AVG Antivirus Free Review: Can Anyone Top It?

After several years in the market, this brand has come to be one of the most renowned security companies in the market. Many others have appeared, but a lot of people across the globe still choose it in 2021. What is curious is the popularity of the free version. This is, in part, because it offers many of the same characteristics as other paid options. But is there a catch? Read this AVG antivirus free review to find out!

Emily Brooks

Emily Brooks - Editorial Staff

Updated: January 15, 2021

AVG Antivirus Free Review: In-Depth

AVG free is one of the most popular apps when it comes to online security for Windows and other systems. They have become well-known thanks to their free version, which has great reviews and offers most of the things everyone needs. To get the full picture of what they include, where they come from, and more, read this AVG antivirus free review.

Key Features

  • Protection against online threats and attacks, like malware and phishing
  • Constant update of virus definitions
  • Detection and blocking of suspicious downloads and links
  • Many types of scans
  • Compatible with Android, Mac, and Windows
  • They test emails, including their attachments

Background Information

AVG antivirus free was developed in Czechoslovakia in 1992. At the beginning of the 2000s, this company expanded to new countries until it went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012. They are well-known for their great antivirus software, which is available for Windows, macOS, and Android.

Their system is known as freeware. They have a version at no cost that comes with ads and a limited number of functions. If they want, users can upgrade to a paid version to get the other functions and an ad-free experience. In this way, the company makes money anyway.

This system is used equally on mobile devices as well as on computers, as 100 million people out of the 200 million users have this software on their Android phones.

On a desktop computer, this tool can be used on any system from Windows XP onwards. But the only ones to receive updates are the versions from Windows 7 and on.

The latest update regarding this company is that in 2016, Avast decided to buy it for $1.3 billion.

Features: All the Basics are Covered

AVG antivirus free has a complete array of functions that can be used at no cost. Some of them will have extended functionality with the paid plans, but the basic things will be available for everyone to use, like attack detection and test. Here is the complete list of all the features this app includes.

Interface: Simple and Friendly

The program uses a great set of greys, blacks, and whites as background, which makes it easy to stand out the attacks alert when they come out. On the upper part of the app, there is a section with all the current info of the system – for example, computer, email, identity, web, and firewall status.

On the lower part, there is a large, flashy sign reminding the user to upgrade to the paid version in order to enjoy all the functions.

Lab Scores: Top Results

This company sends its software an independent party to run a test to ensure the high quality of its products. It got the best score, Advanced +, in three of the four available categories. In the other one, it got an Advanced, which is the second-best. Then, it was tested for these metrics too, and it got these scores:

  • Protection: 6/6
  • Performance: 5.5/6
  • Usability: 6/6

This is a very good result, as it is quite close to the best mark. It is worth noting, though, that many of its competitors got the 18 points in this test.

Malware Protection: Stop Even the New Ones

To protect users against dangerous stuff from the Internet, this software uses different tools. After testing each email, file, and link, it decides if it is safe enough.

  • Some tests have proven that this program blocks 89% of all the possible infections.
  • If it reviews a file and does not recognize it, the app will prevent it from running and will send it to be analyzed by the team.
  • If the results are good, it will let the program work as intended.

Phishing Protection: Avoid Scams

AVG Phishing Protection
Phishing refers to a website that tries to fool people to give them their money. They usually look like banks or online stores when people visit them.

  • Most security companies have a blacklist of the pages that do this, but new ones appear all the time.
  • This is why this brand offers a service that recognizes on the spot how trustable these sites are.
  • The good news is that it gets it right 98% of the time by analyzing the images and the code. This is an incredible feat.

Scan Choices: No Virus will Escape

There are many scan options in this program.

  • The first one is triggered when pressing the big button. It works fast, but it does not review the whole computer. Instead, it only looks for superficial issues. Mostly, it tries to find active malware only.
  • Those who want a full review of the apps on their home PC should choose the Deep Scan option. This tends to take approximately two hours.
  • There is also the possibility of running a Boot-Time Scan, which works when the computer is turning on to help keep malicious files from protecting themselves.

