I can always tell when AVG release a new version of my favourite anti-virus software. The reason for this being my readers without fail begin emailing me accusing me of lieing to them about this software being free.
Now, I must admit that it is true that whenever a new version of AVG is released and an old version is discontinued, they do try and push users down the route of buying the more advanced package. I don’t blame them for this as everybody needs to make money, however those that actually bother reading the message will see that there is still a free option available. It is this version, AVG 8, which I will be reviewing today.
I have always screamed by love for AVG from the highest of mountains as I firmly believe it is the anti-virus software that my readers should be using. Incredibly the greatest thing about this software ISN’T the fact that it doesn’t cost a penny – In fact there are a whole host of reasons that you would want to use AVG even if you did have to pay for it.
My favourite feature of the application is its non intrusive nature; it silently gets on with it – In my opinion there is nothing worse than a virus checker that gets you too involved and prevents you from getting along with the job in hand. Everything is done in the background so you want have to be involved if you rather understandably don’t want to be; it will update itself and even perform full system scans without you ever realising and then, if it finds a virus it will efficiently dispose of it.
Install and forget is a nice philosophy and beats gigantic boated pieces of software such as Norton Internet Security which prompt you every 15 seconds about problems that you wish it would just work out for itself; I’ve never understood a virus scanner which will actually ask me if I want to remove a virus it has found. In my eyes this is a stupid question – why would I voluntarily keep something that is liable to wipe my hard drive and provide me with months of extra unpaid work?
Version 8 improves on the background scanning of the previous AVG application and provides new and quite possibly overdue Spyware protection, along with a handy LinkScanner feature. The latter is a new component which provides you with a quick graphical evaluation of a sites perceived safety before you visit it whenever you do an Internet search in an engine such as Google. It works by taking the findings of those that use the AVG toolbar by warning you via a small graphical link if a site that appears in your search results is likely to be malicious.
Updates are provided for free for the duration of the application and of course all the normal features like e-mail scanning and resident shield are provided and switched on by default.
With regards to installing, the program is a 45.6mb download which can be obtained by visiting http://free.grisoft.com – It is worrying to see such the size has growth significantly from AVG 7.5’s 16mb footprint but this is still much smaller than many other virus checkers on the market. After advice given to me by our resident techie who resides upstairs from Refresh at Switch Computer Support, I would recommend removing AVG 7 before installing version 8 as by all accounts the installation program does sometimes simply ‘forget’ to remove the old version first which can cause problems.
Chris Holgate writes a weekly article of all things tech related. He is a director and copyrighter of the online computer consumables business Refresh Cartridges who sell cheap ink cartridges, toner cartridges, computer hardware and other computer consumables online. An archive of his work can be found at www.computerarticles.co.uk.