(Last updated on February 26th, 2021)
Is Bitdefender better than AVG, or is it the other way around?
Read this comprehensive, data-driven comparison to make an informed decision.
In the modern, digital age, you should never underestimate the importance of a reliable antivirus suite.
Do you know AV-Test institute picks up over 350,000 new malware samples every single day? If you don’t take your security and privacy seriously, it is just a matter of time before you’ll become just another victim of some widespread malware attack.
Even if you follow all the best security practices, experts say that your devices — especially computers — are still at risk.
And just in case you’re wondering what malware can do, it can delete your files, access your personal data, steal your banking details, corrupt your system, and so on.
In this comprehensive comparison, you’ll see the security products both Bitdefender and AVG offer, as well as how both software compare in terms of malware detection, system performance, user interface, cost, and more.
Best Antivirus Suite for 2020
Overall Score: 9.9/10
60-day money-back guarantee
Right now, we think that Norton is the best antivirus software your money can buy. It regularly earns perfect or near-perfect scores from independent labs and has the least impact on system performance compared to rival products. Its products combine top-notch security with an array of excellent security features and, best of all, offer exceptional value for money.
Overall, Norton 360 Deluxe (currently at 70% off) is our pick for the best antivirus suite in 2020. It is competitively priced and comes with almost everything you could possibly ask for, such as a firewall, a fully integrated VPN, dark web monitoring, cloud backup storage (50GB), a password manager, and parental controls. You can cover up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets with this suite.
If you want full-on identity protection and don’t mind paying more, Norton 360 with LifeLock Select (currently at 35% off) gives those in the US a full range of identity protection features, more backup space (100GB), as well as all the above.
First, let’s see the security products both Bitdefender and AVG offer.
|Bitdefender Antivirus Suites|
|Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition (Windows only)|
|Bitdefender Antivirus Plus (Windows only)|
|Bitdefender Internet Security (Windows only)|
|Bitdefender Total Security (Windows & Mac)|
|Bitdefender Family Pack (Windows & Mac)|
|Virus Scanner (Mac only)|
|Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac (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 want the answer straight away, take a look at the graphic below and also read our short verdict to make your mind.
Bitdefender offers more security-related features and extra utility tools in its security suites than AVG. Also, independent tests show that Bitdefender is better than AVG in terms of both malware detection and the impact on system performance.
Best Antivirus for 2021
- Robust feature-set
- Excellent anti-malware security
- Minimal system impact
- Easy-to-use interface
- Automatic updates
- Trusted by 50 million users
- 100% virus protection promise
- 60-day money-back guarantee
#2 (Very Good)
- Exceptional malware protection
- Little impact on performance
- Trusted by millions of users
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- User-friendly interface
#3 (Very Good)
- Good malware protection
- Trusted by big corporations
- Minimal impact on performance
- Good value for money
- 30-day risk-free guarantee
Now, let’s start off the detailed comparison …
What’s Included in Bitdefender’s Antivirus Suites?
Like most antivirus companies, Bitdefender offers separate antivirus suites for both Windows and Macs, but its top-drawer antivirus suite is compatible with both platforms.
Bitdefender Free Edition is the company’s limited free antivirus product. It checks for various malware threats (like viruses, spyware, worms, rootkits, etc.), but you won’t find any advanced security-enhancing features or extra tools incorporated into the product. Also, the freeware is only compatible with the Windows platform.
Next up is Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2021. Beside excellent protection all kinds of malware threats, it offers a password manager (saves all your passwords and other sensitive data in a secure vault), a file shredding utility (helps remove your sensitive files without leaving any traces for recovery), and a Vulnerability Scanner (checks for outdated software and other exploitable security flaws).
An extra layer of defense against ransomware (the most pernicious type of malware), a hardened browser (for safe online banking/shopping) and a limited VPN are also part of the “Plus” suite.
Another level up is Bitdefender Internet Security 2021. In that, you’ll get everything that is found in the “Plus” plan, along with a useful two-way firewall (monitors network traffic and blocks malicious hacking attempts made via network), an email spam filter (prevents junk emails from reaching your inbox), and an encryption utility (helps create password-protected virtual drives where you can keep your sensitive data).
Webcam protection and a limited parental control module are also part of the “Internet Security” suite.
A single subscription of Bitdefender Internet Security 2021 provides a year of protection for up to 3 three PCs.
Note: Both Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2021 and Bitdefender Internet Security 2021 are only compatible with the Windows platform.
Bitdefender Total Security 2021 (compatible with both Windows and MacOS) is the company’s most popular and best-selling antivirus suite. It includes everything jammed into the “Internet Security” suite, along with a full-blown Parental Control module and a useful Anti-Theft utility (helps recover lost or stolen devices). Several performance optimization features, such as OneClick Optimizer and Disk Cleanup, are also included the “Total Security” suite.
