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AVG Antivirus Expert Review

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Joseph Steinberg

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    Our Verdict

    AVG is one of the best antiviruses we have tested. The free plan offers basic malware protection, and the premium plans are great if you are looking to add extra layers of security. It is lightweight and has performed consistently in the recent tests. You get a huge selection of extra features and security tools that covers possibly everything.

    It is an all-in-one privacy, antivirus, and tune-up software that supports 10 devices under a single license. It is a comprehensive tool and the perfect choice for families.

    Pros

    • Works perfectly in Passive Mode
    • Webcam Protection
    • Tune-Up Tools
    • Ransomware Protection
    • Extremely light on the system
    • Easy to operate
    • A huge array of tools and features
    • Flexible storage zones
    • AVG-Zen Dashboard to monitor all devices under one screen
    • Works seamlessly across Windows, Android, and macOS
    • Single license for 10 devices

    Cons

    • It doesn’t support Linux and iOS
    • The user interface is a bit dense
    • The full initial scan is slower compared to other brands

    See It at AVG Antivirus

    AVG Antivirus Overview

    AVG is a subsidiary of Avast which offers some of the best antivirus tools in the industry. A stand-out feature of their products is that you get access to a plethora of tools in addition to the antivirus and malware.

    While the Free plan protects you from viruses and malware, it caps the available features and tools. It doesn’t hurt though, because you are getting basic protection at no cost. However, if you are interested in additional features, you can opt from the Internet Security or Ultimate plans. Although priced higher, they also offer a lot of privacy, protection, and performance tools.

    The premium plans are priced a bit steeper, but still represent a good deal altogether given you will gain access to many valuable features and tools for capable 360-degree protection.

    How to Setup and Uninstall AVG

    To set up AVG Ultimate on your Windows system, you don’t even need to uninstall any existing antivirus. Simply perform the steps listed below:

    1. Visit the official website.

    2. Select the plan and download the installation file (you can activate AVG Ultimate Multi-device on up to 10 devices at the same time).

    3. Run the installer and follow the steps to install AVG-Zen.

    4. On the new window, enter the email address and password that you used to purchase the product.

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    5. The system will auto-recognize your details and accordingly download & activate the additional features like Tune-Up and Internet Security.

    6. Once completed, restart your computer, and you’re all set.

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    Uninstalling AVG is easy. Still, there’s a catch. Before uninstalling AVG-Zen, you’ll need to remove all related components from your device. Here’s how you do it (alternatively, you can use the AVG Remover Tool) –

    1. Login to the device as an Administrator.

    2. Open Control Panel > Programs & Features > AVG Protection/TuneUp.

    3. Repeat the above until both programs are uninstalled.

    4. Next, uninstall the AVG Management module (AVG-Zen) and restart the device.

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    Features

    AVG Ultimate is loaded with features – antivirus, ransomware, webcam, firewall, VPN, sensitive data shield, startup optimizer, and hacker protection – with a list that keeps getting bigger. A single license covers 10 devices across Windows, Android, and Mac, thus making it the perfect choice for families and small businesses.

    Considering the price tag, it could have added the Parental Control features like Kaspersky. However, it has an excellent firewall that defends against ransomware, spyware, and viruses and the TuneUp and Internet Security add-on modules included in the Ultimate Multi-Device plan are exceptionally effective.

    General

    Money-back GuaranteeFull refund, up to 30 days from the date of purchase.
    Free VersionYes
    PlatformWindows, MacOS, Android
    Parental ControlsNo
    Email ProtectionYes
    ChatYes
    VPN ServicesNo
    Smartphone OptimizerYes
    USD Virus ScansYes
    Automated Virus ScansYes
    Game ModeYes
    Safe BrowserYes
    Passive ModeYes

    Threat Protection

    Anti-SpywareYes
    Anti-WormYes
    Anti-TrojanYes
    Anti-RootkitYes
    Anti-PhishingYes
    Anti-SpamYes
    Adware PreventionYes

    Scanning

    The scanning system is robust, especially the TuneUp module which features a lot of other components working to keep your computer running fast. The Maintenance mode scans registry, startup, disk defrag, and more and an additional Speed-up feature scans for apps/programs running the background. The Free Up space component scans and removes temporary files and browser history, and the Fix Problems scan identifies outdated drivers and such.

