Norton 360 vs. AVG 2024: Premium Cybersecurity vs. Freemium Protection

Norton is a trusted name in cybersecurity, while AVG is known for its surprisingly high-quality free antivirus protection. Both offer solid antivirus coverage with different features and price points.
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Best for Comprehensive Cybersecurity

5.0
Editorial Rating
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On Norton 360 Antivirus's website

Antivirus Software
Norton 360 Antivirus
Save up to 58% your first year
  • 4 plans available, all including antivirus, malware, ransomware, and hacking protection, Cloud backup, and a secure password manager
  • Option to add VPN connection, dark web monitoring, privacy monitoring, and more
  • Available for up to 10 devices depending on plan
  • Multi-tab navigation may be overwhelming at first

Best for Free Basic Coverage

4.8
Editorial Rating
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On AVG's website

All-In-One
AVG
  • Award-winning antivirus, malware, and ransomware protection for up to 10 devices
  • Includes webcam protection, safe browsing and email, automatic updates, and 24/7 protection
  • Suite of protection benefits including a secure VPN, anti-tracking capabilities, safeguards against phishing sites, and more
  • Various scanning options may be confusing to some people

If you’re on the fence about whether you should use antivirus, the answer is a resounding “yes.” What it really comes down to is what kind of coverage you need and how much you’re willing to spend. Norton 360 offers robust security features and has a plan to fit just about any budget. With AVG Ultimate, you get advanced features like a VPN and anti-tracking tools.

While many users may opt for AVG Antivirus Free, which offers basic protection at no cost, you may want to consider trying out Norton 360 risk-free with its 60-day money-back guarantee offered on annual subscriptions. To help you decide, we’ve positioned these trusted brands in a head-to-head antivirus showdown, looking at their prices, features, third-party test results, compatibility, and customer support.

In this article
Norton 360 vs. AVG review at a glance
Norton 360 vs. AVG: prices
Norton 360 vs. AVG: features
Norton 360 vs. AVG: test results
Norton 360 vs. AVG: compatibility and customer support
Norton 360 vs. AVG FAQs
Norton 360 vs. AVG: which antivirus software is better?

Norton 360 vs. AVG review at a glance

Norton 360 doesn’t offer a free plan. While that can be a bummer for those of us who like a good free product, it does offer numerous plans to fit your budgetary constraints. Right now, you can nab Norton Antivirus Plus for one device to the tune of $29.99/first yr. That plan includes a smart firewall, a password manager, and 2 GB of cloud backup. You also have options for extra features like parental controls, webcam protection, and dark web monitoring with the other subscriptions.

AVG antivirus offers a free version that includes spyware and ransomware protection, though you'll have to upgrade for enhanced firewall protection. You will get spyware and ransomware protection, though. AVG has only two different paid plans, so that will make the decision process faster: Internet Security and the Ultimate plan. We’ll cover more of the key features you get with Norton 360 and AVG below.

  • Norton 360: Best for comprehensive cybersecurity features
  • AVG: Best for free basic coverage

Norton 360 vs. AVG compared

Starting price $29.99/first yr $46.68/first yr for 1 device
Free version
Max number of protected devices 10 10
24/7 customer support Yes, if you add expert care
Compatibility Windows, Android, macOS, iOS Windows, Android, macOS, iOS
Real-time protection
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Learn more Get Norton 360

Read Norton 360 Review

Get AVG

Read AVG Review

Norton 360 vs. AVG: prices

Best Value
Price range $29.99–$99.48/first yr $24.99–$59.88/first yr
Best value plan $49.99/first yr $46.68/first yr for 1 device
Money-back guarantee Yes, 60 days for the annual plan Yes, 30 days
Learn more Get Norton 360

Read Norton 360 Review

Get AVG

Read AVG Review

By viewing the table above, you can see the prices are quite different between Norton 360 and AVG antivirus. Norton offers a midway plan for the best value, and we agree with that option. With Norton 360 Deluxe, you get coverage for three devices with 50 GB of cloud backup. The plan also comes with parental controls and the SafeCam feature. For $49.99/first yr, we think you get plenty of bang for your buck. It comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you have adequate time to kick the tires of this antivirus and be sure it’s right for your needs.

