|Stable release||2014.0.4335 / January 30, 2014|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows, Android, Linux and FreeBSD|
|Type||Anti-virus, Internet Security and Premium Security|
|License||Proprietary (freeware and commercial)|
Anti-Virus Guard (AVG) is a family of anti-virus and Internet security software for the Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD computing platforms, developed by AVG Technologies, a publicly traded Czech company formerly known as Grisoft.
The brand AVG comes from Grisoft's first product, "Anti-Virus Guard", launched in 1992 in Czechoslovakia. In 1997, the first AVG licenses were sold in Germany and UK. AVG was introduced in 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 security product range released in March 2009.
According to AVG Technologies, over 106 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, FreeBSD, and most recently Mac OS X versions of the software. AVG Anti-Virus 9.0 is available in 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. Version 9 was the last version compatible with Windows 2000.
For desktop protection of PC's running Windows, the AVG solutions include:
- AVG Internet Security 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 provides protection against identity theft and unknown malware threats using behavioral monitoring.
- AVG Anti-Virus plus Firewall 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 provides the Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, LinkScanner, Anti-Rootkit, Web Shield, and Security Toolbar protection components.
- AVG Search a search engine by AVG which provides less risk in internet searching.
- AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 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 compared to the commercial versions of AVG products and other free antivirus. These limitations include:
- Less protection – AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition provides the same anti-virus and anti-spyware scanning engine as the commercial product; however, it lacked anti-rootkit protection until 2010. 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 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 are very limited (only one scheduled update per day). 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 cannot be installed on server operating systems (such as Windows Server 2003), nor can it be used for the scanning of network drives. Note, the newer AVG 2011 free edition can be installed on Server operating systems like Windows Server R2.
- AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 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 and AVG Internet Security, 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.
AVG paid license version will intermittently display popup ads advertising additional AVG products such as AVG's Quick Tune product. This advertising cannot be disabled.
The AVG license agreement includes a clause (Section 9) authorizing AVG to collect, from your computer, any personal information they desire and to share it with their business partners anywhere in the world. It also authorizes AVG to track your computer usage.
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 Business Edition provides centrally controlled protection for workstations and file servers, e-mail server and Microsoft SharePoint server protection, plus e-mail server based anti-spam protection.
- AVG Anti-Virus Business Edition provides centrally controlled anti-virus and anti-spyware protection for workstations and file servers.
- AVG File Server Edition provides anti-virus and anti-spyware protection for file servers.
- AVG E-mail Server Edition 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.
- AVG AntiVirus FREE for Android Smartphones
- AVG AntiVirus Pro for Android Smartphones
- AVG AntiVirus Pro for Android Tablets
- AVG Family Safety for iOS
- AVG Family Safety for Windows Phone
A joint project of AVG and Israeli start-up Zbang, Multimi is a free Windows desktop and iPad app for organizing and sharing content between multiple inboxes, social networks, calendars, and media albums.
AVG PC TuneUp
AVG PC TuneUp is an application designed to speed up the computer by removing files that may slow down the operating system and optimizing some of its settings. If a user does not purchase this product when purchasing the anti-virus product, then AVG will intermittently display popup ads to entice him to purchase the product.
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 quarantine area ("virus vault") in which infected files are held.
The patent pending LinkScanner technology acquired from Exploit Prevention Labs and built into most AVG products, provides real-time updated 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. Concerns regarding web analytics have made LinkScanner a controversial component (see below "LinkScanner Concerns").
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.
As of 2014, there are numerous reports dating back to 2012 that the AVG SafeGuard Toolbar installs itself without the consent of the user, as a side effect of installing other applications. The toolbar program appears to cause significant RAM issues. Once installed, the toolbar is virtually impossible to remove: Its uninstaller does not function, and it re-installs if manually removed. There are many discussions and blog posts that describe complex procedures for removal of the AVG toolbar, with very mixed results.
AVG Anti-Virus was certified by ICSA Labs.[not in citation given] AVG Antivirus Free 2012 was selected as PC Magazine Editors Choice in the free antivirus category. AVG Anti Virus Free 2013 received a 5 out of 5 star rating on Cnet's Download.com.
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- Mozilla Support Forum
- Removing the AVG Toolbar and Undoing its Browser Changes
- Remove AVG SafeGuard Nation Toolbar (Virus Removal Guide)
- How to Remove AVG SafeGuard Toolbar and AVG Secure Search
- Completely Remove AVG safeguard toolbar
- ZDNet: AVG Security Toolbar is the worst foistware I've ever seen
- "ICSA Labs". ICSA Labs. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
- Rubenking, Neil J. "AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012 Review & Rating". PCMag.com. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
- "AVG AntiVirus Free 2013 - CNET Download.com". Download.cnet.com. Retrieved 2012-11-22.[dead link]