I have been giving AVG Free a bit of a bagging over the past couple of years, and with good reason because it has certainly flagged during that period.
The advent of the new 2011 version seems to have addressed some of the issues however and may possibly assuage many of the common complaints.
The most significant news is that the threat detection engines in the free version are now identical to the upgrade alternatives . This means AVG Free is now offering the same level of basic protection as the premium versions. It remains to be seen however, if the new detection engines offer any significant improvements over last year's versions which, overall, did not fair too well in independent tests.
Changes to the interface are minor yet do actually improve overall usability. A new one-click Fix button for automatically repairing security breaches appears at the top along with the old red X when system safety has been compromised.There is also the addition of a one-click 'Scan Now' button to the navigation panel.
[attachment=0:3ona7ci8]AVG Free 2011.png[/attachment:3ona7ci8]
AVG Free 2011 also offers new protective features. The software now includes "smart scanning", which leverages off AVG's behavioral detection cloud network, to scan known safe files once and will only rescan them if any changes are detected. As with its competitors, AVG's network is compiled from data supplied by anonymous user-based contributions.
The included LinkScanner, which is also available as a separate download, now scans links posted on Facebook and MySpace. At the same time, AVG has opened a new Web site called Threat Labs which offers users additional information about LinKScanner's ratings.
There is also a new desktop gadget for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users which allows them to initiate scans and updates with one click, without needing to open the full interface.
Early reports are suggesting that AVG Free's negative impact on boot times remains an issue but shutdown times are mostly unaffected and scan times are much improved. Impact on general system performance remains somewhat of an unknown factor, as does the efficacy of the security engines, and shall remain so until such times as benchmarking and test results become available.
THE VERDICT: It certainly appears AVG are trying hard to address the criticisms leveled at their free Anti-Virus. On the face of it, they have made some quite significant improvements. However, we shall only be able to ascertain if the two main criticisms (i.e. lower than average detection rates and heavy use of system resources) have been remedied when the benchmarking and detection test results start filtering through. I'll postpone any final verdict until then.
It all boils down to trust for me. If I can't trust a security company's programming ability and ethics it will take a lot to sway me toward that company.
Take Norton. Decent stuff in the late 90's and early 2000's. The period from 2003 to 2008 is when Norton started growing in size as well as the impact it placed on installed systems. When someone complains about a slow system and the first question out of your mouth is, "Are you using Norton?", then it's time to shy away from that product. I haven't used Norton since the early 2000's even though the product has improved greatly in the last 2 years. I simply don't trust that they will continue on their current course. Even if they do it will take a small miracle before I recommend them to anyone.
AVG is in the same boat in my book. It was a good product, but the last several years have been extremely disappointing in terms of system impact and performance efficiency. It will take a huge improvement in their product and a long time to restore the trust I had in the company.
This is one of the reasons I continue to use/recommend ESET. They have consistently provided excellent detection in a program that doesn't affect the performance of a computer. They haven't written bloated software, with features no one needs, that doesn't work. As long as they continue to provide this level of service they will have my trust.
What Norton, McAffee, AVG, and others haven't realized is there are many players in the security software game. People have more choices than they did 10 years ago.
Sorry to go off topic, Jim, but the whole AVG thing ruffles my fur!
Hey, no need to be sorry me ol' china plate......you [i:1uks5pnt]are[/i:1uks5pnt] on topic and making some very valid points too.
I agree 100% with your assessment. Norton lost me years ago too and will never win back any support from me. Same with McAfee and you can throw Trend Micro in with that lot too.
Gotta a slightly different outlook with AVG though, mainly because it is FREE but also because not so long ago it[i:1uks5pnt] was[/i:1uks5pnt] a good product and does retain wide popularity (although why that is at the moment is somewhat beyond my comprehension).
For those reasons, I am prepared to give AVG Free another chance....not so with the commercial offerings which have gone the same route.
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