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AVG Antivirus Free Review

AVG AntiVirus Free is a long-standing security program for Microsoft Windows that protects computer systems from viruses, Trojans, and other malicious code.

An interesting fact about AVG is that it maintains two free antivirus solutions, namely AVG AntiVirus Free and AVG Protection Free. The main difference between the two products is that Protection Free offers protection and controls for multiple devices through AVG Zen, an online control panel.

AVG appears to be transitioning from AntiVirus Free to Protection Free, as the latter is advertised on the main AVG website, while the former is only available through secondary channels.

AVG Antivirus Free is provided as a web installer by default, but you can get offline installers that are around 200 megabytes in size, which does not require an internet connection during installation.

AVG Free Anti-Virus

avg antivirus free

Installing AVG Antivirus Free is easy, but if you already have certain security products installed on your system, you will be prompted to remove them before you can run the installer again to install AVG AntiVirus Free.

You can select a different installation location on your local system and disable the email and web protection components that the program ships with.

Web protection only installs a LinkScanner module, and not Online Shield, which is only included in AVG AnviVirus Pro or Internet Security.

LinkScanner scans Internet links to make sure they don’t link to harmful sites.

The same goes for email protection, which only comes with the Email Scanner module and not Anti-Spam.

Email Scanner scans attachments for malicious code, but does not prevent spam.

Once you have installed the program, it loads the main interface. The first thing you will notice if you have used the offline installer is that you will get a “you are not fully protected” message.

The reason you’re getting this is that the offline installer only updates so often, which means the database updates aren’t installed yet.

Once you hit the big “fix now” button or click “update now”, the latest virus definitions are installed and the message disappears.

avg antivirus free scan

A click on “scan now” starts a system scan. You can click the gear icon next to the scans to customize the scans, and the screen that opens allows you to run a full scan of the entire computer, a scan of specific files or folders, or an anti-rootkit scan on your computer. its place.

Another option is scheduled scans, which allows you to automate scans by selecting intervals and days when you want them to run on the computer in question.

Interestingly, this is also the place where you will find more information about what AVG AntiVirus Free supports. The scheduled scan settings page lists the types of scans you can include or exclude, including scanning for tracking cookies or potentially unwanted programs.

The advanced settings provide you with quite a few options to configure the behavior of the program. These customization options are definitely one of the strengths of AVG AntiVirus Free.

avg free antivirus setup

You can configure each type of scan individually there, for example, manage exceptions, disable self-protection, or change preferences related to appearance.

Some features are advertised in the program but not included. This is the case when you click “fix performance” on the main interface, for example. While it will check for junk files, disk fragmentation, or registry errors, it won’t fix them, but it will suggest you get AVG PC TuneUP for that.

How good is AVG AntiVirus Free’s protection?

It’s hard to find recent tests that include AVG AntiVirus Free. If you look at Test AV, you will notice that the last record of the site’s program dates back to December 2014.

The program scored 3/6 for protection, 3.5/6 for performance, and 6/6 for usability.

On the other hand, AVG Internet Security was tested in February 2016. It scored 6/6 for protection, 5/6 for performance, and 6/6 for usability.

At AV Compare, things are even more complicated as the site doesn’t allow you to search for a specific vendor or product.

AVG scored well, but not as well as the top products in the company’s most recent real-world protection test, for example.

AVG was in the news recently as its Web TuneUp application was found to be putting users at risk. While not directly related to the antivirus offer, it appears to have been offered to users in the past when they installed certain AVG products.

Additionally, AVG updated its privacy policy at the end of 2015 in which it highlighted that it will sell non-identifying data to third parties.

Comparison with AVG AntiVirus

AVG AntiVirus is the commercial version of AVG’s security offering. As is often the case, it includes all the features of AVG AntiVirus Free plus additional features.

  • online shield: This is the second part of the Web Browsing Protection module (the first is LinkScanner which is included in the free version). Adds file download scanning to the security program.
  • data insurance: This component allows you to encrypt files to protect them from prying eyes.
  • free support: Phone and email support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The multi-device version is called AVG AntiVirus Protection Pro. It has priority updates and mobile versions for Android and iOS on top of that.

Comparison with AVG Internet Security

AVG Internet Security is AVG’s top-of-the-line single-device security product. It includes all the features of free and paid antivirus products, plus the following:

  • Anti-Spam: Blocks spam and fraudulent messages from reaching your inbox.
  • Purchase Protection – A firewall component that works on both wired and wireless networks.


AVG’s free offer feels a bit forgotten, especially when browsing the AVG website in search of it. While I liked the customization options and the fact that you can disable modules you don’t need during installation, it’s unclear how good its protection features really are due to a lack of recent testing.

While AVG Internet Security performed well in most tests, it’s not clear if the same engine is being used in the free offering.

Now you: do you use free antivirus? If so, which one and why?

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