AVG 9 Review

Category: Anti-Virus

AVG Technologies has been protecting computer users against viruses, spyware, and other malware since 1991. Its eponymous software, simply called AVG comes in a free version for personal basic protection use and a commercial version for enhanced protection use. The latest release is version 9. Let's take a look at AVG9 and see how it measures up to the security challenges looming online...

AVG 9 Antivirus Software

AVG9 Anti-Virus Software

It's hard to believe that AVG has been around for 18 years. In that time, they've built a solid reputation by offering quality anti-virus and anti-spyware solutions, including one of the most popular free security tools, AVG Free Edition, which they claim has been downloaded by 80 million users.

So what's new in AVG Version 9? For starters, it scans a hard drive for malware up to 50 per cent faster than previous versions. This is a major improvement because scanning a large drive can easily take over an hour. Other improvements include a more streamlined user interface, although looking "under the hood" to see what AVG is doing remains a geeky exercise that most users will skip. The thing just works and that's all most of us wish to know.

Indpendent tests indicate that AVG 9 does report some "false positives" - warnings of threats when there really are none - in some well-known programs and occasionally in image files. All security software makes such mistakes, and it's better to err on the side of caution than to let a true threat get past.

AVG's LinkScanner technology, included in the free version, detects and warns you of potential phishing Web sites before you actually fetch their pages into your Web browser. This can prevent the automatic downloading of malware to your computer, and help you steer clear of sites that collect personal information for unauthorized purposes. Some people have complained that the link scanner slows down their web surfing, so if you notice a lag when searching or loading pages, there's an option to turn this feature off.

The free version of AVG also includes email scanning to protect you against dangerous links and executable attachments in your email messages. Of course, anti-virus and anti-spyware protection are also in the free edition. And all versions of AVG 9 include basic anti-rootkit protection as well.

AVG9 has not yet been tested by AV Comparatives, but the previous versions have fared well in these independent test results. AVG 8.5 scored an "Advanced" rating in the most recent test, performed in August 2009.

What's in AVG 9 Commercial Edition?

What you don't get in the free edition are firewall protection that keeps snoopers from "seeing" your computer on the Internet; the highest-grade anti-rootkit technology that keeps the sneakiest rootkits out; anti-spam for your email; system tools for scheduling virus scans and other AVG behavior; free technical support (although there is a "free users forum" on AVG's Web site); and "game mode", which protects your computer while you're playing online games. You won't get identity theft "insurance", either, which is provided by a third-party service.

You can test-drive these extra features in a 30-day trial of the paid version of AVG 9. Then you can decide which paid version you wish to purchase. The AVG Anti-Virus program costs $34.99 and includes all the extra features except system tools and identity theft protection. The AVG Internet Security version costs $54.99 and includes everything.

AVG is a trusted name in the Internet security industry. Its performance is much speedier and less intrusive than many commercial packages that cost a lot more. It may not be the fastest or most accurate of all anti-malware software, but it is quite good and an excellent value.

What do you think about AVG 9? Post your comments and questions below...

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Most recent comments on "AVG 9 Review"

(See all 44 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

25 Nov 2009

I was running AVG 8.5 and tried to update to 9.0 when I received the on screen prompt to do so. However after receiving the "can't install because of MSVC Redistributables installation errors" message (over and over again) I've spent the last week or trying to get 9.0 to install. I have followed all of the instructions on the AVG Q&A News and Hot Topics page outlining how to install when receiving the MSVC Redistributables installation error to no avail. I have gone through the complete instructions twice!!!

I have also tried reinstalling both the 8.5 and the 9.0 .The 9.0 will not install no matter what I do and now the 8.5 email scan has quit working so now I can't even get back to a working AVG program.

I had no problems with the 8.5 and would have been quite happy to leave it alone as it worked quite well for me. Now, if I can't at least get back to a fully working 8.5, I will have to find another program that has all the features of AVG that I can trust!!!

Posted by:

25 Nov 2009

Yeah Guys, I am suffering with the same Freezing problem with AVG 9 in Windows 7. The machine freezes like anything; only Power and Reboot button works. It really sucks... I face this issue while browsing the Internet (no matter what browser you are using IE8, Firefox 3.5 or Crome etc.) Now, I am not using any ANTIVIRUS cuz I removed AVG 9 (thinking of installing v8.5 again)

Hay BOB, can you suggest the best compatible Antivirus programme which works fine with Windows 7 64-Bit.Thanks - Danish

Posted by:

25 Nov 2009

I've been using AVG Free for some time now, but then switched to VIPRE because of the all-around great reviews about the product.

