Saturday, March 01, 2008

Grisoft/AVG Version 8 Includes Yahoo Search Bar

Grisoft, now AVG, released updated version 8.0 of their security software for licensed subscribers only. The "free for personal use" versions have not been updated yet. Included with the package of the licensed (read "pay for use") software is the Yahoo search bar.

Granted, the Yahoo search bar does not have the same questionable reputation as the Ask toolbar. However, what message is AVG sending when their newly released Version 8 product includes the search bar pre-checked and disguised as a "Security Toolbar"?



To make matters worse, the reports indicate the toolbar is installed even when the option to include the toolbar is UNchecked.


(Click image for larger view)


Discussion in some communities is suggesting that the Yahoo search bar is easy to uninstall. In my opinion, that is already too late. Depending on the package home subscribers purchase, the cost goes from $35 to $55 (USD). That means that AVG receives not only the price of the subscription but also the fee from Yahoo for each installation, all at the cost to the subscriber.

What happened to integrity?


(Hat Tip to Wilders thread by JonPaulOnLine)




Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

27 comments:

Pat Bitton said...

Hi there

I'd like to clarify the role of the toolbar in AVG 8.0. It really is a Security Toolbar with a search capability (in this instance from Yahoo!) built in. We've started incorporating an optional toolbar into the AVG products as a platform for future developments - the majority of threats are now coming from the web, so it seems logical to start incorporating the threat protection into the browser. If users don't want to use the toolbar, they can of course uninstall it at any time.

Corrine said...

Thank you for the clarification, particularly, ". . . the majority of threats are now coming from the web". I am relieved to know that my computer is not vulnerable to threats while not connected to the web.

The Webshield and Linkshield may be helpful in providing AVG customers with advice on safe sites. However, having a Yahoo or any other branded search bar is not going to make any computer less vulnerable to infection. Rather, it is going to line the pockets of AVG with gold and silver.

Certainly the toolbar can be removed and, obviously, the threat protection could have been incorporated without the Yahoo or any other toolbar. Of course, after the installation of the toolbar, AVG has already received remuneration from Yahoo as well as from the licensee.

I personally do not care if it is a Yahoo, Google, MSN or any other toolbar. I do not want any toolbar on my browser, particularly one incorporated in a vendor's software, and more particularly in a licensed vendor's software.

As demonstrated in the topic at Wilders, even an apparently avid supporter of AVG posted that it was necessary to do a custom install because the software made Firefox and IE7 go very slow. I can imagine what it does to folks with a dial-up connection.

I am sorely disappointed in the direction security vendors are taking and encourage people to support vendors like Bill Pytlovany (WinPatrol) who have integrity.

AndyAtHull said...

I'm with Corrine on this one.

If at all, I can past on any advice to Grisoft/AVG then that would be to listen to their users and those that recommend their products on forums.

Don't go down this "revenue" mental state, because that essentially is the way things are going.

Especially when there are many ways to craCk a program. Companies are losing out on money and choose a different route to make up the difference.

cel said...

Thank you Corrine and also BillP from Winpatrol for bringing this issue to our attention.

I for one will not "buy" the AVG product because of this issue.

I should not find during the install that the box is already checked.

Security suites should not force a person to add an additional toolbar.

Just recently I came across a computer that there were so many toolbars that the viewing area was near usable.

AVG made a big mistake automatically installing this feature.

Anonymous said...

I am an AVG reseller and am disappointed that Grisoft have elected to include a Yahoo! search in their toolbar.

I am perfectly happy to try out their toolbar components that relate to security but I do not want Yahoo forced upon me or my clients. If I want to search Yahoo then I will go to their web site.

Come on Grisoft, I expected better.

Anonymous said...

So how do I uninstall the effin toolbar?

Corrine said...

You can try running the AVG installation file again, choose “Add/Remove Components,” and then un-check the Toolbar option.

If you merely want to "hide" the tool bar, with Firefox, right-click in the menu bar and un-check the toolbar. With IE7, click Tools > Toolbars and again un-check the toolbar.

My preference would be with WinPatrol. Under the IE Helpers tab, highlight the toolbar and click Remove.

Matt said...

My problem with it is that every time I mouse over the stupid boxes, it gives me a popup window that totally prevents me from doing anything else until I click elsewhere to close it.

And when I go to a dead page, it helpfully shows me their stupid page telling me it's a dead page, and then breaks my back button so I can't go back to the previous page.

And I can hide it, but I can't uninstall it. Grarg! Talk about instant hatred for a company.

I think I'll uninstall their free virus scanner... nah.

Anonymous said...

The only way to get rid of the avg toolbar is to run "Hijackthis"
Check the avg toolbar delete it that way, and its all gone ;)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I've been using AVG for years and make it a point to tell people who ask me about virus protection that it's the best software out there. After this most recent upgrade, I'm not so sure anymore. Even though I unchecked the toolbar install it was still installed. What pisses me off even more is that it slows everything down considerably. AVG f#$ked up big time on this upgrade!

