(Updated on February 15th, 2021)
Kaspersky or Norton? Which software is right for you?
Read this in-depth Kaspersky vs. Norton comparison if you want to make a wise decision.
Norton and Kaspersky are both industry leaders in the antivirus and security division. But between the two, which one is the best? In this definitive comparison, we will do an in-depth evaluation between Norton and Kaspersky. We will compare them using the following aspects: Features, Malware Protection, System Performance, User Interface, Pricing, and Compatibility. Read on to know the best.
Malware threats and identity theft continue to account for many data breaches. According to Javelin Strategy and Research 2020 Identity Fraud Study, in 2019, a cumulative total of $16.9 billion was lost due to identity fraud. It is predicted that identity theft cases will rise, and the shocking numbers are only a wake-up call.
To protect your devices from the latest online threats and malware, you need more than an antivirus. It would be best to get a comprehensive security suite that offers malware protection and safeguards your sensitive information against identity theft. To get this type of protection, you need to use a premium antivirus security suite.
A paid service offers advanced security and features that keep malware and other online threats at bay. With a premium antivirus security suite, you can expect multilayered protection, cloud backup, smart firewall, password manager, VPN, parental control, online privacy tools, optimization tools, and identity theft protection services.
Additionally, these paid antivirus suites offer cross-platform protection and can cover multiple devices at once. You also get great value for your money and peace of mind.
Comparison at a Glance
Norton and Kaspersky offer the world’s best antivirus security suites. They provide top-notch protection against the latest malware, virus, ransomware, and other online threats. Here is a rundown on how they compare on different aspects;
Winner: Norton. Both products offer remarkable features geared towards security and malware protection. However, Norton gives you identity theft protection and insurance services.
2. Malware protection
Winner: Kaspersky. Kaspersky offers cutting-edge protection via its cloud adaptive security technology. Nonetheless, both products provide comprehensive security.
3. System performance
Winner: Kaspersky. Kaspersky offers efficient protection that doesn’t take a toll on your system performance. Its background scans also won’t get in your way.
4. User interface
Winner: Tie. Norton and Kaspersky sport a user-friendly interface. Navigation is hassle-free, and all features are easily accessible and well organized.
Winner: Norton. Although Norton is a bit pricey, it gives excellent value for your money. It has many features, and its high-end products protect you against identity theft.
Winner: Tie. Both products are cross-platform, and they are compatible with Windows, Macs, Android, and iOS devices.
Both products deliver excellent protection against online threats. However, Norton takes a significant lead as it combines powerful online security features, identity theft protection, and insurance. Despite being pricey, Norton products are worth your every penny.
Products from both Norton and Kaspersky sport outstanding features geared towards your online security. They are packed with various functionalities for the best protection across all your devices. Let us have a look at the features of both suites.
Features of Norton
We will start with Norton’s low-end product features, the Norton Antivirus Plus, for PCs and Macs.
- Online threat protection: Anti-Spyware, Antivirus, Malware, and Ransomware Protection.
- Smart firewall, Password manager, and 100% Virus Protection Promise.
- 2GB cloud backup
Norton’s next product is the Norton 360 suite. A cross-platform solution for PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets. This is also our recommendable product. Norton offers this suite in three packages; Standard, Deluxe, and LifeLock.
The Standard suite includes all the base product features with the addition of
- 10GB cloud backup.
- Secure VPN for 1 PC, 1 Mac, or 1 smartphone or tablet.
- Webcam protection and Dark web monitoring.
The Deluxe package adds the following features
- 50GB cloud backup.
- Secure VPN for up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets.
- Norton parental control and School time.
- Privacy and Dark Web monitoring.
The LifeLock package is more about online privacy, identity protection, and insurance. It sports all the features of the other products, and it’s divided into three tiers. Select, Advantage, and ultimate Plus. The Select tier has the following additions
- 100GB cloud backup.
- Secure VPN for up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets.
- LifeLock Identity Alert System.
- Access to US-based Identity Restoration Specialists.
- 1 Bureau Credit Monitoring.
- ID verification Monitoring.
- SSN and Credit alerts.
- Data Breach Notifications.
- Stolen Wallet Protection.
- Million-dollar protection package
The Advantage package adds the following
- 250GB cloud backup.
- Secure VPN for up to 10 PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets.
- Identity lock and phone take over monitoring.
- Bank and credit card activity alerts.
- Fictitious Identity monitoring.
- Court record scanning.
The Ultimate plus takes insurance a notch higher and adds the following features
- 500GB cloud backup.
- Unlimited Secure VPN for PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets.
- 3 Bureau Credit Monitoring.
- 401(k) and Investment Activity Alerts.
- Home Title Monitoring.
Features of Kaspersky
Like Norton, Kaspersky offers nearly similar features in its four premium products. They are cross-platform except for the antivirus package.