It's good to see, though, that AVG has a faster scanning time and other improvements.

Posted by:

26 Nov 2009

I have been using AVG Free for many years (first version I remember using is 6.0.) All that time I was reasonably happy with the product as it kept me free of virusus all that time (W98SE/W2K/WXP). I installed it on all numerous friend's computers. This year I noticed a significant (yet inconsistent) performance degradation just opening folders or accessing folders over the network. I have now uninstalled AVG8.5 and won't install AVG9. I am now trying out a different free AntiVirus product. What a difference in overall performance (speed). Now remains to be seen if this product keeps me safe as AVG did.

Posted by:

27 Nov 2009

Ever since I upgraded to AVG 9, I began getting the BSOD often...but never had it before in older versions.

I have subscribed to AVG for almost 7 years now, but it seems that in these last two years or so, this software has become very top heavy on my system, as the developers add more and more so called "bells and whistles" and have raised the cost too much.

I'm up for renewal in January 2010, but have decided to say goodbye to a once inexpensive and trusted software, by taking my chances another VP that seems more promising and less expensive.

Even after uninstalling AVG 9 I was having issues with it, and found that it was interfering with my newer VP installation. Although AVG is completely uninstalled, and I used the AVG clean tool to get rid of it...deleted the program and data directories, it still remains on my system in some form. I think that AVG took a once fantastic software such as AVG 7.5, and somehow managed to turn it into something that many no longer want.

Posted by:

R Lim
27 Nov 2009

I'm a loyal AVG Free user. I tried 9.0 on my Windows XP netbook. Next day it would hang on Explorer or Outlook Express. Had to reboot 5-6 times. The IT people at work said that AVG 9 was only for Windows 7, but I was skeptical. Yet when I re-installed using an old AVG 8.5 (then updated it) my netbook now works fine. I am now wondering if AVG 1.) will fix AVG 9 for XP, if indeed it is incompat and 2.) will AVG continue to support updates on AVG 8 users like me. I am afraid of going to AVG 9.0.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If your IT people said AVG 9 was only for Windows 7, they are worthless. The AVG website says "Compatible with Windows 7, Windows XP and Windows Vista."

Posted by:

R Lim
28 Nov 2009

I uninstalled AVG 9, reinstalled AVG 8.5, and I went from hanging and rebooting to 100% fine. Regardless of my IT department's worth, what they recommended worked (that's all I care about!), and from my experience--and about 2/3 the comments I have read through--it seems logical that AVG has some bugs to be fixed for WIndows XP machines.

Question still is: will AVG support my 8.5 version? Or is support vaporizing after December 1? Thanks!

Posted by:

29 Nov 2009

I've used AVG Free forever and loved it. Presently running version 8.5. I've tried and tried to install version 9.0 but it will install anywhere from 37% to 55% and quit. I receive a messge that suggests I retry but the same thing happens. 9.0 is way larger than 8.5 (something like 74MB compared to 45). I use a dial-up modem. Could that be causing a disconnect from the download site? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

EDITOR'S NOTE: It would take 4-6 hours to download 74MB over dialup. The likelihood of a glitch is pretty high. You might try Avira (also free) which is only 29MB.

Posted by:

01 Dec 2009

I have used AVG for a quite a while and was very pleased with it. Unfortunately, I can't say the same after I upgraded to version 9. IT SLOWS DOWN YOUR BROWSER (ANY ONE) TO A CRAWL. Try something else if you want to save yourself all the aggravation. The author of this article says this feature can be turned off, but I refuse to keep it until AVG fixes the issue. It took me a long time to finally figure it out that the problem of my "hanging on load" browsing was due to AVG buggy web scanner or whatever the feature is called.

Posted by:

Joe M
27 Dec 2009

Marie (the dial-up user). If you want to get large downloads, you'd be wise to take a flash drive and buy your favorite best buddy a drink at Starbucks and have them download all the things you keep on your "wish list." :-)

Your best bet is first of all, stay away from AVG v9. As most ALL here have said, version 9 is just plain bad. A once excellent product has gone the way of Symantec/McAfee and become useless bloatware. I used to subscribe to AVG and now pay my dues to Vipre (who still don't have a bundled firewall solution, even though they said they would by end of year). Avira is ok, but nagware. Another good alternative (although does slow the system some) is Prevx. I just use it in detection mode - I don't subscribe to it.

