Malwarebytes vs Norton – Comparison 2021

Anti-virus programs are the computer’s best friends as they make sure it’s secured from hackers’ attacks and browser hijackers. But, they are also our best friends in the digital world because they keep all the data stored on our computer safe and prevent it from being stolen and potentially misused.

Having in mind that we store all kinds of data on our PCs, from photos to documents, to passwords and even bank account info, a great anti-virus is a must-have. But, which one to choose?

There are many anti-virus programs out there but not all of them are equally effective nor have the same features. To help you out choose the one that suits you most from the best anti-viruses, today, we look at two of the most common and popular programs: Malwarebytes and Norton.

So, let’s check them out!

Malwarebytes vs Norton: Basics

Both of these anti-virus programs are highly reputable for being effective and offering quality antivirus protection. They both protect your computer from a wide range of malware and offer anti-phishing tools without the need of adding additional browser extensions. They are easy to use, offer great support, live chat, and include easy-to-follow videos.

However, they differ in many features we’ll look at later. In short, Malwarebytes offers a 90% detection rate for infections whereas Norton offers a 100% protection rate (according to their claims). Also, Malwarebytes has a really simple interface that is perfect for beginners and uses pop-up messages to notify you about any threats. It also provides an innovative support tool that allows you to check all past issues and find a solution for the same. And, it’s much more affordable.

On the other hand, Norton has some more advanced features such as a two-way firewall. Plus, it has a phone line you can use whenever you need it.

So, which one is better?

Let’s find it out!

Malwarebytes Features

Malwarebytes comes with several features that differ depending on whether you use the FREE or the paid version of the program. The free version offers the following features:

  • Virus and Malware Prevention – Needles to say, this is one of the essential features an anti-virus program should have. Its role is to prevent any threat from accessing your computer and attacking the data stored on the same.
  • Real-time threat protection – This feature ensures your computer is protected, at any time, against viruses and malicious processes that can harm the same.
  • Anti-ransomware protection – With this feature, Malwarebytes protects your PC from ransomware, which is a type of software that blocks access to your PC and files until you pay a big amount of money.
  • Malicious website and bad link threat protection – Thanks to this feature, your device is protected from websites that try to install malware onto it. It’s also protected from malicious links that spread malware on your device and steal your data.

The paid version includes all of the above-mentioned features, plus:

  • Anti-rootkit protection – It’s an impressive feature that prevents cybercriminals from accessing your device remotely and stealing all your sensitive data such as passwords, credit card info, and online banking data.
  • Malware and virus identification and removal – Although the free version of Malwarebytes protects your computer from viruses and malware, it doesn’t remove the ones that managed to enter it. But, the paid version allows you to do that. Hence, even if there is a threat on your device, you’ll be able to remove it.

Other Features:

  • Threat warning
  • Centralized threat reporting
  • Centralized management
  • Network endpoints discovery
  • Combines multiple Malwarebytes technologies
  • Quick deployments
  • Flexible push-install options
  • Asset management for tracking, managing, and monitoring endpoints as well as utilizing solutions.

Norton Features

Norton is packed with A LOT of features. But, they, too, as in Malwarebytes, differ depending on the version you use. Namely, there are 4 different versions (packages): Basic, Standard, Delux, and Premium.

Key Features

  • Real-time threat protection – Employing rapid pulse PC protection, Norton keeps your device protected at all times.
  • Spyware detections and removal with fast scanning – Being able to scan all your files and data much faster, this program detects and removes all spyware at a glance.
  • Safe Web protection for Facebook – With this feature, Norton scans Facebook News Feed to prevent any malicious downloads from accessing your device.
  • Encrypted Personal Details – You can rest assured that all your private and financial data is secure thanks to this feature.
  • Identity lock – Prevens your identity from being stolen by hackers/
  • Dark web browsing – Accessed and browses the dark web looking for your info. If it finds any of your data, it notifies you.
  • Safe cam – Keeps your camera safe from cybercriminals.
  • Smart firewall – Works like regular firewalls, monitoring all the communications of your computer with other computers online. It also protects your device from common security problems such as intrusions, improper connection attempts, and port scans. Unlike the “ordinary” firewalls, this one automatically creates program rules for each program you run.
  • Automatic back-ups – This feature allows the program to make copies of all your files to prevent their loss and protect the same.
  • App download security check – Thanks to this feature you will always know if an app is secure for downloading or it’s a malicious one.
  • Automatic updates – Norton updates automatically, thus ensuring the program is always up-to-date, thus ensuring total protection of your device.
  • Device management portal – A web portal that allows you to manage multiple devices.
  • 24/7 tech support – You can reach out to the customer/tech support at any time.

