AVG Internet Security 2012 - Review
The latest version of AVG's anti-virus and internet security software has arrived. And just as in the automobile world, their 2012 release is several months early. But is AVG ahead of their time, or have they ventured too far? Read my review of AVG 2012 to see what's new, and my take on the pros and cons of this release...
Should You Buy AVG Internet Security 2012?
AVG Technologies released the latest editions of their anti-virus and full-spectrum Internet security suite on September 1, 2011. The emphasis in both applications is on improved performance and streamlined user interfaces. Many new features were added to AVG Internet Security 2012.
First, the good news. Users will appreciate that AVG's memory footprint has been reduced by about 40 per cent. The number of running processes required has been slashed. Bootup and shutdown time penalties have been cut, too. Overall, AVG products now run faster and consume fewer resources.
The AVG Internet Security 2012 suite includes the AVG Anti-Virus 2012 engine, which offers four types of anti-virus protection (signature-based, polymorphic-based, heuristics-based, and behavior-based). Kudos to AVG for using a blended approach to detect and defend against more types of malware.
The Internet Security suite ($54.99 after a 30-day trial period) can scan files as they are downloaded, whereas the free version of Anti-Virus only scans hard drives. AVG Internet Security Suite 2012 has several other components that AVG Anti-Virus lacks entirely. If you're a bit confused by all of the AVG products, see this comparison of AVG Free, AVG Anti-Virus 2012, and AVG Internet Security 2012.
The LinkScanner feature detects malicious code in Web pages. The 2012 version now scans apps that are running in the browser (such as Java or ActiveX apps) to detect threats that are spread across multiple Web pages.
Also new is detection and blocking of fake antivirus (also called "scareware"). This type of malware pretends to scan your computer for viruses, gives phony warnings of infections, and then demands money for an illusory cure. The "cure" you buy may actually be more malware. AVG Internet Security 2012 has some patent-pending technologies that detect fake antiviruses by their behavior and user prompts.
The Bad and The Ugly...
Two new features seem incongruent in a security suite. One wonders, "What is this doing here?" AVG Advice is a service that monitors computer performance and alerts the user to various problems and fixes. Its first incarnation, in Internet Security 2012, seems limited to telling you that your browser is consuming a lot of memory and asking if you would like to restart the browser to free up some memory.
AVG Accelerator is a download-acceleration module. In its first release it works only with YouTube and Download.com, but AVG says it will support more services in the future. How either one of these enhances Internet Security is anyone's guess. Please AVG, don't turn your product into a bloated swiss army knife mess. Norton tried that, and spent the past several years recovering.
The AVG Firewall is included in the Internet Security suite. It's a serviceable firewall, but it's weakness is in its reliance on the user to set access privileges for unknown programs. Competing products use built-in intelligence to make security decisions, an area where most casual users are understandably weak. Oddly, the firewall remains vulnerable to being turned off by a malware program, a hole that other suites plugged long ago.
A spam filter is part of AVG Internet Security, but it may as well have been left out. First, there are plenty of spam filters on the market. Second, this one does a poor job, according to several reviewers. The 2012 edition seems to allow more spam to slip through than the 2011 edition did.
I don't mean to be too negative about AVG. Their Anti-Virus product (both the free and paid version) is an excellent example of its class. The other components of AVG Internet Security 2012 are not as impressive. You have to wonder if AVG has ventured beyond its competency. Here's hoping that AVG will focus on core strengths, and nail those problems with the firewall and spam filters before 2012 arrives.
What's your opinion of the AVG Internet Security suite? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 6 Sep 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- AVG Internet Security 2012 - Review (Posted: 6 Sep 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved