AVG Anti-Virus Free has been my antivirus of choice for the past five or six years. I like its ease of use, its moderation in system resources usage and the fact that it hardly shows any window or notification. I’ve installed and tried every single new version, including AVG Anti-Virus Free 9.0, which came out only yesterday and works really well – as usual.
But I have to say that this latest version includes also some annoying little features I didn’t like at all, chiefly regarding my browser configuration. For me, browser settings are untouchable and no program should be allowed to mess with that – not even my dear old AVG Anti-Virus. I hope this is not the beginning of the end for our relationship… well, as long as I have a way to revert those changes, it won’t be.
So, what does AVG change in your browser? First, the installer includes the AVG Security toolbar for the browser. There’s nothing wrong with this toolbar; actually, it’s actually a nice security addition for your browser. But if you don’t pay attention, you’ll also let AVG change your default search engine to Yahoo!.
Of course, if you did miss that option and let AVG change the search engine, you can always change it back to Google (or whichever you use) within the web browser. The funny thing is that AVG Anti-Virus will warn you as if it was some piece of malware trying to modify your browser settings!
All you have to do is click the icon on the system tray and confirm the change in the following dialog window.
Another thing AVG Anti-Virus changes – and this time, without letting you know – is the New tab page. Once the AVG Toolbar is installed, your New tab page will look like this:
If you prefer to use the standard blank page instead, click the small black arrow beside the AVG logo on the AVG Toolbar and select Options. Then click Advanced Options and untick “Show Yahoo! search box on new tabs in the browser”. That should bring you back to the standard New tab page.
Like I said, the changes that AVG Anti-Virus 9 applies to your browser are not critical and won’t affect the browser functionality or compromise your system’s security. But it’s the kind of detail that can make you immediately dislike a program, and even switch to another one if the long run. I just hope AVG Anti-Virus doesn’t go any further in this direction, so I don’t have to take any drastic action like changing antivirus provider!