AVG vs Norton

I’ve known the answer to that question for a long time. AVG is clearly the better anti-virus software. However, at the end of this article will be a chance for everyone to chime in. A friend of mine once said that Norton itself is a virus, couldn’t agree more.

I’ve cleaned all the crapware off a new computer on several occasions. I remember once, I couldn’t remove it. Norton was literally fighting for its survival just like a virus. It took me hours.

To a certain degree, AVG protects itself from malicious activities, but never strong-armed users into keeping it. AVG is completely free and optional and rarely nags about upgrading to its paid anti-virus + firewall version. Norton on the other hand, has a contract with Microsoft and comes pre-installed against your will as an annoying trial. Norton is annoying bloatware and intrusive. Once that free trial month is up, it nags you to death for your credit card info.

I’ve seen many people taken advantage of by Norton’s scare tactics. Ironically enough, most people that use a computer, aren’t very computer-savvy. I’ve seen people lay down hundreds of dollars because they simply thought they had to. The Norton scare tactic nag screens were so persuasive, people simply didn’t know any better. They thought this was apart of Windows, that it was all apart of being able to use their computer and the internet properly.

It’s just plain wrong. Symantec (basically the same company as McAfee by the way), the parent company of Norton AV software, is borderline unethical with these practices, in my opinion. I’ve wanted to write this article for a long time, but was really pushed by a commercial they ran recently on Hulu Plus:

This commercial (narrated by Casey Affleck), is far more lighthearted than some of the tactics I’ve seen Norton use, yet still manages to be atrocious. Obvious subtle scare tactics throughout and what kind of materialistic message is that at the end? How insulting is that? Trying to lower us to the value of our “stuff”. In other words: “Give us your money or your stuff will get stolen and you’ll be worthless.”

UPDATE — I had a pretty long debate with someone over on the original YouTube page for this video and their best source and rebuttal to back up how great Norton was, was to refer me to an apparent authority on the subject, AV-Test. On this very site, I found their latest report on various anti-virus software and on all marks, AVG was rated higher than Norton! That’s too funny. This person then did the most predictable thing when someone is stumped, tried to somehow discredit the info or convolute it instead of nobly admitting that they’d been bested.

Norton reminds me of GoDaddy (see that article). They’re actually horrible companies with pure junk for software, yet they have enough money to make you think they’re the best by becoming a household name. If you’re using Norton, stop shelling out your hard-earned money and go with the completely free match-up that anyone that knows what they’re talking about, would recommend over Norton: AVG + ZoneAlarm. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to run Malwarebytes every now and then too.

So What Do You Think?

AVG or Norton?

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I’m thinking of making the switch over to Mac soon, so I won’t have to even worry about this stuff too much anymore. What’s your setup?

  • Penwife

    You’re a fucking moron, and likely incapable of understanding how Norton even works. I feel sorry for you.

  • The irony in comments like this never cease to amaze me. Okay, so I’m all ears. Explain to me how Norton works in comparison to AVG, why it’s better and why people should pay for it.

    The floor is yours, back up your comment.

  • Axeleonth

    I personally used Trend, but after some running around on the net, AVG does seem to be a good alternative.

  • Cupuvjo

    In 2000, I used Norton for 2 years, and it was great until it missed a Trojan. Then, I went with McAfee in 2002 to 2006. Then, it was great until the new one came out, and it was very slow. Then, I went with AVG from 2006 until May 1, 2012. It was awesome for all those years until in the last year, it became so slow, I believe it messed up my computer badly. It, however, kept viruses and rootkits and blocked intruders via firewall during all that time but did not catch spam. Then, I finally got a wonderful new computer 2 weeks ago, and I’m on a trial of Norton that came with it, and I have to say, version 2012 is awesome! It is so much faster with faster updates, more options, definitely better email antispam than even Cloudmark, which I also have used for many, many years, but the DeskTopOne is horrible. So, I’m even dumping that (even though it is paid for 6 more months, as is the AVG, since the Norton 2012 is catching all my spam now, which I would get hundreds daily without it. So far, I do love the 2012 Norton. PS: AVG did miss a rootkit on hubby’s computer, and it crashed it completely.

  • Your reply is a bit out of context and should have been a single reply on it’s own, but thank you for replying nevertheless.

    My question to you is in 12 years, how much do you think you’ve spent on antivirus software?

    From the sounds of it Norton only ever missed a trojan and AVG missed a rootkit so they’ve both fared well. That’s regardless anyways, because that’s bound to happen with any antivirus software. They can’t catch them all.

    It seems to me that you’ve simply become a fangirl/fanboy. Meaning that you’ve used the same thing for so long no matter if it’s really the best route, that you’re sticking with it.

    I’ve actually switched to Mac which cuts about 90% of the maintenance out. I’ve used Windows since 95 and only just switched to Mac a few months ago and I can already tell you that Mac is superior in 9/10 ways.

    So, with all that money you’re spending on antivirus, you probably could have upgraded to Mac a couple times now and been virtually done with daily virus maintenance.

    Thanks, Bryan

  • 2012 inquiry

    Being that you reviewed this in oct 2011 what are your thoughts on the new 2012 version ?

    Thanks in advance

  • Good question. I’ve since moved onto Mac, so really, this will have to only reflect the better part of a decade up until 2011 where I was still an avid Windows/AVG user.

    AVG (free) is still kicking http://free.avg.com/ – So, as long as it’s still powerful I can’t imagine that my opinion would have changed much. I still wouldn’t recommend shelling out cash and instead at least try the free alternatives for awhile.

    In any case, my mindset has changed a bit as a Mac user. Mind you I still user AV and Firewall software, I really hate when people say Macs aren’t vulnerable at all, no reason to protect it with software, that’s just ridiculous.

    Absolutely, Mac users have incredibly less risk, but better safe than sorry. I do worry about it less. Where on Windows it was a 24/7 job keeping up with AV/Firewall updates and Windows Updates making sure everything was always secured and patched, I don’t have to put in even half as much effort on a Mac.

    So, 2012-13 as a Windows user, spend a little more time than just my thoughts here to make your decision.

    Thanks, Bryan

  • gabriel

    What about Avast? It’s free and has prevented multiple attacks. I used AVG for years but began to feel it was eating up precious brain cells; Avast seems cleaner. My real problem of course is windows vista. I’m not at all an expert, I’m curious about your opinion.