18.0/18.0
AV-TEST Android score 18.0/18.0 18.0/18.0
Learn more Get Bitdefender

Read Bitdefender Review

Get Norton

Read Norton Review

Bitdefender and Norton AV-TEST scores are from Sep/Oct 2023.

Bitdefender had perfect scores with each platform, but Norton had lower performance scores with Windows. Norton slowed down the launching of popular websites by 26% in September and 23% in October, while the industry average is 21%. It also slowed the installation of frequently used apps by 32% in September and 31% in October. Both of those scores are higher than the industry average of 17%.

Other than Windows, Norton had perfect test scores for macOS and Android. We were pleased that neither antivirus had issues with malware detection and or false positives, so you can opt for Bitdefender or Norton for effective antivirus protection.

Winner: Bitdefender wins this round with higher scores than Norton.

Bitdefender vs. Norton: compatibility and customer support

Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Browser extensions Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari Chrome, Firefox, Edge
24/7 customer support
Customer support options Live chat, email, phone, support forums, online guides Live chat, phone, support forums, online guides, Facebook, Twitter
Learn more Get Bitdefender

Read Bitdefender Review

Get Norton

Read Norton Review

The Norton interface was a breeze to operate. We ran it with multiple browser tabs open simultaneously and saw no issues with system performance. We also ran a quick and full scan to check the speed. With the full scan, Norton checked over 600,000 files in under 10 minutes. The Quick Scan was finished in under 1 minute.

Below is the Norton interface running a full scan. Everything was intuitive and took little time to execute.

The Norton full scan took less than 10 minutes to analyze more than 600,000 files on our MacBook.

Norton antivirus full scan


Bitdefender was also easy to use. Everything is organized well, and we didn’t notice an impact when running scans. However, we weren’t thrilled with Bitdefender’s features being split up between the antivirus application and the browser hub, Bitdefender Central. Essentially, you are toggling between the Bitdefender app and Bitdefender Central, which can become frustrating.

Also, options like scheduled scans, the firewall, and file shredder aren’t available to Apple users. The anti-tracking feature is a nice addition for increasing user privacy, which most of us want when working or browsing online.

We tried Bitdefender's anti-tracker browser extension on Safari and Google Chrome.

Norton goes above and beyond with its customer support. If you decide to forego the 24/7 live chat or phone options, you can use social media to connect with assistance. That is a feature we haven’t found in other antivirus products.

Bitdefender also offers different ways to find help when you need it most. If you’re a problem solver and prefer to do the troubleshooting yourself, there are user guides and tutorials to help. If not, the 24/7 chat is available. Phone and email support are also options and the phone support for most areas is available around the clock.

Winner: This is a draw. We like how Norton has numerous methods of connecting with support, and Bitdefender has lots of options, as well. Although we aren’t ecstatic about the Bitdefender Central hub, we found that Bitdefender and Norton both have easy-to-use interfaces.

Bitdefender vs. Norton FAQs


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Does Bitdefender slow down PCs?

When testing Bitdefender, we didn’t notice any system performance issues and it received perfect performance scores from AV-TEST. However, it’s always possible that antivirus software may slow down your PC, especially if your device is older or if you have a lot of downloads taking up space on your computer.


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What are Norton’s benefits?

Norton has many benefits, including real-time threat protection and a password manager. Depending on the plan you get, it may also include things like parental controls and a secure VPN.


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Is Bitdefender still the best antivirus?

Bitdefender is a good antivirus product, but it might not be for everyone. It’s geared more toward Windows users, considering it lacks essential antivirus features for macOS.


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What security is better than Norton?

Norton is an excellent security suite, but Norton Antivirus Plus (its basic plan) covers only 1 device, and it doesn’t offer a free version. If you want to cover more devices with a cheaper subscription plan, you can opt for McAfee. You can learn how Norton and McAfee match up in our Norton vs. McAfee comparison.

Bitdefender vs. Norton: Which is better?

When testing Bitdefender vs. Norton, it’s hard to pick the better antivirus. We like them both and think you’d be happy and well protected with either. Of course, there are always reasons you may choose one over the other.

Bitdefender antivirus offers more for Windows users, like scheduled scanning and a file shredder. Norton antivirus gives you a security suite with all the bells and whistles. But Norton and Bitdefender both have different plans to suit your needs and budget, so we think you can’t go wrong with either option.

Bitdefender vs. Norton alternatives

Although Bitdefender and Norton are some of the best antivirus software on the market, they may not be for everyone. That’s why we’ve hand-picked some alternative providers for you to consider.

  • McAfee: McAfee has been a trusted brand for decades, offering excellent protection with features like web protection, identity monitoring, and a file shredder.

    Get McAfee | Read Our McAfee Review

  • AVG: AVG is a solid antivirus, with a free version that offers malware protection, phishing protection, and an email shield.

    Get AVGRead Our AVG Review

  • TotalAV: TotalAV offers a user-friendly program with real-time protection against viruses and other cyberthreats.

    Get TotalAV | Read TotalAV Review

Save up to 66% on your first year
5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Norton 360 Antivirus's website
Norton 360 Antivirus
  • Easy-to-install antivirus protection
  • Secure VPN and password manager included
  • Parental control features
  • Multi-tab navigation may be overwhelming at first
Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer who specializes in all things technology. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and carries a wealth of hands-on experience thanks to her background as a technical analyst and security specialist.