Antivirus software is important for any small business. Protecting computer equipment from spyware, malware, and ransomware is essential to daily business operations. In addition to the pain and hassle of dealing with a virus, some of the more severe viruses can compromise client data, financial information, and other sensitive or personally identifiable data.

Most people are familiar with both McAfee Antivirus and Norton Antivirus, but few know the real differences between them. Although both commercially-available antivirus software providers are widely used in the business world, not all antivirus software is best for small business needs. Before you select your small business antivirus software, consider the four following considerations all small businesses need to be aware of.

Bulk License Program Options

McAfee: McAfee offers several volume licensing options at different available tiers. The minimum volume licensing order is 11 nodes, and it goes up to 10,000+ nodes.

Norton: Norton doesn’t offer flat-out purchasable volume license – rather, they offer an incentive program where you receive discounts on additional licenses based on how many points you’ve accumulated (dollars spent).
McAfee seems to be better for small business antivirus licensing if you plan on buying all of your licenses up front. Norton is better if you buy antivirus licenses over time, and accumulate points to earn discounts on volume licenses. McAfee’s volume licensing is extremely scalable, and can help small businesses budget up front for licenses better than Norton’s plan.

Cost Factors

McAfee: McAfee offers three different pricing packages for small business that are clear and concise. The packages range from $24.90 per license per year at the very low end, to $51.85 per license per year at the very high end. This does not factor in volume licensing pricing, however.

Norton: Norton doesn’t list clear pricing plans specifically for small businesses or volume licensing on their website, however, the general range is around $35.00-$50.00 per license per year. Norton does, however, offer lots of different branded software solutions for different needs.
The costs seem about comparable, but McAfee’s pricing is much more simple and clear to understand. Their three packages for small business are easy to get and straightforward. Although Norton offers many small business solutions, their branded names make it difficult for small businesses to figure out what exactly they need.

Flexibility of System Requirements


  • PC – Min Windows + 500 MB available hard drive space
  • Mac – OS X 10.6 or higher + 300 MB available hard drive space


  • PC – Windows + 300 MB available hard drive space
  • Mac – Must buy separate Norton for Mac software (for OS X 10.7 or higher) + 1.5 GB available hard drive space

McAfee is better for organizations who have PCs and Macs, but for organizations that only have PCs, Norton takes up slightly less hard drive space per computer. The hard drive space savings between PC software is marginal though, so McAfee’s ability to work on both Mac and PC without buying additional software is beneficial. Plus, if your organization runs mostly on Macs, the hard drive space savings is more significant when choosing McAfee over Norton.


McAfee: McAfee doesn’t list their specific upgrade rules on their website, but they do offer free automatic security updates as they become available. They also provide support solutions for small businesses.

Norton: Norton upgrades are available to users who have a support account, and they will receive automatic notifications. Users without support accounts can buy one at an additional charge to receive these upgrades and notifications.

Norton is more clear and upfront about their upgrade policy, and offer more support options for upgrading. McAfee’s failure to list upgrade details is questionable, however, they do offer a number of support services for small businesses.


When comparing and contrasting McAfee Antivirus with Norton Antivirus, it seems as though McAfee is slightly better for small businesses for a number of reasons: McAfee is scalable, price-plan predictable, and flexible on a variety of types of computers and operating systems. However, Norton offers many of the same great benefits that McAfee does, and excels in support and a large variety of solutions for specific small business needs.

Although these four considerations are among the most applicable to small business needs, there are many other considerations and questions that might be specific to different businesses. For example, if your small business needs to remain HIPAA compliant, PCI compliant, or if you store other types of sensitive data, you may require different offerings from an internal source. Either way, investing in antivirus can save your business a lot of time, reputability, and money in the future.

For more help deciding on the right antivirus program, or for questions, contact our Licensing & Sales experts. Royal Discount is the internet’s best source for cheap online software deals. Helping individuals, IT managers and businesses for over 20 years running. Call in direct at 1-877-292-7712 – Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm.