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Developer:
License / Price:
OS:
Last Updated:
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AVG Technologies USA
Free
Windows2000/ XP/ Vista/ 7
July 17, 2012
2012.0.2197

"AVG Anti-Virus Free offers basic anti-malware and anti-spyware protection that ensures users stay safe online"

Key Features
Protect Your Computer From Viruses
Real-time File System Protection
Periodic Scans
Sent and Recieved Emails Scans
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Review
The never-ending mantra chanted by security suite vendors sounds a lot like “faster scans, easier to use, better performance,” and AVG has released a new version that it says accomplishes all three. Certainly, the scans are faster, it does install more quickly, and some tweaks to the interface have made it easier to view. Two new core security changes will make you safer, too.

Installation
We found that the program can go from completed download to ready to use in about 5 minutes.

Last year, AVG cut down the number of installation screens from 13 to 5. This year, the process continues to be short, but savvy users will want to be wary of a few things. First, if you have a browser open when installing, AVG will not warn you before it forces it to close. Second, you are opted-in to AVG’s Security Toolbar and the Secure Search default search engine change. Users who opt out of installing the toolbar but want it later will need to rerun the installer to get it.

On the polite side, AVG does not opt you in to an automatic AVG Internet Security trial. By starting from a null position, you are required to actively choose to install AVG Free or the 30-day trial of AVG Internet Security. So this year’s install procedure is a bit of a crapshoot, better in some ways than last year, but unchanged in others.

Interface
The changes to AVG’s interface in the 2011 version were minor but actually improved usability quite a bit. This year, the tweaks are even less pronounced. There’s not much different besides redoing the icons in the main interface so they’re easier on your eyes.

There’s a one-click Fix button for automatically repairing security breaches that appears at the top along with a yellow X when your system safety has been compromised. It disappears when your system gets a clean bill of health.

Joining the one-click Update button on the side nav is a one-click Scan Now button. There’s a clean look to the nav, as well, with bigger fonts and timestamps for the most recent scan and most recent update.

AVG has placed icons for its security components in a central pane. Double-click on one to access more information and basic configuration settings for each specific tool. Advanced settings are available under Tools on the menu bar at the top of the window.

The new interface changes are small, no doubt, but they do make AVG easier to use.

Features and support
AVG 2012 includes a couple of solid changes to make you safer. The first is a patent-pending technique for identifying one of the most obnoxious threats to ever reach your computer: the fake antivirus. If you’re unfamiliar, these programs purport to be an antivirus, or a Web-based antivirus scan. Once they install on your computer, the only way to get rid of the infection is to “buy” their license. They’re also related to the ransomware infections, which don’t even bother with the effort to pretend to be an antivirus. AVG 2012 will block both of them.

The LinkScanner tool has been improved to watch out for more dynamic code, which is essential in the security game because threats are mutating at such a rapid rate. Meanwhile, premium users get the new AVG Accelerator option, which optimizes your Internet connection to speed up downloads and rendering. It currently works on two sites: YouTube, and you can see its impact when pausing and unpausing videos; and Download.com binary downloads. The accelerator protocol was developed internally at AVG.

AVG now includes a monitoring tool that automatically warns you when Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer consumes too much memory. Called AVG Advisor and in all of the AVG suites, it opens a small pop-up and asks you if you’d like to restart your browser. There’s no way to “force” it to activate, although if you open up a couple dozen tabs, wait a few minutes, and then open another dozen or so, it ought to kick in.

Changes made last year are still relevant. The software offers what it calls “smart scanning,” which leverages AVG’s behavioral detection network to scan known safe files once, and only rescan them if it detects changes. As with its competitors, AVG’s network is made up of its user base anonymously contributing data up to the cloud. You can choose to opt out of contributing your data when you install, or from the options menu. AVG says opting out won’t negatively affect your security.

The smart scanning tech also gives you a built-in system resource manager that prioritizes scans. If a scan is scheduled to begin while the computer is in use, it will automatically restrict the scan so that it runs slower but doesn’t interfere with the computer’s other tasks. When it detects the computer idling, it will then allocate more power to the scan. The feature comes with a slider so you can customize how sensitive it is.

The desktop gadget for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users that lets them initiate scans and updates with one click, without having to open the full interface. It also contains links to AVG’s Twitter and Facebook pages, which the company uses to bolster its support for the free version.

The PC Analyzer scans your system for Registry and disk errors. It includes a disk defragmenter and a broken-shortcut cleaner, as well. Although the feature is restricted in full to paid users, if you have the free version, the PC Analyzer comes with a one-time offer to clean all errors it finds. It provides a link to download the separate PC Analyzer tool, once the scan is completed. This is an interesting twist on the idea of letting users detect but not repair errors, and it provides more functionality while not affecting the basic security of your computer. However, it’s likely that some users will shy away from the extra download.

Other features are restricted to users of AVG’s paid upgrades. The paid upgrade version of AVG Anti-Virus 2012 distinguishes itself by offering chat link shield, a download scan for files sent via instant message that looks at all ports, not just port 80, and telephone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The PC Analyzer option mentioned earlier is also included, and comes without restrictions. New in 2012 to premium users is the new AVG Accelerator option, which optimizes your Internet connection to speed up downloads and rendering. It currently works on two sites: YouTube, and you can see its impact when pausing and unpausing videos; and Download.com binary downloads. The accelerator protocol was developed internally at AVG.

AVG Internet Security 2012 includes all that AVG Anti-Virus 2012 offers, and adds in a firewall and antispam protections.

Performance
AVG claims some major performance enhancements in the 2012 versions. Specifically, the company says that it has reduced by 40 percent the size on your hard drive of the virus signature database. That database is a major component of how the program recognizes threats. AVG also stated that the number of running processes that run suite has been reduced from 16 to 11, that it uses 20 percent less memory overall than previous versions, and that it ought to impact your computer’s boot time less.

