AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 review

AVG’s interface is clearly inspired by Windows 8, although ironically it only runs on the desktop. The big advert hanging off the bottom of the main window serves as a pointed reminder that this is a free product – and once you start clicking around, you discover that many of the tiles merely open up further adverts for AVG’s various paid-for products. See also: best free antivirus 2014.

The range of features actually present and functional is pretty basic, albeit broader than that offered by Microsoft Windows Defender. In a nutshell, you get on-access malware scanning for files and local emails, plus AVG’s Surf-Shield, which looks out for malicious web pages and phishing sites. This uses packet analysis rather than a plugin model, so it should work with any browser.

You also get AVG’s Data Safe encryption tool, plus a “shredder” for permanently deleting sensitive files, but there’s any number of standalone freeware utilities capable of doing the same.

AVG AntiVirus Free 2014

For a free scanner, AVG’s effectiveness isn’t bad: in our malware tests, it protected us against 93% of threats. That’s a whisker behind [a href=”/reviews/software/387166/avast-free-antivirus-2014″]Avast’s Free Antivirus 2014, but a solid 11% ahead of Microsoft’s Windows Defender. AVG also kept suitably quiet during our false-positive test, gaining a score of 98% – although, again, Avast managed to nose ahead.

AVG fared a little worse in our responsiveness tests: in our applications benchmark, it scored a sluggish 80% compared to Windows Defender. At 333MB, the package is one of the lightest here, although there’s only 10MB between AVG and Avast’s much more agreeable free offering.

Let’s be fair: this edition of AVG AntiVirus costs nothing, it offers more features than Windows Defender, and it does a better job of intercepting malware; we can’t complain about any of that. Navigating its advertising-strewn interface leaves a sour taste in the mouth, however, at least until you learn what’s what. There’s no need to go through this when Avast is more pleasant to use and more effective.


Software subcategoryInternet security

Operating system support

Other operating system supportWindows 8

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