AVG Internet Security 2016 Review - New Edition, Same AV with Windows 10 Support
key review info
- Application: AVG Internet Security 2016 Build 7160
- Reviewed on:
- Real-time guard
- (8 more, see all...)
Developer AVG has recently released the 2016 lineup of its anti-malware applications: AVG Antivirus Free, AVG Antivirus Pro and AVG Internet Security. It brings many improvements to the table and promises better malware protection.
All versions share the same virus signature and use cloud technology to detect and remove the latest unknown threats in real time. However, the developer has announced that it will sell user browsing history to online advertises for AVG Antivirus Free, in order to continue funding its free product.
For this review, we decided to take a look at AVG Internet Security, the company's most complete anti-malware application. It's equipped with a real-time guard, various scanning modes, a quarantine manager, firewall, web, email and identity protection, data safe, along with numerous configuration settings for advanced users.
Ad-supported and customizable setup
During the setup operation, you can exclude any components when it comes to web and email protection, along with the AVG Internet Security firewall. Because it's ad-supported, it offers to download and install third-party apps that it doesn't actually need to work properly, as well as to make some modifications to your web browser settings. You can decline these offers to make a clean installation, though.
Clean and intuitive GUI
AVG Internet Security is wrapped in a clear-cut interface, represented by the main control panel, systray options, and right-click menu integration for contextual scans. An initial scan is initialized at startup to establish the security status of your machine.
The main window gives you the possibility of disabling any of the installed modules: computer (real-time guard), web browsing (LinkScanner, online shield), identity and email protection (email scanner, anti-spam), along with the firewall.
Real-time guard settings and Data Safe
The PC protection module always stays on alert and monitors all parts of the hard drive to react to any potential threats. Apart from deactivating the resident shield, it's possible to disable removal confirmations and reports for potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and spyware threats, enable reports for enhanced PUPs, instruct AVG to scan files on close, skip scans for the boot sector of removable media and for files referred in the registry, deactivate heuristics, apply thorough scanning, and disable the protection of instant messaging and P2P downloads.
By default, the application scans all types of files, but you can create a list with specific file types instead, as well as include files without any extensions. It can conduct quick or full rootkit scans and it lets you exclude applications or drives from the scan scope.
The program contains a feature you can use to create a virtual disk with a data safe for keeping your important files in a location secure from snooping tools. You can put together as many safes as you want, indicate the saving directory and container size, as well as choose the preferred drive letter for mounting the container.
Scan modes, settings, and virus vault
The utility can scan the entire computer, custom files or folders, removable devices, or in contextual mode. Each method comes with its own set of configuration preferences concerning automatic virus removal, tracking cookies, archive contents, heuristics, deep scanning, file types, PUPs and spyware, files without extensions, and scan speed.
The virus vault represents AVG Internet Security's quarantine manager, where you can make investigations, such as the file path and online documentation for each threat type. Items in this area can be either permanently removed from the hard drive, submitted to the developer for closer inspection, or restored to their original location on the HDD.
Web, identity and email protection
LinkScanner verifies web links while surfing the Internet, in order to notify you of any harmful websites. At the same time, the online shield scans files when you attempt to download them.
The identity protection component monitors a program's behavior to determine whether or not it's safe to launch. It can automatically quarantine known or detected threats, or prompt you for action every time.
When it comes to email protection, AVG Internet Security is capable of detecting dangerous file attachments in your default email client, as well as to filter messages to block spam. A wide range of options can be customized in this regard. For instance, you can include both incoming and outgoing email, modify the subject of infected content, disable heuristics, scan inside archives, report hidden extensions and files containing macros, as well as move reported attachments to the virus vault (for incoming emails only).
Firewall and PC Analyzer
Once installed, the AVG Internet Security firewall replaces the Windows' built-in one and allows or blocks programs based on their behavior and whether they're included in the trusted apps list. However, you can switch to interactive mode to get asked for action on each event, block all Internet connections, or disable the firewall to allow all application traffic.
AVG's files and several Windows tools exist on the trusted list by default, and you can delete them, edit properties, or add new utilities by specifying a path, name and description. File and printer sharing can be enabled or disabled. More advanced settings are available for allowing or blocking access to VPN and virtual machines, logging, application rules, defining the networks to trust, as well as managing rules for system services and protocols.
PC Analyzer is a special component that focuses on optimizing the computer by fixing invalid entries in the registry, removing junk files that unnecessarily take up space, defrag the disk, and fix broken shortcuts. All these tasks are auto-performed.
Evaluation results and observations
We tested the program on Windows 10. In order to find out AVG Internet Security's effectiveness at identifying and removing infections, we asked it to scan a 1.28GB folder with 5,000 malware files. The real-time guard was not very responsive, as it started to detect malware only when we attempted to open the files.
The scan operation itself was extremely fast, roughly 1 minute. However, the whole removal operation took about four hours, during which AVG slowly removed files. In the end, 975 files were left behind, resulting in an 80.5% success rate.
Scan jobs were generally fast, during which the tool remained light on system resources. It's possible to run multiple scans at once, as well as to explore other parts of the interface during this time.
The firewall quickly reacted to events.
AVG Internet Security is light on system resources, even during scans.
We haven't noticed compatibility issues with Windows 10.
It features a self-protection module against hijackers.
It contains numerous advanced configuration settings for expert users.
Casual users will have a hard time discovering how to configure the advanced settings.
We expected better malware detection results.
The automatic response was late in our tests (at file launch).