Bitdefender vs AVG: which antivirus is better?
If you’re familiar with the world of malware removal tools, you’ve probably heard the names Bitdefender and AVG. They’re known for their high-quality protection rates and wide feature arrays. To ensure privacy, they also include a VPN which helps keep you anonymous online without your internet service provider (ISP), government, or hackers being able to snoop around.
But despite these similarities, which antivirus is truly better? Read this comparison of Bitdefender vs AVG and find out which antivirus has better protection and features. You’ll also learn which one has less impact on your device performance and is better in terms of pricing, interface, and more!
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Bitdefender vs AVG
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In terms of features of AVG vs Bitdefender, both providers offer a lot of useful freebies but the latter is a bit more comprehensive.
Whichever provider you choose, both of them include real-time, ransomware, and webcam protection, a VPN, a firewall, and other necessary security features. However, what’s different is that Bitdefender has a few features that AVG lacks. For instance, the absence of the parental controls feature in AVG can be a deal-breaker for those who have children or young siblings and want to protect them from online dangers.
Another thing that AVG could add to its packages is the Profiles feature. It’s a useful tool to have when you spend a lot of time on your device playing games, watching movies, working, or doing other activities. Enabling a profile adjusts resource usage of the antivirus and disables various alerts and notifications.
Lastly, both Bitdefender and AVG have the Anti-tracker feature. It helps increase your online privacy and can even speed up website loading times. However, while this feature comes with all paid plans of Bitdefender, you can only buy it as a separate product with AVG. This makes the AVG anti-tracker a more expensive solution.
Overall, both providers offer extensive protection and privacy features. However, Bitdefender has additional freebies that ensure more security.
With Bitdefender, you’ll get a bunch of additional features no matter which plan you pick. Even if you don’t want to spend a single penny, the free version offers the same level of malware removal as the paid plans.
Starting from the security features, Advanced Threat Defense keeps you safe from zero-day malware, while Online Threat Prevention protects your device from online threats. In case of a ransomware attack, Bitdefender restores encrypted files using the Ransomware remediation feature.
And that’s not all – you also get a vulnerability scanner which deals with device security flaws. This way, you’re protected from any possible cyber criminal attacks. There’s even a customizable firewall which prevents threats from infiltrating themselves in the first place.
Moving on to privacy features, there are quite a few additionalities, such as the SafePay browser. It’s a separate browser that protects your payment details while visiting online shops or banks so that no one can get their hands on it. Another useful freebie is Anti-tracker, with which you won’t have to worry about malicious scripts from harvesting your data. As for webcam and microphone protection, it’s quite scary to think about someone trying to access it. But if that ever happens, Bitdefender will let you know immediately.
Another important feature to mention is a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It’s a tool beloved by cybersecurity experts, and for a reason. A VPN basically makes you anonymous online which prevents anyone, even your ISP from peeking at what you’re doing. As if that wouldn’t be enough, a password manager is another freebie you can get with Bitdefender for secure organization, storage, and protection of your login credentials.
For more features, you can read our in-depth Bitdefender review.
Having a wide collection of features is something AVG can be proud of, just like Bitdefender. While the free plan only offers malware protection and an anti-theft phone tracker, you get much more freebies with the paid tiers.
AVG focuses on ensuring security in various scenarios. Regarding the anti-theft phone tracker feature, it lets you access your phone from a distance and even take a photo of the thief. You also get the Sensitive Data Shield which limits access for other apps to files that include sensitive information.
Another feature that I found particularly interesting is the AI-based detection of phishing threats. It examines domains, suspicious tokens, and visual elements to evaluate whether you’re visiting a phishing site. AVG also doesn’t forget users without built-in webcam covers and ensures protection against unauthorized webcam access attempts.
Moving on, if you decide to go for the paid tiers, you’ll get an enhanced firewall which observes incoming and outgoing connections to your network. You can customize its rules according to your needs and you can even set it to have much stricter settings when you’re connected to public wifi.
While not one of the best VPNs on the market, this antivirus comes with the AVG Secure VPN service that has over 50 server locations. However, it’s very basic, doesn’t provide many features, and can cause visible speed drops.
For more features, you can check out our in-depth AVG review.
Bitdefender vs AVG: which offers better protection?
What an antivirus offers in its packages is crucial when deciding which provider to choose but not as important as its protection rates. It’s vital to find out how capable it is to keep you secure in the real world. When it comes to independent laboratory tests of Bitdefender vs AVG, you won’t be disappointed with either.
The German IT-Security Institute AV-Test awarded both antiviruses with maximum scores for all factors – protection, usability, and performance. Both managed to block 100% of malware and zero-day threats. The scores were so similar that they even reported the same amount (1 or 2 depending on the month) of false positives from September to October of 2021. That’s still less than the average market false detections. These results demonstrate that both Bitdefender and AVG deserved the Top product awards.
Moving to another independent organization that tests cybersecurity products, AV-Comparatives also gave the best Advanced+ award to both Bitdefender and AVG. The latter blocked 99.9% of threats, while Bitdefender – 99.7%. However, AVG reported 2 false positives, while the other provider detected none.
As for SE Labs, only AVG was tested and received the AAA award, making it one of the top products in terms of security. Since Bitdefender wasn’t tested at all, we can’t make assumptions as we don’t know the reason it wasn’t a sample.
Overall, AVG and Bitdefender offer an almost identical level of protection. While Bitdefender wasn’t tested on SE Labs, results of other organizations exhibit that it’s not any less good than AVG. So the right thing to do is declare this round a draw.
Real-time protection is important for any antivirus because it constantly monitors your device to ensure that various types of threats don’t get a chance to sneak in. So if an antivirus doesn’t provide a feature like this, it certainly won’t go on the list of best antivirus software.
With Bitdefender, you get real-time protection no matter which subscription you have. With paid subscriptions, you’re secured in real-time with the Advanced Threat Defense which supervises all types of processes running on your device. You are kept safe from various types of threats, including malware, ransomware, spyware, and adware.
As for AVG, the antivirus also offers real-time protection from various threats. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to learn and discover new threats. Because of it, you don’t need to manually scan every single file or app you download as real-time protection protects you from such cyber threats as malware, viruses, phishing, and others.
For extra flexibility, most antivirus programs include a few types of scanning options. Luckily, both Bitdefender and AVG are no exception.
To begin with, Bitdefender offers a few types of scans – quick, system, vulnerability, and rescue environment scan. For instance, a quick scan checks areas of your device that are most commonly infected. This includes startup objects, running processes, and certain files and folders. Next, the system scan is more comprehensive and basically scans your entire device. While it can take an hour or longer, it helps detect hidden threats no matter where they’re located.
If you ever have to deal with threats that cannot be removed while the operating system (OS) is running, there’s the Rescue environment scan. It restarts your computer to put you in a “rescue environment” and removes resilient threats from your device.
With Bitdefender, you also have the possibility to customize your scan. It lets you pick what files or folders you want the antivirus to examine. It’s also worth noting that Bitdefender stands out with its vulnerability scanner which monitors your device for any security flaws.
AVG doesn’t fall far behind Bitdefender in terms of scanning options. It offers a smart, deep, file or folder, boot-time, USB/DVD, and performance scans. You have a smart scan, which works similar to a quick one, on the main dashboard. And if you click on the three-dot icon beside it, you’ll find other types of scans.
Just like with Bitdefender, you can run a full system scan or you can choose particular files or folders that you want the antivirus to check. With AVG, you can also do a startup, USB/DVD, or a performance scan. Regarding the latter, it evaluates device performance, but if you want to fix those issues, you’ll have to invest in the AVG TuneUp. This tool is supposed to help you optimize your device, including speeding it up or freeing up some space.
If the available scans are not what you need, you have an option to customize them. You can choose what you want AVG to scan and indicate how often you want the checkup to be performed.
If you’ve never heard of what a firewall is, the simplest way to explain its meaning is to compare it to a guard at your gate. That is, the gate being your device, and the guard – your firewall. So it basically blocks (or allows) incoming or outgoing network traffic to keep you secure.
Bitdefender offers a customizable firewall that lets you dictate the rules. This means that you can indicate certain permissions for individual apps. You can either allow or block network or Internet access for a specific app. You can also set which traffic direction the rules apply to – incoming, outgoing, or both.
With AVG, you get the Enhanced Firewall feature which works similarly to the one Bitdefender offers. It’s also customizable and lets you choose rules for individual apps. AVG’s firewall can be set to switch to a different mode with stricter settings when you’re connected to public wifi.
Both antivirus providers include great firewall solutions that can be modified according to personal preferences.
Impact on PC performance
In this round of Bitdefender vs AVG in terms of impact on device performance, both providers don’t have visible issues, so it’s a tie.
When looking for a quality antivirus, you want to make sure that while it ensures top-notch protection, it also doesn’t visibly affect your device performance. Of course, it’s impossible for regular scans to not have at least some effect on processing power, but it shouldn’t bother your work or slow down your device.
Surprisingly, the CPU usage of both providers varied from 12% to 14%, which is very low compared to other providers. While some antiviruses often get complaints about high CPU utilization in forums, I didn’t notice many issues with Bitdefender or AVG.
