AVG Internet Security Review: Internet Security Software
|Visit AVG Internet Security Website|
|Good security software if you are looking for all the bells and whistles at half the price.|
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While the last version of AVG was lacking in many areas, the 2012 version of Internet Security tries to make up the distance between it and the bigger names. And for the most part, it succeeds. It still has some issues with protection, but with new features such as identity protection and a performance analyzer, AVG offers the bigger security tools at half the price of the top security suites.
The installation was not complicated by any means, but it definitely wasn't as simple as some security software suites we've reviewed. On the plus side, it was intuitive and even auto-completed details such as the license number. On the downside, it asked a million questions, so it took a while to get through.
This is one of the easiest to use and best-organized interfaces we've seen on any security software. The top portion lets you know instantly that you are protected, with a green check mark as a visual cue. The side tabs only offer two options: Overview and Scan Now. The Overview section houses all of the features that AVG offers, laid out in a simple, easy to navigate page with icons and intuitive titles. When you click on an icon, it takes you to the page for that feature, which has a quick, easy-to-understand explanation of the feature at the top, so that even the most novice user can understand each feature.
The Scan Now section offers users a range of scan options, including a full computer scan, a scan of individual files and folders, an anti-rootkit scan and an option to manage the scheduled scans that AVG performs.
Taking a page from Apple's playbook, AVG has a tab at the bottom for My Apps, which utilizes Apple's square app icons to organize all of our AVG add ons, such as AVG Family Safety (parental controls), AVG Mobilization (mobile protection) and AVG LiveKive (online backup).
Antivirus/Anti-malware and Performance
The Whole computer scan takes a while, and is made even longer because it stops every time it needs to ask your permission about an application it finds suspicious. Better safe than sorry, but we were asked many times, and if you aren't paying attention, the scan could end up taking forever. Luckily, the other scans are quick and relatively painless.
When AVG detects a threat, it will give you the option of ignoring the threat, viewing the file, or moving the threat to the "Virus Vault" where it will be quarantined. AVG gives you complete control of your security, always giving you the choice to ignore, unlike most security suites. This could be good for those that know more about security, but could be dangerous for those who don't.
AVG traditionally does about average at the independent tests conducted by AV-Comparatives, and this year was no exception. The software scored only 1 star out of 3 in the Whole-Product Dynamic Test, which takes into account the sum of the product's parts in protecting PCs. On the plus side, AVG scored the highest when it came to testing if the software was wrongly blocking clean sites, so you can be assured that if AVG is blocking a site, it is definitely a malicious site.
Also on the plus side, AVG scored 3 out of 3 stars on the Performance Test, showing off its new technology that, according to AVG, is supposed to speed up the performance of your computer, as well as the performance of YouTube.com and Download.com on your browsers.
AVG has stepped up its game this year with a range of new features that help it rise to the level of the bigger security software suites, although some of them cost extra to add.
As far as the included features go, AVG has added a PC Analyzer, which will help you optimize your computer by cleaning up junk files, broken shortcuts, etc. One of the main free additions is AVG's new identity protection, which monitors your online behavior and can intuitively block any ID theft threats.
AVG has also added optional parental controls and online backup features, but both will cost you. AVG Family Safety, the parental control function, allows safe searching as well as an anti-bullying feature, and only costs $0.99 for the year, so it's a good value. AVG LiveKive, the online backup function, offers a 30-day free trial so that you can test it out before buying it for $79.99.
AVG has definitely improved over the last year. While its protection is still slightly lacking, the new features make it more appealing, especially at half the price of other bigger security software suites.
System Requirements: Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
AV-Comparatives ratings on a variety of tasks related to the antivirus and anti-malware product. "Known Malware" refers to a product's ability to catch pre-identified viruses, while "Unknown Malware" refers to its ability to detect brand new viruses. Older scores may reflect previous software versions.
AV-Comparatives. Score indicates overall effectiveness in a variety of tests over time. † indicates that company did not take part in all tests. See reviews for details.*Averaged 2010/2011 scores for each company's antivirus/anti-malware product by independent testing agency
**Score indicates impact of antivirus product on system performance. Average of performance tests by AV-Comparatives.
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