Overall Score 86%

AVG Security Software

The Case for AVG

  • Same virus protection as AVG Antivirus plus extra security
  • In business 25 years (1990)
  • Well known for a strong user-support community
  • Average, basic malware 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 virus and malware protection proved mostly reliable with mostly minor issues (and one major one.)

For our first set of tests, we heavily infected our testing PCs with numerous malware samples (including viruses, rogueware, adware, trojans, and more), then activated AVG Internet Security and ran a full scan to see how well it would do at finding and removing our embedded malware samples.

For the most part, AVG did well.

No malware ran on reboot on any of the test PCs, and nothing was lurking in the background. This is an impressive feat by any measure.

However, our testing browsers were still hijacked by adware, and in each case desktop shortcuts for malware remained (even though they were inactive.)

It's a great performance in terms of threat removal but a poor one in terms of perceived threat removal. How do you grade that?

On one hand, we'd like to give them high marks for getting rid of the threats, but if most people will believe the threats still exist, you've missed the mark.

  • AVG Internet Security
    AVG Box
  • SCORE: 86%
AVG's real-time antivirus protection fared better. We started with clean testing PCs, updated AVG Internet Security, then tried to download and install malware onto them.

AVG did a great job blocking nearly all threats outright and deleting nearly everything else.

A few annoying adware samples got through, but after we rebooted, nearly everything was gone and our testing PCs were good as new.

Although imperfect, it was still impressive.

Now for concerning part: antiphishing.

Most Internet Security software will at least block some obvious phishing sites. Many block most or even all phishing threats.

AVG missed every. single. one. 100% failure.

Since this seems like an operator error, we double- then triple-checked on different PCs with different OSes. In each instance AVG said our web links were fully protected, and there were no other options to turn on "more" protection. Nothing. 100% failure.

We even went a step further and tested some very older phishing links that every antivirus software (and every competitor) should recognize by now. Nope. AVG missed 'em all.

So, AVG's while malware removal proved its merit, and its real-time antivirus protection ended up being very effective, and its antiphishing was terrible.

Firewall Protection: 69%

A good firewall is your best line of defense against threats to your PC. Think of it like a guard at a gate: only trusted people get in and out. Everyone else is turned away.

During our tests, AVG didn't perform very well in this task.

For the majority of our tests in fact, AVG failed.

Ports were open, browser hijacking attempts succeeded. Stuff that shouldn't happen was allowed to happen.

We expect much more from an Internet Security suite.

Resource Usage: 81%

AVG Internet Security was one of the heavier Internet Security suites we tested this year. When running idle, there was minimal system drag, but when running a full scan, AVG used nearly 14% of our computer resources. We noticed a slight drag when performing routine operations like web surfing and file downloading.

Boot-up time was fast, however, taking only a few more seconds when compared to a PC without AVG protection.

User Interface: 89%

Click images to enlarge

For the most part, AVG's user interface is good and easy to use. There are clearly labeled buttons for each section you may need to go into.

And, thankfully, unlike some competitors who've chosen to go the route of having stylishly tiny text, AVG has kept things well-sized and readable.

Every major area is marked with a green or red color to show if it's working correctly or not. It's a helpful feature we like.

There are advanced settings if you need them, and even those are well labeled and usable. (Most people won't need to delve into these parts of the software; those that do will find them easy to use.)

In the end, some might say the user interface for AVG Internet Security is a little dark and not very inspiring, but it gets the job done. We like it.

Technical Support: 70%

Aside from its antiphishing performance, AVG's technical support is its weakest part.

Their support page consists of a searchable knowledgebase but lacks any easy email, chat, or phone options to contact them.

After searching, the first thing you'll likely come across, as we did, is for virus removal help for $79.

Dig around some more and you'll likely see a form. Complete the form, and you're rewarded with a phone number.

Why AVG doesn't just print the phone number and make it less of a hassle for their paying customers is a mystery.

Compared to the excellent, easy-to-access tech support from VIPRE and ESET, AVG's shortcomings here are self-evident.

Conclusion - Overall Score: 86%

  • AVG Internet Security
    AVG Box
  • SCORE: 86%
  • Average antivirus protection
  • Easy to use interface
  • Heavy but acceptable resource usage
AVG has typically been an well-regarded Internet Security software, and this year is no different in most ways. Malware and virus protection was good, but its antiphishing can only be described as, "bad."

So, in spite of a well-thought interface and good malware and virus protection and removal scores, its score is dragged down by its failure in antiphishing and a mediocre firewall.

If you're a fan of AVG and have used it in the past, its good interface and good scores against viruses, it's worth considering as long as you're not relying on it its firewall or antiphishing filter.

Software Version 2016
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
Computer Protection
Web Browsing Protection
Identity Protection
Email Protection
Scan Options
Advanced Settings
Anti-spam Helps keep unsolicited emails out of your inbox. Scans and checks your emails for potential scams.
Social network protection Scans links that are posted on social network sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Email scanner Scans attachments for potential malware. Works with POP3, SMTP and IMAP accounts.

Antivirus Software Comparison

Rank Winner 2nd Place 3rd Place 4th Place 5th Place 6th Place 7th Place 8th Place 9th Place 10th Place
Score 97%94%91%89%86%83%77%77%73%69%
Antivirus Software

All Software Available for Instant Download
SAVE 29%

(no discount)
Bitdefender Box
SAVE 56%
Avast Box

(no discount)
SAVE 20%
Norton Box
SAVE 44%
Avira Box

(no discount)
Panda Box
SAVE 25%
Kaspersky Box
SAVE 31%
McAfee Box
SAVE 50%
Works with
Win 10
Works with
Win 8x
Works with
Win 7
Works with
Win Vista
Works with
Win XP
Malware Protection
Low Resource Usage
Social Network Protection
USB Scanning
Email Scanning
Easy to Use
Tech Support Based In
Costa Rica
Support Fee for Virus Removal $0 $0/$50* $99.99 $119.00 $119.00 $19.99 $0 $59.94 $99.99 $89.95
*Fees for virus removal may apply in some cases.

Explanation of Features

  • Malware Protection: Viruses, spyware, and trojans are all considered "malware" these days. Which software offers maximum protection against all forms of malware?
  • Low Resource Usage: Protecting a PC is important. Doing it while using as little CPU and memory is just as important.
  • Social Network Protection: There are just as many threats on Facebook and Twitter as well as other social sites. Good social network scanning is important.
  • USB Scanning: USB and other portable drives are one of the most dangerous and neglected points of entry for viruses and other malware. Good USB scanning is vital.
  • Email Scanning: Email has a long history of being an easy entry point for malware. Being able to detect and block threats to your PC is important.
  • Easy to Use: Is the software easy to use? Do the settings make sense? Is the software well organized? How well does the software compare?
  • Tech Support: No one wants to call tech support. Ever. If you do need to contact support, are they helpful, responsive, and accountable?