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Micosoft Windows Defender versus Norton 360


New Member
Recently purchased Surface Book 2 which comes with pre-installed Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center to protect my laptop virus and network threads. I have used Norton 360 in past years to protect my computer. My question is do I need to install Norton 360 or Windows Defender does all protection function that Norton 360 does? Thanks for help.
would love to hear this myself. Every time I go into a Microsoft store (just really luck I have one in my neighborhood), whether its for support, training or something else, first thing they say when they look at my surface is what the heck to do you have Norton for....it just bogs down your system. And I have Malwarebytes too. Would love to hear from some experts out there.


Super Moderator
Staff member
I use defender and nothing else. Works fine. Other than laptops which come with something pre-installed (which get removed straight away due to their effect on performance and generally being very annoying!) I have never used anything but what is provided by windows, and I've never had issues.

The irony of AV software is that third party stuff can actually lead to a less secure system due to the way it hooks itself into all layers of the OS etc thereby creating its own vulnerabilities. Not to mention the frequent discussions of backdoors etc.


Super Moderator
Staff member
I have a number of machines (more than a few) with three different AV configurations. Some have Norton 360, some have only Defender or Defender + MalwareBytes Free and some have Defender + MalwareBytes Premium since it doesn't disable Defender. Honestly I cant say I can tell the difference for the most part. I should also note I use Hostman + mvps hosts which blocks access to nefarious sites and adware/tracking sites.

Norton/Symantec hasn't been a serious drain in a few years at least. There may be a brief startup lag accessing the internet until it's fully loaded itself (that's actually a good thing though). I generally don't notice a performance penalty on the machines I run it on. Some features are still not fully integrated with Edge. They claim enhanced firewall capabilities but I cant tell what they are or ever noticed anything as a result.

MalwareBytes Premium - even though I'm running this on a machine with mvps hosts installed it has blocked access to websites it deems unsafe (which appeared to be adware/tracking sites). This is good and the more of that crap that can be blocked the better. I suspect there would be a lot more of that if I wasn't using mvps hosts since it works silently you just never see it.

I've not encountered any issues with viruses or malware on any of the machines some of this is just experience knowing or intuiting where not to go.

MalwareBytes Free or Premium have traditionally found more PUPs than Defender or Norton so I think its a beneficial addition although again experience level and due diligence can avoid most of it. For example when I MalwareBytes scan my own systems it mostly just calls out and cleans up cookies etc. When I scan family member's machines with Defender, Norton or other products installed it finds PUP programs to remove whether shopping crap, driver installers, or extra toolbars etc. etc. my dad is the worst because even though he is suspicious of stuff he clicks it anyway to see what it is.

Norton 360 does offer other benefits that are worthwhile ... like, LifeLock service is included.

I tried Bitdefiler and did not like that, might have just been personal tastes but I was not comfortable with it. Similarly I would not use KaSPYsky or any of the Nagavirus products.


Staff member
I use defender and Safe Computing - I haven't had any virus behavior since the early 2000s