AVG antivirus software packs a punch with its available features for both its free and paid plans. If AVG offered additional customer support, that would help it stand out from other top antivirus services.
✅ Strong free plan
❌ Free version may block programs
like Snipping Tool
✅ Fully loaded paid plans
❌ Poor customer support
✅ Easy to use mobile apps
❌ Low Trustpilot rating
About AVG Antivirus
In 2016, AVG was acquired by Avast Antivirus, which is one of the top-scoring antivirus programs we’ve tested. AVG has retained its own brand and products, which means that AVG and Avast offer similar technology, but are still independent. AVG is headquartered in Prague and has 399 employees listed on LinkedIn.
AVG has three types of pricing plans: a free version and two paid plans, AVG Internet Security and AVG Ultimate. We tested all three plans on multiple platforms.
AVG Free Antivirus
First, we tested AVG’s free version. We like AVG’s free version because it supplies more features in its plan than other free antivirus programs such as Malwarebytes. AVG’s free plan features:
- On-demand malware scan
- On-access malware scan
- Malicious URL blocking
- Phishing protection
AVG’s free plan successfully detected all three malware tests and blocked execution of the file every time. The on-demand and on-access malware scans it provides are strong and thorough.
The same was true in our phishing test. We tried to open and view a fake site that was infected with malicious phishing scams. AVG’s free version wouldn’t even let us open the link.
In addition to the primary features listed above, AVG’s free plan also offers:
- Prevention against viruses, spyware, ransomware and other forms of malware
- Personal file security with an extra layer of ransomware protection
- Blocking for unsafe links, downloads and email attachments
- Computer performance problem scanning
What we like: AVG’s free version worked well with its Android and iOS mobile apps. On mobile devices, AVG successfully stopped viruses, spyware, ransomware and other malware while blocking unsafe links, downloads and email attachments.
What we don’t like: In our testing of AVG’s free plan on a Windows computer, the software blocked tools, such as the Snipping Tool, which made it impossible for us to take screenshots while the program was running.
AVG Internet Security
AVG’s premium version, AVG Internet Security, performed just as successfully as the free version. The program automatically detected malware we downloaded, and it didn’t allow us to connect to harmful websites.
AVG’s Internet Security plan packs many more extra features into its plan, such as:
- Advanced Antivirus: This is an extra defense against viruses, spyware, ransomware and other forms of malware.
- Behavior Shield: An alert is sent if suspicious software behavior is detected on your device.
- AI Detection: Malware samples are quickly identified in order to protect you from new threats.
- CyberCapture: New threats are blocked by having antivirus software automatically upload them for analysis.
- PUA Scanner: Potentially unwanted apps that you may have downloaded are identified.
- Turbo Scan: Scanning time is shortened by skipping files that have already been deemed as safe.
- Real-Time Updates: You’re always protected because you automatically receive security updates, bug fixes and new features.
- Do Not Disturb Mode: All pop-ups and app notifications are temporarily paused so you can focus solely on your current task at hand.
- Silent Mode: AVG scans, updates and pop-ups can be postponed so you can avoid interruptions while you work.
With the most features, AVG’s Ultimate plan performed best of all. The software successfully blocked malware we downloaded, detected compressed malware and prevented drive-by downloads.
In addition to all the features in the Internet Security plan, AVG Ultimate also includes:
- 24/7 automatic maintenance
- Faster speeds on Windows and other PCs
- Software uninstaller for programs you no longer need
- Junk cleaner to remove files and free up space
- Automatic updates for your program
- AVG’s Secure VPN service
The only feature that is currently unavailable in both paid AVG plans is a vulnerability scan. We’d like to see the company include this in future plans.
Comparing AVG Antivirus Plans
It’s easy to imagine using AVG’s free version forever, but the upgraded plans do come with necessary high-level defense against advanced malware. Listed below is a breakdown of how the plans features compare:
All three AVG antivirus plans are available on:
- iOS devices
Here’s a closer look at each feature:
On-Demand Malware Scan
If you’ve ever owned a PC, you’ve likely run an on-demand malware scan. These scans are most commonly known as “antivirus software.” On-demand malware scans are full scans you initiate that review every file saved to your computer. If the software detects anything out of the ordinary in your files, the program will notify you so you can resolve it. All AVG’s plans come with on-demand malware scanning.
On-Access Malware Scan
On-access malware scans work like on-demand scans, except you don’t have to initiate an on-access scan. This particular scan automatically runs in the background and evaluates file safety when you initiate a download. On-access malware scans are more active than on-demand scans in their defenses against threats. All AVG plans come with on-access scans.
