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on 24 March 2008
I have tried Nortons, McAfee and Bullguard and they all either slow the machine down or have compatability problems even on Windows XP Pro. So I tried the free AVG antivirus 7.5 and this was very simple and effective. So I bought the full AVG v8 Internet Security package from AVG on line (although Amazon are cheaper!) and it is excellent. You wouldn't know it was there. Very simple and the spam filter is the best I have come across. You can download a trial version. I have wasted so much time and money on others - go for this one.
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on 17 May 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Over the years I have used many of the leading AV titles - Norton, Avast, Kaspersky and ZoneLabs. When I got offered this product as part of the Amazon Vine programme, I decided to install it on my low-spec machine.

Although I didn't have any problems setting up and configuring AVG 8.0, there were a few issues during installation that really disappointed me:

The first thing that amazed me is that the installation menu appears in the web browser. Any secure browser will not allow the setup file to run (because of security risks!), and so you can only save it to your desktop and run it manually. Although not a big deal for the experienced user, for the novice this is just totally confusing and lacks common sense.

Secondly I was disappointed at being asked during installation whether I want to change my browser search engine to Yahoo! Surely AVG can make money using other approaches than selling out to search engines. The whole approach here has nothing to do with protecting your PC, and is well out of place.

Then, the installation routine asked me to identify what networks my computer was part of (i.e. home office, domain etc). My computer actually spans different ones, so I thought I'd check the Help file to clarify. Amazingly, the HELP button on this screen didn't even work and no help was provided, and no help windows opened!

Then AVG recognised a network and asked me to name it. This is a high-risk scenario because AVG doesn't even tell you the name of the network it has found. Is it your network, or your neighbour's, or the guy in the street outside wanting to steal your password details? I was lucky because I am in a detached house away from other networks, but living on a street you wouldn't get any help from AVG.

Lastly, the installation routine automatically connected to the internet to get the latest updates. It did this without problems and installation finished. The problem was that when I then clicked clicked the Update button again, ANOTHER set of updates was then downloaded and installed!! Why didn't AVG get the most recent updates and leave my computer properly protected?!?

The final insult came when I opened my browser. The AVG toolbar that I had chosen to install to make browsing safer was actually a Yahoo search toolbar with a few extra AVG buttons.

The plus point to AVG is that it runs without slowing the computer down. Although it doesn't detect as many threats as other titles (Kaspersky is the current champion according to PCPro magazine), it is a good deal better than having nothing. For £30 though, I'd put my trust into a different product.
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on 16 April 2008
Like most folks that use the Internet regularly, pay there bills online, download music etc you need to be safe in the knowledge that your computer & network is secure and safe.

I, in the past have tried numerous Internet Security Suites (the most 'popular' ones that I used where McAfee & Norton), despite them offering "unbeatable and reliable" protection all they seemed to do was either break down, stop updating and slow down my computer!

So, after trawling the Net looking for the 'best' Internet Security Suite I came accross AVG 8.0. My dad has been using AVG 7.5 for ages (first the trial version then buying the full title) and says that it is fantastic. so, bought it (greatly priced here)

It is, with no word of a lie, the most comprehensive, most perfect IS suite that I have ever used. Not only does it take a few minutes to install and register but it doesn't slow or dull the performance of my computer. AVG 8.0 offers the 'bells and whistles' everything that you could possibly need for a secure Internet and secure computer is offered. My favourite tool, is the LINK SCANNER. This actually scanns websites searched for on a search engine and rates its safety for you.

If you are in the market for an IS suite give serious thought to purchasing this one, real time online protection, anti-virus, anti-spyware, blocks hakers & fast updates (never be a day out of date). This is fairly priced and is fantastic, consider it, download trial version and then buy. You will not regret it, I certainly don't.
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VINE VOICEon 26 June 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Before I start I'll just point out that I think anti-virus software is a very individual purchase (more so than most things). A lot depends on how powerful your PC is, what other software you run, and whether you're technically minded, or, like me, prefer to leave that to the geek in the family. Just because one person loves the software doesn't mean it will work for you, on your PC.

That said, so far I love this software! I've got a fairly old laptop (at least 3 years old), that's nearly died on me several times already. Norton (which I was using) was hopeless - on a bad day it would take more than five minutes to boot the PC, and if Norton started running a scan, you might as well give up and come back the next day. I'd read that AVG might run better on a less powerful PC, so I decided to give it a try.

Installation - it took (probably) less than ten minutes to install, and I just followed the instructions on screen - nothing to it. I was brave (stupid?) and opted for the custom install, but it wasn't too technical. It did ask a couple of questions about the type of network the PC was on, but allowed me to install more than one option (as a laptop, sometimes my PC's connected to a network, sometimes it's not). So you could just select them all and work it out later...!

Scanning for viruses - I then left it about four hours to run a full system scan. When I came back it had found and quarantined a virus Norton had missed, and several adware/spyware files that Spybot hadn't found (rather to my surprise, as I thought Spybot was normally pretty good).

Updates - it updates automatically in the background (as did Norton). The difference is, AVG seems to update a lot more often. Norton only seemed to update about once a day, and sometimes there was a new anti-virus file only once every two or three days. AVG seems to download various components regularly, sometimes within a few hours of the last download. Although I monitor it (mostly for the purposes of writing a review!) I've not noticed any impact on the PC's performance, even when I'm downloading something else from the internet at the same time, or playing a game. Norton updates used to slow my PC to crawling speed.

General performance - it does pop-up each time a file/piece of software tries to access the internet, and asks you whether to allow it or not. Some of the files I recognise, some I don't. You can select to allow access just once, or allow access permanently, or not at all. That didn't bother me - as I became more familiar with most of the ones that came up, I allowed most of them permanently. It also tags websites you visit as to how safe they are, but again, I didn't notice any reduced performance (mind you, after using Norton, a snail might have seemed fast by my standards...!). I didn't install the Yahoo search/toolbar option (I'm quite happy to pick my own search engine, thanks). No issues with conflicts with any other software that I use (I know the latest McAffee software is reported to conflict with Spybot, which is why I didn't try it). No strange errors, and it hasn't caused any problems when I shut the PC down (Norton used to fail to close down properly on a regular basis).

I think the main thing with anti-virus software is that you need some - it doesn't really matter what you use, most of the mainstream options will do the job. It comes down to what works for you, on your PC. But if you're running an elderly laptop that can't cope with Norton, I'd give this a try (I should add here that I've used Norton very successfully on a powerful desktop PC, and I am still using it - but AVG was the solution that was right for my laptop). You can get the important parts of this software free by downloading it from AVG's website. So if it doesn't work for you, you don't need pay to upgrade to the full version (in fact, you may not even need the full version - so this is certainly an option worth considering if you're operating your PC on a limited budget).

I've given it four stars because I've only been using it a few weeks, and I still can't quite believe there won't be a catch somewhere...if I'm still this happy with it when I renew the licence in a year, then I'll come back and give it five stars!!
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VINE VOICEon 22 May 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Everything is bundled into one package here, so saves you installing separate spyware, virus protection, firewall etc.
It advertises saying it wont slow your PC down, however I found out as expected that this was virtually impossible.
My reason being is simple it has a real time web page checked (Search Shield and Surf Shield). This basically means BEFORE you click a webpage it says whether it is a known safe site. As this is real time, this basically means before you click a link the software has to go and lookup the website online to advise whether it is safe or not to open. So obviously before installing this software you click a link and you go straight there. But now you click a link it looks up the website to see if it is safe (in the background) and then it opens the webpage. So basically an extra step is taken before opening the webpage and it is pretty obvious this is going to have a time and speed impact.
I would recommend this product for people who worry about internet security (beginners / novice users) and want a product that covers everything in one place. However people more familiar with PC's and understand what not to open, will probably be fine with the free separate versions....
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VINE VOICEon 9 June 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having tried Norton Anti-Virus before and found that it was constantly slowing down my computer and generally making a nuisance of itself, I was pleased to be able to give AVG a try instead. It interferes less with the computer's running and is pretty effective in what it does and how it protects you from various threats.

This package contains everything you need to make your computer secure, but the fact is that if you're willing to put in a bit of time, you can find most of it for free (including the previous version of AVG from the AVG site). I'd say this version is only really necessary if you think you need a very high level of protection. There's nothing wrong with the package, I'm just not sure I'd want to pay for it.
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VINE VOICEon 30 May 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having used various other Internet Security packages in the past, it was time to see if AVG, which has been recommended to me in the past, was any good.

Installation was fairly straightforward and a lot faster than other similar products, with only 1 license code to type in, which was perfectly fine.

AVG started popping up error messages every time I opened my browser, but after a restart of my computer it was perfect fine again, as it seemed to install a security shelf in my browser. This turned out to be quite good, as it has a secure search box (which uses Yahoo), and has an Active Surf-Shield and Search Shield on at all times, encase someting unsafe appears.

In the main AVG program I was suprised by how many different security components it has available in it, where past packages only had a few.

List of Components: Active-Virus, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Spam, Firewall, Anti-Rootkit, E-mail Scanner, LinkScanner, Web Shield, Resident Shield.

I found I was able to right click on anything and AVG would scan it in seconds to see if it was safe to open or use. The program itself doesnt seem to slow my computer down at all, and at the start up it loads instantly, (where past packages have taken quite a while to load).

There is also a great system scanner which scans your whole computer, and you can also pre set it to scan whenever or how often you would like it to scan your computer.

This also has routine updates checker, which will download any new software which will help detect or fight against any new virus's or spyware.

Overall I was very pleased as I feel quite secure with this and it doesnt keep sending me messages all the time; it quitely gets on with its job, as Mr security man for my computer.
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VINE VOICEon 22 December 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have used Norton for about 2 years and I got the chance to try this out. It was easy install and the user interface was very good. However, once it was up and running it refused to let me connect to the internet and I couldn't figure out why. Of course, the nature of the problem meant that I couldn't contact their customer support to sort out the problem. I tried to change all the settings and I disable the firewall, but nothing would work. In the end I had to uninstall the program and revert to Norton.
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VINE VOICEon 27 May 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was currently using a kasperksy internet security package and fancied giving the AVG one a go which ive heard great reviews about.

I inserted the cd and it took you through the complete set-up process, you dont need to be a technical whizz! literally the whole thing was installed in under 5 minutes! the only thing that took a little while is simply entering the code with the dashes which is inside the box, other than that you dont really need to do anything.

Persuming this thing is a different set-up, i know my other package i was using told me how many virus's were in the system etc, this one didn't do this so i dont know how string the anti-virus is, but messages occassionally pop-up saying about potential threats and if you know they are ok you can say 'allow' or 'block' if you don't recognise them.

When i first installed it i felt my computer was struggling a little speed-wise, but then after a couple of minutes it was back to normal so it really doesnt affect the performance of your computer as it says.

I would definitely recommend this if you are looking for a quick easy protection package, great value on amazon and a great little package, recommended!
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VINE VOICEon 17 June 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I loaded this one up with high hopes. I'm a long-term AVG user, currently using version 7.5 of the free offering available from AVG. STILL using version 7.5? Well yes, I am - I had so many problems and grumbles with this new version I uninstalled it after a couple of days.

The total package offers a lot of functions, including a firewall. I had hoped this would replace my existing firewall, reducing the number of startup applications I would require. It DID replace it, but it fared badly. The configuration was overly complex, and the presentation of pop-ups was unnecessarily intrusive - large and centre screen, in front of anything you were doing or watching. This meant that even when no action was required it was impossible to ignore it, and using the PC as the centre of an entertainment system became a chore.

The other problems relate to crashes. My PC, which suffers an occasional lock-up like any other, was suddenly doing it every couple of hours, and the AVG application itself crashed (and restarted, to its credit) around every twenty minutes. Throw in the fact that I only managed to get one scan of my PC to successfully complete in two days (the rest died mid-scan) and I was reaching unhappily for the UNINSTALL.

Perhaps these problems will be ironed out over successive small-increment releases, but for now AVG 8.0 is extremely disappointing.
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