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Norton vs. PC Matic 2023: Norton‘s Security Suite Steals the Win

Protecting your devices from malware is crucial these days. With phishing scams and viruses running rampant, you need antivirus software with advanced security to keep your data safe.

Drilling down to determine the antivirus that has the options you need at the right price isn’t always simple. For instance, Norton 360 plans run anywhere from $19.99–$99.99/first yr and come with solid malware detection rates and plenty of features. PC Matic starts at $100/yr and caps at $199/yr for a lifetime subscription. It also comes with unique whitelisting technology to identify safe websites and software.

Prices aside, Norton‘s security suite comes with more features, like parental controls, a password manager, and a virtual private network (VPN). Although PC Matic’s approach includes fewer frills, its lower-cost options may make more sense for your budget — especially its lifetime plan.

We’ll dig into the differences and similarities between these two antivirus programs and give you a bird’s eye view of Norton vs. PC Matic.

Norton vs. PC Matic Review At a Glance

The best antivirus programs typically offer several options for your needs, and in looking at these antivirus products, you can see Norton has some lower pricing options for more budget-friendly plans. PC Matic is more rigid with only two options, either $50.00/yr or $150 for a lifetime plan. It also offers a free plan for Windows that’s limited to three devices.

Still, Norton’s higher price nets you more digital security features. It gives you a firewall and parental controls, which PC Matic doesn’t offer.

Norton vs. PC Matic Compared

Norton 360 PC Matic
Starting price Starts at $19.99/first yr Starts at $100/yr
Max number of protected devices Up to 10 Up to 5 with a paid plan
Up to 3 with the free plan
24/7 customer support Yes Yes
Compatibility Android, iOS, Windows, macOS Android, iOS, Windows, macOS
Free version No Yes
Phishing protection Yes Yes
Ransomware protection Yes Yes
Ad blocker No Yes

At the end of the day, both programs give you the security you’d expect, like phishing protection and ransomware protection. The deciding question is whether you’ll also benefit from extra security features. If malware protection is enough, PC Matic is likely your best bet. If you’d also like secure ways to store passwords and files or need parental controls, Norton takes the lead.

Norton vs. PC Matic: Prices

Norton 360 PC Matic
Price range $19.99–$99.99/first yr $50/yr or $150 lifetime access
Best value plan Norton 360 Deluxe for $49.99/first yr Complete plan for $100/yr
Money-back guarantee Yes — 60 days Yes — 30 days

Prices as of 07/06/2023.

The above table gives you a clear view of how these antivirus programs differ regarding prices. If you want lots of pricing options, Norton 360 gives you at least four different plans to choose from. There’s something for almost every budget.

PC Matic has only two pricing plans: $50/yr or $150 lifetime access. Although that looks like a good option at first, antivirus products are constantly changing, so who knows what you might want three years from now? That’s important to consider when making your decision. That’s why we chose the $100/yr plan as the best value option.

Norton’s best value is the Norton 360 Deluxe plan for $49.99/first yr. For that price, you get coverage for five devices with a password manager and firewall included. It also comes with 50 GB of cloud backup and the Norton Secure VPN, among other extra features.

Both of these antivirus programs come with money-back guarantees. PC Matic offers only a 30-day guarantee, while Norton gives you a 60-day money-back guarantee to get the feel of the product and thoroughly test it.

Winner: Norton wins this round. You get more pricing options and a longer money-back guarantee to try the product.

Norton vs. PC Matic: Features

Feature Norton 360 PC Matic
Manual and scheduled scans Yes Yes
Phishing protection Yes Yes
Ransomware protection Yes Yes
Firewall Yes No
Parental controls Yes No
Password manager Yes No
VPN Yes No
Ad blocker No Yes
Device optimization tools Yes — Windows only Yes — Windows only

Data as of 07/06/2023.

Norton comes jam-packed with options like parental controls, a password manager, a firewall, and a VPN. And while PC Matic does include some device optimization tools and dark web monitoring, you won’t get the addition of a firewall, parental controls, or a password manager.

One thing to note is that PC Matic uses whitelisting technology, which can help protect against modern malware threats. PC Matic’s SuperShield feature uses application whitelisting as a way for you to create a list of trusted apps and websites.

The system tune-up tools PC Matic includes may make it worth the cost for some. You also get an ad blocker, which Norton doesn’t offer with its antivirus suite. Ad blockers help keep those pesky pop-ups to a minimum, and some people may not want to purchase an ad blocker separately, so PC Matic including this option is a smart move.

Norton was user-friendly and the interface was very intuitive. There was no noticeable lag when multiple browser windows were open. Scanning with Norton is simple, and once it’s finished, the interface shows you how many total files were checked.

You’ll also see the different categories of data Norton monitors with the dark web feature. These are items like your email, mailing address, phone number, and bank account.

Winner: Norton is again the winner. Although PC Matic has some impressive optimization features, it just can’t beat all the extras you get with Norton.

