New AVG Anti-virus software Hammers Internet with additional Traffic


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About two months ago, I upgraded my client to the new version of AVG.  I’ve used this product for several years, mostly because it’s free.  I had some annoying issues with the free version because of an incompatibility with Vista’s new security method where session 0 is no longer available.  The console session in XP was Session 0, but in Vista it is the context only services run under.  The purpose is to isolate the user’s GUI from services that may be malicious.  The user now logs into session 1.  Services that need to pop-up messages to the user would just send the command to draw a pop-up message to the same session that it runs under (service account.)  In Vista with SP1 (yes, the initial release of Vista is sp1), they have “allowed’ services to send messages to console session 0 still, but it causes a pop-up stating there is an application that is trying to display a message.  You have to click on the window, and Vista switches the view to Console 0 session so that you can interact with the service.  AVG pop-ups for virus definition installation summary in 7.5 attempted to display summary and caused these interruptions, which was annoying weekly ritual.  Note that in the next service pack Microsoft has stated they will no longer provide this functionality; we will have to wait and see.  Remote control switches have changed for console sessions as well.

I had hoped V8.x would fix this, and it did. But it also seemed imagebloated to me.  I noticed that in my searches there were circles spinning as soon as I got results.  I quickly tracked it down to the new AVG link scanner.  It is supposed to check if a link is safe before you click on it.  That was annoying as hell to me because it was taking system resources, and was touching all these sites without my authority.    I went into the AVG control panel and disabled the feature.  I wondered how much additional traffic this was causing, and if it was going to throw off Google’s search / link tracking.  It turns out at least the former is true.  Wired noticed a significant increase in traffic to their site; read more about this here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/13/avg_scanner_skews_web_traffic_numbers/

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5 thoughts on “New AVG Anti-virus software Hammers Internet with additional Traffic

  1. Pingback: Follow-up: AVG next release disables web-flooding « A day in the life of a Presson…

  2. Pingback: avg software

  3. I have to admit I haven’t played around with all of the options in the new AVG Anti-Virus, v8.0 yet … but I was under the impression that the “link checking” only happened if you agreed to install the optional AVG Toolbar portion of the software during initial setup? With everyone seeming to want to add their toolbar to your browser during installation of practically anything these days, I usually opt NOT to do so whenever I’m given the choice…..

    Also, last time I checked, the free Avast! virus-scanner didn’t specifically scan for spyware. Not sure if that’s changed recently or not, but AVG 8.0 does incorporate the formerly separate “AVG Anti-Spyware” product now, making another good reason to use it over competitors, in my opinion.

    One thing I really dislike with AVG is the way they handled the expiry of the last free version, 7.5. The notifications that it was expiring made it sound like users had to PAY for a copy of version 8.0 – instead of directing them to a link where the FREE version was available to download. Several of my customers almost paid for it, when clearly, they had no need to do so. (EG. They had it installed on only ONE computer being used at home vs. in a business setting.)

  4. interesting.

    A while back I switched away from AVG to Avast! Home Edition, also free, after reading a publication that studied average time to update for the last 12 months. The free providers lagged the average pay provider by less than 2 hours, and Avast had a slight edge (minutes at best) over AVG so I gave it a shot. I’ve had no problems and am quite happy with it, but I know AVG is a lot more popular.

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