In terms of basic malware protection features, both products offer the same basic level of security. However, in terms of independent antivirus tests, ESET is one step ahead with the proactive/retrospective scans. In terms of on-demand scans, both programs are the same. This is a big plus for the ESET. But when it comes to the fine-tuned services offered by the programs, Norton 360 is clearly ahead, as you will notice in the following table: Symantec seems to have done its homework well and offers Website authentication and identity protection features to its product. Both may not be serious issues for you if you are already using a password manager software, which store your passwords and securely inputs them to web forms when you are logging in to a website.
Of course, there is a serious use of instant messaging applications and the users need to be protected against the risks that come with the programs. It is sad to see that such a powerful product, ESET, does not offer protection on instant messaging.
There is one point, which ESET is the clear winner is the load that it puts on the system; both through the scan process and the idle time. The idle memory use comes down to 7 Megabytes total, which makes it an “install and forget" product. And in terms of scan times, ESET is the clear winner: it is fast, really fast.
ESET and Norton offer in-depth configuration options, but ESET's options are for the novice to intermediate users. A novice user has to read the configuration options in detail before he is making changes. But the good thing is, ESET has a detailed help file. Norton's options are more oriented towards the novice users, but the advanced users will also find what they are looking for.