It was not so long ago that you would be thought a fool for not having third-party antivirus software on your computer. It was a time before operating systems such as Windows came with their own antivirus protection before firewalls were built into nearly every network device… and before VPN security became available to everyone.
The big hitters in internet security back then were created by Norton and Kaspersky, and they are two of the most popular premium suites now. But how good are Norton and Kaspersky at protecting you, actually?
What’s in the box?
Norton Security and Kaspersky Internet Security are mostly similar bundles, save for a couple of minor features unique to each. Both include:
- Antivirus features that scan local and online documents to discover risks
- “Safe net” warnings against potentially dangerous websites and downloads
- Two-way firewalls designed to prevent intrusion into home networks
- Anti-phishing technology that blocks known fraudulent websites
- Parental controls designed to shield kids from an unsuitable online material
Both Norton and Kaspersky also have received positive reviews from the major PC websites, and both are around the same cost for a year’s license.
That all sounds great, but does this imply Kaspersky and Norton will provide you the internet security coverage you require? Let us take a look at some pros and cons.
Good: The latest definitions
New online dangers are emerging all of the time. Before, we have had Heartbleed and the Shellshock Bash bug. To protect you, any online security service has to be continuously updated with answers to the hottest issues.
Provided your yearly permit is paid up, Norton and Kaspersky will keep you current with the latest definitions. Known malware and viruses are detected before they hit you, and any found in your system are eliminated.
Bad: Seconds of vulnerability
Norton and Kaspersky are equally quick to cope with new threats, but they are still reactive solutions. When a hazard becomes known, the developers produce a fix, and then a software upgrade is released.
But there will always be a period of vulnerability between the development of a threat and your defense being upgraded. Until a threat is understood and solved, Kaspersky and Norton can not help you.
Good: Safer browsing
Kaspersky and Norton have a more proactive approach to secure web browsing. We often consider browsers as our window on the internet — we can look at any site we would like, but they can not see us.
That is sadly not the case. Malicious and hacked websites could infect your computer with malware. Trojan horses disguise themselves as movie player downloads, which damaging sites say you will need to download so as to see that cute cat movie. Shortened links take you shadowy spots you never wanted to go. The list goes on.
Kaspersky and Norton incorporate features inside your browser which warn you about these risks. Both companies keep an enormous database of harmful websites and tell you once you’re going to visit one.
Remember that antivirus software doesn’t encrypt or anonymize your internet connection. If you would like to encrypt and anonymize your internet connection, you will want to use a VPN.
Bad: Slowing your PC down
The downside of that in-browser link checking is the amount of computing power and bandwidth it requires. Especially on older platforms, Norton and Kaspersky can definitely slow things down.
It’s not only the internet safety features that hog power, either. Lifehacker.com known as Norton as a complete “unusually slow and bloated.”
Does that mean that the programs do not protect you? No. But does this affect how useful they are when protecting you? Unfortunately, yes…
Good: Covering the essentials
At least with Norton and Kaspersky, you get a vast assortment of security features in 1 box. As recorded above, you get antivirus protection, a firewall, anti-phishing attributes and much more.
There’s only 1 setup, and settings are simple enough for all to understand. So if you’re looking for a simple and comprehensive security solution, Norton and Kaspersky cover the majority of the essentials nicely.
Bad: Key features available free elsewhere
1 thing to know about, however, is that Norton and Kaspersky are not the only businesses to observe these attributes are vital.
The new Windows 10 includes a firewall, malicious software removal tool, and regular security updates. Apple’s OS X provides pretty much the same. All for no additional price. And since these attributes are integral to your operating system, they are less resource-hungry than Norton and Kaspersky.
These built-in features do not offer the exact degree of security as Norton and Kaspersky, but they are certainly an alternative for those who wish to save money. Additionally, there are some free alternatives worth considering.
In the end, the ideal solution for keeping your computer clean combines software alternatives and common sense. Not clicking on suspicious links and maintaining your applications up-to-date can go a long way in helping you maintain a clean machine.