Battle Email Protection - Bitdefender Total Security vs Norton 360 Deluxe. Which is superior?

HarborFront

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I have hotmail and outlook web-based emails. Can advise which is superior in terms of protection for attachments and ease of use? Or do I need to use Thunderbird desktop email client?

For Summary

Norton: Email Antivirus Scan creates a gateway between incoming (usually IMAP) and outgoing (SMTP) mail servers. This prevents malicious items from downloading as they can be scanned before they install. Norton also offers an AntiSpam tool which integrates with Windows Mail and Microsoft Outlook. POP3 scanning is still supported, so this is a good option for email clients using legacy mail servers.

Bitdefender: Bitdefender places a strong emphasis on email security. It offers consumer products such as its Antispam filter as well as server-side tools like Bdconsole for the enterprise mail server. Emails are also scanned as part of Bitdefender’s real-time protection scanning mode, which blocks viruses based on suspicious patterns of behavior.


For Details

From Norton


From Bitdefender

 

Zero Knowledge

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Any good AV/AM should detect malicious attachments that are downloaded, and Outlook should scan attachments for malicious content and block anything that is bad. Unless you download a lot of .zip or .pdf files or python scripts you should be fine with existing protection. Those AV email protection features are more for enterprise/corporate use but I guess you can use them at home if you really want to.
 

Trident

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The email scanning feature of both Norton and Bitdefender does not relate to web-based emails as well as attachments sent/received there.
This feature only scans POP3 and iMap configured accounts in Microsoft Office Outlook.
Accounts with other configurations in Microsoft Office Outlook (such as using the “Add Account” button and then pressing “Outlook” a.k.a TLS and SSL encrypted accounts) are not scanned.

Attachments sent and received via encrypted connections and via web mail are handled by real-time protection. When a file is saved, the mini-filter will instantly capture it and will execute the normal analysis flow.

Regarding anti-spam: they both provide anti-spam in Microsoft Office Outlook for all sorts of accounts. After a message is already downloaded and decrypted, a parser would examine it. Both Norton and Bitdefender put huge emphasis on ML. Norton uses technology known as Symantec Skeptic (TM) and Bitdefender uses NeuNet as well as picture spam detection.

Edit: information about technologies related to anti-spam added.
 
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HarborFront

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The email scanning feature of both Norton and Bitdefender does not relate to web-based emails as well as attachments sent/received there.
This feature only scans POP3 and iMap configured accounts in Microsoft Office Outlook.
Accounts with other configurations in Microsoft Office Outlook (such as using the “Add Account” button and then pressing “Outlook” a.k.a TLS and SSL encrypted accounts) are not scanned.

Attachments sent and received via encrypted connections and via web mail are handled by real-time protection. When a file is saved, the mini-filter will instantly capture it and will execute the normal analysis flow.

I'm not talking of downloading the file and then scanning from there by BDTS or Norton. I'm talking of the attachment when opened in the email. Will BDTS or Norton scans it?

So if I open outook/hotmail in the browser, opens an email with an attachment and then opens the attachment you mean BDTS and Norton don't scan if it's a rouge attachment?

If that's the case would the use of Thunderbird with hotmail/outlook accounts allows BDTS or Norton to sacn the open attachment without downloading the attachment?
 

Trident

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So if I open outook/hotmail in the browser, opens an email with an attachment and then opens the attachment you mean BDTS and Norton don't scan if it's a rouge attachment?

If that's the case would the use of Thunderbird with hotmail/outlook accounts allows BDTS or Norton to sacn the open attachment without downloasing the attachment?
They will react, but not as early. If POP3 configuration is used, as soon as you receive the email, it will instantly be parsed and examined for any suspicious attachments (not in password protected archives, although Microsoft Defender now includes parser that can extract passwords from emails and open the archive). Any threats will be removed immediately.

When email scanning is not performed, the threat will still be in the emails. But as soon as you try to save/execute the file it will be blocked — you will still be protected. Just at a later stage.
 

HarborFront

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They will react, but not as early. If POP3 configuration is used, as soon as you receive the email, it will instantly be parsed and examined for any suspicious attachments (not in password protected archives, although Microsoft Defender now includes parser that can extract passwords from emails and open the archive). Any threats will be removed immediately.

When email scanning is not performed, the threat will still be in the emails. But as soon as you try to save/execute the file it will be blocked — you will still be protected. Just at a later stage.

What I need is read the attachment before downloading. During this time BDTS or Norton should kick in and warn/remove attachemnt if it's a threat

From the Bitdefender link below it seems difficult to remove a rouge attachment


Norton looks easy to remove attachment threat

 
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Trident

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From the Bitdefender link below it seems difficult to remove a rouge attachment

Home AVs can not handle email threats until a file is saved. For email security you will have to look at business solutions such as Sophos Email Security (I’ve seen single licenses sold), Check Point Harmony Email (I’ve also seen single licenses on sale) or other business email security. These solutions will not only detect and block phishing/spam, they will also take care of attachments (if they are not in a password-protected archives) by sending them for cloud emulation. Both Bitdefender and Norton will only help you if you are using Thunderbird or Office Outlook with POP3/IMAP accounts.
 

HarborFront

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Home AVs can not handle email threats until a file is saved. For email security you will have to look at business solutions such as Sophos Email Security (I’ve seen single licenses sold), Check Point Harmony Email (I’ve also seen single licenses on sale) or other business email security. These solutions will not only detect and block phishing/spam, they will also take care of attachments (if they are not in a password-protected archives) by sending them for cloud emulation. Both Bitdefender and Norton will only help you if you are using Thunderbird or Office Outlook with POP3/IMAP accounts.

