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AVG Antivirus Review | Our Take On The Protection Performance of This Famous Antivirus Tool

Out of all the antivirus suites out there, the AVG Antivirus suite offers a lot for being a free anti-virus.

But is AVG enough? We wouldn't know until we tried it ourselves. What we have here is a straight-to-the-point AVG Antivirus review that can help you determine whether you should rely on it for protecting your computer or not.  In a nutshell, it's a great security software, though there may be better options, depending on your needs.

AVG Antivirus can be an excellent choice for most internet users. Yet, for business owners or anyone who works, your computer(s) will stay at a slight risk; even if it's a fraction of a risk, it's still present. More about business antivirus protection in this post.

Our recommendation: McAfee

With so many antivirus products in the market, there is none that’s like McAfee. With over 18.9 billion devices protected on a consistent basis, McAfee’s ability to deal with malware attacks come unmatched! McAfee has a dedicated database that is adept to deal with all sorts of virus attacks whether they may be online or offline. To browse their programs, check out their programs here!

AVG Antivirus Review: Proven and Reliable Protection

AVG Antivirus is packed with decades worth of research and development. Starting off our AVG review, let’s take a look at what this anti-malware has to offer:

Malware Protection


System Impact


Email Scans


Game Mode


Password Manager


Scheduled Scans


Ransomware Protection



Windows Operating Systems (7, 8, 8.1, & 10) and Mac OS

The AVG Antivirus free versions may not be feature-packed, though it packs more than Lookout, for example, it's leaving many functions to its sibling, Avast. However, it's definitely a strong contender as a free antivirus software suite. To compare features, you can check out Spectrum Security Suite, Plumbytesand WiperSoft Antivirus review.

Since Avast bought AVG back in 2016, both antimalware programs have relied on the same anti-malware protection engine. Avast decided to keep AVG as a separate program because it has its own fanbase and distinctive feel and features. Nevertheless, both suites perform similarly when it comes to virus protection and online security.

AVG is available for Windows 7 all the way up to 10. AVG for Mac is also supported, but you only get a fraction of the advanced features that the Windows version has. Furthermore, there's an AVG app for Android devices.

Antivirus Protection

The AVG free anti-virus scans your Windows computer and Mac PCs and other devices for prevalent malware. If AVG detects that the file has a  threat, the target file is uploaded to AVG's servers for analysis and further actions. AVG uses the same viruses protection employed by Avast.

The anti-malware protects your Windows computers and Mac from spyware and can block malicious websites or fake websites. It also scans suspicious emails and gives you total phishing protection.

We've also tested the viruses protection engine AVG uses ourselves to see how it performs. Surprisingly, the anti-malware was able to smash anything that comes in its way. AVG isn't known to have the most secure virus protection capabilities, but it definitely did well in our real-world test and our cross-review with Bitdefender.

Moreover, the antivirus program comes with a file shredder that allows you to wipe out suspicious files permanently.

AVG features

Antivirus Performance

The AVG virus protection can detect malware at an impressive success rate. Test results from independent, unbiased labs came out generally positive. 

AV-Comparatives gave the program a score of 99.3%, meaning that the anti-malware wasn't able to detect all the threats, but it was capable of removing the fair majority of them.

As for SE Labs, AVG received an AA rating, the 2nd best rating an antivirus can gain, their highest being the AAA certification. These results indicate that AVG wasn't able to block 100% of the threats and that at least a few attacks managed to penetrate the program's defenses.

The December 2019 results from the German lab AV-Test were more promising. According to the test, AVG Antivirus successfully detected 100% of the threats, including 0-day malware.

MRG-Effitas gave AVG a level 2 certification, an indicator that the antivirus failed to lock a few attacks.

Lab results are prone to fluctuations according to the testing techniques that each lab uses, which explains how the same antivirus can get different results from different labs.

Lab results for both AVG and Avast turned out to be quite similar, proving that both of them use the same antivirus protection engine.

