AVG Antivirus is one of the most popular antivirus software programs on the market today. With over 200 million active users worldwide, AVG has established itself as a household name in cybersecurity. But is AVG antivirus legit or scam? In this in-depth review, we’ll take a close look at AVG antivirus to see if it lives up to its reputation.
Overview of AVG Antivirus
AVG Antivirus is developed by Avast, one of the largest antivirus companies in the world. Is AVG antivirus legit? It provides real-time protection against malware, spyware, ransomware, phishing scams, and other online threats for Windows and Android devices.
Some key features of AVG antivirus include:
- Real-time scanning – Constantly scans files, apps, and network traffic for threats.
- Web shield – Scans downloads and blocks malicious sites.
- Email shield – Scans email attachments for malware.
- Ransomware protection – Prevents unauthorized changes to files.
- Firewall – Monitors network traffic and blocks suspicious connections.
- Vulnerability scanner – Checks for missing Windows and program updates.
- Junk file cleaner – Helps free up disk space by deleting unused files.
In addition to the free version, AVG offers three paid subscription plans:
- AVG Internet Security – Adds advanced ransomware protection, webcam security, and file encryption.
- AVG Ultimate – Includes all features of Internet Security, plus tune-up utilities and premium technical support.
- AVG Premium – Multi-device license covering PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.
Next, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using AVG antivirus.
Pros of Using AVG Antivirus
Strong Malware Protection
Multiple independent tests confirm that AVG provides excellent protection against viruses, spyware, ransomware, and other types of malicious software. For example, AV-Test Institute gave AVG a perfect 6 out of 6 score for malware protection in their latest round of testing.
AVG antivirus uses heuristic scanning in addition to signature-based detection to identify new and emerging threats. This allows it to block new malware strains without needing an updated virus definition database.
Lightweight System Footprint
One common complaint against antivirus software is that it slows down system performance. AVG is designed to have a minimal impact on CPU and RAM usage, allowing your computer to run smoothly.
According to PassMark Software’s benchmarks, AVG antivirus has around a 5% impact on system performance. This makes it one of the lightest antivirus solutions available.
Simple, Intuitive Interface
The AVG antivirus interface provides instant access to scans, update options, and security statuses. Even less tech-savvy users can easily understand how to perform critical security tasks.
Useful features like the PC Analyzer quickly identify vulnerabilities and guide you through strengthening protection. AVG antivirus also offers a minimalist Game Mode to disable notifications while playing full-screen games.
Strong Phishing Protection
Phishing scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated and harder to recognize. AVG’s link scanning immediately flags malicious and suspicious links to prevent you from visiting phishing sites.
Testing by SE Labs showed AVG had a 97% detection rate against phishing URLs, outperforming many competitors. The anti-spam filter also blocks the majority of scam and phishing emails.
Light on System Resources
One common complaint against antivirus suites is that they slow down system performance. AVG Antivirus aims for minimal impact on CPU and RAM usage so your PC feels responsive.
According to benchmarks by PassMark Software, AVG only had around a 5% impact on system performance – making it one of the lightest antivirus solutions available.
Free and Paid Options
AVG Antivirus is available in both a free version and three paid suites with additional features. This allows you to choose the right level of protection for your needs and budget.
The free version includes essential malware scanning, phishing protection, and real-time security updates. Paid options add advanced ransomware defense, firewall, online privacy tools, and premium support.
Cons of Using AVG Antivirus
Detection Rates Could Be Better
While AVG antivirus receives high scores in independent antivirus tests, its protection rates typically fall slightly short of top competitors like Bitdefender and Kaspersky.
In AV-Test Institute’s latest evaluation, AVG allowed a handful of zero-day malware samples to slip through. However, its overall detection scores still met the minimum for certification.
No Parental Control Features
Many leading antivirus companies like McAfee and Norton include parental controls to block inappropriate content and limit screen time. AVG lacks any integrated parental control tools.
If you need to monitor children’s device usage, you’ll have to install separate parental control software or use built-in Windows/Android features. This makes AVG less ideal for families.
No Permanent File Shredder
AVG offers a basic file shredder in the tuner tool of its paid suites. However, this only allows you to shred individual files rather than disk wiping.
To permanently delete sensitive data before disposing of a hard drive, you would need third-party disk shredder software. Competitors like McAfee let you wipe full drives from within the antivirus console.
Moderate System Impact
While lighter than many competitors, AVG still has a moderate impact on system resources. In PassMark’s benchmark testing, AVG antivirus reduced the performance of standard activities like copying/unzipping files by around 15%.
Users with older or lower-powered PCs may notice some sluggishness during antivirus scans. Turning off automatic scanning can help minimize performance impact.
Bare-Bones Malware Protection
AVG’s free antivirus focuses on core malware protection without many bonus features. It lacks a virtual private network (VPN), vulnerability scanner, password manager, or PC cleanup tools.
If you want extra privacy, performance, and identity protection tools, the free version leaves much to be desired. You need to upgrade to a paid suite to get AVG’s full feature set.
AVG Antivirus Pricing
AVG antivirus offers flexible pricing options to suit different budgets and needs:
AVG AntiVirus FREE – $0
The free version supports 1 PC with core antivirus capabilities but no extra features.
