Avast vs. AVG: which is the King of Antiviruses?

Avast vs AVG comparison

After AVG Antivirus was acquired by Avast in 2016, many were left wondering whether there was much sense in keeping these products separate. Especially considering how many issues AVG used to have in the past, and how much better of a product Avast Antivirus seemed to be.

There must be a reason why these products haven’t been merged. And that’s what I’m going to find out in this AVG vs Avast comparison. I will put these two antivirus solutions head-to-head and find out which one is better. This time it’s going to be brother against brother.

To learn more about each antivirus, read our Avast Antivirus review and AVG Antivirus review.

Winner of Each Category

CategoryAvastAVG
Features
Protection
Pricing
User Friendliness
Support

Features overview

As is often with antiviruses, the chosen package determines how many features you’ll get. So, it’s essential to stack the features with pricing tiers in mind.

Both AVG and Avast have Free versions, with the least amount of features. When you get into the paid tiers, there are many more differences. AVG has AVG Internet Security and AVG Ultimate, and you can switch between the 1 or 10 device version. Avast Antivirus tiers are very similar: Avast Premium Security and Ultimate. Both of them can also be for 1 or 10 devices.

Avast free antivirus features screen

When we look at the feature suite of each antivirus, we see that Avast simply offers more. For example, features such as DNS web protection and Sandbox mode are unavailable to AVG users. Plus, Avast wades into other cybersecurity territories as well, including VPN and password protection. Undoubtedly, it’s a clear winner in the features department. However, it cannot be stressed enough how much you should avoid the Ultimate editions of both services.

Winner: Avast Antivirus

AVG Antivirus features

The free version of AVG only provides antivirus protection. This is the only feature most users will likely need. You get protection against a garden variety of malware, plus it includes safeguards against known malicious websites.

AVG antivirus free protection screen

Their cheapest paid option, AVG Internet Security, adds to these core measures and greatly expands them. As the name hints, it’s much more online-focused. The features include an encryption tool to protect yourself against ransomware, an enhanced firewall to keep unintended visitors off your network, and a shield against fake websites (which is really their proprietary DNS service).

If you want to go all-in, AVG Ultimate has the same features as  AVG Internet Security, plus additional products. For example, with the Ultimate edition, you also get AVG TuneUp and Secure VPN.

TuneUp is a tool that cleans your registry, clears your cookies and duplicate files. The usefulness of registry cleaners is dubious, to say the least. You will likely not see significant improvements from cleaning up your registry. Also, there’s a very real risk of deleting critical entries for your system’s stability. The registry cleaner is probably not worth your money.

Then, there’s AVG Secure VPN. This is not a great VPN: not only does it log your data, but it also has a small server fleet. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a VPN service to increase your privacy, you’re better off with other providers.

Avast Antivirus features

Avast Antivirus has more on offer even if you’re not a paying user. With their free service, you get not only a malware scanner. There’s also WiFi vulnerabilities monitoring tool, password manager, and ransomware shield. That’s significantly more than you’d get as a free AVG user. Plus, the included features can potentially be more useful.

avast antivirus core shields

When you thread into the Premium territory, Avast keeps up the lead. There’s DNS settings protection, Sandbox mode to run apps in isolated space, advanced firewall, webcam shield, and data shredder that permanently deletes files.

On Ultimate, however, Avast mimicks AVG. It also adds two unrelated products, namely, Avast Cleanup Premium and Avast SecureLine VPN. Both of these products also share the problems that we’ve seen with the AVG. First of all, cleanup software is pretty much the snake oil of cybersecurity tools. Secondly, Avast SecureLine VPN is not a great VPN. Though, feature-wise, it’s a bit better than AVG counterpart.

Avast vs AVG: which one is better for protection?

Protection is the most important factor to consider in this Avast vs. AVG comparison. If your antivirus doesn’t delete malware, you shouldn’t be using it. In this sense, both services performed quite similarly.

AVG antivirus screen scanning for malware

For example, in AV-Test’s Jul-Aug/2020 test, both Avast and AVG performed equally well. On Windows, both services scored 6 out of 6 for protection. The score was a bit lower on Android, with both services scoring 5.5 out of 6.

Ultimately, you can expect identical results with either service if you want to remove malware. Both services should be capable of doing that for you. That can be expected because both tools belong to the same company.

Winner: Draw

Pricing

Most Premium antiviruses require you to pay upfront for the year. So, if you want to be locked in for a year, then you need to know that it’s worth the money. In my opinion, both antiviruses offer a very similar deal. However, what tips the scales in AVG’s favor is the fact that Avast engages in significant regional price discrimination. To give you an example, Avast Premium Security for 1 PC costs $39.99 to US users, whereas the same plan costs 59.99 GBP if you’re in the UK. That’s approximately twice the price if we factor in the exchange rate.

In any case, you should stay as far as possible from the Ultimate editions of both services. It will give you products that aren’t that useful for a lot more than you would pay if these services were separate.

Winner: AVG AntiVirus

Avast Antivirus

VersionFeaturesPrice
FreeAntivirus, ransomware protection, WiFi securityFree
PemiumFree + fake website protection, Sandbox mode, advanced firewall,
webcam protection, file shredder, Remote Access Shield, 10 devices
$39.99 per year
UltimatePremium + Avast Cleanup, Avast SecureLine VPN$69.99 per year

There are two paid-for products and a free version of Avast. Avast Premium is actually split into two. Installing the software on a single device costs $39.99 a year, billed annually. The other half of Avast Premium is based on installing the software on multiple devices. This covers up to 10 devices at once but will only support a single Windows PC (how strange). This costs $49.99 a year and is also billed annually.