Antivirus Scanner Is Always on in the Background

One of the best features of AVG Antivirus is its real-time scanner, which deals with online threats in a similar way to Panda Security cloud based protection. You don't need to initiate a full computer scan to detect malicious software, documents and threats; the program does that for you in the background. 

You can do a deep scan and a quick scan. Once the AVG virus scan is complete, you'll be greeted with a list of actions that you can take to protect your personal data. Additionally, you can choose to scan the entire removable media or only scan specific files and folders.

Furthermore, you can do a boot-up scan or boot scan that allows you to detect threats before your computer initiates the OS. Some threats may be able to hijack your computer before it even boots up, and that's exactly where this feature comes handy.

Enhanced Firewall Offers Protection from Ransomware

AVG's firewall offers real-time protection against ransomware. Some other programs like Windows Defender protect from ransomware attacks by creating backups of your documents in case the original ones get attacked. The problem with this approach is that it doesn't protect the privacy of your files, which can be a significant problem.

On the other hand, AVG actually blocks the attacks and prevents them from damaging your documents in the first place. It protects your photos, files, and documents from getting encrypted, modified, or deleted.

Payment Protection Watches Your Email for Scams

Scam emails or phishing attacks can be a dire problem. Phishing attempts don't require a great deal of expertise to accomplish; almost anyone can craft a few scam emails, but it can be hard to detect, even by sophisticated antivirus systems. 

Luckily, AVG scans your emails to detect potential frauds and scams. Once a threat is identified, the program will notify you immediately to prevent you from entering sensitive credentials. We found it quite accurate, catching even the least suspicious spam emails.

AVG offered a secure browser extension that lets you detect malicious sites and emails immediately, but the company pulled it for some reason. We hope that it comes back again sometime soon. After you installed the extension,  it will prompt you to make it your default browser. 

Ease of Use

First-time users of AVG Antivirus system should find no problem getting used to its interface. The program is quite easy to use, and you can do almost anything you want with a few clicks, especially the scan options.

The software follows the graphic icons approach that allows you to differentiate between the features and functionalities seamlessly. You don't need a long time to acquaint yourself with the program and its menus.

If you ever get lost, you can always search in the help section, and you'll get a detailed answer to almost all of your questions and problems. AVG also works relentlessly on expanding its FAQ base, good news for starters.

AVG features

System Impact

To measure the impact AVG has on performance, we ran a simple test that consists of opening two 20-sheet excel files simultaneously.

Before the installation of AVG, it took around 15 seconds for the files to load. After the installation of the program, the time it took to load the files increased to 18 seconds. That's a 17% drop in performance, which isn't that bad considering that some antivirus systems can drop the performance by up to 50%. But some other suites go as low as 3% when it comes to system impact.

We also tried to measure just how much AVG affects gaming performance. We tried gaming before and after installation of the antivirus. The game we used in the test is GTA V. 

Before the installation of AVG, we got a steady 60 fps in the game. After the installation it, the fps dropped to 57. To some extent, installation of AVG on your computer will result in a performance drop of 5%. 

That's decent compared to other free anti-virus systems, but it's not exactly industry-leading. With game mode enabled, the performance drop is capped at 3%.


At first glance, AVG’s interface looks quite neat and simple. Once you open the program, you'll be presented with 5 cards that give you an overview of your computer's status and how protected you are.

You can start the scanning immediately with a click of a button at the bottom of the UI. You can also schedule scans at the time interval you want and select the directories that you want to scan. 

Furthermore, the program allows you to set automatic recurring scans at fixed or variable times. This is much more convenient than having to initiate scanning amid your work manually.

Overall, we found the interface pretty easy to navigate, even for those with little-to-no experience with antivirus suites.

AVG features

Installation and Support

Installing of AVG Antivirus is super simple. All you have to do is to download the 263KB installation file and go through the installation wizard. Then, it'll transfer the full-sized application into your PC. It should take less than 10 minutes to download AVG and to install it. Also, we recommend going over our 'AVG Won’t Uninstall' article, for possible troubleshooting solutions if you ever come across such issue.

