AVG Antivirus 2024: Review Summary
AVG is ranked #10 of 28 antivirus brands.
AVG Antivirus is one of the best antivirus programs. It has perfect anti-malware protection, no impact on the speed of your PC, many security features, and a great design.
Buy it if you want excellent protection and intuitive design. You will get anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, and a VPN. However, it does not include a password manager.
Alternatively, you could consider Norton 360 Deluxe. For about the same price as AVG Ultimate, it includes several extra features like a password manager, parental controls, and a dark web monitor.
- Malware protection: 100%. AVG detected and removed all of the 1,200 malware samples in our test.
- Speed impact: 100%. AVG’s anti-malware engine is lightweight and did not slow down our test PC.
- Features: 80%. AVG includes anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, and a VPN, but it misses a password manager.
- Price: 90%. AVG has a great price. But with Norton, you’ll get a few more features for the same amount of money.
Thanks to the 30-day return policy, you can try it risk-free.
|Ranking||#10 of 28|
|Operating systems||Windows, macOS, iOS, Android|
|🔥 Discount||Save 60% on AVG 🔥|
AVG Antivirus 2024: Full Review
AVG is ranked #10 of the 28 best antivirus of 2024.
We tested AVG and found its malware detection to be top-notch, complete with a strong firewall and web/email scanner. However, AVG falls short on parental controls and ransomware safeguards. Its extra features feel like an afterthought, aimed at keeping pace with leading antivirus software.
There are three plans: a free plan for basic protection, an intermediate plan for added security, and a premium plan with perks like a VPN. Price-wise, AVG is a bit more costly compared to Bitdefender and McAfee. But there’s a 30-day free trial and a money-back guarantee, giving you a risk-free way to try it out.
We put AVG’s anti-malware features to the test, and here’s what we found. AVG employs machine learning and heuristic analysis to tackle various malware types like trojans and rootkits. It offers five scan options, with the Deep Scan being the most thorough, taking 56 minutes but spotting 100% of malware in our tests. The Smart Scan was quick but missed some malware samples, raising some concerns.
The USB/DVD scan worked well for removable media, and the Boot-Time Scan effectively deals with threats before your OS starts up. The real-time protection was solid, blocking all malware downloads and stopping them from running.
However, AVG stumbled on ransomware protection, only securing specific files and folders. We ran a ransomware simulator, and sadly, most files got encrypted. On the flip side, if you opt for the AVG Ultimate plan, the performance scan and tune-up tools do improve your system’s speed.
Overall, AVG’s anti-malware is reliable, especially in real-time protection and deep scanning, but there’s room for improvement in smart scanning and ransomware defense.
We examined AVG’s anti-phishing capabilities, focusing on its web and email shields. The shields generally did a good job, outperforming default protections in browsers like Chrome and Edge. However, they missed some hazardous sites that competitors like Norton caught.
The email scanner worked well with desktop clients like Outlook, flagging malicious attachments. AVG’s Online Security extension, though, was less effective, failing to correctly identify risky websites, unlike Norton’s Safe Search.
Advanced users will appreciate the customization options, comparable only to Bitdefender in our tests. You can tweak settings like botnet defense and HTTPS scanning, which is useful for reducing false positives.
A minor gripe we have is that AVG automatically attaches a “scanned for viruses” signature to your emails. It’s well-intentioned, but we wish it was an opt-in feature.
Overall, while not perfect, AVG’s web and email shields are a significant upgrade over basic browser protections and offer a good level of customization.
We explored AVG’s firewall and found it to be one of the standout features of 2024. It monitors both inbound and outbound traffic effectively and comes with leak protection and a port scanner. It’s user-friendly and highly customizable, offering four modes to manage new apps requiring internet access.
The default “Smart mode” is particularly impressive. It makes decisions on app trustworthiness quietly in the background, requiring no input from you. It’s the right balance between safety and convenience. The “Allow” and “Block” modes have their uses but come with their own risks or inconveniences.
