AVG Antivirus review 2024: 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 might detect false positives and is quite heavy on the Central Processing Unit (CPU) during scans. If these factors seem like a deal breaker for you, there are various alternatives that ensure better overall 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
4.7 /5

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:
4.7
4.1
🥇 Overall rank:#2 out of #25#13 out of #25
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💵 Price:from $19.00/year, 3 devicesFrom $31.20/year, 1 PC
✂️ Free version:YesYes
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, macOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, macOS, iOS, Android

AVG Antivirus pros & cons

AVG Antivirus review 2024: key takeaways

  • Performance: during our test, AVG antivirus had a 90% success rate at malware detection and 80% successful online threat detection. However, throughout the scanning and malware-detecting process, AVG had a CPU load of 55-100%, which is really high.
  • Security features: AVG antivirus has both real-time protection and manual scanning functions. Its Internet security has four different features: Computer, Web and Email, Hacker Attacks, and Personal Data. However, the free version does not have the Hacker Attacks and Personal Data features.
  • Ease of use and interface: AVG is very easy to use and navigate. The user interface has improved a lot since the last time our team reviewed AVG antivirus. The app is now easier to navigate, less crowded, and does not overwhelm with notifications anymore. No bugs were detected throughout the use.
  • Pricing: AVG antivirus has a free version, though it has fewer features than paid subscriptions. The usual price starts at $31.20/month, and there are several different paid plans to choose from, ranging from simple antivirus to business service.

Is AVG Antivirus safe?

Yes, AVG antivirus is very safe and is a great tool for spotting malware and removing threats. It can also detect existing viruses and prevent 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 2023. This is a very good result, as this is the same score that one of the most popular antivirus programs, Norton, got.

Meanwhile, in lab tests performed by AV-Comparatives in September 2023, we can see that the malware protection rate of AVG Antivirus reaches 99.97%. This score is also very high, especially when comparing the total threat-blocking rate. According to those statistics, AVG beats ESET, McAfee, and Microsoft Defender by at least a couple of detected malware.

avg-realtime-protection

However, AVG Antivirus also spotted 1 false positive, by detecting a legitimate VPN as a threat. 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 antivirus price 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.

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.

AVG Antivirus Free plan is best for those who want basic everyday security without having to spend any money. This plan is best if you already take certain precautions, like not visiting risky sites and recognizing potential threats.

AVG Internet Security is a fairly affordable plan for those who want more extensive security features and would like to pay for certainty that their browsing will be protected.

Finally, the AVG Ultimate plan is great for those who also want extra features, like a Secure VPN and anti-tracking protection. This plan is great for people who sometimes have to visit riskier sites or for businesses that deal with sensitive information.

You can check out plan differences down below:

AVG Antivirus Free
AVG Internet Security
AVG Ultimate
Price$0.00$31.20/year$51.99/year
Malware scans
Ransomware protection

Wi-Fi network security

Web protection

Phishing protection

Enhanced firewall
✅ (Lacks some features)


AVG TuneUp

AVG Secure VPN
AVG AntiTrack

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

  • Mac: 60 days
  • PC: 30 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.

AVG antivirus 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 – plenty of scanning options available with AVG Antivirus.
  • Real-time protection – continuously scans your system in the background.
  • Phishing protection– keeps you safe from phishing attacks.
  • Enhanced firewall – monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic.
  • Network Inspector – monitors your home or public network from vulnerabilities.
  • Web and email shield – secures you while browsing and sending email attachments.
  • Secure browsing – protects your private data while browsing online.
  • Anti-theft phone tracker – secures your devices if you lose it or it gets stolen.
  • Sensitive data shield – protects sensitive files from hackers.
  • Webcam protection – controls access to your webcam.
  • AVG AntiTrack – prevents website trackers from collecting your data.
  • AVG Secure VPN – makes your private data anonymous online.

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-deep-scan-results

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 – the weakest link during the test and the most likely feature to be bypassed by malware. It took less than a minute to complete and didn’t detect any of the 10 malware files planted on the Desktop. Furthermore, it raised the CPU to 80-100%.
  • Deep scan – took around 25 minutes to complete, which is less than the last time we tested this antivirus. Scanned 100GB of data and detected 9/10 malware files with one false positive. The CPU fluctuated around 55-100% throughout the process.

Here are the other scanning types that AVG offers:

  • File or folder scan – checks the specific files or folder that you choose for threats.
  • Web shield – blocks unsafe downloads when real-time protection is off. We visited 10 malicious URLs, and AVG had an 8/10 success rate at identifying threats.
  • Real-time scan – regularly scans the device. During our web test it managed to detect 9/10 malicious URLs.
  • 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. This included one false positive, which was a legitimate VPN.

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 web 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 compatibility and ease of use

AVG antivirus is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS operating systems and their supported devices. It is also extremely easy to set up, as you can complete the download of the AVG free version in just a few clicks. If you were to opt for a paid subscription, the installation process would also include giving your payment information.

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.

AVG antivirus customer support

If you encounter any problems with your AVG antivirus, you might need to contact customer support. AVG antivirus offers several ways for you to receive help. Here are the current customer support options:

AVG Antivirus
24/7 live chat
Email
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.

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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