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. One of them is AVG free antivirus, which provides a basic level of protection for Windows, Mac, and Android devices.
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 AVG 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.
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 vs AVG has more extras, including those that come for free, and its paid versions are more affordable.
AVG: Best for Beginners
Ease of use of the AVG antivirus is mentioned in most AVG reviews. All you need to do is download the program and install it on your PC. In other words, get and forget. It may seem too plain for professionals or those who regularly need advanced security features. But for beginners, AVG antivirus can become a perfect solution for the following reasons:
- It is free.
- You don’t need special skills to use it.
- Its interface is intuitive.
- It provides a basic level of protection online and offline.
What does a “basic protection” mean? As we have already mentioned in our AVG antivirus review previously, this software very well protects from most well-known and new (0-day) viruses and malicious programs, including worms, Trojans, spy- and ransomware. It will warn a user of a potentially dangerous site and block files containing threats. This is enough for most beginners or regular users, whose online-presence comes down to messaging, using social media, mailing, and visiting entertainment sites. However, those who need more protection (for example, for regular online payments or confidential data encryption) can opt for AVG Antivirus Pro or some other brands’ products.
Pros & Cons
Our AVG antivirus review would be incomplete without the list of its strengths and weaknesses. Based on a number of independent expert AVG reviews, as well as reviews of real customers, we figured out the following pros and cons of the software:
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
The effectiveness of the AVG antivirus free version is true not only on paper. It has been proved by repeated tests conducted by the most reputable European testing labs. As usual, the results are slightly different, but in some key areas the software scores persistently high.
Thus, according to the AVG antivirus review made by specialists from AV-TEST Lab, AVG Windows 10 versions managed to detect 100% of 0-day threats (the result was recorded in June 2017), and 99.8%-99.9% of known malware. This is similar to Avast’s performance, which is no surprise, as the two providers use one and the same engine, Also, during tests, three false positives had been recorded, which is an acceptable though not a perfect result.
Another major auditor, AV-Comparatives, also gives an optimistic report. According to its AVG antivirus review, the software’s efficiency in detecting and neutralizing online threats varies from 99.1% to 100%. Needless to say, Avast demonstrated the same results. In general, all independent auditors agree with the fact that AVG copes with malware detection very well for a free antivirus program.
However, its performance is not so brilliant when it comes to anti-phishing. It is commonly known that phishing sites steal users’ data, including some confidential information, such as payment cards numbers and so on. During tests, AVG demonstrated average results: it needs definitely more time to detect a fraudulent platform than, for example, Norton or Kaspersky. If you opt for AVG, download its paid Internet Security option for a stronger anti-phishing and anti-fraud protection.
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. If necessary, you may launch a manual scanning at any moment. 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 you want to launch a scanning manually, simply click the button “Scan” at the bottom of the default window. If you need to change the setting or check other options, click the Menu button, which is 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 AVG login to synchronize several devices.
AVG for Windows comes in three packages. The so-called basic security level is provided by the free antivirus solution, which has been described in the previous sections of this AVG review. The next level is the AVG Internet Securitypackage. On the top of the basic features, it offers an additional ransomware protection level, webcam protection, online payments protection, a firewall that helps your PC to resist hacker attacks, and an improved anti-fishing feature. This pack also includes the AVG Pro for Android devices. The current cost of this package is $69.99.
AVG Ultimate pack at the cost of $99.99 includes the same Internet Security protection plus the AVG PC TuneUp pack and free applications for Android and Mac. If you don’t need a whole pack, you may download the chosen components separately. Thus, a basic AVG antivirus for Mac or for Android can be downloaded for free from the official site.
AVG TuneUp pack is available at the price of $49.99. It includes the AVG removal tool for a permanent files deletion, a speed booster, a battery saver, and a feature of automatic app updating. Also, buying the package, you get AVG mobile (Android) and Mac apps for free.
Finally, there are several AVG business solutions available. They are focused on the demands of small businesses primarily. Apart from online protection, holders of business packs get free technical consultations and some other perks.
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 AVG offline installer 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.
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. On the top of this, it does its work really well, providing a reliable protection from all types of malware. Of course, there are more powerful options, but AVG is a great solution for beginners and regular Internet users.