AVG’s Premium package packs the punch. It offers complete antivirus coverage for a PC, tablet, and smartphone at an affordable price. AVG also has several free mobile downloads, such as the basic mobile protection package, memory clean up tool, tune-up app, social media privacy fix, and even an image-editing tool.
AVG effectively blocks malware, as demonstrated in several independent IT tests. The antivirus technology that AVG uses involves multiple detection layers, which provides excellent PC protection. AVG scans for files matching known virus signatures, variants of the recognized viruses, software behavior that is characteristically malicious and hostile file behavior. AVG recently improved their method of sending virus signature updates to users. Daily file updates are small, so they don’t take as long, and it is no longer necessary to restart your computer after the update.
AVG’s use of a community protection network through cloud technology is a newer feature. All customers benefit from this cloud service that keeps track of prevalent computer files, a database that users can opt into contributing to.
While AVG does offer some kind of antivirus protection for most popular devices, these options are limited for Apple users. AVG has a basic free antivirus download for Macs, but not a premium protection product. They offer a few free downloadable apps for iPhones, but not the full protection that Android users get with the Antivirus Pro for Mobile. Also, the parental controls are not included with AVG’s standard antivirus products, but need to be purchased separately in a “family safety” package. Depending on your security preferences and needs, this could be a positive or a negative.
Price (*subject to change)
- AntiVirus $39.99 (1 year, 1 computer)
- Internet Security $54.99 (1 year, 1 computer)
- Premium Security $69.99 (1 year, 1 computer+1 smartphone+1 tablet)
- Antivirus Pro for Mobile $14.99 (basic protection is free)
- Family Safety $49.99 (1 year, 3 computers)
Free trial offer
All of AVG’s products are available to download for a 30-day free trial.
- Antivirus – Detects, blocks, and removes viruses and other malware. Includes app and file scanner and safe web surfing.
- Antitheft – Allows you to locate your missing device with the option to lock or wipe it remotely and get a picture of the new user.
- Privacy Protection – Users can password-protect apps individually, block spammers, hackers, and scammers, and block texts and calls from certain numbers.
- Performance Tracker – Helps you monitor your data plan usage, as well as optimize battery and storage performance.
- Social Network Protection – AVG’s link scanner assesses links exchanged through social media—before you click— in real time. The MultiMi app stays on top of email, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts and keeps all contacts and calendars in one place.
- Malware Protection – Blocks viruses, worms, spyware, rootkits, and other malware
- Data Encryption – Protects your private files in password-protected encryptions
- Firewall – Protects you from hackers while you’re shopping or accessing your online bank
- Identity Alert – Alerts you when your identity appears to have been misused or compromised
- Email Protection – Protects your email account from unwanted email, including spam and scams
- Tune-up – AVG Internet Security and Premium antivirus products come with a basic PC performance tune-up.
- Anti-Spy – Includes a “Do Not Track” feature, anti-spyware, WiFi guard, and data shredder
- Parental Controls – AVG’s Family Safety product monitors your child’s activities in chat rooms and social networking sites to help prevent online bullying and cyber-grooming. It also keeps track of searches on popular engines and the time they spend online.
In early 2013, AVG’s AV-Test results showed that the free AVG antivirus download provides above-average real-world protection against web and email threats. It did about average in detecting newly-discovered malware (the AV-Test reference set) and usability was also average. The 2013 AV-Comparatives gave AVG’s antivirus technology an advanced rating for file detection.
Tune-up & Speed
AVG’s Premium antivirus package includes a basic PC tune-up feature that maximizes computer connectivity, reduces download times, and enhances overall PC speed. AVG also sells a PC tune-up product separately, which frees up hard drive space and recovers accidentally deleted files in addition to speeding up internet connections and improving PC performance speed.
Most of the complaints filed with the BBB are from customers upset about AVG’s automatic subscription renewal—a practice not uncommon in the industry, and justified by the reality that leaving a computer unprotected, even just for a day, can be dangerous. While AVG refunded such customers with the subscription price, there were a couple cases in which customers were unprepared for the renewal and had been charged overdraft fees from their banks or had to pay for long-distance phone correspondence to cancel the subscription renewal—additional costs that AVG did not refund.
Time in Business
23+ years (founded in 1991)
The main headquarters is in Brno, Czech Republic and the U.S. headquarters is in San Francisco, CA.
AVG product subscribers get free technical support over the phone at any time, day or night.
- Intel Pentium processor 1.5 GHz or faster
- 512 MB of RAM
- 1000 MB free hard disk space (for installation)
Operating Systems Supported
- Windows XP and XP Pro x64 edition
- Windows Vista and Vista x64 edition
- Windows 7 and Windows 7 x64 edition
- Windows 8 and Windows 8 x64 edition
- Mac OS X Mountain Lion or higher (Mac)
- Android OS 2.1 and higher (mobile)
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