While you've probably heard of AVG and its strong reputation for security and performance, did you know that it offers a choice of three products that not only provide security and privacy but also tools to help your PC run better?
AVG is also one of the more affordable options in the market, meaning you get excellent protection for multiple devices for a single great price. Thanks to its great security tools, AVG offers you strong protection without making your computer slow down. Overall, it’s an intriguing option if you’re in the market for affordable protection.
The first thing that impressed me about AVG is that the company is always at the top of the list when major labs test antivirus products. These lab tests have found that AVG stopped every single attack it detected, and even 99% of attacks it did not know about previously, also known as zero-day attacks. This is important because a lot of times your computer is attacked not by well-known viruses, but by new tactics antiviruses don’t know about. The company also got perfect scores from Virus Bulletin and is a proud member of the company’s VB100 list. AVG ranks as highly as Avast and is even higher than big names like McAfee, Kaspersky, and BitDefender.
Antivirus Scanner Is Always on in the Background
AVG’s first line of defense against hacks and malware attacks is its powerful antivirus, which protects you against a variety of common exploits. The AVG antivirus scanner is always on and keeps track of any changes you make to files and folders, guaranteeing that nothing happens without you knowing.
More importantly, it can make your scans faster after the first time with Turbo Scans, which ignore folders and files AVG has already checked and remain unchanged. If AVG antivirus does detect a problem, it sends it to a special ThreatLab team to check it out and let the rest of the AVG network know.
Enhanced Firewall Offers Protection from Ransomware
More important, though, is that AVG is more than just an antivirus. The company also provides its Enhanced Firewall, which keeps any suspicious activity and traffic from reaching your computer or device.
More importantly, AVG protects you from ransomware, a tactic that is becoming more popular every day and is very dangerous. Ransomware protection includes regular scans and a special folder that is encrypted, where you can store all your most sensitive files, photos, and more to make sure no one can steal them. You can even choose which programs can change these files at all.
Payment Protection Watches Your Email for Scams
One last feature that impressed me is AVG’s Payments Protection. The company’s products monitor your email for possible spam and scams that are a cover for fraud. If AVG detects the website, you’re visiting and shopping on is suspicious, it will instantly notify you and help you avoid losing your personal information and password.
Defend Yourself While Browsing the Web
One of the best features AVG offers is its Email Shield Tool, which keeps your inbox safe from phishing attacks, spam, and other scams. Email Shield scans all your incoming emails that have attachments, and it will let you know if it finds any viruses or other malware, no matter who sent you the email. You can also use the company’s Link Scanner, which keeps you away from visiting shady websites and following dangerous links on websites you’re visiting. AVG also gives you a dedicated Anti-Spam system which prevents any suspicious emails of unknown origin from getting to you.
Defend Against Hackers Effectively
Hackers are a bigger threat than ever before and protecting you from any suspicious strangers is one of an antivirus’ biggest tasks. AVG gives you a powerful firewall that blocks 100% of any incoming malware and other attacks, according to major lab AV Comparative. This is a major win and means AVG is rated better than several of the biggest names in the market. When you turn it on, the firewall monitors any web traffic that’s directed at your computer and can pick out malware such as keyloggers, which copy the keys you press to steal your passwords and data miners which look through your files for sensitive data. I was also impressed by the company’s ransomware protection, which is vital today as the attack becomes more common. AVG fences off your files, folders, and media and prevents them from being held hostage by shady attackers. You can even choose which programs have permission to access your files.
Protect All Your Devices with One Account
Unlike many of its competitors which charge different prices if you want to protect more than a single device, AVG’s paid options let you protect as many devices as you want. This is a big plus if you have a home computer and a laptop, tablet, and smartphone. If you have a family and several PCs at home, you can also rest easy knowing your kids are safe when they browse the web.
Prevent Snoops from Seeing You
Another feature I was pleasantly surprised by is the company’s webcam blocker, which keeps any prying eyes from accessing your computer or device’s webcam to spy on you. Webcams may seem harmless, but hackers can take them over to steal your private information or even illegally film you at home.
Boost Your PC’s Performance
More than just viruses, problems with computers are oftentimes performance-related, so it was nice to see AVG dedicate considerable effort to their tune-up tools. One of the features I found most remarkable is the company’s Programs On-Demand technology, which puts resource-intensive programs into a “smart sleep” mode, reducing their impact across several performance segments. You can also run PC Tuneup, the company’s cleanup utility, to scan for and remove old temporary files, unnecessary caches and data logs, duplicated files, and other data that could be slowing performance. Tuneup features are also available for both Android devices and Mac computers. It would have been nice to see a similar tool for iOS devices, but AVG shines when it comes to improving device performance. The Tuneup process, which includes disk defragmentation, does take some time, but the results were well worth it even on my PC, which is relatively new.
Run Your PC with No Drag
It’s common for many antivirus suites to slow down your PC because of their intense power and resource needs. However, I was impressed to see that AVG barely had an impact on my PC. When I was using the computer and the antivirus normally, I didn’t notice any difference in my computer’s speed or performance. Even when I was running a full scan, I could still use all my other favorite programs and there was no drag. I did notice a small delay when turning on my computer, but that’s to be expected with such a massive software. Even so, I was happy to see AVG has such a small effect on a computer’s performance.
Ease of Use
I was a bit confused when I first opened AVG, but I quickly found my way with AVG’s easy-to-use interface. The program’s main screen has five large cards that tell you how well protected each area of your PC is (“Computer,” “Web & Email,” and more). These aren’t buttons, but they simply indicate the status of each component. When a scan of a specific sector finishes, it updates these cards. You can start a scan by simply pressing the button at the bottom of the screen. You can also customize your scans by choosing how often they happen, how thorough they are, and you can also automate them. It would be nice if you could access each category directly from the large cards on the main screen, but overall, I found that installing and using AVG was a breeze.
You can access one of AVG’s two levels of support: basic and premium. The company’s basic service gives you access to the company’s knowledge base, which includes answers to common problems and questions other users have asked before. It also features a great community forum that lets you directly interact with other users to find answers and share notes on existing problems. If you’re a Premium user, you also gain access to the company’s toll-free premium support line around the clock, as well as a useful live chat. The support staff was well-trained and great at answering my questions, but I do wish basic users had some access to the same level of assistance. Even so, I was able to find answers to most of my questions, and all the support agents I spoke to were great at helping me solve my problems. Both free and premium users can also contact the company directly via an email ticket form on AVG’s website. These responses take a few days but usually include information that is helpful for resolving any outstanding issues.
Another thing I really liked about AVG is how fair their pricing is. The company’s Internet Security and Ultimate plans let you protect as many devices as you want, which gives you excellent savings. Additionally, if you are only interested in AVG’s antivirus security, you can choose the free antivirus option, which is likely your best choice even though it only protects one device. If you also browse the web frequently and would like more protection, the Internet Security option may be a great deal, since it offers excellent tools to secure your online activities. If you’re considering the Ultimate plan, you’ll be paying slightly more for the optimization tools AVG offers, as well as access to the premium support line and live chat. Otherwise, Internet Security likely represents the best value for most consumers.