A closer look at AVG LinkScanner for Mac

AVG LinkScanner for Mac (v. 9.0) checks each Web page in real time before it opens on your Mac. It supports Firefox and Safari.

It runs silently in the background, and if the page is infected, Surf-Shield stops you from opening it. Search-Shield scans search results (supposedly within Google, Yahoo! or Bing) and places a safety rating next to each link so you know where it’s safe to click.

The installation process is very simple, and upon restarting your computer, LinkScanner immediately pops-up and invites you to configure the options:

It’s ideal to make LinkScanner start upon login, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to start it.

Decide if you want to see all alerts or just those of the highest severity; which notifications you want to receive; if you want to ignore error statuses from Search-Shield, Surf-Shield or the Update Manager; and on which corner of your desktop you want all those notifications to be displayed.

Options for Search-Shield are very basic:

And, while you can choose to deactivate it, Surf-Shield is another matter – deactivation is impossible since it would defeat the purpose of the program.

When everything is working as it should, you will be faced with this status window:

Now, let’s go and see how it works.

The Search-Shield doesn’t work for Yahoo! Search – I’ve tried it both on Firefox and Safari.

Also, there seems to be a discrepancy between what the Search-Shield finds, i.e. dangerous links with active threats, and the possibility of opening such a link. If it is indeed so dangerous, why does Surf-Shield not block the site when I want to access it (even when I’m not following a link from a search site, but typing the address directly in the address bar)?

To conclude, AVG LinkScanner for Mac is a small and free program that doesn’t slow your computer down, so you have nothing to lose in trying it out.

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