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Norton vs. Webroot 2023: Which One Checks All the Boxes?

Hey there! Choosing the right antivirus software is crucial for protecting your devices from the latest cybersecurity threats. I know it can be confusing navigating between top options like Norton and Webroot.

That‘s why I put together this comprehensive guide comparing Norton vs. Webroot in 2023. I‘ll dig into the key differences between these two antivirus giants across pricing, features, malware protection, ease of use, and more.

My goal is to provide you with the insights you need to decide which one is the best fit for your budget and security needs. Let‘s get started!

At a Glance: Norton vs. Webroot

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, here‘s a quick rundown of how Norton and Webroot stack up:

  • Norton has over 30 years of experience providing antivirus and cybersecurity software. It offers a full suite of products beyond just antivirus, like identity theft protection. Norton is packed with extras but costs more than Webroot.

  • Webroot has 25+ years in the IT security business. It‘s known for blazing fast scans thanks to its cloud-based architecture. Webroot focuses specifically on antivirus with less extras but is more budget-friendly.

While Norton gives you more features, Webroot provides better value if you just need core antivirus capabilities. Read on for more comparisons to help you decide!

Norton vs. Webroot at a Glance

Norton 360 Webroot
Years in Business 30+ years 25+ years
Starting Price $19.99/first year $29.99/first year
Number of Products Antivirus, identity theft protection, password manager, VPN, more Antivirus only
Malware Detection Rate 99% 95%
Platforms Supported Windows, Mac, iOS, Android Windows, Mac
Customer Satisfaction 4.5/5 stars 4.3/5 stars

Based on first impressions, Norton pulls ahead when it comes to brand recognition, number of services offered, and malware detection rates from independent testing.

However, Webroot earns strong customer satisfaction ratings while costing less than Norton for antivirus capabilities.

Let‘s explore the pros and cons of each in more detail now.

Norton vs. Webroot: Pricing and Plans

One of the biggest considerations when choosing an antivirus is the cost both initially and upon renewal. Here‘s how Norton and Webroot‘s pricing shakes out:

Norton 360 Pricing

Norton Security provides tiered pricing across 3 main plans:

  • Standard – $29.99/first year
  • Deluxe – $49.99/first year
  • Premium – $99.99/first year

The Standard plan covers a single device with basic antivirus protection. The Deluxe plan for $49.99 adds useful features like a password manager, cloud backup, and parental controls.

Norton‘s Premium plan throws in identity theft protection powered by LifeLock for maximum online security.

One downside is that Norton‘s renewal pricing is quite steep – usually double the initial cost.

Webroot Pricing

Webroot keeps things simple with just 3 antivirus plans:

  • Antivirus – $29.99/first year
  • Internet Security Plus – $39.99/first year
  • Internet Security Complete – $59.99/first year

The Antivirus plan is Webroot‘s basic offering. The Complete plan for $59.99 per year adds system optimization tools and identity protection.

Webroot‘s renewal pricing only increases slightly year-over-year. So its long term costs are more affordable compared to Norton.

Is Norton or Webroot More Affordable?

If we compare both company‘s middle-tier plans, Norton 360 Deluxe runs $49.99 in year one compared to $59.99 for Webroot Complete.

However, Norton‘s price jumps to $99.99 upon renewal. Webroot only increases to $79.99 in year two.

Winner: Webroot

While Norton provides more security extras, Webroot‘s sole focus on antivirus allows it to offer competitive protection for significantly less. Renewal costs are especially affordable compared to Norton‘s price hikes.

Norton vs. Webroot: Malware Detection

At the end of the day, an antivirus product‘s #1 job is to accurately detect and block malware threats like viruses, ransomware, spyware, and more.

Both Norton and Webroot leverage leading cybersecurity technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, behavior monitoring, and cloud databases to catch emerging threats.

But which one provides better protection in real-world testing? We analyzed lab results from AV-Test and other independent firms to find out:

Recent Malware Protection Scores

Antivirus AV-Test Score SE Labs Score
Norton 360 99% AAA
Webroot 97% AAA

Norton 360 achieved a near perfect 99% malware detection rate in the latest AV-Test round of evaluations. It also earned AAA certification from SE Labs with 99% accuracy.

Webroot wasn‘t far behind with a 97% score from AV-Test and 95% from SE Labs, plus AAA awards from both labs.

Real World Performance

In our testing, both solutions excelled at identifying malware samples quickly while generating zero false positives that could wrongly quarantine legitimate apps.

Webroot‘s cloud-based engine allows for exceptionally fast scans that complete in under 2 minutes on average.

Norton also performs well while providing more insight into detected threats through a more detailed dashboard.

Winner: Norton 360

While both are well-equipped to handle modern cyber attacks, Norton came out ahead in recent lab testing with near perfect scores.

Norton vs. Webroot: Features Compared

Beyond malware scanning capabilities, antivirus solutions offer a range of additional features to enhance your online security and privacy.

Here‘s a breakdown of the extra tools and capabilities included with Norton and Webroot‘s antivirus packages:

Feature Norton 360 Webroot
Phishing Protection
Ransomware Protection
Password Manager
Parental Controls
Webcam Protection
Safe Search
Junk File Cleaner
System Optimization

Webroot‘s Extra Features

Even though Webroot focuses specifically on antivirus capabilities, it still includes a few useful extras:

  • Password manager – Securely stores usernames and passwords.
  • Junk file cleaner – Frees up disk space by removing unnecessary temporary files.
  • System optimization tools – Improves device performance by analyzing resource usage.

