AVG Ultimate Antivirus Review 2021December 2020 AVG Ultimate Review & Deals
Why Choose AVG Ultimate as Your Antivirus Software
AVG Ultimate is a perfect option for those with many devices to secure, and for these users it represents excellent value for money. The exception, of course, is those hoping to secure a large number of iOS devices, which the platform does not currently support. The combination of Internet Security and Tune-Up can simultaneously significantly boost both system performance (making it a perfect option for older PCs), make devices more resilient to attack, and deal with current system issues.
AVG Antivirus Review – Pros & Cons
Comprehensive package bundling both antivirus and system performance utilities.
Flexible storage zones for sensitive files
The AVG Zen dashboard (included) allows monitoring of the health of all protected devices, making it a perfect choice for those deploying an antivirus solution for the whole family.
AVG Ultimate does not include support for iOS or Linux devices
User interface is a little heavy on the upselling, featuring daily popups for AVGs add-ons not included in the package.
After having a rather torrid time attempting to download some of AVG’s rival free antivirus products, namely Bitdefender and McAfee, AVG was a comparative breeze. Admittedly, a shoddy internet connection makes everything a little tedious, but it nevertheless downloaded and installed faster than the others I’ve tried and with fewer alerts, alarms, and software incompatibility messages.
I also liked the fact that the progress of the installation is displayed in a small window in the bottom corner of the screen so it’s visible even when you’re using other programs and applications. Some antivirus products have a large window that is hidden when, for example, Word is open, meaning that when I clicked back to the installation window, I would find it had either stopped abruptly or needed user intervention to continue.
AVG’s free antivirus is extremely lightweight, especially when compared to products from Bitdefender, for example, and the setup file is only 262 KB, compared to Bitdefender’s which is nearly 10MB! Inevitably, this makes for a much faster download process, and the actual installation was also fast and efficient with limited hiccups.
While some antivirus programs insist that you remove all other similar apps from your device, AVG will happily sit alongside the likes of Avast without any hostility or conflict. AVG will just let you know that another antivirus is there and that the two may get in each other’s way but won’t actually stop you from installing or activating an AVG product. This is great for those who, like me, are always wondering if the grass isn’t greener on the other side. Being able to run two antivirus programs concurrently means I can make an accurate comparison without having to uninstall and reinstall as the mood takes me.
AVG’s premium packages contain a multitude of features and several different applications but still, downloads and installs in under 30 minutes, making it one of the quickest and easiest antivirus programmes to get set up, regardless of which operating platform you happen to be using.
As with most other leading antivirus companies, AVG offers additional technical support for the setup process if you’re willing to pay for it. This remote technical support costs $19.99 which is pretty cheap considering that Bitdefender offers a similar service for nearly double that. In most instances, however, no assistance is necessary as the entire installation process is slick and straightforward with the wizard performing all functions required without intervention.
Even the limited free version of AVG offers solid protection where you need it most. The latest version includes protection that utilizes both signature matching technology and heuristic analysis to protect you against both known and zero-day attacks. This means your device will be secure against malware, ransomware, Trojan viruses, and nasty rootkit infections that will see your device’s operations hijacked by an unauthorized user.
All AVG products perform well in lab tests, with the free antivirus software scoring an impressive 99.99% in AV-Comparatives’ malware protection test earlier this year. Its online protection rate was similarly exceptional, although its sister product from Avast managed to sneak ahead with a perfect score.
The latest version of AVG’s Internet Security suite includes new webcam and ransomware protection while using advanced Artificial Intelligence to identify suspicious behavior and prevent even the most recent viruses from getting to your sensitive files. Email Shield technology guards against phishing and spam while a robust firewall prevents the flow of unauthorized traffic both to and from your device.
AVG’s premium packages also include an extra layer of protection when performing online transactions and a file shredder that will ensure sensitive deleted items can’t be restored or recovered. This advanced array of protection tools and features ensures excellent security and makes all their products reliable and effective when it comes to advanced antivirus protection.
Although not a feature-rich as Avast, AVG nevertheless has a toolbox full of useful gadgets. While you’ll only get to use the power tools if you subscribe to a premium service like Internet Security or AVG Ultimate, the range of features included in its free antivirus software is sufficient enough. This limited package includes basic protection features including both file and behavior shields which basically operate using signature matching technology and heuristic analysis respectively.
Also included in the free version is a web shield that allows the program to scan and block malicious sites, an email shield that prevents spam and phishing attacks, and on-demand scans that will check to see that your device is functioning properly and is fully optimized. Additional features include a Do Not Disturb function which enables the user to switch off notifications from both AVG and other third-party software. It will also give you a quarantine zone of over 5,000MB in which to store any potentially dangerous or infected documents and a customizable file shredder.
If you want access to AVG’s more powerful tools, you can upgrade to the Internet Security package and get all the features mentioned above, plus webcam protection, an enhanced firewall, secure browsing for online financial transactions, and ransomware protection. The last of these features is basically a secure, encrypted vault where you can store files that contain sensitive data or that you can’t afford to lose. AVG’s Ransomware Protection will then allow trusted applications like Microsoft Word to access those files but will block any access attempts from suspicious sources.
For those seeking an even more secure online experience, AVG has a variety of added extras to choose from, including a VPN which will create an encrypted tunnel through which you can access the internet undetected. Many antivirus companies are starting to introduce VPN functions into their security suites but few manage to perform to the standards of the best VPNs, like ExpressVPN for example. AVG’s offering isn’t bad but it could do with consolidating its position on logging and is unlikely to give you access to geographically restricted sites like Netflix. Having said that, it proved effective against both DNS and IP leaks although its speeds leave a lot to be desired.
While it may not have quite the range of tools available with the likes of Avast, AVG is keeping up with the latest threats and security vulnerabilities and its latest version offers comprehensive protection against both common and unusual cyber threats while giving you the added benefit of performance scanning and optimization.
The free antivirus from AVG is lightweight and not as fully functional as some of its rivals but nonetheless provides an effective layer of basic protection. AVG’s Internet Security package is comprehensive and multi-faceted while the Ultimate security suite includes additional tools that will automatically scan for performance optimization and security issues.
After a smooth setup process, things just get better once you start finding your way around AVG’s inviting interface. The main screen shows the five main areas of protection, which you can enable or disable at the click of a button. Clicking on the menu on the top right-hand corner reveals a host of options, including Settings. By selecting this option, the user can customize almost anything about how AVG operates, from the regularity of notifications to how AVG scans for potential threats.
While some users may prefer to leave the majority of settings on default, customization is simple enough that even those, like me, who aren’t particularly confident about their cybersecurity knowledge or technical know-how, can adjust settings according to our own needs. For example, if you’ve been having a lot of false positives, you can adjust your settings to notify you if a threat occurs, rather than dealing with it automatically.
The settings menu also gives you access to one of the most important aspects of device security – your AVG scan options. Here you can dictate exactly which files and functions your on-demand scans focus on and how AVG should respond in the event that a threat is detected.
Although AVG doesn’t offer anything like the level of automation found with Bitdefender, it is also so much simpler to use that you don’t really need an AutoPilot guiding you every step of the way. From basic protection to advanced features, AVG is easy to navigate, operate and customize. Its interface is functional rather than beautiful and appealing in its simplicity.
AVG really has gone the extra mile when it comes to making top-class security accessible to everyone and its operability and ease of use are second to none. The functionality of its interface is beyond doubt and the lack of frills appealing, although a little more color wouldn’t go amiss.
AVG offers one of the best free antivirus solutions in the industry, but it misses a beat by not offering a paid upgrade. While most internet security companies have an enhanced antivirus available as their bottom-line product, AVG just leaps straight from its free antivirus product to its full Internet Security suite which, at $79.99 per annum, is quite a hike.
Many of the other leading antivirus companies have an entry-level antivirus software priced between approximately $15 and $35 which is a nice intermediary step between completely free and really quite pricey. AVG has disregarded this step but that’s hardly surprising given that its Internet Security suite only really adds a couple of features onto what’s available in the free antivirus option.
For an annual subscription of $99.99, users can opt for the premium package, AVG Ultimate, although the benefits of this, compared to the Internet Security product, seem rather limited for the additional $20, although I can see why users with multiple operating systems may embrace its heightened versatility.
The simplicity of both AVG’s setup process and functionality are reflected in its uncomplicated three-tier pricing structure although, to be honest, the Internet Security option clearly offers the best value for money.
Those wanting additional security features not included in the standard packages can add on optional functions such as a VPN, TuneUp tools, and premium technical support at extra cost. There are also a few free tools available, like a clean-up tool for Android devices, as well as a variety of enterprise and business packages for the commercial user.
With an effective free product on offer and a competitively priced complete internet suite, AVG is hitting the mark and, although it may not be the cheapest, its generosity when it comes to protecting unlimited devices makes it extremely cost-effective for those with multiple gadgets.
While other services have a personal assistant on hand at all times to make suggestions and advise the user, AVG allows you a little more space and independence. If you need help, it’s only a few clicks away and, by going back the menu in the top right corner that we discussed earlier, the user can access both Help and Support options.
Unfortunately, once there, its something of a magical mystery tour but one thing’s for sure, there seem to be limited options for actually contacting a customer support representative. Even after filling in what I wrongly assumed was a ticket support system, I found myself on yet another page of FAQs and form suggestions. The small print at the bottom of this page explained my problem – phone and email support options are available to subscribers to paid products only. Ah ha. Still, that doesn’t excuse the convoluted navigation.
Despite searching high and low I found no evidence of a ticket support system, online chat, or anything other than a telephone number. Even if you want to get remote technical support, you have to telephone a consultation which seems a little archaic. Having said that, the telephonic support is prompt and informative so perhaps AVG is simply focussing all their energy into a single support system in order to maximize effectiveness.
While limited, what customer support AVG does offer works effectively, but expanding the number of available contact methods would add much to the service. Similarly, the FAQ section is functional but the answers are on the concise side, to say the least. Certainly, a little more focus on the development of its support options would make AVG more appealing.
Of course, if you are willing to pay for it, you can take advantage of AVG’s premium tech support options. The cheapest is of these is a single fix in which a remote technician will help you install and set up the product and give you some basic training along the way. It sounds great but, at $79 per call, it’s not something I’m prepared to try out firsthand.
Sadly, charging for technical support is a common trend in the world of antivirus software developers and, personally, I would rather pay more the product itself and get free support, as with VPNs and other cybersecurity services, than have to hum and haw over whether or not to pay for premium assistance.
Customer support certainly isn’t one of AVG’s strong points but its telephonic system works fast and effectively. The introduction of alternative contact methods and a more in-depth online help section would be welcome, however.