- One of the most reliable antivirus packages on the market.
- The interface is very “trendy” and easy to use
- AVG Antivirus will protect your device from spyware, ransomware, and viruses
- Free version is rather decent
- 30-day money-back guarantee gives you access to the second tier for one full month
This is one of the best free antiviruses, period. And while you might want to upgrade to the higher tier to ensure your device’s safety, even the basic package is well capable of defending the “main gate.” Most expers praise it for being user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to download. Plus, it doesn’t require nearly as many resources to run as some of its more famous rivals.
Real-time updates and constant PC scans will make sure no virus will ever get through. The dashboard is straightforward and will satisfy both the beginners and the antivirus enthusiasts. All this makes the AVG free version better than most entry-level packages; it is available on Windows systems, Mac systems, and Android devices (iOS is not supported yet).
AVG Technologies – the company behind this product – has been around for 2+ decades. Two years ago – in 2016 – Avast Software, a big player in the industry, officially bought it. Today, AVG Antivirus is an even better offer than before.
Therefore, if you’re looking for basic, yet solid protection from viruses and hackers but aren’t really ready to pay for that, AVG Free Antivirus will be right up your alley. Obviously, you can always go for the commercial packages later.
- Users in the market for basic, yet high-quality protection.
- Personal computers, Mac systems, and Android devices.
- The fans of the totally free stuff.
The List Of Pros And Cons
Let us take a closer look at the pros and cons of AVG and see whether it is exactly what you’re looking for or just another solid offer that you’ll have to decline. As you’ll learn from our AVG Antivirus review, it’s well capable of protecting you from any outside threat. Plus, the user interface is fast, easy to navigate, and friendly. The AVG Windows 10 client, for example, is among the best ones on the market. However, there are some downsides to this antivirus as well, such as the steep price for the commercial packages and the lack of an iOS app.
- Third-party testing companies praise this antivirus for impressive performance during their tests.
- The interface is very simple; even your kid will be able to make sense of it.
- You are free to choose between various package features without having to pay for all of them.
- The clients for Windows, Mac, and the Android app are great.
- The users can customize AVG Antivirus to their liking.
- Fast, reliable, and “beats” 99% of malware without “melting” your computer.
- The free version offers only basic protection.
- Sadly, it’s not available on iOS. The mobile app for Android is great, though.
- The performance scans are pretty pointless.
- In many regards, this antivirus is the same as Avast and it’s not the winner in the Avast vs AVG battle.
- The top tiers are pretty expensive.
With twenty years and an impeccable reputation, AVG still offers rather affordable price-tags to potential clients. In this section, we’ll take a look at all the available packages so that you can decide which one suits you best. AVG is not the cheapest product out there, but, again, given the quality-price balance, these are, indeed, quite generous offers:
AVG Antivirus Free. As you might’ve guessed from the name, this is the free version of AVG (it’s 100% charge-free). It is also available for the Mac and has the same basic set of features.
AVG Internet Security. This package costs $79.99 per year, which is more than the industry average. But, it does come with an impressive set of features (we’ll get back to them later in this review) and covers unlimited number of Windows-running devices. You can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee and the free trial.
AVG Ultimate. The most expensive package will cost you $99.99 for one full year of protection. In short, the difference in price is due to cross-platform compatibility, and the TuneUp tool that is included in this suit. Note, that there is no money-back guarantee and no free trial.
Basic antivirus software for Mac and Android devices is available for free.
Reliability And Security
Security along with reliability are the first priority for any antivirus, and while AVG is not the best offer on the market, it does hold its own against most rivals.
Important note: since recently, AVG uses the same engine as Avast, and the two antiviruses successfully combine the best tech from both products.
In the AV-Comparatives tests, AVG managed to earn 3 Advanced + (the highest score) and 1 Advanced rating, outrunning most of the competition. Bitdefender came in first with 4 Advanced + ratings.
AV-Test, another highly respected third-party, gives antivirus software a maximum score of 18 (6 for performance, protection, and usability).
Tests ran by the SE-Labs that specializes in web-based attacks assigned the AA certification to AVG (AAA is the highest score; C is the worst one). Norton and Microsoft’s DSC earned a triple-A rating.
Finally, in the MRG-Effitas tests, this antivirus achieved a 2nd-level certification (which is close to perfect) and earned a right to be in the elite top-10. The average score reached 9.4 points.
Before malicious software can get to your device, it needs to get through several layers of defense. AVG gives the suspicious files that managed to cut through the line of defense a full scan before execution.
We ran a real-world test by opening a folder with our malware samples and launching them. The antivirus blocked 3/4 of those samples within seconds, forcing Windows to display an error message – “File not found.” The rest of the files that did find a way to launch were successfully brought down by AVG.
Whenever this antivirus locates some unknown and suspicious files/apps on your device, it blocks its “movements” and sends it to HQ for a quick evaluation (the same routine happens with Avast). Sadly, sometimes, evaluation can take a lot more time than the 15 seconds that AVG claims it will take.
As for malware-hosting URLs, one of the biggest threats for modern-day users, AVG blocked 91% of all the websites we sent its way. McAfee blocked 97%; Bitdefender and Norton blocked 99%. In Phishing detection tests, this antivirus joined the elite with a detection rate of 98% (Kaspersky and McAfee blocked 100%; Bitdefender – 99%).
Right in the middle of the main screen, you’ll find a green button that allows you to launch a quick scan with one single click. It is quite effective at running through the most vulnerable areas of your system.
But, if you want something more thorough, than the Deep Scan is what you need. To get there, it takes three clicks instead of one, but, again, this check will go through the deepest and darkest corners of your OS (which is what you need a good scan to do).
These are not the only available scans. The USB/DVD Scan does a great job of examining the removable drives; the Performance scan is for finding issues in your system and fixing them. Furthermore, you can choose to scan specific files and folders and to schedule future scans (those include boot time scans).
The fine-tuning options are truly impressive, and the fans of control will be pleased by what AVG has to offer. Schedule scans that check two files, three folders, and five archives – it’s all possible with this antivirus engine.
The quick scan (known here as the Computer Scan) can take a minute or two for the first time, but the subsequent checks usually take less than 30 seconds.
Ease of Use
AVG has been working on this product for years, trying to make it as fast, reliable, and easy-to-use as possible. The current interface is incredibly user-friendly and straightforward. According to statistics, ease of use is one of those things that can make it or break it for an antivirus.
And while in the past, AVG wasn’t the most intuitive offer on the market, these days, it’s on par with Avast, Kaspersky, and other industry leaders. Let us talk in more details about the installation process, the user interface and performance next.
Download and Installation
Installation starts with you downloading the installer (7.1MB) from the official website. The entire process is somewhat automated, meaning all you’ll have to do is click next and select the installation folder.
On average, installation takes 7-10 minutes, which is on par with the leaders. For example, some of the rivals on the market (big names with millions of users) can take up to 155 minutes to install, if not more (Kaspersky is definitely among the slowest ones).
Important note: even though you can’t do anything during installation, once it’s finished, don’t forget to uncheck the box for data collection (Menu – General – Privacy).
This antivirus doesn’t require the user to have an account. At the same time, it allows you to easily monitor other devices that are currently under AVG’s protection after you create an account.
The interface is quite stylish and looks like the team working on it was inspired by hacker movies from the 90s. There’s a green circle on the main window – it means your device is in no danger. But when it changes to a red exclamation point, you should check whether the system is under attack or if a virus is already on your device.
The big “Scan Computer” button at the bottom gives you access to quick scans. For configuring the antivirus to your liking, use the Web & Email and Computer icons. If you’re running the free version, the other three menus won’t be available.
In the Settings menu, the software allows you to change the current password, control pop-up windows, create a so-called “white list,” and more. As far as the configuration options go, AVG is one of the best picks right now. In the Tray, you can see the current status (protected or in danger) and access the main menu via one single click.
The bottom line is – AVG is a user-friendly antivirus with a smart layout, a fast engine, and impressive configuration capabilities.
For any software, it is vital to make the most out of a device’s resources and not to put a lot of strain on it. Even the most outdated computers will be able to run this antivirus (not as smoothly as the modern ones, of course).
According to several real-world tests, the impact on performance is less than 10% (usually around 5%), which puts AVG on the same pedestal as the leaders in the field like Bitdefender. However, Kaspersky managed to only slow down the machine by 2.5%, which is the absolute best result at this moment.
AVG offers only three packages to choose from, but they’re more than capable of covering the needs of both average users and people that want the best possible protection. Furthermore, along with the following plans, you can also purchase tools for optimization, updating the drivers, and even a VPN.
Overall, the company offers a very flexible deal, and most users will be able to find the combination that works best for their current needs.
AVG Antivirus Free. This is the entry-level package. It is capable of scanning your PC, getting automatic updates, blocking dangerous email attachments, and protecting the device from Malware. It is available both for the Windows and the Mac operating systems. The Mac version is compatible with macOS 10.10 and higher. Here’s a more detailed list of the available features:
- Automatic real-time updates
- Protection from suspicious links, downloads, and email attachments
- Basic protection from ransomware, spyware, and viruses
- Free scans that reveal problems with the device
AVG Internet Security (IS). With this package, you’ll get full protection for all your devices. The company officials claim that this is the most popular plan among their clients. Along with all of the basic features that the free version comes with, IS gives you access to a pretty impressive list of additional features:
- An extra layer of ransomware protection
- Brick-strong protection for your webcam (prevents any third parties from taking a peek)
- An advanced Enhanced Firewall for even more protection against the hackers
- Fake website protection (for safe online payments)
This package is not available for Mac, iOS, and Android devices.
AVG Ultimate. As the name suggests, this is the highest tier. It includes everything from the previous two packages and offers the most comprehensive set of features:
- Live chat/phone support
- AVG TuneUp to boost your devices’ performance
- Apps for Mac and Android devices.
AVG Antivirus for Android has a free edition that will protect you from malware and spyware and will help you find your phone in case of theft. The Pro version is in addition capable of taking pictures of a thief or anyone else who fails to unblock your phone three times in a row. It also allows users to protect any app with a PIN.
AVG Antivirus Support And Customer Service
When it comes to customer service, the good news is there is a great FAQ section on the official website, plus a series of easy-to-understand videos on the company’s YouTube Channel. Chances are you’ll manage to figure it all out by yourself.
Filing a ticket is also an option. But, we have to say that it usually takes the team a long time to process your question and answer it, which isn’t the case with most rivals on the market. Furthermore, the users don’t have access to a live chat or direct calls unless they pay for professional tech support. That’s right – with AVG, you have to pay a lot of money for customer support to help you out.
AVG Premium Tech Support covers all of your devices and offers toll-free calls (24/7), free consultation, unlimited access to the company’s tech team, and virus/malware removal. To get it all you’ll have to go with the Complex Fix” package ( $199 a year or $10 a month + $99 once you subscribe). For $79, you’ll only get the “Simple Fix” package. Important note: both plans grant just ONE-TIME help.
AVG Antivirus Video Review and Guide
The greatest thing about this antivirus is that the free edition is quite impressive. Plus, you can download free trials of the Internet Security package and all the tools/apps on the website. If you’re looking for basic protection, this is one of your best options. Avast Free might be a better pick for some, but not necessarily for every single user.
As for AVG Internet Security, it is a bit too expensive for comfort, and other brands offer the same level of security and versatility for more affordable price-tags. The pros include great performance, low CPU usage, customization freedom, and above-average security ratings from third-party companies.