    Virus and malware scans include Deep Scan, USB/DVD Scan, Boot-time Scan, Folder/File Scan, and Computer Scan. The Scan engine is good and it quarantines threats automatically but does occasionally pop-up a few false-positive errors. In AV-Comparatives, False Alarm Test (Sep 2019), AVG had 7 False Positives, similar to that of Avast. ESET and Kaspersky were the only two brands that exhibited zero false positives.

    Pricing

    PlanPriceNumber of Devices
    Top Features

    AVG Ultimate Security$119.99 per year10Protection against viruses, ransomware, malware, Real-time security updates, Live Phone/Chat Support
    AVG Internet Security$89.99 per year10Secure Personal Folders, Enhanced Firewall
    AVG TuneUp$44.99 per year1Bloatware and junk removal, PC Optimization

    Discounts

    When exploring discounts, we noticed that few if any are available with this brand. The maximum AVG offers is a $9.99 saving. However, the multi-device plan is one of the best deals in terms of value for money. AVG has a lot of products to choose from, and each has its noteworthy benefits.

    AVG Internet Security for 1 PC is $69.99/year and $89.99/year for 10 devices.

    AVG TuneUp at $49.99/year. When you choose the Ultimate Multi-device plan, you receive Antivirus + TuneUp + Internet Security for 10 devices at $119.99/year.

    This is a great deal, especially when compared to the 10-device cost of ESET ($149.99 at ESET).

    See It at AVG Antivirus

    Privacy and Security

    Privacy – AVG provides you optimal privacy. It has real-time scanners that protect you from ransomware and malware. The Webcam Protection feature is a nice add-on to have as well.

    When taken in tandem with the advanced detection, PUA Scanner, Cyber Capture, Behavior Shield, and DND mode, there is a wide array of features that are designed to secure your data from hackers.

    To top it all, the enhanced firewall effortlessly blocks everything trying to sneak in without your consent, on both wired and wireless networks. You will also get complete control over app privileges.

    Finally, you have the File Shredder to permanently delete your files although this suite is missing out on a Password Manager which would add value.

    Security- AVG does a good job of blocking malware and includes some great features for additional security. It stops unwanted email attachments using the real-time Email Shield and the Link Scanner helps you stay away from malicious links on the internet, even on social media.

    The Web Shield scans downloaded files before they reach your device and you receive an included Wi-Fi Guard that helps you avoid unsecured hotspots and public networks.

    The Anti-Spam feature works perfectly to block every malicious URL and phishing emails and, you’ll also get the Fake Website Shield that allows you to shop and bank freely without the risk of unknowingly giving away your data.

    Performance and Protection

    AVG has been a consistent performer in most of our testing, and while perhaps not exceptional given some of the competition, it still manages to score higher than most in multiple categories. The initial scan eats up quite a lot of time, but other than that we didn’t face any substantial lags or system performance issues.

    In the October 2019 AV-Comparatives Performance Test, AVG was rated ADVANCED+ for its low impact score of 2.7. By comparison, other close competitors like F-Secure scored 7.4 ($45.00 at F-Secure) while Trend Micro ($39.95 at Trend Micro) was significantly more of a drag after recording a 13.7.

    Malware Protection

    AVG is particularly good at detecting malware in real-time thanks to scan features that are great at uncovering hidden malware. A system behavior analysis tool keeps track of suspicious file/folder activities and quarantines them immediately when recognized.

    In the October 2019 Real-World Threat Test conducted by AV-Test, AVG scored a perfect 6/6, whereas competitors like McAfee ($44.99 at McAfee) and BullGuard ($29.99 at BullGuard) scored 5.5/6.

    Moreover, in September 2019, Malware Protection Test from AV-Comparatives AVG managed to block 100% of malware with only 7 false positives.

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    Ransomware Detection

    AVG’s core antivirus engine is similar to Avast. The defenses are strong as it compares all files and suspicious codes with signatures from its database of ransomware.

    It also does heuristic monitoring to analyze new downloads and changes in behavior. Anything that the system finds doubtful is uploaded to the lab’s server for analysis.

    It also features a built-in defense mechanism against email attachments and downloads. Overall, AVG does a near-perfect job of ransomware detection when online and a good job when offline.

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    Phishing Detection

    AVG has one of the most-competitive phishing detection and protection mechanisms. The Anti-Spam feature blocks malicious emails, URLs, and attachments in real-time.

