Advice Request Is Avast and AVG still popular as an Antivirus?

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SeriousHoax

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Mar 16, 2019
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Yeah, of course. They got some bad reputation due to that Jumpshot scandal and nags & upselling in their free version but as an Antivirus it's solid and definitely one of the best out there.
It was pretty good before they merged with AVG but became a lot better after. Many of AVG's technology like the behavior blocker and system-wide web blocking are tech from AVG.
It looks like the AVG brand will stay. There hasn't been any indication of canceling it. The main/only difference between them is the UI.
Looks like you're interested in the paid versions and in that case you won't have to worry about nags. They even have a separate option to turn off any such notifications and offers.
I'm a big fan of Avast's automated signature creation system that can create generic signatures on the fly within minutes after submission and immediately pushes them to user's device via their streaming updates. Every Avast user always has the latest update. You don't have to think about performing a signature update before scanning something.
So yeah, as an AV it's very good. How it performs on your device and whether you like other things about it is something you will have to check by yourself.
 

Bumblebee Uncle

Level 3
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Mar 15, 2022
108
Yeah, of course. They got some bad reputation due to that Jumpshot scandal and nags & upselling in their free version but as an Antivirus it's solid and definitely one of the best out there.
It was pretty good before they merged with AVG but became a lot better after. Many of AVG's technology like the behavior blocker and system-wide web blocking are tech from AVG.
It looks like the AVG brand will stay. There hasn't been any indication of canceling it. The main/only difference between them is the UI.
Looks like you're interested in the paid versions and in that case you won't have to worry about nags. They even have a separate option to turn off any such notifications and offers.
I'm a big fan of Avast's automated signature creation system that can create generic signatures on the fly within minutes after submission and immediately pushes them to user's device via their streaming updates. Every Avast user always has the latest update. You don't have to think about performing a signature update before scanning something.
So yeah, as an AV it's very good. How it performs on your device and whether you like other things about it is something you will have to check by yourself.
I am interested in understanding automate signature creation? Can you direct me to where I can learn about this? Also, how does one know when using Avast that this is something which is taking place internally?
 

Bot

AI-powered Bot
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Apr 21, 2016
3,123
Yes, AVG is still used by users even after the merger with Avast. In fact, the merger has resulted in the integration of some AVG technologies into Avast's products, making them even more efficient and powerful.

As for Avast, the most popular product is Avast Free Antivirus. This is because it offers powerful features such as real-time malware protection, a high detection rate for malware, and a user-friendly interface. Additionally, it's a free product, which makes it accessible to a wide range of users.

The other products, such as Avast One, Ultimate Suite, and Premium Security, offer more advanced features such as enhanced privacy protection, firewall protection, and online banking protection. These products are aimed at users who require more comprehensive protection for their devices and personal information.
 

Trident

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Feb 7, 2023
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I am interested in understanding automate signature creation? Can you direct me to where I can learn about this? Also, how does one know when using Avast that this is something which is taking place internally?
The automatic signature creation is a patented Avast process called Evo-Gen (others have a form of that too).
Avast data scientists have developed ways to extract few bytes of similarity from a large, unorganised pile of mess (malware). Using machine learning and behavioural detection, signature is created in a matter of minutes, tested for false positives and delivered as a streaming update.

More can be learned here:

More on Avast machine learning (they are really into it):

Avast has a patent that creates a pipeline through which a single sample can train their ML/AI in few hours.

Avast constantly files for and is being granted new patents, many of which relate to machine learning and classifiers. These patents can be seen here:

The way we know it’s taking place internally is we have obtained undetected samples and in minutes Avast detects them.
 
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SeriousHoax

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I am interested in understanding automate signature creation? Can you direct me to where I can learn about this? Also, how does one know when using Avast that this is something which is taking place internally?
Sorry I missed your question when you commented. But anyway I first learned about it from @Trident so it's even better that he has answered and provided many sources including his personal experience with it. Same experience for me, the last time is as recently as a week ago when an undetected sample got detected by Avast by local signatures within 10 mins of my submission. These are not just file hash-based blocks btw (It is also explained in the provided sources above). Changing file hash has no impact, they're still detected.
 

Ink

Administrator
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Jan 8, 2011
22,389
AVG merged with Avast few years ago. So is AVG still used by users?
Avast has many products - Avast One, Ultimate Suite, Premium Security - Which one is most popular and why
Even if they look or function near identical, each product their own user bases. If Avast theoretically did force AVG users to switch, some might leave all together, but will not affect their overall user base. See who own's Avast, AVG, Avira and Norton: Gen Digital - Wikipedia

Any claims on their website claiming to be "Most Popular" is merely marketing*. The most popular would be the Free version, because it's a free software.

Edit: *I should have clarified that their "Most Popular" package is their Free version, not Avast One or Premium Security.

