Overall Score 78%

AVG AntiVirus Software Review

The Case for AVG

  • In business 25 years (1990)
  • Best known for their strong user community
  • Average, basic antivirus protection
  • Easy to use
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Made in the Czech Republic
  • India phone tech support
(1-PC / 1-Year)
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by Kevin R. Smith, Co-Editor
Virus & Spyware Protection: 72%

AVG's overall virus and malware protection performed well in some of our tests but missed the mark in others.

For our first set of tests, we heavily infected our testing PCs with a host of malware, including trojans, viruses, rogueware, etc, then ran a full-system scan with AVG AntiVirus.

AVG did a good job, detecting and removing the majority of embedded threats. Unfortunately, our browsers were still hijacked by foreign adware, and there were still a lot of leftover desktop icons, despite their being rendered inactive by AVG, leaving the impression that malware remained even though all that was left were the harmless icons.

When we looked for any malware lurking in the background, consistently we found nothing, which was impressive.

AVG's real-time protection fared well, too. For our tests, we installed a clean and updated version of AVG, then tried to download and install a wide array of malware samples.

  • AVG AntiVirus Software
    AVG Box
  • SCORE: 78%
Malware files were instantly blocked or flagged for removal by AVG. The adware that did get through was cleaned up after a reboot, when nearly everything was removed leaving our testing PCs good as new.

Now for the concerning point: antiphishing. During our tests, we sampled a wide range of live, active phishing sites to see how well an antivirus software will do. AVG didn't block any of them. Not one.

In fact, we thought this had to be an error, and double- and triple- checked on different test PCs to make sure AVG was configured correctly. It was. AVG just failed to detect or block any phishing sites.

We even went one step further and tested some older phishing links that all antivirus software should easily detect. Not AVG AntiVirus. Failed again.

So, while we're happy to see antiphishing included in a basic antivirus software, and normally we'd award bonus points for having it, in this case we have to remove points because of the false sense of security given.

Resource Usage: 82%

Last year AVG was the champ in the resource use department. This year, AVG uses a more than it did last year and in fact more than some competition. On balance it's still within acceptable range.

When running idle, AVG ran nearly silent in the background. When running a full-system scan, AVG used about 14% of our computer resources on average. It may be a bit higher than we'd like to see, especially from the reigning champ of resource use, but it's still acceptable.

Boot-up time was a few seconds slower than the competition but shouldn't pose a problem for most people.

User Interface: 89%

Click images to enlarge

AVG's user interface is easy enough to use. Green and red colors clearly indicate which sections are active and protected, and which are not.

Each major section is clearly identified with easy to read buttons for easy access.

There are a decent number of advanced options for more detailed control for those who need it, and they do a fairly good job of presenting the options without making them overwhelming.

Overall, it's a well-executed interface. McAfee would be well-served to study AVG's interface.

Technical Support: 70%

As is the case far too often with competitors, too, technical support is AVG's weakest feature.

There's a searchable knowledge base with lots of good information, but getting access to full, free support from qualified technicians is invaluable, and with AVG it's difficult to do.

Yes, they have phone support, but first you have to fill out a form, complete with a description of the problem, to even get to SEE the phone number exposed on their site.

The best part: repeating the same thing you just entered into the form aaaagain for their techs moments later when you speak to someone. Maddening.

To us, this rigamarole is a huge wart on otherwise very good software. Apparently, customer needs weren't considered when they built this system.

Next, AVG doesn't provide free help with virus removal as VIPRE, ESET, and Norton do.

This means if you get infected while using AVG, you're stuck with self-help options unless you're willing to pony up a $79 virus removal fee.

Conclusion - Overall Score: 78%

  • AVG AntiVirus Software
    AVG Box
  • SCORE: 78%
  • Average antivirus protection
  • Poor tech support
  • Bad antiphishing
Given that AVG just missed being the Editors Choice Runner-Up last year, we were hoping for a closer race this year.

Despite a well-executed interface and impressive real-time virus protection, their complete failure to block any phishing sites was a major setback.

And then, there's their tech support which is still tooth gnashingly frustrating.

Overall, if you're a fan of AVG AntiVirus, it's a good choice, just keep in mind the results we saw with our antiphishing tests.

Software Version 2019
Supported Operating System (OS) Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP
Minimum RAM Required 512 MB
Minimum Space Required 1300 MB
Required Processor Speed 1.5 GHz
Money-back Guarantee 30 Days
Software Manufacturer AVG
Click images to enlarge
Home Screen
Computer Protection
Web Browsing Protection
Identity Protection
Email Protection
Scan Options
Email scanner Scans your email attachments for potential threats. Works with POP3, SMTP, and IMAP accounts.
Social network protection Scans links within your social network feed (such as Facebook or Twitter) for potential threats.