Norton vs. PC Matic 2024: Norton's Security Suite Steals the Win

While PC Matic is a strong contender, Norton is a tried and true antivirus with a variety of security features to protect you and your family online.
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Best for Extra Cybersecurity Features

5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
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
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS on up to 10 devices depending on plan

Best for No-frills Malware Protection

4.4
Editorial Rating
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On PC Matic's website

Antivirus Software
PC Matic
  • Offers lifetime coverage for a one-time price
  • Comes with an ad blocker and dark web monitoring
  • May block valid programs, giving false positives

Drilling down to determine the antivirus that has the options you need at the right price isn’t always simple. For instance, Norton 360 plans run anywhere from $29.99–$99.99/first yr and come with solid malware detection rates and plenty of features. PC Matic starts at $80.00/yr and caps at $199.00/yr for a lifetime subscription. It also comes with unique whitelisting technology to identify safe websites and software.

Prices aside, Norton's security suite is one of the best antivirus programs we've tested. It includes more features, like parental controls, a password manager, and a virtual private network (VPN). Although PC Matic’s approach includes fewer frills, its lower-cost options — especially its lifetime plan — may make more sense for your budget.

We dig into the pros and cons of these two antivirus programs and give you a comprehensive breakdown of Norton vs. PC Matic.

In this article
Norton vs. PC Matic review at a glance
Norton vs. PC Matic: prices
Norton vs. PC Matic: features
Norton vs. PC Matic: test results
Norton vs. PC Matic: compatibility and ease of use
Norton vs. PC Matic FAQs
Norton vs. PC Matic: Which is better?

Norton vs. PC Matic review at a glance

The best antivirus programs typically offer several options for your needs, and in looking at these antivirus products, you can see Norton has some lower pricing options for more budget-friendly plans. PC Matic is more rigid with only two options, either $50.00/yr or $150,00 for a lifetime plan. However, it also offers a free plan for Windows that’s limited to three devices.

Still, Norton’s higher price nets you more digital security features. It gives you a firewall and parental controls, which PC Matic doesn’t offer.

  • Norton 360 Antivirus: Best for extra cybersecurity features
  • PC Matic: Best for no-frills malware protection

Norton vs. PC Matic compared

Starting price Starts at $29.99/yr (first year only) Starts at $50.00/yr
Max number of protected devices Up to 10 devices Up to 10 devices with a paid plan
Up to 3 devices with the free plan

24/7 customer support
CompatibilityWindows, macOS, Android, iOS Android, iOS, Windows, macOS
Free version
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Ad blocker
Learn more Get Norton
Read Norton Antivirus Review
Get PC Matic
Read PC Matic Review

At the end of the day, both programs give you the security you’d expect, like phishing protection and ransomware protection. The deciding question is whether you’ll also benefit from extra security features. If malware protection is enough, PC Matic is likely your best bet. If you’d also like secure ways to store passwords and files or need parental controls, Norton takes the lead.

Norton vs. PC Matic: prices

Our Pick
Price range $29.99–$99.99/first yr $50.00-$199.00/yr
Best value plan Norton 360 Deluxe for $49.99/yr (first year only) Advanced Security + VPN for $80.00/yr
Money-back guarantee Yes — 60 days Yes — 30 days
Learn more Get Norton
Read Norton Antivirus Review
Get PC Matic
Read PC Matic Review

If you want lots of pricing options, Norton 360 gives you at least four different plans to choose from. There’s something for almost every budget. PC Matic Home Security has the Basic plan with just antivirus; the Advanced plan with antivirus and a VPN, and the Complete plan with antivirus, a VPN, identity theft protection, and phone support. We chose the Advanced Security + VPN plan for $80.00/yr plan as the best value option.

Norton’s best value is the Norton 360 Deluxe plan for $49.99/yr (first year only). For that price, you get coverage for five devices with a password manager and firewall included. It also comes with 50 GB of cloud backup and the Norton Secure VPN, among other extra features. If you're seeking just an antivirus without added functionality, you can opt for Norton Antivirus Plus for $29.99/yr (first year only).. 

Both of these antivirus programs come with money-back guarantees. PC Matic offers only a 30-day money-back guarantee, while Norton gives you a 60-day money-back guarantee to get the feel of the product and thoroughly test it.

