Regardless of what kind of device you use for web-surfing, playing, messaging, or working, a reliable antivirus protection is an essential condition of your data security. It helps to prevent multiple problems, and you don’t have to spend a fortune on it. Today, there are some top-notch antivirus products that are available at no money, i.e. for free.
For basic level of protection for Windows, Mac, and Android devices, millions of users choose the free version of AVG. You can easily get one from the company’s official website, but once you install it, you will be constantly offered to upgrade. Are paid AVG solutions a good value for money, or should you stick to a free option? Read our review to find the answer.
The range of features in the basic version of the AVG antivirus is moderate. However, it definitely has something to be liked for. Here is a list of its main characteristics at a glance.
- A decent protection from viruses, ransomware, spyware.
- Scanning of computer’s drives for all types of problems.
- Detecting and preventing zero-day threats.
- Detecting and neutralizing phishing/fraudulent sites.
- Blocking suspicious links and files.
- Scanning incoming e-mails, including attachments.
- Free Mac and Android packages.
- Extra tools like a file shredder.
In our AVG review, we’ll cover its core characteristics and touch upon its performance, advantages, and disadvantages. Also, we’ll try to single out its competitive strengths if compared to rivals’ software.
A few words about AVG
But before taking a closer look at what different versions of AVG can offer, let us just say a few words about the company behind the product. AVG company is mainly known as a developer and a supplier of free antivirus software. It entered the market in the early 1990s and soon its products became recognizable across Europe and the US. In 2016, AVG was purchased by its counterpart – Avast.
However, the two companies didn’t merge completely, as one could expect. Instead, each of them continues to supply its proprietary antivirus software. Though their products have much in common, they are still different. For example, Avast has more extras, including those that come for free, and its paid versions are more affordable. What can you get with AVG? You’ll find all the answers in the next section of our review.
|Money back Guarantee|
|Manual Virus Scanning|
|USB Virus Scan|
|Registry Startup Scan|
|Auto Virus Scanning|
|Easy of use||4/5|
- AVG is very easy to use. Thus, it is one of the best options for users who have never tried any antivirus. AVG Antivirus Free will work fine to get a taste of how it is to be with an antivirus.
- AVG Antivirus Free will protect your machine against ransomware, which is very valuable since the majority of competitors provide such protection with paid plans only.
- AVG is a great antivirus for picky and demanding users since each product has a different mix of features and services capable of satisfying every consumer.
Pros & Cons
So, as you see, AVG antivirus is a good entry-level solution, but not a powerful tool for the ultimate protection. It can resolve a limited range of tasks, but in general, it does its work well. Its effectiveness has repeatedly been proved by tests.
Reliability and Security
AVG antivirus is a good entry-level solution, but not a powerful tool for the ultimate protection. It can resolve a limited range of tasks, but in general, it does its work well. Its effectiveness has repeatedly been proved by tests.
Thus, AV-Test Institute marked AVG with 6 out of 6 points for its usability, 6 points for malware protection, and 5.5 points for its performance. However, AV-Test which was conducted in June observed that AVG managed to stop 98.3 percent of zero-day attacks.
In the Real-World Protection Test conducted in November 2018 by AV-Comparatives, AVG demonstrated 100% effectiveness in blocking malicious programs and had 2 false positives. The summary result for the interim of July-November 2018 showed that AVG managed to block 99,6 percent of malware with the total of 10 false positives.
Also, AV-Comparatives granted AVG an Advanced+ rating with 3 out of 3 stars which is the highest result possible.
MRG-Effitas granted Level 2 certification to AVG in full spectrum analysis conducted in the first quarter of 2018. The result means that the minimum of one attacker managed to install but the antivirus took care of the problem within 24 hours.
Finally, in the tests of SE Labs AVG AntiVirus Free scored 94 percent for its ability to take care of malware after detecting it and handle sophisticated attacks which might be targeted on politicians, journalists, diplomats. And definitely, this is not the best result.
In general, AVG performs well against known malware. It is also capable of taking care of harmful programs on users’ devices. But still, there are certain areas for improvement, for instance, detecting zero-day and targeted attacks.
One of the things which you should consider before utilizing an antivirus is its ability to protect you against different types of malware as well as heal infected files.
Despite AVG provides strong malware protection, seems it is not ideal. Some of the competitors perform much better on that. However, the difference is not critical. Plus, the antivirus can work well with other software aimed at protecting your device, for example, with Windows Defender.
However, AVG is able to detect new types of malware. And that is one of its biggest advantages. When the antivirus notices an unknown file, it would not let it launch on a computer and would send it to the main office for analysis.
Ransomware is probably the most unpleasant malware which common users face often. No one wants to pay criminals for regaining access to personal files. There are several things you can do to stay away from trouble. Installing a good antivirus able to detect ransomware is one of those.
In the case with AVG, you don’t even have to pay to get decent ransomware protection. AVG AntiVirus Free will make sure you stay secure. But if you need more sophisticated protection, stick to the paid Internet Security plan.
Also, AVG recommends its free ransomware decryption tools which may be helpful in case you are infected with a known type of malware. Сheck the list to see whether your machine has any of the describes signs of infection and take action if notice anything suspicious.
Phishing remains one of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to get access to the personal data of people across the globe. Thus, the ability to detect phishing attempts remains among the most wanted features of any antivirus. And AVG is definitely strong on that.
