Nation Search Virus
Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: Medium
Nation Search virus removal instructions
The Nation Search (search.nation.com or avg.nation.com) browser hijacker installs together with free software and modifies users' Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox) settings by changing the homepage and default search engine. This browser toolbar is developed by InfoSpace and promoted using a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling'. Many computer users refer to Nation toolbar as a virus or malware. These negative associations are made since many Internet users feel that this browser add-on was installed on their computers without their consent. Technically, Nation toolbar is not a virus or malware, however, it is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted application.
Recent research shows that this toolbar is bundled with AVG Free Antivirus 2014 (a legitimate antivirus program). Computer users who do not pay close enough attention to the installation steps of this free software, inadvertently install Nation toolbar, thus causing unwanted browser redirects to avg.nation.com Note that the search.nation.com and avg.nation.com websites use an Internet search engine, which can be used to find information on the Internet; although these websites appear to return legitimate search results, the results pages are crowded with dubious sponsored results. Clicking on these can lead to installation of additional adware or even malware.
Nation Search toolbar is similar to other potentially unwanted browser add-ons distributed using free software downloads (via download clients and installers). Examples include Babylon toolbar, Delta Search Toolbar, SearchGol toolbar, and many others. This toolbar is known to cause browser redirects to search.nation.com, avg.nation.com, and isearch.nation.com The best way to avoid installation of such potentially unwanted browser plugins (which add no significant functionality and cause redirect issues), is to pay close attention when downloading and installing free software. Internet users should be aware that, today, the majority of free software download websites use download clients and installers to monetize their free services. Download clients offer (some in a very deceptive way) installation of additional (promoted) free browser add-ons together with the chosen freeware. If your download is managed by a download client, decline any offers to install additional browser extensions. When installing freeware, choose the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' installation options. This will reveal any hidden options that you may decline. To remove Nation toolbar from your system, use removal instructions provided.
Nation search virus removal:
Windows 7 users:
Click "Start" ("Windows Logo" in the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose "Control Panel".
Windows XP users:
Click "Start", choose "Settings" and click "Control Panel". Locate and click "Add or Remove Programs".
WIndows 8 users:
Right-click in the screen’s bottom-left corner, select Control Panel. In the opened window choose "Uninstall a Program".
In the uninstall programs window: look for "Nation toolbar" (AVG Nation toolbar) select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling potentially unwanted programs (which cause browser redirects to the search.nation.com or avg.nation.com websites), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software. Remove all entries that this program detects to ensure your PC is clean from any possible spyware and malware infections.
Search.nation.com homepage and default search engine removal from browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove Nation search from Internet Explorer:
Click "Tools" (or the gear icon in Internet Explorer 9), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "Nation toolbar" (AVG Nation toolbar), select these entries and click "Remove".
To change your homepage from search.nation.com (or avg.nation.com) to your preferred domain, click "Tools" (or the gear icon in Internet Explorer 9), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove search.nation.com (or avg.nation.com) and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer.
Change default search engine:
Click "Tools" (or the gear icon in Internet Explorer 9), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing" or any other preferred search engine as your default and remove "Nation Search" (AVG Nation Search).
If you continue to have problems with redirects to search.nation.com, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click "Start", click "Run", in the opened window type "inetcpl.cpl". In the opened window click the "Advanced" tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type "inetcpl.cpl" and click enter. In the opened window click the "Advanced" tab, then click Reset.
Remove Nation Search from Google Chrome:
Click the bars icon (top right of the screen), select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate "Nation.com - Advanced Search", select it and click on the trash can icon.
Change Google Chrome homepage from search.nation.com to you preferred domain - click on the wrench (bars) icon, select "Settings". In the "On startup" section click "set pages", hover your mouse over search.nation.com and click the x symbol. Now you can add your preferred website as your homepage.
Remove Nation Search from Mozilla Firefox:
Click "Firefox" (at the top left of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Nation toolbar".
To reset your homepage, click "Tools", then select "Options", in the opened window remove search.nation.com and enter your preferred domain.
Change default search engine:
In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "nation"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
If you continue to have problems with redirects to search.nation.com, reset your Mozilla Firefox settings to default.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top left corner of the main window click "Firefox", in the opened drop down menu choose Help and then click on Troubleshooting Information, in the opened window click the "Reset Firefox" button.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware that alters user's Internet browser settings by changing one's homepage and default Internet search engine to some unwanted website. Most commonly this type of adware infiltrates user's operating system through free software downloads. While browser redirects might seem as a low risk security infection, computer users should know that the websites to which they are being redirected to commonly contain deceptive online advertisements and the Internet search engine that is presented in such websites might return shady Internet search results. Using such websites for one's daily Internet searches might easily end up in privacy issues, identity theft or malware infections.
A computer that is affected by a browser hijacker is exposed to high risk security infections. To prevent further privacy and security issues it's recommended removing any Internet browser settings altering adware as soon as possible. Here are some examples of free software download clients that are used in Nation Search Virus distribution:
To avoid installation of Nation Search Virus be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. If your download is managed by a download client be sure to opt out of installing advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine:
Some of the mentioned free software download clients don't allow downloading the chosen free program if user decides to decline installation of it's offered toolbars, in such cases it's recommended to cancel the installation and look for an alternative download source.
Symptoms indicating that your Internet browsers are affected by a browser hijacker:
- Your homepage and/or default Internet search engine is changed.
- Appearance of new toolbars.
- Slow performance of Internet browsers.
- New Bookmarks or Favorites added.
- You can't change your homepage or default search engine.
- You see online ads on your screen that are not served by the website.
- You get redirected to pages you never intended to visit.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove Nation Search Virus from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.