AVG (Anti-Virus Guard) is a free antivirus program made by tech company Grisoft and first launched in 1992. The program boasts antivirus, antispyware and antimalware protection as well as Internet security and identity protection.AVG Internet Security is the paid version to AVG Anti-Virus Free however the latter lacks the former’s Online Shield, Enhanced Firewall, Anti-Spam and Technical Support.
During installation AVG gives you the choice of Express Install or Custom Install. Express Install will change your default search provider to AVG Secure Search and install the AVG Security Toolbar. However, choosing custom install will allow you to opt out of those add-ons. Later on in the custom installation, you are prompted to select which of AVG’s components you would like to install. Email protection scans your incoming and outgoing emails, Identity prevents identity theft by blocking suspicious activity on your computer and Web Browsing protects your computer from web-based attacks while surfing the internet. The latter also monitors network traffic for possible threats. At the end of installation you are invited to create an AVG account to receive security alerts and product details but this isn’t necessary to continue. Additionally, installation requires restart.
AVG Free opens up with a very attractive interface that displays its offerings in large green tiles that will fall right in with Windows 8’s new look. Users have their computer protection, Web Browsing, Identity, Email protection at their fingertips. They can also fix their computer’s performance, run scans and update their software all from the front interface. At the top right corner, users have quick access to AVG’s, Reports, Support and list of Options.
The Fix Performance button allows users to access its PC Analyzer component which scans your computer searching for registry errors, junk files, fragmentation and broken shortcuts. Clicking “Analyze Now” will begin the process and afterwards, each subsection will deliver a report on the number of errors fund and an accompanying scale signifying its severity. Clicking “Fix Now” will allows users to download AVG’s PC TuneUp program which they can use as a one-time fix for free or alternately purchase the program for $39.99 for the entire year.
AVG’s email scanner can help users keep virus-free in a variety of ways. It scans incoming and outgoing email. If it finds a virus AVG can alert you by changing the subject of your email to *VIRUS*. The program can also report attachment files containing macros and report hidden extensions. AVG can also remove attachments from incoming emails or users can choose to have documents, executable files or files with specific extensions removed. To enable all these email functions you must activate the function within the program and create a new e-mail scan server with POP3, SMTP or IMAP settings.
The program also comes with a scheduler so you can set the program to scan your computer regularly or you can set AVG to scan when you are away from your computer. Apart from scanning your entire computer, the program will also scan specific files or folders, removable devices or shell extensions. You can also scan for rootkits which run without user knowledge.
In all, AVG has put out a decent and somewhat thorough antivirus and antimalware program that is easy to use. The program gives the user many fronts from which to launch an aggressive campaign against undesirable computer programs. Many users will find lots of comfort in the extra levels of security the program provides.