Don’t be afraid, you’re not the only one planning to switch to a freeware antivirus solution. And no, despite all the rumors, using a free application doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re less protected that in the case of using a paid tool. Anyway, the application you’re about to read about deserves all the praises.
AVG Free Edition is one of the few freeware antivirus applications that should really be taken into consideration when thinking about a freeware software to protect your data. Truth is, it only provides basic protection, but this should be enough in case you’re not an avid computer user that downloads tons of files from the Internet.
The only issue we’ve encountered during the setup process was that annoying attempt to change the default search engine to Yahoo, which is why the application has been flagged as adware here on Softpedia. Not to mention that the installation kit wants to deploy the AVG Security Toolbar on your computer.
AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012 has the following minimum system requirements:
- Processor: Intel Pentium 1.5 Ghz or faster
- Memory: 512 MB of RAM or more
- Hard Drive: 950 MB or more of free space
- Operating System: 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows XP / Vista / 7
+ Plus Points
- Scores highly in independent malware blocking and removal tests
- Large range of features for a free antivirus program
- Fast scanning
- Low system resource usage, even on an older machine, as seen in the image below.
Performance Improvements :
All products of AVG 2012 product line boast about performance improvements. In fact, the performance of AVG 2012 has been improved a lot and that’s what I observed while using it. Startup is fast. On average, my Windows 7 has finished booting just around 1 min.
It has leaner memory footprint while it is idle, just taking about 30 MB. Even though there are several other products which use much less memory, I think AVG’s idle memory usage is good enough. More importantly no slowdown of system is observed.
Usually, system performance is affected majorly during scan. Because, many antiviruses tend to use lots and lots of CPU and memory while scanning and thus making the system very slow. AVG 2012 is a bit different in this matter. While scanning the memory used is constantly around 100 to 110 MB, with CPU usage constantly around 20 to 25 %, but sometimes the CPU usage will shoot upto 95%, which will come back to the usual 20%. So, I can say that AVG memory management has been improved a lot.
A word of caution: We’ve noted before that the average person is paying more and more attention to performance, and there are far more viable operating system options than ever before. If security is more or less similar, people will be scrutinizing system impact greatly, and adding 30 seconds or more to your boot time has the potential to drive people not just from your security suite, but from your OS, too.
All that said, AVG Anti-Virus Free continues to offer an excellent if not perfect level of security, and is well-worth a serious shot at being your go-to suite.