BullGuard vs Norton Antivirus
|User Interface||Winner||Loser |
|Customer Service||Loser||Winner |
As one of the premier antivirus suites in the market, Norton protects computers against viruses, malware, and phishing attacks. The company scored an impressive 99.3% score on AV-Comparatives’ total protection scale. Norton offers a two-way firewall which defends against incoming attacks and can detect hackers who deploy stealth measures to steal user information. Additionally, the antivirus offers spam filtering, a password manager, and live updates that track new and unexpected threats. On the downside, Norton’s initial computer scan takes a lengthy 75 minutes to complete, with follow-up scans averaging about 10 minutes. Scans can be customized and scheduled by the customer.
Newcomer BullGuard is well-regarded within the cybersecurity industry, scoring under Norton by the slimmest of margins (receiving a 99.1% score) thanks to excellent protection tools. Like Norton, the company offers a firewall, though it only blocks incoming traffic. However, it defends users from visiting malicious URLs while scanning for malware and other web-based attacks. Users can also install a spam filter which scans most email clients, including Outlook, Windows Mail, and Mozilla’s Thunderbird.
Impact: Both platforms are relatively hands-off in terms of operation and generally run scans in the background. Users can choose scans or perform other services. Nonetheless, Norton has been known to cause some lag, mostly due to its around-the-clock monitoring tools, and can exhibit sluggish performance on some older computer models. BullGuard, on the other hand, is significantly lighter and offers minimal lag, due largely to its simplistic design and functionality. Scans were also relatively faster for BullGuard, on average.
Updates: With its proprietary SONAR update system, Norton can consistently keep users safe. SONAR constantly scans user data as well as performance data from across its network of users to find new threats and identify them as quickly as possible. The system also updates and searches for new threats in real-time, so the company’s scans are always up-to-date.
BullGuard delivers consistent updates as well, but does not offer the real-time modifications SONAR deploys. The default setting for the system is updated every two hours, which does leave some openings for zero-hour attacks that could prove particularly dangerous. All updates are automated, and BullGuard does well to operate entirely in the background.
Parental Controls: In terms of child protection, BullGuard’s offering, which includes the ability to limit internet access for children as well as set schedules for access and whitelist websites, stands out. Norton also offers protection though it does not come standard with all packages. The service is also only available for Windows users.
Identity and Privacy Safeguards: Although both provide privacy tools, Norton pulls away from BullGuard in this department, with the company’s protections for privacy and identity theft standing out. The company provides users with a password manager that stores sensitive financial information such as credit card numbers in a safe and encrypted location. In addition, Norton’s two-way firewall detects phishing attempts and attacks that target user data. Users can also shred files from their computer, erasing them permanently.
On the other hand, BullGuard offers Wi-Fi protection for devices, enabling users to connect to public networks without concern. However, it doesn’t include password protection or file shredding tools which help Norton stand out.
Multiple Devices: Subscribers with Norton can enjoy protection across multiple devices on its Deluxe and Premium packages. The company’s software is available for tablets and smartphones running iOS and Android operating systems. Premium subscribers can have access across 10 devices while Deluxe subscribers can deploy Norton on up to five devices.
Similarly, BullGuard Internet Security offers coverage for up to three computers (Windows and Mac), while the Premium Protection package offers protection across 10 devices. Premium subscribers can protect their Android devices, but as of now, the service does not cover iOS devices.
File Backup: The two companies host cloud-based data backup for copying and protecting user documents. However, BullGuard makes its cloud backup available for its Internet Security as well as Premium Protection packages, while Norton makes 25gb of cloud storage available for only its Premium package subscribers. Data stored in the cloud is encrypted and accessible across multiple devices.
Using both BullGuard and Norton Antivirus is straightforward. While they offer similar interfaces, Norton loses some points because it can sometimes crowd screens with notifications and pop-ups. BullGuard works mostly in the background and tends to leave screens uncluttered. Both are easy to use and understand and are easy to modify and manage even for those users who are not tech savvy.
For users who need further assistance, each service hosts an insightful FAQ section to answer the most common question, as well as a customer forum and email support with quick response times. We were quite pleased to see that both platforms offer a 24-hour live chat option with a support agent. Norton takes this category thanks to its 24-hour phone support line for subscribers that need additional help.
Users with Norton can choose from one of four packages. Its Basic package goes for $19.99, the Standard package for $32.99, Deluxe for $44.99, and its top Premium package for $59.99. Each price listed is for the first year of subscription, and Norton offers a free 30-day trial of its
Deluxe and Premium packages for interested users. It does offer refunds for unsatisfied customers though refund terms are not explicitly clear on the website.
BullGuard’s subscription costs run as follows: AntiVirus (Basic, Windows only) is available for $29.95 with a free 15-day trial, Internet Security is accessible for $29.97 with a 60-day trial, and Premium Protection can be acquired for $39.98 with a 30-day trial. All subscriptions include a 30-day money back guarantee.
Why We Prefer Norton Antivirus over BullGuard
While both Norton and BullGuard are strong choices, we felt that Norton edged out BullGuard thanks to its wider variety of features. BullGuard is an excellent tool for those looking for an affordable and straightforward antivirus suite though it could bolster some of its privacy protection tools. Norton offers a more comprehensive suite for those seeking a one-stop solution for their online security needs, and its SONAR system offers better real-time protection. We recommend Norton Antivirus as the best way to protect your computer from malware and other attacks.