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AVG Internet Security review: Not enough of a step up from the free package

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
10
inc VAT

If you’re fed up of free security tools, AVG’s internet security is an affordable upgrade but gives you minimal additional protection

Pros 
Low price
Effective protection
Cons 
Not much in the way of additional features
Sensitive data protection isn’t great
No driver updater tool
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Alongside AVG’s popular free antivirus tool, the company also publishes this more comprehensive paid-for suite.

For the price it looks a tempting upgrade. However, the extra features are of questionable value and there are plenty of things that this program won’t do: if you want all-round protection, you’re encouraged to buy additional AVG-branded products to fill in the gaps.

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AVG Internet Security review: What do you get for the money?

If you’ve used AVG Free lately, you’ll be right at home with AVG Internet Security: it looks exactly the same, except that all the buttons are unlocked.

These give you access to various premium features. AVG Internet Security includes webcam protection, to ensure no-one can spy on you or listen in to your activity. It also features a custom firewall, and there’s a module specifically designed to block malicious remote desktop connections.

Then there are a few tools designed to protect sensitive data, including a secure file shredder and AVG’s innovative Sensitive Data Shield, which identifies documents containing information such as payment, tax or travel details, and blocks applications from accessing them without your say-so.

The price shown above covers a year-long subscription for a single PC – it’s £10 – but there are also options that cover longer periods and more devices. Whichever you choose, it’s normally cheapest to buy from a third-party retailer such as Amazon, rather than AVG’s own website.

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AVG Internet Security review: Does it keep you safe?

AVG Internet Security achieved a perfect 100% protection rating in the latest tests by AV-Comparatives.org and AV-Test.org. Obviously, that’s as good as you could ask for, but it doesn’t make AVG exceptional: several other products achieved the same score, including the free edition of Avast, which isn’t surprising since the two suites use the same core antivirus engine. Come to that, Windows 10’s own built-in protections came tantalisingly close, with an average score of 99.97% across all of the two labs’ tests.

AVG also jumped the gun just a few times, registering three false positives during the tests. Avira, BullGuard, Eset, F-Secure, G-Data and Kaspersky all did better, wrongly flagging up fewer or no innocent files. Still, this isn’t a disastrous performance.

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AVG Internet Security review: What’s it like to use?

Across numerous performance tests, AVG Internet Security slowed down Windows performance by 8.5% on average. That’s not bad at all. The slickest security solution we’ve seen lately is the 2021 edition of F-Secure SAFE, and even that had an impact of 6.15%.

Overall, though, AVG Internet Security isn’t a terribly impressive package. The custom firewall seems pointless – there’s nothing wrong with the standard Windows one – and, while I like the idea of the Sensitive Data Shield, it didn’t work for me at all, failing to recognise or protect a text file containing my banking details and online password.

AVG also omits features found in other security suites such as a driver updater or a warning tool to alert you if your online credentials are leaked. Instead, these functions have been spun off into separate products and the AVG interface conveniently includes marketing links from which you can buy them. It’s not exactly in-your-face advertising, but it still feels a bit distasteful.

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AVG Internet Security review: Should I buy it?

Sadly, it’s a no. Even though the price is low, AVG Internet Security simply isn’t very good value. For sure, the underlying antivirus engine is great, but you can get that in the AVG Free Antivirus suite without paying a penny.

Conversely, if you’re willing to pay an annual subscription for internet security, check out something like McAfee or Norton, which do far more for a similar price.

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