AVG Internet Security has something of a mixed history, it offers all the standard tools you’d expect from such a suite, including anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall and anti-spam protection. However, these tools are a mix of in-house developed programs and bought in models. Therefore, one of the problems with previous versions has been a rather cranky interface that hasn’t always meshed these tools together effectively.

Fortunately, the first thing you’ll find with this version is a new look that is instantly easy to get to grips with and helps the package feel more comprehensive. As is becoming increasingly common, you’ll find a green tick alongside each protected module signifies that it works fine, while red means there is a problem. This allows you to see at a glance if anything has gone awry.

When it came to testing the software out, we found the firewall was strong, with it hiding and closing ports from potential threats.

Things started to feel less positive when we looked at scan times for both virus and spyware, as both took a considerably long time to run through their checks with our test PC slowing down as a consequence of the program running in the background.

On a more positive note, while the scans may have been slow, the results are worth waiting for, as the software is thorough and of the highest calibre.

The anti-spam software is possibly the weakest feature. In tests we found it prevented most spam from getting through but this wasn’t always the case, with a couple of instances obvious spam getting through.

Extra features in this version now include root-kit scanning, for seeking out problems already imbedded on your PC before you installed scanning software, Instant Messaging protection tools and even browser protection. These latter tools work with both Firefox and Internet Explorer and comprise two tools – Active Surf-Shield and Surf-Shield – that scan pages in real time, as well as assigning checks to any search engine queries. Overall, we found these worked exceedingly well.

The £40 asking price is solely for use on one PC. If you have more than one machine in your home you’ll need to buy multiple licenses, with AVG offering a 3-license pack for £60, which makes far better financial sense than buying individual versions. This comes with 1 year’s worth of live updates.

Price when reviewed:

AVG Internet Security 8 is an improvement over the previous version, with a neat array of features and an improved interface. However, with an ever-increasing number of internet security tools fighting for your attention, this product may well get passed over for a bigger name.