Is AVG worth the time?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by solcroft, Feb 8, 2007.

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  1. solcroft

    solcroft Registered Member

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    It's kind of surprising to see how a supposedly so popular program never gets mentioned around here.

    Out of recommendations from other forums, I've decided to give the newest 7.5 freeware edition a whirl. Unfortunately, the detection rates still don't impress me much - AVG displays an uncanny ability to miss even mildly-edited variants of the same family, and in some instances, encrypting a known virus with a simple UPX packer also causes AVG to miss it entirely. I've been scanning a few virus zoos with it, and never once have I seen the heuristics trigger.

    Does anyone have any good experiences to share? Or is its popularity (people keep recommending it to me everywhere) simply due to a good marketing strategy?
     
  2. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

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    I'm using AVG free along with the free AVG antispyware (on demand only). Between the two, haven't had a single problem on this computer. I don't think AVG is in the class of Kaspersky or NOD, but it will do the job very well if you do safe surfing. If you prefer to visit the darker side of the web, I'd say go with Kaspersky or Avira.
     
  3. Londonbeat

    Londonbeat Registered Member

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    I've found the opposite lately, I thought they've improved their generic signatures a lot, especially with the PSW.generic and Downloader.generic signatures, it's usually quite good with new variants of zlobs too.

    Londonbeat
     
  4. ASpace

    ASpace Guest

    Its popularity is due to other factors - one of which is the fact that years ago Norton started its bloated affair and since it was/is the most used software in the USA people needed to change with something and still not waste money . AVG was free and obviously better than the "top" product , so its popularity dates from those years thanks to user-to-user recommendation against Norton
     
  5. MalwareDie

    MalwareDie Registered Member

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    I would never use it due to its detection rate and heuristics. this time around I think AVG wil be among the ones to fail or almost fail. there wil definitely be at least 2 or more products that fail the next on-demand test.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2007
  6. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    AVG is free but it was never better than the "top" product in detection ;)
     
  7. JerryM

    JerryM Registered Member

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    Since I have never used AVG except on a temporary basis, my assessment is not from personal experience.
    However, AVG is by far the most used AV, except for Norton, among the people that I personally know. I am not aware of a single infection from any of them during years of use.

    Probably none has heard of NOD, Avira, or Kaspersky, but they have an AV that they let auto update, and operate in a way that they don't realize it unless they get an email that is infected. AVG has always deleted those.

    I am not sure what more an AV can do other than protect without problems of updating and upgrading causing bugs.
    AVG just works in my personal observation, detection rates and signature updates notwithstanding.

    Best,
    Jerry
     
  8. SourMilk

    SourMilk Registered Member

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    AVG is grand if you use it correctly. The detection guard that runs all the time is not as sensitive as the other antiviruses mentioned here but will keep the more common badware away. The real strength of AVG is the extreme compatibility with other software; the effectiveness of its on-demand scans; the light memory/performance load; the rapid updates; and, of course, its cost. For the average home user who will do a regularly scheduled scan, you just can't beat AVG. If you go out looking for malware, you would be better off with Kaspersky.

    SourMilk out
     
  9. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    I'm not very sure about the Free versions, but as a registered user of AVG Anti-Malware, I will say that this product certainly matches up with some of the "better" products out there. It can be slightly heavy at times (even if only for a second), but whatever Grisoft did to integrate the Ewido and AVG engines together has really paid off. While I've not had much experience with how it deals with viruses, it has caught a lot of trojans that I normally wouldn't have expected AVG to catch. Some of these were heuristic detections (pretty surprising) and sometimes these samples were missed by the likes of Dr.Web.

    So overall, their paid versions are worth it, and are efective in what they do. I haven't tried any repacked samples, but I suppose it shouldn't be a problem considering that AVG Anti-Malware probably uses Ewido's generic unpacker technology anyway. :)

    About detection rates, their trojan detection rate is certainly very nice. As for other things, the primary reason why AVG used to get only "standard" ratings in AV-comparatives were a bit poor detection of DOS viruses and horrible detection rates of script malware (not to mention polymorphics, AVG really sucked a lot on this matter in the past). Grisoft has made a lot of efforts to get their detection rates up, and while I won't be saying that its going to be amongst the top, I will say that most experts agree here that AVG has noticeably improved in the past months in those areas where they were weak in detection. Personally, I think AVG will just about make it to the "Standard" level in the coming AV-C test, though I shouldn't rule out the possibility of it failing as improvement in areas like script malware and polymorphics often takes ~1 year to successfully complete. :)
     
  10. C.S.J

    C.S.J Massive Poster

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    this forum is biased!
    i agree, its a good thing and they have done it well.

    my only concern will be FP's, avg had very few but ewido has ALOT, hope it doesnt ruin it in the tests.
     
