AVG Anti-Virus Gets A New Look

Category: Anti-Virus

AVG Technologies merged with rival Avast! Software in mid-2016. Nonetheless, the two popular anti-malware suites maintain separate existences, although they now share some of their best features. AVG is rated very highly by one independent testing lab, while another gives 100% perfect scores to both AVG and Avast! on crucial real-world protection tests. So what’s left to improve about AVG, except for its appearance? Let's find out…

AVG: New Owner, New Features, New Look

Since the two firms merged, some good things have been happening. First and foremost is improved protection in both Avast and AVG, as a result of combining some of their best features.

Avast! has blended its CyberCapture malware-unmasking protection with AVG’s Behavior Shield real-time heuristic analysis that detects suspicious activity and blocks potentially dangerous apps before they can do any harm. The combination is very effective against phishing, ransomware, rootkits, drive-by downloads from rogue sites, and other nasty things.

AVG received perfect and near-perfect scores on protection, performance (system load), and user-friendliness from AV-TEST in the lab’s August, 2017, round of testing. In May, 2017, rival lab AV-Comparatives found AVG and Avast! were 100% effective in it Real World Protection test, and produced zero false positives (alerts on apps that really are not malware). They were the only two products to achieve such outstanding results in that round of testing.

AVG 2018 - New Look and New Features

Both AVG and Avast are easy on system resources, so they won’t slow you down. In AV-Comparatives’ performance test, AVG and Avast both scored a lightweight 7.5 points, versus the whopping 36.7 point performance load imposed by Microsoft Windows Defender.

The AVG Antivirus Free edition includes signature-based antimalware scanning. It also scans emails automatically for potential malware attachments and phishing telltales. Any suspicious code is uploaded to AVG’s lab for analysis, and results are incorporated in signature database updates that may be issued up to several times per day. You can turn off this data collection if you wish, but it is not spying on you and your participation improves protection for all AVG and Avast users.

Alone among freebies, AVG includes a privacy-protecting file shredder that ensures sensitive data is deleted beyond recovery by all but the most resource-rich spies. Effectively, only state-sponsored cybersnoops like the NSA are likely to be able to recover your shredded data, and doing so will be hideously expensive and time-consuming.

Taking AVG for a Test Drive

A subscription to the full AVG Internet Security suite lists for $70/year, but that’s discounted to $30 if you take the suite for a 30-day test-drive. The paid version includes a firewall, software blocking of webcam spying, a real-time Web shield to warn you away from malicious sites, and enhanced security for online shopping and banking sites.

If you (or someone with access to your computer) is likely to click on anything that's blue and underlined, or you don't have a piece of tape to cover your webcam, then you might want to spring for the paid version. At about 8 cents a day, the extra peace of mind seems like a bargain.

The latest AVG release is a 3 MB installer that downloads other components depending on whether you choose to install AVG Antivirus Free or AVG Internet Security (free trial or pay-now version). Installation takes only a few minutes and the default settings are not annoying. The new interface is clean, unobtrusive, and intuitive.

If you are in the market for a new security suite, or just want to test drive another free anti-malware scanner, you can’t go wrong with AVG. Just keep in mind my advice for many years -- use only one real-time (always on) security program at a time. With multiple antivirus tools running, you may experience system slowdowns. There's also the possibility that each will see the other as a threat, and bring your system to a screeching halt in a futile battle to quarantine each other. I recommend that you pause the real-time protection of one program (or uninstall it) while testing the other.

Do you use AVG, either free or paid version? Have you noticed any significant improvements since the merger with Avast? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "AVG Anti-Virus Gets A New Look"

(See all 30 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

22 Jan 2018

I used Avast! free version for a couple of years and it has way too many pop-ups. Very annoying. It would keep telling me my free version was going to expire soon and to buy a new version. Finally said my license had expired. Why would a free version expire?
Went to Bit Defender and am very happy. But my daily driver is Linux and prefer it. Just have to keep Windows on one computer for certain software.

Posted by:

Bob K
22 Jan 2018

I used the free version of Avast for years, and found it to be good. But, the constant pop-ups to get me to upgrade got very annoying. And, when I did upgrade, they were still there, wanting me to upgrade to more enhancements. Like JoelB I also am on a limited income and hate this nickle and dime stuff.

Kaspersky came out with their free version. But, it completely botched my ability to receive emails. At that point there was no support from them on the free version, but found it difficult to even get it uninstalled.

My ISP was offering the full McAfee for free. Problem with that, that used CPU time like crazy. A good solid 50% constantly. The Avast had pegged the meter at about 20%, which I considered a limit. And, Kaspersky was still sitting somewhere in the lower intestines of the computer sending every site I visited to their labs. That was a difficult thing to stop!

I went with AVG -- the free version -- and it seems to be working well. CPU load isn't enough to show. There are occasional pop-ups, but nothing I find too annoying.

I think careful surfing is also important these days!

Posted by:

22 Jan 2018

About six months ago Bob explained to me (and us) -- well he didn't explain, but said that MBAM could work with ASC -- No real instructions that I recall - but ADVANCED SYSTEM CARE AND MBAM PLAY WELL TOGETHER- though MBAM eats up more RAM than ASC.

It's a round about way to get it to work. First I ran MBAM to clean my system of any potential problems. (it wiped ASC from my computer) Then I ran it again just to make sure I had NO trace of ASC on my computer.

Then you download ASC again, go to MBAM and click on 'settings' - then you look for folders to exclude (under the exclude tab) -- use your start button to go to computer--> (for me x86) and click on the ASC folder - it will move into the exclude folder in MBAM.

You can't type the path in the 'exclude box' - or copy and past the folder name -- maybe on the paid edition - Once you see it in the exclude folder -- you are home safe.

I like the system resource setting so I can see how my RAM and such are doing - once it was THE ONLY WAY I could troubleshoot a problem of a Hot-Cold Boot and losing the use of my keyboard - the Ram would run up to zero (100% usage) then drop down to zero, then up to full again - in seconds. I'd never have seen that without the resource setting) - the fix was easy once I knew what the problem was.

So that's how you can run ASC and MBAM on the same machine - just go to where ever you put the folder to dump ASC into, then click on it, 'open' (I think without going through all the checks), and it moves it to MBAM and MBAM will NEVER scan that folder again. Though I do have to turn on the system monitor every time I boot - hot-or-cold.

For me that's not much of a problem since I run World Community Grid using a LOT of system resources 24/7 -- so rarely do I ever hot or cold boot my computer, I just keep it clean so the chip that is running at 90% capacity doesn't over heat.
On the Second Tuesday of every month I download all the windows updates, and that is when I get my boot.

Bob mentioned a program named CORE TEMP that monitors the temp(you can choose °F or °C) and I backed down from 95% of TjMax (the max recommended temp of your processor) to 90% in the summer because of outside heat, in winter 95% seems fine to me. I just found it on Google, but it comes from C-Net - and I won't use them for downloads because they often bundle crap I don't want with ANY download. I'd look for another place like Puma or such to down-load the gadget. It's a handy AND nifty program I only get into a couple times a year, but when I do get into it, BOY-HOWDY am I glad it's there.

So while Bob said that HE didn't have much problem with the 'new' MBAM messing with ACS, and said 'fixing it is easy' - it took me about half an hour to figure out I had to navigate to the folder, then click on the folder rather than type in the C:\directory\sub directory\ etc. Just 'click' on the folder once, 'open' it - and MBAM had it. I used to uninstall ASC, load MBAM, unload MBAM, reload ASC and be happy.

But I spent about fifteen minutes on day trying to figure it all out once I'd dumped ACS then reloaded it - and it wasn't really 'intuitive', but it got the job done.

So they do work togehter - but you have to tell MBAM to stop picking and playing bully to ASC -- thus the start button to computer, to local disk, etc - read the directory it is being installed into when you load it - and you'll do just fine when you go to find it to tell MBAM to leave it alone.

Good Luck!!!! Sounds long and hard, but it's easy, the LONG part is loading and running MBAM, then ASC, (call that 5-10 min) then locating ASC - which comes up when it asks you where to put the folder when you load it -- you'll figure it out - if I can, anyone can, just stick with it - and you will have the best of both worlds!!!!

Posted by:

22 Jan 2018

I have used Avast Free for 3 plus years. I just click out of any popups. Only the paid version offers you the opportunity to opt out of ads. I use Firefox and Chrome, which avoids any IE and Bing conflicts. Avast Free works well with the free versions of MalwareBytes and Super AntiSpyware. You just have to run them manually on a reular basis.
Geek Uninstaller, Revo Uninstaller, and Iobit Uninstaller will work best for uninstalling. But there is a specific program from Avast to uninstall Avast Anti Virus, "Avastclear." Any anti virus program I have installed will shut off Windows Defender on my computer.
Whenever I uninstall any program and all of its remaining files are supposedly gone, I find that when I re-install that program, it will ask where I want to put it, and will say "There is already a file there by that name. Do I want to install it there?" That means that no matter what uninstaller you use or how it is done, not everything is removed even by the uninstallers that claim to search for any left-over or orphan files and remove them.

