AVG Internet Security 9.0 is an affordable internet security suite that provides strong malware detection and disinfection, but could be easier to use.
The interface hasn't changed much since the last version of AVG Internet Security, and has some organizational problems. For example, on the main screen, icons representing AVG Internet Security 9.0's various features aren't grouped or organized appropriately, making it hard to find, say, the firewall versus the antivirus protection.
AVG Internet Security 9.0 did well at detecting active system infections; it found 93 percent of samples, and disabled 87 percent. This is a good score, but our top performer was able to detect and block all infections on our PC. However, AVG was able to fully remove only 27 percent of the malware samples. In general most suites could effectively detect and disable infections, but would often leave pieces behind. The danger in leaving any segment of malware behind is that an infection could return.
AVG Internet Security 9.0 detected 100 percent of inactive and active rootkits (stealth malware used to hide infections from PC users and security software alike), and removed 87 percent of the samples. This means that some rootkits will get left behind, but this removal rate is on a par with the other products we tested.
New in AVG Internet Security 9.0 is behavioural malware detection technology, which detects malware based solely on how it behaves on your PC. AVG gained expertise in this area through its acquisition of Sana Security in 2009. AVG was perfect at detecting and disabling infections on our test PC in our behavioural-scanning tests. At removing every trace of malware, AVG scored a respectable 93 percent. Compared to other suites we tested, these are high scores for defenses against unknown or zero-day attacks.
The AVG Internet Security 9.0 suite includes LinkScanner, a tool that looks for and scrubs malicious content from Websites before it hits your browser. This is slightly different from McAfee's Site Advisor, which identifies and blocks malicious sites. Linkscanner lets you view the questionable sites, but it still blocks the malware, which is a better approach.
Using traditional signatures, AVG detected 95 percent of malware, an acceptable result. By comparison, the top performer in this test detected 99.9 percent of malware samples. This test is less important than it was in the past, however; the sheer amount of new malware makes tests that help judge how well a product can detect unknown malware more important than tests of how well it can detect using old-style signatures.
In bootup time, AVG Internet Security 9.0 was about 2 seconds slower than the average of suites tested. However, when you consider the number of tools in this suite, that results isn't too bad. AVG's impact on overall system performance was slight compared with other suites, though its scan speeds were on the slow side. It took 6 minutes, 5 seconds to scan a 4.5GB file when we opened it. Our top performer scanned this data in 2 minutes, 51 seconds.
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