'AVG 9.0 is Faster, Safer and Easier to Use'

by Sharon Lobo    Oct 07, 2009

Give us an overview of the enhancements in AVG 9.0?

Compared to the previous version of AVG, AVG 9.0 is much faster, safer and easier to use. I will focus on these three key elements one by one.

Faster: We have managed to reduce scanning time in AVG 9.0 by 50 percent. This would appeal to a majority of antivirus users who always complain about their PC being slow during scanning. Additionally we have also simplified the interface and the functionality of the firewall. AVG 9.0 also delivers an improved performance over its predecessor by over 10-15 percent.

Safer: Currently, over 80,000 viruses are released everyday; therefore to counter such a large number of malware, AVG 9.0 has been enhanced with a combination of different anti-malware technologies. These include signature technology, behavioural based computing, in the cloud solutions and white listing etc. Also in AVG 9.0, all these anti-malware technologies interact with each by sharing data, and sharing best practices.

Easier to use: Most people believe their computers can infected by malware only through file sharing, however the truth is over 60 percent of malware threat originates from web pages. To counter this growing threat, AVG 9.0 has an improved LinkScanner, which allows users to access web pages which are free of malware. Unlike some of our competitor’s products, LinkScanner does not blacklist an entire infected website, instead it blacklists only the infected pages.

Apart from these features, AVG 9.0 has a sleeker and better interface, which also enables new users to get accustomed to the software much faster. We have also reduced the number of screens during installation from 22 to 11 screens. AVG 9.0 has an application remover, which enables users to remove any other security product from their computers before they can install AVG 9.0 only through a simple click.

In AVG firewall 8.5, users were required to create numerous profiles. How has AVG 9.0 been improved on this front?

We received a lot of feedback from users regarding this issue; therefore we have made AVG 9.0’s firewall more intuitive to users. Now you would not be required to create a new profile every single time. Also, as most users are shifting to cloud-based computing, this new enhancement would require less user intervention in setting up the firewall.

What are the emerging threats and how is AVG 9.0 capable of tackling this menace?

Currently, identity theft and stealing of personal information are the emerging threats. Earlier, cyber-criminals or hackers would create malicious codes or hack websites to garner fame, but nowadays they steal bank or credit card details to make money, or steal somebody’s personal details to create fake IDs. While ID theft is on the rise in the UK, it is also spreading throughout the world. New computer users are more susceptible to such online threats, especially in country like India where the number of new computer users is on the rise.

We have a product called AVG Identity Protection (IDP) which provides an extra layer of protection apart from the antivirus. It is available as a standalone product and also comes built-in with AVG 9.0 Internet Security. AVG IDP is similar to heuristic behavioural basis scanning, which looks for any program that behaves suspiciously. If such a program is found AVG IDP immediately alerts the user and enables to user to either delete the program or quarantine it.

You mentioned that AVG IDP is also sold as a standalone product, will there be any compatibility issues if the user uses a non-AVG security product along with IDP?

We have made AVG IDP compatible with most antivirus and firewall products available in the market, therefore if a users uses IDP, along with any other company’s security product, they would not face any compatibility issues.

AVG also provides its standalone antivirus as a free product, what is the reason behind this? And is there any difference in terms of protection between the paid version and free version?

We offer a free version of AVG, because as an organisation we believe every computer user is entitled to a form of protection from malware and it should not be a luxury only to those people who can afford to buy it. This is where we have an edge over our competitors because we have a product for every type of demographic from both a technical perspective as well as a commercial perspective. Also there is no difference between the paid version and the free version of AVG antivirus in terms of protection.

The Smartphone market in India is growing exponentially, so does AVG have any plans of launching a security product for such devices?

Currently, we do not have a Smartphone-based application; however, in future we might develop a product for this segment.

Have you any plans to tie-up with PC vendors, so you can bundle AVG products along with the PC vendor’s products?

We have such tie-ups with PC vendors all over the world and currently we are in talks with some OEMs to bundle our products with theirs. However, unlike other antivirus companies who bundle a trial version of their products with PCs, we will not do such a thing. The reason for this being people in India do not prefer to have trial software installed on their PC as they feel it is of very little value to them. Therefore we will only bundle the full version of our products. We are also in talks with some ISPs for such tie-ups.

Earlier this year, AVG had commercially launched its products in India. How has the response been so far?

So far the response has been phenomenal. Milestone Interactive, our sole distributor in India, has put in a lot of effort on recruiting resellers and creating new relationships with all LFRs (Large Format Retail Stores). Currently, we have over 1.2 million users in India, these include both paid as well as free AVG product users. Overall, we are pleased with the progress we have made in India till date.

In India are you primarily targeting the consumers or the businesses?

We are concentrating on both segments currently, we will concentrate very hard on the consumer business through traditional retailers, LFRs etc. Additionally, we will also focus on SMBs through our reseller channel.

As mentioned, AVG has over 1.2 million users. How do you plan to increase this number?

Growth is important to every organisation; however, in India, for us it is important that we create a good network of people through retailers, LFRs, ISPs, PC vendors. We will spend a lot of time in educating consumers, SMBs and resellers. Additionally, we will provide good support, so that users can trust AVG to resolve their issues quickly. Currently, we have 12 percent and 13 percent market share in the UK and the US respectively, so we plan to have a similar market share in India as well.

What are the products you have recently launched in India and what is the pricing like?

The following are the products we have launched, along with the pricing:
AVG Anti-Virus (one-year subscription, one user license) - Rs 1001
AVG Anti-Virus (two-years subscription, one user license) - Rs 1,488
AVG Internet Security (one-year subscription, one user license) - Rs 1574
AVG Internet Security (one-year subscription, three user license) - Rs 2147
AVG Internet Security (two-years subscription, one user license) - Rs 2348
AVG Identity Protection (one-year subscription, one user license) - Rs 572

Also, on the consumer products, users can buy up to 10 licenses for AVG antivirus, internet security and IDP products. While on the SMB products, we offer much more licenses per product.