AVG is one of the most popular security software companies around us today, particularly renowned for its world famous Antivirus software which comes in free as well as premium editions. AVG offers a range of security solutions for both Home and Business users, for PCs as well as Mobile devices, besides a few other intriguing products for peaking up PC performance and streamlining content from multiple social media platforms. It has been around in the field of digital security solutions for over twenty years running and has been the market leader for most of its journey.
AVG Technologies (formerly Grisoft) was founded in 1991 by John Gritzbach and Tomas Hofer, and is based in Czech Republic with corporate offices in Europe and the United States. J R Smith is the CEO of the company, which is currently owned jointly by Benson Oak Capital Acquisitions, Intel Capital and Enterprise Investors. AVG was founded with the express purpose of protecting people around the world using the latest of cutting edge technologies. It tasted success quickly and grew rapidly to become one of the leading players in the security software market.
PC MAG Editor's Review
PCMAG.COM offered an affirmative review of AVG Internet Security 2013, giving it three stars out of five and thereby terming it 'Good'. It however didn't fail to observe that though the software provided sound protection from malwares, it didn't add a great deal extra to what was already available in the Free Antivirus Program of AVG. Hence the bottom line could be spelt out thus:
"AVG Internet Security 2013 offers the same powerful protection as AVG's free antivirus solution and its spam filter is better than almost any competing suite. I just don't see that it offers enough beyond what you get in the free antivirus to merit its price."
CNET Editor's Review
CNET Editor Seth Rosenblatt lavished his praise on AVG's Internet Security Suite 2013, giving it full five stars out of five, thereby dubbing the software 'Spectacular'. But like PC Mag, he too ruled that the Free Antivirus program was handful with its features and an upgrade was not essential, unless you must feel safer or like to add extras. In conclusion, the writer said:
"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."
CNET User Reviews
Like its Editor, CNET's users too gave AVG their generous approval, though not quite as liberally as the former did. Of the 24K ratings the AVG Free Antivirus has received in total till now, over a period of several years, 11,372 of them have given a full five stars, whereas another 7,418 have rated four stars - a clear mark of a product having met with popular acceptance. Even the AVG Internet Security suite has received as many as 320 votes with an average of 3.5 stars out of 5. However, it is the 2013 version of the AV program that has drawn maximum flak and mostly negative votes, few though they are in number to be taken seriously quite yet.
Amazon User Reviews
Amazon had a lone dissenting voice among its three reviews for AVG Internet Security 2013. While the two favorable reviews gave the product a full five stars out of five, the dissenting note came from a user who, though approving of the company in general for its brilliant track record, found serious fault with this particular edition; the user expounded his issues with the product as follows:
"This 2013 version is a very different animal however. I had to remove it after 1 week because it took down my client's business Point of Sale system. This is a very aggressive update. Upon installation it flagged two processes running in memory as malware and placed them in the virus vault. These were mission critical processes to run the POS system, not viruses. Moreover the program did not allow me the option of choosing not to quarantine."
Holding forth on his woes, the chagrinned consumer added a while later:
"Now, all the above is actually somewhat forgivable, as anti-virus software often errs on the side of caution. The camel backbreaking straw however is that even though I disabled the resident anti-virus facility, and disabled the firewall, and specifically excluded my mission critical processes from being disturbed by AVG, a few days later one of the files for these processes was unceremoniously removed by AVG and our POS system was again rendered unusable (by 'unceremoniously' I mean AVG did not tell me what it had done)."
As an overall, though, if one were to utter the last word on AVG, based on the general sense of popular sentiment one gets after poring over the reviews on web, the verdict shall clearly be seen to lean on the side of the company. And that is what counts after all, for critical acclaim is very often relative and rarely ever absolute.
AVG Technologies is not a BBB (Better Business Bureau) accredited company but enjoys a mediocre BBB rating of [C-], on a scale from [A+] to [F]. Factors that lowered the rating for AVG include:
- 150 complaints filed against business
- 4 complaints filed against business that were not resolved
BBB also notes that based on its files, "this business has a pattern of complaint concerning service issues, customer service issues, and refund issues. Consumers state that they order products from this company and the product fails to do what is promised and often times is defective. Consumers state that they have a very difficult time reaching customer service and when they do they are not helpful. Consumers also state that it is difficult to receive a refund even with the company's 30 day money back guarantee."
Despite this dent of sorts on its reputation, AVG has still managed to acquire rock solid credibility in the field of its expertise, by virtue of consistently providing the best, cutting edge security solutions for web users. AVG has been the recipient of a number of awards, accreditations and certifications, such as follows:
- AV-Test Certified: Seven times
- ICSA Labs Certification: Three times
- West Coast Labs Certification: Two times
- 'Best Channel Vendor' award (2012) from Business Solutions
- 'Best Budget Buy' accolade from Expert Reviews (for AVG Antivirus Free 2012)
- Virus Bulletin 100 award
- PC Mag Editors' Choice honour (AVG Antivirus Free)
- 5/5 Softpedia pick (AVG Antivirus Free)
- Advanced+ Certification (2011) from AV Comparatives
Being one of the biggest names in the security software market, AVG has been covered extensively by the mainstream media as well as the new media establishments. Popular publications like CNET, PC World, PC Advisor, New York Times, Yahoo, Lifehacker, TechCrunch, Financial Times, Business Week, and many others, have run numerous stories and articles concerning the latest developments happening around AVG.