You can protect up to 5 Windows, MacOS, Android or iOS devices with a single subscription of Bitdefender Total Security 2021.
Out of all the high-end security suites I have reviewed, Bitdefender Total Security 2021 is the best in terms of value for money.
If you have more than five devices in your household, Bitdefender Family Pack 2021 might be the best option for you. It protects an unlimited number of Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices with the “Total Security” Suite.
For Macs, Bitdefender offers another separate product, called Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac. Besides providing excellent protection against all sorts of Mac-related malware threats, it offers web browsing protection, a limited VPN, and an encryption utility.
Note: Both Bitdefender Total Security 2021 and Bitdefender Family Pack 2021 are also compatible with macOS platform.
What’s Included in AVG’s Antivirus Suites?
Like Bitdefender, AVG offers a limited freeware, called AVG AntiVirus Free (only compatible with the Windows platform). It checks for various types of malware (like viruses, spyware, ransomware, etc.), blocks dangerous links, and also scans downloaded files and email attachments. However — as expected — you won’t find any advanced protection-related features or extra utilities packed into the freeware.
Next level up is AVG Internet Security, which is compatible with both Windows and Mac. It offers excellent protection against all kinds of malware threats (including ransomware), along with an advanced two-way firewall, a file shredder, an anti-spam module, and an encryption utility (helps you encrypt your private files and folders so that no one can see them).
Webcam Protection and a WiFi guard (immediately notifies when you connect to an unsecured network) are also incorporated into the “Internet Security” plan.
A single subscription of AVG Internet Security covers every PC, Mac, and Android device in your household.
Another level up is AVG Ultimate, which is the company’s top-shelf, all-in-one antivirus offering. It includes everything jammed into the “Internet Security” suite and AVG’s advanced tune-up utility (speeds up your computer, cleans up junk files, boosts battery life, and more).
A single subscription of AVG Ultimate provides a year of protection for all PCs, Macs, and Android devices in your household.
Note: AVG Internet Security and AVG Ultimate are compatible with both Windows and Mac platform.
Bitdefender vs AVG: Which Software Offers Better Malware Protection?
Another important point of comparison between Bitdefender and AVG is malware protection.
Generally, malware can be categorized into the following two types: known malware and unknown malware. The latter form of malware, which is also referred to as zero-day malware, exploits a previously unknown vulnerability and is much more dangerous than a known malware (refers to malware that is already out there in the wild).
To see which of the two software technologies is better in terms of malware protection, I will look at the most recent tests conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives – two well-known and trusted security software evaluation institutes that regularly examine the performance of various top antivirus products.
In the AV-Test’s most recent two-round evaluations, which were conducted during July and August 2018, several top security products were tested against 225 zero-day malware samples and 5,565 widespread malware samples.
Bitdefender got perfect results in the tests; it blocked 100% of both types of malware samples in both months, earning 6 out of 6 stars from the security experts in the ‘Protection’ category.
AVG’s results were slightly less appealing; it got marginally lower protection rates of 99.2% and 99.9% against zero-day and widespread malware, respectively, during the month of July, but it still managed to get the perfect rating from the experts.
To examine how well a security product performs against malware infections, the experts at AV-Comparatives do two tests: Real-World Protection Test and Malware Protection Test.
The most recent Real-World Protection Test report published by AV-Comparatives included combined results of the tests conducted over the five-month period, from February to June 2018. Both Bitdefender and AVG were awarded the highest ADVANCED+ award because of their near-perfect protection rates of 99.8% and 99.4%, respectively. Bitdefender only returned only 2 false positives during the entire duration, while AVG came up with 6.
***False positive is when a security software flags a clean file (or URL) as malware infected.
In the AV-Comparatives’ most recent Malware Protection Test, which was conducted in March 2018, both Bitdefender and AVG once again received the highest ADVANCED+ award, due to their impressive protection rates of 99.99% and 100%, respectively. AVG registered 9 false positives during the test, while Bitdefender returned just 2.
Overall, it can be said that both software thwart all kinds of malware infections at near-perfect accuracy, but Bitdefender wins this round of comparison as it scored better than AVG in the AV-Test’s study.
Bitdefender vs AVG: Which Software Puts Less Impact on System Performance?
It is important for a security product to provide excellent malware protection with minimal impact on system performance. Otherwise, your system performance (or system speed) may suffer – especially if your computer is behind the times.
I will once again look at how Bitdefender and AVG fared in the most recent performance tests conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.
The expert at AV-Test measured the average influence (or impact) of a security product on computer speed while carrying out few common computer tasks, such as launching popular websites, copying files, downloading/installing applications. The impact each security product exerted was measured in terms of the slowdown it caused on a standard PC as well as on a high-end PC.
