AVG Antivirus Review

Established in 1991, AVG is one of the oldest computer protection companies in the world.  The company is headquartered in the United States, but maintains several European offices, including those in the UK, France, Cyprus and Germany and other countries.  AVG specializes in antivirus protection for Windows-based computers, and does not offer protection for Mac or Linux-based systems. 

 

Pricing

We were surprised to see that in the shopping cart AVG didn't immediately offer us the option for a 2 year commitment, something that most other antivirus providers promote aggressively.  Likewise, we noticed that there was no option available in the shopping cart to purchase products for more than 1 computer.  During the course of our AVG review, we chatted several times with the pre-sales team to find out the prices for packages that can serve multiple computers and for periods longer than one year.  In most cases, the representative we spoke to offered to send us a custom shopping cart, but was not able to direct us as to how to put the correct product in the cart independently.

Despite this minor inconvenience, however, we were satisfied to see that the pricing structure of AVG's antivirus software is priced competitively as compared with other antivirus packages such as ESET NOD 32

AVG also offers a package they call the Internet Security which includes all of the company's antivirus features as well as additional computer protection, including the blocking of hackers and phishing schemes and additional programs that are designed to make your internet run faster.  For your convenience, we've compared the pricing of the two services in the table below.  We've also included the pricing for the AVG Antivirus Business Edition, though it should be noted the AVG website provides prices for up to 200 computers for one or two year protection. 

Package 1 PC 2 PC
Antivirus 1 Year $39.99 $49.99
Antivirus 2 Years $59.99 $74.99
AVG Internet Security 1 Year $54.99 $64.99
AVG Internet Security 2 Years $84.99 $99.99
Antivirus Business Edition 1 Year NA $89.99
Antivirus Business Edition 2 Years NA $134.99

The pricing for AVG Internet Security is also reasonably-priced, and works as follows:

  1 Year 2 Years
1 PC $54.99 $84.99
2 PCs $64.99 $99.99

Finally, AVG offers antivirus solutions for businesses, and is available in one or two-year contracts for two computers or more. The price for AVG's antivirus for business starts at $89.99 for a one-year contract for two computers, and runs up to $4,834 for a two year contract for 200 computers. As is the case with AVG's personal antivirus packages, office managers or IT professionals can easily choose the business antivirus package they need from the dropdown menu available before entering the shopping cart.

Features

AVG antivirus offers most of the standard features offered by other antivirus companies, as well as some additional features, which are listed below.  Standout features include special protection for users who are members of online communities such as Facebook or MySpace, where links are circulated freely, with a higher risk of harming your computer.  

Feature  
Antivirus protection v_sign
Antispyware protection v_sign
Host-based intrusion prevention system (blocks unauthorized changes to programs) x_grey_sign
Removable media control (protects removable drives such as CDs, DVDs and flash drives) x_grey_sign
Anti-phishing protection v_sign
Malware detection v_sign
Automatic updates v_sign
Gamer mode v_sign
Antirootkit x_grey_sign
Protection against keyloggers x_grey_sign
Internet security training (educational service for users to help them protect themselves from online threats) x_grey_sign
Community protection v_sign
Protection from non-secure websites v_sign
Available for Macs x_grey_sign

It should be noted that AVG's website offers a features comparison page which lists the differences between its antivirus package and its internet security offering.  We were surprised to discover that this page does not properly represent either service, as they both offer many more features than were enumerated on the comparison page.  If you're truly interested in one of AVG's computer protection products, using the above feature list as a guide will help you better determine if this is the software for you.

Ease of Use

The process of installing AVG antivirus was relatively straightforward, and required little more than following the prompts provided.  Although the software offered us the choice between a quick install and a custom install, we chose the quick install, which is geared towards new or inexperienced users.  Downloading the software itself took 10 minutes, which is actually on the quick side when compared with some other antivirus software we reviewed. Uninstalling the program did take slightly shorter.  It would have been helpful if the service would have told us how long we could expect the download to take, as Eset NOD32 does, for example, so that we would know what to anticipate during the process.

AVG Install Options Norton Online Help Desk

Once the program was installed, we were asked to restart the computer. The system also immediately informed us that our computer was not fully protected, so we elected to run a scan which took over 10 minutes to complete. Once the scan began running, we were told that our computer is now fully protected, even before the scan was complete, a statement which we found somewhat baffling.

AVG AVG "Welcome Message"
AVG's LinkScanner on Google.com AVG's LinkScanner on Google.com
 

We also noticed that when the LinkScanner was active, it slightly altered the way our search engine results looked, confirming that AVG has scanned the sites in the results so that we would be secure during our search. We found this both reassuring and slightly distracting.  

Customer Support

Unlike some of the other top antivirus software services, whose customer service is extremely difficult to contact online, AVG's customer support is clearly accessible for both phone and chat inquiries.  We especially appreciated that the company's website divides their support section into three different parts; one for free users, one for paying home users and one for business customers.  This way, AVG users can get the support they need quickly and easily.

Throughout our review we chatted with customer support on 3 occasions, and always received prompt, helpful responses.  We especially appreciated that even when there was a minimal wait time, the system informed us what number we were online.  We also love the fact that chat support pings you gently when they respond, so you don't need to leave the chat window open.

avg-in-screenshot4

Chat with AV

On hold with AVG On hold with AVG

AVG also offers phone support which put us on hold for 3 minutes when we called. We found this to be fairly standard.

Awards and Certifications

Like most of the top antivirus software providers, AVG has won dozens of awards for its powerful technology and strong antivirus protection.  While a full list is available on the company's website, we've chosen to highlight a few that are especially respectable.

VIRUS BULLETIN 100 AWARD

AV-TEST CERTIFIED

AV Comparatives PERFORMANCE TEST - ADVANCED +

PC PRo recommended

ICSA LAbs antivirus testing

microsoft windows 7 certified

Highlights

  • Excellent customer support via live chats
  • High standard of protection for users of social community websites
  • Difficult to purchase products for multiple computers or multiple years
  • Not available for Mac users

Summary

A reasonable download time and accessible customer support illustrates that as a company, AVG has a very good understanding of the needs of real users.  Although AVG Antivirus was notably missing several of the features offered by its competitors, its antivirus software is more than suitable for those who use their computer relatively lightly, and its Internet Security package offers a more comprehensive alternative for heavier computer usage.   

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