AVG Internet Security – $79.99/year
1-year subscription for 5 devices total (PC/Mac). Adds a firewall, ransomware protection, webcam security, and tune-up tools.
AVG Ultimate – $99.99/year
1-year subscription for unlimited devices across any platform. Includes all features of Internet Security plus additional identity protection tools.
AVG Premium – $129.99/year
1-year subscription for unlimited devices. Designed for full cross-platform protection on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Provides device optimization and premium support.
Overall, AVG antivirus is competitively priced compared to other top antivirus brands like Norton, McAfee, and Kaspersky. The unlimited device plans offer good value for protecting multiple PCs and smartphones.
AVG frequently offers discounts around 50-60% off the regular pricing above. It’s best to only purchase when they have a sale running rather than paying full price.
AVG Antivirus Ease of Use
Installation and Setup
Installing AVG Antivirus is quick and straightforward:
- Download the AVG installer file from the company website.
- Run the installer, accepting the license agreement.
- The installer will download the latest program files and virus definitions.
- Once finished, AVG will open to the main dashboard.
By default, AVG antivirus enables scanning and real-time protection. No further configuration is required for basic security.
Total setup time is typically under 10 minutes unless you need to disable other antivirus programs first. Overall, AVG has one of the easiest and most seamless installation processes.
Is AVG antivirus Legit? User Interface
The AVG interface is clean and intuitive, with four main tabs:
PC Status – Displays your current protection status and recommendations to improve security.
Scan – Options to run quick, full, or custom scans on demand.
Tune Up – Tools to clean junk files, update software, and optimize system performance.
My Apps – Manage subscriptions and installed AVG products.
Key settings like virus scans and firewall controls are easily accessible from the main menu. Less tech-savvy users can comfortably navigate and understand the interface.
Scanning and Quarantine
Starting an antivirus scan is simple – just click the “Scan Now” button on the PC Status page. You can choose a quick scan of critical areas or a full scan of the entire system.
Once complete, AVG displays a summary of results and any threats found. It quarantines dangerous files automatically to prevent infection.
The vault utility lets you safely restore any quarantined files that were flagged incorrectly. Overall, AVG makes scanning your system and handling threats convenient.
AVG provides the following support resources:
- Knowledge Base – Contains detailed guides and FAQs on using AVG products and resolving issues.
- Community Forum – You can post questions and get help from AVG customers and staff.
- Support Tickets – Submit a technical support request by email 24/7. Paid subscribers get faster response times.
- Live Chat – Chat with a support agent online during business hours. For paid members only.
- Phone Support – AVG maintains telephone support lines for premium subscribers needing immediate assistance.
Support options are decent for the free version, but paying members get priority service and direct access to tech specialists.
AVG Antivirus Security Performance
AV-Test Institute Score
One of the most authoritative third-party testing labs for antivirus software is AV-Test Institute based in Germany. They regularly evaluate top antivirus brands in three key categories:
- Protection – Ability to detect and block malware attacks.
- Performance – Impact on system speed during active scans.
- Usability – Ease of use, setup, and documentation quality.
In their most recent test in July 2023, AVG received a perfect 6 out of 6 star rating in all three categories. AVG detected 100% of widespread malware and 99.7% of zero-day threats.
AVG maintained high performance standards with only minor system slowdowns during scanning. Reviewers also noted the straightforward interface and setup process.
AV-Comparatives Malware Protection Test
AV-Comparatives is an independent research lab based in Austria that conducts rigorous antivirus testing. In their February – June 2022 Malware Protection Test, AVG scored as follows:
- Malware Protection Score – 99.5%
- Real-World Protection Test – 99.5%
- Malware Protection Test – 99.4%
- Overall Ranking – Standard tier
With nearly perfect scores across the board, AVG demonstrated excellent capabilities to block malware under real-world conditions. It ranked in the second-highest “Standard” tier among 19 top antiviruses based on its performance.
SE Labs Home Anti-Malware Protection Report
UK cybersecurity firm SE Labs evaluates antivirus solutions for home users. In their latest Home Anti-Malware report (July – September 2022), AVG received:
- Protection Accuracy – 100%
- Legitimate Software Accuracy – 100%
- Total Accuracy – 100%
AVG maintained perfect protection scores by blocking all 300 malware samples used in the test, including targeted attacks. It also avoided any false positives by correctly allowing all legitimate software.
SE Labs awarded AVG AAA certification as a result of its flawless test performance. AVG excelled at handling real-world threats from cyber criminals.
So is AVG antivirus legit? Based on third-party testing results and expert analysis, AVG is certainly an effective and trustworthy antivirus program. It provides robust malware detection capabilities with minimal impact on system performance.
While it may not be quite as comprehensive as top competitors from Bitdefender and Kaspersky, AVG still offers excellent protection at a more budget-friendly price point. The user interface is also refreshingly simple for an antivirus suite.
For the average home user looking for solid antivirus protection at low cost, AVG is definitely a viable option to consider. It earns top marks for malware blocking and ease of use.
Just be aware of some limitations like the lack of parental controls or permanent file shredding. Power users may want to compare with other brands that offer a fuller range of security tools.
Overall, AVG ticks all the key boxes for a legitimate, capable antivirus able to safeguard Windows and Android devices. With over 200 million users worldwide, AVG has established a trusted brand in cybersecurity.