Winner: Norton wins this round. You get more pricing options and a longer money-back guarantee to try the product.

Norton vs. PC Matic: features

Feature
Our Pick
Manual and scheduled scans
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Firewall
Parental controls
Password manager
VPN
Ad blocker
Device optimization tools Yes — Windows only Yes — Windows only
Learn more Get Norton
Read Norton Antivirus Review
Get PC Matic
Read PC Matic Review

Norton comes jam-packed with additional features like parental controls, a password manager, cloud storage, and a VPN. And while PC Matic does include some device optimization tools and dark web monitoring, you won’t get a firewall or parental controls.

One thing to note is that PC Matic uses whitelisting technology, which can help protect against modern malware threats. PC Matic’s SuperShield feature uses application whitelisting as a way for you to create a list of trusted apps and websites.

The system tune-up tools PC Matic includes may make it worth the cost for some. You also get an ad blocker, which Norton doesn’t offer with its antivirus suite. Ad blockers help keep those pesky pop-ups to a minimum, and some people may not want to purchase an ad blocker separately, so PC Matic including this option is a smart move.

PC Matic recently introduced its PC Matic VPN, which costs $80.00/yr for five simultaneous connections or you can get PC Matic Advanced Security + VPN for $80.00/yr. While we haven’t had a chance to test it yet, we’ve found NordVPN, Surfshark, and Private Internet Access offer solid security against hackers for a lower price.

We also like that PC Matic includes dark web monitoring, which alerts you if it spots your data circulating in places it shouldn’t belong. A system that monitors this can help reduce the chances of your data being used for malicious purposes.

PC Matic alerted us that we should clear our cache to free up space.

With Norton, you get cloud backup and, depending on the plan, dark web monitoring too. You’ll also have access to the SafeCam feature, which detects attempts to access your webcam. (Don’t get too excited about that if you’re an Apple user, because it’s available only for Windows at this time.)

Norton also comes with optimization tools of its own and does a good job cleaning those junk files to give you more room on your device. You can also pair its antivirus with identity theft protection from LifeLock.

We tried Norton's junk file cleaner, which took a few minutes to identify files we could safely remove to improve our device's performance.
Norton antivirus junk scan

Winner: Norton is again the winner. Although PC Matic has some impressive optimization features, it just can’t beat all the extras you get with Norton.

Norton vs. PC Matic: test results

When reviewing antivirus software, we rely on third-party testing to give our readers an accurate, objective picture of how products perform. These tests use real-world scenarios to find out how antivirus software withstands security threats. For our Norton vs. PC Matic assessment, we used AV-TEST to compare the products.

Norton vs. PC Matic AV-TEST scores

Our Pick
Windows score 16.5/18 14/18
macOS score 18/18 N/A
Android score 18/18 N/A
Learn more Get Norton
Read Norton Antivirus Review
Get PC Matic
Read PC Matic Review
AV-TEST results as of Mar/Apr 2024.

In the March and April testing of PC Matic, AV-TEST showed three false positive detections of legitimate software. That means PC Matic flagged safe software as a possible malware threat. Overall, PC Matic scored well in the protection and performance categories but took a big hit in the usability category due to so many false positives. The biggest strike was 12 false positives while installing and using legitimate software. 

Norton also had perfect protection scores but was dinged in the performance and usability categories. Although Norton only flagged two false positives in the usability category (compared to PC Matic's 20 in total), it was still docked half a point. It was also bumped down a point for slowing down device performance on Windows. But more importantly, Norton received perfect scores for malware scanning and detection across platforms, so you can rely on its virus protection capabilities. 

We couldn’t view any scores for PC Matic on Android devices or macOS, so it would be impossible to compare how it performed on those systems against Norton. But the lack of test scores for the software doesn’t mean it’s a bad product, as antivirus companies must pay for these tests.

Winner: Norton is the winner. When comparing available test results, Norton outperformed PC Matic in Windows testing.

Norton vs. PC Matic: compatibility and customer support

Our Pick
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Browser extensions Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, Opera Chrome, Edge, Firefox
24/7 support Yes, with Support Unlimited
Support options Live chat, phone, support forums, online guidesLive chat and phone (with Support Unlimited), email, support forums, online guides
Learn more Get Norton
Read Norton Antivirus Review
Get PC Matic
Read PC Matic Review

With PC Matic, one cumbersome item we did note was that when scanning finished, we didn’t get a summary with the number of files scanned, which is unusual for antivirus software. That isn’t a deal breaker, but it would be nice to have in the future.

