(Last updated on February 18th, 2020)
Avast or AVG, which antivirus software is a better pick in 2020?
We have put together this detailed, data-driven Avast versus AVG comparison so you can make a wise decision.
These days, malware attacks are rampant and everywhere on the internet. It’s not something that you can avoid, which is why investing in a robust antivirus program that actively protects your devices and data is a great idea.
New research from a reputable security firm has revealed that there were over 10 billion malware attacks last year. The research shows that all types of malware are on the rise, especially ransomware and mobile malware attacks.
And it’s not just the volume of malware that’s increasing at a rapid rate, the tactics used by hackers are also becoming more sophisticated. It’s easy to see that things are only getting riskier rather than safer.
It’s tempting to think that the software you get with your computer is good enough and that free software is fine when it comes to defending against complex malware attacks. After all, antivirus attacks have to be getting better after all these years, right? Wrong!
Most free or low-end antivirus software out there have flimsy defenses that fall apart in the face of advanced threats. So, it’s critical that you have a robust security suite that protects against all sorts of digital threats. Also, premium security suites offer a slew of additional security-related features and tools that bolster your security and give you extra utility.
Best Antivirus Suite for 2020
(All the best security products examined)
Editors' Choice Award Winner
Overall Score: 9.9/10
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Overall, Bitdefender is our #1 antivirus software for 2020, because of its excellent, flawless performance in all the recent independent lab evaluations we considered, particularly those conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.
Right now, we think that Bitdefender Total Security 2020 (currently at 60% off) is the best antivirus package available in the market. Apart from providing excellent anti-malware protection, it offers all the advanced premium features and utilities that must be there in a high-end package -- and best of all, it offers excellent value for money. You can protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, or smartphones) with just one subscription.
If you need protection for more than five devices, we highly recommend Bitdefender Family Pack 2020. It will cover all the internet-capable devices in your household with the Total Security suite, so your family will be protected no matter what goes wrong.
In this comparison, we’ll show you the strengths and weaknesses of two top antivirus companies: Avast and AVG. We’ll examine each software in detail so you can make a smart decision.
In a rush? Check out the rundown below to see which software wins in each category.
A Quick Rundown of Winners Antivirus in Each Category
Winner: Avast. Compared to AVG, Avast offers a more comprehensive feature-set as part of its premium suites.
2. Malware Protection
Winner: Tie. According to two independent tests, both Avast and AVG protect your computer against all sorts of malware.
3. System Performance
Winner: Tie. Again, both companies tied during independent performance tests.
Winner: Avast. Both programs have simple, intuitive user interfaces, but Avast’s secondary screens are more easily reached than AVG’s.
Winner: AVG. AVG offers more bang for your buck; you can protect more devices for less money through AVG.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Winner: AVG. AVG has slightly better customer satisfaction ratings than Avast
Independent tests show that both Avast and AVG provide excellent malware protection with minimal impact on system performance. However, Avast is a better choice as it offers more protection-related features and extra utilities in its security products than AVG.
We have reviewed, ranked, and rated all the best antivirus software products out there, and we think that Bitdefender Total Security 2020 (currently at 50% off) is the best antivirus package you can buy right now. You can protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs, or smartphones) with just a single subscription of this suite.
If you need protection for more than five devices, Bitdefender Family Pack 2020 is the best option for you.
Looking for Mac-specific protection? Check out Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac for complete peace of mind.
Now, we’ll go into the details.
Good antivirus software won’t just defend you against malware; it will also come with a host of advanced features and extra utilities that enhance your security and promote extra value.
First, let’s see what features Avast offers as part of its software packages.
Avast has different protection tiers for Windows and Mac computers.
Avast Free Antivirus is the company’s freemium security product for PCs. It doesn’t offer much in terms of advanced features and utilities, but it does protect against a host of malware types. As expected, the freeware is easily overshadowed by Avast’s premium tiers of protection coverage.
