AVG Antivirus Review 2024: How Does It Rate for Security?

AVG Technologies has been available in the U.S. since 1991, but has it learned how to outpace modern threats? Read all about its antivirus features to find out.
4.8
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On AVG's website

AVG
  • Free version comes with malware, spyware, and ransomware protection
  • Includes unsafe email attachment blocking
  • Various scanning options may be confusing to some people
We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Boasting a malware protection rate of 100%, AVG antivirus is worth considering for anyone wanting serious online protection. The free version offers a well-rounded suite of basic protection features, including anti-malware and virus scans, real-time protection, and automatic updates. When you opt for the paid features, you get additional features such as ransomware, phishing, and payment protection.

With options to use free trials and a 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s no risk of seeing how you like AVG. If you like it enough to pay for it, you’ll get a sweet discount your first year.

AVG antivirus overview

Price $24.99–$59.88/first yr
Free plan Yes
# of devices protected 1–10
Malware and virus scans Manual and scheduled
Firewall Yes (limited features for free version)
Phishing protection Yes
Details Get AVG

All About Cookies Rating
4.8
Editorial Rating
“AVG is platinum-level software if you're looking for a highly customizable antivirus program with lots of scheduled scans and options to protect your network and external drives. But some may find its ease of use lacking, especially because AVG’s online guides don’t seem to be updated quite yet.”

In this article
AVG antivirus overview
Who is AVG antivirus best for?
AVG antivirus cost
AVG features
AVG antivirus test results
Our AVG experience
AVG compatibility
AVG customer support
AVG antivirus FAQs
Bottom line: Is AVG antivirus good?

Who is AVG antivirus best for?

  • Recommended for people who see the need for strong antivirus software with nearly perfect protection ratings.

With new malware invented every day, more people are seeing how critical cybersecurity is.

With a free trial and money-back guarantee, you can try AVG's free and paid security options to see which is best for your needs. AVG is a trusted name in antivirus because it has almost perfect protection ratings, and we think it’s an excellent choice for any antivirus buyer.

AVG pros and cons

Pros
  • Free version comes with malware, spyware, and ransomware protection
  • Real-time phishing protection
  • Includes unsafe email attachment blocking
  • All paid versions come with Wi-Fi security
Cons
  • 24/7 support only for paid versions
  • Various scanning options may be confusing to some people

AVG antivirus cost

AVG offers different plans for your budget. The free option is a good deal when you want basic antivirus protection for one device. When you opt for the paid AVG Internet Security or the AVG Ultimate options, you get extra features for your money.

AVG Internet Security comes in at $46.68/first yr for 1 device or $59.88/first yr for 10 devices. When you go with this plan, you get scheduled scanning and Wi-Fi security features that don’t come with the free plan. This isn't a high cost when you consider the number of devices you can include. 

When you want even more coverage, you can go for the AVG Ultimate plan for $34.99/first yr for 10 devices. You still get the 10 devices supported, and this plan also comes with a VPN and device optimization features, known as AVG TuneUp. If these are important features to you, we think springing for the extra $20 is a reasonable plan.

AVG plans and prices

AVG Antivirus Free AVG Internet Security AVG Ultimate
Price per month Free $46.68–$59.88/first yr for 1–10 devices $34.99/first yr for 10 devices
# devices supported 1 1–10 10
Manual and auto scan
Real-time protection
Ransomware protection
Phishing protection
Wi-Fi security
Web browser security
VPN
Performance optimization tools
Details Learn More Learn More Learn More

You can try AVG Internet Security with a 30-day free trial and take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee for a maximum of 60 risk-free days.

AVG features

One of the first things we noticed about AVG antivirus is how easy it was to install. You can start with its free antivirus software if you’d like to test it out, but we chose to try the paid Internet Security plan.

Our plan included lots of security features, including Wi-Fi network protection, an advanced firewall, and payment protection. We thought those features were worth the investment if you only need coverage for one device.

Malware and antivirus scan

AVG has a variety of scanning options to choose from. You can use the Smart Scan, Deep Scan, File or Folder Scan, Boot-time Scan, USB/DVD Scan, and Performance Scan. All of these have different functions and though we think that’s pretty cool, it can also be a bit overwhelming.

AVG does give you manual and automatic scan options, but we found the instructions from the support page to be a little lacking, maybe even out of date. The instructions show you should click on three dots beside the Run Smart Scan button, but on our AVG interface, we didn’t have that option.

Our AVG interface was a bit different from the online guides. But it still offers full computer, web, and email protection

On our version of AVG, you can either run a Smart Scan or click on Run Other Scans, where you’ll get taken to the Scan Central page.

We clicked on Run Other Scans in our AVG antivirus and it took us to a Scan Central dashboard where we could select the type of scan we wanted.
AVG antivirus scan central

Here, you can click on “Scheduled scans” and create your custom scan.

Phishing protection

AVG’s phishing and email protection checks for deceptive attachments that could be dangerous. Some phishing campaigns come from fake websites or even pop-ups, so AVG also checks for an authentic security certificate. That helps prevent you from browsing phony websites that some hacker created to fool you.

AVG’s phishing protection also blocks links that may try to steal your data. If the program detects malware or a phishing scam, it’ll block the websites. We like the security that comes with that knowledge and that we didn’t have to do anything special to enforce it.

The File Shield, Web Shield, and Email Shield checkboxes are selected by default, so unless you want to make changes, you’re good to go.

We noticed that AVG turned on all the features for its file shield, web shield, and email shield by default.

Enhanced firewall

The firewall feature is actually quite useful on PC. (Mac users don't get access to the firewall, unfortunately.) Within AVG’s firewall, there are four categories: Apps, Networks, Logs, and Premium. Each category has different protection options:

Apps

AVG's Enhanced Firewall monitors active and inactive apps on your system.

This category tracks active and inactive apps. If the app is active, AVG tells you how much bandwidth the app uses. You can choose to block or remove any of these apps from your device.

Networks

AVG's Enhanced Firewall also monitors your network connections for any vulnerabilities.

You can decide whether to trust or not trust whatever internet networks you’re connected to through this feature.

Trusting your home network allows you to become discoverable by printers, mobile devices, or anything else you want to sync to your computer. Not trusting a network is great if you’re on a shared Wi-Fi connection with people you don’t know.

Logs

Logs are a running record of everything that happens on your computer. This feature allows you to see what logs are running or have run so you can identify possible malware and block it.

Premium

Paid AVG subscribers get access to the Premium tab of the Enhanced Firewall, which features a data leak protector and vulnerability alerts.
AVG enhanced firewall protection features

This firewall category only comes with the paid plan. Each of the toggled options in the premium feature are meant to increase security.

While some of its features are paid only, AVG still offers a lot of options as part of its free plan. Other brands like Avast and Avira also offer free antivirus plans.

Real-time protection

Real-time protection shields you from malware or a data breach. AVG’s real-time protection does this through the use of AI to discover new threats.

With the benefit of real-time protection, you don’t have to scan every single file you open. We had no issues with this feature, as it ran while we were browsing the internet and using our device to work. Just note, this isn’t how antivirus software works for every system, as you may have to turn on the real-time protection feature in other programs.

Ransomware protection

AVG comes with the Ransomware Protection feature that’s enabled by default. In the Ransomware Protection settings, you get a list of protected file types that you can choose to protect, including archives, audio, documents, photos, and videos.

You can also choose which apps are allowed to change or delete files in your protected folders. Trusted apps are also allowed by default. Those are apps such as Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop.

AVG's ransomware shield is enabled by default and lets you choose which types of files can change or delete files on your device.

If you want to remove a folder from the protected file type list, you can deselect it by clicking on the checkmark next to the file type. You can also add other file types by clicking the Add file type button.

We found using the ransomware feature easy and straightforward. Navigating to the protected file types list was simple, and there weren’t many steps involved.

AVG VPN

AVG VPN is a good option if you want to have secure Wi-Fi anywhere you go. You may visit coffee shops and other places where you can access free public Wi-Fi. If that’s the case, having AVG Secure VPN will let you browse online while staying hidden and protected.

You also don’t have to love to travel to need a secure VPN. If you use online banking or shop online, a virtual private network can help keep your data safe.

The AVG VPN gives you an encrypted connection that keeps your online activity private from others. That means hackers and even your internet service provider (ISP) won’t get access to what you do online.

You can even choose a different country’s server and surf or stream the web as if you were there. AVG Ultimate comes with AVG Secure VPN, but you can also buy it separately to pair with your preferred antivirus. 

AVG Secure VPN cost

Subscription plan 1-Year Plan 2-Year Plan3-Year Plan
Price per month $4.49/mo $4.39/mo $4.39/mo
Details Learn More Learn More Learn More

Need a VPN to stay safe online?

Check out our NordVPN review and see why it’s one of our most-recommended VPN providers.

Bonus features

AVG has a few bonus features that you can use to make your experience better. Some of these only work with specific operating systems or are for use with certain devices.

AVG Secure Browser

AVG offers free downloads of its Secure Browser. While there are a lot of customization options and it’s aesthetically pleasing, the browser itself isn’t very useful.

Our testing with AdBlock Tester and Cover Your Tracks found that the browser still allowed most ads and trackers to follow you around online. While there is a VPN feature built into the address bar of the browser, it’s only accessible through a paid subscription. Overall, this browser was lackluster and we’re going to stick with Chrome and Safari for our personal needs.

AVG's Secure Browser wasn't very secure at all — testing with the EFF's Cover Your Tracks tool showed it didn't block ads or trackers, and had a unique browser fingerprint.

AVG Secure Browser test results

Test AVG Secure Browser score
AdBlock Tester 39/100
Cover Your Tracks 0/3

There are a host of reasons to disable your antivirus, like needing to see if a performance issue is caused by the antivirus software or wanting to try out different software. 

Whatever your reason is, you don’t have to delete and reinstall your program. You can disable your AVG easily and reactivate it just as easily.

Sensitive Data Shield

Paid AVG subscribers get access to the Sensitive Data Shield feature, which scans your device for documents containing sensitive info and monitoring who has access to those files.

The Sensitive Data Shield is an additional security option for paid plans that scans your computer for documents containing banking info, passwords, IDs, your social security number, pay stubs, and anything else that might allow someone to steal your identity. This feature protects your data by monitoring what and who has access to these files.

Webcam protection

Webcam protection is a simple off-and-on toggle that locks down your webcam. Basically, it requires you to authorize every attempt to access your webcam. This means if a program tries to access your camera without your knowledge, you’ll be alerted. Options like this are great reasons to pay for an AVG antivirus plan.

AntiTrack

AVG AntiTrack is available with AVG Ultimate. Its meant to be a tool that prevents tracking and fingerprinting. Fingerprinting is when trackers can build a unique profile of you. The more unique your fingerprint, the easier it is to identify you.

AVG antivirus mobile app

AVG has both paid and free plans for iPhone and Android, but there are significantly fewer features on the free version of the app.

AVG offers a free mobile app for iPhone and Android, but its features are limited. You'll need to pay for the app to get the most protection.

If you’re looking to block viruses and protect against malware, the free app is good. If you’d like more features like securing your network connection or performance improvements, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.

AVG antivirus test results

To see how well antivirus protection works, we review testing results from third-party sites like AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives. AV-TEST bases scores on real-world scenarios. It uses the most current versions of products to ensure validity and balanced testing scores. 

For AVG, we reviewed its AV-TEST lab test scores. It scored 5.5 out of 6 for Windows, lagging behind on its performance scores. AVG was found to have slowed down computers when launching popular websites at 32% in September and 34% in October, while the industry average was only 21%.[1] Otherwise, AVG didn't have any issues software applications and files, so it should be a minor issue. It also had perfect scores of 6 out of 6 for Mac and Android devices.[2], [3]

As shown in the table below, AVG did not disappoint when testing for malware detection and usability. Other than some minor issues with slowdowns, you can trust AVG to protect your device from vulnerabilities without false positives. 

AVG antivirus AV-TEST results

Test type Windows 11 score (out of 6) macOS Ventura 13.5.1 score (out of 6) Android score (out of 6)
Protection 6 6 6
Performance 5.5 6 6
Usability 6 6 6
AV-TEST scores from Sep-Oct/2023.

Our AVG experience

We enjoyed using AVG antivirus and liked all the different types of scans available. Initially, we tested AVG on our MacBook Air using Big Sur OS, then later tested on a laptop running Windows 10. 

On our Mac, we first ran a Smart Scan. That’s AVG’s version of a quick scan. Then we went for the Deep Scan, which is the full scan that checks your storage drives and memory for malware. When it comes to software with all the bells and whistles, AVG has an impressive lineup. You can even scan removable media such as external hard drives and USB drives for extra security.

Our Deep Scan found no threats and sorted through over 1 million files in less than 14 minutes. We had the scan run while working on other projects with multiple browser tabs open and didn’t notice a lag in productivity.

Our AVG antivirus scanned over 1 million files in 13 minutes and 25 seconds, which is pretty darn fast for a deep scan.

We ran the Smart Scan and expected the time it took to be much shorter. It didn’t disappoint, taking about 10 seconds to complete. It is worth noting that it only scanned 2,072 files. But because this is a quick scan, we knew it wouldn’t be as in-depth as the Deep Scan.

Our AVG antivirus scan didn't find any viruses or malware after scanning 2,000 files.

We used the Scheduled Scans feature and ran a quick scan for potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) to see whether any malware issues existed in our folders.

You can schedule scans with AVG antivirus as well as scan manually or check on scan history.

We were impressed that it scanned 319 files in one second.

On our Windows PC, we had no trouble running a full disc scan. AVG quickly checked for viruses and malware, advanced issues, web browser issues, and performance issues in less than 5 minutes.