Malicious URL Blocking
All AVG plans feature malicious URL blocking. This type of protection kicks in when you click on a link or type in the URL of a website that isn’t safe. AVG will recognize this and prevent your browser from accessing the page. Malicious URL blocking is a vital protection for anyone who regularly surfs the internet.
If you’ve received an email with a suspicious attachment, you’ve seen a phishing scam. All AVG plans protect you from phishing by checking the safety of email attachments before you open them.
Behavior-based detection is extremely important for antivirus programs. Behavior-based detection tracks the patterns of aggressive malware forms and learns how to better defend against them in the future. Since malware is changing all the time, it’s important to have an antivirus software that adapts alongside. Behavior-based detection is only available with AVG’s paid plans.
Vulnerability scans show which applications or systems on your device could be susceptible to a future malware attack. Unfortunately, AVG doesn’t support vulnerability scans with any of its plans at this time.
You’ll get firewall protection with AVG’s paid plans, which means as you connect online, you’ll automatically initiate an active defense against incoming and outgoing data on the network.
AVG’s paid plans grant parents the ability to set and control protections on all devices that use AVG.
Who is AVG Best For?
AVG’s free version is ideal for anyone who regularly surfs the internet but doesn’t download software often. Even the most occasional internet user can download AVG now and instantly start using it to protect against unwanted viruses and threats.
AVG’s Internet Security plan is best for people who regularly use their desktop, laptop or mobile phone for personal use and work. We like how Internet Security covers all the bases, including blocking malware, keeping your emails secure, protecting your personal files and passwords, shielding your webcam from hackers, and allowing you to shop and bank online and worry less about safety.
Finally, we recommend AVG Ultimate as the perfect option for anyone who needs security on multiple devices. The combination of Internet Security and Tune-Up can simultaneously boost system performance (making it the perfect option for older PCs), make devices more resilient to attack, and can deal with current system issues.
How Much Does AVG Antivirus Cost?
AVG Antivirus Pricing
AVG Internet Security
$39.99 for one year
$59.99 for one year
$79.99 for one year
Pricing is accurate as of Jan. 3, 2022.
AVG’s plans are fairly priced. We especially like how the Internet Security plan offers a ten-device plan for only a bit more each year. AVG Ultimate includes ten device licenses. Unlike some of its competitors, you won’t get as much flexibility in AVG pricing based on how many devices you want to use.
You can try the 30-day free trial for AVG Internet Security on a PC, and you can try a 60-day free trial on Apple computers.
AVG Customer Support
AVG’s website is helpful and easy to navigate when looking for guides and other resources. However, without purchasing Premium Tech Support at an additional cost, you won’t be able to easily get in touch with a support team member if you need help. Like many antivirus companies, AVG doesn’t provide a support phone number, live chat or 24/7 help.
Reputation and Credibility
AVG doesn’t have the best reputation among its customers. On Trustpilot, a trusted consumer review site, AVG Technologies only scored a 1.4 out of 5 stars. This score is based on more than 2,000 reviews. AVG consumer complaints typically center around the auto-renewal process
AVG, however, has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2015 and currently has an A+ rating, although currently has a 1 out of 5 star rating by customers.
AVG Antivirus Review: Is It Worth Downloading?
AVG provides a strong free plan and an excellent paid plan in its antivirus programs. While many free antivirus programs aren’t worth the hassle, you can use AVG for free right away and be instantly covered with a solid defense against viruses for your devices. AVG was also top-rated by AV-Comparatives and AV Test.
While you won’t find as much flexibility in customizing how many devices you can add to your plan, you will get a plethora of security features to combat malware threats.
We’d like to see improvement in AVG’s customer service and reputation in the future. AVG’s performance in our testing, however, makes it an antivirus software we can recommend.
How We Tested AVG
We tested AVG’s free plan on a Windows desktop computer, a Windows laptop, an Android phone and an iOS device. We also tested the AVG Internet Security plan on a Windows desktop computer and laptop. We then upgraded to the AVG Ultimate plan and tried it on an iOS device, Windows desktop computer and Windows laptop.
Our testing focused heavily on security features, malware and phishing performance, key benefits, platforms supported and app functionality. We used three types of malware — manually-downloaded malware, compressed detection of malware and drive-by downloads of malware — on our machines to test each plan. By using all three types in our research tests, we were able to gather multiple data points on AVG’s security.
We also assessed plan pricing, company reputation and customer support care. Based on this criteria, we assigned AVG an overall performance score per platform we tested. We then added that to AVG’s composite scores across AV-Comparatives and AV Test labs, which are independent testing audits that score antivirus companies and help point out vulnerabilities.
Overall, AVG scored well across the board in terms of performance, security, plan value and features provided. It came up lacking, however, in customer support and company reputation.