AVG antivirus has only two paid options for the antivirus software. Users can choose between the AVG Internet Security and the AVG Ultimate subscriptions. We chose the Internet Security plan as the best value, but it covers only one device. Still, there is no happy medium with this product. The next tier covers 10 devices, but it will cost you almost twice as much. You have a 30-day money-back guarantee to test the antivirus, but we would like to see more options for users who might need complete protection for more than one device at a cheaper price than the Ultimate plan offers. AVG includes the PUA scanner that helps identify unwanted programs, and you get real-time updates, which ensure better security protection to catch the latest malware.

Winner: Norton wins this round with better options to fit most needs and a longer money-back guarantee.

Norton 360 vs. AVG: features

Feature
Our Pick
Manual and scheduled scans
Real-time protection
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Firewall
Parental controls
Password manager
VPN Yes, with Ultimate plan
Ad blocker
Device optimization tools Yes, with Ultimate plan
Learn more Get Norton 360

Read Norton 360 Review

Get AVG

Read AVG Review

Both AVG and Norton 360 offer a lot of key features. The only item you won’t get with Norton 360 is an ad blocker. You will get access to plenty of other features, like the secure VPN, firewall, and parental controls. Of course, some Norton 360 features aren’t supported for macOS, like parental controls, SafeCam, and cloud backup. Apple users are accustomed to this with antivirus software, as many products offer fewer options for macOS. The included firewall was great to have for advanced online protection. It checks for data leaks and intrusions that can harm your device.

Norton 360 Antivirus has you enable each of its security features individually.
Norton 360 security features

AVG gives users plenty to write home about, but some features are available only with the Ultimate plan. You won’t have the TuneUP, Secure VPN, or AntiTrack features if you choose the Internet Security subscription. AVG also doesn’t offer parental controls or a password manager with any plan. That’s the biggest difference between the two. But AVG's free plan includes limited firewall protection, while premium plans offer an enhanced firewall. 

Paid AVG subscribers get access to the Premium tab of the Enhanced Firewall, which features a data leak protector and vulnerability alerts.
AVG enhanced firewall protection features

So if you need family protection with controls you can customize, AVG may not be for you. Likewise, if you want password protection without paying more for a separate product, Norton 360 includes a password manager with all plans.

Winner: Norton wins. The antivirus has premium features that many users want, like a firewall and parental controls, without charging more for them.

Norton 360 vs. AVG: test results

We rely on third-party tests to give our readers an objective view of how different antivirus products perform. We know that the best antivirus software will keep your device secure from malware and various online threats. That’s why we test these antivirus products and use scores from third-party vendors to give clear results on how the software stacks up against the competition. For this comparison, we used AV-TEST.

Here’s a look at how Norton 360 and AVG scored:

Norton 360 vs. AVG malware protection scores

Our Pick
Windows 17.5/18 18
macOS 18 18
Android 18 18
Learn more Get Norton 360

Read Norton 360 Review

Get AVG

Read AVG Review

*Test scores as of Aug-Sep 2023 for Norton and July-Sep 2023 for AVG.

Neither antivirus scored poorly, but Norton didn’t do as well as AVG when testing it on Windows. Norton 360 received 5.5 out of 6.0 in the Performance section. This measures the extent the product affects the system. In July of 2023, Norton slowed the installation of frequently used applications by 24%, as opposed to the industry average of 14%. Then, in August, it slowed down the applications by 18%. Also, it slowed down when launching popular websites in July at 31%. The industry average is 28%. These hits could be why Norton 360 scored lower than AVG for performance. Norton had only one false blockage while installing and using legitimate software, and that wasn’t a concern because it meets the industry average.

When looking at AVG’s scores, we saw the antivirus slowed down when launching popular websites, too. The industry average is 28%, and AVG had a score of 34% in July and 32% in August. It did not have any false blockages.

Winner: AVG is the winner for this round. It scored higher than Norton, but we also want to note that we do not have serious concerns about Norton, as they both showed signs of slowing down when launching websites, and that can be normal when using antivirus programs.

Norton 360 vs. AVG: compatibility and customer support

Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Browser extensions Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Internet Explorer
24/7 customer support Yes, if you add expert care
Customer support options Phone, chat, community, social media Phone, email, Facebook, YouTube
Learn more Get Norton 360

Read Norton 360 Review

Get AVG

Read AVG Review

AVG’s Scan Central makes it easy to choose which type of system can you want to run. You have three options: Deep Scan, Targeted Scan, and External Storage Scan.