We will start by looking at the features of Kaspersky Anti-Virus for windows.
- Award-winning antivirus engine, protection against viruses, malware, ransomware, and phishing.
- Performance optimization tools.
The next product is Kaspersky Internet Security. It adds the following feature
- Webcam protection and anti-phishing.
- Safe Money for payment protection.
- Secure VPN 200MB per day for Windows only.
- Smart Firewall.
Up next is Kaspersky Total Security Suite. In addition to the previous features, it includes
- Parental control via Safe Kids
- Password manager
Lastly, the final and recommendable product; KasperskySecurity Cloud. This product offers all the features of other Kaspersky products. The distinct part is the adaptive security cloud technology. It tracks the behavioral habits of users and keeps them in check.
That is, it will look for potential vulnerabilities and remedy them. It does this automatically, and it will also notify you. For instance, it can check for things like common passwords or weak passwords. Its unique features include
- Remote account management.
- Home Wi-Fi Monitor.
- Online account checker – searches for leaked personal information on public databases.
- Hard drive health monitor.
- Secure VPN 500MB per day.
- Webcam and Mic Protection.
In terms of features, Norton 360 has a lot more than Kaspersky. Additionally, Norton gives you insurance in case your personal information gets breached.
2. Malware Protection
Both suites are equipped with award-winning antivirus engines and real-time multilayered protection against online threats. With these two, you can say goodbye to malware, viruses, ransomware, spyware, trojans, worms, phishing scams, and other threats.
In this section, we will use evaluations and tests done by AV-Test and AV-Comparative. The products are subjected to various parameters and assessments, including protection against zero-day attacks and widespread and prevalent malware detection. From the tests, we will know which suite is the best for malware protection.
First, we will look at how each security suite implements security. Norton uses the same antivirus engine across its products. It is backed up by artificial intelligence and machine learning. These technologies form multiple defenses against various online threats. Norton also does a fine job besides malware protection to ensure you do not fall victim to identity theft.
Here are the results from AV-Test.
Chart 1 Norton Malware Protection scores: Source: AV-Test
Here are the results from AV-Comparatives.
Chart 2 Norton Malware protection results. Source: AV-Comparatives
Kaspersky offers the best possible protection, and its high-end product includes the addition of cloud for personalized security. Like Norton, it uses the same award-winning antivirus engine for its products. Hence, the underlying malware protection is the same, with cloud exception. The adaptive cloud technology enhances malware protection and overall security.
The adaptive tech gives you the right protection according to your lifestyle. It knows when to deal with threats and when to warn you. Kaspersky Security Cloud also goes a notch higher to alert you when a new device joins your Wi-Fi network. This security feature protects you from intruders.
Below are the results from AV-Test.
Chart 3 Kaspersky Malware Protection scores: Source: AV-Test
Here are the results from AV-Comparatives.
Chart 4 Kaspersky Malware protection results. Source: AV-Comparatives
From the AV-Test evaluations, both products got a perfect score of 6 points each. However, the AV-Comparatives’ tests say otherwise. Kaspersky got the advanced plus three-star badge while Norton got the advanced two-star badge. As far as protection is concerned, Kaspersky always takes the lead, followed closely by Norton.
You should note that Norton’s LifeLock addition doesn’t enhance your malware protection. It only helps you with identity theft protection and some insurance. Malware protection capabilities are the same as other Norton security suites.
3. System Performance
Often antivirus security suites take a toll on your system’s performance when doing scan operations. You might notice this when doing full scans. Once again, we will rely on independent lab tests to know the toll your system takes when using Norton or Kaspersky products.
In these tests, the products are subjected to various system parameters while carrying out scanning operations, as shown in the results.
In general, Norton products will give your system a fever when doing full scan operations. The case is not different for the identity theft protection products such as Norton 360 with LifeLock since they use the Norton antivirus engine.
Let us see how it fares in AV-Test performance evaluations.
Chart 5 Norton Sept-Oct 2020 performance results. Source: AV-Test.
Here are the results from AV-Comparatives.
Chart 6 Norton performance test results. Source: AV-Comparatives
On the other hand, Kaspersky is known to be light on your devices. Although Kaspersky Security Cloud uses adaptive technology to deliver excellent protection efficiently, the engine is the same. Kaspersky always ensures scanning operations won’t get in your way, and hence Kaspersky products won’t impact performance like Norton. Additionally, the background scans use fewer resources.
Here are the performance results from AV-Test evaluations.
Chart 7 Kaspersky Sept-Oct 2020 performance results. Source: AV-Test
Let us see how it fares in AV-Comparatives tests.