These were the key features of Norton and, now, we’ll look at the features each version comes with.


  • Threat protection, identification, and removal
  • Identity protection during online transactions
  • Intelligent network for quick identification of new viruses
  • One-computer support


All the above-mentioned features, plus:

  • Smart firewall
  • Virus removal guarantee – With this guarantee gives you the right to a refund from Norton if the program doesn’t remove the virus(es) from your device.
  • 24/7 customer support
  • One-computer support
  • Also works on mobile devices and Macs


All the above-mentioned features, plus:

  • Device management portal
  • 5-computer support
  • Also works on mobile devices and Macs


All the above-mentioned features, plus:

  • Parental control and family safety
  • Cloud storage of up to 25 GB
  • Automatic back-ups
  • 10 computers support
  • Also works on mobile devices and Macs

Malwarebytes vs. Norton: Features Comparison

Now that we’ve looked at all features of Malwarebytes and Norton, it’s time to compare them. To make clear distinctions between all features, we’ve classified the comparison into several points.

Ease of Use

Both anti-virus programs are very simple and easy to use. If we would have to go into details, we would say that Malwarebytes is easier to use due to its simple user interface. Also, its extensive support tool helps users set up the program easily. On the other, Norton is equipped with much more features and a greater range of security tools, which makes it perfect for the overall protection of your computer.

However, since Norton’s numerous features make it slightly more complex to use for beginners and Malwarebytes’ user interface is super simple, we would say that Malwarebytes is the winner here.


We’ve seen that both programs come with some impressive features. They both protect your computer from different types of threats (viruses, malware, phishing, bad links, etc.) and remove the same. However, Norton does much more than merely protecting, identifying, and removing threats. It also updates automatically, encrypts personal data, scans your Facebook News Feed, backs-up your files, and runs a security check on every app your download. Furthermore, it has antispam features, macros protection, as well as cloudAV.

With all these impressive features, it’s clear that Norton is the winner here. But this doesn’t mean Malwarebytes is not worth investing in it. On the contrary, it comes with awesome anti-virus features and does everything to ensure your computer stays secure and virus-free. However, it lacks the advanced features Norton offers.


When it comes to security, both anti-virus programs keep your computer secure. They both protect, detect, and remove any virus, malware, or another threat instantly and perform regular security scans.

We are impressed with Malwarebytes as it comes with anti-ransomware, anti-rootkit, and malicious website and bad link protection. This ensures your computer stays safe, without any threat that could steal your private data (passwords, bank accounts, credit cards).

On the other hand, Norton makes sure your computer is secure and all your data safe. Thanks to its data encryption, automatic back-up, app download security check, and smart firewall, you can rest assured that all data stored on your device will remain untouched by hackers. Moreover, there are intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems as well as a boot-time scan that fortify your devices and reduce the possibility of being attacked by threats and cybercriminals to (almost) none. And, let’s not forget the amazing dark web browsing, identity theft prevention, and safe cam all of which add up to the overall safety of your personal data.

The winner?

Well, we think it’s obvious that Norton, with its impressive security features, is the winner here.


