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AVG Antivirus review 2023: can it protect your PC?

AVG Antivirus is a great antimalware solution that provides you with an intuitive interface as well as excellent malware protection rates and an array of security features. It even provides you with a free version – but it’s limited to basic malware protection only.

However, AVG Antivirus doesn’t come without its drawbacks. The service often detects false positives and is quite heavy on system resources during scans. If these factors seem like a deal breaker for you, there are various alternatives that ensure better overall security and performance, such as TotalAV.

Best alternative to AVG antivirus
TotalAV provides the best protection from malware threats. In addition, there’s identity theft protection, a variety of virus scan options, and real-time protection feature.
cybernews® score
4.6 /5

But if you’re still interested in this service, we’d suggest trying it out with a free version or the free 30-day trial. To help you make a decision, in this AVG Antivirus review, we’ll look into everything from its features and security to its interface, pricing, and more.

TOP Choice
TotalAVAVG AntiVirus
⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#3 out of #25#13 out of #25
🔥 Coupons:TotalAV coupon 84% OFFCybernews Antivirus Coupons
💵 Price:from $19.00/year, 3 devicesFrom $31.20/year, 1 PC
✂️ Free version:YesYes
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, Mac, iOS, AndroidWindows, macOS, iOS, Android
Best AVG alternatives:

AVG Antivirus pros & cons

Is AVG Antivirus safe?

AVG is a very safe antivirus that won’t impact your system in any negative way – quite the opposite. That’s because AVG is a great tool for spotting existing viruses and preventing new threats from entering your device.

Purchased by Avast in 2016, it uses the same engine. The independent testing lab AV-TEST examined the protection, performance, and usability of AVG antivirus. It scored 6 out of 6 points in each category during the tests in November-December, 2022.

Meanwhile, in lab tests performed by AV-Comparatives in September 2022, we can see that the malware protection rate of AVG Antivirus reaches 100%.

AVG AV malware test results of 2023

However, AVG Antivirus also spotted 5 false positives, which is quite a lot compared to other antiviruses. If you’re searching for an antivirus with excellent detection rates as well as little to no zero false positives, TotalAV is a great alternative.

AVG security features

AVG Antivirus offers quite a few features for both security and privacy. This includes everything from various malicious threat protection in cyberspace to additional features such as a VPN. You can read all about it in the following sections.

Here are all the features that AVG has to offer:

Malware scanning

While the free version of AVG Antivirus provides you with a smart scan only, the premium plans have more comprehensive options in its arsenal.

To find the scanning types, you need to click on the “Run other scans” button at the bottom right corner of the window. Because of such display, unlike other antiviruses, AVG Antivirus doesn’t explain the purpose of particular scans. So beginner users might have a tougher time getting a hang of things.

AVG scanning options

We also performed in-house malware detection tests on the most popular scanning types, including Smart and Deep scans. We downloaded 10 malicious file samples and extracted the files on the local system. Here are the results of both scans:

  • Smart scan – took around one minute to complete and detected 0/10 threats that were placed in 3 system directories, including desktop and Disk C. The CPU load was 100% the whole time, which is very heavy for a smart scan.
  • Deep scan – took around 37 minutes to complete and scanned 85 GB of data. It detected 9/10 threat samples. One sample was detected 3 times, stating that the antivirus found 11 infected files. The CPU load fluctuated from 55-100% throughout the scan.

Here are the other scanning types that AVG offers:

  • File or folder scan – checks the specific files or folder that you choose for threats.
  • Boot time scan – checks for known malware types and protects you from cyberthreats before your operating system boots up.
  • USB / DVD scan – checks all removable media that is connected to your devices, including external hard drives or USBs.
  • Performance scan – scans for and fixes issues that are slowing down your device.

Real-time protection

Cybercrime prevention can often rely on real-time response. Even a split-second delay in function could allow a virus or malware to breach a firewall. AVG Antivirus offers great real-time functionality through its industry-leading use of AI. It applies machine learning to learn about new threats as it discovers them.

