AVG Internet Security 2012 - Review

Category: Anti-Virus , Security

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.
AVG Internet Security 2012

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...

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Most recent comments on "AVG Internet Security 2012 - Review"

(See all 21 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

06 Sep 2011

AVG free, is one of a few I use, and I like it. it has caught stuff others missed. Bob, do you think I should keep the 2011 version or upgrade? Or will I eventually need to upgrade due to no updates to the 2011 version?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't see any downside with moving to the latest AVG Free.

Posted by:

06 Sep 2011

Thank you for this insightful review! I almost always take your advice so I will wait to see if AVG comes out with the patches before buying the 2012 version.I too hope they are not getting bloated the way Norton did.

Posted by:

06 Sep 2011

Thanks for the AVG review Bob. I have stuck with AVG for several yerars, switching off certain unwanted add-ons as AVG included them. It's been running sweet and the possibility to send a problem by email to Tech Support was great as was/is their response.
BUT BUT BUT now, as your review suggets, they have become bloated and damned frustrating! It took ages for a licence renewal new number to be recognised by my AVG, clearly due to a slowness of AVG central systems to update. AVG on my No 1 PC is now running sweet again. I have just tried to Activate the expired subscription on my No 2 PC but AVG keeps showing 'invalid license'.
The AVG tech support email address I used a year ago now bounces back and I am directed to the website where I have the choice of a toill free phone number that does not answer or a Chat system that shows 24 ahead of me. I DO NOT NEED THIS TIME WASTING AVG (yes, that was a shout).
I really do think it's time I fully investigated Kaspersky and cancel AVG. Any feedback will be welcomed.

Posted by:

06 Sep 2011

PLEASE: Badmouth AVG and Norton to your heart's content! I've been online for a bit more than 15 years, and I've had both AVG and Norton anitvirus software. Through experience, and my computer seemingly growing old and slow overnight, and outrageous yearly payments, I've learned my lesson. aVast! is by far better antivirus software, and with it comes my favorite four-letter "F word." FREE!

Posted by:

Allan Brunner
06 Sep 2011

Very interesting - and usefull. I've always avoided both Norton & McAfee because they slow down systems so much and use so much resources. Thoroughly agree with the 'Swiss army Knife' comment.

Posted by:

Bob Pegram
06 Sep 2011

I fix people's computers. I have sometimes had problems with AVG and Avast interfering with other operations similar to how Norton and McAfee sometimes interfere. I have seen that more with AVG than with Avast. With the customer's permission I will remove AVG (or Avast) and replace it with Avira Free or PC-Tools Free (includes ThreatFire) as well as making sure they have antispyware. I always install SuperAntiSpyware and usually Advanced System Care. In one case I substituted Spybot Search and Destroy for ASC. I couldn't get ASC to run properly no matter what I did. ASC has basic anti-malware, but does many other fixes and cleanups as well. It is easy to use for a non-technical user which is why I use it. CCleaner would be more dangerous for a non-technical person. There are too many options some of which could do damage to the system or applications.

Posted by:

Jack McCurdy
06 Sep 2011

I used to swear by AVG about 5 or 6 years ago. They came out with some new version, with that annoying Link scanner and it just seemed bloated and slowed down my system and didn't seem effective. I abandoned it and started using Avira and sometimes Avast. But mostly Avira, until now because Avira is now trying to force that cursed ASK toolbar on you. So I quit putting Avira on peoples systems until they stop it. The ironic thing is they used to flag that stupid toolbar as malware. Now they want to nag you until you install it. With not option to stop the nag screen. Now I just use Microsoft Security Essentials and it's been great, it only uses a little over 3 MB of ram on my system. It also seems have decent detection. After my last experiences with AVG I'm afraid to try it again. When something is good these company's just won't leave it alone. But as far as the paid stuff, I always had good luck with Kaspersky. Although their security suite has gotten a little to bloated as well.

Posted by:

06 Sep 2011

I have a great respect for AVG. However, it does disturb me, that their Free version doesn't even scan downloads, only the Hard Drive. Plus, I didn't see any mention of Rootkits.

I use avast!, the Free version. It not only scans every download, but it also, looks for Rootkits. It is not a 'resource Hog' and my favorite feature is that, you can 'schedule' daily Hard Drive scans. Oh, let me not forget, in the settings, you can schedule your Updates in 'minutes. I have mine set for 120 minutes and it does work.

Even the Free version, lets gives you 'control' over how far your want your settings to go. It also, has Sandbox capabilities. Right now, I don't like the Sandbox, it interferes with a lot of my Internet activity, downloads and generalized working on my computer.

So, why should I go back to using AVG, when avast! offers more, for Free?

Posted by:

07 Sep 2011

How this compares with Panda Global Protection 2012?
I've been using Panda for several years and it has worked fine for me.

Posted by:

07 Sep 2011

AVG Security Suite 2012 or AVG Anything???


. . . NEXT!