Corrine said...

I understand it is the AVG "Link Scanner" that results in the slowness you have noticed. See How to install AVG without LinkScanner.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind the toolbar so much, except that I dual boot with Ubuntu and share my Firefox profile between them. Even with the AVG thing disabled, it prevents all my other extensions from loading when I boot into Ubuntu.

Gerry said...

I currently use AVG 7.5 but will not be upgrading it because of the inclusion of the yahoo search bar. If I want to use the Yahoo search bar I will install it myself. What is really annoying is the fact that even if you untick the box during installation of AVG 8 suppossedly so as not to install the Yahoo tab on the AVG toolbar it still installs so despite appearances you have no choice but to install the Yahoo search tab when installing AVG 8. I know ppl that have already purchased AVG 8 are now turning off the AVG toolbar completly because of this.

It has already been said here that you can uninstall the Yahoo tab from the AVG toolbar, would anyone have the instructions to do this as this may suffice untill AVG see sense.

Corrine said...

Hi, Gerry.

See FAQ#1257 at http://free.avg.com/ww.faq.num-1241#faq_1241.

You may also want to consider the installation without the Linkscanner, FAQ#1338 on the same page.

Mau said...

I cannot get rid of this toolbar also. It comes as no surprise to hear of sooo many people moving to either Mac or Linux.

The thing is why the hell should I need an antivirus in the 1st place? If this OS would work like it should, we would never care about such issues.

Mike said...

Come on people, who cares if they garner a few quid off a sponsored toolbar, you don't have to install it! At then end of the day they're offering a great AV package for free, if you can put a meal on the table of one of the dev team for them by installing a toolbar then you bloody well should, even if you have to remove it later, remember, if you run the free version then grisoft owe you nothing!

Corrine said...

Thank you for your thoughts, Mike. From my perspective, the difference, Mike, is that the toolbar is "opt-out" rather than "opt-in" and, more importantly, the search bar is disguised as a "Security Toolbar". Why not be forthcoming and provide that information upfront? Why not make it an opt-in instead of pre-checking the install?

Both avast! 4 Home Edition and Avira are free for personal use and neither vendor found it necessary to include a toolbar. In addition, from what I am seeing on the security forums, detection by AVG is nowhere near as good as avast! and Avira.

Abby said...

I opted of this toolbar when I updated AVG. It's there anyway, after much anguish. ARGH.

Anonymous said...

It also replaces the 'address bar search' with a Yahoo search.

If I type 'Google' into the address bar it does a Yahoo search for Google...

Helen said...

I am really disgusted with AVG on this update.

I have just had to spend time reinstalling explorer, and deleting all browsing history. I couldnt even access my own website control panels because of it. after all this Ive now still got the yahoo search on any new tab. Why!??! very very unhappy

Corrine said...

Helen, that is why I stopped recommending AVG some time ago. You may want to consider Avira or Avast until Microsoft Secure Essentials is out of Beta.

WinPatrol has great features for easily removing add-ons such as IE toolbars.

monkey.in.pinata said...

My problem is the address bar search now goes to yahoo instead of going to the site I wanted. Not a big thing but enough of an annoyance to me that I uninstalled AVG.

Anonymous said...

GOOD NEWS! Someone is listening! I just reinstalled AVG and this time I un-ticked the "install search bar"- this removed it from my system and I can no longer see it in Firefox add ons. Nice work AVG

Anonymous said...

Found this trying to remove AVG -

AVG has now been uninstalled - time to move on, as AVG got taken over by suits.

HASTA LA VISTA AVG.

Corrine said...

To be certain you got all the remaining bits when uninstalling AVG, you may want to run the appropriate removal tool: AVG Tools.

As a replacement, both
Avira AntiVir and Avast! are free for personal use.

There are also a number of excellent subscription antivirus programs available, ESET being my favorite.

Anonymous said...

By dictating that people must use a third party product (the Yahoo search bar) without any consumer choice, AVG is now breaking the law in Australia, as this deceptive conduct is called "Third Party Forcing" and it is illegal under the Trade Practices Act here. It is the equivalent of a vehicle manufacturer selling you a car and insisting you must use their service department exclusively for car servicing to maintain your warranty. If AVG will not listen to us, then I am certain that they will be forced to listen to ASIC and the various State Government consumer affairs departments I mobilise, whether their accounting idiots like it or not. I intend to commence my legal actions tomorrow in this regards. Further, the 50+ year old's who made this decision should resign their positions forthwith, as they hold no understanding of the social media world they are trusting this product into. This includes the dinosaur apologists for AVG who are attempting to defend this antiquated policy in the face of their irrelevance.