This feature enables the software to effectively protect your computer without having to scan every file you download or open. During our in-house tests, the AVG antivirus real-time protection feature detected 9 out of 10 malicious file samples. That’s 90% of the threats it was tested with.

Phishing protection

Phishing is a type of social engineering that takes many forms, but the most well-known phishing attacks target users through email. AVG antivirus does a great job of spotting phishing attacks that are delivered as malicious attachments.

AVG phishing protection

Additionally, it uses AI-based detection of phishing sites which is another form of the attack. AVG checks for domain meta information, suspicious tokens, and even visual elements in a blink of an eye. Most of this scanning happens while the page is loading and the system is effective 99% of the time.

Enhanced Firewall

AVG’s firewall is available on all plans, free or paid. The only difference is that the firewall that comes with the free version doesn’t have some features. This includes leak protection and port scan alerts.

The firewall is designed to monitor all incoming and outgoing connections on your network. You can select appropriate presets according to your desired usage or strictness. It can also work in a separate mode when you’re using public wifi that automatically switches to stricter settings. This is very useful if you’re moving a lot.

Network Inspector

Network Inspector checks the network you’re connected to for any vulnerabilities and issues that could affect your device and data security. Plus, it lets you watch what devices are connected to your home network. This means you can see whether there’s anyone that is using your network without approval.

AVG Network Inspector

You can scan both home and public networks. Home network stands for exactly what the name implies – it’s the network that you own. Meanwhile, a public network can be a network in a mall or cafe, or any other network that isn’t managed by you.

Web and Email Shield

The Web and Email Shield features are available even on the free version. The Web Shield feature protects you from threats while browsing – it scans running scripts and blocks malicious ones. It also prevents you from accidentally downloading malicious content. It even allows you to choose specific websites that you want to block access to.

AVG web and email shield

Meanwhile, the Email Shield is beneficial when you want to make sure you don’t send malicious attachments to your recipients. AVG Antivirus scans the attachment and includes a message at the bottom of the email stating: “Virus-free. www.avg.com”

AVG additional features

This is really the whole ballgame – with insufficient protection, even free antivirus software is not worth it. So, how good is AVG Antivirus at its job?

Secure browser

AVG Secure Browser is a free feature for Windows, Mac, and Android users. It’s designed to protect your private information and device from cyberattacks when browsing online.

AVG secure browser

The Secure Browser has a seamless integration with the AVG antivirus, so you don’t need any configurations, just simply download it from the official website. It has a private browsing mode, automatically blocks ads, protects against tracking scripts, and even forces HTTPS encryption.

Anti-theft phone tracker

On the Android version of AVG Antivirus, you can protect your device in case it gets lost or stolen. You can set it up by enabling the feature and setting up a PIN code. Select which account to allow to make remote changes. If you need, you can erase all data located on the phone from a distance or change the screen lock. All of this is available for free users.

AVG anti-theft protection screenshot

If you’re a paid AVG user, more power to you. You get the following benefits:

  • Automatic phone lock after the screen lock password is entered incorrectly eight times
  • Siren sound to alert nearby people of a stolen phone
  • Secret camera mode that takes a picture of a thief and upload it to my.avg.com

Sensitive Data Shield

Sensitive Data Shield is available to paid-only users in the AVG Internet Security package. This feature protects your most important files by controlling which applications have access to them. It means even if a hacker would find a way around other blocks put in place by AVG, he would still have no way to touch them.

AVG sensitive data shield

This is how Sensitive Data Shield works:

  1. AVG performs a scan to identify sensitive files
  2. It limits access of the files to other applications
  3. If any software tries to access them, you get a notification

Webcam Protection

Webcam Protection is another premium feature that acts as a strict software block for your webcam. Once you install a new app, AVG File Reputation service cross-checks how many users have it installed along with the application’s certificates. So, you have a valid confirmation that the app is safe to use and can get your camera permissions.

With AVG’s webcam protection feature, you can get much better control of what applications can access your webcam. This is especially useful for laptops that don’t have built-in webcam covers. Some of the processes can be done automatically.

