CNET Editors' note: The Download Now link will download an installer file to your desktop. Remain online and double-click the installer to proceed with the actual download.
To learn more about AVG products and to ask questions and receive answers from AVG company representatives, please visit CNET's dedicated AVG Forum.
CNET Editors' review
AVG's updates for 2013 look to the future while struggling to overcome the problems of the past. There's a new interface optimized for Windows 8 that really does make the suite easier to use, and the suite once again tackles its lengthy installation procedure. However, one of the best new features in AVG was actually introduced as a midyear update during 2012.
We found that the program can go from completed download to ready to use in about 5 minutes.
AVG's touted its five-screen installation for several years now. While it's true that the process continues to be short, it's important to call out a few improvements and one glaring snag.
The installer itself now weighs in at 33MB, down from more than 100MB two years ago. The installer also does not require a reboot. This isn't surprising for Windows 8, but even on computers running Windows 7 and older, installing AVG will be reboot-free. Unfortunately, not only do you still have to opt out of AVG's toolbar and SafeSearch if you don't want them, but even when you choose only the toolbar, it commandeers your default location bar search in Firefox. This is, of course, problematic because the toolbar provides some important security options, such as AVG Do Not Track.
AVG loses points as well for force-shutting your browser without warning during installation, and for not adapting the installation options to Windows 8. AVG has retained the small check boxes from previous years, which are difficult to use by touch.
A more customer-friendly approach would be to go for an opt-in process that doesn't move forward until the user makes a decision. After all, this is what AVG does when asking you to choose between AVG Free or a 30-day trial of AVG Internet Security.
Shouldn't we be done with search engine commandeering by now?
Windows 8 has forced every Windows software maker around to reconsider how its programs look, and that's a good thing. Whether kicking and screaming, or gleefully leaping, software designers are changing how they make their Windows apps, and AVG is no different.
Although the security suite had been using a variation of the same interface for years, the 2013 suite has been overhauled with a new one that embraces large, boldly colored, tile-like buttons that ought to feel at home in Windows 8.
The new main interface lays out AVG's features in a clean, legible manner. The upper right corner has links to Reports, Support, and Options. At first blush, the Options list is overwhelmingly long, but navigating is impressively accurate on a touch screen. It contains direct links to features that are also available behind the tiles that take up most of the interface.
Next on your way down the main screen is a protection status notification in green for safe or red for unsafe, and then there are three rows of tiles. The first row of bright green tiles are links to core security options: Computer, Web Browsing, Identity, E-mails, and Firewall. The second row are blue, and link to AVG's performance optimizer, parental controls, and the backup service LiveKive. Next to LiveKive there's a button for AVG apps, new services that haven't been revealed at the time of writing.
The third row contains two teal buttons, one to commence a scan and one to update virus definition files. If you're running AVG Free, the bottom quarter of the interface is an ad to upgrade to AVG Internet Security 2013. Behind each of the buttons is a deeper dive into its associated functions. Under Computer, for example, you have access to antivirus and antirootkit scans, statistics, and configurations.
The interface is basically highly navigable, except that people with Windows 8 touch screens could find the third level down tricky without a mouse. If you go into Configurations or another deeper settings level, the advanced settings options could still be too small for some people to easily adjust.
Do note that AVG is essentially running a Windows 7 program with Windows 8 dressing. It opens to Desktop mode, and runs in a single window that doesn't take up the full screen. It's possible that there have been under-the-hood improvements that will allow AVG to adapt to a Metro interface easily, but that's not available yet.
Features and support
While the interface is new, and as you'll see below, the performance improvements are stunning, AVG's focus for 2013 has not been to push aggressive new security tech. That's okay. Instead, the focus this year was to bring some tech that exists at competitors to AVG's enormous, 128-million-strong active user base.
When you start AVG for the first time, a window appears over the main interface that promotes links to its new, free 24-7 telephone support; the AVG Android app; and a tutorial on getting started. As one of the best-known names in Windows security, we like that AVG is making it easy for newcomers to get acclimated.
There's a new file reputation system, which AVG also uses in conjunction with its scans to scan dramatically faster than before. Basically, it looks at a file in the order that its bits were saved to disk, not in order of the directory file tree. It may sound hokey, but as the benchmarks below show, it's an effective technique. By cross-referencing that data with what other AVG users are running, AVG is able to create a more effective net for blocking malicious files.
The file reputation is an extension of AVG's "smart scanning," which takes advantage of AVG's behavioral detection network to scan known safe files once, and rescan them only if it detects changes. As with its competitors, AVG's network is made up of its user base anonymously contributing data up to the cloud. You can choose to opt out of contributing your data when you install, or from the options menu. AVG says opting out won't negatively affect your security.
The smart scanning tech also gives you a built-in system resource manager that prioritizes scans. If a scan is scheduled to begin while the computer is in use, it will automatically restrict the scan so that it runs more slowly but doesn't interfere with the computer's other tasks. When it detects the computer idling, it will then allocate more power to the scan. The feature comes with a slider so you can customize how sensitive it is.
Another major change was introduced earlier in the year. AVG's Do Not Track add-on has been folded into the AVG toolbar. AVG's version lacks the nuance of Abine's Do Not Track Plus, making it more of a logger's chainsaw than a surgeon's scalpel, but it's still good to get privacy-protecting tools out to as many people as possible.
AVG offers a wide range of effective tools for keeping your computer safe. Along with the expected antivirus and anti-malware engines, it has rootkit detection and removal; fake antivirus and ransomware blocking; and basic e-mail and identity protection.
The LinkScanner tool has been improved to watch out for more dynamic code, which is essential in the security game because threats are mutating at such a rapid rate.
The PC Analyzer scans your system for Registry and disk errors. It includes a disk defragmenter and a broken-shortcut cleaner, as well. Although the feature is restricted in full to paid users, if you have the free version, the PC Analyzer comes with a one-time offer to clean all errors it finds. It provides a link to a download of the separate PC Analyzer tool, once the scan is completed. This is an interesting twist on the idea of letting users detect but not repair errors, and it provides more functionality while not affecting the basic security of your computer. However, it's likely that some users will shy away from the extra download.
Other features are restricted to users of AVG's paid upgrades. The paid upgrade version of AVG Anti-Virus 2013 distinguishes itself by offering a chat link shield, a Wi-Fi guard for open Internet connections, and a download scan for files sent via instant message that looks at all ports, not just port 80. The PC Analyzer option mentioned earlier is also included, and comes without restrictions.
AVG Internet Security 2013 includes all that AVG Anti-Virus 2013 offers, and adds in a firewall and antispam protections.
After publishing this review, CNET Labs discovered a hardware error on our test computer that affected our published system benchmarks. AVG claims major performance improvements in the 2013 versions, and both CNET's own revised tests and independent labs appear to bear this out.
This year's version leaves a lighter touch on your system than last year's, a big change for the better for AVG.
AVG's boot time impact was not particularly impressive, adding around 15 seconds to our test computer's boot time. Shutdown time was adequate, adding only around three to four seconds, but our new Wake from Sleep test showed our test computer taking much longer to wake from sleep mode with AVG than unprotected.
However, AVG's impact on in-use performance was impressive. Antivirus scans are among the fastest of any suite, free or paid, and on our MS Office test AVG Free was actually significantly faster than an unprotected computer. AVG claims that this is because of how it reads your computer's files. Whatever the cause, it's clear that in some cases, AVG improves in-use system performance.
|Security program||Boot time||Shutdown time||Wake from sleep||Scan time||MS Office performance||iTunes decoding||Media multitasking||Cinebench|
|Average of all tested systems (to date)||52.2||11.4||6.3||1,038||426||125||346||17,327|
|AVG Anti-Virus Free 2013||64.4||11.1||17.8||554||353||124||342||17,158|
|AVG Anti-Virus 2013||64.4||12.2||13||889||411||126||345||16,960|
|AVG Internet Security 2013||63||11.4||15.9||588||405||124||341||17,046|
*All tests measured in seconds, except for Cinebench. On the Cinebench test, the higher number is better.
Third-party efficacy results haven't been published yet for AVG 2013, but the 2012 suite marks are excellent. In the AV-Test test on Windows 7 from the second quarter of 2012, AVG Internet Security 2012 scored 15 out of 18 overall, a lowish high score. The suite had a 5.5 rating out of 6 in Protection, a 5.0 in Repair, and a 4.5 in Usability. On the same test, AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012 scored slightly better with 15.5 out of 18 overall. The suite had a 5.5 rating out of 6 in Protection, a 5.0 in Repair, and a 5.0 in Usability.
