AVG Antivirus is a security software that offers an all-encompassing package of services to users. It is frequently updated, scans the system quickly and has a plethora of configuration options. However, its malware detection could use a bit of a tune up, but at least the Pro version offers a number of additional features. It should also be noted that, although AVG Antivirus was once one of the leading software security programs, over the years its quality has noticeably declined. There are several problems which we will highlight, in case you are interested in purchasing the product.
AVG Technologies is a Netherlands-based security software company. Its current headquarters are located in Amsterdam and it was founded by Jan Gritzbach and Tomáš Hofer in Brno, Czech Republic in 1991.
AVG has over 1800 employees worldwide, spread out in their headquarters and corporate offices in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe and Israel.
While it doesn’t hold as large of a market share as some competitors, a solid 8.6 percent of antivirus software users favor AVG over others. This places the company into the fourth position when it comes to market share in the field of software security.
Package Information and Key Features
Aside from the basic antivirus function, AVG also provides link protection: scanning various browser and social network links for harmful content. Its online shield is supposed to protect your computer from harmful downloads. Additionally, the software can encrypt private files, protecting them via secure password. This is especially useful if you want to have a care-free browsing experience.
The free version only offers antivirus and link protection, while the more expensive AVG Protection PRO also provides users with anti-spam functionality, shopping protection and gives them access to a fast update track. These are some additional neat things you will find useful during your online experience.
Reliability and Performance
While it does provide a decent degree of protection, AVG can and does miss some threats. A full-system scan will remove the majority of malware threats in an already infected system, but those missed may become even more dangerous, because the user is practically operating under an illusion of safety.
The software’s real time protection is very efficient, blocking or flagging malware files immediately. Files that do get through the protection are cleaned up after system restart.
The sticking point is AVG’S phishing protection, which doesn’t work the vast majority of the time. It consistently ignores active phishing sites and fails to block a large number of threats. While including an anti-phishing feature is a good idea, if it is not efficient enough it will give the user a false sense of security, making data theft much easier.
AVG Antivirus Pro Does offer some pretty good privacy protection options. From File Shredder that will permanently erase the files you want gone, to Data Safe which will store sensitive files onto an encrypted password-protected virtual disk.
It is important to note that these methods aren’t entirely reliable, and dedicated file erasure software is usually a much better option than a part of a general software security bundle.
Also, it has recently been announced that AVG has started sharing users’ information with marketing companies. Namely, this is browser information which they claim will have no personal information included, but some security experts are unsure if this is 100% doable. Even if the company tried to leave out personal info, it may still in some form be leaked. The question is: does this tell us that AVG values earning money from marketing over their users’ privacy?
Installation and Ease of Use
The most recent version of AVG Antivirus Pro does leave something to be desired when it comes to ease of use. The installation UI is pretty cluttered but it does serve its function.
Installing the product is pretty straightforward, as is the license registration. There isn’t much that can go wrong here, just following the instructions will get the job done in a few minutes.
There have been some complaints regarding the installation by the free version users. However, we didn’t encounter these in the AVG Antivirus Pro version.
While not exactly demanding by modern standards, AVG is quite a resource hog when compared to the competition.
AVG Antivirus Pro for PC has the following hardware and software requirements:
Operating system: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP SP3;
Processor: 1.5 GHhz or faster;
Memory: 512 MB of RAM;
Screen resolution: at least 1024×768 Pixels;
Disk space: 1300 MB;
AVG has always had a tad cluttered interface and that fact hasn’t really changed. While experienced users are used to it, newbies may have quite a problem with it. The features are not neatly organized or particularly easy to find, unless you’ve used the product before.
The cramped look doesn’t do it any favors, especially after most competing antiviruses have moved on to the more sleek and streamlined look which is, most importantly, user friendly.
Technical support is by far the AVG’s weakest feature.
While the company offers a decent knowledge base you can search at will, getting access to a proper, qualified tech support team is quite difficult.
Getting to phone support requires jumping through an unnecessary hoop of filling out a form with a description of a problem before even seeing a phone number you’re supposed to call. What’s worse, you’ll have to reenter the information into another form when you get a hold of their support technician. In our opinion, this is unnecessarily complicated and inefficient. Many competing companies offer instant online and telephone help, and AVG would do well to improve on this.
Plans and Pricing
Even though AVG has other plans, the AVG Antivirus has always been the most popular. It is also the lease expensive one: a single year registration costs $38.49, while a two year one is expectedly more expensive, costing $47.18. Finally, for a three-year registration you will need to pay $62.93.