AVG AntiTrack

AVG AntiTrack is a privacy application used for hiding your digital footprint from information trackers and other interested third parties. It's excellent if you've been spammed with targeted advertising or simply don't trust other companies with your personal data, like banking information, medical history, credit score, family information, or more.

This application injects fake information about you: giving wrong mixed signals to whoever is trying to track you. It also automatically clears cookies and browsing data from your web browsers.

AVG AntiTrack is available as a standalone product – as well as comes together with the AVG Ultimate security package.

AVG Secure VPN

AVG Secure VPN, or Virtual Private Network, protects your data and online activities by encrypting your data. In more simple words, it makes your information unreadable. This means not even your ISP can check what you’re up to.

You can try AVG Secure VPN without paying money with its free trial. However, the service doesn’t even begin to compete with the high-quality VPNs currently on the market.

The VPN delivers solid connection speeds but doesn’t have a kill switch on iOS and lacks features on all device apps in general. Plus, our tests showed that it isn’t capable of unblocking streaming services and doesn’t support Linux.

Pricing and plans

AVG Antivirus offers three plans – Free, Internet Security, and Ultimate. The free plan covers just one device, while both paid versions support up to 10 devices.

AVG’s website states that the free version only provides you with basic security. However, after downloading the app, we found that it isn’t much different from the AVG Internet Security plan. The only difference is that the free firewall has less functionality and there’s no Password Protection or Remote Access Shield features.

So, all of the plans come with real-time malware, ransomware, and web protection as well as an email shield, network security, and the enhanced firewall.

You can check out plan differences down below:

AVG Antivirus Free
AVG Internet Security
AVG Ultimate
Malware scans
Ransomware protection

Wi-Fi network security

Web protection

Phishing protection

Enhanced firewall
✅ (Lacks some features)

AVG TuneUp

AVG Secure VPN
AVG AntiTrack

If you wish to protect all of your devices and make use of the full-fledged firewall, the AVG Internet Security plan is what you could go for. However, if you want a full-on cybersecurity suite with a VPN, anti-tracking and system-optimization features, then AVG Ultimate is what you should choose.

AVG offers free trials on its paid plans. How long a trial depends on the device and version:

  • Mac: 60 days
  • PC: 60 days
  • Android: 14 days
  • iOS: 14 days

Mind you, the iOS version doesn't include any real antivirus protection. It adds the AVG Secure VPN, data breach monitoring, and bumps up the number of photos in a secure vault. It costs $19.99/year or $4.99/month.

How good is AVG AntiVirus Free?

If you need basic protection, AVG AntiVirus Free is a great option. It performs 24/7 scans to detect rootkits, malware, spyware, and even has advanced ransomware protection. You can install it on all popular operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

Apart from that, AVG free antivirus provides phishing protection. It blocks suspicious links, websites, and email attachments to prevent data or financial losses, as well as malware infiltration. What’s also impressive is that the free version includes the Network Inspector feature that checks your home network for intruders.

All in all, those who seek free protection against malware and online threats should definitely consider AVG.

Ease of use and setup

If you’re opting for the free AVG Antivirus, it’s extremely easy to set up. It downloads in just a few clicks – no account necessary. If you’re going to opt for the premium plan, you can sign up and upgrade straight from the app.

Desktop apps

The AVG Antivirus user interface is very simple and intuitive on both Windows and macOS apps. The apps are similar on both operating systems. The front panel features a top-line assessment of your protection. You can find basic and full protection features in one spot.

At the bottom of the panel is the date of your last virus scan and the “Run Smart Scan” and “Run other scans” buttons. One thing we disliked was that scanning options are not immediately easy to find, which could be an issue for beginner users

AVG Interface on PC

To find everything you need in terms of features, you can also find them in the menu on the top right corner of the window. So even if the interface isn’t ideal, it certainly isn’t a big of an issue.

Android app

Android users can simply download the AVG Antivirus on Google Play Store – as with any other legitimate Android app.