You don't need an AVG account to start using the software, but we recommend creating one since it gives you extra functionalities and monitoring capabilities.

As for customer support, you can get help through online forums. Just like most other free antivirus programs, there's no phone or email support. Nevertheless, there are a few free anti-virus suites that offer better customer support and more communication channels, like Microsoft's Windows Defender.

AVG software installation in progress

AVG Antivirus Cost and What’s Covered

There are two versions of AVG Antivirus: free and premium. Both versions are essentially the same regarding malware defense since they use the same worms signature database. However, the Pro version of AVG offers extra features like improved ransomware and webcam protection, though Kaspersky antivirus comes with more comprehensive features.

However, at $70 per year, we don't think it's worth it. For most people, the free version is enough. Additionally, there's a 3rd version called AVG Ultimate, which is essentially the AVG Internet Security package combined with AVG TuneUp. AVG TuneUp tool is an excellent tool that can improve the function of the operating system by wiping unnecessary files.

AVG pricing plans

Pros And Cons

  • Easy setup and installation
  • Minimal system impact
  • The free version covers most of the needed features
  • Has a file shredder
  • User-friendly interface
  • Malware protection could be better
  • Limited customer support channels

Key Takeaways

At the end of our AVG Antivirus review, my bottom line on AVG technologies is that it’s a decent, all-around computer and internet security system that can keep your computer protected most of the time, at least.

Sure, it may not have the most sophisticated and known malware protection out there. Still, it deserves some credit for its user-friendly interface and extra PC and internet security software features for being a free anti-virus.

Our Choice 

Our recommendation: McAfee

Although the product we talked about are notable in the market, it doesn’t come close to McAfee. McAfee is a leading antivirus company in the cybersecurity industry due to its unique line-up of programs catered to dealing with malware and antivirus attacks. No wonder over 18.9 billion devices are protected using McAfee! Check out their security programs here!

How AVG Compares to Other Security Software

Avast vs. AVG 

Avast is a renown antivirus software that has grown massively over the past two decades. Now, Avast actually owns AVG, which is now run by Avast as a subsidiary. Although both are clearly anti-viruses, Avast still proves superior to AVG in almost every important facet.

Windows Defender vs. AVG

These two anti-viruses couldn't be more different. Windows Defender is a free software provided by Windows for those who purchase its desktops and laptops. It only provides basic security and no internet security, making it not very effective. Although AVG is paid (whereas Windows Defender is free), it's still much better and worth spending money on, despite not being the top software option (our #1 option is McAfee).


1. Is AVG antivirus any good?

Yes, without spending any more money, you can obtain better full protection and security than the built-in. AVG AntiVirus is used by millions of people worldwide. It received great ratings in both our own testing and those conducted by independent labs.

2. Does AVG Free Anti-virus really work?

That is the bottom line. AVG AntiVirus performs admirably in independent testing, and PC users adore it. If you're looking for a simple approach to boost your  PC's and internet security, AVG AntiVirus Free is an excellent solution that will give you basic AVG protection as explained here, and strong system security.

3. Is AVG antivirus safe to download?

Yes, it's safe (see 'Is AVG Antivirus Safe?' article). The internet security sector has validated that AVG is one of the best antivirus products on the market through rigorous testing. AVG has won numerous AV-Comparatives tests, including the best in malware protection and security and performance in 2020 and the top grade for AVG AntiVirus FREE in 2019. In addition, you can get a free download that includes a limited amount of security features on the AVG website.

4. Is AVG better than Norton?

Like other antivirus companies, Norton and AVG both offer reasonably good antivirus software services. However, Norton's customer service is superior as already explained in earlier Norton or AVG in-depth review. Its scans are more comprehensive, and it has a negligible influence on PC speed, making it the undisputed winner, in my opinion.

5. Is AVG better than McAfee?

Although AVG is well-known in the market, it pales in comparison to McAfee. McAfee is a market leader in the antivirus sector due to its unique line-up of tools dedicated to defending against worms and antivirus threats. It's unsurprising that McAfee protects over 18.9 billion devices!

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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