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Avast vs ESET vs Norton: Antivirus Solutions Reviewed & Compared

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There are so many viruses, trojans, browser hijackers and malware, that having antivirus software running in your computer is a must today. What does a person look for in antivirus software? Mainly, you will look for antivirus software that will stop as m

Avast

Avast began in 1988 when Eduard Kučera and Pavel Baudiš encountered the Vienna Virus and wrote a program to remove it. They then started ALWIL Software cooperative and released the first Avast antivirus program. Today, Avast has over 300 employees headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic with offices in Austria, Germany and the United States.

Avast Antivirus Features

Avast sells several antivirus products for home, small and large businesses. Each of their antivirus products comes with the following features:

  • Antivirus engine with minimal impact on your computer's performance.
  • Software updater will continually monitor and let you know when your software applications are out of date and need to be updated.
  • Streaming virus database will keep your computer updated throughout the day.
  • Browser Cleanup is a new feature in the maintenance section that will delete troublesome toolbars and plug-ins.
  • An interface that works with Windows 8 touch screen devices.
  • Boot time malware scanning will scan your computer at boot up before hidden viruses can be activated.
  • Faster scans using a white list of safe files.

Avast Home Antivirus Products and Prices

Avast sells several different versions of their antivirus software for home users.

  • Avast free version provides complete virus protection for your personal computer for free.
  • Avast Premier
  • Avast Internet Security
  • Avast Pro Antivirus
  • Free Mobile Security for the Android

The following is a list of Avast antivirus products, features and prices.

Features

Free

Avast Pro

Internet

Security

Premier

         

Blocks viruses and spyware

X

X

X

X

Get help remotely

X

X

X

X

Secures online banking and purchases

 

X                  

X

X

Surf risky websites

 

X

X

X

Run risky programs safely

 

X

X

X

Blocks hacker attacks

   

X

X

Secures personal data

   

X

X

Secures your identity

   

X

X

Stops SPAM

   

X

X

Blocks phishing scams

   

X

X

Automatically updates programs

     

X

Access PC remotely

     

X

Securely wipe hard drive if needed

     

X

Price

Free

$39.99

$49.99

$69.99

Avast Free Trials

You can get a free 30-day trial with all of their antivirus software packages. Avast also has free licenses for schools.

Avast Discounts

ESET

ESET was founded in 1988 by Peter Paško and Miroslav Trnka when they also discovered the Vienna Virus and wrote a program to delete it. Today, ESET has their headquarters in Bratislava, Slovakia and employees 800 people.

ESET Antivirus Features

ESET sells antivirus software for home and business users with the following features.

  • Virus Signatures: The ESET antivirus software uses technology that reduces the time it takes to find malware and viruses with automatic updates.
  • Generic Signatures: ESET develops generic signatures of malware and viruses and their variants for one sample instead of hundreds of samples. Generic signatures provide faster protection and uses lower system resources.
  • Code Analysis can analyze malware and virus code before they can develop.
  • Emulation: Suspected code is monitored and quarantined while it is determined if the code is a threat or not using ThreatSense.

ESET Home Antivirus Products and Prices

  • ESET NOD32 Antivirus includes anti-phishing protection and a social media scanner that protects your Facebook wall from malicious content.
  • ESET Cyber Security will fully protect your Mac and Windows based computers.
  • ESET Family Security Pack will protect all of your computers, laptops, tablets and Android smartphones.
  • ESET Smart Security is their all-in-one antivirus product that includes anti-phishing, social media scanner and an anti-theft feature that will help you locate your laptop if it is stolen.
  • ESET Mobile Security will protect your Android with antivirus and anti-phishing products.

The following is a list of ESET antivirus and internet security products, features and prices.

Features

Smart

Security 6

NOD32

Antivirus 6

Cyber

Security Pro

Cyber

Security

Family

Security

           

Antivirus

X

X

X

X

X

Antispam

X

     

X

Removable Media Scans

X

X

X

X

X

HIPS

X

X

   

X

Cloud White Listing

X

X

X

X

X

Anti-rootkit

X

X

   

X

Anti-theft

X

     

X

Anti-spyware

X

X

X

X

X

Firewall

X

 

X

 

X

Anti-phishing

X

X

X

X

X

Parental

Control

X

 

X

 

X

Social Media Scanner

X

X

   

X

1-Year / 1 PC

$59.99

$39.99

$59.99

$39.99

$84.99 for 3 computers / 3 Android

HIPS is host-based intrusion protection and blocks unwanted changes to your programs. All ESET antivirus products come with cyber security training that will teach you tips and techniques to make your online experience safer. ESET also has prices for 2-year subscriptions and up to 5 PCs.

ESET Cyber Security Training / YouTube

ESET Discounts

Norton

Norton was founded by Peter Norton in 1982 and played a major part at the start of home computing and computer utility software. Norton was sold to Symantec in 1990 and today is one of the world's largest software companies with 18,500 employees in more than 50 countries. 

Norton Antivirus Features

Norton sells several different antivirus products that have the following features to protect you from viruses, trojans, malware and spam.

  • Insight uses their 157 million users to identify which files are safe and which files are dangerous.
  • SONAR Behavioral Protection can detect signs that a file could be dangerous from never before seen threats.
  • Download Insight and IP Address Insight can protect you from downloading files that have a low reputation.
  • Anti-phishing technology
  • Parental control
  • Network mapping and monitoring

Norton Antivirus Software and Prices

Norton sells the following antivirus software:

  • Norton One will protect your Windows, Mac and Android computers and devices. Also included is unlimited virus removal service from their experts. The cost is $149.99 for a 1-year subscription.
  • Norton 360 provides complete antivirus protection for $59.99 for 1 year and up to 3 Windows PCs.
  • Norton 360 Premier Edition also provides social media protection for a cost of $89.99 for 1 year and up to 3 Windows PCs.
  • Norton 360 Multi-Device will give you antivirus protection for PCs, Mac and mobile devices for $69.99 for 1 year and up to 5 devices.
  • Norton Internet Security provides protection for everything you do online with Windows or Mac computers. The price is $49.99 for 1 year and up to 3 computers.
  • Norton Antivirus costs $39.99 for 1 year and up to 3 PCs, Windows or Mac.

Norton Discounts

Antivirus Ratings

All three companies have very good antivirus software ratings. CNET has given each company the following ratings.

  • Avast was given a spectacular rating by the CNET editors of 5 out of 5 stars and customers gave Avast 4.5/5 stars.
  • ESET NOD32 was given an outstanding rating of 4.5/5 by the CNET editors and a 4/5 rating by customers.
  • Norton Internet Security was given an outstanding 4.5/5 rating by the CNET editors and a customer rating of 3/5.

Antivirus Comparison Tests

Both Avast and ESET participate in antivirus testing at the Independent IT Security Institute. AV-Test.org shows the following results for Avast and ESET.

Real-World Protection Tests

  • Avast blocked 98.7%.
  • ESET blocked 98.6%.

Anti-Phishing Tests

  • Avast blocked 82%.
  • ESET blocked 99%.

According to CNET, Norton no longer participates in these tests because of methodology difference. In the May - June 2013 time period, AV-Test.org, gave the following scores.

Avast Free Antivirus

  • Protection score of 5 out of 6.
  • Performance, the overall impact on computer speed - 4/6.
  • Usability - 6/6.

ESET Smart Security version 6.0

  • Protection score of 5/6.
  • Performance - 2.5/6.
  • Usability - 6/6.

Norton Internet Security package

  • Protection score of 5.5/6.
  • Performance - 3.5/6.
  • Usability score of 6/6. 

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