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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

AVG Antivirus 2012 Free Edition – Review

Today we’re going to revisit a new AVG product, AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition. Previously I’ve been using Comodo Internet Security Premium Free as my security, but I decided to see what AVG has done to their new 2012 anti-virus software. Upon some more research it appears that AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition protects against many kinds of malware, including Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, and Rootkits. It also detects PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) such as keygens or hacktools. Anyway, enough blab and let’s see AVG 2012 impress!


Installation
Going to the AVG website (free.avg.com) was of course a tedious experience…they try to upsell you multiple times so you end up with a paid version.  But after some careful clicking I ended up with this:

AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition downloaded an additional 61MB of files to my computer during the installation. Yes, that means that this installed requires an internet connection to complete. I’m sure there is a full installer you can download so that you don’t need an internet connection but I was unable to find it, (then again I didn’t even look for it, in fact, I have no internet connection at the new apartment I just moved into so I’m glad I have something to do right now)…
User Interface
The interface of AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition is pretty similar to the 2011 version. However, I think they ironed out some of the imperfections and refined it some. Overall it’s an enjoyable experience, if it weren’t for those damn advertisements! Yes, AVG, I know that making money is the ultimate goal of your software, but if I’ve already chosen the free version I really don’t need to be bothered by these pesky ads.
Anyway, here’s the interface (and yes, I like the Windows Taskbar on the left side, it’s a better usage of space on my widescreen laptop):

AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition, like all the previous versions, has a lot of customizable settings.


Protection
Here comes the interesting part! How well does AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition protect your computer? Well, I plan to find out.

Oops, there goes my Office 2010 activation hack…
Upon scanning an entire folder of assorted malware planted on a USB flash drive, AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition picked up all but one. Very good!
Scanning
The scanner in AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition is a little bit misleading: the first “30%” or so of a scan goes by very quickly, and then it slows down and takes a lot longer. A bit optimistic for sure. Something I would like to see in the scan window is the Time Elapsed. Anyway, here’s the scan window:

Performance
This is where the previous version of AVG 2011 keeled over and died on the spot. But AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition is surprising fast. AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition used about 40MB of RAM during the scan, while when idle it only used 30MB. Actually, my computer starts up faster with AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition than it did with Comodo Internet Security Premium Free. Overall, I’m very pleased with the performance of AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition and I would say it’s definitely still suitable for people who don’t have the latest in PC technology.
Conclusion
AVG Anti-Virus 2012 Free Edition is a refreshing improvement to AVG’s portfolio of security software. I would highly recommend it, as it offers comprehensive protection, improved performance, and, if there were no ads, a great user interface that is perfect for both power users and newbies. So congratulations, AVG, you win a Hardware Insights Silver Award! (But I can’t find the award image badge right now so it’s just going to have to wait).
Scoring
User Interface: 8/10
Protection: 9.5/10
Performance: 9/10
Value: 10/10
Final Score: 9.1/10

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