Security

Review: AVG Anti-Virus Professional 8.0

AVG's Anti-Virus Professional 8.0 security software is priced reasonably for commercial customers, boasts impressive detection rates, and requires few system resources to operate.

Proven antivirus, antispyware and antirootkit protection usually extracts a high price: processor cycles, memory and dollars. Not so with AVG's Anti-Virus Professional 8.0 security software. Priced reasonably for commercial customers, AVG's security software boasts impressive detection rates and requires few system resources to operate.

Editor's note: AVG Technologies released Anti-Virus Professional 8.5 on March 1, 2009.

Specifications:

  • Manufacturer: AVG Technologies
  • Product: AVG Anti-Virus Professional
  • Version: 8.0
  • File Size: 75MB
  • CPU: Intel Pentium 300MHz or faster
  • Disk Space: 30MB free
  • RAM: 256MB RAM or more
  • Operating systems: Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP / XP Pro x64 Edition / Vista / Vista x64 Edition
  • Languages: English, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovak and Spanish.
  • Price: $34.99 (license pack discounts available)
  • Additional information
  • Check out the AVG TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

AVG Technology's AVG Anti-Virus Professional 8.0 security software targets small businesses requiring multiple threat (virus, adware, spyware, rootkit, etc.) protection in a single, easily administered application and excels in protecting peer-to-peer and workgroup environments. Many small offices don't possess full-time IT staff, and those that do often find their IT departments understaffed and over challenged, making AVG's security software a great fit for their organizations. AVG Anti-Virus Professional is also an excellent security option for IT consultants who extend maintenance and service contracts to clients, as callbacks and troubleshooting/repair issues are rare.

What problem does it solve?

Windows security software is infamous for corrupting PCs and slowing system performance. In worst cases, antivirus and antispyware programs flat-out fail to provide adequate protection against a growing number of malicious programs, whether the culprit is troublesome rootkits, data-destroying viruses or performance-robbing Trojan infections. AVG's award-winning software — the recipient of ICSA Labs' and Virus Bulletin's 100% detection rate certifications, among others — delivers a proven detection and removal engine.

I've personally used AVG Anti-Virus Professional to locate, identify and remove viruses, worms, Trojans, rootkits and other forms of malware on systems running fully licensed, up-to-date competing products. The experience is no anomaly; I've encountered the scenario multiple times in which AVG must be deployed to clean numerous infections missed by a variety of other popular antivirus and antispyware programs.

Better yet, AVG Anti-Virus Professional 8.0 provides small businesses with an easily installed, easily maintained, automated security platform that, while providing superior coverage against multiple threats (including rootkits), doesn't place excessive demands upon Windows computers. With one- or two-year licensing options, and multiple seat discounts available, the software's priced very competitively, too.

Whereas many competing products often require additional payment for upgrade eligibility and support services, AVG includes those benefits with each AVG Anti-Virus Professional license it sells. Those features, combined with thorough Windows system coverage (including protection of files, e-mail, instant messaging and even peer-to-peer communications), make the software a smart investment for all small offices needing to properly and effectively secure their systems, minimize support and administration and maximize computer performance.

Standout features

  • Industry-leading detection - AVG Anti-Virus Professional protects users from a wide variety of exploits — including viruses, spyware, rootkits, drive-by infections and more — using award-winning technology. The company's security software is the recipient of awards and accolades from ICSA Labs, Virus Bulletin, West Coast Labs and other respected organizations.
  • Low overhead - Unlike many alternative antivirus and antispyware programs, some known to slow Windows' system performance, corrupt e-mail programs and otherwise impede productivity, AVG Anti-Virus Professional places minimal demands upon Windows systems. The result is better-performing, more secure PCs.
  • Fully automated - Once installed and configured, AVG Anti-Virus Professional runs essentially maintenance free. The program is easily configured to automate fully-customizable system scans. IT professionals also can easily automate program and virus updates.
  • Attractive pricing - AVG Anti-Virus Professional is priced competitively with other leading products. In fact, it's often less expensive than competing brands, and that's before calculating any multi-year or multi-seat discounts. With its well-performing detection engine and low resource demands, it's easy to make the case that AVG delivers the most attractive total cost of ownership.
  • Included support/upgrades - Many antivirus and antispyware programs include additional charges for support and platform upgrades. AVG does not. When purchasing AVG Anti-Virus Professional, businesses receive upgrade rights and support for the life of the license.

What's wrong?

  • Incompatible as server protection - While compatible within server environments (AVG's AntiVirus works fine on desktops within small client-server environments), the software is not for use on Windows servers (including Small Business Server). Instead, AVG recommends deploying its server-specific applications, thereby creating a slight gap in coverage. Many small businesses choose to simply load a client antivirus license on a file server (such as can be done with Symantec Corporate Antivirus Edition), but AVG doesn't support such a scenario for its Anti-Virus Professional software.
  • License confusion - AVG makes great inroads, and earns many technicians' trust, by offering its desktop antivirus software free for personal use. That's how many technical professionals first became familiar with the brand. However, the free version of AVG's antivirus program is limited to private, non-commercial, single computer use and cannot legally be used in any business capacity (including within nonprofit organizations). Unfortunately, some less scrupulous consultants and businesses ignore those restrictions and deploy the free version. When they do, besides violating the license, businesses do not receive support, customizable scans or the ability to update antivirus settings more frequently than once a day.

Competitive Products

Bottom line for business

AVG Anti-Virus Professional 8.0 delivers award-winning malware detection in a Windows-friendly application, whether end users operate 32- or 64-bit versions of XP or Vista. The software's ease of administration, comprehensive real-time protection, automated updates and schedulable scans make it a very strong candidate for most any businesses' peer-to-peer or workgroup environment. Small business IT consultants and staff will be hard pressed to find a better performing antivirus program for less expense.

User rating

Have you encountered or deployed AVG Anti-Virus Professional 8.0? What do you think? Rate the unit below and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of AVG Anti-Virus Professional 8.0 in the TechRepublic Community Forum or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.

About

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

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