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From AVG to Avast to Anything Else (almost)

Over the last 13 years or so, I have personally been responsible for the sale, installation and fine-tuning of at least four thousand (4,000) licenses of AVG AntiVirus products of one kind or another.  The reason is this.  It has very simply been the most effective Windows based protection available.  At the same time, AVG uses the least amount of resources to accomplish this task.  McAfee is probably the worst, loading in the neighborhood of 20 processes to do a poor job of protecting your computer.

As you might imagine, over the span of more than a decade I have had many interactions with both sales and support at AVG.  I can categorize these events as generally unsatisfactory, and the ONLY reason I have continued to use their product is for the reasons mentioned above.  It does the best job of protecting your computer with the least overhead – and was VERY configurable.  I could fine-tune an installation to my standards in about 90 seconds.

However…

Their support has always been world-class TERRIBLE.  For as long as I can recall, dealing with AVG support ranged from frustrating to useless to non-existent.  I have mentioned this to them more times than I can count.  The response is usually “I know…”  Well, if you know, why don’t you do something about it?  Getting connected to Tier Two support where they have people who actually know something is like pulling teeth.  It borders on impossible.  I have had several issues escalated and NEVER heard back from anyone.  And I AM A RESELLER.

I have tolerated this because I almost never need their support.  I am actually a Computer Wizard and can usually figure out any problem on my own.  “That’s why they pay me the big bucks.”

So for over a decade I continued recommending, selling and installing a product that had perhaps the worst support in the industry because the end result was simply unsurpassed.

AVG finally added in support for reporting potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).  Unfortunately, this element is far less effective than the algorithm employed by Malwarebytes.  I actually use Malwarebytes for this express purpose, because it does the best job.  Then I uninstall it because of its massive hit on system performance.

But everything in life changes and so does AVG.

In 2016, AVG and Avast merged, with Avast coming out on top and all AVG products re-branded to Avast during 2017.  This would be fine if the engine remained AVG.  But such is not the case.  The new interface is convoluted and not nearly as configurable as the AVG interface.  It is VERY time-consuming to configure and incomprehensible in design.  Even to me.  And I’ve been doing this since literally the dawn of the personal computer age.

I absolutely HATE the new interface.  I dread configuring each installation because it will waste about 10 minutes of my time.  I have to double-check everything to make sure all the settings are correct and saved.

And then there’s CloudCare.  AVG’s flagship product was CloudCare.  It is a cloud administered system that monitors a myriad of computer conditions in addition to virus / malware issues.  This was a dream product to IT administrators.  I custom built special configurations and with an email link or downloaded file, I could install any new machine with my preferred settings pre-configured.

In the immortal words of Jacques Clouseau… “Not any more!

I can still assign custom profiles, but there are a LOT of functions that not only have to be hand-configured, but can be ALTERED by the end user.  This negates the functionality and security of the entire platform.

What a monumentally stupid, arrogant and narcissistic move by Avast.

Take something that has been effective and make is significantly less so.

  • That’s always a bad move.
  • It’s a good way to lose your client base.
  • You have certainly lost me.
  • Avast?  Are you listening?

And then there is the billing issue…

I have been being charged for non-existent systems for MONTHS and have sent messages to my account representative about it.  I have received NO response.  I can’t even figure out what I’m being billed for, as their accounting system has no granularity.  There is no way to determine which charges apply to which of my clients.

Add to that the FACT that I have not been able to successfully purchase AVG Business Class licenses via their online reseller portal without it adding at least one, if not two different kinds of tax to the total.  By definition, anyone ordering as a reseller pays NO tax.  Is this so incredibly complicated?  (It sure is for me.)  I have to contact my rep and arrange an order for the number of licenses I need – and they always have to go back in and remove the sales tax – then email me a link to complete the order.  What the Hell, people?  This has NEVER been fixed.  This is clearly because no one cares.  Otherwise it would have been fixed by now.

Again.

Avast?  Are you listening?

Now comes the laborious task of auditioning replacement tools so I can divest myself of this bad arrangement.

Avast?

I hope you’re happy with this result.

May 2018 Update:

We are replacing all AVG / Avast (should be AGHAST) installations with Bitdefender Endpoint Security.  This is a cloud-based and monitored security solution similar to AVG CloudCare – with the exception that it actually does what I tell it to do and it does NOT beat your hard drive to death and slow your computer to a crawl.

September 2018 update:

A high percentage of computers where we have removed AVG/Avast and replaced it with Bitdefender showed viral infections on the first Bitdefender scan.  Bitdefender routinely reports infected emails and removes them.  My console is extremely busy displaying malware removed every single day.  With the CloudCare product if I saw a virus once a month it was unusual.

Also, we had a hair salon hit by ransomware.  It’s “protection” was Avast CloudCare – their flagship product.  It did NOTHING to mitigate the attack.  We have since secured this system with Bitdefender and hardened its defenses with dual firewall protection.

It you would like your system upgraded, contact me ASAP to get on the schedule.  It only takes about an hour to do the upgrade.

 

If all of this makes you just wring your hands in dismay, contact us for a solution

If you’re local to Dallas, Texas we can come to you – or

We can remote in to anyplace in the world.

DFW Computer Integration
7522 Campbell Rd
Dallas, TX 75248
recover@dfwci.com

Name of author

Name: Wizard

Short Bio: The Computer Wizard (TCW). TCW was founded by Warren P. Harris in 1994 to service and repair computers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Relocating the business to Plano, Texas in 1999, TCW continued to flourish when an unfortunate loss of data for a wedding Mr. Harris photographed, caused him to research data recovery options. Realizing he would have to either pay someone to recover the photos or find out how to do it himself, the rest, as they say "is history". Approached by a friend who was a Private Investigator in 2006, Mr. Harris studied for his Investigator's license and began honing his skills in Computer Forensics. The company was renamed DFW Computer Integration in 2015.

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