One of the things we most liked about AVG in our recent security suites group test was its web-based threat detection. As our tester, Darien Graham-Smith said at the time, "By combining URL blacklists with real-time detection, AVG achieved a 74% success rate with dodgy websites - streets ahead of any competition"
We suggested that people buy AVG Security Suite if your primary concern is web-based threats, and it's great to see that AVG has taken the LinkScanner module and released it as a free standalone product.
"It's our belief that every computer user has the right to basic security protection, regardless of the ability to pay," said J R Smith, AVG Technologies' CEO.
The best thing about LinkScanner is that it will run even if you have other security software - if you run something like Panda, which scored only 3% web threat detection in our recent test, then AVG LinkScanner may be just what you need.
AVG LinkScanner analyses web pages before you click on them. It checks sites in links from a page you're viewing (say from a Google or Yahoo search), your bookmarks, and even web addresses you type into a browser address bar. If the website has been poisoned - with hidden malware or other nasties -then AVG LinkScanner stops the user from downloading that page.
Web-based threats are an enormous problem. "The Web has become the primary distribution mechanism for viruses (and other malware), drive-by downloads and other stealthy web threats which represent vast majority of attacks," said AVG Technologies CTO Karel Obluk. AVG tells us that on any given day, some two million web pages are affected. Last year, high profile sites such as the SuperBowl site were affected, as well as smaller sites such as a local tennis club. And just opening the page is enough for some drive-by-downloads to quickly and silently install a Trojan, keylogger, or other malware through a browser exploit.
AVG LinkScanner runs under all current versions of Windows XP and Vista, both 32- and 64-bit, and protects Internet Explorer 6 or later and Firefox 2 or later browsers.
You can download LinkScanner as a free standalone product. Support is available through a free online forum hosted by AVG.