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AVG Antivirus review 2023: can it protect your PC?

AVG Antivirus is a decent antimalware solution. It offers features like a phone tracker, scores high in malware detection tests, and even protects you from ransomware. AVG Antivirus also provides a free version – however, it only includes malware protection, so you’ll need to invest in a paid service to experience all the benefits.

Of course, free antivirus protection provided by software like AVG is tempting. But what kind of protection do you get without paying for it? How well-protected are you if you rely on AVG Antivirus for your protection?

If you have any doubt about AVG antivirus, there are plenty of other security software to choose from. Luckily, we’ve tested plenty of them and can recommend some truly excellent antivirus providers, like TotalAV, for a well-rounded security package.

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

In this AVG Antivirus review, we look at the popular service's features, pricing plans, user interface, and more.

⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#14 out of #25
💵 Price:From $31.20/year, 1 PC
✂️ Free version:Yes
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
🔥 Coupons:Cybernews Antivirus Coupons
Best AVG alternatives:

AVG Antivirus pros & cons

Is AVG Antivirus safe?

AVG Antivirus is a safe choice for everyone. It 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 June, 2022.

Meanwhile, in lab tests performed by AV-Comparatives in March 2022, we can see that the malware protection rate of AVG Antivirus reaches 99.98%.

AVG Antivirus malware tests

However, AVG Antivirus also spotted 10 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

Security features offered by the antivirus are the most important aspect when choosing one for your device. Luckily, AVG antivirus has quite a few of them under its sleeve.

Real-time protection

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

AVG Antivirus real-time protection enables the software to effectively protect your computer without having to scan every file you download or open.

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.

Malware protection

AVG Antivirus creates several layers of protection that malware must breach to get access to your system. It blocks suspicious programs and performs a thorough scan if one manages to get through.

avg antivirus scan screen

AVG Antivirus has not fared so well in tests against malware-hosting URLs, blocking about 90% of threatening links. That’s still impressive but lagging behind the 97% blocked by McAfee or the 99% blocked by Bitdefender.

On the other hand, AVG Antivirus offers advanced firewalls that protect your computer against ransomware, a popular form of malware that encrypts your files and then holds them for “ransom” in exchange for a payment.

avg ransomware protection

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.

System scanning

The green scan button in the middle of the dashboard performs a basic scan of the most vulnerable parts of the system. The first scan takes a few minutes, but subsequent scans take only about thirty seconds.

To do a deep, complete system scan, though, you need to click on the three dots (...) by the Smart Scan button and select it. Only then you get the most effective security scan AVG has to offer. It takes longer, but it’s worth it.

AVG scanning modes

AVG Antivirus can also perform USB and DVD drive scans to check removable drives. You can customize your scans to target certain files and schedule scans for times of limited use, including boot-up scans.

AVG Antivirus also includes a performance scan to fix issues bogging down your OS, but we didn’t find it to be particularly effective over the long term.

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.

Pricing and plans

AVG Antivirus is free for PC, Mac, iOS, or Android. The premium version, AVG Internet Security, costs $31.20 for the first year to protect one Mac or one PC. AVG advertises this as a 43% discount, so expect the renewal price to be closer to $78. There are no AVG apps for Ubuntu or other Linux versions.

AVG AntiVirus FreeMalware protection$0.00
AVG Internet SecurityMalware protection, ransomware protection, wifi network protection, phishing protection $31.20
AVG Ultimateeverything included in AVG Internet Security, as well as AVG TuneUp, AVG Secure VPN, and AVG AntiTrack$51.99

The AVG Internet Security also offers a 10-device plan to protect up to ten PCs, Macs, or Android devices for less than $10 more a year – $39.99.

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.

  • If the prices seem too high, check out our page for the best AVG coupon codes: there might be a solid discount available.

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

AVG Antivirus is extremely easy to use. The free version downloads with just a few clicks, no account necessary.

AVG download message

User interface

The AVG Antivirus user interface is extremely simple and intuitive. The front panel features a top-line assessment of your protection.

Below are panels for “Basic Protection” (Computer, Web & Email) and “Full Protection” (Hacker Attacks, Payments, and Privacy). Each tile gives you a “Protected” or “Not Protected” reading.

At the bottom of the panel is the date of your last virus scan, a “Run Smart Scan” button, and a “Refresh” button to update your virus definitions.

AVG user interface

Clicking on the middle tiles will unlock simple interfaces to manage and activate features and functions.

You’ll see all of the features even on the free version. However, if you try to use the premium features, you’ll be prompted to upgrade.

AVG mobile app

AVG antivirus has mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices. You can download it for free from the Google Play Store or the Apple’s App Store. However, free versions come with limited features.

AVG iPhone app

For example, the free AVG Mobile Security for iPhone analyzes your wifi network security, checks one email address for data leaks, and allows you to store 40 photos in a secure vault. The Pro version neither limits the email address nor the photo number and even includes a VPN.

AVG Android app

AVG Antivirus for Android has different features in both free and paid versions. The free version includes protection against malware and an Anti-Theft Phone Tracker feature. If you want more, you can upgrade to the Pro version and get App Lock.

Customer support

AVG Antivirus has a reputation for great customer support, and the experience mostly bears that out. A visit to the support page reveals an extensive knowledge base with a search field, a support community, quick links to the download center and license finder, and numerous FAQs.

Unfortunately, like so many knowledge bases, it isn’t very helpful unless you have a fairly basic question. It’s a bit labyrinthine.

Yet, it’s fairly easy to get more direct support. Where it says “Need Help With Your AVG Product,” just click on your product. You will be taken to another FAQ page, but there is also a prominent “Get More Help” link.

The window you are taken to has tabs for technical support and sales support. The tech support tab has a contact form to initiate a support ticket, with response by email.

The sales support tab includes customer service phone numbers, a quick link to refund requests, and a chat support link.

It’s worth noting, however, that 24/7 technical and customer support is only available if you pay for a “premium support” plan with a price tag of $200 per year. It’s fair to say that this could erase the savings and affordability that act as selling points for budget-conscious users.

Video review

Final verdict

Even though AVG Antivirus offers impressive protection for a free piece of software, I’d recommend getting a paid subscription instead. That’s because blocking malware is all the free version can do – nothing more than that.

With the paid version, however, you’re getting a bunch of good security features that can be pretty useful. Sensitive Data Shield, phishing prevention, webcam protection, and an enhanced firewall (that can protect you against ransomware) will make your online life much more secure.

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 – this will give you enough time to get to know the tool better.

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Glen Bodie
Glen Bodie
prefix 6 months 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 6 months 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
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 1 year ago
I wish to unserscribe before you take another years subscription
Cindy Jones
Cindy Jones
prefix 1 year 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
Master W
prefix 1 year 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 3 months ago
that is happening to me also overbilling all the time.
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