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|File:AVG Internet Security.png|
|Developer(s)||AVG Technologies, s.r.o.|
|Stable release||9.0.730 / January 7, 2010|
|Operating system||Windows, Linux, FreeBSD|
|Type||Anti-virus, malware removal, Internet Security|
|License||Proprietary (freeware and commercial)|
AVG is an umbrella term for a range of anti-virus and internet security software for the Microsoft Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD computing platforms, developed by AVG Technologies, a privately held Czech company formerly known as Grisoft.
The brand name AVG comes from Grisoft's first product, "Anti-Virus Guard", launched in 1992 in the Czech Republic. In 1997, the first AVG licenses were sold in Germany and UK. AVG was introduced to the U.S. in 1998.
The AVG Free Edition helped raise awareness of the AVG product line.
In 2006, the AVG security package grew to include anti-spyware, as AVG Technologies acquired ewido Networks, an anti-spyware group. That same year, Microsoft announced that AVG components would be available directly within the Windows Vista operating system.
AVG Technologies acquired Exploit Prevention Labs (XPL) in December 2007, and incorporated that company's LinkScanner safe search and surf technology into the AVG 8.0 security product range released in March 2008.
In January 2009, AVG Technologies acquired Sana Security, a developer of identity theft prevention software. This software was incorporated into the AVG 8.5 security product range released in March 2009.
According to AVG Technologies, over 80 million users have AVG Anti-Virus protection, including users of the Free Edition.
Versions for Windows desktop clients
AVG Technologies provides a number of products from the AVG range, suitable for Windows 2000 onwards. In addition to this, AVG Technologies also provides Linux and FreeBSD versions of the software. AVG Anti-Virus 9.0 is available in both a free and commercial editions. AVG 9.0 has identity theft protection through a partnership with Intersections Inc,. AVG 9.0 also adds white listing, behavioral protection and cloud operations to their signature-based blocking. The software adds the Resident Shield, firewall, and identity protection modules. The LinkScanner component has been improved to cut phishing threats further.
For desktop protection of PCs running Windows, the AVG solutions include:
- AVG Internet Security 8.5 is a full suite which brings together the AVG Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, LinkScanner, Anti-Rootkit, Web Shield, Security Toolbar, Firewall, Anti-Spam, Identity Protection and System Tools protection components.
- AVG Identity Protection 8.5 provides protection against identity theft and unknown malware threats using behavioral monitoring.
- AVG Anti-Virus plus Firewall 8.5 provides the Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, LinkScanner, Anti-Rootkit, Web Shield, Security Toolbar and Firewall protection components.
- AVG Anti-spyware was a rebranded version of ewido Anti-Spyware, that was integrated into AVG Anti-Virus as of version 8.0. A free version was also available, having now been merged into AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition
- AVG Anti-Rootkit was a free anti-Rootkit program that was discontinued as of late 2006. Like AVG Anti-Spyware, it has now been merged into AVG Anti-Virus
- AVGADMIN is a remote administration tool, which allows the software to be managed centrally on networks.
- AVG Anti-Virus 8.5 provides the Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, LinkScanner, Anti-Rootkit, Web Shield, and Security Toolbar protection components.
- AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.5 provides basic Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware protection, plus the full AVG LinkScanner safe search and surf technology. There are some limitations with AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.5 compared to the commercial versions of AVG products. These limitations include:
- Less protection – AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.5 provides the same anti-virus and anti-spyware scanning engine as the commercial product; however, it lacks anti-rootkit. The older 7.5 Free Edition is perfectly capable of finding and disabling rootkits based on signatures, but cannot scan for rootkit-like activity. The 8.5 version of AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition version lacks any anti-rootkit capability. While there is no official protection for files from messaging sources, the Resident Shield component automatically scans files before they are opened or copied.
- Infrequent updates – AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.5 receives updates via a lower priority service. Priority updating via high-speed servers is only available for the commercial versions of AVG products.
- No telephone or e-mail technical support – There is no telephone or e-mail technical support provided by AVG for users of AVG Free Edition products anywhere in the world. AVG Free Edition users have access to support via the self-help AVG Free Forum.
- Less customization – Scheduling options in AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.5 are very limited (only one scheduled update per day, one scheduled scan per day etc.). However, the AVG Resident Shield configuration allows exclusions. The on-demand/scheduled scanner allows advanced testing options such as heuristics and reporting of password-protected archives reporting. Process priority for on-demand/scheduled scans can be dynamically adjusted over three different configurations.
- No server support – AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.5 cannot be installed on server operating systems (such as Windows Server 2003), nor can it be used for the scanning of network drives.
- AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.5 is only licensed for home and non-commercial use on a single computer.
AVG Free Edition has previously been responsible for popup ads advertising the non-free versions of AVG Anti-Virus 8.0 and AVG Internet Security 8.0, which claim to provide more comprehensive levels of protection. AVG Anti-Virus 8.5 Free Edition users are now also subject to a daily pop-up advertising campaign for a "recommended upgrade" to AVG Internet Security. A "manager" on the AVG free version forum states that this advertisement appears once per day for one month each year..
