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AVG Anti-Rootkit Free Download and Review

Monday, 01 November 2010 11:22:59 (US Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)

    AVG Anti-Rootkit is AVG’s foray into the anti rootkit market.  Up until the last year, Free AVG didn’t include any root kit protection.  However, the latest version of Free AVG does contain rootkit protection.  Even though it’s now included, what about all other users who already have a free antivirus that want some additional protection?  This is why AVG Anti-Rootkit is perfect.  It is compatible with other antivirus including Norton etc.  Users report that AVG Anti-Rootkit locates rootkits that their regular antivirus could not locate.

    There are few caveats to  AVG Anti-Rootkit, the first being that the software is designed to run on Windows XP.  However, this doesn’t mean that one can’t get to work on Windows 7 as I have.  One simply needs to go into the compatibility wizard select windows xp sp3 and run with administrative privileges.  One thing AVG Anti-Rootkit will not do is run on 64 bit versions of Windows.

    During installation, AVG Anti-Rootkit offers a really nice feature.  The program allows one to choose the basic or the enhanced interface.  This is presumably to support slower computers. AVG Anti-Rootkit offers two scanning process, the “search for rootkits” option and the “perform an in-depth scan” option.  The program uses about 24 megabytes of RAM during scanning and a hefty amount of CPU power; around 30%.  The “search for rootkits” option completed in about 10 minutes while the “perform an in-depth scan” option completed in about 30 minutes.   AVG Anti-Rootkit didn’t detect any active rootkits on the test machine.  However, many users report having a lot of success with AVG anti-rootkit for example, detection of rouge UAC rootkits, the usage of an advanced cleanup driver (requires a restart of Windows to work), and scanning of NTFS ADS streams.  The software does all of this quickly and efficiently.  AVG anti-rootkit also offers a self defense mechanism by using a random windows title name.  Virus or rootkits will have a hard time stopping AVG because its program name constantly changes and cannot be identified via a virus script.

    Finally, AVG Anti-Rootkit offers free updates.  However, AVG has stopped supporting updates for this version.  However, this by no means indicates that the software is ineffective.  It actually can detect new rootkits without being updated by detecting suspicious NTFS file streams.