Windows Defender Vs. Norton – Find the Difference?

While most people believe that Windows Defender is the best security system, and is good enough to keep the PC safe at all times, this is not true! Although it has plenty of useful features, and it does a decent job, there can be some potential threats attacking your PC which can easily bypass the security it offers. With that said, it becomes highly important to invest in a better security system for your PC. Speaking of good antivirus software, Norton is one of the best options that are available in the market right now.

But, is it actually better than Windows Defender? If you are interested to know if Norton is a better choice over using Window Defender, make sure to read this article until the end. Because we will be discussing the features of both Windows Defender and Norton and will be finding out which of these two antivirus programs can provide better security to your computer. Let’s begin!

About Windows Defender

Speaking of Windows Defender, there are plenty of reasons for which you can like this program. Well, first of all, its parent company is Microsoft, so there should be no doubt about it that its user interface is absolutely friendly, and since Microsoft spends a lot of time improving its software, Windows Defender comes with exceptional features to tackle most of the online threats.

However, it still remains a free service, so it’s basically a standard antivirus program that can keep your PC protected, but it can also be bypassed easily if some hacker is skilled enough. So, upgrading to new third-party antivirus software is still considered a better option. Well, if you are satisfied with its standard features, you can continue using it. Here’s a list of all the features that Windows Defender offers:

  • Real-time threat detection
  • System performance reports
  • Parental controls
  • Firewall & network protection
  • Protection against phishing sites
  • Hardware security

About Norton Antivirus

Norton, on the other hand, is an all-rounder antivirus program that you can use to keep your PC protected from all sorts of threats. You can simply use its strict firewall to keep yourself safe from malicious websites and avoid accidentally downloading faulty files into your PC.

Apart from that, Norton has been certified multiple times as the most powerful and featureful antivirus software. That said, if you are looking to upgrade the security on your computer, using Norton instead of Windows Defender will be a great decision from your side.

Norton not only offers offline security to your computer but also takes care of your device when you are surfing on the web. Thus, if you want to know if Norton or Windows Defender is better, we have a brief comparison between the two coming up in the next section.

Windows Defender vs Norton: Which one is better?

1. Features

When the competition comes down to features, Windows Defender offers you a limited set. But, it’s still a good security service overall if you don’t want to spend any extra money on such things. Since Windows Defender comes as an integral part of the Windows OS, you literally don’t have to worry about managing it, as Microsoft itself does it for you.

As far as offline security is concerned, Windows Defender is good enough to detect most malware programs and faulty files. However, there are a few downsides such as newer malware programs can sometimes remain undetected by it, and there’s no internet security or secure banking offered by Windows Defender.

Coming over to the Norton’s space, you will get every single security feature available in its arsenal. However, it’s a paid service mostly, so it’s important for you to choose the right plan for your PC. Norton offers tons of useful features in its security packages, which are certainly better than what Windows Defender offers. Moreover, Norton’s security is overall better and it barely leaves any malware on your PC undetected.

So, in terms of features, we believe that Windows Defender can’t really compete with Norton as this third-party service offers all the essential features along with internet security, which is not offered by Windows Defender.

2. Malware Protection

As far as Malware Protection is concerned, Windows Defender is quite precise in detecting the malware that is already present in Microsoft’s database. So, if there’s any commonly known malware, virus, or other threats that try to attack your PC, Windows Defender does a great job and eliminates them right away. Moreover, Windows Defender even offers real-time protection and also cloud-based monitoring to catch any ongoing threats immediately.

If we talk about Norton, as we said earlier, it is an all-rounder antivirus suite that barely misses out on any function that is required to keep your PC safe. That said, whatever you get offered by the Windows Defender, Norton does it all too, with sheer perfection.

One thing that Norton excels in is that it keeps your privacy intact and saves you from any sort of threats when you are online. Since Norton’s security suite uses AI and machine learning, even if there’s a very uncommon threat present on your PC, Norton will not let it do any harm to your PC. Whereas, in the case of Windows Defender, such threats sometimes remain undetected, which can create a huge problem in the long run.

