AVG Review

Category: Anti-Virus , Security

Is your computer safe from viruses? Without the proper protection, your computer can catch a virus faster than you can recite your email address three times. Viruses can destroy files, compromise your privacy, and make you vulnerable to identity theft. What to do?

AVG Free anti-virus software

AVG Free Anti-Virus Software

The first step is to make sure that you have a decent anti-virus program installed. There are many to choose from, but I use and recommend the free AVG software. Let's take a look at the new 8.0 version and see what it can do to protect you from the onslaught of cyber-nasties floating around out there.

AVG proudly claims that over 70 million computers have downloaded their software. Compatible with both Windows XP and Vista, AVG is easy to install and use. It features automatic updates and background virus scanning on all your files, pictures, and applications. AVG Free protects against viruses, spyware, adware, identity theft.

The free version also scans both incoming and outgoing emails for viruses, and inludes the Link Scanner to protect you from "drive-by downloads" and other exploits that can infect your computer. The Safe Search feature protects you from clicking into malicious websites by displaying a real-time safety indicator next to the search results when you use the Google, Yahoo or MSN search engines.

Although it's free, and provides excellent protection from the most common Internet threats, you don't get any technical support, and you can use it for private, non-commercial home computers only. The free version is available in English, Italian and Japanese languages.

AVG Commercial Anti-Virus Software

If you want additional protection, or you want to use AVG in an office or other organizational setting, the AVG Anti-Virus Pro version adds protection from rootkits, screens all downloads, offers secure instant messaging, and offers worldwide technical support around the clock. A one-year subscription costs USD $35 or you can pay $52 for two years.

For maximum protection, the AVG Internet Security version adds a Firewall and email scanning to protect against phishing, fraud and spam. The cost for this option is $55 for one year or $80 for two years.

Both of the paid versions offer support for other languages, including Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovak and Spanish.

Personally, I use the free version and am very happy with the level of protection that it provides. I even decided to turn off the Link Scanner because it adds a bit of extra time to search engine queries. But I'm also a computer professional, so security is always on my mind when I'm searching, emailing, downloading or shopping online. If you want the additional peace of mind and access to tech support, the Pro version may be a better choice.

But honestly, I don't see much extra value in the AVG Internet Security version, as compared to the PRO version. Windows XP and Vista have a software firewall built in, and if you have high-speed a router, you already have a hardware-based firewall. (Please read Do I Need a Firewall? for more info on this topic.) And since I use Gmail, it includes pretty good protection against spam and phishing scams for free. I think other webmail services like Yahoo and Hotmail/Live also do a good job with this.

I have no financial interest in AVG, I'm just a happy user. So if you install AVG (either the free or paid version) and find it a good solution, I'm happy to know that one less computer is vulnerable to the plague of botnets that's responsible for so much of the spam and phishing attacks in our inboxes.

NOTE: Some people have reported problems after installing AVG 8, or upgrading from the AVG 7.5 version. They range from slowdowns to freezes to inability to access the Internet. AVG recommends that you uninstall your existing anti-virus software, turn off or suspend your firewall and anti-spyware programs, and reboot before installing AVG 8. Failure to do so may prevent AVG from installing properly and this can lead to all sorts of problems. For the record, I run with the XP Firewall, Windows Defender, and had no trouble installing or running AVG 8. But there are enough people reporting problems to take this caution seriously, especially if you are upgrading from version 7.

Other Anti-Virus Software

Of course AVG is just one of many options when it comes to anti-virus protection. There are plenty of people who swear by Avast, Avira Anti-Vir, BitDefender, ClamWin, Comodo AV, NOD32 and others. You can find mini-reviews of other free anti-virus programs in my Free Anti-Virus Programs article.

While there is no perfect solution to combat viruses, you have to include at least one of them on your computer to safeguard against attacks. Never open an e-mail that looks suspicious, pay attention to security warnings by your computer, and don't download anything unless you know it's from a trusted source.

Do you use AVG or some other anti-virus software? Post your thoughts in a comment below...

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Most recent comments on "AVG Review"

(See all 47 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

24 Sep 2008

I use AVG, but am reconsidering, because every time it does a scan, it slows my computer down to a crawl. I mean, it actually makes it unusable because I multitask, and have found myself canceling scans so I can continue with my work! Not good! And yes, I could change the time it scans, but I am up at all hours, so it will still interfere. Im thinking of switching to something else, and I hate that cause I really like AVG, until this version.

Posted by:

12 Oct 2008

I used AVG for several years and really liked it [the free version]; I felt guilty not paying for it so got a 2 yr sub to the paid version. Cannot even remember what the differences were but I was still happy--this was through version 7.5.

I also ran Ewido which was a standalone malware checker. When the ver 8.0 of AVG came out[again the purchased version] it won't load because I cannot get ewido off my computer. Apparently AVG incorporated ewido in the update so the older standalone version needed to be removed before I could install the new version of AVG/ewido.

I tried the usual methods beginning with their FAQ about removing ewido it which did not work. The software was not listed in control panel add/remove option; it did not have its own uninstall option--I got absolutely NO help from AVG; I must have written them 5 times over two months requesting assistance.

All I got was a message which said [in essence] "we will get back to you". I just removed the paid version and went back to the free version which I like almost as well.

I cannot tell you how annoyed I was to lose 12 months of my subscription cost--more the principle of the thing than anything since I was only trying to be supportive in the first place. Usually I just donate to a free piece of software if I like it. Think I am through buying it unless I wait until I hear about it from others. I am obviously not techie enough to do what ever needed to be done with ewido and I thought that was one of the advantages of paying for software.