Bonus Features: Lots of Extras

Besides protection against online threats, this software also comes with these complementary functions.

  • This tool reviews the online purchases one makes and based on the data. It looks for lower prices. If it finds them, or any coupon that could be used in this situation, it lets the user know.
  • There is also a Do Not Disturb mode to delay scans and notifications in case one is busy.
  • And the last important bonus feature is that it allows people to shred files. This means that they are overwritten so that no one can recover them later on.

Passive Mode: Try Other Options

This tool disables all types of active help and protection. In this way, users can use more than one antivirus at a time without them clashing with each other. In this mode, the app still receives new virus definitions and updates.

This is useful in case one wants to use the program for manual scans from time to time. But there will be no active protection at all times.

File Shredder: Delete Them Forever

AVG File Shredder
This bonus feature gives users the chance of deleting a file permanently without the possibility of recovery. It works by erasing the document and then overwriting it. This is the safest way to get rid of a file that no one else should have access to since not even specialized programs can get it back. The best part is that this can be done at no cost, which is not common.

Security and Privacy Features: Threats Stay Away

AVG antivirus free comes with some extra functionalities to ensure security and privacy for the users. For example, the TuneUp tool will scan the device for duplicate files and delete the unwanted version to boost speed.

There is also a free trial of their secure VPN and the option to reboot the system if there is a persistent virus it cannot get rid of.

Protection and Performance

The free AVG antivirus does everything an app of this sort should do. For starters, it protects people from the most current threats they can encounter. And the best part is that it does so without affecting the home device’s speed. To learn more about what types of protection it offers and how it affects the performance, read on.

Daily Updates: Protection Against the Latest Viruses

There are new threats coming up all the time. The team knows this, and that is why they are constantly updating their virus definitions to keep devices protected from all the latest malware. And if it detects that something suspicious is about to attack, it will send a sample to Avast’s labs and prevent it from running in the meanwhile.

Minimal Impact: Top-Notch Performance

AVG antivirus free has been tweaked to maximize performance. It can run on the background and even perform a full scan without slowing down the home device. Of course, this will depend on the computer’s hardware too. But in most cases, this should not be a problem.

Excellent Scores: Tested by the Best

This company has its products tested by third-parties all the time to ensure great quality without biases. AV comparatives, for example, declared that this software:

  • has the highest score for performance and protection;
  • does not tend to have false positives;
  • blocks 99.6% of threats.

Now Mac Compatible: Anyone Can Use It Now

In the past, the products of this brand were not used well on Apple. But the team has been working to solve this problem and now can ensure full compatibility with Mac home computers.

Installation & Setup

AVG Installation & Setup

The overall experience is quite good. Downloading and installing this software can be done in just minutes by practically anyone. Follow these steps to do it in a jiff.

The Download Process

The process of getting the free AVG installer is quite straightforward. One only has to: 

  1. Visit the official site and enter the store.
  2. There, there will be the possibility to choose between the free plan and the paid ones.
  3. Just click on “Free Download”, and it will start automatically after a few seconds.

Setup

Once the setup file has already been downloaded, the steps to follow are these:

  1. Just open the freshly downloaded file and select the desired language.
  2. Then accept the company’s terms and conditions.
  3. Just make sure not to click on one of their ads. They will try to make users accept installing other paid software. Ignore this and continue.
  4. Shortly after, a new page will open on the browser, confirming that the installation process was successful.

AVG Antivirus Free Pricing

This company is known for its free software supported by ads. Still, if people want to avoid these as well as getting more functions, they can easily upgrade to one of the paid plans. There are two premium options depending on what the user is looking for, and they are available for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows.

