AVG Anti Virus almost useless

AVG Antivirus Review

AVG antivirus 2011It may seem late to write a review of an application (AVG 2011) that is already available for 2012. One thing is certain, I will not be purchasing AVG 2012…

I have used AVG 2011 since December 2010. It is fair to say I am not impressed. In less than a month, 127 viruses and 3 trojans horses slipped through the internet security features of the app one of which was serious.

So what use are the various built-in utilities; Online Shield, Link Scanner, Anti-Spyware then there’s another utility called Resident Shield…. None of these are worth having, sorry, I forgot, Online Shield did detect one instance of malware (another trojan horse) and stopped it before it installed itself!… not bad, 1 out of 130 – less than 1% effective…

Of note, only one of these bugs was new; the rest dating back as early as 2005/6 if not earlier.

Before I continue, I must give the application one very big plus.

A Big Plus for AVG 2011 AV Scanner

After reading the following comments one might find it strange I have something good to say about the application – I do:
It found the worst virus I have come across since MS Blaster – Trojan generic24.cgol. No, it did not stop the virus getting in – none of the AV apps appear to be doing so at the moment, but it FOUND IT when a full scan was performed, which from research conducted over the past several days, many of the competitors apps are not doing. It alos removed the basic virus file, even if the the residual and secondary infections needed manual removal – that is unfortunately often the case with the Trojan generic24 family of viruses.

Credit is given where due!

Hoewever, in general

AVG 2011 has been waste of money

I can accept a free application missing some bugs, or even a commercial release failing to stop a new virus or other malware, at least until the manufacturers catch up and provide the updates.

However, when I pay for a product that claims to have more than 100 million satisfied users, I expect it to work, reliably…

AVG Anti Spyware and Online Scanner

AVG Anti Spyware and AVG Online Scanner have both failed totally during the time the application has been in use. The past 20 days are only a sample of the extent to which these components have failed to protect the system. One of my colleagues had a worse experience, having to do a total re-format 3 times during the 8 months she used AVG AntiVirus as the damage to the operating system and files was so extensive. A number of her work files were also damaged beyond recovery.

This colleague eventually scrapped the balance of the licence and installed Titanium Internet SecurityScreenshot of AVG active components

As can be seen from this screenshot, the required components are active. The inactive features are of no value to me; ‘Family Safety’, I never use parental control features in any application. The kids are no longer kids and in any case, I don’t necessarily agree with the way these sort of filters are configured…

‘Live Kive’… I use Dropbox and a Cloud storage service so another account is just a nuisance. I would much prefer a reliable and functional malware protection application than one with unnecessary features. ‘Pc Analyzer’ – any of these so-called PC performance boosters cause more problems than they fix… Any automated fiddling with Windows registry is simply asking for trouble. Windows Task Manager provides all the information I need to know that as I’m writing this article I have 128 processes running, making the system a little slow at the moment. Any reader is advised to stay well away from any of these types of software tools.

Automatic updates are ‘on’ and Windows security updates are also fully up to date.

AVG AntiVirus Scanner

The scanning function of AVG AntiVirus is the only part of the application that works more or less as it should. At least it has managed to detect around 95 percent of the infections the other components failed to stop. But that’s just the point, 95% is not 100% or even 99.98%. All too often, a follow-up scan with House Call finds further infections.

AVG may not be the worst internet security app, but is not one I can recommend with any degree of confidence. It is at least better than the rash of poorly supported free applications and has less impact on system performance than e.g. Norton.

Sorry AVG, you dropped the ball with this application. All the so-called awards do not impress me. I have an as yet unproven suspicion that at least some of the bugs over the past 20 days may have come from one of these awarding sites – a source for numerous software downloads – I have had problems with drivers and such sourced from this site recently and in the past – several of the bugs have coincided with a driver download from that site…

And in closing. No doubt the removal of the application will require editing the registry before any other app can be installed, as with Norton. It’s time this practice was outlawed. I am fortunate in knowing how to safely edit Windows registry. Non technical users will find they are locked into a product they may no longer wish to use, or have to pay a technical type to do the this for them. Speaking from a PC technicians viewpoint, the customer is looking at several times the price of the application for time charged. And I really cannot recommend using 3rd party uninstaller like ‘Perfect Uninstaller’.

It may sound unusual for a person who makes part of a living in the computer industry to say I would rather not get paid to perform such work. In my opinion these applications should uninstall cleanly without needing to get into the registry before naother app can be used.

About Mike

Web Developer and Techno-geek Saltwater fishing nut Blogger

Posted on September 17, 2011, in Internet, Internet Security, Software, Virus, Trojans, Security Threats and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. True Mike. My friends had AVG in my PG days and it used to allow any virus to come and reside on the system.

    I have been using KIS since 2006 and have never faced any problems – I guess Russians are good at all this stuff 😛

    • Hi Arpan

      Maybe the Russians are good at security as a hang over from their bad and unfortunate history. (LOL). The Checks are great at turning cottage craft industries into fully fledged succesful businesses.

  2. Informative article – thank you.

    If AVG is so bad, what system do you recommend that does the anti-virus/intrusion-prevention thing best?

    • I hesitate to recommend any current version of any application I have not used, however from a historical perspective I have relied on Trend Micro PcCillin (now Titanium) from 2005 tp 2010 (as well as ServerProtect) and only changed to AVG this year because of an inconvenience in getting the software licence in South Africa… I will be be using Titanium after the current AVG licence expires (too tight-fisted to waste the remaining 3 months) and will be as critical of my experience with this version as I am with any product I review.

      PcCillin was not faultless either – during that time 2 iFrame viruses got throught the online security feature – however both were recognised as they downloaded, but needed an additional tool (from Trend) to remove… PcCillin also had much less impact on system performance tha contemporary apps, and did not install an ‘engine’ on boot up. It also worked with RAID1 mirror. ‘Cillin was also not as ‘user friendly’ as AVG and other apps – requiring more configuring – security settings at maximimum by default so several apps in use needed to be allowed to run – much more so than most other AV’s

      However – as my update to this article mentions – AVG did find the particularly nasty generic24.cgol trojan during a scan, even though it did not prevent the infection, After 5 days of extensive research into this trojan, it looks like AVG may have been the only one to do so – at least up to 22 September. And of note; this trojan requires manual intervention to remove completely (at least for now). So I must commend the SCANNING function for that… It’s the other components I have serious issues with.

      In an ideal world, we would be able to run 2 or 3 different AV apps, without them conflicting with each other, and without excessive system overhead.

  1. Pingback: Uninstall AVG – Learn How To Permanently Remove AVG Antivirus | Keep Search Computers

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