When you’re doing such activities as work, gaming, or watching movies, processing power utilization can increase. To lower it, you can make use of Bitdefender’s Profiles feature. The way it works is that you can configure a profile according to what you’re doing which helps create a smooth and uninterrupted experience. This means that Bitdefender disables all alerts, notifications, pop-ups, and postpones automatic updates and scheduled scans.
A similar feature is available on AVG as well. It’s called “Do not disturb” and can be used whenever you want notifications, alerts, and every other interruption disabled.
Overall, having in mind that the performance of both providers is very similar, I declare a draw between AVG vs Bitdefender.
Pricing and plans
If you’re looking for more affordable plans, Bitdefender offers much better deals with prices starting from $29.99/year. The paid entry plan is around two times cheaper than the one AVG offers. Considering that Bitdefender includes a bunch of necessary features with the entry plan, it’s definitely worth the money.
|Antivirus Plus/Internet Security
|$29.99/year, 3 devices
|$31.20/year, 1 device
|$42.49/year, 3 devices
|$51.99/year, 10 devices
|$49.99/year, 5 devices
And if you’re wondering which plan offers the best value for money, I’d recommend looking into any of Bitdefender’s plans. They all offer security and privacy features for a much lower price than AVG.
Bitdefender pricing plans
Bitdefender offers one free version and four paid tiers. Here are your Bitdefender paid plan options:
- Bitdefender Antivirus Plus – $29.99/year, 3 devices
- Bitdefender Internet Security – $42.49/year, 3 devices
- Bitdefender Total Security – $49.99/year, 5 devices
- Bitdefender Family Pack – $54.99/year, 15 devices per household
With the free version of Bitdefender, you get real-time protection, advanced threat defense (including ransomware safeguards), web attack prevention, anti-phishing, and anti-fraud features. Compared to other free antivirus services, Bitdefender’s subscription is rich with freebies.
If you went for the Antivirus Plus package, you could get all of the features provided in the free plan, plus network threat, multi-layered ransomware protection, vulnerability assessment, rescue environment, and the SafePay browser. On top of that, you get three additional security features such as a password manager, a VPN, and a file shredder. However, it’s worth noting that this plan is only supported on Windows.
Moving on, the Internet Security subscription includes everything in the Antivirus Plus package, but you also get a privacy firewall, parental controls, Secure VPN, webcam, and microphone protection. This plan lets you protect three Windows devices.
As for the Total Security plan, additional features that you get are the OneClick Optimizer and Anti-Theft tools. You can protect five devices no matter which OS you’re using – macOS, Windows, Android, or iOS. Bitdefender also offers a Family Pack which supports up to 15 devices. In terms of features, it’s no different from the Total Security package.
AVG pricing plans
AVG has a basic free tier that only includes malware protection. If you want additional freebies, there are three paid plans to choose from:
- AVG Mobile Security (for iOS only) – $19.99/year
- AVG Internet Security – $31.20/year, 1 device
- AVG Ultimate – $51.99/year, 10 devices
Starting from AVG Internet Security subscription, on top of malware protection, you’re kept safe from ransomware as well. You also get Wi-Fi and phishing protection but all of it is for one device only.
The interesting thing about AVG’s Ultimate plan is that it now costs the same as Internet Security. And the difference is that the Ultimate subscription supports not one but 10 devices. On top of the features you get with the Internet Security plan, you’re also provided with AVG Secure VPN and the optimizer tool AVG TuneUp.
I have to mention that the provider also offers a plan specifically for iOS. With it, you get a VPN, data breach monitoring, and unlimited photos in a secure vault.
Apps and interface
The installation process of Bitdefender vs AVG was quick and smooth with both providers. All I had to do was download the products from their official websites, install them, sign up, and that’s it. Since I downloaded AVG first, I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t install Bitdefender until I removed the other antivirus. However, considering that running two antivirus programs at the same time is not recommended, this request is understandable. It took me barely a few minutes to set everything up with both providers.
It’s also worth noting that Bitdefender and AVG have apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. However, it can depend on the subscription you’re looking at, so make sure that the one you’re investing in is compatible with your OS.
In terms of interface, Bitdefender turned out to be a very organized section-based app. I had no trouble finding where everything was because the features are divided into three different categories according to their purpose. As for the interface, it’s very convenient as the main dashboard can be customized according to one’s personal needs.
AVG is also very user-friendly and relies on sections for clear organization. I liked the fact that the “Run smart scan” button is right in front of your eyes in the middle of the window. I’m a fan of a dark-themed design, so the interface of AVG pleased my eye.
It’s quite hard to objectively judge who has a better interface as much of it depends on what an individual user prefers. Therefore, both providers are the winners of this round.
Bitdefender’s iOS and Windows apps are very similar and easy to navigate. The main dashboard consists of scanning options, a VPN, and the SafePay feature. What’s interesting is that you can also add a quick action of your choice to the main dashboard. This makes it very efficient if there's a certain feature that you often use and want to access quickly.