Although considered less feature-rich and powerful than Norton, Malwarebytes surprises up with plenty of integrations. Namely, this anti-virus program integrates with:

  • Security information and event management – including Intel Security, IBM, Splunk, ArcSight, and LogRhythm.
  • Breach detection systems – including Cisco, LastLine, Palo Alto Networks, and FireEye.
  • Endpoint management platforms – including Microsoft, Intel Security, Tanium, Forescout, IBM, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
  • Remote monitoring and management – including LabTech, Kaseya, NinjaMSP, Continuum, Plum Choice, and RadialPoint.

On the other hand, Norton doesn’t have classic integrations with other apps like Malwarebytes and many other anti-virus programs do. Instead, it allows users to integrate its features on the apps you use. Namely, you can integrate its anti-spam features on your Microsoft Outlook.

But, that’s pretty much everything about its integrations. And, since Norton doesn’t have any built-in integration capabilities, we can say for sure that Malwarebytes is the winner here.

Supported Languages

While many people don’t see the importance of having a program/app with multiple language support, it’s an important point to consider, especially for novices and those who don’t know English.

Yes, English is considered a lingua franca, but not everyone knows it nor has studied it. That’s why it’s very useful for a program to be available in as many languages as possible.

Malwarebytes is available in English, Dutch, Polish, and Turkish. On the other hand, Norton is available in these languages, plus in German, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, and Swedish. So, clearly, Norton wins in this category, since it’s available in almost all commonly spoken languages.

Supported Devices

A great anti-virus must be compatible with various types of devices. Fortunately, both of these programs are compatible with several devices. Namely, Malwarebytes can work on Windows, Android, and Mac devices whereas Norton supports these three, plus iPhone/iPad.

Customer Support

Both programs also do a wonderful job when it comes to the very much-needed customer/tech support since they support various ways to contact the support team. Malwarebytes allows users to contact customer support via phone and tickets, plus there is free training for using the program. On the other hand, Norton allows users to contact customer support via email, phone, live chat, and tickets.

While they both lack some of the available support, they are still great at providing what users need. Most importantly, they offer phone support so you can contact the support team whenever you need it.

Malwarebytes vs. Norton: Pricing

The last point to inspect is the pricing, which is actually the most important point for most people. Here, we can say that both programs have understandable prices based on what you get for the price you pay. Which program and plan you choose, depends on your needs and the number of devices you need to protect.

Malwarebytes Pricing

Malwarebytes comes with two types of pricing plans:

Personal – There’s one Premium pricing plan which changes the prices according to the number of devices supported:

  • 1-device support – $3.33/month, billed annually
  • 5-device support – $6.67/month, billed annually
  • 5-device support + VPN – $8.33/month, billed annually

Business – There are 3 pricing plans according to your (your company’s) needs:

  • For Teams – The price ranges according to the number of devices supported, with $49.99/year for 1 device and $799.80/year for 20 devices. It’s best for users who want to only to protect less than 20 devices.
  • Endpoint Protection – For a minimum of 10 devices. The prices range from $699.90/year for 10 devices and up to $5,939.01/year for 99 devices. For 100+ devices, you have to contact the sales team. It’s best for users who want to protect 10+ devices and manage endpoints remotely.
  • Endpoint Protection and Response – For a minimum of 10 devices. The prices range from $849.90/year for 10 devices and up to $7,151.76/year for 99 devices. For 100+ devices, you have to contact the sales team. It’s best for users who want to protect 10+ devices and need endpoint protection, detection, and response.

Free Trial???

Yes, there is a 14-day free trial. However, it doesn’t include all the features, but some of them.

Norton Pricing

Norton, on the other hand, comes with 4 pricing plans:

  • Standard – $39.99 for the first year and $89.99 for the following years, billed annually.
  • Deluxe – $49.99 for the first year and $104.99 for the following years, billed annually.
  • LifeLock Select – $99.48 for the first year and $149.99 for the following years, billed annually.
  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus – $299.88 for the first year and $349.99 for the following years, billed annually.

Free Trial???

Yes, there is a 7-day free trial of Norton 360 with all features included so you can experience the complete protection this software offers.

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Andy Dale

About the Author: Andy Dale

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