For a long time the free version was enough. Then I began to notice a trend. People running AVG were becoming infected with threats not detected by the free version. So I began recommending the paid version of the suite, known as AVG Internet Security. However, after testing AVG 2011, I have some qualms about this new version.
First, AVG 2011 is a memory hog. If you have an older computer it may slow you down, although this could be said of any security program. Reports of bugs in AVG 2011′s LinkScanner also give me pause. This will slow down your computer as well as your network. Not everyone has experienced this, however; PC Magazine reports that their tests showed AVG had a small effect on system performance.
On the plus side, it’s easy to use and offers solid protection. I also like the LinkScanner feature that checks your Facebook posts and marks them as safe. My hope is that AVG will resolve any issues and that AVG 2011 will continue to provide people with strong security software.
What are your alternatives? I still don’t recommend Norton or McAfee because they’re also memory hogs (especially Norton). But, I’d rather have you using one of those than nothing. What I really want is a security suite with a high detection rate and a small impact on system performance. You could try Kapersky Internet Security 2011, although its interface is not as friendly for non-technical users. Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2011 is good but scored weak on malware removal. Webroot Internet Security Complete 2011 is another option. The thing I don’t like about it is that its firewall constantly pops up warnings, a big turn-off for most users.
In short, there is no one right answer to security software for Windows. If you have an older computer, you’ll want a solution that doesn’t bog you down. If you have a mobile computer, you’ll want strong WiFi protection. If you don’t do much surfing, a free solution may suffice. The best way to determine your needs is to have a computer professional assess your environment and make a recommendation.