AVG 8.0 – What a Disaster

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

For many years I have used Grisoft's AVG anti-virus software, the FREE editions, from about 5.something onwards. Until recently I have had AVG FREE version 7.5 on my computer and have had absolutely no problem with this software whatsoever. Every virus that circulated and somehow came my way AVG dealt with immediately and dealt with it well.

I have had heard rather negative reports about the latest version of the AVG anti-virus program from Grisoft, namely AVG 8.0, including in the pages of “Computer active” magazine, but have reluctant to believe them I have always been rather positive inclined towards AVG, as it has done a great job for me over the years. Every virus, as said already, that was in circulation on the Internet and cam my way, AVG always dealt with and killed them with, maybe one or two zero day attacks that I had to deal with in another way, but that was a number of years ago. But it is NOT any viruses that may have been let through in this instance.

The other day I was prompted to install the upgrade from AVG 7.5 FREE to AVG 8.0, as AVG is removing support from AVG 7.5 on May 31, 2008, and this is when the problems began.

Having followed the advice to upgrade to AVG 8.0 from AVG 7.5, due to the already mentioned fact that the company if removing support from the latter in the form of updated and we all know that without the virus updates any anti-virus software is useless – I did so downloaded AVG 8.0 (build 100) and installed it on my PC. This was, as I found out, a very bad move and idea indeed.

Why? Because nothing worked anymore. The PC kept freezing up and had to be crash-shut down again and again. I spent, literally, hours trying to get the PC to work with the AVG anti-virus. After about five or six attempts I then decided that enough was enough and that AVG 8 was/is useless and a problem I decided to uninstall AVG 8 and then to simply get another free anti-virus program.

You would think that uninstalling it should have been easy but do not be fooled. It took several attempt and working basically in safe mode to actually being able to get the darned thing off the PC again. Phew!!!

I shall think that I will never again, in my live, most likely, unless some serious improvements be made to the software, use and especially recommend AVG anti-virus and other security software to anyone and especially our readers, as I have done in the past.

So, now we have had a PC without protection against viruses and such. What to do?

I simply found the website of BitDefender and downloaded the latest version, BitDefender 10 and installed the same. The interface and all is a little bit a learning curve as it is not as intuitive as was AVG but the scanning options are much broader, especially the ability to predetermine scan times for a variety of scanning tasks. It has to be said though that a full in depth scan can take hours, literally.

On the other hand, during that deep scan, two viruses were located that AVG 7.5 never seems to have come across. They were, however, not in any dangerous location but simply in the Temporary Internet Files. One, a Trojan, BitDefender was unable to isolate but, as far as I know, should now have gone as I removed all files out of the Temporary Internet files. The only way to deal with those things.

So, in summing up I must say that what “Computer active” said about AVG 8.0 is probably right and they did not even mention the fact that it is difficult to get a PC to work with that software and that it is extremely difficult, to say the least, to get rid off AVG 8.0 again once it is on the PC.

I cannot, as yet, be the judge as regards to BitDefender, as I have not had it on the system long enough to see how it performs under attack.

I may just have had a strange experience with the latest AVG but I had the problem with a download and with a copy on a CD. So, as far as I am concerned the jury had returned and found the defendant guilty as charged. Be careful with the latest version of AVG unless you have a lot of resources, e.g. a RAM of 512MB or higher.

© M Smith (Veshengro), May 2008