Avast vs AVG | The Ultimate Comparison (2018 Update)
Avast or AVG? Who wins in a head-to-head battle for dominance?
In the modern, technology-driven world, the need for a reliable antivirus software is apparent. A recent study says that the average American spends nearly half a day looking at a screen.
So it makes sense that we should be actively protecting our devices — especially computers — from a range of online threats, such as viruses, spyware, ransomware, Trojan horses, worms, and rootkits (all collectively called “malware”.
Even if you’re practicing safe online habits, experts say that you can still get infected by malware. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
In this ultimate Avast vs. AVG comparison, you’ll see all the features and utilities included in each security suite offered by both Avast and AVG, as well as how their products stack up against each other in terms of malware protection, system impact, user interface, cost and more.
First, let’s see the security products both companies offer for home-based users.
|Avast Antivirus Suites|
|Avast Free Antivirus (Windows only)|
|Avast Pro Antivirus (Windows only)|
|Avast Internet Security (Windows only)|
|Avast Premier (Windows only)|
|Avast Ultimate (Windows only)|
|Avast Security (Mac only)|
|Avast Security Pro (Mac only)|
|AVG Security Suites|
|AVG AntiVirus FREE (Windows only)|
|AVG Internet Security (Both Windows and Mac)|
|AVG Ultimate (Both Windows and Mac)|
|AVG AntiVirus for Mac (Mac only)|
If you’re in a rush and only want to see the summary of this ultimate Avast vs. AVG showdown, see the infographic below.
Let’s begin with the detailed comparison…
What is Included in Avast’s Security Suites?
Avast’s freeware, popularly known as Avast Free Antivirus, is one of the most feature-rich free antivirus product in the market.
Along with providing “essential malware protection,” it offers several handy utilities, such as a WiFi inspector (checks issues and vulnerabilities in your network), a limited Software Updater (tells you about your other outdated applications), an unlimited password vault (available as browser extension), and a Game Mode feature (provides uninterrupted experience).
Protection against web- and email-based threats is also incorporated in the freeware.
If your computer is so infested with malware that it won’t start, you can make use of Avast’s free Rescue Disk to remove deep-rooted malware.
However, you only get limited protection and extra features with the free antivirus products. For a complete peace of mind, you should go with a premium version as they outperform the free ones.
With Avast Pro Antivirus, you get everything in the “free” plan plus Sandbox technology (lets you test suspicious files in a separate environment so they don’t wreak havoc on your computer), a Real Site feature (prevents hackers from redirecting you to fake websites to steal your sensitive details), and premium in-product support.
With Avast Internet Security, you get everything that comes as part of the “Pro” plan plus a built-in firewall (monitors network traffic and prevents web-based attacks), and an extra layer of ransomware protection (stops hackers from taking over your personal files), and anti-spam filter (blocks junk emails and phishing scams).
Another level up is Avast Premier. It adds a File Shredder, an automatic Software Updater, and also protects against webcam spying.
Avast Ultimate is the company’s full-blown suite, including almost every security-related feature and extra utility that you could ask for. Along with everything jammed into the “Premier” suite, it includes a clean-up utility, an unlimited VPN, and a premium version of Avast’s password manager.
The two useful browser extensions that Avast offers are Online Security and SafePrice. The latter is price comparison and coupon finder tool that helps you save money while shopping online, while the former blocks dangerous websites and also thwarts phishing attacks.
For Mac users, Avast offers two separate security suites: Avast Security and Avast Security Pro.
Avast Security is the company’s free offering for Mac users. It includes anti-malware security, a WiFi scanner, and also protects against web- and email-based threats.
To get ransomware protection and other additional features, you must upgrade to Avast Security Pro.
Now, let’s see what is included in AVG’s premium suites.
What is Included in AVG’s Security Suites?
AVG AntiVirus Free is the company’s Windows-only freeware. It offers great malware protection but doesn’t offer many extra features and utilities other than a useful File Shredder (thoroughly removes any file or folder).
It blocks dangerous websites, links, and attachments and also prevents phishing attacks.
