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AVG Free Antivirus Review: The Best Free-of-Charge Protection

Written by Novak Bozovic
Last updated June 22, 2021

When it comes to free-of-charge antivirus software, there are a lot of choices. Almost every reputable company that sells antivirus software has an entry-level offer. This means that you can keep your computer malware-free without spending a single dollar. In today's articles, we will be taking a look at AVG Antivirus Free which promises to bring a reliable antivirus protection in addition to system optimization features. Let’s take a closer look.

Before we dive any deeper, we'd like to provide a helpful overview of information. This is how you can check out what to expect. Then, we'll dive deep into different features. By the end of this article, you should become very familiar with AVG Antivirus Free.

Supported Platforms The free version is only available for Windows users.
Antivirus Protection Employs both automated and manual protection. Automated protection scans downloaded files, email attachments, and email contents (for phishing attempts).
AV-TEST Scores Capable of detecting 100% of newest threats. The industry standard is 98.5%.
Additional Features It includes a file shredder for safe removal of files. Additional components can check your PC's registry and remove junk files.
Price $0 - This is an entry option for the AVG Antivirus family of products. Free Download from here

Now that you know a bit about AVG Antivirus Software, it's time to take a closer look. However, we'd like to show you what you need to know right away. These are AVG's biggest pros and cons, as well as our final verdict.

Final Verdict
Pros Incredibly effective malware protection; Lots of customizations available; Isn't too heavy on your PC's performance; File shredder included.
Cons No extra features - this is a basic antivirus tool; Serves as an advertisement for other AVG's products.
Final Verdict Considering it's free of charge, this is an excellent choice. Free AVG Antivirus catches up to 100% of malware files. Despite a few annoyances, we highly recommend this software.
Rating 8/10

Even though the overview found above should give you a glimpse of what you can expect, continue reading. We will be taking a look at this software in-depth, which is the best way to see if this antivirus could be the perfect choice for you.

AVG Antivirus Review - Free Version

We have spent some time trying out this software in an effort to bring you a complete and in-depth review. With this said, we’ll start from the very beginning. First, we’ll take a look at the installation process. Then, we'll tell you what kinds of features you can expect, and how well those features work. So, let’s get started.

Installation Process

AVG Antivirus Free

AVG Antivirus offers an incredibly easy installation method. However, we recommend taking a bit longer way to avoid bloatware. Our Score: 7/10. 

As you can imagine, the installation process begins by visiting AVG’s official website. After clicking on the ‘Free Download’ button, a very small file will be downloaded to your PC. Once downloaded, double-click on the installation file and you’ll be greeted by AVG’s Installation Wizard.

Take a look at the screenshot placed at the top of this section. As you can see, there are two options that are, as it turns out, drastically different. This is also the first indication of what to expect from this application. Let’s take a look at what hides between these two options:

AVG Antivirus Free

AVG Antivirus Free

Once you’ve selected the components you need, it’s all smooth sailing from there. AVG will do the rest of the job on its own.

Ease of Use

AVG Antivirus Free - Ease of Use

A highly polished UI designed promises to bring intuitive controls. Even though this antivirus can be a bit overwhelming at times, even inexperienced users shouldn't face any issues. Our Score: 9/10.  

After installing this software, you have to deal with is its UI (User Interface) design. For every antivirus, it’s crucial to be nicely designed and not to overwhelm its users. This kind of software can be notoriously hard to use due to plenty of different options. Let’s take a look at how AVG Antivirus Free takes care of this.

The Home Page provides a very nice overview of your PC’s current status. You can easily see which components are running and which are not. By taking a few steps deeper, you will see toggles used to enable and disable certain components (more about this later in the article).

This software brings together available tools in two categories: Basic Protection and Full Protection. As a free user, you only have access to tools available under Basic Protection. Clicking on tools under Full Protection will ask you to pay for an upgrade. These tools are Hacker Attacks, Privacy, and Payment.

