Saturday, May 10, 2008

Some geekery for you

You guys probably all know I'm an IT guy. We deal with a lot of security stuff, and I'm our primary anti-virus administrator, so work with AV software daily. Managing alot of machines in an enterprise environment means very different requirements than what you would generally use at home, but you always need some sort of anti-virus protection. Back in the day, you could probably just get away with common sense, but now malware has evolved into a whole different beast. There is a whole gray area between spyware and actual viruses, but even spyware these days is a very serious threat as most of it will install keyloggers and other nasties that jack your personal info.

As far as anti-virus clients go, the best I've used is a product called Nod32 from ESET, which is a paid, premium product. There are alot of free anti-virus software packages around too, of which Avast and AVG are two of the most popular (there is another called Avira that is good too). I've used them all, and AVG has always been my favorite because it is very very light on system resources (doesn't slow your pc down). AVG has always been pretty basic, but more than adequate for me. The truth is that when I work on peoples computers, 70-80% of them have whatever client was included when they bought it (Norton or Mcafee) and they've never paid to continue after the trial, so it hasn't been updated in forever which is just as bad as having nothing. AVG is a good option as its free and updates every day.

AVG has changed its game a little though. With version 7.x it was still a basic AV package. They just released 8.0 and totally redid the works. It now includes alot of other features that newer "internet security" software packages have (anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-rootkit, etc). I was really excited about it, until I used it. It has this feature called "linkscanner" that actually goes out ahead of you and scans whatever links you click on to make sure they're legit. This is excellent on paper, but in real life it slowed browsing down alot. To top it off, when you disable it, you get to look at a big red exclamation point on the tray icon, letting you know that something is broken (masking any other issues that you could be alerted to). Lots of people have been complaining that you can't uninstall linkscanner, or configure it to not install when you install AVG. I have found a solution.

AVG is building the options to disable linkscanner into the next revision, but until then, this is how you can install the package without it.

1) Download AVG 8.0 and save it to the ROOT of your c: drive (c:\). Click here to download.
2) Highlight the text below, right click and select Copy:

c:\avg_free_stf_en_8_100a1295.exe /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSurf /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSearch

3) Click Start, then Run.
4) Right click in the box, select Paste to enter the above text, hit Ok.

The installation will run as normal, but will not install Linkscanner.


G-reg said...