All-round protection without fuss
With so many good free anti-virus products around, you might wonder why you should pay for this protection.
It's even more puzzling when a company such as AVG has both free and paid-for products. Internet Security 2011 is AVG's latest paid-for security package, which has more features than the company's popular free software.
During installation we were given the option to install the AVG Link Scanner browser toolbar, which works in Internet Explorer and Firefox. It worked well, checking links before they are opened, but it's pointlessly crowded with email, news and weather icons.
Those who have used AVG before will recognise the main interface, although it's had a bit of a makeover. Icons showing the status of each of the 14 modules are in the main window, with buttons for scanning and updates along the left. Double-clicking an icon opens it, while right-clicking gives access to advanced options where available. Windows 7 users get a new desktop gadget that shows program status and can start an update or a scan.
Another new feature to this version is social-networking protection, which checks web links originating from Facebook or Myspace. Like many of its rivals, AVG uses information from other users to help improve its response time to new threats.
The computer scanner allows users to adjust the priority of scans with a slider to minimise slow-downs. It worked well and scans were quick: the first full scan took 14 minutes on our test PC, but subsequent scans took less than five minutes thanks to AVG's Smart Scanning feature.
The program uses about 40MB-50MB of memory whether it's scanning or idle.
The firewall uses a database of known programs so it doesn't bombard the user with pop-up messages. The PC analyser was a big disappointment, which doesn't fix the problems it finds – instead you need to pay extra for the fixes.
The main components not included with the free version are the firewall and anti-spam feature (working with any email program), and social networking and instant messaging protection, as well as access to technical support. It all adds up to a good all-rounder that does its job well.
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Although it's not a major update, there are enough useful new features to make it an attractive one
Works without fuss; comprehensive protection; very configurable; fast scanning
PC Analyser module just a teaser; interface is clunky
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