Hence, the clear winner in our opinion is Norton in terms of Malware protection. Although Windows Defender is a good free service, if you want a strict service, Norton is quite good.

3. System Performance

Well, how antivirus software affects your PC’s performance is one big concern that you should definitely think about. As you might already know, Windows Defender is an integral part of the Windows OS, Microsoft has already made it so optimized that you will never feel it’s existence while working on your computer, in a good way obviously. Even if the Windows Defender is working at its full potential in the background, it won’t make your PC slow down so much that you start to notice it.

Although Norton is a third-party software, and most people believe that it will definitely put up some extra load on the PC, it’s not the case with Norton. We have personally tried using it, and even AV-Test has also compared both Norton and Windows Defender side by side. Thankfully, the Norton antivirus performs equally well as Windows Defender in this case.

Well, it should be a tie, we can conclude that Norton should get some extra points here because it’s a third-party software, still, it is optimized quite well to give a head-to-head competition to the Windows Defender, which comes as an integral part of the OS.

4. User-friendliness

Windows Defender is one of our personal favorite security suites when it comes to the user interface. Being a part of the Windows OS, the Windows Defender has quite a minimalist UI, and all the features are super-easy to find and use. We would say, Microsoft has done a great job here.

Speaking about Norton, people usually think that third-party software is usually very bloated as they provide tons of features. However, you can not judge Norton’s UI until you use and try it for yourself. Since we have already used it for a couple of days now, we can say it’s extremely well-designed and all the features have been placed precisely in separate sections. So, as a new Norton user, you won’t be facing any issues with its UI. And, since you are getting more features in Norton, in a similarly brilliant UI, we give our vote to Norton for this one.

5. Cost

Norton might be one of the best antivirus software out there, but we can’t neglect the fact that it’s a paid service. On the other hand, Windows Defender works brilliantly, and has some of the most important security features, backed up by Microsoft itself, just for free! We can not even say that Windows Defender is a bad security suite and you don’t get to use many features of it, that would be wrong to say.

In fact, as far as free antivirus software are compared to each other, Windows Defender seems to be a clear winner against any other third-party free antivirus software. With that said, there’s nothing to compare between the two, Norton and Windows Defender in this regard, since Norton is a paid service, and Windows Defender does not have a price tag. That said, Windows Defender is definitely the cost-effective option here.

Comparison Table: Windows Defender vs Norton

In this comparison table, you will know about features that both the Antivirus suites offer. However, Norton has several different packages, so you might not find all of the features until you purchase its most premium and featureful plan. We will be discussing the plan details later on. For now, you will get a brief idea of what features Norton offers in comparison with Windows Defender.

Windows Defender Norton
Number of Devices 1 Up to 5 devices, depending on the package
Malware and Ransomware Protection Yes Yes
Online Threat Protection No Yes
Cloud Backup No Up to 500GB Cloud Storage
Windows Account Protection Yes No
Device Performance and Health Yes Yes
Smart Firewall Yes Yes
Password Manager No Yes
100% Virus Protection Promise No Yes
Parental Controls Yes Yes
School Time No Yes
Secure VPN No Up to 5 devices
Privacy Monitor No Yes
PC SafeCam No Yes
Dark Web Monitoring No Yes
LifeLock Identity Alert System No Yes
US-based Identity Restoration Specialists No Yes
Stolen Wallet Protection No Yes
Million Dollar Protection Package No Up to $25K-$1M
Credit Monitoring No 1 Bureau
SSN and Credit Alerts No Yes
ID Verification Monitoring No Yes
Data Breach Notification No Yes

Which Antivirus Software Offers More Features?

As you can see in the comparison table, Norton clearly beat Windows Defender in terms of offering features. However, you should not forget that these are only the features that you will find on the most premium package that Norton offers.

And, that package can be a little expensive, so it’s not meant for everybody out there. With that said, it becomes important for you all to know about all the Norton packages in detail, and know what each of the security plans offers. Thus, to make things clear for you, we will be discussing each of Norton’s plans here, so that you can simply choose the right one for yourself.

