Free Anti-virus Programs
AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012
Proof of just how popular AVG anti-virus products are is the fact that Grisoft, the company behind these anti-virus products, has changed its company name to AVG Technologies. And with the release of AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012 we can only expect AVG Technologies to once again reap the benefits of their hard work through their clients' continual patronage. As a freeware, it delivers outstanding value. The only difference it has compared with paid AVG Internet Security 2012 suite is that it has no antspam firewall protection.
AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012 retains many of the features that have made it popular as a freeware over the last few years. But there are a couple of solid enhancements to its protection abilities. First, it comes with a patent-pending technology for detecting one of the most difficult but annoying if not potentially damaging threats to reach your computer - the fake antivirus. These programs disguise themselves as antivirus that purports to do a Web-based scan, but once they install on your PC, the only way remove them is to purchase their their license. They have become part of a new breed of virus called “ransomware” infections most of which won’t even do any disguises. The new AVG 2012 will block both of them.
Second is the LinkScanner tool that continues to integrate spyware and virus protection. This time, it boasts of a more dynamic code that can detect sophisticated threats that can mutate faster than any signature databases can respond to.
Other improvements include the a pop-up AVG Advisor, a monitoring facility that automatically notifies you when browsers like Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer start eating too significantly large memory so you can restart your browser before slowing down your PC.
The AVG Free 2012 also retains its email scanning feature that scans all incoming and outgoing email messages for threats and any form of malware . And even it doesn't have a rootkit scanning feature, many users report that the program was able to completely remove known rootkits through its standard signature-based scanning.
Installation and Setup
Unlike other AV programs, AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012 will automatically check your system before it proceeds with the installation process. You will then be given the option to choose between two modes of installation: standard and custom. It's highly recommended to just stick to the standard installation that comes with predefined settings, so you won't have to go through the hassle of customizing the program right then and there. In addition, it will ask you to choose between the freeware version and the 30-day trial version of its Internet Security suite. Installation is a breeze with fewer screen from last year’s version.
But you can just leave the default options since you can always change the configuration and alter the settings directly from the AVG application once it's installed. Custom installation is only recommended for advanced users who have to do a bit more tweaking to make the program fit their specific system requirements. Overall, we got it installed with default setting in less than 5 minutes from download.
AVG has also made the new 2012 version perform faster with lower footprint on your computer resources. Specifically, its virus signature database eats 40% less hard drive space. Background processes that eat up CPU has gone down from 16 to 11 and uses 20% less RAM. That’s a great relief on your computer’s performance.
Changes to the interface for the new AVG AV Free edition are minimal but more focused on having better functional usability. It still sports a predominantly clean uncluttered main page but the icons have been redone from last year’s version. It retains the three general tabs on the left side. Unlike other AV programs' interface where shortcuts are crammed on the left-side of the main window, AVG Free 2012 interface only has three general tabs: Overview, Scan Options, and Update Now.
It's easy to navigate through the program's interface too. From the system menu, you can easily access all the program's components, services, and features such as email scanner, anti-virus, anti-spyware, Resident Shield, LinkScanner, and Update Manager.
On the upper part of the main window, you'll find information on the current security status of your AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012. The green icon means that your AV program is fully functional, that the components are up to date, and that your computer is properly protected. If the orange icon is displayed, it means that one or more of your AVG components are falsely configured and that you should correct the properties and settings.
Not to worry though, the orange icon also indicates that your computer is still protected by AVG. If you see the red icon, however, this means that your AVG is in critical status and its components are not working properly. You should immediately correct your configurations if you see the red icon because this means that your computer cannot be protected by AVG.