    An enhanced firewall gives you total protection from hackers as well as complete control over individual app privileges. It scans suspicious links and encrypts your online shopping and transaction data.

    In an August 2019  Real-World Protection Test by AV-Comparatives, it detected 99.4% of 352 live cases which was far better than ESET (98.3%) or F-Secure (98.6%).

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    Spyware Detection

    Unlike Avast ($89.99 at Avast), AVG doesn’t have a browser extension to act as the first line of defense. However, the SafeGuard feature works perfectly to block suspicious URLs.

    The best part is that even if something bypasses the guard, which rarely occurred during our tests, the heuristic monitor continuously scans for anomalies. It will immediately quarantine the threat. Additionally, the inclusion of a Passive Mode means it can also run as a backup antivirus.

    AVG, Avast, and Trend Micro ($39.95 at Trend Micro)  were the only three brands to score a perfect 100% Protection Rate in the September 2019 Malware Protection Test reported by AV-Comparatives.

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    Firewall Protection

    The Enhanced Firewall feature is designed in a way that requires minimal setup from your end. Just turn it on whenever prompted, select the desired settings, and it takes care of the rest.

    It monitors the network communication between your PC and the network to protect you from unauthorized intrusions. It comes under the Internet Security module and is a great feature that provides total protection online, even on Facebook and Twitter.

    This feature is highly customizable and allows you to define rules.

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    Lab Test Results

    AVG has had its fair share of ups and downs in the lab test results. In AV-Test’s Product Review and Certification Report for September to October 2019, it scored 100% against 335 0-day malware samples with a perfect score of 6/6. The Performance score was 5.5/6, and the Usability score was 6/6. In the same test in July 2019, it was able to detect 99.5% of 0-day malware threats but remained consistent with the performance and usability scores. This points out that AVG has enhanced its antivirus and malware scan engine for better results.

    The Real-World Protection Tests by AV-Comparatives in July to October 2019 rated it with an ADVANCED rating (99.3% blocks, 8 False Positives), placing it slightly behind competitors like Avira and Bitdefender  – each of which received an ADVANCED+ rating.

    When it comes to performance, AVG is known to be lightweight and fast. The initial scan does take a bit of time, which is relatively common amongst most antivirus suites. Nonetheless, it managed to shine with an ADVANCED+ rating and low impact score of 2.7 in the recent AV-Comparatives Performance Test which is great in comparison to Bitdefender which scored 3.5.

    It has been consistent with performance and system usage. Out of all the antivirus we tested, AVG consumed the lowest power and let us perform the tasks with minimal slowdown and lag.

    Ease of Use and Interface

    When discussing the usability of AVG, the dark interface with green buttons was fairly appealing and friendly. You have the main interface window with a green circle and a checkmark inside implying your device is protected.

    This checkmark changes to a red exclamation mark whenever a threat is detected or the system is under attack.

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    You have 5 tabs on the Central Dashboard that gives you direct access to the features included in each module and a Scan Computer button at the bottom. In addition to these, you also have the Settings (gear icon) and the Menu bar at the top right.

    Overall the dashboard is simple and easy to navigate even if you are a first-timer. All of the major functions are neatly arranged and you don’t have to click multiple times to perform a task. However, the constant pop-up notifications can be a bit irritating so be sure to consider turning them off in the settings.

    If you’re someone who prefers an intuitive interface with the least clutter, you will love this dashboard. It allows you to have complete control over all the processes and features you want to view and use. You can schedule scans, add trusted apps/programs, manage devices, and create automatic rules right from the dashboard.

    Customer Support

    Unless you are willing to pay for tech support, you don’t have access to live chat or direct calls. Customers need to opt-in for the AVG Premium Tech Support to gain access to 24/7 toll-free calls, unlimited access to the tech team, free consultations, and virus/malware removal support.

    Still, you do gain access to a large library of FAQs and user-guides. The official website hosts a large section of questions and answers that are more than enough. Plus, there are many easy-to-understand tutorials and guides available on YouTube.

    Finally, you have forums and communities. Thus, you’ll definitely find an answer without paying for premium support. You will get step-by-step guides and multiple links to related resources within the official knowledgebase.

    If you still need to get in touch, you can find AVG on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. As for customer satisfaction ratings, AVG received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 3-star rating from Consumer Affairs.