We tested AVG on a MacBook Air running Big Sur OS, then tested it again using Windows 10. When we ran the tests on our MacBook, the Deep Scan flew through over one million files in under 14 minutes. Similarly, when testing AVG on the Windows PC, we noticed no lag in system performance, and the scans were fast. The only issue we had with the interface was that since you can customize it with scheduled scans and other options, the ease of use may be lacking for some users.

We clicked on Run Other Scans in our AVG antivirus and it took us to a Scan Central dashboard where we could select the type of scan we wanted.
AVG antivirus scan central

We put Norton to a thorough test running a Quick scan and Full scan to see what it could do. Note that Norton also offers Smart scan and Custom scan options. There were no system performance problems, even when we opened numerous browser tabs. The Full Scan checked over 600,000 files on our MacBook Air in under 10 minutes. The interface was easy to navigate and user-friendly. We took advantage of the junk file cleaner that removed unneeded files to clear up some real estate on our device.

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

Norton antivirus full scan


Winner: Draw. Both Norton 360 and AVG have interfaces that are easy to use. Some users may notice a bit of a learning curve with the customization options AVG offers, but we don’t think it’s a big problem.

Norton 360 vs. AVG FAQs


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Is AVG owned by Norton?

AVG is not owned by Norton. It is owned by Avast and was purchased in 2016. Both AVG and Avast offer top freemium antivirus software.


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Does Norton 360 or AVG slow down your computer?

From the reports in AV-TEST, both of these have the potential to slow down the launching of websites. When we tested them on multiple devices, we didn’t notice either causing a system performance issue.


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How does AVG Free compare to paid Norton?

There isn’t much of a comparison between AVG Free and Norton’s paid plans. You get much more with Norton’s plans, like a password manager, file shredder, parental controls, cloud backup, and a firewall, to name a few.

Norton 360 vs. AVG: which antivirus software is better?

Both Norton 360 and AVG are good antivirus options with solid protection ratings, but we’d recommend Norton 360. Norton offers more advanced security features like firewall protection and parental controls for the starting price point.

If you have a family and you want parental controls, dark web monitoring, and options that center around family protection, Norton 360 is better than AVG. On the other hand, if you simply want a free product or something customizable that may take some getting used to, AVG allows you to tweak the interface to your liking. And you can’t totally beat free.

But when it comes down to it, Norton offers a whopping 60-day money-back guarantee period on annual subscriptions, so you can test out which features work best for you risk-free.

Interested to see how AVG holds up against other top antivirus contenders? Check out AVG vs. McAfee.

Norton 360 vs. AVG alternatives

If you’re looking for antivirus protection with a comparable price point to Norton but with more robust security features than AVG, consider these alternatives.

  • McAfee: McAfee has been a trusted brand for years, with good reason. It offers all-in-one protection for your security needs. McAfee+ Premium boasts additional features like a file shredder and parental controls. Test out McAfee with its 30-day money-back guarantee on annual subscriptions.

    Get McAfee | Read Our McAfee Review

  • Bitdefender: Bitdefender gives users reliable security coverage while including simple interface tools. It’s excellent for device protection and has a perfect protection score in third-party tests. Bitdefender also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    Get Bitdefender | Read Our Bitdefender Review

  • TotalAV: TotalAV is another reputable freemium that offers security against malicious viruses, malware, and harmful websites. This software is easy to use and ideal for one or two people who each have one to three devices. You can try out TotalAV with its 14-day money-back guarantee on monthly subscriptions and a 30-day money-back guarantee on annual subscriptions.

    Get TotalAV | Read Our TotalAV Review

Want to know the top antivirus dog when it comes to features, price point, and coverage? Check out our review of McAfee vs. Norton 360.

Online Protection With VPN Access and Identity Monitoring
5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On McAfee's website
All-In-One
McAfee
Save $90 on a 2-year plan
  • Inclusive antivirus, scam, and web protection with the added privacy of a VPN, identity monitoring, and secure password manager
  • Get a real-time Protection Score that measures your online safety and offers guidance to improve security
  • Added peace of mind with 24/7 expert online support and McAfee’s Virus Protection Pledge
  • Multiple pop-ups for text notifications can be annoying

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.