Overview: What Is AVG?

Cyber security is an ever-increasing concern for individuals and businesses as we continue to depend on the Internet for everything from communication with one another to paying bills to sending and receiving sensitive information.

With an increase in information being shared online comes an increase in criminals attempting to retrieve that information. In fact, an article from CNN Money shares that hundreds of thousands of new viruses and malware are created every single day.

avg reviews how it works on a PC

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Since forming in 1991, AVG, according to the company’s website, has become a big name in online security. The company provides products that help to protect individuals and businesses against viruses and other online threats, along with helping computers and other devices to run faster and more efficiently. In AVG reviews online, those who use the products have mixed reactions about their effectiveness.

Online security is a growing concern, and this Amsterdam-based company is focused on meeting the need for increased protection.

However, those considering the free or paid versions of AVG software may want to know the following:

  • Is AVG safe?
  • Is AVG good compared to competitors?
  • What is AVG doing to ensure a positive user experience?

In our AVG review, we’ll look at a few of the most popular software options, what they can offer, and how the user experience holds up against competitors.

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AVG Free Antivirus Review

The free version of the AVG antivirus software is one of the most downloaded antivirus programs according to CNet. Many of the AVG reviews available online are based on this free version of the company’s antivirus software.

AVG offers an inclusive list of features for both the free and premium paid versions of its antivirus software on its website. The AVG review of free features includes the following:

  • Antivirus protection against viruses, spyware, and malware
  • Protection for both Mac and Android devices
  • Access to the AVG Zen
  • The ability to scan and monitor remotely from your mobile devices
  • Link scanning for websites and social media accounts

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Many AVG reviews and comments highlight the AVG Zen feature. Zen is a dashboard designed specifically for AVG software. The dashboard allows a user to monitor and scan all connected devices from one location. This is one way the company answers the question, “Is AVG good for families?” as Zen allows one person to ensure that the whole family is protected.

One major benefit to choosing this software, which you’ll see in nearly all of the AVG reviews online, is that the antivirus automatically updates to the newest version. This means that you won’t have to constantly download new software or pay for the latest updates. You’ll receive notifications of any new updates through push updates.

Any AVG Free antivirus review will obviously mention the fact that this version of the software comes at no cost. However, like most other free software products, there are some drawbacks. What is AVG doing to support its free software? It serves up frequent pop-up ads and encourages users to upgrade to the pro version or purchase additional software from the company. The pressure to upgrade is a regular complaint in AVG reviews, which we’ll discuss later.

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AVG Antivirus Paid Edition

While the free version of AVG’s antivirus software is enough for many users, some may want or require additional features that can be found with the paid version of the software. What is AVG offering in the pro version? The company website lists the following features:

  • Antivirus protection against viruses, spyware, and malware
  • Protection for both Mac and Android devices
  • Access to the AVG Zen
  • The ability to scan and monitor remotely from your mobile devices
  • Link scanning for websites and social media accounts
  • An online shield which blocks harmful downloads
  • Password and file encryption
  • An email tool which blocks spam from entering your inbox
  • Firewall protection against hackers
  • Phone and chat support available 24/7
  • More frequent updates to the software’s security

With AVG no longer free, users should expect an improved experience, along with the added features. The pro version covers more areas, making it more useful for some users. For example, AVG Free antivirus reviews don’t include areas like inbox monitoring, password encryption or social media scanning. For those who spend more time online, those features can be an important addition.

To add to the user experience, the pro version comes with 24/7 support. Without the paid version of the software, support calls normally come with a significant charge, according to the AVG website. However, it should be noted that, according to AVG reviews, many users have had a difficult time with resolving issues through the customer service phone line.


While most AVG reviews focus on the free and paid antivirus programs, AVG also offers other software. The most notable of these products is the AVG PC TuneUp. The AVG website claims that PC TuneUp helps to make computers faster, extend battery life, and free up memory. An impressive dashboard makes it easy to control the program and see exactly what it’s doing. Is AVG good at making computers more efficient, along with protecting against viruses? An AVG review from PC Mag says that it depends on your individual situation.

avg antivirus review on protecting a macbook

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The reviewer says that the program can help to improve a computer’s performance, allows users to monitor performance, and can simplify the process of cleaning up files and programs.

However, the AVG review also points out the flaw with the software: If you have more than one computer or device, you’ll need to purchase multiple licenses to cover each of them. That isn’t an issue for someone who simply needs to work with one computer, but for families, the cost will quickly add up.

Is AVG good when compared to other similar products? Yes, it can be a great option for those with one computer who are looking for better performance, a faster system, and longer battery life. There are many impressive features that aren’t offered on all software. However, as AVG reviews point out, several of those features, like automatic backup, are already offered on both Macs and PCs.

What Is AVG Doing with Data?

Before getting into customer complaints about AVG software, there is a major complaint about the company itself. Independent shares a story that asks the question, “Is AVG safe for users?” The cost of the free software, the article says, is sharing personal information with anyone willing to pay for it.

In the AVG review, the writer explains that the company sells user data to third parties. In some cases, the company will share “personal data,” like names, IP addresses, and locations. This is obviously extremely concerning, as that information quickly identifies users and gives third parties access to users’ exact locations.

In most cases, the company shares “non-personal” data, which includes information like browsing history, search history, and a list of which apps you use. This is a common scenario with free software, as it creates an income stream for the company. However, when asking if AVG is safe for users, the data sharing should cause some concern.

An article from PC Mag goes into further detail. The article shares information from AVG’s terms of service, which clearly admits that the company collects and shares user data. While AVG reviews show that users are angry about the company’s money-making plan, the company is open about the decision and doesn’t see it as a problem. Some users may disagree.

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AVG Customer Complaints

In AVG reviews, most complaints begin with the fact that the free version of the software is loaded with pop-up ads. These ads, users argue, get in the way of using the software effectively and create a negative user experience.

More serious than pop-up ads getting in the way is the fact that AVG software itself could contain malware. An article from Tom’s Guide discusses the threat, which began when the company’s Secure Search toolbar was found to contain malware. According to AVG reviews, after the incident, the malware allowed hackers to take over control of devices that downloaded the toolbar for Internet Explorer.

With programs like PC TuneUp designed to clean up devices and make them faster, it’s concerning that another common issue discussed in AVG reviews is that the software can significantly slow down devices. A post from Bright Hub explains why this happens. In the AVG review, the writer says that each of the programs uses a lot of CPU and RAM while running scans. Since those scans are set up to run automatically every day, the software continues to take up valuable space on the device.

Final Verdict: Is AVG Good? Is AVG Safe?

Most people searching for an antivirus program will be looking for a free version as these programs tend to offer the necessary features. As AVG reviews will tell you over and over, the free version of the software offers standard features and decent online security. However, the amount and frequency of popup ads seriously detracts from the user experience. Is AVG good? Yes. Is it worth dealing with the ads? That’s a personal preference.

More concerning is the way that the company generates income from its free software. What is AVG doing to make money from its free antivirus? As discussed in Independent, the company is selling data about users, which could be a huge safety concern for some.

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For those willing to invest more money into their online protection, the paid version of the software offers the same benefits, additional features, and none of the annoying pop-up ads. AVG reviews of the pro version note that the software provides effective security against online threats, with an easy-to-use dashboard and user-friendly tools.

The security threat described by Tom’s Guide and other AVG reviews has been addressed and resolved. The company quickly released a security update for all users. While that one issue was solved, there may still be some concerns regarding the safety of AVG for users.

When software from AVG is downloaded, it comes in a bundle that could include features or products that aren’t necessarily needed or wanted by users. The search toolbar is one example. AVG reviews bring up this point repeatedly. While the company is quick to address problems and fix them as soon as possible, it should also be a consideration for anyone downloading the software.

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