AVG Antivirus Free

This might sound confusing, but there’s another Home Screen as well. This one can be accessed by clicking on the Home Screen button on the left side of AVG’s interface. This will take you to additional tools like PC Tune-Up, Secure VPN, and Password Protection. You can try each of these for free (for a limited time period), but they are not included in the free package. In addition, they all work as separate applications that you need to install on your computer.

Overall, this antivirus is doing a good job of presenting information in an easy-to-understand manner. Some things might require some simplification and there are a lot of ads for AVG’s other types of software. However, we feel that complete beginners won’t have a hard time.

Antivirus Protection

AVG Antivirus Free

AVG Free Antivirus offers two kinds of protection. You can count on automated protection that works in the background, and on-demand manual scanning. Our Score: 8/10. 

You need to know that there two kinds of antivirus protection. First, there are built-in mechanisms that are designed to work on their own (automatically). You can turn them ON or OFF and hope they’ll manage to catch malicious files. On the other hand, there is ‘manual’ protection. Just like with any other antivirus, you can perform manual searches and scan your PC against viruses and threats.

Automated Protection

Once installed, you will be greeted by the Home Screen that contains basic information. In case you are using the free version (reviewed in this article), you will end up with Basic protection. This includes two important features that can be found on the left side of AVG’s screen:

Automated Protection - AVG Antivirus Free

Automated Protection - AVG Antivirus Free

In case there’s a malicious attempt, you will see a prompt telling you that a malicious file has been placed in the quarantine. I have received this message when I tried to update my Nvidia GPU’s drivers, which seems a bit odd. As you can see, AVG Antivirus Free has captured the installation file that Nvidia’s software was trying to download. However, this didn’t cause any issues with the installation. I have updated my drivers successfully, which is when the warning about a possible virus disappeared.

Automated Protection - AVG Antivirus Free

I am not sure if this was a wrong catch by AVG, but it seems so. After all, I can hardly imagine Nvidia serving malware from their servers. Either way, this didn’t cause any issues.

Manual Protection

Now, let’s talk about the core of this antivirus. At any moment, you are just one click away from all kinds of antivirus scanning mechanisms. The big green button on the Home Page will take you to a Full Computer Scan. This is a so-called full scan that takes care of your browser’s addons, viruses, and other malware. It takes only a few minutes to complete, which means this isn’t the ‘real’ computer scan. Instead, AVG Antivirus Free simply checks the most problematic areas in an effort to find a problem.

AVG Antivirus Free - Manual Protection

You can click on the ‘Gear Icon’ on the Home Page to see other kinds of scans. There are six different ways to keep your PC protected, so here’s a short overview of each of those:

AVG Antivirus Free - Manual Protection

AVG Antivirus Free - Manual Protection

AVG Antivirus - Manual Protection

Additional Features

AVG Antivirus Free - Features

Among additional features, numerous customization capabilities are what stands out. This is something we rarely see with free-of-charge antivirus software. Our Rating: 8/10. 

It is worth mentioning that AVG's antivirus software brings high levels of customization. In general, free-of-charge antivirus software is designed to run automatically. As such, they don’t really allow you to fine-tune their options until you buy the premium version. However, this isn’t the case here.

When you open the selection of different scans, you will see that three of those come with extra options. Take a look at the screenshot found at the top of this section, and you will see three small gear icons next to three types of antivirus scans. Let’s see what these can do.

AVG Antivirus Free - Features

By clicking on any of the three Gear Icons, you will get to fine-tune how each scan behaves. On the left side of the screen, you will see a selection of eight options ranging from Scan, Sensitivity, up to Exceptions and Scheduling. This is where you can tell AVG where to look for infected files, how sensitive it should be, and more. When it comes to sensitivity, you can adjust the strength of the heuristic scanning which might make scanning a bit longer. Even though you can push the limits of this software, we still recommend leaving this to ‘Normal’.