The “Ask” mode is for those who want total control. It even provides temporary internet connections and details on an app’s digital signature. This is an edge over some competitors like Bitdefender, which lack such detailed prompts.
An added bonus is the ability to view and manage the internet activity of all connected apps. This complements other features like network connection monitoring and a detailed activity log, making AVG’s firewall a strong contender for 2024.
We put AVG’s VPN through its paces and came away mostly impressed. Using bank-grade 256-bit AES encryption, it offers a solid layer of security. The server selection is limited compared to giants like Norton, but the 59 servers across 37 countries are adequately speedy.
We conducted speed tests on various servers and found negligible impact on browsing speed for nearby locations. For distant servers, the increased ping was noticeable but still acceptable. Our DNS leak tests also came back clean, adding confidence in its security.
The VPN features a kill switch and supports multiple protocols like WireGuard and OpenVPN. It also gives activity-based server recommendations, helpful for activities like streaming or torrenting.
However, there are downsides. We took issue with AVG’s logging policy, which records timestamps and data usage. Also, accessing the TOR network proved challenging, unlike our experience with ExpressVPN.
In summary, AVG’s VPN is a strong choice for general use but falls short for those seeking complete anonymity or TOR access. It’s available standalone or bundled in AVG Ultimate, with a 60-day free trial.
Other security features
We ran AVG’s additional features and came away with mixed feelings.
The Network Inspector efficiently scans for vulnerabilities, doing so faster than competitors like ESET. It alerted us to intentionally set weaknesses in our network and even provided learning resources. However, it also listed unidentified devices without much info or options to manage them.
AVG TuneUp offers a suite of optimization tools that rival even dedicated software like TotalAV. The junk cleaner surprised us, freeing up gigabytes of unnecessary data. A problem detector identifies system vulnerabilities and offers one-click fixes. We also liked the startup and program manager, which provides insights into background apps affecting performance.
However, TuneUp isn’t perfect. The unnecessary program scanner failed to detect apps we hadn’t used in months, and the software lacks some useful filtering options for managing startup programs. Also, you’ll have to download TuneUp separately from AVG’s main antivirus package, which isn’t very convenient.
The Secure Browser promises features like ad-blocking, forced HTTPS, and tracking script protection. However, not all worked as expected. It failed to enforce HTTPS and didn’t block invisible trackers. The built-in ad-blocker performed well, but you can get similar functionality with extensions on other browsers. Overall, there are better secure browsers out there, like Bitdefender’s offering that provides more comprehensive protection.
AVG packs in a multitude of extra features like Hack Alerts, Data Shredder, and Rescue Disk. The Rescue Disk is an excellent addition, allowing you to create a bootable AVG copy for emergency recoveries. However, many features seem redundant or could be better integrated into existing protections. For instance, Fake Website Shield could be part of web and email protection, and Sensitive Data Shield’s functionality can be replicated using Windows settings.
Hack Alerts only monitors one email address and requires a separate product, AVG BreachGuard, for extended coverage. This felt limited to us. On the flip side, the password health checker within Password Protection was useful, offering suggestions for strengthening weak passwords. The Behavior Shield also adds real-time detection of suspicious software activities, enhancing your overall security.
In summary, AVG does provide a wide array of features, but it’s more about quantity than quality. Many features are useful, but others feel like they’re reinventing the wheel or are unnecessarily compartmentalized.
AVG’s mobile suite is fragmented across multiple apps: AVG AntiVirus & Security, AVG Cleaner for Android, and AVG Secure VPN. We tested these apps and found they deliver robust security features, comparable to competitors like Avira. The antivirus scanner detected all the malware samples we hid on an Android device.
What sets AVG’s mobile apps apart are unique features like App Lock and Photo Vault, not found in their desktop version. The Anti-Theft feature is especially strong, allowing remote lock, data wipe, and device tracking. It’s a useful addition, although it’s limited to Android.
We did notice AVG’s parental controls are not as comprehensive as those offered by competitors like Norton. While App Lock is a nice touch, it doesn’t substitute for full-fledged parental controls.