Avast Internet Security is the company’s first premium antivirus package. This suite offers excellent protection against all sorts of digital threats, along with several advanced features and add-ons. These include a smart two-way firewall that keeps an eye on your network traffic, an email filter that helps junk and malicious emails away from your inbox, and the Wi-Fi Inspector that checks for weakness in your home network.
The Real Site feature is also jammed into the suite; this prevents hackers from taking over your DNS and rerouting you to fake sites to steal your financial details. The Sandbox feature is another useful offering that lets you run suspicious files and programs in a secure environment, so there’s no risk of malware infiltrating your computer.
Finally, there’s also the Do Not Disturb Mode that minimizes disruptions and distractions while you’re enjoying your favorite game, for example.
The company’s next offering is Avast Premier. Everything that comes with the Internet Security suite is also part of this package, plus you get the Data Shredder utility that allows you to permanently delete your sensitive data so hackers can’t recover them. Webcam protector (prevents people from spying on you through your webcam) is also part of the suite, as well as an automatic software updater.
Avast Ultimate is the company’s full-blown antivirus offering. This suite has all the advanced features and utilities you can expect to find in a high-end security package.
All the features we mentioned above are part of the Ultimate suite, plus there’s a VPN that lets you surf the internet anonymously and can be used to access content that may be blocked in your geographic location. There’s also a clean-up tool that removes junk files to free up disk space, optimizes computer operations to improve the speed of operations, and fixes annoying problems. Finally, there’s an advanced password manager and protector that can store all your sensitive details in a secure, digital vault.
If you use a Mac user, there’s Avast Security for Mac. There are two different versions of this software: Free and Pro. The free software is a lot like the Windows freemium option; it’s not worth much in terms of advanced features and only provides barebones security. The Pro version offers several advanced features that make it worthwhile, such as a ransomware guard, and the Wi-Fi intruder alert feature.
If you’re interested in Avast’s business-specific security solutions, click here for more information.
Now let’s see what AVG offers in terms of features.
AVG also offers a freemium solution, called AVG AntiVirus Free. As you’d guess, there aren’t any advanced features or tools jammed into the freeware, but it does offer protection against different types of malware threats. The software also protects against malicious links and downloads.
AVG Internet Security (compatible with both Windows and macOS) is the company’s mid-level premium offering. This suite offers excellent protection against all kinds of malware, plus you get a two-way firewall that defends your network, a file encryption utility that lets you secure your important data against ransomware, and a file shredder.
Webcam protection software that prevents surreptitious spying is also part of the suite, as well as an email filter (filters malicious emails and blocks dangerous links) and a fake website detector; this feature helps prevent financial information theft.
Next up is AVG Ultimate, the highest, full-blown tier of coverage offered by AVG. It can be used to protect PCs, Macs, or Android devices.
All the features and utilities that are part of the Internet Security suite are also found in this suite, plus you get a comprehensive computer performance optimization tool, called AVG Tune-up; this all-in-one utility automatically cleans up junk files, speeds up your system performance, and keeps your applications up-to-date.
The Ultimate license also gives you access to AVG’s live phone or chat support at any time of day or night, as well as AVG’s mobile antivirus and clean-up apps.
If you’re interested in AVG’s business-specific products, click here to see the full range.
Winner: Avast. AVG’s products come with an impressive feature-set, but Avast offers more security-enhancing features and tools in its security suites.
2. Malware Protection
The ability to defend your computer from malware is the most important factor you should consider when purchasing a security program. We’ll examine the recent lab tests conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives to see how Avast and AVG compare in this category.
AV-Test’s most recent evaluations were held in April 2019. During these evaluations, all antivirus companies were tested for Protection, Performance, and Usability.
In the Protection tests, Avast scored a 5.5 out of 6, which is a decent score but not a perfect one.
AVG also got a 5.5/6 score in the Protection category.
AV-Comparatives is another well-known independent organization that regularly conducts several exhaustive to determine the performance of top antivirus software brands.
