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McAfee or Norton?

September 14, 2011

What’s a Better AV Solution? McAfee or Norton?

You want your system protected from the latest virus, malware, spyware, and/or adware. So which antivirus solution offers the best protection – McAfee or Norton? Both programs will protect your computer from most of the malicious threats, though none is foolproof. Let us have a look at both security programs in detail to understand which one is better.

Norton is a complete security suite featuring a fantastic antivirus program that offers protection to your computer from a variety of threats. Besides, you can run a scan to ensure the proper functioning of your hard drive and also cleans up your registry entries. With McAfee, you enjoy complete antivirus protection. McAfee comes up with other updated security features to make sure your PC is protected from the latest threats on the Internet. Norton’s Smart Firewall helps inexperienced users deal with information about fake applications. In the advanced McAfee version, you need to download the firewall upon installation of the security suite, which makes the installation somewhat complex. However, the firewall protection offered by McAfee is considered to be better than Norton.

Norton has come up with an updated Protection Center, which offers you a simplified interface. You can access the main features on the front page of the UI itself. On the other hand, for beginners, McAfee’s control panel is somewhat difficult to decipher, though experienced users would not find it difficult to locate settings they want to modify. You can access convenient buttons to run the scan and update the software.

McAfee’s Firewall prompts more alerts for the user compared to Norton’s Smart Firewall, which makes most of the decisions itself. Norton boasts an improved Auto-Protect component for viruses, spyware, rootkits, and adware. It offers email protection and instant messaging scanning as well.

McAfee’s VirusScan is effective against viruses, spyware, and other malicious attacks, though it appears slower than Norton and occupies more space, placing a great burden on your PC resources. Norton includes Bloodhound heuristics to monitor suspicious activity and identify potential threats. It also checks the authenticity of sites by analyzing content on the pages and breaking down the URLs. The latest McAfee version includes SystemGuards to prevent the system from the latest unlisted viruses. McAfee’s X-Ray system is effective in finding and removing rootkits. McAfee’s SiteAdvisor button prompts about the possible threats on websites when you try to access them. This feature protects confidential information from being sent out and immediately prompts the user in such a case. McAfee is stronger here than Norton, as it blocks any offending material from entering the system and prevents confidential information from being leaked.

Despite its comprehensive virus encyclopedia, you will not find any parental controls on Norton’s Internet Security suite. However, McAfee’s security suite offers you parental controls and other security features, including Data Backup to protect data from fire, loss, or damage and Spamkiller to block unwanted email. The backup begins the moment files are updated after the initial run.

Bottom Line

Both security suites offer almost a similar level of protection against viruses and other unwanted threats. Both are almost similarly priced. However, if you want additional features, you can consider McAfee Internet Security Suite, especially for its parental controls. But remember, McAfee’s installation is complex , as you would need to download most of the additional features. On the other hand, if performance and core components are your major concern, go for Norton Internet Security.

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