AVG is a well-known free antivirus software solution that you can upgrade to a paid version for additional features, such as Online Shield and an enhanced firewall. AVG is resource-hungry, especially when you opt for the paid version, but does a solid job at every level. If the options are overwhelming, don’t worry. We lay out everything you need to know to decide whether AVG is the right choice for your antivirus needs on a PC, Mac, or mobile device.
What you get with the free version of AVG Antivirus Protection
Most AVG users will probably start with the free version. All AVG antivirus packages come with these standard features:
- Prevention and removal of viruses, spyware, and malware
- Anti-rootkit and LinkScanner to keep your computer safe from hackers and suspicious hyperlinks
- Support for Windows 10, Mac, and Android platforms
- Unlimited multi-device protection and remote protection with AVG Zen
If you’re looking for something simple to provide basic antivirus protection on your computer or mobile device, AVG’s free antivirus software should be good enough. On PC, though, many users report being bombarded by pop-up ads asking you to upgrade or buy other AVG products. It’s a better experience for Mac and Android users.
What you get with AVG Internet Security Unlimited
Along with the standard features in the free version, AVG Internet Security Unlimited comes with access to advanced antivirus protection and Internet security features. Internet Security is a paid version that retails at $69.99 for a year of coverage.
As a paid version of AVG’s antivirus software, the Internet Security Unlimited package comes with a 30-day, 100% money back guarantee. The money grants you access to some useful features:
- Online Shield to protect you from harmful downloads
- Data Safe for encryption and password protection of private files
- Anti-Spam to block spam and scam emails from your inbox
- Enhanced Firewall to deter hackers while you’re banking and shopping
- Priority Updates to ensure you always have the most recent version of AVG in real time
Here’s the pricing for AVG Internet Security Unlimited with a one-year subscription or a two-year subscription, both of which include protection for unlimited devices.
What the AVG Ultimate package buys you
If you want the most that AVG’s antivirus has to offer, you’ll want to opt for the Ultimate Package. Retailing at $99.99, this single subscription gives you all of AVG’s features on unlimited PCs, Macs, and Android devices. AVG Ultimate includes everything in the Internet Security Ultimate package, along with AVG Performance.
While it’s not technically anti-virus protection, AVG Performance is bundled with Protection in the Ultimate Package, so Performance deserves a brief mention.
The Performance software is all about improving speed and battery life, while freeing up disk space by removing junk that’s bogging down the hard drive. Like AVG’s AntiVirus software, AVG Performance is accessible through AVG Zen, which makes it easy to clean and tune up any Mac, PC, or Android device in one place. Here’s what AVG Performance includes:
- PC TuneUp for Windows
- AVG Cleaner for Android
- AVG Cleaner for Mac
If you appreciate AVG Performance’s ability to keep your devices running faster, AVG Ultimate may be a good value for you. But anyone whose chief concern is antivirus protection will find the additional expense unnecessary. Here’s a breakdown of how much AVG Ultimate costs for one or two years on unlimited devices.
You’ll find that the multi-device packages are more cost effective if you and your family members want to use AVG across every computer, phone, and tablet you own as a group. If you prefer to have protection on unlimited devices, you can move to the PRO version of the AVG AntiVirus Protection package.
Mac version features and pricing
The Mac version of AVG AntiVirus is a free download for your Mac computer. It’s also a supported device as part of the AVG AntiVirus Protection package. To install, you need OS X Mountain Lion or later for compatibility.
- Free and easy to use
- Triple protection against Mac, PC, and mobile viruses
- Updates itself automatically to protect against latest threats
- Works in the background
- Lets you scan individual files or the entire Mac with a single click
Macs aren’t as susceptible to viruses and malware as Windows PCs are, but it’s still beneficial to have AVG as an extra layer of protection for your Mac. However, as a free offering, AVG isn’t going to have the same breadth of features or effectiveness as paid solutions like Kaspersky or Bitdefender. That’s not a reason to pay, though—you can expect more than enough protection on your Mac from AVG without having to spend a dime.
Android version features and pricing
Like with the PC version, AVG AntiVirus for Android has some extra features that might appeal to power users. However, the free version is probably sufficient for most users who want a bit more protection than Android OS offers by default.
- Powerful free option
- Protects from the latest viruses, malware, spyware, and unsafe downloaded apps
- Blocks unwanted calls
- Built-in anti-theft protection to find your phone, lock it, locate it, and even wipe data from it remotely
Like with the PC, there’s a free version of AVG AntiVirus for Android. The PRO version costs $11.99 (view on Amazon) and includes a few additional features:
- App backup to your SD card
- App lock for password protecting your apps and settings
- Camera trap captures whoever is attempting to break into your device
- Device lock will lock your device if someone replaces the SIM
- No advertising
The Android version of AVG AntiVirus is also supported as part of the AVG AntiVirus Protection package through Zen.
- Basic version free for all platforms
- Free 30-day trial available for paid version lets you try Pro features
- 30-day 100% money back guarantee
- Convenient multi-device monitoring with AVG Zen
- Powerful, comprehensive protection includes email, downloads, links, online shopping
- Remote protection lets you scan and remove PC viruses from a mobile device
- Free 24/7 phone support
- Pop-up ads for other AVG products
- Sluggish performance reported by some users
- Paid version is expensive for the value
- Lack of support for iOS devices
AVG reviews: What the customers think
According to the company itself, AVG has more than 200 million active users worldwide. That makes it virtually impossible to include what everyone thinks, but appreciation for AVG’s effectiveness is a common theme, as well as customer service woes. Here’s what a few customers had to say.
Been using avg for 10 years. best anti virus i’ve used. does a good job and doesn’t take over your computer. have never gotten a virus it didn’t identify and eliminate. this is the best deal i’ve found on it. – garyhere, Amazon, Aug 21, 2015
Saved me from lots of viruses/malwere I had a virus that disabled my phone. And i had to reset it but then i installed avg thanks to them this won’t happen again! – James, Google Play, Feb 4, 2016
I have protection pro and performance pro subscriptions, cancelled recurring before expiration date, and immediately I was kicked out of performance pro despite what I paid for (this morning) did not expire. Asked for refund and being told that this cannot be done. This is United States of America, not Eastern Europe. – Dan, Consumer Affairs, Jan 29, 2016
I probably won’t use AVG again. I started with the free edition and have now used the paid antivirus for several years. But it seems each year there is some problem with it and this year (the first of the 2 year period) has been worse than ever. It stops working and I have had to call AVG to restart it several times. Also, AVG used to be top ranked, but has fallen steadily over the years. If I’m going to go to the trouble to have an antivirus I want the best I can get. Recently I had a problem AVG never found, and had to use another service to get rid of it. Scary to say the least. – Donald, Amazon, Jan 7, 2016
The verdict on AVG
With a ranking of 6th out of 22 in our antivirus products comparison, AVG is a trusty standby in the world of antivirus software. The free Mac and Android versions of AVG are highly rated and well received, but the PC version is weighed down by complaints of pop-up ads for other AVG products, as well as potentially sluggish performance. For most individual users, it’s tough to recommend the PRO version for the money compared to other paid antivirus software, but as a free antivirus solution for all your different devices, AVG is definitely worth a look.