The most recent AV-Comparatives.org Whole Product test, which looks at on-demand scanning, retroactive tests, and "real-world" guards including cloud-based protections, puts AVG Internet Security 2012 in the middle of the class, out of 21 suites tested. Looking at Whole Product test results cumulatively from January 2012 to June 2012 shows that AVG came in 13th, blocking 97.7 percent of threats.
When it comes to security, AVG isn't hands-down the best out there. But it is more effective than it used to be, and it's clear that it takes a smaller toll on your system than it used to. Those are big gains for the suite.
AVG Anti-Virus Free continues to offer an excellent if not perfect level of security, and deserves a serious shot at being your go-to suite. If you're unhappy with your current suite because of its impact on your system performance, AVG is worth checking out.
You get a fair number of extras when you pay to upgrade, but it's not essential and really only for people who either feel safer when they pay or want the added bonuses. However, if you're on a Windows Vista or XP computer, you definitely ought to have a firewall upgrade. You could get a free one, but if system resources are a concern, it's worth checking out one that's bolted to a security suite as with AVG's paid suites.
From AVG Technologies USA:
AVG Internet Security 2013 is ultimate protection for everything you do online: shopping, banking, browsing, email, social networking and more. But that's not all.
Our remarkable PC acceleration technology delivers faster and smoother video streaming without compromising your web experience. It also comes with smart performance technology for quicker scans and gaming without annoying lags and freezes caused by scheduled updates and scans.
The 2013 edition also features an additional level of privacy protection. The 'Do Not Track' feature gives you control over which websites can collect and use your data (available if you take AVG Security Toolbar as part of your installation), joining AVG Anti-Spam, Anti-Spyware and WiFi hacker-defeating technology to deliver powerful identity protection at home or on the move.
All these features are delivered via our new, Easy Interface, making AVG Internet Security 2013 not just the fastest protection we've ever produced, but the easiest to manage too.
What's new in this version: Version 2013.0.3336 is a maintenance release.
More Products to Consider
- Detect and quickly remove malicious threats to your computer.
- Scan and remove the deepest malware that your antivirus/antiSpy...
- Search your hard disk and Registry for threats to your security...
- Protect your PC against the latest viruses and spyware.
- Protect your computer from viruses and malicious programs.
- Detect and remove spyware, malware, rootkits, trojans, hijacker...
- Provide secure, anonymous, and private browsing on Wi-Fi hotspo...
- Protect your personal computer against virus and spyware attack...
- Login everywhere automatically, so you'll never need to remembe...
- Detect and eliminate viruses, get free protection for home user...
- Protect PC from viruses, Trojans, worms, buffer overflows, zero...
- Guard your Windows PC from malware and Internet based attacks.
- Download and exchange files safely, enjoy games and Web surfing...
- Secure your connection to public Wi-Fi networks with premium VP...
- Protect your Windows PC from online threats.
- Protect computer against viruses, Trojans, adware, spyware, or ...
- Protect your PC against viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, rootk...
- Search and remove unwanted adware and toolbars from your comput...
- Stay anonymous, change your IP address, and protect your comput...
- Stop viruses and spyware automatically before they reach your c...
- Detect and destroy malware and viruses.
- Prevent Spyware and Malware running from your PC.
- Keep your PC protected from all Internet threats, never slowing...
- Modify locked Microsoft PowerPoint 2007/2010/2013 presentations...
All versions:3.5 stars
out of 341 votes
Current version:0 stars Be the first to review this product
My rating:Write review
"it works and can't beat the price"
Version: AVG Internet Security 2013 2014.0.4259
Free and/or cheap
Scans my emails automatically
Simple to use
none I can think of
Anything that is cheap or almost free that actually works gets my thumbs up. Seems to do its job and I can't think of anything bad to say about AVG. I also used AVG Tuneup on one of my PCs.
"Can not be installed"
Version: AVG Internet Security 2013 2014.0.4259
if i could install this, i may tell about pros.
don't install if you want to 30 day free trial. becouse installing is not continue without a liscence key.
"So Far, So Good."
Version: AVG Internet Security 2013 2014.0.4117
The download is a rather large file, but once downloaded, installation is easy to undertake even in Custom mode. Activating the product was automatic and quick. The first computer scan (which the user is prompted to undertake) was also not overly slow.