Posted by:

Martin W
22 Jan 2018

Two quick points to a comment or two above:
(1) I updated CCleaner (free) last week on three laptops. Two tried to get me to upgrade. (I didn't.) The third had a little button on the bottom saying Install AVG. I (idiot!) didn't see it until I had clicked. It uninstalled just fine, though, with a little help from IObit Uninstaller to get any remnants.
(2) With Malwarebytes, you can tell it to Ignore Always anything it finds as malware, before quarantining. (Or afterwards, you can restore files.) I have done this for Advanced SystemCare on all three laptops. On two Malwarebytes doesn't bother with ASC any more. On the third it sometimes finds a few "bad" Advanced SystemCare files and I just tell it to Ignore Always on them too (after checking to see what a few of them were, just in case).

Posted by:

22 Jan 2018

If AVG want to keep my custom they'd do well to stop pestering me to subscribe to ever more of their offerings. Every time I switch in I have to clear their latest upgrades.

Posted by:

22 Jan 2018

Purchased AVAST and some weird occurrence happened that started writing on my hard drive and filled it up with junk.
Had to have hard drive cleaned and reloaded system without AVAST!

Posted by:

22 Jan 2018

After trying many different security type programs, I finally settled on the paid version of Bitdefender Total Security. I have kept it update and upgraded to the new version each year. That is, until this past Sunday. Suddenly, Bitdefender (running in Auto-Pilot mode) decided that virtually every program (they are not "Apps" on a desktop no matter what Microsoft calls them), including Windows programs, were all malware on my laptop. A few months back, it had done a similar thing on my desktop by doing the same to Windows Media Player. Marking and guaranteeing them would have been fine as all I would have to do is restore them and include them all in their "whitelist." Alas, that is not what it did. It either deleted the programs outright or blocked them and I could find no way to unblock them and had to reinstall what was deleted. That was the end of Bitdefender on any of my computers.

Having said all that, this article was timely for me as it gave me a change to read about other security for my computers. However, after reading the comments here, there is no way I would use either of the products mentioned here. Too many problems and all of them somewhat different to each other. I don't have time for those problems.

So I am going to fallback to my lifetime PC Matic security. While I do not remember what caused me to uninstall it, I do know it was not as severe as what Bitdefender did and has none of the problems associated with AVG and Avast outlined in these comments.

There are old and valid expressions when it comes to free software as to many other things in life: 1) "There's no such thing as a free lunch" and 2) "You Get What You Pay For." Why would you risk your computer and files on it to free software? I know Bob raves about some of them but, frankly, companies are more willing to support paying customers in a timely manner than they are for those that use their free versions. At least, that is my long-time experience in over 45 years in the IT field.

Posted by:

22 Jan 2018

A Huge BOOOOOO to Avast and AVG. Both have been good AV softwares, free and paid, but now, it seems, every other freeware application I download offers as default to download and install AVG or Avast onto my computer. And usually, the way the installer is designed, it can be difficult to notice that the install of the (in my case, unwanted)software will take place. Imagine to my surprise when I found AVG installed on my computer and I already had another AV software installed. Of course, you say, it was my fault for not completely reading everything during the install phase, and I plead guilty, but AVG and Avast knew that unintentional installs would take place, even hoped that unintentional installs would take place. In my opinion, that indicates that Avast/AVG are run by an unethical, immoral administration.

Posted by:

22 Jan 2018

To Bryan Turnbull (22 Jan):
Re: "Even worse, you cannot uninstall Avast via the windows uninstalled. You need to download a program from Avast.?"

Yes, this is annoying. But it could be a mechanism to thwart unwanted uninstalls. A malefactor might be able to run the Windows uninstaller without your permission.

Posted by:

22 Jan 2018

Having read the above comments i have to agree about both program's especially A V G and the constant push to up grade or get new apps that they have for sale ,,,Makes AVG appear pushy and second rate ..

Posted by:

23 Jan 2018

Just echoing another comment: If they want to keep my subscription they'll stop pestering me with all of their additional features. They're a pain in the **tt!

