Security program falls short in real-time protecton

AVG Anti-Spyware security program falls short in real-time protecton

Grisoft, well known for its AVG Anti-Virus software launched its antispyware software in June 2006 under the name of Ewido. Grisoft got the technology from Ewido Networks, which it had purchased two months earlier. Now named AVG Anti-Spyware, the sleek-looking program recognized, on average, the largest percentage of adware, spyware, and rootkits we threw at it in a head-to-head competition against four other Vista-based antispyware programs. Unfortunately, its faulty behavior-based protection may not protect you against unknown threats, and it posted a high false-positive rate.

During tests performed by AV-Test.org, AVG Anti-Spyware did a good job of finding known adware and spyware. It detected 19 of 20 active samples (ones installed on the test PC) -- missing only the Banbra Trojan horse, which attempts to collect online banking credentials. The AVG package was also by far the best at recognizing our large stable of inactive adware, keyloggers, bank-related spyware programs, and rootkits -- a testament to the breadth of its signature database. But it failed to detect additions to HKLM Run keys, changes to the default Internet Explorer Start and Search pages, and alterations of our test system's Hosts file. This suggests that, if it fails to recognize a threat, the software may allow it to tamper with key areas of your PC. AVG Anti-Spyware was the only product tested to produce false positives -- flagging a signficant 10 of our 6285 legitimate test files as malware.

AVG disinfected spyware more successfully than it did adware, denaturing 50 percent of the spyware files and Registry entries we introduced -- thesecond-best showing among the five Vista programs. In contrast, it successfully cleaned only 30 percent of adware files and Registry entries.

AVG Anti-Spyware is easy to use, with self-explanatory icons clearly marked at the top of the main interface window and with one-click buttons. On the downside, it lacks several features we'd like to see, such as antiphishing protection to prevent a user from going to known fake financial Web sites. There's no POP3, IMAP, and SMTP scanning to block e-mail borne spyware threats, either. And you can't set a system restore point in case you accidentally delete important files during a disinfection routine. Finally, Grisoft doesn't set up scheduled scans by default to help users who never delve into configuration settings.

If you opt for AVG Anti-Spyware, consider purchasing it through a third-party U.S. distributor (such as Walling Data Systems) that offers phone support. Grisoft's own customer support is limited to e-mail communications only. It's a solid program with the strongest signature database around, but it falls short in real-time protection against unknown threats.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ryan Naraine

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?