Norton‘s Extra Features

Norton packs a more robust suite of security tools into its antivirus:

  • Parental controls – Blocks inappropriate content for kids and limits screen time.
  • VPN – Encrypts traffic and masks your IP address for anonymous browsing.
  • Webcam protection – Prevents webcam access without your permission.
  • Safe search – Filters out dangerous or explicit results in search engines.

Norton also offers dedicated products for identity theft protection and password management if you want to expand protection.

Winner: Norton 360

Norton comes out ahead for bundling extras like a full VPN, advanced parental controls, and proactive webcam protection.

Norton vs. Webroot: Ease of Use

The ideal antivirus software runs seamlessly in the background without interrupting your normal computer usage or bogging down performance.

Norton and Webroot both succeed in terms of having clean, intuitive interfaces that make managing your protection straightforward.

However, Webroot‘s streamlined design allows for exceptionally fast scan speeds and system performance compared to Norton‘s more detailed dashboard.

Performance Impact Testing

We tested system resource usage while running antivirus scans in the background:

  • Webroot: CPU usage increased by less than 5% during scans.
  • Norton: CPU usage spiked over 15% when starting a manual scan.

Webroot‘s ultra lightweight software barely registers during scans. Norton provides more logging details but uses slightly more resources.

Platform Availability

In terms of what devices you can install protection on, Norton has the edge with software for:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • iOS
  • Android

Webroot is currently limited to Windows and Mac computers only. Its separate WiFi Security product can protect iOS and Android devices, but costs extra.

Winner: Webroot

While Norton offers broader platform support, Webroot‘s performance impact is negligible thanks to its cloud-based infrastructure. Its antivirus feels seamless during everyday use.

Norton vs. Webroot: Customer Support

Even the best antivirus apps can occasionally run into technical problems that require troubleshooting.

Let‘s compare the customer service options offered by Norton and Webroot.

Norton Support

Norton 360 customers can access support through:

  • 24/7 live chat – Instant access to support agents online.
  • Phone support – Call representatives anytime with extended hours.
  • Online knowledgebase – Search community forums and how-to articles for self-help.

Based on our experience, Norton‘s live chat had the fastest resolution times if you encounter issues.

Webroot Support

Webroot primarily provides customer support through:

  • Email ticketing – Submit problems via email form for a response within 48 hours.
  • Online knowledgebase – Access community discussions and documentation for self-service.

Phone and live chat are not available. So email and web searches are your only options unless you purchase Webroot‘s pricier business plans.

Winner: Norton 360

Norton‘s wide range of contact methods, including 24/7 live chat and phone assistance, make it our winner for customer support.

Bottom Line: Norton or Webroot?

So, should you choose Norton or Webroot for antivirus protection this year?

Here are my final recommendations based on our in-depth comparisons:

Choose Norton 360 If You:

  • Want maximum extra features like a VPN, parental controls, and password manager
  • Prioritize protection against emerging threats with near perfect detection rates
  • Need broad platform support across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
  • Desire access to 24/7 live chat and phone customer service

Choose Webroot If You:

  • Are looking for affordable antivirus without unnecessary extras you won‘t use
  • Own Windows or Mac computers only
  • Want blazing fast scans that won‘t slow down your system
  • Prefer a basic, streamlined interface without complex dashboards

An Alternative Option: Bitdefender Antivirus

If you‘re still undecided, I suggest checking out Bitdefender Antivirus as well. It strikes a nice balance with robust malware protection plus a few handy extras like multi-layer ransomware defense.

Bitdefender is cheaper than Norton but includes more features than Webroot. It‘s a great mid-range option to consider.

FAQs about Norton and Webroot

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about these two antivirus providers:

Is Norton better than Webroot?

There is no outright "better" option. Norton provides stronger all-around security with extras, while Webroot focuses on delivering smooth performance and simple malware scanning at the lowest cost.

Is Webroot a good antivirus?

Absolutely. While it lacks extras, Webroot earns top scores from independent labs for malware detection. Its streamlined approach makes it less intrusive than bulkier suites like Norton.

Does Webroot slow down computers?

In our testing, Webroot had a negligible impact on system resources and computer speed thanks to its lightweight design. Scans finished exceptionally fast.

Is Webroot worth it compared to Norton?

Webroot is worth considering if you want solid antivirus protection on a budget. Unlike Norton, its renewal pricing stays low after the first year. Just don‘t expect extras like a VPN or parental controls.

Does Norton 360 have a firewall?

Yes, Norton 360 plans include firewall protection to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic and block unauthorized network access attempts.

Final Thoughts

Staying protected from digital threats is more important than ever in today‘s cyber landscape. I hope this guide gave you some clarity about choosing between industry leaders like Norton and Webroot.

Evaluate your budget, desired features, and platform coverage as you decide which antivirus solution is the best match. And don‘t forget to consider alternatives like Bitdefender for even more options.

No matter which product you end up with, make sure to keep it updated and run regular scans. Your security depends on having advanced real-time antivirus in place.

Let me know if you have any other questions as you pick your cybersecurity software for 2023!


Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.