All versions of the AVG products, excluding AVG Anti-Rootkit Free Edition (now discontinued), are compatible with the 64-bit edition of Windows.
Versions for servers
AVG Technologies also sells AVG anti-virus and Internet security solutions for web/file servers or email servers running either Linux, FreeBSD or Windows.
- AVG Internet Security Network Edition 8.5 provides centrally controlled protection for workstations and file servers. AVG Internet Security SBS Edition 8.5 adds e-mail server and Microsoft SharePoint server protection, plus e-mail server based anti-spam protection.
- AVG Anti-Virus Network Edition 8.5 provides centrally controlled anti-virus and anti-spyware protection for workstations and file servers. AVG Anti-Virus SBS Edition 8.5 adds e-mail server and Microsoft SharePoint server protection.
- AVG File Server Edition 8.5 provides anti-virus and anti-spyware protection for file servers.
- AVG E-mail Server Edition 8.5 provides anti-virus and anti-spyware protection for e-mail servers, plus e-mail server based anti-spam protection.
AVG for Linux/FreeBSD
With Version 7.5, AVG Technologies is providing a solution for FreeBSD for the first time. AVG Technologies has incorporated spam detection in addition to virus detection for Linux/FreeBSD software. The most recent version for Linux and FreeBSD is 8.5.
AVG features most of the common functions available in modern anti-virus and Internet security programs, including periodic scans, scans of sent and received emails (including adding footers to the emails indicating this), the ability to "repair" some virus-infected files, and a "virus vault" in which infected files are held (A quarantine area; also known as a "virus chest").
The patent pending LinkScanner technology acquired from Exploit Prevention Labs and built into most AVG 8.5 products, provides real-time protection against exploits and drive-by downloads. LinkScanner includes: Search-Shield – a safe search component that places safety ratings next to each link in Google, Yahoo! and MSN search results; plus Active Surf-Shield – a safe surf component that scans the contents of a web site in real-time to ensure it's safe being opened. A faulty upgrade in 8.0.233 causing users to lose internet access, as well as concerns regarding web analytics have made LinkScanner a controversial component (see "LinkScanner Concerns").
Initial AVG Anti-Virus upgrades for version 8.0.233 contained a malfunction in the AVGNSX.exe process, blocking network activity and internet access. The AVGNSX.exe process is part of the LinkScanner utility. Current versions of avg are unaffected, as the product is at revision 9.0.xxx.
When AVG 8.0 was first released, its LinkScanner safe search feature was shown to cause an increase in traffic on web sites that appear high in search engine results pages. Since LinkScanner disguises the scans as coming from an Internet Explorer 6 browser when it prescans each site listed in the search results, web site usage logs showed incorrect and overinflated site visitor statistics. The prescanning of every link in search results also caused web sites to transfer more data than usual, resulting in higher bandwidth usage for web site operators and slow performance for users. AVG initially said site administrators would be able to filter the LinkScanner traffic out of their site statistics, leaving the problem of excess bandwidth usage still to be solved. Pay-per-click advertising was not affected by the increase in traffic.
In response to complaints, AVG announced that as of July 9, 2008 "Search-Shield will no longer scan each search result online for new exploits, which was causing the spikes that webmasters addressed with us", releasing a new build on that date that applies a local blacklist, then prefetches and scans only those links clicked on by the user.
AVG had been known for its conservative resource requirements during its version 6.0 run. The AVG Anti-Virus Professional Edition required 16 MB of RAM and 20 MB of space on the hard drive.
Version 7.5 of AVG Free requires a Pentium (or compatible) CPU with 300 MHz and between 64–256 Mb of RAM, depending on operating system (at least 64 Mb with Windows 9x, at least 128Mb with Windows 2000 or newer, with more RAM recommended).
An additional caveat with version 7.5 in Windows XP, which is a multi-user system that allows more than one user to be logged in at a time, is that scheduled scans ran as separate processes, which created a situation in which there were two scheduled scans, one in each active account, running simultaneously and causing heavy hard disk throttling and considerable system lag. This fault was finally fixed in version 8.0 of the program.
Currently, both AVG Anti-Virus 8.5 and AVG Internet Security require at least 256 MB of RAM for the computer as a minimum. The comparatively high use of paged physical RAM has led to crashes with some software, such as the Half Life 2 series.
- When uninstalling AVG (and many other products that update themselves) in Windows XP/Vista and attempting to install other anti-virus programs such as Kaspersky Anti-Virus or Norton AntiVirus, the latter programs will not install. Instead, they show an "incompatible software installed" error even if the uninstalled software has been removed using the control panel. This happens because software that updates and changes can add registry entries that were not added when the product was originally installed (therefore the uninstaller is unaware of the registry keys).
- A signature update dated November 9, 2008, crippled some computers, as it allowed the software to treat "user32.dll", a major component of Windows XP/Vista, as a trojan and advised users to delete it. Users who deleted the file in question were put on a continuous reboot loop. The problem was rectified a few days later with a new signature database and further safeguards were added to the product (270.9.0/1778).
- Towards the end of July 2009, a software update caused the program to inform users that iTunes was infected with a non-existent virus, Small.BOG. If users followed the recommended instructions, it would remove critical DLL files and corrupt the iTunes installation.
- AVG Anti-Virus was certified by ICSA Labs.
- It has been tested 43 times, from February 1998 through May 2003, by Virus Bulletin and has failed 22 times and passed 21 times. During the period from June 2003 to April 2008, it was tested 23 times; passing 20 times and failing 3 times.
- At CNET.com AVG 9.0 received a review of 5/5 from CNET editors, and a review of 4/5 from consumers.
- AVG won a Highly Commended award from Australian PC Authority magazine 2007 Reliability and Service Awards Best Software category (over 14,000 survey respondents) with an 89% satisfaction rating. It was beaten only by Firefox in satisfaction (93%).
- At PCWorld.com AVG 7.5 received a 77/100. It did a "fine job" in disinfection tests, but ranked last of the ten products tested in proactive protection using one-month-old signature files.
- ↑ AVG Anti-Virus and Internet Security - Leading Internet security vendor, Grisoft, changes name to AVG Technologies
- ↑ "AVG Technologies Celebrates 15 Years of Internet Security Success". http://www.avg.com/40965.
- ↑ GRISOFT "Celebrates 15 Years of Internet Security Success", AVG Technologies bulletin, 15 December 2006
- ↑ http://free.avg.com/ AVG Home page logo
- ↑ http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2353742,00.asp
- ↑ "ewido is now part of the AVG Technologies family of world-class Anti-Virus and Internet Security products. ewido users will benefit from AVG's comprehensive threat research and support resources."
- ↑ "Avg 7.5 Constant Pop Up Ad Window". http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic144931.html#entry814134.
- ↑ "AVG pro 7.5 annoying pop-up till December?". http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r20400528-AVG-pro-75-annoying-popup-till-Decenber.
- ↑ AVG Free Forum - pop-up ads
- ↑ AVG Anti-Virus and Internet Security - FAQ
- ↑ "AVG Disguises Fake Traffic As IE6". http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/26/avg_disguises_fake_traffic_as_ie6/.
- ↑ "AVG update disguises LinkScanner traffic as IE6". http://www.techspot.com/news/30641-avg-update-disguises-linkscanner-traffic-as-ie6.html.
- ↑ "LinkScanner could be behind surge in web traffic". http://www.virusbtn.com/news/2008/06_20a.xml.
- ↑ "AVG Responds to Fake Traffic Spikes". http://networkinstruments.wordpress.com/2008/07/05/avg-responds-to-fake-traffic-spikes/.
- ↑ "Grisoft modifies its free AVG product after complaints". http://news.cnet.com/8301-10789_3-9986453-57.html.
- ↑ AVG 7.5 Anti-Virus Edition User Manual, GRISOFT, s.r.o., 2007-11-08, http://download.avg.com/filedir/doc/AVG_7.5/AVG_Anti-Virus/user_manual/avg_avw_uma_en_75_11.pdf, retrieved 2009-04-16
- ↑ AVG 8.5 Anti-Virus User Manual, AVG Technologies CZ, s.r.o., 2009-03-10, http://download.avg.com/filedir/doc/AVG_Anti-Virus/avg_aav_uma_en_85_3.pdf, retrieved 2009-04-16
- ↑ AVG Anti-Virus and Internet Security - AVG Internet Security
- ↑ Games freeze or crash with looping sounds (paged pool memory issues) - Crashes and Errors - Knowledge Base - Steam Support
- ↑ "Other Antivirus software's error incompatibility while installing due to leftover AVG's registry keys after uninstallation". http://www.nirmaltv.com/2008/11/30/how-to-remove-avg-completely-to-install-kaspersky/.
- ↑ AVG signature cripples Windows machines
- ↑ "iTunes reported as a Trojan by AVG - How to Fix". http://www.avg.com.au/news/tech/fix_avg_reporting_itunes_as_trojan.
- ↑ http://www.inquisitr.com/30504/itunes-smallbog-trojan-virus/
- ↑ /ICSALabs/Antivirus/Certified Products
- ↑ Virus Bulletin : Independent Malware Advice
- ↑ AVG 9.0 - CNET
- ↑ Australian PC Authority Magazine Reliability and Service Awards 2007
- ↑ PC World - AVG 7.5 Anti-Virus Professional Review
- AVG Technologies website
- AVG Technologies site for freeware version of AVG anti-virus with Anti-Spyware
- Argentina & Chile Distributor of AVG (phone/e-mail)
- Australian Distributor of AVG (phone)
- Brazilian Distributor of AVG (phone)
- AVG LinkScanner Free downloadbs:AVG Anti-virus
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