I have tried the AVG free anti-virus to protect my computer off-and-on for several years and on various operating systems that I have had at home. During this time, it used its own auto update every day to check for updates and download them so it should be fully updated at all times.
Throughout the time, I have continually been disappointed with the results. A great example occurred last week while working with a company that I will leave unnamed. Several of the computers were running slowly, so I ran a scan with the McAfee Stinger which can be downloaded here as well as the Trend Micro Housecall. BOTH came up with tons of viruses ranging from Trojans to worms. I also saw several occasions where AVG would find a virus but then have no fix.
I then discovered a huge gaping hole in AVG Free. AVG free runs regular complete scans via its own scheduler, if you do not have automatically heal infected files checked in the settings, AVG will not only leave the malicious files it detects alone. IT WILL NOT WARN YOU OR ALERT YOU IN ANY WAY THAT IT HAS DETECTED VIRUS ACTIVITY. The scan will run until complete then close.
That is simply unacceptable!! Obviously AVG Free was not detecting the main down-loader Trojan or going any way to stop its activity. Did I mention we were PAYING for AVG? What would we have gotten if we used the free version? Obviously, we are now paying for Trend Micro.
I could spend a whole post complaining about AVG and some of the other free solutions out there, but instead, let me explain a couple of helpful tips.
One way that companies keep anti-virus and firewalls free is by depending on reports from customers and other IT Admins concerning security risk. Although this is a great system, this reactive rather than proactive. Many IT Professionals also choose “NO” when asked whether they want to participate in the feedback program, because they do not want an extra task. You are also depending on people to give you a solution from their own free-will. Some companies have a paid version for customers, and the free version is funded from the left-over R&D of the paid subscribers. They obviously reach the least support.
When you pay for Anti-virus and go with a common name, you receive the millions of dollars that go in to proactive R&D. You receive industry-standard support that is often based in your language. Again, you get what you pay for. Who do I use for Anti-Virus? I personally use McAfee, and I recommend Trend-Micro. Both are fairly priced, and do not leave a huge foot-print like F-Secure and Norton. However, you can make your own decision.
When making a decision concerning open source or paid anti-virus, consider this: Do you really want to scrimp on security? Do you really want to put yourself at risk when it comes to your computer’s sensitive information? That is all the motivation I need!!
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SENIOR IT CONSULTANT