Editor's Addition: This article focuses on AVG Free Edition 7.5 and not the newer 8.0 and 9.0 release from Grisoft. I have used both 8.0 and 9.0 and both are incredibly slow and bloated and I do not recommend them at all. Today I recommend AVAST Home Edition which is free and you can register it for free upgrades once year through applying for a free key for the product. Do NOT install AVG anymore, it is horrible and is nothing compared to the older 7.5 version.
It goes hand in hand, if you are a computer enthusiast, everyone appreciates you being a relative or a friend. It saves them money because face it, most computer enthusiasts just HATE to allow a person they know to have a system that is not running as close to perfect as possible. I am one of those enthusiasts. Even though I have no time or am just stopping in for a friendly visit, all they have to say is there is something wrong with their computer and my ears perk up kind of like an hound dog when you ask him if he wants to go hunting.
This leads me to the person's computer where I call on my knowledge experience tool kit in my head to tweak and get the computer up and running as smooth as possible. A common comment heard is "Ah, that bubble popping up in my taskbar is because my antivirus updates need to be renewed and I have to buy this year's version."
Oh lord, here we go again.......
This kind of thing really irritates me. Companies like Symantec and McAfee only five or six years ago offered three years of updates when you purchased their product. Soon after it went to two years, then it has settled at one year which in my mind is a rip off. Seems with the reduction in service there wasn't a reduction in the retail price tag.
Add in the fact that the price difference between purchasing the updates for a year versus purchasing the whole program being relatively the same and most computer owners will just buy the newer version from their local computer store. This leads to a user installing version after version over the years which bloats the registry and that alone will lead to a small performance reduction and in some cases a computer that won't run properly due to conflicts between program versions. Overall not a good situation to be in and in a lot of these situations you will have to reformat the computer. Funny that is the same thing you have to do when you get a bad virus infection. Odd situation when you think of it. The cure lately from the bigger antivirus corporations can be just just as harmful as the virus.
But wait.....there's more. Seems that with every new version, their respective programs are asking more and more from your system resources and slowing the average computer down significantly. You can't believe how many performance problems I have diagnosed and fixed were not due to viruses or malware, they were caused by fat bloated antivirus programs. This is completely unacceptable.
But most everyday computer users just don't know any better. When I ask a client or friend/family to name an antivirus program nine out of ten times they will mention Norton or McAfee. Although the marketing departments at Symantec and McAfee will deem this a victory, I deem it as a potential problem. Symantec and McAfee already knows this and are getting lazy. Coding is getting more sloppy and the computer memory bank is set up as an "all you can eat" buffet. If you install Norton or McAfee, in essence, you are losing control of your computer. What ever you do on your computer, it goes through the antivirus and when this one program is slow and resource intensive, your whole computer is slow. Consider it like have a six lane toll highway full of bumper to bumper traffic and having only one toll booth (the antivirus) the six lanes of traffic has to squeeze through. Now also consider the toll booth attendant being a lazy fat guy who not really caring about doing his job properly and quickly. You get my point.
But you don't have to put up with this.
What if I told you that there was a free option for personal use on the internet that has all the benefits of a good antivirus without the performance decrease, and unlimited updates for one small price. How affordable is this small price? Well, think as affordable as you can possibly get. That's right, it is free. "FREE!!!???" you might cautiously ask. Yes, if you need it for personal use, it is completely free and it comes with daily program updates through the working week.
I have personally tested all the free options available and it boils down to one option and that is Grisoft's AVG AntiVirus Free Edition (Link HERE) . It comes with everything you will EVER need from an antivirus and without the performance and resource decrease. As I type here right now I am using a version that I installed over two years ago. It has been updated and patched automatically without incident for that long. You never know it is running other than the updater updating every day when you first start up your computer and if you by chance stumble on a virus every once in a while.
You install it and go through the setup wizard and just make sure you check the internet updates option and click the box where it says to remember to always get the updates from internet and not from a file. That is all you need to know.
Through several years of use I have yet to have one single problem. The email scanning is problem-free, the active virus scanning is very good, yet won't slow you computer down to a halt like some of the other bloatware antivirus solutions on the market. In fact, I will buy you a really tasty cookie if you can notice the difference in performance after it is installed. With all features up and running I am only barely using 24 megabytes of ram which when compared to the others is less than half of the resources.
Most of the reasons why people don't use a product such as AVG Free Edition is they either never heard of it or seem to think that because it is free it is somehow inferior. As I discussed this with my fellow reviewer Joe here at Tweaknews.net, he mentioned it is in part due to the difference in international business models. In Europe a lot of the companies make all of their money from business licenses and also release a lighter version of their program to the public for free. In North America everyone pays which doesn't surprise me in a market dominated by profit greed. Seeing that Grisoft is based out of the Czech Republic, it gladly follows a business model that makes sense. As mentioned earlier, a lot of the consumer base put a direct relationship between quality/functionality and the price. If it is more expensive, it has to be a better product. In part this is true and as the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for...". But in a lot of situations, you are paying for nothing other than perhaps a well known name. Take for instance the difference between name brand and generic medications. Both do the same job, it is just that the cheaper option doesn't have that comforting name and logo on the front of it.
This is something that has to stop........and is the main proponent of why I am writing this today.
Now coming back to the topic at hand, I have tried and installed every single version and brand of free antivirus on the market and none of them are as simple and easy to use as Grisoft's offering. Now I know some people have opinions on their favorite program and that is fine but today I am writing this article for the common user trying to get a better alternative and skip the months of testing and trial and error that I have gone through.
As a interesting conclusion I want to ask you to do me a favor. If you are contemplating a new computer or an upgrade seeing you computer is getting slower and less responsive, check to see what antivirus you have and uninstall it and its associated programs in the windows control panel. I bet your performance problems will be reduced quite a bit along with faster shutdown, boot times and internet surfing/downloading.
Now if you want to keep those speeds and some money in your wallet and keep your computer protected, then maybe take my advice and try this program out. Once you try it, you won't go back to slow mainstream alternative.
If you have any further questions about this antivirus, please free free to post them in our forums HERE.