AVG Antivirus FREE AVG Internet Security AVG Ultimate
Price per year Free $89.99 $119.99
Number of devices Unlimited 10 10
Blocks viruses and malware Yes Yes Yes
Scanning Yes Yes Yes
Constant updates Yes Yes Yes
Protection against ransomware No Yes Yes
Wi-Fi verification No Yes Yes
Fake website avoidance No Yes Yes
Protection against phishing No Yes Yes
TuneUp No No Yes
Secure VPN No No Yes

AVG Antivirus FREE

AVG Antivirus FREE

This is the basic plan and comes at no cost. It has all the things most people need. It gives basic protection against viruses as well as the option to scan the device as many times as one wants with different levels of thoroughness. It also gets updated constantly when new threats appear.

Pros:

  • Good enough for most
  • Thorough scans
  • Protection against most viruses
  • Recurrent updates
  • No cost

Cons:

  • No protection against ransomware
  • No TuneUp available

AVG Internet Security

AVG Internet Security

This plan is the one that will meet the needs of those who need the best in security. It has a 30-day trial so that people can check it out. It also has all the important safety procedures of the industry, like protection against phishing and ransomware.

Pros:

  • Complete security package
  • Protections against ransomware and phishing
  • 30-day trial
  • Wi-Fi verification
  • Avoids fake websites

Cons:

  • No bonus features
  • No VPN

AVG Ultimate

The Ultimate package has all the security functions of the previous plan plus a few very valuable bonus features. It has TuneUp functionality, which will look for the aspects that are slowing down the device and solve them. And also, it has a VPN, with which people can hide their IP and make sites believe that they are in some other place.

Pros:

  • All the security features
  • TuneUp for better performance
  • VPN for discretion
  • Can be used in 10 devices
  • Everything AVG has to offer

Cons:

  • No trial period
  • Pricier than the competition

Other Products & Additional Features

AVG Other Products & Additional Features

AVG antivirus free and paid plan plans come with some additional features. Some of them are available for all the options, while some can only be used by those who are willing to pay for the premium packages. These are all the extra products and functions that this brand offers.

  • TuneUp. This tool is included in the most expensive avg virus protection plan. It helps to boost the performance of the device
  • Driver update. Included in the free AVG and premium plans, this feature looks for all the latest updates constantly.
  • Secure VPN. Only available for the most advanced package, it boosts the security of the Wi-Fi network and gives access to restricted content.
  • Secure browsing. Keeps ads and threats away with this extension for browsers.
  • Clean Mac. Get rid of all the unwanted files on an Apple computer with just one click.

Features for Businesses

Businesses who get a special plan for their needs can also access the following functions.

  • File server business edition. This scanner protects company info from different threats.
  • Antivirus for businesses. Protects the whole business network from malware, email spam, phishing sites, and other types of threats.
  • Internet security businesses. It also includes an extra layer of spam protection for the inbox and the server.

Best For

AVG antivirus free is rather flexible, and it suits the needs of different groups of people. This program is ideal for the following.

  • Non-tech-savvy users. This program is very simple to use, and it has a user-friendly interface.
  • Demanding users. It has many features in only one package, which will probably please even the pickiest people.
  • Preventing ransomware. This is a very common practice, and it is usually included only in premium packages, but not with free AVG! Here it is included at no cost.

This tool will work wonders for those who want flexible but basic protection. It has all the common features plus a few advanced ones. But to have all of the most important features, paying is necessary.

Ease of Use

This tool is very simple to use, as many people say on their AVG antivirus review. Its design is user-friendly, as it has all the important features at the front. In this way, people can scan the devices, get a report on the status of the computer, and more, in just one place.

It also uses shiny colors and alerts to let people know if there is an emergency. In this way, with only one look, people will know instantly if there is something they should work on.

Customer Experience

This company has a reputation for many years, and it is known throughout the world for its security measures. But is its reputation good in all aspects? Mostly it is. Many clients claim to be satisfied with what it offers. But there is still some room for improvement. Read on to see what previous clients say about it.

