Pros / AVG Antivirus is free.
Cons / This software slows your computer more than other antivirus software we reviewed.
Verdict / AVG Antivirus is the best free antivirus software we reviewed. It is a good choice if you only need basic malware protection and don’t want to pay for advanced features, or you can use it in tandem with your current antivirus program as a second layer of protection.
AVG Antivirus is our top pick for free antivirus software. This basic protection program scored well in third-party lab tests used to evaluate how well antivirus software detects and removes malware. The results of our in-house tests show that AVG can detect threats such as keyloggers. and it works well alongside other antivirus programs. In addition, it is designed to recognize and block ransomware threats.
AVG has a passive mode, which means it can run as a backup antivirus program and doesn’t prompt you to remove the virus blocker you already have installed on your device. It automatically knows when it is the secondary mode of security as well as when it needs to step up and perform a lead role. This impressive feature gives you free added protection.
Even on its own, AVG identifies 99 percent of malware and has a low false positive rate, which means it doesn’t tag safe files as possible security threats very often. However, the software uses a lot of your computer’s resources while it runs. The tests we performed in Purch Labs, as well as those carried out by independent labs, found that AVG creates a lot of lag that often affects video playback and online game play. Other performance tests involved surfing the web, opening programs, sharing files and downloading software while AVG Antivirus ran, and results were mixed – on average, the test computers were noticeably slower.
AVG places infected files in quarantine so you can’t open them. The software collects data on new infections across its user base to share with other customers’ PCs, but you can opt out if you like. If malware gets through, an alert pops up with an Auto-Fix button, and AVG corrects the problem when you click it.
You can tell AVG to scan USB drives before you open or download files saved on them. The program can also run a system performance scan that tells you if there is out-of-date software on your computer or a weak password you can strengthen. If there is a sensitive file you prefer AVG not scan, you can exclude it from the software’s scan parameters, and you can also use these parameters to scan single files.
Because it is basic antivirus software, AVG doesn’t come with a lot of the extra privacy and protection features. It doesn’t have parental controls, and you have to buy one of the company’s paid internet security programs for mobile protection and safe banking tools.
This free antivirus program includes a password protector, which keeps all your login credentials, such as usernames and passwords, in one folder. You then use a single master password to log into all your online accounts, included those for banks, credit cards and email. Since you don’t use your site-specific passwords, hackers can’t swipe them and use them to enter your account and steal your identity. The software also has a file shredder that destroys any file you place in it so no one can find it or restore it on your computer.
You can contact AVG if you have problems with the software. The in-program help includes a user manual and links to additional online resources like a FAQs page and a knowledgebase. AVG offers email support and 24-hour telephone support if you have a specific question.
- Detection & Removal Score
- Loss of Computer Resource Score
- False Positives Score
- Number of Licenses
AVG Antivirus performs well and is free. It protects your computer and warns you about internet attacks. The software can run in passive mode, providing secondary protection if you already have an internet security program. AVG uses more of your computer’s resources than other antivirus programs, and it doesn’t have advanced features like parental controls and safe banking tools. However, it’s a good, free option that protects your computer from ransomware and other malware.