AVG Anti-Virus 2011 Download:
Review of AVG AntiVirus 2011 (Version 10.0):
By Jay Andrew Allen
AVG initially gained great popularity for its free antivirus package, which provides Internet users with basic virus protection at zero cost. If you're going to pay for an antivirus package, however, you may want to think twice about AVG AntiVirus 2011. The program has a number of points in its favor: a full feature set, easy installation, and a well designed dashboard interface. But questionable virus detection rates, dismal Performance, and a poor Help & Support platform drag AVG out of the top tier of antivirus programs.
1) Installation: 3.5/5
AVG AntiVirus 2011 installation clocked in at 2 minutes and 19 seconds on our reference system*. The installation process required no system reboots.
While AVG's install program is a far cry from an unattended install, it is brief and compact when compared to some of its competitors, such as BitDefender 2011. The installer prompts you for a product key (the AVG Free product key is used by default), asks you whether you desire an express or a customized installation, and provides an option for installing the AVG Toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox. After the installation completes, you can optionally create an account on AVG.com for accessing support services.
*Reference Computer: Windows 7 Home Premium running on a Toshiba Pentium Dual-Core T4200, with 3GB of RAM and a 210GB hard drive.
2) Features & Ease of Use: 8.5/10
The AVG AntiVirus 2011 Dashboard boasts one of the better interfaces we've reviewed. Its design manages to incorporate all of AVG's configurable and executable virus scanning options onto a single compact screen. Shortcut commands on the left-hand menu let you quickly launch a full virus scan of your computer, or check AVG for virus definition updates.
View Larger AVG Screenshots
AVG sports a great set of extended security features. Resident Shield actively scans new files on your computer for potential threats, while its companion feature Online Scan monitors transmissions over arbitrary network connections and instant messaging services. The Anti-Rootkit component performs a rootkit scan, looking for known intrusions that are designed to give a hacker administrator-level access to your computer. (This action isn't included in the normal virus scan - it must be launched manually.)
LinkScanner scans webpages and search engine requests for malicious content, and warns you when you are navigating to a site that might contain active threats. Unlike McAfee's SiteMonitor, however, it doesn't warn you about sites with a history of malicious activity; a visit to the hacker hangout 4chan, for example, will only tell you that the site has "no active threats."
Other command options are a bit disappointing. AVG's PC Analyzer is a common antivirus program feature that scans your Windows computer for unnecessary Registry entries, disk fragmentation, old files taking up space on your drive, and broken web shortcut links. However, it doesn't actually clean all this up. For that, you'll need to run AVG PC TuneUp, which is only free for one-time use; 12 months of tune-ups will run you an additional $29.99.
AVG Social Networking Protection - checks links exchanged on
Facebook and MySpace in real-time
3) Virus Scanner: 3/5
In tests on our reference computer, AVG scanned our 1.0GB test files at a pace of 32.4 MB/second, placing it in the top third of virus scanners we've tested (5th best overall).
View Larger AVG Screenshots
AVG only downloads 2 virus definition updates a day, putting it at the low end when compared to other antivirus platforms. By comparison, the top two antivirus programs, G Data AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus, update 20 times and 243 times per day respectively.
4) Performance Testing: 4/10
A good Antivirus program should not only protect your computer from Viruses but also not slow down the Performance of your computer overly by using too much of your computer's resources. We run each Antivirus program through a set of Performance Tests to see the impact it has on the computer. See the results of our Antivirus testing for AVG 2011 below:
5) Effectiveness: (Virus/Malware Detection) 11/15
6) Help & Support: 2/5
Unlike its competitors, who offer visible help buttons on their Dashboards, AVG puts its commands for local and online support beneath the Help menu. Local support is a traditional Windows Help file, which contains well written information on most of the key concepts behind AVG Anti-Virus. One oddity about AVG Help is that an HTML version of the help guide isn't available online - their online help manual is only available in PDF format. This makes it harder to find information about AVG on the Web; if you search for "Resident Shield" in Google, none of the top links point to AVG.com.
AVG has one of the least functional Support Websites of any antivirus company. In a unique twist, the Dashboard's Online Help link opens a page customized to your AVG license. Unfortunately, that's where the helpfulness ends. AVG Standard Support is available during "working hours" only, and only through a Web-based submission form. Telephone support requires a Premium Support contract for an additional $49.99/year. (It's unclear from AVG's website whether telephone support is available 24/7.)
»Quick Support Links:
About Viruses and Threats
AVG is one of the most widely used free antivirus programs, but its commercial version doesn't compare well against its competitors. While AVG 2011 finished slightly higher this year in our review process than its predecessor, it still has several issues holding it back from being one of the best antivirus programs. Until AVG can improve its Effectiveness against malware, its Performance, and its Help & Support, there are several other better antivirus software alternatives available. While AVG may be a great free antivirus solution - it's commercial version fails to impress against the much stiffer competition in the paid antivirus market.
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AVG AntiVirus 2011 Screenshots
AVG AntiVirus 2011 System Requirements:
- Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 and 64-bit versions), Windows Vista (32 and 64-bit), Windows XP, and Windows XP Pro x64 Edition
- Memory: Minimum 512 MB RAM available
- Disk Space: Minimum 750 MB free hard drive space for installation, 1200 MB recommended
- Processor: Intel Pentium 1.5 GHz or faster processor (1.8 GHz or better recommended)
- AVG's LinkScanner technology is compatible with:
Microsoft Internet Explorer