Antivirus Software Comparison: McAfee, Norton and Bitdefender
From shopping online to video streaming and casual browsing, without a good antivirus software, your private details are ripe for the picking.Fortunately, the right software will keep you safe while surfing the web.
If you are wondering how to choose the best antivirus software, then check out this comparison of three of the best antivirus providers: Norton, McAfee and Bitdefender.
Each antivirus software was different performance standards and expectations. To start, Bitdefender has high marks from independent tests, and features good scan time with virtually no lag, as well as above average protection against viruses and malware. Norton, on the other hand, runs the risk of slowing down your computer during scans but eliminates deeply embedded crimeware that traditional virus scanning doesn't always detect.
McAfee takes the cake as the industry leader with the shortest scan time and best protection even against the newest threats. Plus, McAfee does all this without slowing down your computer (you can learn more by reading our expert McAfee review here).
2. Ease of Use
All of these antivirus providers have easy-to-use services and programs. Bitdefender is easy to use, providing a 1-click setup, remote controlling, quick widgets, one email address to control everything and an easy to operate rescue mode. Norton offers an instant download for immediate protection and an easy-to-use web portal for maintenance and updates.
Likewise, McAfee offers an intuitive setup for each of your devices, and, best of all, you can activate McAfee on all of your devices and control them from one screen.
The type of features you’ll want in your antivirus package depends on what you do on your devices – for example do you love gaming and video streaming or do you need protection for file sharing at the office?
Norton offers a mobile app scanning and device locator, though it’s missing an auto backup, gaming mode and parental control features. McAfee will delete files permanently and offers mobile users data backup, Wi-Fi protection, remote lock, wipe and anti-theft tools.
However, Bitdefender takes it to another level and has a laundry list of impressive features. Some of the unique features are cloud anti-spam, IM protection, virtual keyboard, and USB drive protection (you can learn more by reading our expert Bitdefender review here).
4. System Repair and Cleaning
Of course while features and unique extras are important, you really need an antivirus software that cleans and repairs your operating system. While all three of these companies do well in protecting against viruses, some do better than others at cleaning up devices that have been attacked.
For example, McAfee is notorious for struggling with infected PCs and devices, while Bitdefender known to do a much better job.
Norton however, really blows the competition out of the water and routinely receives the highest scores from independent testers (read our in-depth Norton review to learn more).
5. Value for Money
If you don’t need have a ton of devices to cover Bitdefender at $59.95 for three devices is a competitive deal. And on the surface Norton seems like a good deal at $44.99 for five devices and $59.99 for 10 devices, but when you dig a little deeper you see that McAfee may offer the best deal.
McAfee allows unlimited devices for $59.99 and its package includes lots of features, making it the best value for money. McAfee has also been known to offer special deals and promotions, further lowering the price and increasing the value.
A friendly and available support staff or online knowledgebase is very important but not always automatic with antivirus packages. Norton provides phone and live chat support, and features a helpful Q&A section on its site. McAfee offers similar support options, but you’ll need to pay extra for advanced tech support.
Bitdefender's support center is by far the most comprehensive, featuring all of the above as well as superb email support and "Virus Encyclopedia," pushing them ahead of the competition.
As you can see each of these antivirus products have different advantages features. While Bitdefender wins top marks for customer support and unique features, Norton is ahead of the competition when it comes to system repair.
However neither can compete with McAfee's performance, ease of use, and value, which are three of the most important elements in choosing antivirus software.
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