Customer support is available through email, live chat, phone, and community forums. Response times were quick, and the agents were competent and respectful. However, AVG asks for your registration email even for basic inquiries, which could be a turnoff for some users.
Phone support covers English-speaking countries, but we’d like to see options for other languages as competitors like Norton offer. One privacy-conscious feature we appreciated is the option to decide if the support call gets recorded, something most antivirus support teams don’t provide.
The knowledge base is rich with informative articles, and there’s even a paid option for assisted software installation. The community forums are responsive, and it’s evident that staff make an effort to assist, even translating non-English queries.
In summary, AVG’s mobile apps are strong but segmented, and they lack in-depth parental controls. Customer support is commendable, albeit with a few areas for improvement. Overall, it’s a competent package but leaves some room for enhancement.
Plans and pricing
In the table below are the core products with their features and prices.
The prices shown are from the USA. However, most brands have different prices (and currencies) in other regions. So visit the brand’s website to see the price in our country.
AVG offers one free plan and two premium plans. All come with a standard download but differ in feature accessibility.
AVG AntiVirus Free
The free plan covers one device and includes features like a malware scanner, real-time protection, and ransomware safeguards. While decent, it misses key features like web protection and a firewall. Compared to competitors like Avira that offer more in their free versions, AVG’s free plan is a bit lacking.
AVG Internet Security
Priced at $39.99/year for one device, this plan provides a robust set of features including a firewall and web protection. You can extend the coverage to up to 10 devices for a small extra fee. We found this to be AVG’s best-value plan, covering most security needs effectively.
At $51.99/year, this plan extends coverage to 10 devices and includes AVG AntiTrack, AVG TuneUp, and AVG VPN. While feature-rich, the plan isn’t the best bang for your buck, especially when similar features are available at lower prices from competitors like Avira Prime.
What We Didn’t Like
We’re not fans of AVG’s upselling tactics. Even the premium plans tease features that aren’t included, urging you to pay more. This includes AVG Driver Updater and BreachGuard which are shown but not accessible unless you pay extra.
If you’re looking for comprehensive protection, AVG Internet Security is your best bet. But if you want value, competitors offer more features for less. AVG’s upselling can be annoying, but the good news is that there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. Overall, AVG is good but leaves room for improvement in both feature offerings and pricing tactics.
Test score comparison
Next to our own anti-malware tests, we analyze those by AV-Test. We’ve compared the results of the 10 most recent tests for Windows 10. The tests were performed by AV-Test, the German anti-malware test lab. They use three factors:
- Protection (1-6): Antivirus protection against malware attacks.
- Performance (1-6): System slowdown caused by the antivirus.
- Usability (1-6): Frequency of false alarms and disruptions.
We used their results, and this formula, to calculate the final score:
Final Score = 60% Protection + 20% Performance + 20% Usability.
Brands not listed in the table haven’t participated in the analysis by AV-Test. This is usually not a good sign. Because most reputable brands, except Panda, ESET, and Sophos, partake in the test.
We’ve compared the prices of the top antivirus products for Windows. To make it a fair comparison, we looked at what it would cost us, to protect a single Windows PC with the most essential features:
- Anti-phishing (web protection)
- Password manager
- Unlimited VPN (no data limit)
A few notes:
- Some brands are missing features, lowering their value for money.
- Prices are second-year prices in the USA, without first-year discounts.
- Prices are rounded up for readability (e.g., $99.99 becomes $100).
Brands have different prices outside the USA. See those on their website.
We’ve compared the user reviews of all antivirus brands. We’ve used the scores and review count of TrustPilot, a leading user review platform. However, take these results with a grain of salt, as some brands actively attempt to increase their ratings.
Personally, we are wary of exceptionally high scores. Especially those by brands such as TotalAV, known for aggressive marketing and sales tactics.
We consider scores between 4.0 and 4.5 good and realistic. Higher scores are dubious, and lower scores indicate that the brand might have a poor product or customer service. McAfee’s scores, for instance, are worrying.
