Avast Internet Security
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Total Defense Internet Security
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PC Tools Internet Security
AVG Internet Security
• Good malware detection
• Lightweight package
• Old-fashioned firewall
• Parental Controls are not included
• Poor malware removal
AVG are one of the best-known and most respected companies in terms of antivirus software, and have continually improved their packages each year with the addition of antispam, identity theft protection and many other features, with the aim of offering the complete internet security solution. The AVG Internet Security package does improve upon their previous security suites, but falls a little short in some key areas.
We didn’t encounter any major issues when installing AVG Internet Security. It’s a straightforward process, and while not quite as fast as some other packages, it still installed quickly and we were up and running within a few minutes.
The interface, while competent, could do with some improvements. The main screens are well presented and not too complicated, while the AVG overview pane makes navigation straightforward. There is also a handy indicator at the top of the screen that informs of any issues that need to be fixed. But as soon as you get to the advanced settings, AVG seem to have abandoned this simple approach in favour of something far more complex and difficult to navigate. This won’t put off advanced users, but for a lot of people this could be quite intimidating, and does let down the interface a touch.
AVG Internet Security’s technology protects against viruses, Trojan horses, worms, Spyware and Adware. It employs intelligent cloud-based technology that automatically updates to keep on top of any emerging threats, and the AVG Community Protection Network enables AVG to identify new threats via customer information.
Firewall – The AVG firewall automatically decides on network permissions, based on a database of trusted programs, and anything that isn’t on the database is flagged up for the user to decide the access levels. Most firewalls we have seen in modern security suites have long-since dispersed with this method of detection, opting instead for an ‘intelligent’ firewall that makes these decisions for you, which is a far better, and less dangerous, way of doing things. There are three protection profiles offered with the firewall; home network, business network and public network. While each of the profiles can be configured through the settings to improve things, this isn’t recommended to anyone but the most savvy of users. Aside from the issues raised above, it can also be programmatically disabled, unlike the majority of modern firewalls.
Parental controls – Not included, an additional extra purchase required for this feature.
In the independent tests, AVG Internet Security scored well, particularly when it came to protection.
AV-Test scored AVG Internet Security at 15 out of 18 points, which is only slightly lower than leading competitors BitDefender and Kaspersky.
AV-Comparatives awarded AVG the "Advanced+" rating.
As we’ve come to expect from AVG, malware detection on Internet Security was very good, with a detection rate of around 95%. The result is lower than some of the products we have reviewed recently, but is still well above average. However malware removal was another story, with the AVG suite only completely removing malware traces 45% of the time.
Another slight issue is that the scan doesn’t detect rootkits. This is done through a separate anti-rootkit scan, and while this is fast (a ‘quick scan’ taking just over 1 minute to complete), it is a shame that AVG didn’t include this in the complete scans. That said, the anti-rootkit scan detected all rootkits and scareware in our tests, so it is very competent.
Boot-time on a system with AVG installed took just 6 percent longer than without any security installed, at around 44 seconds. This is almost half the time that most security suites can add to boot-time, and is almost a full 10 seconds faster than BitDefender Internet Security, so AVG's claims about the lightweight nature of the package certainly ring true. Their claims that it actually speeds up your PC are hard to gauge, but there certainly wasn’t a noticeable slowing down when browsing, in fact browsing was quicker than when using the majority of other suites, so AVG Internet Security scores highly here.
Social Networking Protection – Unique tool that can scan links on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, to detect malicious links and files.
AVG Accelerator – Tool to increase the connectivity of your computer, that can increase Flash and HD video downloads, specifically on Youtube and download.com.
Game mode – Offers non-stop protection during gaming without the lags and freezes that scanning can cause.
Help & support
Substantial support is provided by AVG in the way of online chat, telephone and email, plus users can connect with AVG via popular social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn). There is also a virtual assistant, AVG TechBuddy, that provides help with common problems users might face.
AVG Internet Security is a very competent security suite and is a definite improvement on the 2015 model, with faster scanning speeds, less impact on computer performance and fantastic Antivirus software. While malware detection is good, removal could be improved, and the out-dated firewall must be considered by AVG for their next suite if they want to compete with the top products.
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