Next level up is AVG Internet Security. Along with everything jammed into the “free” plan, it adds dedicated ransomware protection, webcam protection, an enhanced two-way firewall, an encryption utility, and a WiFi Guard (warns you of unsecured networks).
A silent mode feature and an anti-spam module (blocks junk emails and scams) are also part of the “Internet Security” suite.
Also, a single subscription of AVG Internet Security keeps your whole family secure; you can install it on every device in your household.
AVG Ultimate is the company’s top-of-the-line suite. It includes everything that comes as part of the “Internet Security” plan and further adds AVG’s TuneUp utility (fixes performance issues, removes junk, improves battery life, and updates other outdated software).
Note: Both AVG Internet Security and AVG Ultimate are compatible with Mac, too.
AVG also offers a Mac-only freeware, called AVG AntiVirus for Mac. It includes excellent anti-malware security along with protection against malicious websites and downloads.
Avast vs AVG: Which Provides Better Protection?
Nearly all the modern antivirus software — including Avast and AVG — use signature-matching technology to detect all the sorts of viruses, spyware, rootkits, and Trojans.
In simple terms, they employ different methods to check and compare your files against a huge database of virus definition files, which contain data on known/unknown malware threats and even potentially dangerous files. Any file that matches an existing definition file is either removed or marked as suspicious and is added to cloud servers for examination.
AV-Test, Germany’s IT security institute, regularly conducts independent lab tests to thoroughly examine the performance of different antivirus products on different operating systems.
In their recent tests, which were conducted in September and October 2017, Avast and AVG both had identical results; they both detected 100% of the previously unseen and widespread malware when tested on Windows 10 — scoring a perfect 6 out of 6 rating in protection. (See this and this for detailed reports.)
In tests conducted on Windows 7 in July-August 2017, Avast and AVG again came up with the exact same results; the both provided protection against 99% of the zero-day malware in July and 100% in August, and 99.9% and 100% protection against widespread malware in both months respectively. (See this and this for detailed reports.)
Australian independent lab AV-Comparatives also conducts various tests to check and compare the performance of various antivirus products.
In their Malware Protection Test Report, which published in September 2017, both Avast and AVG received “ADVANCED +” rating with 99.99% protection rate, and returned 9 false alarms (i.e. wrongly identifying clean software as malware).
In their Real-World Protection Test which took place in November 2017, both products again received an excellent “ADVANCED +” rating courtesy their 99.6% protection rate.
So, it’s a tie in this category as both Avast and AVG provide an excellent level of protection.
Now, let’s talk about which software is less resource-hungry.
Avast vs AVG: Which Puts Less Impact on System?
All modern antivirus products continuously run the background to provide real-time protection against malware threats, and that means they use some percentage of system resources.
An application that takes too much of system resources will degrade your computer’s performance. So, it is imperative that not only antivirus software provides comprehensive protection, but also that it doesn’t cause any significant impact on system performance and speed.
Both Avast and AVG both are super-lightweight antivirus products and exert a minimal impact on system resources.
In September-October 2017, AV-Test conducted a study to measure the influence of Avast and AVG on system speed (system performance) by carrying out typical actions like launching popular websites, downloading and installing, commonly used applications, copying of files, and more.
Here’s how much Avast slowed down the system when performing different tasks on a standard and high-end PC, expressed in terms of percentage slowdown.
And here the results of performance tests with AVG installed.
Both Avast and AVG received a rating of 5 stars out of 6, an acceptable performance score.
In AV-Comparatives’ performance test, they tested the performance of a system by carrying out the following tasks: file copying, archiving/unarchiving, installing/uninstalling applications, launching applications, downloading files, and browsing websites.
Both software received an “ADVANCED +” rating, with an impact score of 8.9.
So, it’s clear that Avast and AVG use system resources in a similar way and — more importantly — neither of them will significantly slowdown your computer
Avast vs AVG: Which Offers a Cleaner Interface?
Nobody likes using a piece of software that doesn’t offer clean user experience and easy-to-use navigation. Avast and AVG both will not disappoint you if that is your preference too.
