AVG Free 2013 Review

Review of: AVG Free 2013
Antivirus:
Lee
Version:
2013
Price:
$0
AVG Free 2013

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On February 24, 2013
Last modified:May 26, 2013

Summary:

If you can see past the obvious upselling built into this program then you'll be left with a pretty darn good antivirus program that competes well with the big boys, despite being FREE.

Key Benefits

  • Excellent detection of malware – on a par with paid antivirus solutions
  • Excellent removal of malware – on a par with paid antivirus solutions[/box]

Welcome to my review of another free antivirus program.

Typically, I find the free programs to be less capable than those you would purchase. Can AVG alter that situation in 2013?

welcome

Will it run on my PC?

The minimum suggested system requirements for this program are as follows:

  • Pentium 1.5Ghz or faster
  • 512 Mb or more of RAM
  • 1 GB or more of hard drive space
  • Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and 7 (32 bit and 64 bit versions)

Is it easy to install this program?

Installation of this antivirus program was a breeze and no-one should have any problems getting up and running in quick time.

support

The only slight annoyance during installation was the fact that the program needed to question whether I wanted the free or premium version, despite the fact that I believed I had downloaded an installer purely for the free product.

What is the user interface like?

Pretty good actually.

The first thing you will notice when you launch the program for the first time is that it looks totally different to AVG Free 2012 which is pretty good really as I thought last year’s version looked pretty bland.

Now you have a nice black and green interface (thanks AVG for not putting white text on black) which is intuitively laid out and simple to understand.

interface

At the top you can see a message – in this case, “You are protected” – which makes it very clear that all is well and that the AV program is doing its job.

Below this you have easy access to the main areas of the program, some of which are available in the free version and some which will require an upgrade to the paid version before you can make use of them.

What features does the program offer?

The first thing to show you here is a screenshot that comes up during the installation of the program that gives a fair idea of how the free program compares to its paid brother -

avg-comparison

But of course antivirus and anti-spyware aren’t the only features you get with this program. You do, however, have to watch out for some bits that look like they may be included but in fact require payment in some way or another.

options

One such example is the PC Analyzer which you can see in the image below.

Running this tool will cause the program to check for Registry Errors, look for junk files, check hard drive fragmentation and look for broken shortcuts.

analyzer

Shockingly, or I may even say dubiously, I was presented with a hat full of severe issues to consider -

analyzer-result

OUCH!

Guess I better hit that Fix now button and repair all that eh?

Oh, hang on, whats this? A web page offering AVG PC TuneUp at $39.99. No thanks!

mobile

On a more positive note, you do get some free Android security bundled as well as a useful browser toolbar. There is also AVG’s Do Not Track button which actually works pretty well (but not 100%) in terms of blocking social buttons, analytics and those pesky ads.

Will it keep me safe?

This program will certainly do a pretty good job of keeping your machine protected. Whilst I don’t think it is on a par with the best of the paid antivirus solutions this year my own testing did show it to be more than capable at both detecting and removing malware.

scan-options

Overall, it is just as effective as many of the paid solutions I’ve seen this year (I still think BitDefender and F-Secure are much better though) which is certainly impressive.

Overall impression

Considering this program is free I have to say I am highly impressed with the level of protection it offers. Via my own testing I would say that AVG Free 2013 ranks well into the top half of all the AV programs I’ve looked at thus far this year, despite the fact that almost all of them are programs you have to pay for.

The program also fares well in terms of resource usage too. Whilst I’ve seen AV programs using a little less memory I have to say that the CPU usage stayed under 10% for the majority of a full system scan and my test machine was a joy to use whilst the scanning was in progress.

resource-usage

The only real annoyances with AVG Free 2013 are to do with upselling.

From the main interface you seemingly have access to features that then require you to upgrade to the paid version of the program or to pay for additional modules. Of course AVG are a business and need to make money so this is, perhaps, forgiveable. The ads they slap on the bottom of most screens (see it on many of the screenshots I didn’t overly crop above) are simply annoying as hell however.

That said, for a free antivirus program, this is pretty darn good indeed and will server many computer users very well indeed.

If you can see past the obvious upselling built into this program then you'll be left with a pretty darn good antivirus program that competes well with the big boys, despite being FREE.
About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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