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AVG Internet Security 2012

"Thoroughly recommended"
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AVG Internet Security 2012 is the home user version of AVG’s latest online security software product range, and it aims to provide users with protection when browsing, viewing online content and using social networks. AVG Internet Security 2012, according to AVG’s brief, covers threats such as identity theft, viruses and risks arising from online transactions.

What we like best

The main new feature added on to AVG’s Internet Security software from the 2011 version is the AVG Accelerator. As the name suggests, it’s there to speed up the process of downloading and accessing “content-rich” files.

We tried to watch the “American Juggalo” documentary (about the fans of the controversial rap group Insane Clown Posse) on the video streaming website Vimeo, and did note a slight improvement in the buffering speed and the quality of the playback.

It wasn’t lag-free by any means, but improving your viewing pleasure isn’t a security software’s main aim anyway. YouTube videos on the other hand did run noticeably smoother – even longer ones (10mins+). A couple of little online games (over on ran fine, too.

Antivirus software is judged by the extent to which it makes itself known, and in that department, AVG Internet Security 2012 scores very high. There is an icon in the browser toolbar from where users can access Microsoft Windows applications with one click, as well as shortcut buttons for weather updates and your Facebook account. Apart from one pop-up telling us to maybe close one or two browser tabs, we experienced next to no interference in the shape of alerts or notifications whilst surfing the web.

AVG Secure Search page

The Email scanner slots neatly into the Outlook toolbar at the top and is minimalistic and user-friendly in its interface.

The general user interface is laid out logically if a bit blandly and will be recognisable to any Windows user, and the Secure Search function (powered by Google) works well too – it displays a little green icon to indicate whether individual search results are considered safe. It can be easily disabled via the browser’s ‘Tools’ tab.

Installation was as pain-free as you’d like, only the compulsory initial scan took a while and did affect our other running applications (Word, Outlook, Firefox) ever so slightly.

What we like least

Shortly after the initial scan, we ran another one, which took almost as long and had the same annoying impact on our other applications. The AVG application itself was a bit moody during the scan, meaning we could only halt the scan after trying multiple times to access the general interface.

The verdict

Apart from the relative unattractiveness of the interface and the laborious scanning, we could find very little fault with AVG Internet Security 2012. At £40, it is cheaper than a fair few of its competitors, and represents excellent value at that price. Thoroughly recommended for the hassle-free usability and lack of intrusiveness.

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System Requirements

  • Intel Pentium 1.5 GHz processor or faster
  • 512 Mb of RAM
  • 1 Gb of hard drive space (for installation)


Faster system start-up and support for Flash and HD video
AVG Accelerator accelerates download of content-rich files
AVG Firewall prevents inbound and outbound attacks
Identity Protection
AVG Social Networking Protection
AVG Email Scanner

Type of Antivirus

Online Security

Product Description

The Antivirus and Firewall package provides comprehensive protection from viruses and a firewall to keep you safe.

The Linkscanner feature actively blocks malicious content, Web Shield protects your computer when you download or exchange files by searching for threats. E-mail Scanner keeps you safe from dangerous attachments and links in the e-mail.

The firewall is strong but still needs to be told what can and cannot access the net, otherwise it is set prohibitively high. You get basic rootkit protection and phishing protection, but there’s no anti-spam feature.

Very simple user interface

The user interface is really simple; with three tabs on the left hand side. The top tab “overview” tells you whether each of the ten components are working properly, if it’s broken or stopped click on the icon for options.

Under the second tab “computer scan” you can schedule a computer scan or do a one off scan of particular files and folders.

You will be asked if you want to install the AVG security toolbar on your web browser. This doesn’t do a lot and comes with a rather annoying Yahoo toolbar, so it’s probably not worth installing.

AVG provide a solid protection package here, that’s only really let down by the lack of firewall and that tool bar.

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