The biggest drawback is the lack of any good explanation as to what each optional item translates to. I am an experienced software user and customizer, and know that each company defines things differently. Not having common definitions makes this task more difficult than it needs to be.
I have been an Avast user for many, many years. I reluctantly gave up on them when they pushed a faulty Emergency Update onto users and then refused to answer any questions when the Update proved defective. At last count there were 6 pages of comments from people since yesterday, demanding an explanation.
I only hope that AVG's protection is at least as good as Avast's has been. So I reserve judgment for now, noting the ease of installation, quick first scan, and the plethora of options (even if they aren't well explained).
"Excellent protection but acts as an 'Adware'"
Version: AVG Internet Security 2013 2014.0.4117
I've been using AVG Internet Security for 4 years now, it has never failed in the task of defending my PC from malwares and exploits of all kind.
AVG Internet Security comes with, Driver Update,Reputation.com, AVG Nation Toolbar from Infospace,more often useless.
The more interesting one concerns the Quick Tune component integrated in the suite. AVG integrated it in 2013 version Service Pack 2. After scanning your PC for errors,when you click on 'Fix Now' it directs you to a link to download AVG Tune Up Utilities 2104(Fixes your PC 1 time or buy a license for 12 months). So they removed the quick tune component, without saying nothing about that, and not even giving information about it on there website.
How a SECURITY company, which talk a lot about PRIVACY on their websites and youtube videos promote so much things that are often in contradiction with security and privacy. Its important to understand that business is important for any enterprise, but here you get too much focus on money and AVG neglects the security aspect. And also it is a PAID product. You even get advertisement for Tune Up Utilities in OpenCandy supported installers. I'll just let my license expire in less than 3 months and move on to another brand offering more protection than intrusive advertising.
"Hopeless for sure."
Version: AVG Internet Security 2013 2014.0.4117
Works @ the background.
No Anti Banner option provided. Can't open IE in front of my son because of uncensored pictures on Web in certain sites. If you compare this with Kaspersky, I would go with the latter for sure.
"Install only if you want spam/bloatware everywhere!"
Version: AVG Internet Security 2013 2014.0.4116
I think it might do the job a basic antivirus should do, maybe? It's free anyways
First thing you pretty much have to do when you install it is turn off as many notifications as possible, otherwise it will have pop ups multiple times a day talking about upgrading and installing things you really never need.
THE WORST PART IS THE UPDATES!!
After every single update, it will try and add a ton of stupid extensions to your browser, change your default homepage, and change your default search provider.
This last update I installed was a "Browser Security Update". I had been purposely been ignoring it for days when I accidentally pressed "OK" earlier this evening. It installed 5 different extensions. THE SCARY PART: Every single app had ridiculous permission settings that had nothing to do with the app's purpose and almost all had permissions that required viewing of all passwords/usernames
No thank you!
I got all this from an antivirus software.. In my mind, I thought anti-virus software was supposed to protect you from that garbage..
It's free, but I am pretty sure it does MUCH more harm than good. Not to mention it will annoy the hell out of you with all of its pop ups.
"you can bet on this .."
Version: AVG Internet Security 2013 2013.0.3392
everyone knows about the best of the best free antivirus provided by AVG. So you can expect something higher from those standards. Even now some of the home users still using avg free antivirus with the windows default or some other third party firewall as thier preferred choice fo security.
This is light on system and also effective. May be some time it shows false alert but who cares if i am getting a tough standard security. Windows 7 firewall is good enough with this or you can use some other firewall with this.
people says that AIS shows some false notification. But i dont think this as a problem. If this cought all the viruses for me and also shows some extra false notice so who cares.
A very good product for a home user and a regular web user. Can use without feeling too much stress.
"don't put this on your system!!"
Version: AVG Internet Security 2013 2013.0.3349
internet security works
you can't get rid of the tool bar.
it's malware. anything you can't uninstall when you want is something you don't no matter how good it is.
"i would not trust this company for anything"
Version: AVG Internet Security 2013 2013.0.3349
it does work
this company installs what is basically malware that takes over your system.
"Its OK, not the worst, not the best."
Version: AVG Internet Security 2013 2013.0.3345
Antivirus does detect
Better then Norton and McAfee
Slows system performance even though it says it improves it
Start up speeds are slower even though it said it will be faster.
It does detect viruses, but it can slow down your system.
Add Your Review
Submit your reply
E-mail this review
Report offensive content