Chart 8 Kaspersky performance test results. Source: AV-Comparatives
Both products scoop a 6 out of 6 AV-Test for performance. In AV-Comparative results, Kaspersky again gets the advanced plus three-star performance badge. Norton settles for the two-star. Looking at the chart keenly, Kaspersky has been getting the three-star since 2015. Hence, we can conclude that Kaspersky products don’t heavily impact your system’s performance when carrying out scans.
4. User Interface
Both products present their features and functionality through appealing interfaces.
Norton packs the familiar feel that’s across all its products. The interface is intuitive, user-friendly, and is marked with the yellow Norton signature color. The main dashboard gives away easy access to features and functionalities. Like all other Norton products, Norton 360 with LifeLock also features big buttons for quick navigation.
Kaspersky products feature a minimalistic and easy to use interface with functionalities highlighted in the Aqua green Kaspersky signature color. The new dashboard is intuitive, and it presents easy accessibility to various features. Navigation is also hassle-free, nothing too complicated.
Overall, there’s nothing to hate about the user interface on both products.
Norton offers different pricing plans for its products. The pricing plans are as follows;
- Norton antivirus plus costs $19.99 per year for the first year, and it offers protection for 1 PC or Mac.
- Norton 360 standard goes for $39.99 per year for the first year, and it covers 1 PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet.
- Norton 360 deluxe costs $49.99 per year for the first year, and it offers protection for up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets.
Norton 360 with LifeLock comes in three pricing plans. Norton 360 with LifeLock Select is the base product. The other two products, Advantage, and Ultimate Plus, offer more options for Identity theft protection and monitoring. The pricing plans are as follows;
- Norton 360 with LifeLock Select costs $99.48 per year for the first year, and it covers up to 5 devices.
- Norton 360 with LifeLock Advantage goes for $191.88 per year for the first year, and it covers up to 10 devices.
- Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus costs $299.88 per year for the first year, and it covers unlimited devices.
Here is a picture of the current prices for Norton 360 with LifeLock.
Like Norton, Kaspersky also has different pricing plans for its products. Here are the introductory pricing details;
- Kaspersky Antivirus costs $29.99 per year for 3 PCs.
- Kaspersky Internet Security goes for $39.99 per year for 3 devices.
- Kaspersky Total Security costs $49.99 per year for 5 devices.
Below is a picture of more introductory pricing details.
For the Kaspersky Security Cloud, Kaspersky offers two subscription plans. These subscriptions carry a 30-day free trial with no credit card required. The details for the introductory prices are as follows;
- Kaspersky Security Cloud Personal starts at $53.99 for 3 devices per year.
- Kaspersky Security Cloud Family retails at $89.99 for 10 devices per year.
Below is a pictorial for more information about Kaspersky Security Cloud pricing plans.
Comparing the two products’ pricing plans shows that Norton’s high-end products such as the Norton 360 with LifeLock suite, are pricey. But again, Norton 360 with LifeLock offers comprehensive identity theft protection coupled with insurance. With LifeLock, Norton gives you great value for your money.
Norton and Kaspersky are cross-platform products except for the base products. Both high-end products offer a full-fledged security suite on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. However, Mac and iOS might miss some functionalities due to operating system limitations. To use all these products’ features, you will have to download the components separately as directed by the main application.
The installation process is more straightforward than before; you are only required to follow the next prompts.
Both products offer robust features and impeccable security. You can easily protect multiple devices regardless of the platform; these products are cross-platform and are compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Kaspersky Security Cloud is excellent for malware protection but doesn’t give you a great value of money than Norton 360 with LifeLock Select. Although expensive, Norton offers superb features, including identity theft protection and insurance.
Although there’s little distinction between them, the difference comes down to the number of features. Additionally, Norton offers fully functional features, such as the VPN, whereas Kaspersky’s VPN is limited. You need to make an extra payment to remove the limitation. Norton 360 with LifeLock Select is the better suite in this definitive comparison, mainly due to LifeLock’s identity theft protection and insurance.
Frequently asked questions
Norton better than Kaspersky. Norton products have excellent features and also a robust identity theft protection service. You also get to enjoy insurance from LifeLock in case your information gets compromised.
Kaspersky Security Cloud is an impressive security suite with impeccable malware protection. Kaspersky Security Cloud offers features you can find in other Kaspersky suites with the addition of adaptive security. This is the cloud component that delivers efficient protection against online threats.
Yes. Besides protection against malware and other online threats, Norton 360 with LifeLock gives you peace of mind. That is, it protects you against identity theft, and your credit information, SSN, bank accounts, and other sensitive information is insured. If you get compromised, Norton will reimburse you and cover all other expenses.
The main difference between these two products is one feature; the adaptive security technology in Kaspersky Security Cloud. This feature delivers ultimate protection based on your activities and online lifestyle.
Norton 360 is all about protection against online threats. On the other hand, LifeLock is concerned about identity theft protection services and insurance.