August 18, 2009, 10:48 AM — I've long recommended to my Windows using friends who wanted a free or inexpensive A/V (anti-viral) program that they use AVG Technologies' AVG Free or AVG Internet Security. I licensed multi-user copies myself for my Windows networks. That was then. This is now.
AVG has lost some of its luster. While the program is still reasonably fast and is easy to set up, in one recent A/V tests its ability to spot malware was quite poor. I ran my own version of this test on a Windows 7 VirtualBox Virtual Machine, and well AVG did much better, it still didn't find as many bugs as the German G Data, today's Gold medal A/V program or Avira, my current pick of the English language A/V program litter.
More significantly, AVG recently misidentified critical files in Apple's iTunes application as malware, This made it impossible to run iTunes. Ow!
Now false positives, when an A/V program misidentifies a threat, happen quite a lot. But, I can't recall ever seeing a blunder this big. ITunes may not be as popular as say Microsoft Office, but it's got to be one of the most top ten Windows applications out there. How can anyone with decent quality assurance release an A/V update that blows iTunes up!?
In addition, AVG has started using nag announcements with the free version of their program. I've always hated nag-screens, and while AVG's aren't that bad, I'd rather not see any.
If all there was to complain about was a nag-screen I'd still be recommending AVG. These other quality problems though have me concerned. So, until AVG gets it act together, I'm going to be recommending the aforementioned AVG alternatives and other programs such as ESET NOD32 and Kaspersky Labs' Kaspersky 2010 for my Windows using customers and friends.
With the Internet becoming ever more dangerous for Windows-based PCs, I can't recommend a program that's seems to have slipped from its once lofty peak. I hope AVG climbs back, but, for now, AVG is no longer on my recommended A/V program list.