What’s the better paid security software – Avast Internet Security or Norton Anti-Virus?

Matthieu Covemaeker March 25, 2012

I want the optimal protection. So I am prepared to pay for 2012 Avast Internet Security or 2012 Norton Anti-Virus. Help me decide.

(Or would you recommend a free anti-virus scanner?)


  1. Guest
    April 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    "What's to discuss?
    AV Comparatives is considered the industry’s
    leading source in unbiased security software ratings. This is the result
    of the 2011 tests:" are you getting payed by the or something?
    What industry would that be ? Naval Architecture ? may be Bio Chemistry ?

  2. rob1951
    March 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    The other advice is generally sound, yes the products doing best in security tests are Kaspersky, Eset, Trend (and one other I forget which).  Cost is in the range £20-£45 usually for a 3 PC, 1 year license and depends how carefully you buy (e.g. with Norton, buying a new copy from Amazon or High Street boxed product each year is cheaper than their annual "special discount on your renewal if you buy today" offer).   Eset looks expensive by comparison at £20 for a single PC - but if you only have a single PC, that's fine.
    The important thing with any software product is not the endorsements from satisfied customers - who will make up the majority - but how the few with a bad experience fared.

    Having switched to Norton (from Kaspersky) when they cleaned up their act a couple of years ago I was very pleased with it.  Until yesterday. A friend brought me her laptop to look at.  She's had Norton for a year and had just renewed.  The instructions were "download and run this..." which then came up saying "license expired please renew".  She had a license key and the website said she had a valid license.  She couldn't find out how to activate her product, I had no success either.  The website was hopeless.  Having made a valiant effort I gave up, suggested she get a refund and install a different product.  Then we hit the uninstall nightmare that was the one of the historic problems I thought Norton had solved.  Yes that's right, Norton's special downloadable "remove Norton" tool didn't work.

    Eventually succeeded in killing Norton and successfully installed ESET instead.  And even better, I found a 6 month free trial download - so my friend will get 18 months cover for £20 instead of Norton's renewal at 12 months for £39.

  3. Stevec751
    March 30, 2012 at 10:37 am

    For MY money Avast is way ahead of Norton! Avast runs faster and sometimes finds stuff that Norton missed. I recommend Avast, and Advanced System Care to
    all my friends.  If I do work on a friends PC I always install the two programs together, and the success rate is GREAT!

    I Like ha14 Comment: Avast works quite well with Microsoft Security Essentials

  4. Renato Rocha
    March 30, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Try ESET Smart Security and you won't be sorry. Kaspersky suite is also excellent.

  5. Li Chow
    March 30, 2012 at 6:37 am

    friend recommended and I installed avast free antivirus.Also, it is offering free to win the 7 days vacation.


  6. Alex Z
    March 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    By far VIPRE by GFI. Run it on hundreds of PCs and much faster, smaller footprint and best detection.

    March 26, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Hello, if you want to go the paid way, you could use nod32, kaspersky or bit defender.

  8. johnantony
    March 26, 2012 at 5:40 am

    I am already using the Comodo Internet Security Pro 2012.It is really good.

  9. Carpenter__RichardCarpenter
    March 25, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Well to answer your question, Avast.

    I would recommend free AVG, it is one of the best free AVs out there.

    What version of Windows are you running, Microsoft's Security Essentials is a good option too, as ha14 said. Also Microsoft's MRT scanner (not full AV) is good to run in a pinch.

    It really depends on you and what you want. They are all different, but I would stay away from Norton or McAfee. I have had a time removing them from computers once its expired, mainly because it likes to messes up Windows networking (Winsock)

    • Bruce Epper
      March 26, 2012 at 6:55 am

      AVG has become the resource hog that Norton used to be prior to 2008 or so.  Wouldn't recommend that for anyone.

      MSE is okay at preventing infection, sucks huge at removal.

      How long has it been since you've used Norton products?  I haven't run into any problems with it for several years on multiple machines although I ony try removing it during testing and have not run into problems there either.  It tends to clean up after itself much better than others.

      I agree with staying away from McAfee though.  Like AVG it is becoming a major resource hog, detection can be iffy, and it has problems getting rid of some common malware.

      • Carpenter__RichardCarpenter
        March 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm

        AVG is still the best free AV, but it is getting bloated.

        MSE is actually really good with removal, I have used it on machines with infected with rogue AV and does nicely. But I use several scanners for removal of viruses so...

        I have only had to uninstall the latest greatest, and it FUBARed the Winsock (and has done so with several versions), I understand it needs to monitor network activity. But ripping out the winsock more than half the time it is uninstalled is poor programming. Also, if you want to be infected, use Norton... It does actually really pick up alot... Running SAS portable on a machine with Norton tells the full story.

        I have had to support Norton AV, from a IT stand point, and it is junk. 

  10. ha14
    March 25, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    if your system configuration is not upto date then perhaps avast is better to not slow pc.

    if you do not surf in questionable sites and have some kind of web advisor then avast free can do also or Microsoft Security Essentials.

    you can try both of them and see which one is lighter for your system.

  11. M.S. Smith
    March 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    The best report I can find right now is this one from AV-Comparatives


    It shows that Avast has better detection rates, fewer false positives and a faster scan speed (in fact, Avast had the best performance out of all products tested).

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