Posted by:

07 Sep 2011

AVG was, is, and always will be one of if not the worst resource hogs ever produced. Wrought with false positive and useless features not to mention roughly 15 running processes that seem to do little more than fight for boot order. What really kills me are the amount of resellers in computer shops that will install this on laptops with 512MB's of RAM adding as much as 3 minutes on already slow boot times. Like Norton, I spend more time as a tech removing AVG from computers than installing it. Both, in most cases require an act of congress to remove. Little more than rogues. Norton even has Fake Alerts. Were it not for riding Microsoft's coat tails they would have been out business yrs ago. People need to consider available resources before installing AV. AVG is a terrible program and even at a 40% reduction (which I'll have to see w/my own eyes), I still wouldn't recommend it. I'm glad your review appears unbiased.

Posted by:

07 Sep 2011

After thirty or more years of professional technical PC use since Z80 systems etc. I've tried most virus and malware programs. Also reading the previous comments suggests that none of them are worth very much and most routers have firewall with NAT etc. There is one program that was completely bullet proof called 'Integrity Master' but it would not suite the average user. Not sure if it is still going as an updated version ? This program would inform the sys.op. of every file that had been accessed by reading CRC's etc and also indicate if the file size had changed. This type of checking is straight forward and may offer a solution to combate malware or rootkits etc.

Posted by:

08 Sep 2011

We have been using AVG 2011 on our the PCs in our office for about 6 months now. For some strange reason, whenever it requires attention (It has been at least 6 hours since the last complete scan) it decides to lock us out of the network until said scan has been completed. It's extremely frustrating, and another reason why I don't pay for security suites for my personal computers.

Posted by:

Atanu Biswas
08 Sep 2011

My computer center has couple of pc which have lots of viruses. But i dont care, because i have this antivirus and i helped me to find out all of the viruses. auto usb scan, and auto removal option is very interesting to me. I am using avg paid for last 3 years, and never thought to shift other. I would like to know from avast free edition user, is there any option to remove auto virus detection, means resident shield virus removal? if yes, tell me where to change settings? (I am asking for avast because i have a old pc p4 with 256 ram, where i want to run free avast) thankx

here i got a problem with avg internet security, is option called my apps, whenever i clicked here showing not connected to internet. whats it is??? and why this error comes?

Posted by:

08 Sep 2011

I bought AVG once. The person who helped me pick it out thought it was one of the best. I dont think it was. I dont think it protected my computer and eventually my system was compromised in some way and someone sent out bogus emails to some of my friends and said I was in S. Africa and needed $1,500.00 to get home. Since my email address was joannehaneyloves god.verizon, at least one person almost fell for it. I am not saying it was AVG's fault. I would never buy it again. I bought Kepersky this time around and I am really satisfied with it. I feel like my computer is actually protected. I will buy this product again when it comes time. It is also at a price I can afford.

Posted by:

09 Sep 2011

Nothing was mentioned about how often virus signature updates come out. With new viruses being produced daily, I need something which provides virus signature updates daily or at least weekly. I thing going a wek without updating your virus scanner is a mistake.

Posted by:

09 Sep 2011

I use Panda Cloud Pro and Avast 6.0 together for about a year now. Works great.

Posted by:

10 Sep 2011

@ Atanu Biswas "I would like to know from avast free edition user, is there any option to remove auto virus detection, means resident shield virus removal? if yes, tell me where to change settings? (I am asking for avast because i have a old pc p4 with 256 ram, where i want to run free avast) thankx"

If, I understand what you are asking, Yes! As with any good program, there are Default settings, then there are the Advanced settings. This is what I really like about avast! Free edition, I have control over how avast! handles a virus or malware, when one is detected.

My best suggestion is to go to the avast! website and check it out. Also, you may not be able to download the lastest Free version, with your older PC. I am NOT saying that this is true, just that you really need to check it out, for sure. What harm can it do, to simply try avast! Free edition? This way, you can open all options, play with the settings and see if, you like how avast! responses.

I can only tell you, from my personal experience, that avast! has been doing a great job, even when I am surfing the Internet. Oh, did I mention that avast!6 also, scans all of your email, if, you use a Non-Web-based email server, like Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, etc.? It won't scan Web-based email, sorry, but the Web-based email servers have their own methods.


Here are the System Requirements to run avast! 6

To run avast! Free Antivirus your PC must meet the following criteria.

Operating Systems Supported

* Windows 7 (any Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit)
* Windows Vista (any Edition excl. Starter Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit)
* Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher (any Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit)
* Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack 4

Minimum Hardware Requirements

* Pentium 3 Processor
* 128 MB RAM
* 200 MB of free hard disk space

[B]Please note that avast! Free Antivirus runs only on PCs with Windows XP and newer. Older Windows operating systems (Windows 95/98/ME/NT) are not supported.

Please also note that avast! will not run properly if you have other antivirus software on your PC.[/B]

Posted by:

13 Jul 2012

Thanks for all the helpful comments. I did download AVG Free and my computer has frozed up with constant sites not responding.I will look into the free AVAST site.

Posted by:

21 Nov 2012

I have been a user of AVG for years but the 2012 Version is not at good as the 2011. The 2013 does not have all of the capabilities the 2012 had. Their Customer Service was great until about 9 months ago and all I can say is, based on my use and recent results with AVG. I would not recommend it today, especially the paid version. Once they have your money there is very little support.

By the way, if you call the Customer Service phone number, be sure you have enough food and water to last you for a few hours because once you get them to answer and if they HAVE TO TRANSFER you to a LEVEL 1 technician, you will have time to eat your meal without interruption from a human being on the phone.

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