So I'll need Thunderbird. Do you know whether hotmail/outlook web-based emails can configure to have POP3/IMAP? And if possible then can scan open attachment by BDTS or Norton without downloading attachment, right?

The reason is if possible I would not want to use a sandbox/VM for reading email attachments
 
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Trident

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So I'll need Thunderbird. Do you know whether hotmail/outlook web-based emails can configure to have POP3/IMAP? And if possible then can scan open attachment by BDTS or Norton without downloading attachment, right?

The reason is if possible I would not want to use a sandbox/VM for reading email attachments
It is possible to configure Outlook for use of POP3/IMAP on Thunderbird.
Navigate to this guide to find out the necessary details:
 

HarborFront

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The email scanning feature of both Norton and Bitdefender does not relate to web-based emails as well as attachments sent/received there.
This feature only scans POP3 and iMap configured accounts in Microsoft Office Outlook.
Accounts with other configurations in Microsoft Office Outlook (such as using the “Add Account” button and then pressing “Outlook” a.k.a TLS and SSL encrypted accounts) are not scanned.

Attachments sent and received via encrypted connections and via web mail are handled by real-time protection. When a file is saved, the mini-filter will instantly capture it and will execute the normal analysis flow.

Regarding anti-spam: they both provide anti-spam in Microsoft Office Outlook for all sorts of accounts. After a message is already downloaded and decrypted, a parser would examine it. Both Norton and Bitdefender put huge emphasis on ML. Norton uses technology known as Symantec Skeptic (TM) and Bitdefender uses NeuNet as well as picture spam detection.

Edit: information about technologies related to anti-spam added.

Regarding anti-spam BDTS looks not very good (false flagging of legitimate mails) from below


You know anything about Norton anti-spam performance? Is it better?
 
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Trident

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Regarding anti-spam BDTS looks not very good from below


You know anything about Norton anti-spam performance? Is it better?
According to Bitdefender datasheet (might be marketing fluff as well here):
They had 99.9% catch rate with 0 false positives for 22 consecutive years.

I am unable to verify both of these solutions performance or compare them, my emails pass through Check Point Harmony Email where they go through vigorous checks prior to being dropped into my inbox and downloaded by email client (be it mobile, Mac or PC).

A lot of businesses use Symantec Email Security.Cloud but that’s slightly different from Norton.
 

HarborFront

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According to Bitdefender datasheet (might be marketing fluff as well here):
They had 99.9% catch rate with 0 false positives for 22 consecutive years.

I am unable to verify both of these solutions performance or compare them, my emails pass through Check Point Harmony Email where they go through vigorous checks prior to being dropped into my inbox and downloaded by email client (be it mobile, Mac or PC).

A lot of businesses use Symantec Email Security.Cloud but that’s slightly different from Norton.

Just for my home use only

I just got the BDTS last week or two so trying to mazimise its features. Learning slowly.........
 

simmerskool

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I have hotmail and outlook web-based emails. Can advise which is superior in terms of protection for attachments and ease of use? Or do I need to use Thunderbird desktop email client?
fwiw I've only been using webmail the past year, no desktop email client. It is working for me.
EDIT I almost always check webmail with virtual machine, download save whatever, whatever av is on VM scans, and often check hash and send to VT...
 
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Trident

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Just for my home use only

I just got the BDTS last week or two so trying to mazimise its features. Learning slowly.........
Bitdefender is protecting you not with one layer or 2. Once you save a file, it will pass through definitions, emulation (B-HAVE), constant behavioural analysis that according to Bitdefender operates on 0-trust philosophy and as a last layer, anti-botnet (which blocks suspicious/malicious connections system-wide from all apps).

If you are looking to learn how Bitdefender protects you, read these:

You don’t need to take any further actions.
 

HarborFront

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fwiw I've only been using webmail the past year, no desktop email client. It is working for me.
So do I in using web-based emails

It seems from above discussion BDTS cannot scan email open attachments in browser. Need to use Thunderbird to do that

I would try not to use a sandbox/VM if BDTS can do that
 
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Trident

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So do I

It seems from above discussion BDTS cannot scan open attachments in browser. Need to use Thunderbird to do that
If you mean opening attachments in browser preview (like for example you click on an image and preview is loaded), these are not a threat. The most these can do is contain browser exploit. Through the IDS system built-in to Bitdefender (part of the behavioural analysis) you are protected against common exploit methods and as soon as such is detected, the browser will be terminated. In addition, protections built-in to Windows also assist in blocking some exploits.
 

simmerskool

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So do I in using web-based emails

It seems from above discussion BDTS cannot scan email open attachments in browser. Need to use Thunderbird to do that

I would try not to use a sandbox/VM if BDTS can do that
sure, but historically every email desktop client I've used on windows, has crapped out, both free and paid, including Thunderbird. The last that broke was The Bat!. Ran it for a few years, and then it broke too 😤 I may look at some of business email solutions @Trident mentioned, ... :unsure:
 

HarborFront

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If you mean opening attachments in browser preview (like for example you click on an image and preview is loaded), these are not a threat. The most these can do is contain browser exploit. Through the IDS system built-in to Bitdefender (part of the behavioural analysis) you are protected against common exploit methods and as soon as such is detected, the browser will be terminated. In addition, protections built-in to Windows also assist in blocking some exploits.

How about other attachments like pdf, word, excel etc files? Preview but not downloaded? Do they constitute as threats? I thought BDTS or Norton should scan during the preview stage and if deem a threat should remove the attachment from the email?
 
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