The Differences Between Norton Antivirus & Norton Internet Security

The Norton line of utilities has been a trusted name in computing since the first version of Norton Utilities was released in 1981. Symantec bought the Norton Utilities and the Norton name in 1990, and since then has continued to improve the existing utilities while adding numerous others. Two such software programs are Norton Antivirus and Norton Internet Security.

A padlock, a common theme for security related products.

Norton Antivirus

Norton Antivirus is a stand-alone application. The sole purpose of NAV is to keep your computer and data safe from infection and attacks by malicious software programs like viruses, malware, trojan horse programs, keyloggers, worms, bots and other such nasties. NAV achieves this by having a real-time scanner running that scans files when they are written to the hard drive. It will also scan things like floppy disks or USB flash drives upon insertion and access. NAV also protects the user's computer from attacks made by malicious or compromised websites.

Norton Internet Security

Norton Internet Security has Norton Antivrus integrated into it, so it has all of the features of NAV. NIS adds various features that NAV does not have, such as a two-way software firewall, incoming and outgoing email scanning, and blocking of spam and fraudulent email messages. It also adds parental controls, guards against keyloggers by using an automatic form filler to populate registration forms online, authenticates various online banks and shopping sites, and helps to secure your home network and wireless Internet connections.


Choose Norton Antivirus if you are already security savvy, have a hardware firewall, or only need protection from viruses. NAV by itself is cheaper than Norton Internet Security, and will consume less disk space. However, if you do not have a hardware firewall, do not know a lot about computer security, or have kids and would like to be able to set limits on the kinds of sites they visit, then NIS would more suitable.