AVG website has a Google PageRank of 7, which is deemed to be pretty high. On Alexa.com too, AVG boasts of an excellent Global Traffic Rank of #61 and an even impressive Regional Rank of #41 in the United States - the country which accounts for approximately 32% of the site's overall traffic. AVG is ranked highest in Italy, where it sits loftily at #25, followed by Indonesia and South Africa, where it ranks 29th and 31st respectively. AVG also enjoys a tremendously high Reputation of 22,560, which is the number of websites linking in to it - a chief metric for assessing a website's credibility.
AVG has a strong and conspicuous presence across the Social Media landscape, what with its accounts on all major networking sites. Its Facebook page has attracted a whopping 1.7 Million likes so far, and remains active as well as interactive for its subscribers. The Twitter account has been equally well maintained, engaging as many as close to a Hundred Thousand followers with frequent tweets and replies. The Youtube channel has attracted over Seven Million video views and about Three Thousand Four Hundred subscribers, which are again impressive numbers. Besides these accounts, AVG has also kept blogs and a Linkedin group to notify its users of its latest developments and to gather feedback from them. All in all, the company's PR programme seems to be hitting all the right notes that a major player in an industry is expected to strike.
AVG's website does not use a secure server connection (denoted with the seal 'https://'), though it has somewhat been vindicated of suspicion by Google. As its Safe Browsing Test's report says, Google tested 194 pages on the AVG website over a period of 90 days and found that "0 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2012-12-14, and suspicious content was never found on this site within the past 90 days." Neither did www.avg.com, the report states further, "appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites."
Besides its free Antivirus program, AVG also offers three premium solutions for its Home users: AVG Antivirus, AVG Internet Security and AVG Premium Security.
AVG Antivirus costs you about US $40 per year, while AVG Internet Security costs about $55, and AVG Premium Security about $70, per year too.
For Businesses, AVG has a couple of programs on offer: AVG Antivirus (Business Edition) and AVG Internet Security (Business Edition). AVG Antivirus costs you about 90 USD, whereas AVG Internet Security is priced at 125.99 USD. Besides these, there are also separate programs in place to secure users' email accounts and file servers, such as AVG Email Edition and AVG File Server Edition.
Compared to its chief competitor, Avast, AVG products are slightly costlier. But that is to be expected given AVG has the bigger reputation, demand and name in the security software market, and how it thinks there should be no harm in charging more in return for making larger promises and promptly delivering on them.
For Home users, Avast offers two premium products: Avast Pro Antivirus and Avast Internet Security. Avast Pro Antivirus costs you about US $40, and Avast Internet Security about $50, for an year of subscription each. For Business users, Avast offers an array of plans depending upon your company size, or in other words the number of PCs housed by your business.
AVG's other chief competitors are MCafee and Kaspersky. Home Antivirus and Internet Security programs of the two companies cost either the same, lesser or sometimes even higher than those of AVG. While Kaspersky Antivirus and MCafee Antivirus Plus programs are priced at $39.99 and $34.99 respectively, the Internet Security suites of the same are priced respectively at $39.99 and $55.99 - for once higher than the $54.99 charged for AVG Internet Security.
AVG does not ship any of its products, barring the installation disks (DVDs) that can be bought along with the software but not separately; since all AVG products are applications meant to be downloaded onto computing devices such as the PC or the Mac or the Smartphone, the consumer is spared the additional costs that may have accrued due to shipping. The installation DVDs, though, are shipped internationally, to every country across the globe which allows foreign imports into its territory.
AVG offers a variety of payment options to its customers all over the world, depending upon the country they are located in. Here are the most common options:
1. Credit / Debit Card
Below is the list of all the Credit / Debit Cards accepted by AVG, again subject to the place you make your buy from:
- VISA (worldwide)
- MasterCard (worldwide)
- Diners Club
- Solo (UK only)
- Switch (UK only)
- Maestro (UK only)
- American Express
- Carte Bleue (France only)
2. Bank Transfer
This option is available only for purchases made from the following countries:
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of South Africa, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Vatican City, Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Turkey.
The charge will appear as "AVG ONLINE STORE" or "WWW.AVG.COM" on your card/bank account statement.
All available payment methods (and currencies) in your region will be displayed in the Checkout.
AVG offers a 100% Money-back guarantee on all of its products, just in case you are really dissatisfied with your item, and provided you claim your refund within 30 days of making the purchase. In order to claim your refund on a Home product, you have to contact AVG's Customer Services for Home Products, and for Business Products, contact AVG Business Support. Please allow 30 days for the Credit to appear on your billing statement.
Whereas the question of honoring its return policy is concerned, as noted by the BBB organization on its website, there have indeed been cases of disgruntled consumers complaining about AVG's failure to hand them the promised 30-day refund of their money. Whether these charges came to be proved or not is unknown.
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