AVG has been offering its security suite as a free download for quite some time but this is the first time the company has offered a paid-for alternative.

It promises to offer better support and stronger tools and on first impressions it manages to live up to the company’s claims.

As you would expect of any online suite, it comes with a host of tools to protect your PC when web-surfing. In this case it’s split in to four specific areas: anti-spyware, anti-virus, anti-spam and firewall. While they are all separate tools in their own right, you can access them from the same simple interface.

AVG has added a new look that allows you to choose between a Basic interface and a more Advanced one. However, as even the basic look gives you more information than even the most average user needs, there is no real need to mess about with the advanced settings.

The main screen is split into three options: Scan Computer, Scan Selected Areas, Check for Updates, which all act as their name suggests. Clicking Scan, for instance, will set it checking you system for problems. It may be set as a basic scan but we were surprised how thorough it was, searching for problems in even the most obscure parts of our PC. As with all tools, you can set parameters and set-up a schedule for when to run scans on a regular basis.

Any problems that are found will be quarantined in the Virus Vault. Files aren’t deleted automatically, just in case you find that one isn’t a virus but an important part of a program you run. It’s a simple one-click operation to free stuff from the vault. Equally, it’s one click to kill the viruses and cleanse your system.

Firewall is the final part of the equation and this is the tool that caused us the most trouble, mainly because you need to train it to recognise how you use your system. This results in a lot of pop-up boxes as you work through all your programs trying to access online. We’d prefer if it recognised legitimate tools and simply let those pass, as it would make the process less timing consuming. The other main problem is that there is no easy way to see what is going on with your firewall settings, so it’s hard to configure and fine-tune.

Unlike most security suites that come with a one-year license, which means you’ll almost certainly want to upgrade to their yearly updates, AVG comes with a two-year license. This will supply you with updates and program upgrades for this period. What’s more, when your time is up, you’ll be give a 50% discount on the price of upgrading to a new license. This is great value and will no doubt lure many a new user.

Price when reviewed:

Overall, AVG Internet Security Suite 7.5 offers good value for money and is a well-rounded package.

It may not be the easiest suite to set up but once up and running it works well. If you opt for AVG you won’t be disappointed.