The interface isn’t the most intuitive, either. Some of PC Matic’s features aren’t explained well, such as how to add more devices to your plan.

On the other hand, PC Matic lets you check your device status, which we think is a cool option because it shows your RAM and CPU usage along with the available disk space. When you need to free up space on your device, as many of us do, you get a clear picture of your system status.

You can check your device status with PC Matic to see memory and processor usage, as well as how much unused disk space you have.

Norton is user-friendly, and the interface is very intuitive. There was no noticeable lag when multiple browser windows were open. Scanning with Norton is simple, and once it’s finished, the interface shows you how many total files were checked.


Norton’s Junk Cleaner is an impressive tool because it can quickly scan through files, checking to see which ones can be deleted or moved. That’s helpful in the case of duplicate files or documents you didn’t know were still hanging around, taking up space.

You’ll also see the different categories of data Norton monitors with the dark web feature. These are items like your email, mailing address, phone number, and bank account.

Norton vs. PC Matic: customer support

Norton offers everything except email for its customer service assistance. Unlike most antivirus software, you can also get help by messaging the Norton support team on Facebook or Twitter, which gives you even more access to help. The chatbot feature is available 24/7, and you can call for more personalized assistance.

We contacted support for PC Matic via email with questions about its features. We received a response within a few hours. The rep was clear and helpful, and our questions were easily answered.

The downside to PC Matic support is that you must pay an extra $100.00 to get the Support Unlimited feature. If you opt for this, you’ll get customer service by phone, email, chat, and even remote assistance. Without paying the extra money, we found PC Matic’s support features to be lacking.

Winner: Once again, Norton is the winner. If you remove PC Matic’s Support Unlimited feature, you get only two options for customer service, and one is the online guides, where you do the troubleshooting yourself.

Norton vs. PC Matic FAQs


+

Is Norton better than PC Matic?

With all the extra features and superior customer service options, Norton is likely a better antivirus than PC Matic for most people.


+

Does PC Matic get rid of viruses?

PC Matic works more on the preventative side to block viruses before they can execute and become a problem.


+

Is PC Matic a Chinese company?

PC Matic is an American company based in Sioux City, Iowa.

Norton vs. PC Matic: Which is better?

Although we think both Norton and PC Matic offer good antivirus protection and come with unique features, we believe that Norton is the better software. You get tons of options that enhance your security experience, like cloud backup, a secure VPN, parental controls, and more. Norton even includes a password manager to keep your login information more secure.

Enjoy Norton’s 100% Virus Protection Promise
5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
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
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS on up to 10 devices depending on plan

Of course, if you're looking for a basic antivirus with some optimization tools, we think PC Matic is a great choice. Its application whitelisting approach works hard to prevent malware from reaching your device.

Norton vs. PC Matic alternatives

If neither of these antivirus programs top your list after reading our comparison, we recommend checking out these top anti-malware and antivirus tools:

  • TotalAV: An easy-to-use antivirus program, we like TotalAV's real-time protection, which shows you whether a website is safe or not—even before you click the link in your search results. It also comes with a VPN and password manager, plus device optimization features.

    Get TotalAV | Read Our TotalAV Review
  • Bitdefender: Another full security suite, Bitdefender's pricing and features may be a better fit for you. It also offers cross-platform malware protection to protect both Mac and Windows operating systems from Trojans and other malware.

    Get Bitdefender | Read Our Bitdefender Review
  • McAfee: If you want parental controls and notoriously effective malware protection, McAfee is a great place to start. It also comes with phishing and ransomware protection and earned excellent scores from independent tests.

    Get McAfee | Read Our McAfee Review

No Fuss, Real-Time Online and Mobile Protection
4.8
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On TotalAV's website
Antivirus Software
TotalAV
First year discount on paid plans
  • Real-time protection from viruses, malware, and online threats
  • Blocks tracking cookies and ads, proactively monitors for data breaches, and option to schedule smart scans
  • 100% compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS operating systems on up to 3 devices
  • Lacks firewall protection

Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer specializing in technology, with three years of experience. With a B.S. in Computer Science and a background as a technical analyst and security specialist, she covers a range of topics like data security and parental control software.