A few years back the folks at Grisoft shook up the security software industry with its release of AVG Anti-Virus Free, a complete and full-featured anti-virus program for non-commercial use.
After a merger with anti-spyware developer ewido networks, the popular ewido anti-spyware 4.0 was brought into the AVG fold, renumbered to the current AVG's current round of 7.5 releases. While a free version of AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5 is available for personal use (scanning and removal only, no real-time protection or automatic updates), the paid version was used for this test.
While renamed and renumbered, the AVG Anti-Spyware interface still screams of the ewido original. That's not necessarily a bad thing because it's always been relatively intuitive and easy to use. The installation process on our infected system went off without a hitch, and we immediately launched into a Full scan from the list of five available options.
While the full scan was a little on the slow side (it took just under 25 minutes to complete), AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5 is pretty reasonable with resource utilisation, keeping memory and CPU usage to levels that enable other tasks to be performed simultaneously if necessary.
The first full scan managed to detect and remove all of the major threats present on our infected system, taking the time to point out those which were just traces. A reboot and second scan brought two items back to light, but these were gone after another removal and restart.
AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5 did manage to rid our system of the browser hijack and DNS Trojan present, but left us with malicious DNS addresses and our browser home page settings intact. A quick change of both manually had us good as new.
AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5 also offers excellent real-time protection via its resident shields. The alert messages provided by the program are clear when threats are encountered, leaving little to guesswork.
The program itself after does a good job of explaining its settings and warning you of potential dangers, should you attempt to change any critical setting. Items such as tracking cookies no longer need to be considered because the program will delete them automatically by default.
For those looking for some useful extra bits, the main program interface is worth browsing through. It's strictly business here, with analysis tools included to monitor active connections, processes, browser plugins, autostart entries and layered service providers. If you're the type who likes to see what's going on behind the scenes, AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5 has you covered.
Windows Vista users will be happy to know that their OS is fully supported, while those looking for a bargain would do well to note that as with most AVG products, the price is based on a two-year license rather than the single year you receive with most products.
Email support is available to registered paid users, while Free version users can find help in AVG's awesome support forums. Overall, this is an excellent product with a bright future.