Grisoft's AVG 7.5 Anti-Virus Professional Edition is an inexpensive antivirus option and its 91 percent malware detection rate puts it in the middle of the pack in that critical category. The software's poor proactive protection performance and clunky interface, however, dropped it towards the bottom of PC Advisor's recommendations.

AVG did a fine job in our disinfection tests, reversing more than 80 percent of changes made by malware. It was the only program that removed all malware files and reversed both changes to the Hosts network settings file. It missed some Registry changes, but we've yet to find an antivirus tool that isn't foxed by those.

In proactive protection, AVG ranked last, failing to detect two out of every three new malware samples we introduced. Also, the program puts the user in charge of too many decisions that require too much know-how. To schedule a scan, for example, you have to wade through a "test manager" and figure out the differences between a complete test, a detailed test, a detailed user test or a simple user test. Grisoft plans to revamp the interface, but we found this one hard to manage.

AVG integrates nicely with Eudora and Microsoft Outlook to quarantine suspect email messages and scans all programs' email traffic over POP3 and SMTP protocols. However, it was only one of two programs (Trend Micro AntiVirus plus AntiSpyware 2007 being the other) we've found that don't scan web traffic. It also doesn't directly support any specific IM clients.

Like Alwil Avast 4 Professional Edition, Grisoft offers a free version that lacks antispyware protection and has a limited ability to schedule scans. The paid Professional version is £25.

Test results and verdict on the next page >

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PC Advisor Test Centre results

  • Design and ease of use Good
  • Malware-detection rate 91%
  • Proactive detection of unknown threats 34%
  • False-positive detections 1
  • System slowdown 2%
  • Outbreak-response time (hours) 6 to 8
  • Bottom line: An inexpensive program, AVG has average overall malware detection, poor proactive protection and a clunky interface.

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AVG 7.5 Anti-Virus Professional: Specs

  • 300MHz Intel Pentium CPU
  • Windows 98/Me/NT/200/XP
  • 70MB free hard disk space
  • 64MB RAM
  • internet connection
  • 300MHz Intel Pentium CPU
  • Windows 98/Me/NT/200/XP
  • 70MB free hard disk space
  • 64MB RAM
  • internet connection

OUR VERDICT

Average at malware detection, difficult to use and poor at finding new threats, AVG does at least represent excellent value for money.

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