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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

AVG Antivirus v9 Review

Today V3 had a give away where users could apply for a 1 year license for AVG Antivirus v9 for free.

I took advantage of that deal. Who wouldnt pass up a paid AV solution for free?

First thing I notice is that it has an extremely clean interface. All of the different components are arranged in a central panel with click able images and descriptions.

The scan tab is also the same way.

The options pane is rather large. AVG Antivirus has loads of configuration options.

One thing that you will want to do when your configuring AVG is go through the Online Shield Web Protection, Scan configurations, and the Resident Shield and add Report Enhanced set of Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPS) for better detection.

With this you also get AVG's LinkScanner technology. It installs an addon for IE and Firefox that tells you if a website is clean, the IP address, and time of last scan.

AVG's Linkscanner can also be downloaded for free:

Another feature that is important to me is its plugin for email clients. Specifically TheBat!. It integrates right into TheBat!'s plugins and is configurable through the Antivirus rather than the email client. It will scan incoming emails and their attachments. If a virus is found it will tag the email with whatever you have it set to. The default tag is *****VIRUS***** Along with the tagging you can have it automatically quarantine the attachment in case of an accidental download. It also adds text to emails to verify for you and your recipient that the email is clean as well.

Last but not least is the update screen. Obviously being updated is a crucial element to being protected. Outdated databases are no good.

AVG also offers a free antivirus solution, but it doesnt go as in depth as its paid counterpart. The paid version has rootkit detection, gaming mode, phishing detection, and more importantly an online module which makes it a real time solution rather than just a scanner or second opinion.

Overall this program is very light on system resources weighing in at about 50Mbs. More importantly is the CPU usage and I/O Total. Neither of them are significant enough to even register in the task manager.

Now onto what everyone wants to know. How well does it protect the end user.

These first few detection results are from AV-Comparatives. AVC strongly urges you to not pay attention to this first test. But here is where AVG ranks in it anyways.

The second test is more important. Its the on demand test which more closely simulates what a user will see in the real world. AVG came out of the test detecting 94.2% of infections from AVC's collection. Of this collection it had a total of 10 false positives.

And AVG's removal capabilities

Here is a list of certifications that AVG has received. They consist of VB100 awards, ICSA Labs certifications, PC Welt Comparative tests, and Global Products Excellence Awards.

Rising Antivirus Free Review

First and foremost they have a free counterpart here:

Its running well on my Win 7 Pro x64 VM. Its one of the free AV's that allows you to turn off the news feed reader which is a nice touch. It offers free email scanning as well as their cloud technology. It has a nice built in captcha feature as well. If you change settings your required to do a captcha when applying the settings. It adds another level of protection and you also have the option to password protect them as well.

When doing a scan by default you scan the C: Drive (or what ever drive Rising AV is installed on I assume), the boot sector, memory, risks, and the system core.

Down to the manual scan. By default it has classifications by Types of Files, Types of Viruses, Split Compound Files, and Optimization options. Also built in is a heuristics engine that is default at medium.

With a scan done with default medium settings it took 22 minutes and 3 seconds to scan 75,485 files.

With a scan done on all default medium settings with the addition of scanning for suspected boot sector viruses, suspected Windows viruses, suspected malicious script, and suspected macro viruses the scan took 22 minutes and 22 seconds. For the increased scanning options and the measly 19 second addition its well worth it I would say.

By default it also has smart speedup which I assume is some sort of caching where it will only scan files with a changed date recently or something to that effect.

Overall it has a very clean and appealing interface. Lots of options that other free AV's dont offer such as the email IMAP and POP scanning, x86 has HIPS (working on the x64 version), and even has the ability to turn off the news feeds that others like Avast and Avira dont allow.

As far as detections I keep the settings as I did for the second test and everything I threw at it from MDL was detected. However that wasnt very much.

They have a huge list of certifications including VB100's and WestCoastLabs.