[SHOWDOWN] Avast vs AVG

Category: Security

Avast and AVG are two of the most respected names in Internet security software. But many consumers don’t know that they became one company in October, 2016, when Avast bought AVG for $1.6 billion. Since then, the two software brands have remained distinct. But under the hood, they have grown more alike. There are still some differences in important features that may sway your choice. Let’s compare Avast Free Antivirus to AVG AntiVirus Free...

MALWARE PROTECTION: Avast vs AVG

Protecting your system against threats is a security suite’s first and most important job. Avast and AVG are neck-and-neck in this regard.

When it comes to scanning for malware, detecting it, and quarantining any malware found, the products achieved identical scores in a recent test conducted by AV-Comparatives. They both nailed 99.9% of the malware test samples, with zero false positives. (PDF, see p. 8 summary). This is not surprising because, shortly after the merger, AVG incorporated Avast’s anti-malware engine into AVG security products.

AVG Free comes with basic protection including scan/quarantine, and real-time protection for your web browser and email client. Note that webmail services such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail are protected by AVG’s webshield, while local email clients such as Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird are protected by the “email” shield.

Avast versus AVG

Important features that Avast Free has but AVG Free lacks include Wi-Fi Inspector (formerly Home Network and Router Security); Unwanted Browser Plugins Cleanup; and an Outdated Software Scanner/Updater. Avast also has a “secured remote administration” feature, although I do not recommend giving anyone remote access to your security software.

On the other hand, AVG Free includes two features that Avast Free lacks: “Spying and Data Theft Protection,” and “Permanent Deletion of Sensitive Data” - a.k.a. a file shredder.

PERFORMANCE and OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

In benchmark tests that measure how much security suites slow down the rest of your computing, AVG and Avast achieve virtually identical scores. The performance hit of both programs is very light, less than 5%.

AVG Free does not require registration for personal use; just install and run it. Avast insists that you “activate” its free app when it is installed and annually thereafter. Your email address is required; I presume this “activation” is just a ruse to keep Avast’s database of email addresses up to date for marketing purposes.

The user interface of AVG is a bit “busier” than that of Avast, which could be less confusing for some users. Other users may appreciate having more information and options on the main screen, at their fingertips.

In terms of upgrading to paid versions, AVG Internet Security, the only paid option, is $70 per year list price. Avast has a somewhat confusing array of products and license bundles. The minimum buy, a one-year license of Avast Internet Security for one PC, lists for $60; but there are always “limited time discounts” in effect; currently, this license is going for $30.

In my opinion, AVG and Avast are neck and neck in terms of features. AVG wins me over with its simplicity and lack of marketing shenanigans; I don’t like complex pricing schemes or fake discounts, nor do I like programs that interrupt my work to try and sell me an upgrade. Avast has gone too far down that dark road in recent years. It may have more features than AVG but most of them are really unnecessary for me.

As usual, your thoughts and comments are welcome. Have you tried AVG and Avast? Do you have a preference? Is there a feature of one that you especially like? Post your comment below...

 
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Most recent comments on "[SHOWDOWN] Avast vs AVG"

(See all 29 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

James Wray
06 Jul 2018

I have Webroot on my laptop. How does Webroot compare with AVG and Avast?


Posted by:

Michael Arentoft
06 Jul 2018

Bob - Re: Avast - I do not like a security helper that wants me to forswear all others, even those that only run when I want. Therefore - no Avast.


Posted by:

Eugene C McCann Jr
07 Jul 2018

I use Malwarebytes how do these work with it, if necessary?


Posted by:

nick
07 Jul 2018

I used AVG for quite a few years, in fact the first antivirus I ever used after uninstalling the crap that came with the computer.
But started having issues with it so based partly on your recommendations at the time switched to Avast and have never looked back.


Posted by:

Mark Lindemann
07 Jul 2018

On some of my computers, I use AVG; on others, Avast, but I favor AVG because it seems to give me less pop-up ads.

Sure would like to know what effect the "joining" of the two will have.


Posted by:

Craig Davies
07 Jul 2018

I have been using AVG Free for around 10 years now. I like the way it installs simply with no fuss and on any version of windows. Have tried all the other well known anti virus programs, some of which were recommended by Bob Rankin, but I keep going back to AVG. I also use Malwarebytes which runs seamlessly with AVG. Both these programs combined with CCleaner have kept my computers running safe and clutter free for many years now.


Posted by:

RandiO
07 Jul 2018

I am wondering if Mr. Rankin means that he has AVG installed in his system when he states " AVG wins me over". I also love performance and anything that dings performance by even 5% gets me upset; although I run an Intel i7-6700K overclocked at 4.7GHz desktop running Win10Pro. When all else fails, I always end up selecting FREEware over anything that provides an upgrade provisions especially if it is on a yearly subscription model. I have not OCD’d over AV for a few decades now but I am way OCD about running encryption on my 6 drives and a good dose of Acronis every few months.
But none of the above means that I don’t appreciate the angst Mr. Rankin goes thru in attempts to make us aware with such critical information. Thank you.


