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AVG Internet Security review: Great value security for multiple devices

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
15
inc VAT (one year, one PC)

It might marginally slow down your browser, but this respectable suite is great value if you need to protect lots of devices

Pros 
Good protection, if not the best
Cons 
Browsing performance takes a dive
No fancy features
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Specifications

Minimum system requirements: Windows XP SP3, MacOS 10.8, Android 2.2

Buy AVG Internet Security now

As we write, AVG is being acquired by Avast – but for now, it’s business as usual, whether you choose AVG’s free antivirus package or the paid-for Internet Security suite tested here.

Protection levels are good, but not outstanding. AV-Test found AVG protected against a creditable 99.9% of known malware threats, but only 97.6% of attempted zero-day exploits. This isn’t down in the doldrums with Windows Defender, but undeniably it’s a second-rate showing.

READ NEXT: Our guide to the best antivirus packages you can buy (or get for free)

AVG also had this month’s biggest impact on browser performance, causing pages to load on average 31% more slowly. The impact on application load times is lighter – a 10% hit shouldn’t be noticeable.

The suite focuses squarely on protection; if you want to tune up your PC or focus on privacy, AVG will happily sell you a separate app as well. The front-end’s five sections may look a little overwhelming, but each big button exposes at most two functions. Thus, under Computer Protection you’ll find antivirus settings, plus AVG’s Data Safe, which lets you encrypt sensitive files. Web Protection configures scanning options for links and downloads. Identity Protection relates to AVG’s behaviour-based malware scanner, while Email Protection lets you set up local mail scanning and spam protection. Lastly, there’s a highly configurable “enhanced firewall”, which promises to automatically block malicious programs based on their signatures or behaviour.

All of this integrates with the AVG Zen dashboard, which lets you manage multiple subscriptions and installations. So, for example, you could install AVG’s free antivirus package on a family PC, and check from your own computer that it’s running and receiving updates.

Verdict

We rather like AVG Internet Security’s functional approach. And while licence prices look merely reasonable, it’s worth noting that the AVG Protection bundle – which covers unlimited PCs and smartphones – can currently be found online for £18 a year, the same price as a three-PC licence. It isn’t the most effective virus scanner, nor the most lightweight, but if you have a large number of devices to protect then it could be a tempting deal.