CNET Labs’ benchmarks found that, on the whole, it is a faster program than last year’s. However, we can’t directly compare this year’s results to last year’s because we upgraded our testing computer from Windows 7 x64 to Windows 7 x64 with Service Pack 1. We can report that AVG’s boot time impact was slower than average, ranging from 2 seconds slower than the average suite from AVG Free to 18 seconds slower than average for AVG Anti-Virus. AVG Internet Security was a few seconds slower than AVG Free. This is not unusual for AVG, as it historically has a big impact on startup, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to see it get faster.

Shutdown impact continued to be minimal. Security scan times were the third-fastest suite we’ve seen so far year, though not as good as last year’s tied-for-fastest numbers. The impact of the suites on the computer while in use were very similar to last year’s–in general, slightly better than average, but not stellar.

Conclusion
A word of caution: We’ve noted before that the average person is paying more and more attention to performance, and there are far more viable operating system options than ever before. If security is more or less similar, people will be scrutinizing system impact greatly, and adding 30 seconds or more to your boot time has the potential to drive people not just from your security suite, but from your OS, too.

All that said, AVG Anti-Virus Free continues to offer an excellent if not perfect level of security, and is well-worth a serious shot at being your go-to suite.

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AVG Anti-Virus - It Is A Clean Sweep For Your System
If you have found your system slowing down and weird things happening to your programs, the chances are that you have a major software problem with your system, whether it’s a Trojan, a virus or a bot.

A trojan is a program that acts like the Trojan horse of ancient legend. It is said the people drew this “offering” from the gods into their city to celebrate and when they set off to sleep, the soldiers inside opened it up, opened the gates and the war was lost. That’s what happens with a trojan program, it looks to your system like a normal Windows program, say an editor, and what it is really doing is changing code on the boot blocks of your disk or doing other nasties. A virus is a much like a trojan except that it is “injected” into an already exiting program and the same thing happens.

The bot is perhaps the most insidious kind of program as it literally goes through all of your mailing lists, contact lists, Facebook lists and any other address lists and spams them with all kinds of spam or establishes backlinks through which third parties can spam the world and it looks like it came from your machine.

AVG Anti Virus puts a stop to that cold. Using some really cool programming techniques and things such as heuristics, where certain rules are set up by AVG and changed as needed by either you or the program – you computer “thinks” for itself, and it puts the trojan right back into its horse and then rides the horse into the computer ground and the same thing with trojans and bots. Suddenly, your machine is no longer the highway to spam that it had been.

More than that, it looks for rootkits, or software that actually changes the kernel software on your machine so that it does can turn the system that is “working fine” today into tomorrow’s deep headache as it affects your department or company network with issues where software stops working correctly and even your IT experts can’t figure it out.

One injection with AVG and rootkits are history as are those nasty trojans, viruses and bots. And, in an another nasty twist some particularly nasty folks out there have found ways to watch your Web use and from it insert software that looks like it has come from your system into the Web. Known as Link kits, they make your computer part of networks that you may not want to be part of so AVG watches for them, roots them out and destroys them.

The best thing about AVG is that it all happens in the background. You receive upgrades to the software in the background so that a kit which appears at 2 pm may be gone by 8 pm as some developer on the AVG team has found a way to zap it into cyberpsace.

For the most part you’ll like what you find and its all just a download away at AVG Anti-Virus 2012. It is an important piece of software that could use a little better firewalling, but knowing AVG it is probably coming, too.

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AVG Antivirus Free Download
The AVG Antivirus Free Download is definitely an option you may want to consider downloading if you are searching for antivirus software to protect your computer. This software has experienced increased popularity in recent years and there are some good reasons why so many are choosing it as their software of choice.

Antivirus software is essential software on any computer regardless of the platform chosen as an operating system. In the past, some people felt safe using Apple or Linux systems, but today no system is immune from a virus attack and it is very wise to ensure your computer is not vulnerable by downloading the best antivirus software available for your system.

Not all software is best for all systems, so it is essential choose a software option best suited for your preferred system. For Windows users and MAC users, AVG antivirus software is arguably the world’s most downloaded antivirus software. Available as a free version and a paid version, both options provide state of the art protection that supplies all the recommended components of good antivirus software.

Alternatives & Picks:

With so many choices of software available though, it may be a good idea to choose the AVG Antivirus free download option initially. Once you have trialed it, you can then upgrade to the paid version if you require more components than that offered by the free download version.

There are many good reasons why AVG antivirus free download is a suitable choice. It has been rated as the software most likely to detect a virus or other malware by independent reviewers. It is easy to install and to run, providing ease of use for all users even those with no previous or limited knowledge or how to install software. And AVG provide free technical support.

Security Packages:

There are several software packages available to users with the AVG Antivirus. You can choose the full basic AVG package or you can choose specific ones such as link scanners, which are specific programs dedicated to scanning website links and checking the safety of the link and the page you want to visit before you go to the page. This protects you from scammers who may have created false web pages that look identical to the page you want to navigate to and then STEAL your personal information.

Protection extends not only to secure sites but to social networks and chat and Voice over Internet Protocol programs all of which can (and often do) spread viruses to the unprotected users. AVG protection enables subscribers to engage in all types of online activity with peace of mind. An alert sounds if there is any suspicious activity.

Faithful Service:

An AVG antivirus free download will likely not disappoint you if you’re looking for reliable security. No doubt it will continue as a market leader into the future as it develops new means of meeting the challenges of new highly sophisticated attacks by virus software developers. It is an antivirus protection package that you can rely on.

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