The features are categorized into three sections – privacy, protection, and utilities. You can find them on the left side of the window. Sure, the freebies aren’t all in the same place but it’s not surprising considering how many of them Bitdefender offers. I’d say that such an arrangement makes the overall interface very organized.
In terms of design, while it’s not the most minimalistic one, it doesn’t bother your eyes. It could be because every button is quite big and has its own icon, which helps to not miss anything. Bitdefender’s interface is very user-friendly and organized, making it easy to get a hang of even for beginners.
Moving on, AVG desktop apps are dark-themed and very structured. You can’t customize the main dashboard like with Bitdefender, but you can easily find everything you need on it. In the middle of the window, you can find sections like device protection, web and email protection, privacy protection, payments, and hacker attacks. This makes AVG’s features as organized as Bitdefender’s.
Under the protection sections, you can see a big green button that lets you instantly start a quick scan. For more scanning options, all you have to do is click on the three-dot icon beside the big green button. I didn’t find any major flaws in terms of interface – the app’s design is clean and convenient for the user.
The iOS app of Bitdefender is less comprehensive than the Android version. The iOS app offers a scanner, real-time web protection, a VPN, and the Account Privacy feature. The latter lets you check whether sensitive information was exposed anywhere on the Web.
Much like the desktop apps, everything is structured. There are different sections on the bottom of the window that let you easily find anything you’re looking for.
As for the Android app, it provides you with a bit more freebies than the iOS version. Android users don’t get the Account Privacy feature, yet they can make use of the App lock. It’s a tool which helps you implement a PIN code for applications that carry sensitive data. There’s also the Anti-theft feature which can either track the location of your device or wipe all of the data from it. And, if you have a smartwatch that’s connected to your Android, you can get alerted if you accidentally leave the phone behind.
Moving on to AVG, the provider offers a free and paid version for iOS. With the free plan, you can scan your phone, add one email address for data leak checkups, and make use of the secure photo vault. If you upgrade to the paid version, you’re going to get the secure browsing feature, a VPN, unlimited identity protection, and an unlimited photo vault.
All the available tools can be found by simply scrolling down the app. There are not a lot of features available, so it’s very easy for the interface to stay clear and tidy.
AVG’s Android app is a bit different. On top of an antivirus, you get the Anti-Theft feature as well as an app lock and a camera trap. The latter helps you take a picture of the person who has your phone in case of theft. It’s interesting how different the mobile versions of AVG are in terms of features but both of the apps appear to be very handy.
|24/7 live chat
|Twitter and Facebook
In terms of Bitdefender vs AVG, whichever antivirus you end up picking, you can be sure of one thing – quality customer service. However, Bitdefender has a bit more advantages over the other antivirus.
First off, Bitdefender offers many customer support options, including email and live chat, for non-paying users. As for AVG, it only serves paying customers, which means that if you’re using the free version, you’re going to have to depend on the knowledgebase. This makes Bitdefender more welcoming.
In terms of human assistance, you can contact both providers via email or 24/7 live chat. As for phone support, AVG offers numbers for such regions as the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia. Meanwhile, on top of the mentioned regions, Bitdefender also has phone support for New Zealand and even a worldwide number.
Both providers have Twitter and Facebook but it’s always more convenient to contact support agents using live chat or email. And if you like solving issues yourself, AVG and Bitdefender have extensive knowledge bases that can guide you to the right solution.
To conclude, although both companies have the same support options, Bitdefender offers phone numbers for users globally and human assistance for non-paying users.
This comparison of AVG vs Bitdefender demonstrated that while both antiviruses are great protection solutions, it’s hard to compete with Bitdefendender – one of the leading services on the market.
AVG doesn’t fall far behind Bitdefender in terms of features, however, the latter has a few more useful tools such as parental controls and adjustable profiles. Not to mention that the subscriptions are way cheaper, offering much better value for money.
I have to applaud both services for providing top-notch protection and still managing to maintain a low impact on device performance. Both AVG and Bitdefender have great app support and conveniently arranged interfaces.
In terms of support, Bitdefender took the lead because it offers human assistance for users who decided to stick with the free plan. The provider also has phone support not only for users from English-speaking countries but also for worldwide customers.
In conclusion, Bitdefender is a better antivirus as it offers more benefits for its users than AVG.
More AV guides:
Is AVG or Bitdefender better?
No, Bitdefender is better than AVG. That’s because Bitdefender offers more features and is cheaper, meaning it provides better value for money than AVG.
Is Bitdefender really the best?
Yes, Bitdefender is the best antivirus solution on the market on many lists. It takes one of the top places on our list of best antivirus software and leads the market with its excellent features and outstanding protection.