January 2, 2017

AVG Internet Security Review: Best Antivirus for the Money

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Is AVG a good antivirus software? Here is what you need to know before you choose an internet security solution.

Best Antivirus
Best Antivirus © CreditDonkey

Those familiar with the AVG probably know it best for its free antivirus software, AVG AntiVirus Free. Computer users have downloaded the free AVG software hundreds of millions of times. But, as this AVG Internet Security review shows, there’s more to the AVG family of security software options than just a free antivirus offering.

As experts discuss in the best computer security blogs, PC users need security software to provide a variety of features, including antivirus protection, firewall protection, parental control, e-mail filtering, and phishing protection. But every computer user doesn’t need the same strength of protection in the same areas. Continue reading to determine whether AVG Internet Security will meet your computer security needs.

Is AVG a good antivirus software?

AVG provides excellent antivirus protection. In third-party testing, AVG scored very well in antivirus protection, receiving near perfect scores in detecting and removing both the latest viruses and older ones that have circulated on the Internet for a while.

Plus, AVG is easy to update. AVG makes updating its security software as simple as it possibly can. Whether you have the full pay version of the AVG Internet Security suite or the free antivirus option, receiving daily software updates to handle the latest viruses is fully automatic. You can set the updates to run at a certain time of day or upon turning on the computer.

Read on. There are even more reasons to consider AVG.


  1. You like a security software option that can appeal to beginners and advanced users. AVG’s designers do a good job of creating software that works well for beginners, running in a fully automatic mode, and for advanced users, who are more interested in creating customized settings. In other words, you can invest as much or as little time in AVG’s operation as you want. The automatic settings will work well for most people, but if you need more advanced protections, the manual controls in AVG offer plenty of personalization aspects.

  2. You need protection from fake or malicious websites. AVG offers LinkScanner as part of its security software options, which double-checks the validity of websites as you type in web addresses or click on links. If LinkScanner detects something wrong, it will not open the web page and will give you a warning. If you trust the site anyway, you can load it.

  3. You want clear information on protection levels. AVG Internet Security (along with the other iterations of AVG software) includes a dashboard window, which shows each type of protection the software provides, along with a green checkmark when it is updated and working properly or a red mark when a certain segment of the protection suite needs updating or is not active. It’s easy to see in an instant if there are any problems occurring with the software that you need to address.

  4. You don’t want your security software slowing your PC’s performance. As long as you own a newer computer, you should not notice a slowdown in performance with AVG’s products, either while receiving software updates from AVG or while running computer scans. You also can adjust the amount of processing power AVG Internet Security will occupy during its scans and downloads, giving you additional control over the computer’s performance levels. I have to mention here that using AVG on an older Windows computer does create some noticeable lags in performance.

  5. You need a Do Not Track feature. If you don’t want advertisers and websites tracking your movement on the Internet and targeting you with ads that match your browsing history, AVG Internet Security has you covered. The Do Not Track feature blocks these sites from accessing your history and tracking the sites you access. Do Not Track is not available in every Internet security suite, so it’s nice to have it available from AVG.

  6. You’re looking for great spam protection. Another area where AVG Internet Security sets itself apart from its competitors is through its e-mail spam protection. Not only does the AVG product do a great job in providing spam filtering, but you can extensively tweak the features and settings in AVG’s spam filter to make it perfectly fit your needs and greatly reduce the chances you will lose a key e-mail message to your spam filter.

  7. You want a separate firewall. Because Windows now includes a firewall as part of its operating system, some Internet security suites have decided to abandon firewall protection. However, AVG Internet Security continues to include a firewall, and you can set it up to give you alerts each time an attempt to access to your computer is detected, or you can have the firewall perform all decisions automatically.

  8. You want strong file protection. AVG Internet Security performs exceedingly well in terms of protecting your files. The suite offers Data Safe, which is a file encryption product. If hackers get past your security measures or if someone finds your lost laptop, the files protected with Data Safe won’t be accessible to them. And if you need permanent deletion of old files, AVG has a file shredding feature that makes deleted files irretrievable by hackers.

  9. You like to have a lot of pricing options. One of my favorite features of the AVG set of security software options is that you have numerous choices. If you don’t want to pay for security before you try out AVG’s features, the AVG AntiVirus Free is a great place to start using the software and deciding whether you like it, while still receiving great protection. And there are several pricing levels available, such as AVG Internet Security suite, which runs about $55 per year for a subscription, and AVG Ultimate, which can cover multiple computers for about $100 per year.

  10. You want a clean uninstall … just in case. If you ever decide to remove AVG Internet Security from your computer, you’ll appreciate the clean uninstall that’s available here. So many Internet security suites leave small fragments of code on your computer, asking you to renew the software even after you’ve uninstalled it, that AVG’s approach to this is refreshing. And I can’t count the number of times I’ve tried to troubleshoot someone’s malfunctioning PC, only to find that the crashes and lockups are caused by a stray piece of uninstalled security suite software constantly asking for a renewal subscription. So AVG excels in this area with a clean installation and a clean uninstall.


  1. You need parental control settings. One area where AVG lags behind some other Internet security suites is with the inclusion of parental control settings. With AVG, you cannot block your children from using certain websites, for example, meaning you’ll have to download separate parental control software if you choose AVG.

  2. You need perfect protection. Although AVG’s suite does a very good job and outperforms many Internet security suites in terms of protection, it didn’t record perfect scores in third-party testing.

  3. You really only need the basics. For some people, an Internet security suite is overkill, especially because Windows now offers a built-in firewall. If you’re primarily concerned with antivirus protection and nothing else, the AVG AntiVirus Free option probably will cover most of your needs.

  4. You want the best phishing protection. The area where AVG Internet Security struggles the most is in terms of its phishing protection. (Phishing is fake websites emulating real sites, trying to fool visitors into sharing personal information.) This security suite struggles in terms of phishing protection accuracy, offering below average performance versus other suites.


AVG has multiple options for protecting mobile Android devices, including a free antivirus option. There’s a specific app for Xperia smartphones from AVG too, if that’s what you own. Or you can select AVG Zen from the Google Play store, which provides protection for computers, smartphones, and tablets.


AVG AntiVirus Free is an extremely popular download because it works extremely well when protecting your PC against viruses. It’s easy to use and can be run in a fully automatic mode for those people who don’t really want to have to think about antivirus software on a regular basis. You will be asked a couple of times a week through a popup window from the Windows taskbar whether you want to upgrade to a pay version of AVG, but, honestly, the number of intrusions from AVG AntiVirus Free are minimal compared to other free security software options (and even some paid software, for that matter).

For many people, AVG AntiVirus Free is going to provide the protection they need for day to day, basic computing functions. If you’re hosting sensitive files on your computer though, a subscription security suite is a safer option, as AVG AntiVirus Free is missing a few key security features, such as a firewall and file encryption.


If you’re like most people, you probably have multiple devices in your home, all of which need security protection. That’s where AVG Ultimate enters the picture, providing Internet security software for all of your family’s devices, starting at about $100 per year in annual subscription costs. AVG Ultimate protects Windows, Android, and Mac devices with the features found in AVG Internet Security, and it provides AVG TuneUp software, which ensures your devices are running as efficiently as possible. New features and virus updates occur automatically, ensuring your devices are protected from all threats, new and old.


Finding the right security suite for your computer can be a confusing process. If you’ve purchased a new PC, you’ve probably been inundated with requests to purchase certain security suites through popup windows or from a salesperson at the store. Understand that just because a security suite is preloaded on your new computer or offered by the store, it’s not necessarily the best suite for your needs. The manufacturers of those suites pay the computer manufacturer and sales store to have their software offered at the time of the PC purchase, making it convenient for you to install, expecting that convenience will translate into more sales for them.

So if you’re willing to actually seek out the best security suite for your needs – rather than relying on the suite that’s already on your PC – AVG’s family of products is a good place to start. AVG Internet Security is extremely easy to download and install. When you’re up and running, its dashboard will give you any information you need instantly with simple green and red graphics. It doesn’t slow your computer noticeably while running scans, and it handles a variety of security needs as well.

Internet security risks seem to be on the rise with major new viruses and breaches reported regularly, showing the need for you to protect yourself with security software. Quite a few options are on the market, some of which are free and some of which have annual subscription costs. Although AVG AntiVirus Free can handle the needs of quite a few computer users, among those who need a few more features and more complete set of security options, AVG Internet Suite has a reasonable price point with a strong performance level.

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