|AVG Internet Security|
AVG was the first company to provide a basic, free AV program to protect a PC against virus attack and this generosity has stood it in very good stead for selling its more comprehensive suites, such as Internet Security (AVG IS ). This suite is available as a boxed product or a download and can be bought for one to ten machines with a one or two-year licence.
The Internet Security product sits between AVG Anti-Virus and AVG Premium Security products, adding anti-spam, personal information protection and data protection from hackers to the former and missing out on the identity theft protection and PC optimisation of the latter.
Things that you might expect, but are missing from AVG IS, include online back-up, parental control and safe banking provision. Online back-up can be added through LiveKive, but this is a separate application with a separate subscription, as is PC Tune Up, another AVG offering.
In fact, when you compare AVG IS with AVG Free, it’s mainly the online shield, antispam and the firewall, which aren’t included. It may seem churlish to mention this as AVG is magnanimous with its free offering in the first place, but don’t you want a few more suite components for your £42 a year?
AVG obviously has one eye on the imminent launch of Windows 8 and has given the interface a makeover to provide a tiled look. The top row has five green tiles labelled Computer, Web Browsing, Identity, E-mails and Firewall. Each of these lead to screens offering switches, settings and, in some cases, statistics.
The darker row below offers to Fix Performance, provide Family Safety and give access to LiveKive for online backup. In fact, though, these are all options for which you have to pay extra. The PC Analyser, for example, is happy to check for registry errors, junk files, disk fragmentation and broken shortcuts, but if you click to fix them, you’re dumped on the 24 hour trial/pay-up screen on the AVG site.
As well as all the tiles, there are small links at the top of the panel offering reports, support, a way to boost AVG’s profile on Facebook (no, really) and a long options menu.
The Advanced Settings option is where most of the key parameters are held and the list is pretty comprehensive. Despite the long list of settings, it still fairly easy to navigate to those you want to adjust.
When we ran our scan test, timing a scan of 30GB of mixed files, AVG IS took only 15 minutes nine seconds to check 80,755. This gives a scan rate of 89 files/sec, which is in the middle of the range we normally see. The total number of files scanned is quite small though, indicating a degree of intelligence in assessing which files could contain malware. As long as the assessment is accurate, this approach can save a lot of time and reduce the resource burden on the host PC.
Our usage test compares the time it takes to copy two, 1GB files with and without a scan running in the background. Without the scan, and just AVG’s other background protection, this took one minute 31 seconds and with a full system scan going, it took one minute 40 seconds, an increase of nine percent.
This is the lowest performance hit we’ve seen and should mean you rarely notice anything that the software is doing anything. AVG has never been a shouty program, interrupting what you’re doing with details of what it has just blocked or allowed through, so most of the time it really is fire and forget.
The antivirus testing organisation, AV-Test, has yet to finish evaluating the version of AVG Internet Security, though there’s no reason to believe it will be any less effective than the previous year's engine. It scored that at 13.5/18.0 under Windows XP and 14.5/18.0 under Windows 7, which is good and very good, respectively.
Rock Solid Performance
AVG Internet Security suite is renowned to be one of today’s leading security utilities, offering rock-solid protection from Internet scams and viruses, keeping one’s personal data secured and creating a safe environment both for work and entertainment on a desktop, laptop or a tablet. This is another product of AVG series developed specifically to combine facilities for fighting existing as well as new and emerging cyber threats. The functional aspect can probably satisfy any sceptic as this program is literally stuffed with filters, scanners and other tools aimed at maintaining the safety of your web surfing activities, online gaming and routine work with documents, email etc.
So, let’s see what you get for the money you pay. Now supporting Windows 8, the fresh build of AVG Internet Security is close to unsurpassed at protecting your machine from viruses, malware, spam, phishing and other threats residing on the web. The second advantage deals with your online privacy protection: no more issues sharing personal content on the web, no more stolen data, no more inbound or outbound attacks on the computer or your home network. Although relatively high, the price of $54.99 and this entire set of defense instruments are probably a match.
The numerous awards granted to this product speak for themselves. It is AV-TEST certified and has won Softonic Editor’s Choice, Virus Bulletin 100 awards, AV Comparatives Advanced+ rating – to list just a few. The authors of this application claim it provides ‘ultimate protection for your PC and online identity’. The question that arises at this point is whether this is true. Well, let’s go ahead and figure that out.