AVG scanned our PC in a jiffy and its antivirus scan tools were easy to use.

We also liked that AVG alerts you to any suspicious activity its Enhanced Firewall detects. If nothing is detected, it's reassuring to see a reminder that the firewall is protecting our network connection and device.

AVG keeps you up to date with alerts — and if no issues are detected, reassures you that its Enhanced Firewall is working.
AVGV antivirus firewall

If you’re looking for an antivirus program that you can customize with lots of scheduled scans and options to check your network and external drives, AVG is platinum-level software. But some may find its ease of use lacking, especially because AVG’s online guides don’t seem to be updated quite yet.

You should know you may need to play around with the settings to figure out how to use all of the features, as we did. Because the support pages seem a bit out of date, not all of the instructions worked for us, and we had to go through the settings to make some of the features work. Still, we think this is a good antivirus for the money and all the options that come with it.

AVG compatibility

If you’re looking for an antivirus compatible with your device, AVG likely has you covered. It even comes in different languages for Windows, iOS, and Android devices. Currently, Mac only supports English. If you use the following platforms, AVG has an available version:

  • Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11
  • macOS 10.11 or higher
  • Android 5.0 or above
  • iOS 10.0 or above (iPhone and iPad)

AVG customer support

Unfortunately, we cannot talk about a stellar customer support experience. We did place a call to support to ask some questions about the Enhanced Firewall feature location, and when the representative tried to tell us where to go under the menu settings, we didn’t have that option. The support person seemed at a loss, as were we. She was very kind, but it didn’t seem she knew how to help us.

The other thing we tried was to ask a question on the support page, but again to no avail. When we tried to select the options for the “paid subscription,” the page kept freezing. After several attempts, we were able to send an email to support. Before blaming the page freezing on AVG’s site, we checked that our other browser tabs were working without issue.

As far as options, AVG does list a few ways to reach out or search for answers:

AVG antivirus alternatives

AVG isn't for everyone and that's alright. There are plenty of antivirus programs that may be better suited to your cybersecurity needs. Here's some of the best antivirus software on the market that you can consider instead: 

  • TotalAV: TotalAV is a product that's easy to download, install, and begin using immediately. It's also budget-friendly and has received top marks from AV-TEST.

    Get TotalAV | Read Our TotalAV Review

  • Norton: Norton is a notable antivirus provider with a bundle for every need. Its wide variety of plans come with parental controls, password protection, identity theft protection, and more. 

    Get Norton 360 | Read Our Norton 360 Review

  • Bitdefender: Offering a full range of security tools, including a VPN, ransomware protection, a password manager, and parental controls, Bitdefender aims to provide comprehensive device protection. Its a reliable program if you want a full security suite at an affordable price.

    Get Bitdefender

AVG antivirus FAQs


+

Is AVG a good antivirus software?

AVG is a good antivirus software. You get plenty of features you can use to help keep malware off your device. You also get peace of mind since AVG scored near-perfect ratings when tested by AV-TEST.


+

Is AVG better than McAfee?

AVG is better than McAfee if you want webcam protection. If you want a product with other features, including parental controls and a password manager, McAfee is the winner.


+

Why should you not use AVG?

You should not use AVG if you’re looking for an antivirus program that’s simple at first glance. With all the scanning options, you may need some time to decide how you want to tweak this antivirus for your needs.


+

Is AVG antivirus really free?

AVG antivirus is free for the basic version. If you want a more premium edition, you’ll need to get the paid subscription, but you can still try before you buy with the 60-day AVG trial.


+

Is AVG antivirus safe?

By all accounts, AVG is a safe product to use. Since it claims not to sell data, AVG is a good free product to use as well.

Bottom line: Is AVG antivirus good?

AVG is an incredible antivirus with excellent protection scores. It comes with tons of features, such as Wi-Fi network protection and multi-device coverage. You also get protection from phishing, ransomware, and fake websites.

If you want a supreme antivirus with several features you can customize, AVG is the product for you. If you’re the type of person who wants a no-frills program that’s easy to navigate from the beginning, you may want to look at alternatives on our best antivirus software list.

4.8
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On AVG's website
AVG
  • Free version comes with malware, spyware, and ransomware protection
  • Includes unsafe email attachment blocking
  • Various scanning options may be confusing to some people
Author Details
Patti Croft is a seasoned writer who specializes in all things technology. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and carries a wealth of hands-on experience thanks to her background as a technical analyst and security specialist.

Citations

[1] AV-TEST Product Review and Certification Report – Sep-Oct/2023

[2] AV-TEST Product Review and Certification Report – Sep/2023

[3] AV-TEST Product Review and Certification Report – Sep/2023