  11. solcroft

    solcroft Registered Member

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    I'm not very familiar with Ewido scanning technology, but if they do incorporate a generic unpacker as you say, I think Grisoft has yet to completely integrate it into their antivirus package. I tested a handful of packed and unpacked samples (UPX) and AVG doesn't get them all, which leads me to believe that AVG deals with packers simply by adding their signatures as the variants arise.

    And while we're on the subject of trojan detection, there seems to be another peculiarity in that Grisoft has decided to "outsource" trojan detection to its anti-spyware program, at least partially. On its own, I find AVG's trojan detection average at best, especially when you throw in repacked/unpacked variants.

    I wouldn't be quite concerned about these issues, though, were it not for the company's general attitude. I have submitted 4 malware samples to them a which were undetected by AVG - the samples were live ones, their malicious behaviour verified by Cyberhawk and a sandbox program. That was a week ago, and till now I haven't heard anything from the company, nor has AVG managed to detect the samples. Average detection rates is one thing, but a company willing to turn a blind eye to malware its products do not detect raises a few doubts.
     
  12. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    Very true, the only advantage to useing AVG is that it is free. If you want good protection this is not the way to go. The detection rate is way to low.:thumbd:
     
  13. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    I think its real world protection is very good. I used it for a good number of years and it saved me quite a few times. Its free and its fast so i can't complain.
     
  14. ellison64

    ellison64 Registered Member

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    I think AVGs ok too.I dont even bother thinking detection rates and numbers any more.If one detects 95000 and another detects 100000 it doesnt bother me that much personally any more.As long as its a reputable av with a proven track record.In theory i guess it means there are 5000 nasties out there that my av wont detect,that another will.It sounds rather a lot and quite frightening.In reality though it isnt.Most people (imo) usually get viruses because they have no av at all and dont safe surf or they have an av which is not updated to contain the most prevalent viruses at that time.AVG is very simple to use and updates easily and regularly.Even the complete novice has a good degree of protection with an av that just works and updates well.
    ellison
     
  15. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    if you want a decent free av go for avast home or antivir classic both have better detection rates.
    someone in my class had a really infected pc after tons of illigal p2p.
    the only secuirity they had installed and im not joking wait for it...
    avg free 7.0:D
    i cleaned out most of using drweb cureit im sure he has picked up most of the crap again since he still does p2p
    lodore
     
  16. C.S.J

    C.S.J Massive Poster

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    this forum is biased!
    i like AVG, definatly 'worth the time'
     
  17. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    have you got any avg on any of your pc's chris?
    because i wonder if it stops the nastys since you always say your not the safest surfer:D
    lodore
     
  18. C.S.J

    C.S.J Massive Poster

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    this forum is biased!
    well i dont have the free one, but the suite i use on one pc. its a 2 year licence so im gonna keep it on there till then, and happy too aswell.

    but i use my laptop more, with dr.web :)

    both keep them clean, but handle viruses perfectly and both run super quick.
     
  19. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    ok then.
    my tests dont work to well wince my pc's are always clean and im a safe surfer so i needed to ask someone who goes to the dark side:D
    lodore
     
  20. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    I will agree with you on the malware submission system of Grisoft. The problem is, Grisoft regards all malware submissions as a technical support issue. And if someone does not describe the serial number for their paid version of AVG while sending malware for submission, they are regarded as a "free user" and all technical support is discarded, due to which malware submissions are not processed. I usually do include my registered AVG license number when I make a submission, and I always get a reply in ~36 hours and the samples are usually added in the next update.

    Regarding trojan detection, all samples I've sent them recently were added both to the standard AVG engines as well as the AVG AntiSpyware engine. I do not know whats up with that though, as it seems to me that no particular priority is given to either engine when it comes to trojan detection.

    As regards Ewido's generic unpacker technology, AVG basically now owns two engines. One is the former Ewido engine, which they use in their AntiSpyware package, and the other is the normal AVG engine used in AVG Free and pro editions. AVG Anti-Malware, though regarded as Ewido+AVG engines combined, seems to be much different than just putting the two engines together, considering its functionally different from both AVG Anti-Spyware and AVG Professional. For example, AVG Anti-Malware has Windows Vista support, but AVG Anti-Spyware does not have this support (shouldn't have been a problem if both products use the same Ewido engine in the same form).

    It should also be noted that Grisoft wouldn't just splice together two engines, one of which has better unpack engines and can only be used for trojan detection because that is what Ewido was doing. Considering the compatibility differences between AVG Anti-Spyware and Anti-Malware, it seems to me that they managed to integrate Ewido's technology and database into the AVG engine itself.
     
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