Windows Defender

Unlike any standalone antivirus program, Windows Defender is just a subset of the Windows OS and has a limited set of features to offer. However, being a free service, Windows Defender does a quite impressive job, and offers you benefits of the following features:

  • Malware and Ransomware Protection
  • Windows Account Protection
  • App and Browser control
  • Parental Controls
  • Firewall and Network Protection
  • Device Performance and Health
  • Device Security

Norton’s Antivirus Packages

Since Norton is a paid service, you will get the package of your choice for a huge discount for the first year. So, that’s a great fact about it. Meanwhile, you should know that all the Norton packages already boast of features that Windows Defender offers, so we will focus more on telling you what you will be offered as extras in these Norton Security plans.

Norton Antivirus Plus

This plan is the most basic package that Norton has to offer, and it comes for just $59.00/year. But, as we said, Norton offers a huge discount for the first year, you can get this plan for 1 year for just $19.99 which seems like a great deal. Apart from the basic features that Windows Defender offers, this Norton package will add on the following features to keep your PC even more secure:

  • Online Threat Protection
  • Firewall
  • Password Manager
  • Cloud Backup up to 2 GB

Norton 360 Standard

The Norton 360 Suite has three packages, Standard, Deluxe, and LifeLock. As far as the standard plan is concerned, its pricing is about $84.99/year. But, for the first year, you can get it for just $39.99 only. You can say that it’s a revamped and improved version of the Norton Antivirus Plus package as it offers you almost the same features with some additional add-ons such as:

  • Webcam Protection for PC
  • Secure VPN for 1 PC, 1 Mac, or 1 smartphone or tablet.
  • Dark Web Monitoring
  • Cloud Backup up to 10GB

Norton 360 Deluxe

The deluxe plan delivers even more features as compared to the cheaper plans, and is a much more suitable option to choose if you want to secure multiple PCs or devices. In the deluxe plan, you will get to see some useful additional features such as:

  • Secure VPN for up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets.
  • Cloud Backup up to 50GB
  • Parental control
  • School Time function
  • Privacy Monitoring

Norton 360 with LifeLock

Basically, this is the most premium package that Norton offers, and all the features that it offers are already included in the comparison table that is mentioned above. This package is divided into three different tiers, Select, which is the base tier, an advantage tier, and the ultimate plus tier.

The Norton 360 with LifeLock Select is typically the least expensive LifeLock plan that Norton offers. It comes with the following features:

  • Cloud Backup up to 100GB
  • Secure VPN for up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets.
  • 1 Bureau Credit Monitoring
  • ID verification Monitoring
  • Stolen Wallet Protection
  • LifeLock Identity Alert System
  • Data Breach Notifications
  • Access to US-based Identity Restoration Specialists
  • Million-dollar protection package
  • SSN and Credit alerts

Coming to the Norton 360 with LifeLock Advantage package, it brings you the following features:

  • Cloud Backup up to 250GB
  • Identity lock
  • Phone take-over monitoring
  • Bank and credit card activity alerts
  • Secure VPN for up to 10 PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets.
  • Court record scanning
  • Fictitious Identity monitoring

Lastly, you can also go for the most expensive Norton package, that is the Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate plus tier which offers you features like:

  • 3 Bureau Credit monitoring
  • Investment Activity Alerts
  • Home Title Monitoring
  • Cloud Backup up to 500GB
  • Unlimited Secure VPN for PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets

As you can clearly see, there’s barely anything left for Norton to include in its security packages. Well, as compared to Norton, the Windows Defender lacks plenty of useful features. Hence, if you are wondering which of the Antivirus suites offer more features, we guess you already have your answer.


That is it from our side, we hope you liked our comparison between the Windows Defender and the Norton Security Suite. Although Windows Defender lacks a lot of features, the fact that it works brilliantly without asking you to pay anything extra, it’s a fantastic antivirus system for those who want a free solution. However, if you are more concerned about the security of your PC and other devices, Norton is one of the best antivirus services you can go with.

As we have clearly mentioned all the details about its packages, you can simply choose the right plan for yourself and invest in it, they are all good! In all, Norton single-handedly beat up Windows Defender as all the things are in Norton’s favor as you might have seen while reading along. If you have any further doubts about anything, feel free to ask us in the comments section below.

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