AVG Anti-Virus Gets A New Look
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.
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...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 22 Jan 2018
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- AVG Anti-Virus Gets A New Look (Posted: 22 Jan 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved