The free AVG Zen tool lets you install and monitor AVG security products on all your PCs and Android devices, or monitor existing installations. Supported applications include a security suite, a free antivirus, a PC tuneup tool, and a privacy management tool. By Neil J. Rubenking
Its not so hard to manage antivirus or security suite protection for one device, but when youve got several devices, or a household full of devices, keeping track of security can get tough. The free AVG Zen utility lets you monitor security for all of your PCs and Android devices; Mac support is planned by mid-2014.Compare Similar ProductsAVG Zen%displayPrice%%seller% McAfee LiveSafe%displayPrice%%seller% Kaspersky Internet Security - Multi-Device%displayPrice%%seller% Norton 360 Multi-Device%displayPrice%%seller%
Cross-platform multi-device security suites typically cost money, and most come with a fixed number of licenses that let you install protection on your various devices. Zen doesnt work that way. When you install it on a PC, it helps you install 30-day trials of AVG Internet Security 2014 and AVG PC Tuneup. If you dont purchase the suite after 30 days, it reverts to AVG AntiVirus FREE 2014; the tuneup tool cuts back to a limited set of features. You can also use Zen to monitor existing installations of AVG software.
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Installed on an Android device, Zen encourages you to install AVG AntiVirus FREE for Android and AVG Cleaner for Android, both free. And on both platforms it monitors AVG PrivacyFix, a tool to protect your online and social media privacy.
AVG Zens main window displays all of your protected devices in a row across the top; if there are too many to fit, you just slide to the left or right. Four big buttons dominate the window. If youve selected a PC, the buttons say Protection, Performance, Privacy&Identity, and Support. When an Android device is selected, youll see Protection, Performance, Privacy, and Anti-Theft.
Getting Started with Zen Your first step, naturally, is to install Zen on one of your devices. During the installation process youll create a Zen account online. If you dont have security protection for this device, you can click Protection to install a 30-day trial of AVG Internet Security. At the end of the trial period, you can choose to pay and keep the suite, or let it scale back to the free AVG AntiVirus.
In a similar fashion, clicking Performance will install a 30-day trial of the system tuneup tool. After 30 days youll have to pay up or lose most of the tools features. Clicking Privacy&Identity lets you install the free PrivacyFix and activate identity protection.
On an Android device, tapping Protection installs the free Android antivirus and tapping Privacy installs PrivacyFix. The other two buttons install AVG Cleaner and allow you to fully activate the antiviruss Anti-Theft features. Or rather, it should perform these installations. During testing, I found that the direct link from AVG Zen to install these tools wasnt working. Its easy enough to install them directly from the Play store, however.
Adding Devices To add another PC or Android device, you push out an invitation to the email account associated with that device. The email states tells the recipient, Someone is looking out for you, and contains detailed instructions on how to install AVG Zen and install AVG security to go with it.
I had a little trouble at first, because I didnt read all the way to the end of the rather lengthy email message. In order to complete the connection process, you have to enter an invitation code that shows up near the end. Even then, I couldnt get my existing installations connected, most likely because theyre virtual machines. I had no trouble setting up a fresh installation of Zen, with all the trimmings, and pushing an invitation to an Android tablet.
Note that youre not limited to monitoring your own devices. If you have a non-techie uncle who needs help, you can send an invitation and offer to take over monitoring his security. Of course, a given device can only belong to one Zen network. If your uncle decides to do his own monitoring, he can easily disconnect from your network and set up his own.
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