AVG Antivirus Review 2022: How Does It Rate for Security?

AVG antivirus software has been around in the U.S. since 1991, but has it learned how to outpace modern threats? Read all about its antivirus features to find out.
Patti Croft, Author
Catherine McNally, Editor
Last updated Sep 9, 2022
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On AVG's website

  • Free version comes with malware, spyware, and ransomware protection
  • Includes unsafe email attachment blocking
  • May detect .exe files as malware, causing software issues

AVG antivirus is a safe option that won’t disrupt your system performance. The antivirus prevents new threats and can also spot existing malware on your device.

Boasting a malware protection rate of almost 100%, we think AVG 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.

We also like that you can also get a 10-device plan for $79.99. Some of the best antivirus software, such as Norton 360 Antivirus, won’t cover that many devices.

AVG antivirus overview

Price $46.68–$79.99/first yr
Free plan Yes
# of devices protected 1–10
Malware and virus scans Manual and scheduled
Firewall Free version: No
Paid version: Yes
Phishing protection Yes

All About Cookies 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 features
AVG antivirus test results
Our AVG experience
AVG compatibility
AVG customer support
AVG antivirus cost
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 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
  • May detect .exe files as malware, causing software issues
  • Various scanning options may be confusing to some people

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 of less than $50 if you only need coverage for one device.

[Callout box] If you buy a year’s subscription of AVG, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is nice if you want to be a savvy tech investor.

Malware and antivirus scan

AVG has a variety of scanning options to choose from. You can use the Smart Scan, Deep Scan, Targeted Scan for specific files or folders, External Storage 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.

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, and 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.

Firewall

According to their support page, AVG comes with an Enhanced Firewall option. When we tested the product, we weren’t able to access this feature. From the instructions, you should be able to select the Web & Email tile and open Enhanced Firewall.

When we went to the Web & Email section, we got a different screen that didn’t show an Enhanced Firewall option.

AVG says it comes with an Enhanced Firewall, but we were unable to see any settings or notifications for it on our version of the antivirus.

At the time of testing, we went through several different setting options and couldn’t find the Enhanced Firewall feature. That’s not to say it isn’t hidden somewhere within the program, but if we had some trouble finding it, we thought you might, too.

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 Shield feature that’s enabled by default. In the Ransomware Shield 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, getting AVG’s 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 backs its VPN feature with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it and see whether you like it.

AVG Secure VPN cost

Subscription plan 1 year 2 years 3 years
Price per year $53.88/first yr $105.36/first 2 yrs $158.04/first 3 yrs
Price as of 9/9/2022.

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.

The AVG Online Security browser extension lets you control who can access your data. It will warn you about possible phishing scams and malicious websites. According to the AVG support page, this is offered for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera browsers.

If you have an Android, you can also install the AVG Antivirus for Android and connect to a lost or stolen device. That gives you remote access to your phone from your AVG account. This is a valuable tool in case your mobile device goes missing because you can use it to locate your phone.

AVG also offers disk cleanup and device optimization with its TuneUp tool for Mac, PC, or Android. The AVG TuneUp tool resembles a Swiss army knife, with a registry cleaner, browser history cleaner, software uninstaller, and hard drive deep cleaner.

You also get other goodies, such as Sensitive Data Shield, webcam protection, and the AntiTrack feature. The AntiTrack feature works to prevent third parties from tracking your online activity and online behaviors.

AVG antivirus test results

The AV-TEST scores showed that AVG excelled in all categories. It scored 6 out of 6 for Windows and Mac.[1],[2] AVG also had a perfect score of 6 for Android devices.[3]

AV-TEST bases scores on real-world scenarios. It uses the most current versions of products to ensure validity and balanced testing scores. As shown in the table below, AVG did not disappoint when testing for malware detection, performance, and usability.

AVG’s detection rate in the AV-TEST lab tests was a perfect 100% for macOS, Windows, and Android. This includes zero false positives for each platform.

AVG antivirus AV-TEST results March, June, & July 2022

Test type Windows 10 score (out of 6) macOS Monterey score (out of 6) Android score (out of 6)
Protection 6 6 6
Performance 6 6 6
Usability 6 6 6
Test results as of 8/26/2022.

Our AVG experience

We enjoyed using AVG antivirus and liked all the different types of scans available. When we wanted to test out some of the scans on our MacBook Air using Big Sur OS, 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.

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 10.10 or higher
  • Android 6.0 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 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 more features for your money.

The AVG Internet Security version comes in at under $60 per year and covers up to 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 is not a high cost when you consider the number of devices you can include. In our Webroot review, we mention that it covers one to five devices.

When you want even more coverage, you can go for the AVG Ultimate plan for around $80 a year. You still get the 10 devices supported, and this plan also comes with a VPN and device optimization features. 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 $79.99/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
Prices as of 08/07/2022.

You can get a free trial for 60 days to try AVG Internet Security. At the end of the 60 days, you’ll get billed if you don’t choose to cancel. AVG also offers back-to-school discounts that you can take advantage of at the beginning of the school year.

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.


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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.

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.

Learn More
On AVG's website

  • Free version comes with malware, spyware, and ransomware protection
  • Includes unsafe email attachment blocking
  • May detect .exe files as malware, causing software issues

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 such as Avast, Malwarebytes, or Webroot.

Author Details
Patti Croft
Patti Croft has a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and an MBA. She's also a Certified Health Data Analyst through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Patti worked in Information Technology for 16 years and loves everything tech and gadgets!

Citations

[1] AV-TEST Product Review and Certification Report Mar/2022

[2] AV-TEST Product Review and Certification Report - May-Jun/2022

[3] AV-TEST Product Review and Certification Report - Jul/2022