Do I recommend Avast or AVG? No.
Can anyone stop you from using Avast or AVG? No.
Should you try before you buy? Yes

They offer - correct as of date posted
  • Avast Free Antivirus - Single (1)
  • Avast Premium Security - Single (1) and Multi-license (10)
  • Avast One - Individual (5) and Family (30)
Additional services:
  • SecureLine VPN - Subscription / Bundle
  • Anti-Track - Subscription / Bundle
  • Secure Browser - Free
  • Secure Browser Pro - Subscription / Bundle
  • BreachGuard - Subscription / Bundle
  • Online Security for Browsers - Free
  • Cleanup - Subscription / Bundle
  • Driver Updater - Subscription / Bundle
Bare minimum requirements:
  • Windows 7
  • Mac 10.12
  • Android 6
  • iOS 12
 
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Trident

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Any claims on their website claiming to be "Most Popular" is merely marketing. The most popular would be the Free version, because it's a free software.
There are many free products available, throughout the years many have gained popularity (Ad-Aware, Baidu and many others) and many aren’t even remembered or maintained today. Throughout the years Avast has continuously maintained popularity. So the marketing is not misleading, they are popular.
Although most of the users are free, there is a generous revenue stream so someone is paying for the products.
 

Ink

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So the marketing is not misleading, they are popular.
Although most of the users are free, there is a generous revenue stream so someone is paying for the products.
I should have clarified that their "Most Popular" package is their Free version, not Avast One or Premium Security.
 

Trident

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I should have clarified that their "Most Popular" package is their Free version, not Avast One or Premium Security.
That’s because they are generous and their free package includes everything that most users need - many paid products (such as Malwarebytes for example) will charge users for a slightly narrower feature set. The core Avast technologies are the File Shield (or simply put Antivirus), Behaviour Shield, Web Shield (that one is very important as it can frequently block connections to C&C and additional payloads from being deployed) and the Ransomware Shield. There is even a simple firewall implementation in the free product.

There is no urgent need for users to upgrade and deploy other features. Kudos to Avast for providing all that and not a free “Cloud Antivirus” that gets suspended a year after (we remember McAfee).
 

Ink

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Jan 8, 2011
22,389
That’s because they are generous and their free package includes everything that most users need - many paid products (such as Malwarebytes for example) will charge users for a slightly narrower feature set. The core Avast technologies are the File Shield (or simply put Antivirus), Behaviour Shield, Web Shield (that one is very important as it can frequently block connections to C&C and additional payloads from being deployed) and the Ransomware Shield. There is even a simple firewall implementation in the free product.

There is no urgent need for users to upgrade and deploy other features. Kudos to Avast for providing all that and not a free “Cloud Antivirus” that gets suspended a year after (we remember McAfee).
That's unrelated to what I commented.
 

Trident

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That's unrelated to what I commented.
It’s related to their popularity which has been discussed in an earlier post.

@omidomi ZoneAlarm has had a free version for at least 10 years. And most likely 7/10 users don’t even know it exists. So any free software is popular when it’s good, not only when it’s for free 😀
 

monkeylove

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Mar 9, 2014
457
Recently, I tried the ff. free products, with as many notifications for upgrade ads disabled, and anything like silent mode and game mode enabled:

Kaspersky Security Cloud - updates to Free Antivirus; popups for upgrades still show up; also, sometimes some forum pages I revisit don't load fully, even though I keep refreshing, clearing the cache, and turning off any adblockers (I use Adguard for Desktop, and experimented with turning off and tweaking browsing security, DNS protection, stealth mode, the WFP driver, etc., after being told that conflict between it and AVs may take place);

Bitdefender Free - no popups, but the behavior's weird; for example, in some places downloading the installer can be slow (it speeds up if I use a VPN), it takes a while for the icon in the system tray to show up after the AV is updated, and some forum pages I revisit are not loaded fully even after I keep clearing the cache (same problem as above); I'm not sure if there's some conflict with Adguard;

Avast Free - popup for upgrades now show up; has an annoying feature where it shows a blue dot in its system tray icon to indicate that a site has been blocked, but it's not a deal breaker;

Avast One - I think there were no popups, but many features not needed can't be disabled; it scores the lowest in Novabench, but not as bad as Windows Security; also, oh my eyes...no dark mode;

AVG - OK so far, but I don't know if popups will eventually appear, and a similar issue as Avast concerning the blue dot;

Given that, I've been using Avast Free, but am re-trying AVG because of the popups.

As an alternative to those two, maybe I can just use uBlock Origin for browsers, and then just use Adguard to block ads in apps like Ferdium, which has no ad blockers.
 

monkeylove

Level 10
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Mar 9, 2014
457
In terms of Novabench, the results are the same, but Avast feels faster.

As an aside, I had difficulty with AVG. When I did a clean uninstall using the company remover tool, some of it was still left in components sections as seen in sfc /scannow, and couldn't be removed. I had to do a repair upgrade of Win 10.
 

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