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AVG Anti-Virus 2011 Review

Posted on May 10, 2011

How do you protect your system from viruses, spyware and malicious intrusions? The answer is to install a comprehensive anti-virus solution and AVG AV 2011 fits the bill perfectly. Find out what it can do for you in this detailed review.

Pros

·    Fast install
·    Quick and thorough scans
·    Daily updates
·    Link and email scanner
·    User friendly interface

Cons

·    Scans will slow down your system
·    Causes some start-up slow down
·    Email scanning takes a few seconds

Introduction

The Internet is a wonderful thing but venturing into the unknown without proper anti-virus protection is madness. One of the most popular solutions is the AVG range. For a number of years now, they have been offering the most popular free anti-virus software around. For people who want the ultimate peace of mind, they also offer a premium version. AVG Anti-Virus 2011 goes several steps beyond the basic protection offered by the free package and provides you with a complete Internet security suite. There is a free trial version so you can check it out before you buy.

Installation

This is something AVG has been criticized for in the past and they have clearly worked to improve it. The installation procedure is now quick and efficient and you’ll have the software up and running within a few minutes. There is an option for custom install, in case you want to manually configure the installation, but the standard install will suit the vast majority of people. You can also opt out of installing the browser toolbar if you don’t want it, which is a welcome option.

User Interface

An easy to understand interface lays out the main components of the software and you can see at a glance if anything requires attention. There is a simple green tick or red cross at the top to indicate your system health and you can fix any problems with a single click.

There are also one click options on the left to scan your system, select specific scan options or update. The various icons in the central panel highlight anything that requires attention and you can double click them for further information. This interface is clear and very easy to use.

Features

Where to begin? This is the most comprehensive offering, yet under the AVG banner and you’ll find a superb range of features to keep you protected during all online activities. The Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware components ensure that nothing malicious penetrates your system.

The Link Scanner has been enhanced and you’ll see a clear indication in the form of a green tick to indicate that a link is safe to click on, or a red cross to indicate that it is not. You can click the tick or cross to access further information and review detailed site reports. AVG AV 2011 also blocks dangerous websites from being opened.

The Resident Shield is constantly working on your behalf to scan files in the background. Thanks to the smart scanning system it doesn’t hog resources when you are active on your computer. It is also able to determine when a file has changed and so it doesn’t need to constantly rescan files which have already been checked. This makes for a small footprint in terms of system resources and for the most part you’ll never notice it is running. There is also an Anti-Rootkit component which searches for hidden rootkits on your system.

All incoming and outgoing emails are scanned to ensure nothing untoward gets in or out. You’ll also benefit from anti-spam and anti-scam protection. The Online Shield also keeps a close eye on network traffic and prevents dangerous connections in order to nullify any threats - this extends to file sharing in online chat programs. The Identity Protection helps to ensure that no one steals your private information. With AVG you can confidently browse the web or access social networking sites without fear. Even Facebook and MySpace links are automatically checked for your safety.

The PC Analyzer is a useful tool that you can use to identify broken shortcuts, registry errors, fragmentation errors and even junk files. This helps to keep your PC running in tip-top condition.

Finally the Update Manager keeps your AVG software completely up to date with the latest threats. Thanks to the Protective Cloud Technology and Community Protection Network you can benefit from the experiences of millions of AVG users.

Performance

There is no doubt AVG AV 2011 offers some significant improvements over previous releases when it comes to performance. Most noticeable is the fast scanning speed. It also seems to be efficient at identifying threats and fixing them. If you do run a full system scan the computer will inevitably slow down but the smart scanning system is great at taking advantage of any down time on your computer use so it never needs to clash with your activities.

Upon booting up your system you will notice some delay as AVG gets up and running. There is also a perceptible delay as incoming or outgoing emails are scanned. Neither delay is especially long. There is no detectible difference to shut down speed.

On the whole AVG AV 2011 has a light footprint in terms of system resources and is highly effective at identifying and fixing any potential threats or problems.

Suggestions for Improvement

Every anti-virus program on the market is going to cause some system slowdown because they can’t operate effectively without system resources. However, if they could improve the start-up speed and email scanning, AVG AV would be one step closer to perfection.

Conclusion

In a very competitive industry AVG stands out as an excellent all round solution for your security. Improvements in the installation, user interface, and performance elevate this package into the top tier of security solutions. Reasonably priced, with a fantastic range of features, AVG AV 2011 offers value for money and peace of mind.

Screenshots

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