In its every product, AVG has a LinkScanner. This feature checks websites in real-time before they open in users’ browsers. If it notices something suspicious, it will display an alert. Also, the LinkScanner has a multi-layer approach to detect “phishy” emails.
Ease of Use
Using of AVG antivirus is as simple as download it once and “forget” about it. The software will automatically warn you of potentially threatening links, pages, and files.
AVG offers an intuitive interface which makes it very easy to navigate through it. You can easily customize it the way you like.
If you need to change the setting or check options, click the Menu button located in the upper right corner. The set of the options depends on the current version of the program. For example, if an option is unavailable in the free version, you’ll see the corresponding warning and an offer to download the paid pack.
Also, if you wish, you may create an account in AVG and use your login to synchronize several devices.
There are six ways to scan your computer with AVG. These are a basic system check, deep scan, performance check, boot scan, and USB scan.
To see all the options available, open the main window of the program by clicking the shortcut. White and green font against the dark background looks unusual, but it is readable enough. If everything is OK, you’ll see the green word “Protected” right in the center of the main screen.
If necessary, you may launch a manual scanning at any moment. Simply click the button “Scan” at the bottom of the default window.
Available Package and Extras
AVG has several offers for its consumers. Its free version is strong enough but if you need to get more sophisticated protection, consider getting one of the paid plans. Note that there is only free antivirus package available for Mac, and it’s rather basic. It will protect you from viruses, spyware in real time and would block malicious websites. If you need something more advanced, other antiviruses that have paid solutions for mac will be up your alley.
Meanwhile, AVG offers three main antivirus packages for Windows. They are equally great in stopping viruses and different kinds of malware; all of them block suspicious items and scan PCs for performance problems. The basic package is free just like the one for Mac.
With the paid Internet Security plan, you get the enhanced firewall, webcam protection an extra layer of ransomware protection of your files. You also get better phishing protection with this tier, which means your banking information will be safe. You can protect an unlimited number of PCs with one subscription. Moreover, a paid Pro version of the Android antivirus app in a part of the deal.
Users of the most expensive AVG Ultimate package get an advanced antivirus and TuneUp package that is also sold separately. They can also make use of a live phone or chat support which is not available with cheaper plans. AVG Ultimate can be used on unlimited devices including Mac and Android. Still, as the Mac app is free anyway, it will only be reasonable to go for this package if you need the TuneUp tool, which cost $49.99 on its own.
Other Products & Additional Features
To ensure even stronger safety of your data and to boost the performance of your devices, you can install some additional tools AVG offers. The TuneUp comes as a bonus with the most expensive package for Windows, and some of them are just free.
- TuneUp is your PC performance optimizer. It will make your computer work faster by removing junk and hidden files to release space and deleting the software you don’t use and forgot about.
- Driver Updater automatically checks 127,000+ drivers from over 100 major brands to make your PC experience more pleasant. It will help you fix many problems and prevent your machine from freezing and crashing. Also, it will speed up browsing, downloading, gaming, and streaming. Drive Updater will also improve audio quality on your computer.
- Secure VPN will keep your online activity private, secure your Wi-Fi connections and will also provide access to restricted content in certain countries. The VPN is available for all platforms.
- AntiTrack will help you keep your browsing habits private by not letting tracking cookies share your personal info with advertisers and other online data miners. This tool will erase all your browsing history once the session is over.
- Secure browser (free) allows users to control how websites track them while they browse the Internet and ensures their data remains secure. Thus, this feature will make you forget about annoying adds.
- Cleaner for Mac (free) will help you remove hidden clutter from your machine with just one click.
Finally, AVG has special offers for business:
- File Server Business Edition has a virus scanner which will help to keep all of your business information safe.
- Antivirus Business Edition will protect your business network, email, and Endpoint from viruses, malware, spam, phishing, and other threats.
- Internet Security Business Edition gives you the same kind of protection as the Antivirus and also offers servers protection and an additional layer of spam protection for your inbox.
AVG is one of the most expensive antivirus providers. But it is worth it. Here is what AVG has to offer in terms of pricing.
- 1 Year – $79.99
- 2 Years – $159.99
- 3 Years – $159.99
If you need additional tools such as TuneUp, Secure VPN Multi-device, Password Protection, you can get some of them with a good discount.
- 1 Year – $99.99
- 2 Years – $198.99
If you choose this package you may also get discounts for the following AVG products:
AVG Secure VPN Multi-device, Password Protection, AVG Driver Updater.
There is a 30-day free trial available for both packages which is good enough to see whether AVG fits all your needs.
Support and Customer Service
AVG’s community is rather large, so you will find answers to most questions online. No matter whether you are looking for the info about the packages or have some technical problems, you may try to find the solution in the FAQ section. If you failed to resolve your problem, you may get in touch with the support team by filling a special online form. Free phone consultations are for the users of business packs only.
Is AVG Any Good?
As of today, AVG antivirus software lacks some useful and popular features offered by its top-rated rivals. And still, thousands of users worldwide opt for AVG, and not without reason. This smart antivirus is lightweight, simple, and, what is even more important, free. And if you need some more advanced features you can always switch to one of the next tiers.
On top of this, it does its work really well, providing reliable protection from all types of malware. Of course, there are more powerful options, and if you are after one of those, reading more reviews is a good idea. And still, AVG is a great solution for beginners and regular Internet users we can recommend.