Here are the results of the test with Bitdefender installed:
Here are the results of the test with AVG installed:
Both received 6/6 rating in the test, while AVG got slightly lower but still impressive 5.5/6 rating.
AV-Comparatives’ Performance Test is similar to AV-Test’s study. Several common computer tasks are carried out with each product installed, and the impact score (the lower, the better) is allotted to each product depending on its performance.
Both Bitdefender and AVG were given the highest ADVANCED+ award in the study, owing to their impressively low impact scores of 6.9 and 6.7, respectively.
Overall, it can be said that both software put a minimal impact on system performance.
Winner: It’s a tie
Bitdefender vs AVG: Which Software Provides Better User Experience?
First, let’s look at the Bitdefender interface.
Bitdefender 2019 update has completely changed the look and feel of the product. The new interface is stylish, intuitive and robust – in shades of white and light grey.
In the left rail, you have four main modules (Dashboard, Protection, Privacy, and Utilities), along with quick links for Notifications, My Account, Settings, and Support.
Dashboard is the default view which shows your protection status, along with links to different modules, like the VPN, the Safepay browser, etc. You can also initiate a quick scan directly from this window. If you want to add a different widget to the main screen, you can do that too with the new interface.
Protection, Privacy, and Utilities tabs contain relevant features and tools.
The name of the Bitdefender plan you are on is displayed in the title bar.
Now, let’s go over the AVG interface.
AVG’s interface is dark and basic – in shades of white, green, and dark grey.
Home window (or default view) contains the following five modules (arranged in a horizontal manner): Computer, Web & Email, Hacker Attacks, Privacy, Payments. Above these modules, you’ll see a green checkmark that signals that everything is okay. It quickly changes to a red exclamation point when there is an issue that needs to be addressed. At the bottom, there is a prominent ‘Scan Computer’ button, along with information about when the last check took place and when the virus definitions were last updated.
If you’re using the free version, you’ll have limited malware protection, and the advanced modules will be grayed out. You’ll also have to cope with a promotional banner at the bottom.
Clicking the menu button in the top bar opens another horizontal menu, which has links for settings, support, and help.
Overall, Bitdefender offers more a better and more intuitive user interface than AVG.
Bitdefender vs AVG: Which Software is Less Expensive?
|Bitdefender Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|Bitdefender Antivirus Plus||$59.99/year||Check here|
|Bitdefender Internet Security||$79.99/year||Check here|
|Bitdefender Total Security||$89.99/year||Check here|
|Bitdefender Family Pack||$119.99/year||Check here|
|Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac||$59.99/year||Check here|
|Bitdefender Small Office Security||Varies||Check here|
|Bitdefender GravityZone Business AV||Varies||Check here|
|AVG Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|AVG Internet Security||$89.99/year||Check here|
|AVG Ultimate||$119.99/year||Check here|
|AVG Business Products||Varies||Check here|
Bitdefender’s security suites are less expensive than AVG’s. Also, you can protect multiple devices with a single license of Bitdefender.
Bitdefender vs AVG: Which Software is More Popular?
Now, let’s see which of two software is more popular among users.
OPSWAT, which is an independent security company, releases a monthly report on the market share of leading antivirus products. According to their most recent report, Avast is currently dominating the antivirus market with 17.04% market share, followed by Malwarebytes (13.34%) and McAfee (11.73%), respectively.
Bitdefender is fifth on the list with 8.52% market share. AVG, on the other hand, didn’t make it to the list.
Statista also reports on the market share held by leading anti-malware vendors. Their recent findings, which came out in January 2018, are similar to OPSWAT’s.
It can be safely said that Bitdefender is more popular than AVG.
Both Bitdefender and AVG offer different antivirus packages to match your protection needs.
Bitdefender is the clear winner as it fared better than AVG in almost all the categories we considered in this guide.
Our recommendations: If you want to get the highest level of security and performance, there's no better choice than Norton, which protects over 50 million users worldwide.
After reviewing dozens of antivirus products from some of the biggest names in the cybersecurity realm, we believe that Norton 360 Deluxe is the best antivirus suite available on the market. It provides flawless anti-malware protection without slowing you down. Plus, you get almost all the advanced features you could ever want.
If you're willing to pay more for advanced identity protection features, we recommend Norton 360 with LifeLock select (only available in the US). It's a bit pricey but worth the price.
Anas Baig is a consumer privacy advocate and cybersecurity journalist by profession. Has has more than 7 years of professional experience under his belt. Anas has been featured on numerous media publications including The Guardian, Lifehacker, The Next Web, Infosecurity Magazine, Security Boulevard, Hacker Noon, CMS Wire, IAPP, SC Magazine, and many others. His interest includes Digital Privacy Rights, Information Security, Networking, Privacy, and Data Protection.