Norton vs. PC Matic: Test Results

When reviewing antivirus software, we rely on third-party testing to give our readers an accurate, objective picture of how products perform. These tests use real-world scenarios to find out how antivirus software withstands security threats. For our Norton vs. PC Matic assessment, we used AV-TEST to compare the products.[1,2,3,4]

Norton vs. PC Matic AV-TEST Scores

Norton PC Matic
Windows score 17.5/18 16/18
macOS score 18/18 N/A
Android score 18/18 N/A

Norton test results as of Mar-May 2023.

PC Matic test results as of Mar-Apr 2023.

In the March testing of PC Matic, AV-TEST showed two false positive detections of legitimate software. That means PC Matic flagged safe software as a possible malware threat. In April, tests also showed that running the antivirus resulted in a slower launching of popular websites compared to the industry average.

Norton found no false detections but did get bumped down a half point for slowing down device performance on Windows.

We couldn’t view any scores for PC Matic on Android devices or macOS, so it would be impossible to compare how it performed on those systems against Norton. But the lack of test scores for the software doesn’t mean it’s a bad product, as antivirus companies must pay for these tests.

Winner: Norton is the winner. When comparing available test results, Norton outperformed PC Matic in Windows testing.

Norton vs. PC Matic: Compatibility and Ease of Use

Norton PC Matic
Windows Yes Yes
macOS Yes Yes
Android Yes Yes
iOS Yes Yes
Browser extensions Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox

With PC Matic, one cumbersome item we did note was that when scanning finished, we didn’t get a summary with the number of files scanned, which is unusual for antivirus software. That isn’t a deal breaker, but it would be nice to have in the future.

The interface also isn’t the most intuitive. Some of PC Matic’s features aren’t explained well, such as how to add more devices to your plan.

On the other hand, PC Matic lets you check your device status, which we think is a cool option to have, because it shows your RAM and CPU usage along with the available disk space you have. When you need to free up space on your device, as many of us do, you get a clear picture of your system status.

Norton was user-friendly and the interface was very intuitive. There was no noticeable lag when multiple browser windows were open. Scanning with Norton is simple, and once it’s finished, the interface shows you how many total files were checked.

Winner: Norton for the win. PC Matic has some good features, but it’s not what we consider to be intuitive. Norton is immediately easy to use and the interface is pretty seamless.

Norton vs. PC Matic: Customer Service

Norton PC Matic
24/7 live chat Yes Yes, with Support Unlimited
Phone Yes Yes, with Support Unlimited
Email No Yes
Support forums Yes No
Online guides Yes Yes

Norton offers everything except email for its customer service assistance. Unlike most antivirus software, you can also get help by messaging the Norton support team on Facebook or Twitter, which gives you even more access to help. The chatbot feature is available 24/7, and you can call for more personalized assistance.

We contacted support for PC Matic via email, with questions about its features. We received a response within a few hours. The rep was clear and helpful, and our questions were easily answered.

The downside to PC Matic support is that you must pay an extra $100.00 to get the Support Unlimited feature. If you opt for this, you’ll get customer service by phone, email, chat, and even remote assistance. Without paying the extra money, we found PC Matic’s support features to be lacking.

Winner: Once again, Norton is the winner. If you remove PC Matic’s Support Unlimited feature, you get only two options for customer service, and one is the online guides, where you do the troubleshooting.

Norton vs. PC Matic FAQs

Is Norton better than PC Matic?

With all the extra features you get with Norton and the superior customer service options, we think Norton is likely a better antivirus than PC Matic for most people.

Does PC Matic get rid of viruses?

PC Matic works more on the preventative side, to block viruses before they can execute and become a problem.

Is PC Matic a Chinese company?

PC Matic is an American company based in Sioux City, Iowa.

Norton vs. PC Matic: Which is Better?

Although we think both Norton and PC Matic offer good antivirus protection and come with unique features, we believe that overall Norton is the better software.

You get tons of options that enhance your security experience, like cloud backup, a secure VPN, parental controls, and more. Norton even includes a password manager to keep your login information more secure.

Of course, if a basic antivirus with some optimization tools is what you’re looking for, we think PC Matic is a great choice. Its application whitelisting approach works hard to keep malware from ever reaching your device.

Norton vs. PC Matic Alternatives

If neither of these antivirus programs top your list after reading our comparison, we recommend checking out these top anti-malware and antivirus tools:

  • Bitdefender: Another full security suite, Bitdefender‘s pricing and features may be a better fit for you. It also offers cross-platform malware protection to protect both Mac and Windows operating systems from Trojans and other malware. See Bitdefender Plans | Read Our Bitdefender Review

  • McAfee: If you want parental controls and notoriously effective malware protection, McAfee is a great place to start. It also comes with phishing and ransomware protection, and earned excellent scores from independent tests. See McAfee Plans | Read Our McAfee Review

  • TotalAV: An easy-to-use antivirus program, we like TotalAV‘s real-time protection that shows you whether a website is safe or not — even before you click the link in your search results. It also comes with a VPN and password manager, plus device optimization features. See TotalAV Plans | Read Our TotalAV Review


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