There’s hardly anything complicated in using AVG Internet Security as it can be downloaded, installed, configured and used without much effort. But everything in its turn. The first choice to make here is whether you are going to purchase the product all at once, or give the free trial a shot to test it and make up your mind. In terms of simplicity, installation compares to the download process, that is, it’s more than straightforward and clear. Moreover, the setup doesn’t take much time, so you should be done within minutes. This being completed, follow the software’s tip and restart your computer so that it all settles down correctly.
The greatest changes made to the version of the product are all about the user interface design. It has been made somewhat unusual as compared with the previous build and looks totally revamped: the prevailing colors are different; menu structure underwent alterations; the whole idea of the GUI is more modern and reminiscent of the Windows 8 style (which we suspect to have been the main inspiration for AVG developers this time). The first association that comes to mind with regard to the interface is ‘completely right-angled’; it’s filled with large rectangular tiles embodying main menu items (Computer, Web Browsing, Identity, E-mails, and Firewall), replacing the preceding version’s left-hand menu section. Through kind of strange to the unaccustomed eye, the GUI turns out handy, clean and straightforward after a while of using it.
The overly high system performance impact that was a problem with the previous year's version has been apparently taken into account by AVG team, though not completely addressed. While this utility is pretty fast overall and causes no particular slowdowns when running in its routine mode, it takes a lot of time and quite a bit of system resources to complete the full system scan. Whereas the thoroughness of this scan is out of the question, be advised you will actually have to be sacrificing performance speed once in a while. Furthermore, the software added a couple of extra seconds to the boot time and slowed down the browser. These issues are no longer as drastic as they used to be, but they are partially still there.
Therefore, the above minor drawbacks set aside, we got a powerful, yet intuitive and easily understandable Internet security suite here. Let’s now move on to learn more.
The options constituting AVG Internet Security’s feature set strictly pursue the goal of controlling and maintaining safety of the operating system, protecting the user’s sensitive data, as well as optimizing system performance. Here is a brief review of the key features this utility is equipped with.
It’s remarkable that AVG developers succeeded in fitting this whole sophistication into their Internet security suite – nothing is overlooked related to online protection, and it additionally has features beyond the actual purpose being pursued.
Let’s start off here by resorting to independent analyses. AV-TEST IT-Security Institute has conducted monitoring of the latest build by different criteria and came up with pretty astonishing results. The latest tested build of AVG Internet Security got 100% score at protection and detection of actively running widespread malware, including rootkits. The rest of the evaluated parameters are not perfect, yet well above the industry average here.
On the whole, the software being tested appears to exhibit stable dependability. The AV filters are constantly looking for and effectively identifying malicious code on the web and are kept updated automatically (by the way, the updates do not influence the system’s productivity). Enhanced firewall monitors the Internet activities and prevents you from getting hacked; the antivirus, anti-malware and anti-spyware components block threats and protect your identity; and finally, AVG even helps accelerate the computer’s performance.
Although some users might consider this product’s firewall and antivirus components too severe, we are certain that’s for the better. There is therefore no room for doubt that AVG Internet Security gives you the protection that you can rely on.
Help & Support
AVG Internet Security users are fully supported 24/7. Being a customer, you get a variety of options to address your issues, be it product configuration or a tech query. Help opportunities are outlined and provided via www.avg.com/us-en/support web page. The options accessible through the page are telephone support, online chat, email, FAQ, AVG Community and some hot topics on common problems. An additional tool you can use is the section with prevalent malware family types, providing free tools to get rid of the specific bug that’s causing you trouble. In-depth premium support is provided through the TechBuddy service which is available via phone or chat, both free of charge.
It’s great to know you can get help round the clock and regardless of your location. One thing we’d like to point out is licensed users enjoy substantially larger privileges in terms of support, which is, well, pretty natural.
Overall, we can’t help admitting that this product is a true breakthrough in the Internet security domain. Despite the fact that AVG Internet Security might call forth minor performance issues during scanning tasks, it does attempt to maintain system productivity balance while providing the protection you expect. Going back to our Intro, what you actually get is ‘ultimate protection for your PC and online identity’ – so it’s not a myth, and it’s not busted. This product intelligently identifies viruses, spyware, online scams, keeps hackers away and leaves nothing to chance when it comes to security.
AVG Internet Security is a well-designed IS suite with all the basics providing a robust security system. Its easy-to-use, with a simple, modern interface and if its AV engine is it least as good as last year’s, it’s well capable of protecting a typical home PC.
However, you can get better value for your money on a function per pound basis. You’re covered for AV, browser protection, firewall, anti-spam and anti-spyware, but there aren’t as many extras as in, for example, Kaspersky Internet Security. There are, for example, no parental control, safe banking or secure keyboard – as opposed to virtual keyboard – technologies.