Antivirus Performance

Antivirus Performance - AVG Antivirus Free

The most important thing about any antivirus software is how effectively it catches malware files. You don't have to worry about AVG Antivirus since it catches 100% of all malware. Our Rating: 10/10. 

Up until now, we have talked about what kinds of features you can expect. However, now is the time to talk about how they work. The best way to get this information is taking a look at tests conducted by AV-TEST. This is a well-known and reputable German independent lab that tests antivirus software and compares their results. So, here are the most recent stats.

Antivirus Performance - AVG Antivirus Free

Both of these results show a spectacularly good performance. It is safe to say that you can rely on this antivirus to keep you protected against the most recent security threats.

It is also worth noting that it seems like AVG's software has improved during the last six months. We know this because AV-TEST publishes reports every single month. For example, this software managed to catch 99.1% of all threats in March 2017 - which is still a respectable feat.

System Performance

System Performance - AVG Antivirus Free

Unlike similar software, this antivirus isn't too hard on your PC's resources. This is a lightweight software that intelligently runs in the background. Our Score: 8/10. 

You have probably heard that antivirus software slows down your computer. This is true up to a certain point. Today’s antivirus software is highly capable and doesn’t need to lot of resources. As you can imagine, you don’t need a high-end computer to run this antivirus.

Once again, we will take a look at AV-TEST and their findings. This is the most reliable way to see if this antivirus can slow down your computer. So, here are the results:

System Performance - AVG Antivirus Free

In simple terms, AVG Antivirus Free will prolong certain actions like copying files and opening applications. So, be prepared to wait a few seconds more than you usually would.

Supported Devices

AVG Antivirus Free

Sadly, you can install this application only on Windows PCs. Other platforms and devices are not supported. Our Score: 5/10. 

In this article, we have talked about AVG Antivirus Free that is compatible with Windows computers. You can find AVG for Mac as well, but that is an entirely different software. Therefore, this application is exclusive to Windows. Here are the official system requirements:


Pricing - AVG Antivirus Free

No tips or time limitations - you can use AVG Antivirus for free for as long as you want. Our Score 10/10.

As said several times, this antivirus software comes free of charge. There are no tricks or time limitations. However, certain features will remain locked and they will serve as advertisements.

As you will see at times, this software will ask you to upgrade to AVG Ultimate. This is priced at $69.99 per year. It brings a wide range of additional options - but none of these are essential.

Customer Service

Customer Service - AVG Antivirus Free

There are numerous ways to contact AVG and receive a prompt reply. In addition, you can count on extensive documentation readily available. Our Score: 9/10. 

AVG provides an incredibly helpful support page. This is where you can find documentation regarding installations and maintenance. If you're facing an issue, this is the place to look for an answer. There is also a specialized section where users of AVG can exchange opinions and share answers. If you're interested in participating, why now join this discussion?

Finally, it is worth saying that AVG offers a service called Express Install (priced at $20). If you don't know how to setup your antivirus, AVG's experts can do it for you. After accessing your computer remotely, they will install and set up the software.

The Bottom Line

Considering that this antivirus is free of charge, this is one of the strongest contenders at the moment. The biggest advantage is its ability to catch 100% of all threats and that includes the latest malware types as well. This should help you to browse the Web safely, without being afraid about the state of your sensitive files.

It is also worth knowing that paying for the premium version brings more advanced security systems. However, this upgrade can be justifiable if you handle sensitive data on a daily basis. Average computer users are not in this group.

PROS: Nicely designed application; Fully automated protection against malware; A high success rate of catching malicious files; Completely free of charge.

CONS: Serves as an advertisement for other AVG products; It can slow down your computer a bit.

Final Score: 8 out of 10!

Final Thoughts

This is where we conclude our review of AVG Antivirus Free. We hope you have found the required information. If not, feel free to post a comment using the comments section below.

Finally, feel free to share this article across social networks if you think other users might find it interesting. Thanks!

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