Terms and Guarantees

This section is quite controversial, as expressed on an AVG antivirus review. It clearly states that Avast reserves the right to sell the info they gather from their clients to third parties. Of course, this is anonymized so that these other companies cannot know where the data comes from. But still, in case of a leakage, this info may be acquired by hackers.

On the positive side, Avast has a refund policy of 30 days. If a user is not happy with the service, he can request his money back, no questions asked. In this sense, this is a risk-free purchase.

Customer Support

AVG Customer Support
Since this company was bought by Avast not too long ago, they now share the same support team. So, when one clicks on the customer care site, he is redirected to the Avast’s site. Their main and only means of contact is through tickets. People can visit the website, leave the info, and a representative will shortly get back in touch to help by email.

Reviews

Most people claim to be satisfied with the performance of this tool on their AVG antivirus review. It does not affect the speed of the device, and it finds all kinds of threats easily. They also say that the support team is quick to answer, though some say that they would like to have the option to make phone calls or chat online.

Still, some people claim to be worried about the news about possible data leaks to third parties. Many people wonder, “is AVG antivirus safe?”This company admits having sold anonymized data to others, which not everyone agrees with.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is AVG Antivirus Free Any Good?

    Yes. The free version has all the features that most people will need in their day-to-day lives. It allows people to scan the computer, detect potential harming programs on the spot, and more. It is flexible and has everything one could need. Only bear in mind that their business model survives on ads, so if these are annoying, one might consider upgrading to the premium antivirus option.

  • Is AVG Antivirus Legitimate?

    Yes. It is free because it has ads. The creators make money by showing them. And if the person decides to upgrade to a better plan, then they make money from the subscription. It is always a win-win situation for all. This is why there is no need to be suspicious. The software is legit as it does not make money by affecting people negatively.

  • Is McAfee Better than AVG?

    It all comes down to what people like. Both of them have excellent performances in every aspect. McAfee offers some more features in its free version than AVG antivirus free. And its premium plan is more affordable. But still, both of them are excellent options to keep one’s computer safe.

  • Does AVG Slow Down Your Computer?

    Every program running in the background will use some of the resources of the computer. Yet, this does not mean that the computer will work more slowly. Actually, most reports agree that AVG antivirus free does not have any perceivable effects. Still, those who have computers with not many resources may notice some effects from time to time.

  • Is Basic AVG Protection Enough?

    It depends on the needs of each user. It should be enough for those looking for basic security against malware, phishing, and others, and not much more. Yet, those who would like the extra features, like a safe VPN, password protection, and more, will probably prefer to pay the extra.

  • Can You Have AVG and McAfee Together?

    Yes, it is possible to have both of them installed at the same time. But they should not be active together. This means that when one of them is in charge of protecting the PC, the other should not have real-time protection working. Scans should not be done together either.

Pros & Cons

Based on every AVG free review available, it is possible to know which are the strengths and weaknesses of this software. Some of the cons can be easily solved by upgrading to a higher plan. But some others are inherent to the brand. These are all the pros and cons of this app.

Pros:

  • Top-notch results in independent testing
  • Simple to use and friendly design
  • Plans are not expensive
  • Does not affect performance
  • Complete security package for free

Cons:

  • 30-day trial only for one plan
  • Data leak scandal

Is It the Best Free Antivirus Around?

All in all, AVG antivirus free is certainly one of the top options for those who are looking for a security solution for their devices at no cost in 2021. It covers all the basics and more. Still, there are some things that should be improved, like their privacy policy. Those who are looking for a free or affordable tool for their laptops, desktop computers, or cell phones can rest easy with this brand.


Emily Brooks

Editorial Staff

As a journalist, Emily draws on her rich experience in home safety and seeks to research more on the topic. She is truly passionate about her interests. Emily is knowledgeable about security systems due to the in-depth studies that she has conducted for Securing Home.


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