In the AV-Comparatives’ 2019 Real-World Protection tests, both Avast and AVG got the second-best ADVANCED award, because of their good malware detection rates. Other products, like Bitdefender and Kaspersky, got the highest ADVANCED+ award in these evaluations.
Winner: Tie. Overall, both companies scored equally well in both independent evaluations we considered.
3. System Performance
Another important aspect you should consider is the impact (or strain) each antivirus software will put on your system performance. Good antivirus programs don’t slow down your system.
In the performance category of AV-Test evaluations, both Avast and AVG received a perfect 6 out of 6 score, meaning both software are excellent in terms of the impact on system performance.
In the AV-Comparatives’ recent performance test, which was held in April 2019, both Avast and AVG got the highest ADVANCED+ award form the company, because of their low impact scores.
Winner: Tie. Once again, both companies were neck and neck during both performance evaluations.
The interface of a security product should be simple and easy to use, even for those who aren’t very computer literate.
Let’s take a look at the user interface of both software to see which one is more user-friendly.
Avast’s interface is intuitive and straightforward, dominated by dark colors. There’s a left-hand bar with four main categories, which are Status, Protection, Privacy, and Performance.
The Status screen is the default view. When everything is okay, you will see a green checkmark in the center with a reassuring “you’re protected” message. You can begin a quick scan right from this screen at the click of a button.
You can customize the controls to a reasonable extent, either by turning tools off or adjusting their usage. You can also lessen the amount of scanning and monitoring the software undergoes if it’s putting too much of a strain on your computer, although this shouldn’t be an issue given the high scores and received for performance when it was tested by unbiased organizations. The software also allows you to schedule scans, allowing you to make the software work around your personal schedule.
Links to Notifications, Settings, and Help are in the top bar.
Now, let’s examine AVG’s interface.
AVG’s dark, intuitive interface uses green and white as its primary colors. On the main screen, there’s a large circle at the top which will be a green checkmark if everything is fine. At the bottom, there’s the prominent Scan Computer button that allows you to initiate a scan with just one click.
There’re five modules on the main screen: Computer, Web & Email, Hacker Alerts, Privacy Data, and Payments. Each module has relevant features and their settings. All the advanced features and functions of the software can be easily reached with a few clicks.
Winner: Avast. Overall, Avast’s interface is simpler, more straightforward than AVG’s.
Now, let’s look at the pricing structure of both companies to see which software gives more bang for your buck.
Avast Internet Security protects 1 device for $59.99 per year. Avast Premier costs $69.99 per year for a single PC.
Finally, Avast Ultimate, which is the highest package offered by the company, costs $119.99 per year for 1 PC.
Avast Security for Mac, which is the company’s offering for macOS, costs $59.99 per year for 1 Mac.
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Let’s compare what AVG costs.
AVG Internet Security, which works on both PCs and Macs, protects up to 10 devices for $79.99 per.
AVG Ultimate, the highest tier of coverage from AVG, actually gives you an unlimited number of licenses for $99.99 per year; it represents excellent value for money, especially in comparison to Avast’s top-of-the-line product.
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Winner: AVG. It’s a close call, but you can protect more devices for less money with AVG. Also, AVG is a better pick if you’d like to get antivirus protection for all your family devices.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Before we render our final verdict, let’s look at the overall customer satisfaction ratings for companies.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) combines company reputation and user reviews and awards a single letter rating from A to F to each company. Avast has an excellent A+ rating from the BBB, showing great company reputation and exceptional customer service. AVG has an A+ rating as well, meaning they too have a good company reputation and high levels of customer satisfaction.
Winner: Tie. Both companies score equally well in this category.
Avast is the overall winners as it won more rounds of the competition, although AVG puts up a good fight. Both companies are neck and neck in terms of anti-malware security and system performance. Avast wins in terms of features and user interface, while AVG offers a better pricing structure.
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Overall Score: 9.9/10
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Got more than five internet-capable devices? We found that Bitdefender Family Pack 2020 is the best option out there in terms of value for money.
If you are still unsure, Bitdefender offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and exceptional customer support, so you there is nothing to lose.
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