AVG used to be THE anti-virus software a few years ago, especially with it being the first major vendor offering a free solution for home users.
If you asked any techie back in 2002 which AV should you use, the answer would invariably be AVG free (or perhaps Panda).
After that AVG just got bloated, slow and their signature files became very weak missing a lot of nasty infections, I had to fix so many PCs running AVG that were infected up the ass with all kind of malware.
People starting recommending other like Avast!, Avira and BitDefender which also offer free use versions for home use.
AVG is putting an emphasis on increased speed with a revamp of its free and paid for security suites.
The latest revamp – AVG 9.0 – boasts 50 per cent faster speed and increased ease of use. Improvements in speed have been achieved by skipping the scan of files already marked as safe in future scans unless the file structure changes. The approach also offers claimed improvements of ten to 15 per cent for boot times and memory usage, respectively.
The firewall module in AVG 9.0 has also been redesigned to be less intrusive (ie fewer ‘Do you want to allow this application online’ questions) alongside tighter integration with the anti-malware scanner that forms the core of the product. This anti-malware scanner makes greater use of behaviour-based, cloud-based and white-listing technologies.
I haven’t tested AVG 9.0 yet as the free version isn’t being released until later this month, but if it stands up to their claims it could be a good product.
Speed and bloat is definitely something they need to work on along with a more accurate scanning engine and complete signature files.
Let’s hope it’s not all just hype.
AVG Free 9.0 will be available mid-October. Details of the features are being held back until then, but expect to see a cut-down product based on the same engine but without a firewall and other bells and whistles. Based on past form, AVG free will offer an anti-malware scanner alongside LinkScanner safe search technology.
AVG’s business model relies on selling into small business and getting a percentage of consumer users of its free product (perhaps around two per cent) to upgrade. The consumer end of this equation is severely threatened by Microsoft Security Essentials launch.
Recommendations from tech savvy friends were one of the main reasons consumers latched onto AVG in the first place. AVG lost a lot of goodwill in this area with the traffic-spewing fiasco that attached to version 8.0 of its security scanner.
Secondly, irrespective of the technical merits of its product, AVG is facing off against Redmond’s marketing muscle while at the same time hunting for a new chief executive.
Microsoft Security Essentials is definitely a huge entry barrier for them and they will need to push hard to gain back a decent market share. There are some extremely good AV products out there now and a lot more choice for consumers.
Plus of course the big fat behemoths are still out there bundling their software with OEMs (Symantec, McAfee etc).
We shall see if it stands up to the tests of real world use.
Source: The Register
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