(Last updated on January 1st, 2020)
Windows Defender or AVG, which antivirus software is a better option in 2020?
Read this ultimate Windows Defender versus AVG comparison to make a smart decision.
The digital sphere is filled with all sorts of sophisticated malware threats that jeopardize your digital security and privacy.
In today’s age of internet commerce and freedom, we’re putting more and more sensitive data online than ever. While malware may not have affected you yet, the probability that you might suffer without a reliable antivirus suite is on the rise.
Consider the fact that over 10 billion malware attacks were recorded last year. AV-test.org, a well-known security firm, registers over 350,000 new malware samples every single day. These numbers are projected to go even higher with time. Forbes estimates that cybercrime costs are going to reach over $2 trillion by 2019.
So it’s clear that if you want to avoid getting into trouble down the road, you need a robust security suite to protect your data and privacy.
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 comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Windows Defender and AVG against one another to find out which software is better in terms of features, malware detection, impact on system performance, and more.
If you’re in a rush, take a look at the rundown below to see who wins in each category.
A Quick Rundown of Winners in Each Category
Winner: AVG. Microsoft doesn’t really offer many advanced features and utilities in its security software. AVG’s security suites – especially the high-end ones – offer a more comprehensive set of features and other useful utilities.
2. Malware Protection
Winner: Both. Both software can protect your computer against all sorts of malware threats.
3. System Performance
Winner: AVG. Overall, AVG is better than Windows Defender in terms of the impact on system performance.
Winner: AVG. AVG’s interface is more intuitive and user-friendly than Windows Defender’s.
Winner: N/A. Windows Defender is free, whereas AVG offers a free version as well as several premium packages, so there’s no real comparison between both companies in this category.
AVG is better than Windows Defender in terms of both malware protection and the impact on system performance. But Bitdefender, which is our recommended antivirus software for 2019, is even better.
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.
Let’s dig into the details …
A modern antivirus program won’t just protect you from malware; it will have an impressive set of advanced security-enhancing features and useful utilities that really make the entire product worthwhile.
First, let’s see what features Windows Defender offers.
Windows Defender (rebranded as Windows Defender Security Center) comes pre-installed with all PCs that have Windows as their primary operating system. The software is totally free right out of the box for all users, and there isn’t any paid upgrade available. Also, you can’t uninstall it, but it automatically turns off when you install a different antivirus product.
The software has a decent firewall that proactively monitors your network connections and filters malicious traffic, along with an in-depth scanner that can detect all sorts of threats such as ransomware, spyware, worms, viruses, Trojans.
The software is regularly updated with new malware definitions so it can protect against new digital threats that have been recently discovered.
There’s also the Find My Device function that allows your PC to be located in the event of theft, for example. You can also lock or erase your PC if you suspect that it is vulnerable and that your identity or your personal information is at risk.
You’ll also get a suite of parental control features that let you decide what websites your children can visit and how much time they can use their devices. You can also monitor their web activity and block them from downloading or playing age-inappropriate games.
There isn’t much included in Windows Defender, other than what’s mentioned above.
Now let’s see what AVG brings to the table.
Like Windows Defender, AVG offers a free version called AVG AntiVirus Free (only works on PCs). The freeware defends against all sorts of malware threats, as well as the ability to block unsafe downloads or links, but there aren’t any advanced features or tools jammed into the package. AVG’s paid versions are much more comprehensive compared to the freeware.
Next up is AVG Internet Security, which is compatible with both PCs and Macs. This suite offers excellent protection against all types of malware, plus you get an advanced firewall that acts as a shield against malware, a file shredding tool that securely removes sensitive files, and an email filter that keeps junk/phishing emails away from your inbox.
A file encryption tool that allows you to store confidential files in a secure vault, a webcam protector that stops people from spying on you, and the WiFi guard utility that notifies you whenever it detects an unsecured network are also jammed into the package.
You can protect up 10 devices (PCs, Macs, or smartphones) with this suite.
AVG Ultimate is the company’s top-of-the-line antivirus offering. This suite includes all the features and utilities found in the previous suites, plus a comprehensive computer tune-up utility that removes junk files and ensures your computer runs at excellent performance levels. You’ll also get live phone/chat support options with this suite.
You can protect an unlimited number of PCs, Macs, and mobile phones with AVG Ultimate.
If you’re interested in AVG’s business-specific security products, click here for more information.
Winner: AVG. Windows Defender offers some basic features, but AVGs products come with a more comprehensive feature-set.
2. Malware Protection
The ability to protect your computer from malware is the most critical aspect of any good antivirus software. To determine whether Windows Defender or AVG is better in this regard, let’s take a look at some independent tests from unbiased organizations.
AV-test.org is an independent software evaluation company that regularly conducts several excellent tests to measure the effectiveness of different antivirus software. In their April 2019 evaluations, Windows Defender received a perfect 6 out of 6 score in the Protection category.
AVG received a slightly lower but still impressive 5.5 out of 6 score in these evaluations.
In AV-Comparatives’ 2019 real-world evaluations, AVG received the highest ADVANCED+ award, due to its excellent protection rate of 99.6% while returning 10 false positives.
Windows Defender didn’t fare as well as AVG in this test; it received the second-best ADVANCED award from the experts in the study.
Winner: Both. Overall, it’s a tie in this category as both companies fared equally well in the independent anti-malware tests.
3. System Performance
How much impact a security software puts on your computer can have a drastic effect on the performance of your device. A good antivirus should be able to protect your computer without slowing it down.
Again, we’ll look at how Windows Defender and AVG fared in performance tests conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.
In AV-Test’s April 2019 evaluations, AVG got a perfect 6 out of 6 in the Performance category, meaning it put a very negligible impact on test computers.
Windows Defender got a slightly lower 5.5/6 rating, which is good but not perfect.
In AV-Comparatives’ April 2019 Performance test, AVG again fared exceptionally well, earning the highest ADVANCED+ award. On the other hand, Windows Defender’s performance results were unimpressive; it came last in the race that involved 16 products and could only get the lowest STANDARD rating.
Winner: AVG. Overall, it’s evident than AVG is better than Windows Defender in terms of the impact on system performance.
The user interface of a security product is another important consideration. Most people prefer an interface that’s both intuitive and easy-to-use.
Let’s compare both user interfaces of both software.
Windows Defender’s user interface is simple and has a smooth visual aesthetic, without a lot of harsh lines or partitioned sections.
On the left-hand side, you’ll find seven different main items arranged in a vertical manner. All of these categories and options are pretty self-explanatory, meaning that even those who don’t have a lot of experience with computers will be able to use the software without a lot of trouble.
One big negative that Windows Defender suffers from is that you can’t schedule any of the scans, so you’ll have to manually start each scan that you want to perform on your computer.
Now, let’s examine AVG’s interface.
The AVG interface uses a dark background and green and white as the primary text colors. Right at the top, you’ll find a circle with a checkmark inside if everything is safe and sound. It will turn to a red exclamation point if there’s an issue. A prominent scan computer button can be seen right near the bottom of the dashboard to allow you to scan your computer at any time instantly.
In the free version, most of the advanced features are locked or greyed out. This can be a little annoying for some people, but if you pay for the software, you’ll be able to enjoy all the features.
There’s a settings menu that you can customize for a personalized experience.
Winner: AVG. Most people will agree that AVG’s user interface is more intuitive and user-friendly than Windows Defender.
A good software should be affordable for it to be worthwhile. Windows Defender is totally free, while AVG offers a range of security suites at different price points.
Let’s take a look at what AVG brings to the table in terms of value for money.
AVG’s free version, of course, doesn’t cost you anything, although it doesn’t really offer much in terms of advanced features and utilities. AVG Internet Security, the first paid suite by the company, is where things really start to become worthwhile. This suite provides you with 10 licenses for $79.99 per year. While the price uptake is initially high, you certainly get a lot of value with this suite because you can protect a high number of devices.
AVG Ultimate, which is the premium package from AVG, allows you to install the all-inclusive software on an unlimited number of PCs for $99.99 per year. The value for money here is extraordinary because you can defend your entire network of family devices (including tablets and smartphones).
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Winner: N/A. There’s no real comparison between both software in this category.
Windows Defender is better than nothing, but AVG’s premium options are much more comprehensive in terms of advanced features and utilities.
Independent tests prove that both software provide excellent anti-malware security, but AVG is better than Windows Defender in terms of the impact on system performance. AVG is the overall winner as it offers more security-enhancing features and utilities in its security suites than Windows Defender.
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Overall Score: 9.9/10
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Editors Choice Award Winner
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.