AVG AV Free Edition 9.0 Review

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by JRViejo, Oct 17, 2009.

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  1. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Pages of Interest

    Installation files - version 9.0.686 (avg_free_stf_en_90_686a1719.exe)
    Documentation - User Manual version 9.0.3
    Features Comparison between Free and Paid versions.

    First, I thank robinb for letting us know that the new version was out on October 15th. That day, I installed AVG Free version 9.0.686, without first uninstalling Free version 8.5.421, to see if the new version would delete the old one. Here are my observations and comments, spread among several posts. Please follow along, using the User Manual version 9.0.3.

    The rig specs: Intel Celeron 2.93GHz, 2 GB RAM, 80 GB Hard Drive (26 GB Free space), Win XP SP2 fully patched.
    Old AVG: no LinkScanner components (Surf-Shield & Search-Shield) installed, no Scan on boot, no Scheduled can and no Auto Program Updates.

    1. Installation (starting at Page 13 of the User Manual).

    The process was smooth until after the Checking System Status completed and was given this choice:

    Capture10-15-2009-9.28.10 AM.gif

    ZoneAlarm? I'm running an old ZA version 5.5.094.000, that is just a pure firewall (no AV, no Spyware engine) with Basic Email Protection off, and an expired Antivirus Monitoring feature. AVG's old version 8.5 never had a problem with my ZA version.

    This AVG Incompatible Software prompt makes me wonder whether AVG is just arbitrarily stating that any ZA software is bad, without actually checking it. Of course, I clicked the Skip button, yet AVG would not let me go:

    Capture10-15-2009-9.28.32 AM.gif

    After clicking Yes, I selected a Custom Installation (Page 17) and I was surprised to find the LinkScanner component checked in the Component Selection prompt (Page 20), although the old 8.5 version never had it installed. I wondered what would have happened if I had selected the Standard Installation? Again, unchecked the LinkScanner component box, making sure that both Surf-Shield & Search-Shield boxes were also unchecked, unchecked the Additional installed languages box (Spanish was the only available language) and clicked Next.

    2. After Installation (Page 25).

    I decided to perform the recommended Optimize scanning now and that scan took about 11 minutes to complete. Opened the GUI and proceeded to manually Update now and noticed that the AVG Update box design has changed a bit:

    Capture10-15-2009-9.56.53 AM.gif

    Also, immediately noticed that the GUI's Click Here to Activate Now AVG Identity Protection component is gone! Clicked on Tools > Advanced Settings to see what had changed:

    A) Appearance (page 59) has a new Gaming Mode section and you can read all about this function on Page 61.
    B) Scan Whole Computer (Page 69) has additional scan settings sections and the same goes for Scan Specific Files or Folders (Page 73) and Removable Device Scan (Page 74).
    C) Scheduled Scan (Page 75) can be run on selected days now.
    D) E-mail Scanner (Page 85) no longer has Logs and Results and Servers sub-sections.
    E) Resident Shield: Directory Excludes (Page 90) replaces the old Exceptions name and a new Excluded Files sub-section has been added.
    F) Update (Page 92) has a new Post update memory scan section and you can read about this function on Page 93.
    G) URL (Page 97) details an additional backup free update server.

    Note: After the AVG installation, received a prompt that Windows Defender had been disabled, Thought that it was weird but I confirmed it on their forums. I enabled WD and so far, it's still on.

    To be continued...
  2. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    3. Processes.

    I wanted to see how the new AVG compared to the old AVG tests I previously conducted: Post and Post and how many processes were now running. Task Manager reported 0% CPU Usage on all processes, as seen below, and overall, very low Mem Usage:

    taskmngrprocess.gif

    Info on Processes

    avgchsvx.exe (AVG Cache Server) NEW - More info!
    avgcsrvx.exe (AVG Scanning Core Module - Server Part)
    avgrsx.exe (AVG Resident Shield Service)
    avgtray.exe (AVG Tray Monitor)
    avgwdsvc.exe (AVG Watchdog Service)

    Missing: avgemc.exe (AVG Email Scanner) - will talk about this later.

    After running for 8 hours, here's the Task Manager again:

    taskmngrprocess2.gif

    To be continued...
  3. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    4. Scanning Interface - New (Page 99).

    I began Scan whole computer and during the scan I was surprised to see this:

    brokendigsig.gif

    Looks like AVG is searching for valid signed certificates now. These results were reported but not automatically removed, allowing the user to decide, which is a good option IMO. Finally, the scan finished and here's the result:

    scanresults.gif

    I initially thought that one hour and 48 minutes (for 609,976 total objects) was too long, until I saw the Old 8.5.278 scan Post, which was the same time! Don't think the new Optmimize scanning now feature was much help here, yet since months go by before I perform whole computer scans, I can live with the time.

    To be continued...
  4. clocks
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    clocks Registered Member

    That is low mem usage. I thought someone mentioned that they hide a lot of usage under a windows process, like svchost.exe, or something like that.
  5. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    5. Email Scanner

    Sadly, it is not working and perhaps it has something to do with robinb findings, even though it doesn't crash my AVG Free program. I even tried the repair reinstall option twice and it still doesn't work.

    Conclusion

    IMO I don't know why AVG rushed out this version, especially if the Email Scanner is not working. Perhaps AVG Free 9.0 users who have the LinkScanner and its components installed can post their experiences.
  6. Fuzzfas
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    Fuzzfas Registered Member

    Try loading a web page and keep open the task manager. I have the feeling the CPU won't be at 0%, which will explain how the CPU time went to 03:11. The % shows only instant CPU use. As i said, open the task manager and start loading pages. I predict that the CPU will be showing spikes and then going back to 0%. The more you browse, the more the total CPU time will be. And AVG is heavy on that, since v.8.


    You have obviously posted the screenshots in the wrong order. The 1st one is the one after 8 hours of use.

    Regards
  7. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    clocks, taking a quick look with Process Explorer, I can't find it but will keep an eye out and report back.
  8. clocks
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    clocks Registered Member

    Thanks for the info, and sorry to break up the chain of posts. I guess I missed the whole TBC. lol
  9. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Fuzzfas, I doubled checked and they are in the correct order. The first screenshot was taken at 9:59:07 AM and the second one at 11:32:45 PM, which is more than 8 hours (my mistake).

    I'll be back to answer your first question in a bit.
  10. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    clocks, you're welcome! Don't worry about the split. As I was posting, I knew that Wilders members have the fastest guns in the West! ;) :D
  11. the Tester
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    the Tester Registered Member

    Nice review. Well done.:thumb:
    The flag on Zone Alarm and the email scanner not working would bother me too.
  12. Fuzzfas
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    Fuzzfas Registered Member

    Well, what can i say. It's the first time i see the CPU Time going down as time passes... I don't know how you did it, but i wish i could do the same. Reminds me of movie tricks on how to delete mileage from your car by running backwards. :D

    From 03:11 it fell down to 19 secs after 8 hours? Must be some new super-secret AVG technology.
  13. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Thank you, the Tester. The ZA flag was unexpected and I wonder how many users will encounter a compatibility issue, clicking uninstall software, borking their PCs in the process.

    The missing Email scanner issue is simply unacceptable IMO.
  14. clocks
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    clocks Registered Member

    This review inspired me to give it a go on Windows 7. Running on only about 6 meg! I will keep an eye on the CPU time via Process Explorer.

    Thanks again JRViejo, as this was nicely laid out for us. Since your a mod feel free to delete my post in the middle of your review....thanks
  15. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Fuzzfas, I have a feeling that the new avgchsvx.exe process has something to do with it but so far, I can't find any more info than I did.

    Still working on your first question and be back as soon as I can assemble the screenshot.
  16. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    clocks, there you go; that's the spirit! :thumb: You're welcome and I'll leave your post as is. Do report back on your findings whenever you see fit.
  17. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Fuzzfas, OK, with Firefox and 3 Wilders site tabs open, this is the Task Manager now:

    taskmngrprocess3.gif

    Yes, the CPU % does spike, however, the Mem Usage immediately releases back down to what you see posted.
  18. clocks
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    clocks Registered Member

    A scan of about 100gig of data took 19 minutes. I did not see options for a quick scan or full. Just "scan whole computer" and "scan specific folders". I think it would be nice for them to add a "quick scan" option.

    Also, similar to JRViejo, i find that even when memory spikes, it rapidly goes back down. For instance less than a minute after the scan completed, ram usage went back down to 6-7 meg. Very nice.
  19. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    clocks, do you have the Email Scanner engaged and if so, does the avgemc.exe process show up?
  20. clocks
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    clocks Registered Member

    I did not install the email scanner, since I only use web mail. I also did not install half of link scanner (search shield). I only did the first part(surf shield) for drive by dl's.
  21. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    OK, thanks, clocks! It's good to know that you have the Surf-Shield component enabled and still have low Mem Usage, with Windows 7.

    Question: besides the processes I listed, do you show any others?
  22. clocks
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    clocks Registered Member

    When I close everything ram usage goes to about 5.5meg. I opened Firefox, with four tabs open, and it only goes up to about 6.5 to 7.5 meg.

    It does use a decent amount of virtual memory though. At about 400-450 meg with firefox open.
  23. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    FYI. More info on the new avgchsvx.exe process, from Process Explorer:

    dllsonavgchsvx.exe.gif
  24. cqpreson
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    cqpreson Registered Member

    I think the meaning of the conflict which AVG pointed out is that AVG will kill other AV's files.I installed the AVG free and did a full scan,it detected my Avira's files and reported unknown files soon.So I had to uninstalled it.
  25. JRViejo
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    JRViejo Global Moderator

    FYI. Evidently, by looking at the AVG Installation/Uninstallation Free version forum, I was not the only one startled by the ZA incompatibility. There are other ZA Firewall users in the same situation, plus one Comodo user as of the time of this post.

    So far, this is AVG's response regarding the issue.
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