Android interface of AVG Antivirus

The free version of AVG for Android devices comes with a web shield, file scanner, hacker alerts, photo vault, network inspector, and Wi-Fi speed test features. If you upgrade to the premium version, you can unlock automatic scans, app lock, VPN, and Scam protection.

In terms of AVG technologies that come as separate apps, Android users will be able to enjoy the AVG Cleaner for free. It helps optimize your device by deleting junk files.

iOS app

Naturally, as with most services, the iOS app isn’t as gifted in terms of features as the Android one. However, AVG still adds plenty of benefits for users even for free.

iOS interface of AVG Antivirus

With the free plan, you get web protection, identity protection that monitors leaked passwords, and photo vault features. However, even these features are limited.

For a full-on and unlimited experience, you’ll have to upgrade. This way, you’ll get access to unlimited identity protection and unlimited photo vault features. Plus, you’ll also get the AVG Secure VPN as well.

Customer support

AVG Antivirus
24/7 live chat
Phone line✅ (United States, Great Britain, Australia)
Knowledge base
Community forum

AVG Antivirus offers quite a big choice of customer support options. If you’re in need of human assistance, you can contact agents by email or phone. However, a big drawback is that there’s no 24/7 live chat support available.

That being said, you can get 24/7 technical and customer support by phone. But it’s only available with the “premium support” plan that costs around $200/year. So if you’re looking for an antivirus solution with live chat support options, we’d recommend looking into TotalAV.

AVG Antivirus also offers a community forum and an extensive knowledge base if you want to tackle issues yourself. Yet, the knowledge base is only helpful for very general problems only.

Video review

Final verdict

AVG Antivirus is a good solution for cyberthreat protection due to an impressive feature package and solid malware protection rates. The free version is very generous, and the paid plans come with quite an array of useful security features.

That being said, this AVG review showed that the service does have quite a few disadvantages. It was quite heavy on system resources during our in-house tests and detected false positives during independent lab testing.

In terms of price, keep in mind that the first year of using AVG will be cheaper for you. The second year of subscription can be significantly more expensive. So, if you want to cheap out, try AVG for a single year first ($31.20/month) – this will give you enough time to get to know the tool better.

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Glen Bodie
prefix 1 year ago
I've been a fan of AVG Free ever since it came out, installed it on dozens of machines. Current product does a good job of AV protection and phishing protection. Now that the company also has a VPN product they're always trying to upsell me to use it. Fine, Ads in a free product, I get it, no problem.

But they start out by telling me all the ways in which my machine is exposed (location and IP visible, ISP tracking me). And they would be correct except that I already have a VPN (currently running SurfShark) so that means they are detecting my VPN server's information. They seem to be not making any effort to detect that I am already using a VPN and they are therefore providing a false positive. If they detected my VPN and wanted upsell me based on why they think their product is better then that's OK. But the false positive makes me question where else they cut corners and whether or not I can really trust their analysis.

Not a good thing for a security company to provide false positives. I have tried to explain the issue to them more than a few times and I'm getting no where. Maybe a mention of this in some product reviews would help.
prefix 1 year ago
Hey Glen, don't buy it, I am a new subscriber still I get that stupid Ads. It was a waste, I am a BitDefender user, now I am going to subscribe them again or I will just search bor a good one.
A Mok
prefix 1 year ago
After suspecting that it slowed down my computer when I was playing games in full screen, I changed the setting from automatically update virus definitions to doing it manually. In the last 24 hours or so I had to manually update it THREE times. Also many of the options are hidden behind unintuitive headings and one often has to google in order to find out where things are.
prefix 2 years ago
I wish to unserscribe before you take another years subscription
Cindy Jones
prefix 2 years ago
I am currently a subscriber to AVG. I would like to cancel my service with you. How do I go about doing that?
Master W
prefix 2 years ago
I use 1 license on 1 PC and now they are billing me for another license for 10 computers and licenses for 3 products I never installed, never used, never heard of.
prefix 11 months ago
that is happening to me also overbilling all the time.
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