It is always good to have a strong and reliable antivirus program and there are many possible choices out there. However, a lot of the better antivirus tools are paid and if you do not want to spend any money on a security program but still want to have your computer properly protected, you would have to find and download a free antivirus application which still offers the same quality as the paid ones. There are many free programs for computer security but not all of them provide the user with the same level of protection. Therefore, we have decided to introduce you to some of the best and most popular software protection tools that we know of and in today’s article, you will get to know more about AVG Antivirus – a highly effective antivirus program that you can download for free right now.
As with most similar programs, AVG has two versions – one is free and the other one is paid. Naturally, the paid version comes with a number of extra features for even better security. However, with the free version you would still get high-quality protection for you computer without having to spend any money. AVG is one of the top antivirus programs out there and it is capable of keeping the user’s machine defended against most forms of malware that one could encounter.
Once AVG gets installed (installation takes a bit more than usual) and the program is opened, the user is greeted with the main window of the antivirus. It consists of two main panels: Basic Protection and Full Protection. If you are using the free version, the Full Protection panel would be grayed-out and therefore unavailable. The features available there are protection against Hackers, against Phishing, Private data protection. In Basic Protection, the features are security against malware on your PC and protection against dangerous and/or harmful sites.
There is a Home Button at the top-left that opens a separate window with several utilities in it such as PC TuneUp, VPN or a Password Manager. Back in the main window of AVG, there is also a big button for scans with a gear icon in it that allows you to customize your scans. Also, at the top-right, there is a main menu button that provides access to several other features and also to the program’s settings. In our opinion, the interface of AVG could be a bit confusing since different utilities, features and options are available through different buttons and menus which makes navigating through the program a bit clunky.
The main element that determines whether or not a security program is good and reliable is obviously its ability to protect the computer it has been installed on. In that regard, we are happy to inform you that AVG is at the top of the list of free antivirus programs. It scores high on the tests from most testing labs with the exception of one (MRG-Effitas). However, the testing results from AVG are not the best as the antivirus is usually outmatched by several other security programs.
That said, AVG still offers plenty of protection and is really good at stopping malware. It removes potentially dangerous files quickly and effectively. Also, if the application encounters a file that it doesn’t recognize, it sends a report to its headquarters where the file gets analyzed and an evaluation is offered to the user within the next 15 seconds. One thing to note, however, is that the program does not target potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) by default. This setting needs to be enabled manually by the user and we advise you to do it if you are using AVG.
Otherwise, installing this program on your computer would surely improve the level of security that it has and while it might not be the very best protection software out there in terms of stopping malware, it is still at the top.
The free version of AVG offers a number of neat, useful security utilities and if you get the paid one, the added extra perks would be even more. However, we think that in terms of free features, Avast outmatches AVG as it comes with more extras even if you aren’t using its Premium version. Here, we will go over the most important, useful and essential features that AVG has to offer you:
- Extensive scanning customization – when you open the scanning settings, you will find out that there are quite a few of them. There’s the regular Computer scan, but there is also a deep scan option as well as a USB/DVD scan and even a Performance scan that will look or any potential bugs and junk data which might be slowing down your computer. Also, AVG offers a Boot-time scanning that will look for malware before Windows has booted, thus avoiding interference by viruses that you might have on your PC.
- File shredder – once you install the antivirus and then right-click on a file, an extra option will be available in the menu. The feature is labeled Shred Using AVG and it allows you to securely dispose of any data so that it cannot be recovered afterwards.
- Quarantine – as with most other antivirus tools, the current one too offers a quarantine feature that allows you to isolate any dangerous or suspicious files and keep them in a secure environment.
- PC TuneUp – this feature allows you to improve the performance of your machine as it automatically cleans junk data or fixes settings that make your computer’s work less efficient.
- VPN – a virtual private network can help you surf the Internet safely by using proxy servers.
- Active Do not track – this utility prevents website trackers from keeping tabs on what you do online and from collecting personal browser data. Most modern browsers have a Do not track header but this can be ignored by websites and doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get tracked. AVG actively prevents unwanted data collection and web tracking when you browse the internet.
- Ransomware Protection – this utility walls off folders so as to stop suspicious software which might be Ransomware from modifying or encrypting your data.
One note that needs to be made here is that most free features offered by AVG are paid and the free version only offers a limited number of added utility. Some of the features come with a trial period during which you can test them and see if they suit your needs. All of this is to be perfectly expected, yet, as we mentioned already, Avast seems to offer a bit more in terms of extra utility even without its paid version.
AVG is relatively light and doesn’t consume too much system resources. We were delighted to see that even when a Deep Scan was initiated, when the program was running in the background, hardly any RAM or CPU was getting used and there was no slow-down of the computer’s productivity even when this was done on a weaker PC that doesn’t have a lot of RAM or a very powerful processor. When AVG is running, you barely notice its presence which means that you can have a scan running on your machine and still work with the computer uninterrupted and without any frustration caused by any unwanted slow-downs. With that said, if you are using a weaker PC or simply do not want to waste a lot of your computer’s resources on an antivirus, then you might enjoy having AVG.
One other thing we liked about this antivirus is the general lack of ads that push its paid version. A lot of free programs out there try vary hard to advertise other paid products or their premium versions. With AVG, we barely noticed any unwanted advertising. There weren’t even ads within the program’s interface and the only time we saw the paid version being mentioned was when we clicked on a feature that required payment. Apart from that, there was nothing intrusive, annoying or irritating in terms of advertisement from AVG.
If you are looking for a reliable free program that can protect your computer from most forms of viruses and that does not require a lot of RAM or a powerful CPU, then you would probably like AVG AntiVirus free. It’s free version might not offer many extra features but the program is still perfectly capable of keeping your system secured without annoying you with intrusive content or affecting the performance of your machine.