Is free antivirus software really capable of protecting you against all the threats in today's fast-paced world?
While paid antivirus systems will typically have more detailed security features, there are a number of free options that give you the basics you need. AVG and Avast are two cyber security companies that provide free antivirus software alongside multiple paid options.
Because both brands offer many different paid tools that cover different parts of the security spectrum, it would be difficult to compare them all side by side. Instead, I've taken a look at each free program and its performance. This information can help you decide which system you prefer.
Overview of AVG and Avast
Unique AVG Features
Unique Avast Features
The AVG user interface is fairly easy to navigate. It does have a lot of information available through the homepage, and the updates can sometimes be jarring. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing! When something is amiss, the designers use red coloring as a way to alert you.
Issues cause the interface to turn red, rather than having green text and icons. If any of your specific protection features or shields become disabled, the interface will highlight these in red so you know at a glance what's working and what isn't.
The main icons will tell you how specific tools are functioning to protect you. You can also run scans through the main interface by hitting the 'Scan Now' button. There's a 'Fix Performance' button, but unfortunately it can only be used if you purchase performance-fixing software, making it an upsell.
There's also a button that lets you run a check to make sure that the program is up-to-date. Virus and malware definitions receive automatic updates to protect you from evolving threats on a day-to-day basis. The bottom part of the interface advertises the paid version of the free online security system.
The Avast interface is a little less cluttered, with more variation in icon sizes and larger amounts of white space. This can be appealing to those who struggle to use features or understand data when there's a lot populating the screen at once.
It only takes one button to run the Smart Scan, which is the most convenient part of the Avast software. Rather than running each tool individually, the Smart Scan feature automatically runs the seven core Avast scanning protocols:
There will also be a large green button that says 'Activate' or 'Upgrade,' which will give you a feature comparison list between the free and paid versions of the software.
Like with the competitor, green coloring is used to indicate that everything is secure. At the top of the interface are four buttons: Scan, Tools, Store, and Passwords.
Scan shows you your latest scan results and lets you run antivirus scans. Tools shows you what features you have available to use. Store is about data storage, and Passwords is the system's password management system.
Avast's interface is more aesthetically appealing and easier to use. The visual design eliminates mental clutter so you can find what you need. It helps that you can run all seven scans at the same time, and there are easy buttons to access the other software features.
Available Languages and Translations
AVG is available in 22 languages:
In addition to all of the languages supported by AVG, Avast also includes:
For a little extra fun, it's even available in "pirate talk."
In addition to having all the same language availability as AVG, Avast has more than twenty additional languages.
Operating System Requirements
Both antivirus software options actually have the same antivirus engine, which means that the operating system requirements are the same. You can run both of them with the latest version of Windows 10 and any Windows operating system more advanced than Windows 2000.
These are the technical requirements:
Both options have the same operating system. However, they won't work for Mac, iOS, Android, or other platforms.
Paid Product Options
If you do decide to upgrade your security to a paid option, there are multiple products available through each brand.
AVG's selling features are their security bundles.
Avast's products are priced differently depending on the length of your subscription and the number of included devices.
These are all internet security models. For standalone security features that you can purchase, there's:
AVG's multi-platform bundles are much easier to understand and purchase, and you get more versatile use since they work on more than Windows.
Pros and Cons of AVG
Pros and Cons of Avast
Final Thoughts: Which is Better?
When it comes to free software plans, the offerings from AVG and Avast are evenly matched in many ways. Both will give you safe internet browsing, email inbox protection, and anti-malware security features. They're also both unobtrusive programs that barely impact computer function.
For those with a strong grasp on their personal data protection, AVG has features that will appeal. There's an additional level of protection against data theft and spyware use. The service permanently deletes your sensitive data rather than archiving it, and you don't have to give any personal registration information.
On the other hand, Avast is best for those who like ongoing convenience features to increase computer performance. The system regularly scans for outdated software so it can either update or alert you. It also cleans up unwanted internet browsers without you needing to manage them manually. Plus it can detect home network security breaches.