Posted by:

23 Jan 2018

Have used numerous paid or free anti-what-U-don't-want programs through too-many-years to count (even one before ever connecting online). They all had/have flaws. Most hogged system resources to the point of slowing the machines' response times to a crawl. False-positives, BSOD and the like, made it necessary at one point, to try a different solution every few months... all the ones mentioned in your article and the comments, certainly.

For the past few years, I too have found AVG Free to sip rather than suck down resources and it's been fairly tolerable in some of the negative areas, as well. There are plenty of settings for the user to customize, (it can take awhile to check all of them out). It's provided reliable, full-time protection for three of my machines. I also run some additional single-run scanners weekly on each computer, in case something slips through (but they usually come up clean.)

Posted by:

23 Jan 2018

I used AVG a while back and when it started stopping my system dead and just became generally irritating I trashed it and went to AVAST. I recently gave that the boot and used Defender and presently Malwarebytes until now the free period is over. I guess it's time to try the new improved AVG again.

Posted by:

23 Jan 2018

I have used Avast Premium with Malwarebytes Premium for years, no problems at all.

Posted by:

jim flournoy
23 Jan 2018

Advanced System Care stole their malware databases from Spybot Search and Destroy and form the later Malwarebytes-
I would not trust them not to sell sensitive information
No Idea where they got the rest of their hodgepodge of modules- developed entirely in house LMFAO
Using Avast Free and scan with MBAM and SBS&D and some others. Popups are what your pay for free- get over it.

Posted by:

David Hakala
23 Jan 2018

I've run Avast Free for years. Running it in "silent/gaming mode" eliminates most popups.

Posted by:

Bill Schneider
23 Jan 2018

Just want to comment at this point--

Been running free AVAST for 6-8 months; the popups don't bother me. Then, 'something' happened (I tend to try various 'things') --'It' suddenly downloaded, and installed Premium AVAST--and charged me! Rather upset, I decided to see what 'Premium' was like, before I complained.

Soon, AVAST began emailing me tips', like "Tip #1: Speed up your PC and keep it sharp all day". I tried what the tip suggested. By golly, it worked! I just didn't know what I had.

[This system was an old ShuttleX, bought used in 2008 - Win XY (sp3) -- stuffed with too many programs etc. Slowing down a lot over the years.]

AVAST Premium ran some tests -- i.e., found 17 drivers that needed updates. Too many similiar programs loaded, cleaned most using their SLEEP setting. Etc.

Pinterest loaded images lot faster. Videos, like TED Talks, run much smoother. Etc, etc..

Anyway, the system is way, way faster overall. So, I'm glad I tried it now.


Posted by:

Brummagem Flash
24 Jan 2018

For probably a dozen years, here in Middle Earth, I have constantly been using IObit's ASC-free (=AdvancedSystemCare) and its associated progs: Uninstaller, DriverUpdate, IObitMalwareFighter et alia.
ASC's "Clean&Optimize" has always given reliable help with decluttering and speeding-up my PCs and laptop: with a user-friendly menu that offers dozens of free options; and many "paid-for" extras clearly marked "Pro", to avoid wasting my time.
After umpteen years using AVG-free; I dropped it a year or so ago, when pop-ups seemed to multiply.
I have been using Avira recently; but I should have dumped it sooner, if I'd heard of a less annoying free alternative. Avira's pop-up prog itself has become a TOTAL BIT-HOG: its phantom two-line bi-tone textless mini-widow freezing my FireFox, or the whole PC, until a ?-Win7 pop-up arrives to offer an option to close t'darn thing.
So it's back to AVG-free for now; as it reportedly uses less RAM than any alternatives. And I'm sticking with the free version; as I don't want to pay, for extras I don't need, to use up even more of my precious RAM.
Meanwhile, can anyone make an intelligent prog (or app) to auto-click-shut unwanted repeated pop-ups. Surely it wouldn't be too difficult to devise such a thing: a pop-up to end all pop-up repeats! It could ask "Do you want this {Oohay} pop-up auto-shut if it tries to appear again?" I don't object to ads in freeware per se, just undue frequency. After all, if I didn't want to respond an hour ago, or yesterday; I'm very very very unlikely to want to respond now, either!
And now, back to My Precious....

Posted by:

Robert Beveridge
08 Feb 2018

I have used Avast for quite a few years and the popups over the last 12 months are now a big nuisance, Now I am thinking of changing as will many more, can Avast not see this or is it the plan in order to make people move to A.V.G?

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