AVG Free is probably one of the most well-known and well-used free antivirus programs on the market today.
When you visit the official site (linked to above) you will discover that AVG offers three main products –
- AVG Anti-Virus Free
- AVG Anti-Virus 9.0
- AVG Internet Security 9.0
The first of those, the subject of this review, is free whilst the other require payment.
Comparing the product features between the three products reveals that the free program offers good but basic protection which is pretty much the case with most free antivirus products.
The setup program for AVG Free is quickly downloaded – its available through CNET and is only 2.0MB in size.
Once the installer begins it quickly prompts you to choose between the free or paid versions which I personally found annoying as I thought I had downloaded the free one anyway, but I’m sure it makes good business sense for the vendor.
Needless to say, I downloaded the free version, a task which was completed in just over a minute.
Installation was then easy but the program then offered me the chance to install the AVG toolbar and to make Yahoo my homepage – a useful extra for some people, perhaps, but incredibly annoying to those of use who download many, many programs that want to install ‘extras’ all of the time.
Anyway, once the program has installed it will then grab the latest virus definitions so that your computer will be fully protected.
Opening the program up shows that various security components are installed such as –
- Link Scanner
- E-Mail Scanner
- Resident Shield
- Update Manager
I’m only interested in the antivirus component today and that offers a few simple choices – scan your whole computer or selected parts now or schedule a scan for a future time and date.
I went for an immediate scan and was surprised that throughout the process AVG Free only used about 8 Megs of RAM which is considerably lower than many other alternatives I have tried recently.
CPU usage seems rather hiigh – my machine was recording about 64% on both cores during the scanning process but performance seemed ok anyway, unlike the results I had with Panda Cloud Antivirus recently.
Overall I like AVG Free.
There are a couple of issues that niggle me – the company are obviously looking for the upsell and I hate having programs try to get me to install toolbars / change homepages.
That said, these don’t affect the product’s performance in any way and the whole point in having an antivirus program is to protect your computer – AVG Free does that job well, doesn’t impact your system resources too much and doesn’t cost a penny either.
This one is definitely worth checking out if you want a free antivirus program.