In the world of antivirus software, there are many options available for consumers to choose from. Two of the most popular options are Norton and McAfee, both of which have been in the market for many years. While both are designed to provide protection against malware such as viruses, trojans, and spyware, there are significant differences between them in terms of features and protection capabilities.

History and Background

Norton was created in 1991 by Symantec Corporation, which has been in the security technology business since 1982. It is one of the oldest and most established names in antivirus software. McAfee, on the other hand, was created in 1987 by John McAfee, who founded the company that bears his name. Intel acquired McAfee in 2011 and later sold it to TPG. Today, McAfee is owned by McAfee LLC.

Protection Capabilities

Norton and McAfee have a lot in common regarding their protection capabilities. Both programs provide real-time protection against malware, which means that they scan files and applications in real-time to ensure that they are not infected. They also both have the ability to scan your entire computer for malware, which is something you should do periodically to ensure that your computer is not infected.

However, there are some differences in their protection capabilities. Norton’s malware protection is considered to be stronger and more reliable than McAfee’s. Norton’s malware detection and removal capabilities are considered to be among the best in the industry, and it consistently gets high scores in independent tests.

McAfee’s malware protection is also good, but it is not considered to be as strong as Norton’s. McAfee gets average scores in most independent tests, though it has been known to have issues with detecting certain types of malware.


When it comes to features, both Norton and McAfee offer a wide range of options for users to choose from. Both programs include features such as firewall protection, email protection, and parental controls, among others. However, there are some notable differences between the two.

Norton offers a more comprehensive set of features than McAfee. For example, Norton offers a password manager, file backup and encryption, and online storage. Additionally, Norton offers a 100% money-back guarantee if your device gets infected with malware while using their software.

McAfee, on the other hand, offers some features that Norton doesn’t. One of the most notable is a feature called “McAfee LiveSafe,” which is considered to be one of the best antimalware suites available today. It includes advanced features such as anti-spam protection, device optimization, and anti-theft protection.

User Interface

Both Norton and McAfee have intuitive, user-friendly interfaces that are easy to navigate. Norton’s interface is slightly more modern and sleek, with colorful graphics and easy-to-understand icons.

McAfee’s interface is more basic, with more straightforward menus and options. The simplicity of McAfee’s interface can be appealing to those who prefer a clean, uncluttered look.


Price is an important factor when it comes to choosing an antivirus program, and in this regard, Norton and McAfee are fairly evenly matched. Both programs offer a range of options, from basic protection to advanced suites, with prices ranging from around $50 to $100 per year.

There are some minor differences in pricing, but they are not significant. For example, Norton offers a cheaper “Norton Security Standard” option for users who only need basic protection, while McAfee offers a more expensive “McAfee Total Protection” option for users who need more advanced features.


Both Norton and McAfee are excellent antivirus programs with many features and strong protection capabilities. However, there are differences between them that may make one a better choice for you than the other. If you value strong malware protection and a comprehensive set of features, Norton may be the better choice. If you want a more basic interface and advanced features such as anti-spam protection, you may prefer McAfee.

Ultimately, the best antivirus program for you will depend on your needs and preferences. Consider factors such as features, price, and protection capabilities when making your decision, and don’t be afraid to try both programs to see which one works best for you.

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