Avast’s dark interface sits nicely on Windows/Mac and cannot be resized or run full screen. It has a vertical menu on the left which has four main items: Status, Protection, Privacy, and Performance. Each of those menu items — when clicked — elegantly opens sub-menu items, which contain all its features. There’s also a promotional banner at the bottom for getting you to upgrade to the premium version.
At the bottom-left edge, there’s a button which takes you to the settings.
The red color signals a problem, while green represents “everything is okay.”
On the other hand, AVG’s interface looks a bit overwhelming at first, but when you get used to it, you’ll see it’s very easy to navigate, too. Unlike Avast, there a horizontal menu with the following components: Computer, Web & Email, Hacker Attacks, Privacy, and Payments.
If you’re using the free version, you’ll get basic protection, and much of what is on the interface will not be useful to you.
There’s a ‘Scan Computer’ button in the middle and next to it, there’s a button which takes to all the different type of scans you can run with AVG. Also, there’s a promotional banner at the bottom.
The green color represents that everything is okay and no further action is needed, while the red color signals a problem.
Overall, Avast’s interface provides a better user experience and navigation, but AVG’s interface is not far behind.
Avast vs AVG: Which Will Cost You More?
First, let’s look at the prices of Avast’s security suites.
|Avast Security Suites||Price|
|Avast Free Antivirus (Get it)||Free|
|Avast Pro Antivirus (Get it)||$49.99/year|
|Avast Internet Security (Get it)||$59.99/year|
|Avast Premier (Get it)||$79.99/year|
|Avast Ultimate (Get it)||$119.99/year|
|Avast Security (Get it)||Free|
|Avast Security Pro (Get it)||$59.99/year|
Now, let’s see the pricing of AVG’s suites.
|AVG Security Suites||Price / Devices(s) Covered|
|AVG AntiVirus FREE (Get it)||Free (Unlimited Devices)|
|AVG Internet Security (Get it)||$69.99/year (Unlimited devices)|
|AVG Ultimate (Get it)||$120/year (Unlimited Devices)|
|AVG AntiVirus for Mac (Get it)||Free (Unlimited Devices)|
Avast vs AVG: Which is More Popular Solution?
Avast and AVG belong to the same company and together they capture a huge market share. To determine which among them is more popular is not an easy task.
Avast claims to have a user base of 400 million (that includes AVG users, too). AVG, on the other hand, no longer shares its numbers publically. So it becomes difficult to decide which one has a bigger market share based on what we see on their official websites.
However, if you look at other sources, you’ll notice that Avast is clearly ahead in this race.
According to OPSWAT, a company which regularly releases reports about the market share captured by different antivirus solutions, says – as of 4th Jan 2018 — that Avast is the leading antivirus software with 18.88% market share, followed by ESET (13.88%) and Malwarebytes (11.57%).
AVG doesn’t quite make it to OPSWAT’s list of top 10 antivirus products.
According to Download.com by CNET, AVG has over 565 million downloads while Avast has been downloaded 411 million times. But Avast’s editor rating’ is 4/5, which means “excellent”, while AVG has 3.5 stars out of 5 (meaning “very good”). Avast also has a better average user rating of 4.5/5 stars as opposed to AVG, which has 4 stars.
If you look at social numbers, Avast’s Facebook community totals to 4.1 million while AVG has over 3 million Facebook fans. On Twitter, though, AVG leads the way with 215k followers as opposed to Avast’s 182k.
Both Avast and AVG offer a range of antivirus suites, and it’s clear that one of them should precisely match your protection needs.
If you’re slightly tight on budget and have many devices to protect, AVG Internet Security might be the best option for you.
Avast Premier or AVG Ultimate might be right for you if you’re looking for a full-blown suite.
And do you know we have partnered with both Avast and AVG so that you can get your favorite antivirus suite at a discounted price?
Click here to choose your favorite Avast suite (up to 43% off regular prices).
Click here to choose your favorite AVG suite (up to 50% off regular prices).
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If you believe I have stated something incorrectly or missed something that I should add to this ultimate Avast vs AVG showdown, let me know in the comments.