The Ultimate Antivirus Battle: Bitdefender vs Norton



Admit it, internet and computers as fascinating as it may seems, have always kept the users on the vulnerable side. Almost every single person must have experienced one or more virus and other malware attacks. Yes, this topic takes us to the concept of antivirus. A product of anti-something era, it was invented to protect the computers and users from malicious attacks. A few years back, owning a good antivirus was a privilege and something to boast of.

Many users believe that it is enough to use the pirated copies of antivirus instead of buying the genuine one. Some MAC users don’t even bother to use one. But it is to be noted that MAC is just as vulnerable to the threats and attacks. The free versions lack many features which is essential for the security. So it is worth to pay for the real full version.

Just as any product range, antivirus usually comes in multi tiers. A free trial version, a paid standard version, and paid premium version. But seriously speaking, as far as personal computers in the houses are concerned, the paid standard version is more than enough.

After surfing through many internet sites, a fact to note was the two antivirus packages- Bitdefender and Norton. They were constantly ranked in the top five, with other softwares having wide variations in the rankings. So it was decided to conduct a final battle between the two- the ultimate comparison to find the fittest.

Product overview

Bitdefender continues to earn praises for its virus protection capabilities. The latest edition, though earning brickbats for its cramped up interface with small text, is worth a try, thanks to the solid antivirus engine.

Time has been somewhat cruel to Norton in the recent years, with it getting a reputation for slow PC performance. Fortunately, gone are the days of bloat, with the arrival of 2014 version. It’s once again back to being one of the best among the new threats.

Spyware and Malware Protection

A study conducted by the AV-Test and WestCoast Labs showed that Bitdefender easily swept the points for virus and spyware protection, identification and removal. However many users thinks it to be a fluke. They reported average performance. But the certified score always fares and thus it is a good one.

The certified tests found that Norton identified and blocked 80% of the known spywares. Though a little low for our liking, it is acceptable and passable. A noticeable defect was the alert method. The alert box appears and goes quickly that we are likely to miss the alert.

Usage of Resources

The average usage level of system resources makes Bitdefender an okay software. It did not show remarkable peaks for quick scans, but a full scan displayed a wee bit higher memory usage than expected though the CPU remained acceptable. For a normal 2GB RAM PC’s, Bitdefender eats up more memory.

Norton has shown remarkable improvements since their last version. It consumes very low memory and CPU while idle. Memory usage during full system scan was also low, thus registering a low usage footprint. An amazing installation speed was tested, where it completed even before many other antiviruses started.

The User Interface

The dark interface of Bitdefender is not ideal, but acceptable. The small text makes it difficult to find what you need. The other annoying thing was the never ending pop ups. For nearly every option, a new pop up opens and its irritating actually. On the plus side, making adjustments is easy with only handful of options.

Despite the software capabilities, Norton’s interface was never a favorite part for most of the users. But looks like they have worked on the issue. The modern look is easy to use, tight with clearly labeled icons. Competitors might as well learn from Norton; they’ve got this one right.



Technical Support

The great disappointment. Bitdefender doesn’t seem to show interest to talk to the customers. The customer regret form is mostly one way. We sweat it out filling the form and sending them in vain, only to be made to wait for that unknown day when they will reply you. For most of the customers, there is no such day. Funny part is, there isn’t even an indication for when they will get back to the customers. Moreover for manual virus removal, we have to pay Rs. 6138 to the technicians, where rivals VIPRE and ESET do it for free.

This was the second area, where Norton could not beat Bitdefender. Their technical support is as weak as the latter’s. With the same price of Rs. 6138, Symantec technicians would remove the viruses which are not cleaned by the antivirus engine. Luckily, they have monthly plans that range from Rs. 310 to Rs. 1236.90.

Facts that make Bitdefender click….

  • Excellent Virus & Spyware protection
  • Excellent manual virus scanning
  • USB Virus Protection
  • Acceptable idle time resource usage
  • Extra features like SafeGo and SafePay

Norton looks good on these merits

  • Easy to install
  • Real time virus protection is good.
  • Virus removal is efficient
  • User Interface is really user friendly
  • Amazing usability
  • Excellent Manual virus scanning

Wait a minute….. A coin has two faces!!!


  • Poor technical support
  • Average user interface
  • Costlier virus removal plans


  • Tech support remains a problem
  • USB virus protection is average
  • Not so amazing extra features (though it has anti-spam filters)


The verdict:

A little overhaul for the tech support and a better user interface will help Bitdefender in future. It would be good if they drop the virus removal fee. It is still an antivirus worth considering, given their historically excellent antivirus capabilities.

It’s a comeback year for Norton with improved speed and all new looks. They need to work on the tech support part. Norton is a strong competitor this year and a treat for its fans.


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