Posted by:

Duane
07 Jul 2018

Your article from 4 years ago. The only constant is change.

https://askbobrankin.com/why_i_switched_from_avg_to_avast_antivirus.html


Posted by:

bushdog
07 Jul 2018

I am in middle of removing AVG from all my computers, it was good compared to Norton's which(bogged machines down).
Just recently when trying to re save a upgraded word doc to PDF,when asking permission too overwrite it I had denial as it was open in AVG (!!!!!!).
I tried to turn off or exit AVG but there did not appear to be any way I could do it.
A forced removal with Wise Programmer Uninstaller got rid of AVG, bingo I could now save as PDF.
A refurbished desk top computer with licensed Win 10 has Avast free giving no problems at this stage so I installed the free version of it on the laptop and all seems to be running well at his stage.


Posted by:

Charles
07 Jul 2018

someone asked about "Webroot" Did you read the Terms of Agreement before installing it? They tell you that they share a lot of your information with over 300 Ad companies (yes they list them by name)
unless you opt out..AND...you have to opt out on each company individually.....You did opt out ..didn't you?
So, my question is...does Avast or AVG
do the same thing?


Posted by:

Jack Meili
07 Jul 2018

It would be of interest to know which of the protection programs can run together without causing significant performance impact or actually causing problems. My understanding is that running AVG or AVAST with Malwarebytes and CCLEANER is OK. Is that right? Are any of the paid-for versions worth the purchase price.
What about McAfee Internet Security and other such packages.


Posted by:

daz wazlle
07 Jul 2018

I used AVG for years, then went to Avast for years, then i went to occasional scans with Malwarebytes and Super Antispyware and am just fine without having performance issues from Avast or AVG


Posted by:

Terry Hollett
07 Jul 2018

I started out with AVG years ago but when WinXP was just starting, to many issues. Eventually settled on Avira, for over a decade until it recently started causing more problems than it solved. So I'm now with Avast.

One of the big problems with AVG is their marketing of the Free vs Premium. I've had a number of people call me because if you click on the Free version you still get the premium version file. And to many people have installed the premium version accidentally and wondering why their free version was going to expire.

And unless AVG has changed it recently, there is no easy way to switch to the free version without going to uninstall and choosing the downgrade to free version option.

By the way, install the basic protection, not the full, if you want the free version, watch the install screens carefully.


Posted by:

Roy M.
07 Jul 2018

Appreciate the info you put out, it's been very helpful. We use AVG in our Win7 and it has performed well. And, easy to install, remove, and reinstall as needed. Not finicky like some of the others. Thanks.


Posted by:

John Renall
08 Jul 2018

I've used Avast for years on my AIO with no problems. Also us AVG on Smart Phone, no problems.
When is Avast going to fold AVG into its mainline AV product so as to end the confusion?


Posted by:

MmeMoxie
08 Jul 2018

Boy, I have used both AVG and Avast. I liked them both. I used AVG first and after quite a few years, I changed to Avast. I changed because Avast's Free version scanned for Rootkits, which no other A-V program did at the time for their Free versions.

This past January, I decided to stop using Avast. By then, I had been using the Paid version of Avast. I was NOT happy with the continual prodding of purchasing other Avast products than the Paid version I already had! This did NOT please me at all.

Another thing that was bothering greatly, was that when it came time to renew - Avast did NOT even offer any discounts for me. But, there are always great discounts offered to Newbies. This pi$$ed me. So, I started looking around for other A-V programs.

I finally, decided on Bitdefender Total Security 2018. I got a great price for 5 devices (PC or Laptop or Mobile Phone) for 3 years. Bitdefender has had an excellent rating with the A-V Testers for some time now. It was easy to setup and simply runs without using a lot of resources. Now, I will admit, that my Malwarebytes program will not work with Bitdefender, mainly because Bitdefender "disables" Malwarebytes. So, I just don't use Malwarebytes.

Now, CCleaner works fine and I have the paid version where I can have CCleaner monitor and clean up the temporary files, after every time I use the browser. This option is only available in the paid version. I have gotten very used to this option and am very glad that Bitdefender hasn't disabled it.


Posted by:

Patrick
08 Jul 2018

AVG is the only one I use. To me, it is the best. I also have the AVG PC Tune up, which is great. We have six (6) computers and all have AVG PC Tune up and AVG security. It works!


Posted by:

Tim
09 Jul 2018

I gave up on both of those resource hogs years back and went with Kaspersky Internet Security. Much lighter, much better. And we don't use free AV progs. You truly get what you pay for, and we get no more malware hits with KIS.


Posted by:

Louie
09 Jul 2018

I've been very pleased with Bitdefender Free. Not many nags to upgrade and I have had great protection. It works well with Malwarebytes and an occasional ESET online scan.


Posted by:

Inez Williamson
04 Sep 2018

I am not deliriously happy as several of the readers using Avast. It does a good job at keeping the bad stuff at bay. I am sick of being sold unneeded stuff. Please no ads telling me if I don't buy this product my computer may experience sudden crashes. Not a techie so switching to AVG, buying fix me stick trial and occasionally running Malware Bytes. Will keep you posted.


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