AVG is owned by Gen (NASDAQ: GEN).
Gen is a global technology company specializing in Cyber Safety. With a mission to enable people to navigate the digital world securely and privately, the company serves as an umbrella for several respected brands in the cybersecurity industry. These brands leverage cutting-edge AI technology and in-depth data analytics to safeguard over 500 million users across 150 countries.
The company operates dual headquarters, one in Tempe, Arizona, United States, and the other in Prague, Czech Republic. Gen’s portfolio includes:
- Norton, a leading Cyber Safety brand offering award-winning device protection and online privacy solutions.
- Avast, recognized for its advanced threat detection network, which employs machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide top-notch digital security and privacy.
- LifeLock, a pioneer in identity theft protection in the U.S., equipped with dedicated Identity Restoration Specialists.
- Avira, known for providing free security tools and has received accolades from various industry experts.
- AVG, focusing on a wide array of software security needs including internet security, performance optimization, and data control.
- ReputationDefender, specializing in online reputation management to ensure fair and accurate online representation.
- CCleaner, a leader in system optimization software, widely used for both individual and corporate needs.
By uniting these brands, Gen aims to address the critical cybersecurity challenges that society faces today and anticipates for the future.
How we test antivirus software
Below we describe how we run our tests. For even more details, visit our blog posts on how we test antivirus software.
Anti-malware protection test
We analyze antivirus software’s capability to detect and eliminate known and unknown malware, using heuristic analysis for behavior monitoring.
We conduct in-house tests and analyze those from labs like AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives to determine the best malware protection.
Malware includes adware, keyloggers, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, trojans, viruses, worms, and more. Other cyber threats, usually not classified as malware, are (zero-day) exploits, hacks, identity theft, phishing attacks, scams, and social engineering.
False positives test
False positives occur when antivirus software misidentifies legitimate software, files, or websites as malicious. We rely on AV-Test’s large-scale analysis of false positives in its usability test to guide our evaluations.
System performance test
We measure the CPU load during antivirus software system scans and consider AV-Test’s performance results on the slowdown caused by antivirus software when opening websites and handling software.
We evaluate two-way firewalls that filter incoming and outgoing data and allow users to set rules to regulate data streams. We use the ShieldsUP! test to determine if the antivirus software blocks all ports.
Password manager test
We assess password managers’ ability to create, store, and autofill secure passwords, as well as additional features like two-factor authentication and biometric login.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) test
We evaluate built-in VPNs on their security, privacy, speed, compatibility with streaming services, unlimited data access, and support for peer-to-peer networks and torrent clients.
Parental control test
We examine parental control features, such as screen time rules, website/app blocking, and real-world location tracking. We test these features on a device and attempt to circumvent them, checking if the activity is accurately reported in the parental control admin.
Anti-phishing protection test
We evaluate antivirus browser extensions that block phishing sites by installing them and attempting to visit dangerous URLs.
Ransomware protection test
We assess security suites’ ability to prevent data encryption through exploit prevention and behavioral detection during ransomware attacks.
Bonus features test
We test any additional cybersecurity tools such as:
- Ad Blocker
- Dark web monitoring (identity protection)
- Email protection
- File encryption
- File shredder
- Gaming mode
- Microphone protection
- PC maintenance features
- Secure browser (hardened browser to protect your online banking)
- Secure cloud storage (cloud backup)
- Spam filter
- Startup optimizer
- Tune up tools
- Virtual keyboard
- Webcam protection
Ownership and reputation test
We analyze the trustworthiness of antivirus companies, especially concerning customer data. We read press releases, news articles, and privacy policies to determine their reputation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most frequently asked questions.
Is AVG a good antivirus program?
How do we test antivirus software?
We analyze the protection from malware, the performance impact on a PC, and the number of false positives. On top of that, we test various security features such as the firewall, password manager, VPN, and more.
Author: Tibor Moes
Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab