AVG Internet Security 8.5 Review

An Affordable Security Suite with Low System Impact

Summary: AVG Internet Security 8.5 consistently performs above the average on all of its protection againts malicious software. Its acceptable price, light-weight on system resource, and combine with new IDP technology make it a top contender. As a security package it’s definitely extraordinary.

What we like: complete feature of malicious software protection and removal, well-positioned price, low impact on system resources, and custom manual scan speed. As always, its web filters are second to none and it’s new behavioral module give it an edge against brand-new, never-before-seen threats.

What we don’t like: Poor interface, the GUI should have been better. There's no fancy feature of parental controls. Yahoo toolbar installation should not be mandatory. We would like to see IDP integrated into the main console.

With new variants of malicious software keep mutating and developing in a very rapid rate, it is absolutely a must for you to equip yourself with a powerful internet security software before you go online. Not to mention the identity theft scandals that resurfacing with strong impact this month like stolen customers IDs and other sensitive data from PlayStation Network that makes us wonder "can we really be safe over the internet"?

In reality, you will be more vulnerable to identity theft if you don't protect your computer with any security software or service. So it means that yes you still can protect yourself in certain degree from malicious software, ID theft, or other threats that lurk over the internet.

Fortunately for this purpose, AVG not only offers a great classic protection for you with their AVG Anti-virus and Anti-Spyware 8.5, but also expands it with new breakthrough technologies and fit it all in one package in AVG Internet Security 8.5. Below are our reviews on certain key points that should be looked for when finding the best antivirus and internet security.


• Installation: Easy to download, install, and setup

The installation of AVG Internet Security 8.5 is very easy and fast. The installation package size is about 87MB. And you need 120MB of hard drive space for installation. The setup is quick, AVG will guide you through to enhance the settings of your internet security with some basic yet fundamental step-by-step process in functions like asking on how often AVG should update itself, permission to report compromised Web sites to AVG, and download updates. It is a brisk.

• Operation: Easy-to-use, automated protection, low system resource consumption

When we are talking about World Wide Web, we are talking about a never ending change of environment where threats are on the move with significant development all the time. So if your software can’t offer continuous protection with rapid update to keep up with it, it’s not protection at all.

Real time protection means that the software will keep on running in the background while you do your activities, just like a personal bodyguard. It will alert you whenever any threats try to infect your machine, and furthermore the software will give its best defense to eliminate it. Regarding its vigorous activity in the background, it is very recommended to have antivirus and internet security that has low impact on system resources because it will continuously use it up.

Surprisingly, with all the capabilities offered by AVG Internet Security 8.5, this security software is very quiet when taking system resource. Checked with task manager, AVG Internet Security 8.5 only takes around 100MB and another 100MB with its IDP console. But according to AVG, each of them will take up around 256MB of physical memory space. Well apparently that amount was reached when you run a full system scanning. And regarding CPU resources, we tested this software on Intel Celeron 2GHz, and it performs well without any noticeable hiccup. We can do our activity like browsing internet with three web browsers, open email client, writing with Microsoft Office 2007, playing music with Windows Media Player 11, open three dictionaries, and sometimes momentarily open a heavy-weight application like photo managers and digital encyclopedia while AVG Internet Security 8.5 kept running in the background. Thus, this security suite has absolutely small requirement for computer resource if we compare it with the other top notch internet security software.

• Two New Extra Features that are new Internet Security Suite

1. AVG Identity Protection

AVG Internet Security 8.5 brings a new behavioral analysis technology in its Identity Protection module. It analyzes if all the programs are operating the way they should. If it spots something suspicious that could indicate an attempted ID theft attack, it shuts that activity down, preventing any possible theft from happening. This inclusion is specifically focused on helping to prevent thieves from stealing passwords, bank account details, credit card numbers, and other digital valuables.

The IDP technology works by learning the behavior and characteristics of malicious software and using that knowledge to create protection against it. It means this technology can stand alone without “signature updates” to stay updated. Signature update is a pattern file that an antivirus usually download to update its database of malicious software so that it can recognize and clean specific threats. But now with this technology, AVG Internet Security 8.5 almost eliminates this need. So now you have a program that is really learning and improving its protection continuously, ensuring you are always protected against new and unknown threat. Well it's sound very promising though it is quite difficult to be proven in actual practices. Anyway, we are quite interested in knowing how this technology developed in the future.

AVG stated that behavioral analysis is a must for internet security software because “tens of thousands of new virus samples arrive in security companies’ labs every day. It is simply not feasible for traditional signature-based anti-virus to keep up with this level of activity from the bad guys." So while it’s important for us to continue using anti-virus or other security software to protect against the known viruses that are out there ‘in the wild’, it’s also vital to have an additional protective layer against the unknown.

2. AVG LinkScanner

AVG LinkScanner further enhances users’ protection against unknown online threats by analyzing web pages in real time for hidden threats and exploits such as drive-by downloads. Unlike other safe-surf products which rely on historical data acquired by periodically scanning sites across the Internet based on a variety of criteria, LinkScanner Active Safe-Surf bases its safety ratings on real-time analysis of individual web pages, ensuring an accurate assessment of a page’s current status.

We tested it by deliberately visiting five web sites that has known for its security threats, and surprisingly AVG LinkScanner warns all five of them before we even enter the page. But we decide to penetrate further into the pages within the sites. And since then, on every link we follow, LinkScanner always gives us a warning. Not only that, instantly AVG resident shield informs us of dozens of pop-ups those websites try to open. We even try further to download some file that is guaranteed can do nasty things to your system, but instantly AVG intercept it. When downloading compressed file, it has the opportunity to enter our system, but then again AVG intercepts it as soon as we open it.

So imagine these multi layered protection. No matter how persistent you are on confronting internest risk, AVG Internet Security 8.5 will watch over you.

• User Interface: Simple and easy to navigate but can be better visually

If there is one feature in AVG Internet Security 8.5 that falls short is that its graphical user interface. It is not like it is the worse GUI we have seen in an antivirus and internet security product. In fact it is quite fine. But it is just that in the age where almost major applications offer clean and smooth interface, vivid colors, simplified menus, plus interactive icons, AVG Internet Security 8.5 looks pale in comparison. The window pane is also too crowded with 12 large icons. And although this interface is an improvement over the previous design, we think AVG should go back to the design room.




Quick Tips
How to Find the Best Anti virus Solution?
Tips#1: Efficiency


It’s nice to see an antivirus product that has rigorous and aggressive scanning method. But you might want to consider on the system resource that it needs. It is not wise to let your system down while what you are going to avoid is viruses taking control your system resource. What’s the difference anyway?





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