Posted by:

Yaacov Taube
21 Oct 2008

Dear Bob, I just saw your posting about anti-virus software. I was told that NOD32 is a good product and I even spoke to a guy who swears by it. Basically because it claims to solve malware problems as well as as regular viruses. Are you familiar with it.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I've heard good things about it. I mentioned it here: http://askbobrankin.com/free_antivirus_programs.html

Posted by:

Mark Cairns
22 Oct 2008

I used to use AVG for a long time, and was very happy with it up until version 8.0.

When I upgraded to version 8 I found, like Bob, that the Link Scanner slowed web browsing down too much. However, when I disabled this feature I kept receiving repeated warnings from Windows Security that my PC was not fully protected - the fact that Link Scanner feature was disabled was flagged up as meaning my Anti-Virus software was not fully activated.

I very quickly upgraded to Avast and have never had any problems - it's nice and easy and reliable.

Posted by:

24 Oct 2008

I'm with AVG since 1998 up to this very moment.

Never have any hassles with it, only with AVG8 at the

beginning when later I discovered that it was my fault.

My OS WinXP prof. Sp2

Posted by:

24 Oct 2008

To get rid off any annoying warning messages by AVG 8, just go to Tools==>Advanced Settings==>

Ignore Faulty Conditions, here check or un-check any

component to your convenience. Doing so, will stop warnings when you disable any component like Link Scanner or else.

Posted by:

24 Oct 2008

I had been using AVG-7 Free and was quite satisfied.

When they announced an end to updates, I was happy to d/l AVG-8 Paid. It slowed my PC by at least 50%! And I could not turn off options. Un-installed and d/l AVG-8 Free with same result except I could easily turn off "Resident Shield" and the slowdown vanished. ' happy with AVG Free again.

Posted by:

P D Sterling
24 Nov 2008

Regarding AVG, I have been using AVG free for a very long time. Of late, I get horrifying messages that I "failed to update," even though I am set to update every day at 2:00 am.

now I just click update manually when I sign on in the morning, but resent it. if they want to go Hollywood and make it no longer free, just don't offer FREE anything! I would buy if I had to, but don't know it would help.

also hate the little green checks and popup boxes in FireFox. I don't give a rat's tail about whether AVG approves of a site; I don't intend to visit anything far out!

Posted by:

04 Dec 2008

I have been using AVG for about three years now and have one problrm with the 8.0 free version. Both the Anti Virus and Anti Spyware indicate the date bases are outdated and I can't get them to update. Any suggestions?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I would remove and re-install the software. That should solve the updating problem.

Posted by:

D.W. Whitlock
18 Dec 2008

Jim Aug 7 and Mark Oct 22 are correct about that annoying Link Scanner in AVG Free. Many users on other help sites are having the same browser performance problems. I had AVG Free on my machine for a couple weeks and then unloaded it after much consternation. I later learned of the Link Scanner issue. I now use Avira AntiVir Free and am very pleased with it. I also really like Super Anti Spyware Free. Both produce excellent results, scan quickly and do not impact browsing at all. Cheers.

Posted by:

caeb anderson
25 Jan 2009

i am 9 and a total AVG 8.0 freak. if it doesn't work for you, its best to quit your job.

ROCK ON AVG 8.0! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by:

06 Feb 2009

I have been using AVG free for quite sometime now and just updated to paid version for both my computers. I like it very much and have no problems with it, also paid for 2 years subscription, cost around $120 (both computers included in cost) which includes a back up CD which came by mail. Have not noticed any decrease in speed on either computer. I feel protected using this which is important to me.

Posted by:

30 May 2009

Hi I was using AVG 8.5 since last fall. All of a sudden it comes up---license cannot be fully verified. I cannot uninstall and then re-install AVG. My computer mechanic gave me a license number but it won't work and he wants to chg me almost $50 to fix it. What else do you recommend?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Why can't you uninstall and then re-install AVG? You should not even need a license, AVG is free.

Posted by:

Ken Kohler
04 Jun 2009

Bob; I had Avast for a good many years, was quite happy with it, then it started to give me messages that it couldn`t uninstall this or that virus , came to your site and found AVG , down loaded it , man I`m as happy as te pig in you know what, thanks Bob your doing a great service , thank you again, Duck WV hill billy; have great day , keep up the great work

Posted by:

Cecilia Kruchko
12 Jun 2009

To the person who posted 30 May 09 about his 'lic cannot be fully verified'.
Perhapes he got the free 30 day trial instead of the simply free one. Then when the 30 days was up he got this message.
I use AVG and it's painless!

Posted by:

22 Feb 2010

I've tried to use AVG 8.0 FREE downloads, but I can't download the free updates as it requires them.

Posted by:

09 Apr 2010

your PC must be infected from viruses. there are certain virus which disable the update of your antivirus. you can search on google.

Posted by:

09 Apr 2010

your PC must be infected from viruses. there are certain virus which disable the update of your antivirus. you can search on google.

Posted by:

24 Oct 2010

Avira AntiVir Premium - If you're not a "techie" like most computer users, this software may be a bit advanced. It doesn't detect behavioral activity, but it is good at cleaning and detecting malware and viruse
McAfee Antivirus Plus - McAfee excels in malware detection, however its proactive protection was described as "weak". antivirus review

Posted by:

insurance agency
04 Sep 2014

Just thought i would comment and say neat theme, did you code it yourself? Looks great. http://www.xcloudamsx.com

EDITOR'S NOTE: I usually don't publish comments like this, but I'm doing so this time, to demonstrate how companies hire overseas spammers to post fake comments with links to their websites. In this case, the spammer's IP address shows that he/she is in Hyderabad, Pakistan. I've obscured the URL.

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