The top product on offer at Avast is Avast Ultimate. It costs $69.99 a year, billed annually, on a single device, and comes with Avast SecureLine VPN and Avast Passwords. To cover across 10 devices, Avast Ultimate costs $79.99 a year, also billed annually.

AVG Antivirus

VersionFeaturesPrice
FreeAntivirus, Ransomware protection, Browser monitoring, PC performance tuneupFree
Internet SecurityFree + Encrypted folders, Webcam protection, Enhanced firewall, Windows & Android$39.48 per year
UltimateInternet Security + Live chat & phone support, Advanced antivirus, PC TuneUp $77.88 per year

AVG has a similar price plan to Avast. There are three plans to choose from, two of which are paid-for and one that is free. Mac users can take advantage of AVG – it’s also free but has reduced features compared to the Windows software.

The AVG Internet Security package comes in at $39.48 a year on a single device, billed annually, making it slightly cheaper compared to Avast’s first premium product. It includes everything in the Free version. There’s also an option to cover up to 10 devices for $47.88 a year, also billed annually.

AVG’s most expensive product is AVG Ultimate. It costs $77.88 a year, billed annually, and comes with all of the Internet Security’s features, but with AVG TuneUp, and VPN on top. So essentially, it’s an extra $30 a year for this additional product that removes junk files and mediocre VPN service.

User-friendliness

There are three main factors to consider for user-friendliness: simplicity, speed, and ease of installation and use. Both Avast and AVG perform well here – the interface is intuitive and there are ample explanations for new users.

Winner: Draw

Avast Antivirus interface

The Avast installer is very easy to use – there’s little input involved except if you plan on customizing the installation.

Once it’s on your system, the software runs through a couple of things automatically, including a quick, simple scan for viruses and a check for outdated software. It will then update the outdated software after it finds it, after you’ve approved the updates, of course.

avast antivirus interface

Once the installation has fully completed, the Avast client is a dream to use. Navigation is a breeze and the dark color scheme draws your eyes to the most important features. Those that aren’t as important or urgent are hidden within the menu.

Rather than breaking down the protection features into hundreds of mini categories, Avast cleans them all up into just four. For example, the “protection” category contains all of the antivirus and network options. There are helpful descriptions with each category to help you find what you’re looking for,

AVG Antivirus interface

The AVG installer is just 1MB. Installing is so fast, you genuinely might not even notice it’s done. There are two installation options available: the quick install that uses the default settings and the customizable method where you can select exactly what you want installed on your device before commencing the installation.

Once AVG is installed, the client is just as easy to use as Avast’s. Instead of four small categories, there are five. For example, the “payments” section includes the secure browser and payment information, while the “computer” section includes everything you need to keep your device secure.

AVG antivirus protection screen

The descriptions help to simplify the more complex features of AVG.

In terms of starting an antivirus scan, there are six preset options available. These range from a quick scan that runs while you go about your normal routine, to complete boot scans to detect deep malware infections. Simply click the gear icon at the bottom of the screen to display all your scanning options.

AVG has several sections on the client screen, all of which you can customize based on your needs. You can do this from the setting menu in the top-right of the client. 

The overall customization options are great too. You can change the look of the client to how each individual feature looks.

Support

Customer support for services that have a free version is generally a mixed bag. More often than not, you’ll find it lacking. It’s no exception that in this case, the situation is somewhat similar.

If you need responsive and faster customer support lines, you can expect them if you’re paying for your service. Avast and AVG customer support is available for premium users only. In other cases, you’ll be left to read FAQ sections and forums. That’s the burden of free editions, and neither Avast nor AVG is an outlier.

Winner: Draw

Avast Antivirus

You only receive support on the paid plans. However, you can also get support if you sign up for a free 30-day premium trial. Of course, when that timer runs out, you’ll be back to square one.

As for the support methods, there are quite a few of those. The first is direct support. This includes Avast’s ticketing system and a 24/7 support line. The website also has a knowledgebase that covers almost everything, from initial installation to advanced security.

Then there’s the customer forum. There are over one million posts that help to get to the bottom of the problem. The customer forum is split by language and product, where you can communicate with the Avast staff themselves or with other users. 

Avast Total Care is there for problems that cannot be solved. Available on paid plans, it guarantees that it will solve your problem, or you’ll get a refund.

AVG Antivirus

There is an extensive range of support methods for AVG customers, including the live chat feature for quick responses, email ticketing to answer more in-depth queries, and several phone lines for 24/7 support.

The website has an FAQ section, albeit limited, with each question separated to help you find the answers quickly. There are also dedicated support guides for all AVG products. They also help if you’re looking to upgrade your subscription.

The support forum is AVG’s best help source. You can sort by the most recent posts that cover a wide range of topics. All in all, AVG isn’t as spectacular whet it comes to customer support options, but there are channels to solve your potential problems. It’s a shame that they are mostly available for paying customers only.

Final verdict

Winner: Avast Antivirus

After Avast and AVG comparison, I can confirm that a single owner truly shines through the services’ similarities. However, taking all the different factors into account, the more robust service is Avast Antivirus.

Not only does it have more features on its free version, even as a paying customer you will get better subscription benefits. Extra touches like the Sandbox mode allow for much better usability options that are just impossible to pull off with AVG.

Having said that, Avast does charge differently based on region, which might make it less appealing, depending on where you are located.

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