A security suite is a must if your PC runs the Windows operating system. In addition to keeping viruses and malicious software at bay, a good security suite also protects you from accidentally visiting webpages with malicious content and even offers a variety of utilities for protecting privacy and optimising system performance.
These include a startup program manager, file shredder, registry cleaner and so on. The case is a bit different with Android smartphones that have been around for a couple of years now. Viruses and malware aren’t a big threat, but what’s more important is to provide an all-round package that includes handy features such as backup, app locker, task killer and an anti-theft utility. Hence, most antivirus apps for Android smartphones and tablets combine basic protection with a bunch of useful stuff.
AVG AntiVirus Free for Android is no different from the rest. Let’s find out what kind of protection and usefulness this app offers.
On exactly two of my twelve malware-infested test systems AVG installed and scanned without any problems. The installer crashed on another two, but worked OK when I retried the installation. In several cases the full scan halted with an "unspecified error"; trying the scan one or two more times fixed most of these.
Like most security companies, AVG offers a Rescue CD for situations where the antivirus can't install. The Rescue CD is a blast from the past, with a totally text-driven interface, but it offers a full collection of tools, not just an antivirus scan. It wiped out ransomware on one test system and cleared up a malware infestation that actively blocked the installer on another.
Malware Blocking Performance : 7.5/10
If you can install AVG on a system that's already clean, or perhaps one that's been cleaned by Malwarebytes, my tests suggest you'll have smooth sailing. As soon as I opened a folder containing my malware samples, AVG started wiping them out. Within a few minutes, it had eliminated over 80 percent of the samples. And when I repeated the test using hand-modified versions of the same samples it wasn't fooled at all.
Continuing, I launched those samples that weren't eliminated in the initial malware massacre. AVG wiped out almost all of those at some point during the installation process. One way or another, it detected 97 percent of the samples, more than any other product tested using my current collection of samples.
Bonus Addons : 7.5/10
At installation, AVG adds a security toolbar to your default browser and optionally switches the browser's default search engine to AVG's own secure search. You can launch a secure search from the toolbar, and a button reports the safety status of the current website. Clicking that button brings up a report with details on why the site is considered safe (or otherwise) and a link to an even more detailed report.
Ad banners can collect information about your Web-surfing habits and use that information to serve you ads they think you'll like. If this seems more creepy than helpful, you'll like AVG's Do Not Track feature. A toolbar button displays how many ad networks and other trackers are on the current page. Clicking the button brings down a full list and also lets you block any or all of the trackers.
Other toolbar features aren't quite as directly useful. There's a button to clear recent history, but that's easily accomplished with a simple key combination. Another button launches a one-time system tune-up, with an option to purchase AVG's tune-up tool. You can tie your Facebook account to the toolbar for a quick view of your news feed, notifications, and messages. Note, though, that if you set Do Not Track to block absolutely everything it will disable this feature.
The full AVG security suite includes a new feature that lets you store sensitive files in an encrypted "Data Safe," along with a file shredding feature for secure deletion of the unprotected original copies of those files. Only the shredder is available in the free antivirus.
Verdict and Price
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