Posted by:

Jyotirmay Pandey
28 Dec 2009

Hi All,

Yes, most of the comments about AVG 9 are absolutely correct. I installed AVG Internet Security 9 on my Windows XP SP3 machine and it really affected the speed of my computer. Most of the times the computer could not respond and I had to reboot it manually by pressing the "Power" button because "Task Manager" was not responding. As Bob said "warnings of threats when there really are none"-Its true. AVG 9.0 was displaying threats in some default Windows programs like "Run32dll.exe", "Explorer.exe" etc. even I installed this package immediately after installing the operating system. With AVG Internet Security 8.5, everything is back up and working fine. AVG people must take an immediate action to rectify this.

Thanks & Regards

Posted by:

19 Jan 2010

I have Windows XP and Firefox 3.5.7 and am using free edition AVG 9. I have no problems. A scan with AVG took nearly 1-1/2 hours. AVG 9 does it in 40 to 43 minutes.

Posted by:

26 Jan 2010

I have been using AVG for a few years. Last year I decided to upgrade to the payed version. I got the licence number from the vendor and installed OK. I changed from PC to laptop in the summer and reinstalled the software without a problem. My laptop came with a win7 upgrade that I just recently installed. I was told during the upgrade that the AVG firewall would not work unless I uninstalled and reinstalled the software. Unistalled OK but when trying to reinstall the licence key does not work. I tried to get answers from AVG but all I can find is FAQ's which are useless. Direct help from thier tech support cost$$. So I have to pay for installing a product I already own?? Not Happy.

Posted by:

12 Feb 2010

I recently installed AVG 9 internet security paid version on my XP OS. I immediately had to disable link scanner as it is not compatible with IE8 and I could barely get the browser from site to site. Next issue is that I did not receive the firewall that I paid for. I reinstalled and it is simply not there. I went through the steps as outlines by AVG to diagnose and send results via email, but have yet to hear anything back. At this point, I doubt I will. There is no way to reach them...customer service? A joke! If anyone could provide me with a working telephone number, I'd appreciate it!

Posted by:

12 Feb 2010

Just an update...I finally heard back from them and hopefully the firewall issue has been resolved.

Posted by:

09 Apr 2010

I've been waiting to see reviews before following through with installing 9.0x over my 8.5 AVG FREE.

I'm still a bit hesitant. The recent nag screen to upgrade or else update is a nuisance, so I thought I'd check out the feature comparison page to make sure none of the current features would be forfeited with the update to the AVG Free 9.0x. From that page, it appears to me the Resident Shield would be forfeited, if AVG refers to it as the "Online Shield." Only the AVG Free anti-virus and anti-malware, and the link-scanner, are checked in the "AVG Free" column of the feature comparison.

What's the real deal?

Posted by:

Jean Lockwood
18 Jul 2010

A week ago last Friday, I installed AVG 9, free edition, and it immediately screwed up my PC. I've been dealing with my own PC problems since I bought the first PC in 1984, but this finally just brought the PC to a screeching halt. Couldn't do ANYthing. Called my daughter and her BF came up (40 miles) on the 10th, worked all day on it but couldn't get it fixed. So, he took it home with him and they brought it back this morning---all cleaned up and working normally. Needless to say, I'm not installing AVG Free edition.

But, my real question is this: Because I've used AVG most of my PC life, with no problems, can it be that some evil force has hijacked the installation program and caused all the problems. If you look at a Google search result on "problems with AVG 9", you'll see what I'm talking about. It seems to have installed a whole bunch of viruses and Trojans.

I hope someone with more time/knowledge than I have will look into this and let us know what happened.

Jean Lockwood
A little 84-year-old lady in near Washington DC

Posted by:

29 Oct 2010

Avira AntiVir Premium - If you're not a "techie" like most computer users, this software may be a bit advanced. It doesn't detect behavioral activity, but it is good at cleaning and detecting malware and viruses. antivirus review

Posted by:

jim sheils
16 Mar 2011

I, too, bought and paid for AVG9 package and took the 50 some dollar two-year package because it saved money ove r obe year.Had my son in law install---as I am very much amatuer,Never did get it installed.Have been monitoring malware manually for 1.5 years. Notified AVG with NO results and NO refund. I can provide much detail. I just want to know why I can't turn the AVG9 'on'?

Posted by:

Edward Hess
18 Apr 2011

I have a paid version of avg9 that is up to date. It caught a virus and it messed up my computer, big time. I do not think it is fair to charge me $89.95 to fix a virus problem
when this a antivirus program. I am not happy with avg pure junk.

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