AVG Free Antivirus


AVG is a 100% free antivirus program that offers real time protection, on demand scanning, and email scanning. It also features automatic updates and a very small footprint that will not slow

down your system. It does exactly what it promises and does it really well.

Although AVG is well known as a free antivirus program, I wanted to review it because the new version 7.5 (Oct 2006) seems to offer better protection than its predecessors

First, the good news:

  • AVG is a complete antivirus solution that features dependable real time protection as well on-demand virus scanning
  • AVG features auto updates, making it a good install-and-forget solution that you do not have to manually keep updating (some other ‘free’ antivirus programs will force you to keep doing this in order to incentivize you to buy the paid version).
  • AVG has a remarkably small footprint, is light on memory use, and generally will not hog your system resources. Upon replacing Norton AV with AVG I noticed that my system boot time was three times faster and my system in general was noticeably more responsive, especially the time it took to acess files. If you suspect that your antivirus software is making everything unaccpetably sluggish then I recommend that you experiment with removing it and installing AVG.
  • AVG provides email virus protection for both incoming and outgoing emails. This is not to be taken for granted, since it is the one reason why AVG is my choice over Antivir, another excellent free antivirus which is excellent for both real time and on demand scanning but somehow does not offer email scanning. Given that I receive 100+ spam emails a day on one of my POP3 email accounts, this feature is really important to me.
  • Its Windows Vista ready

Second, the not-so-good news

  • Although AVG is very good at detecting known virusus, it’s so-called heuristic detection abilities have been somewhat lacking. Heuristic detection is a protection against viruses that are yet unknown based on observing the patterns of behavior of legitimate code vs. viruses (it is a kind of ‘generic’ virus protection). According to the Grisoft website, however, the new AVG upgrade to ver. 7.5 promises “improved virus detection based on better heuristics and NTFS data streams scanning”. All of the antivirus software comparisons that I could find tested older versions however, so until new comparison test are published it is not clear just how much this has improved. But the improvement seems to be significant, since the Grisoft website states that “recent certifications include VB100%, ICSA, and West Coast Labs Checkmark”. The West Coast Labs certification in particular is something that AVG previously lacked while AVAST, another free antivirus soft, had.
  • The free version of AVG is stripped of the spyware/adware detection component of the paid version. You could download and install this seperately, but the free version is significantly handicapped. This is not a huge concern, since there are many freeware antispyware programs that you could install seperately that offer excellent protection. Click here for reviews of some of these on FreewareGenius.
  • From what I’ve read AVG has been associated with a high rate of false positives. I’m not sure if this is still the case, but I do know that this has not been an issue in my experience.
  • Predictably, there is no technical support offered to users of the free edition. If you feel that this is something you need then its probably worth it to buy the paid ‘pro’ version.

Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

The verdict:AVG is a program that keeps getting better and better, and manages to do so without growing into a resource intensive monster that takes over your machine. I’ve looked at many antivirus comparisons, and it seemed like the more recently the test was conducted the the better AVG performed.

I am very comfortable recommending AVG as your primary virus protection software, provided you (a) have adequate seperate protection against spyware/malware, and (b) you have a good firewall running. Currently on my machine I am running a combination of AVG antivirus, Spyware Terminator, Spyware Blaster, and Comodo Free Firewall, and I haven’t experienced any problems despite the fact that I am constantly downloading/installing and testing out all manner of files/programs on my machine, including some that may be somewhat dubious.

Version tested:  7.5.430

Go to Program Download Page for the latest version. The Program home page.

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Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
  • Personally, I much prefer Avast anti-virus over AVG. I’ve always found AVG’s interface to be clunky and slow. Avast also provides more services, control and well… *information*. It’s also free (at least the two home versions, Windows/Linux), so I think it deserves a look at.

  • Samer

    Thanks for your input Keilaron. I’ve used Avast in the past but didn’t like its funky looking interface. However, it is possible from what I read that Avast is a better product, although I’m not sure if that’s still the case.

    I read that Avast’s performance when scanning drives is faster that AVG’s, while AVG has a smaller footprint. Personally I’m very sensitive to how a program looks and feels, and somehow I simply like AVG. I will probably write a posting about Avast too as soon as I find new comparatives published and freely available (after OCT 2006). Anybody know of any?

  • rajji

    thanks for such a nice side

  • Sol

    Well I don’t know about Avast, but AVG pwns them all in my view, I have used most anti virus software but AVG picked the most trojans, viruses, etc. And i decided to buy the professional edition(the freeware version) beat most commercial ones.

  • I used AVG years ago but it failed a few tests I ran on it. I did use Avast for a year but it failed to detect a trojan that nearly every other anti virus engine picked up. I now use Active Virus Shield which is from AOL but powered by Kaspersky.

  • kiran

    v good site

  • joao_proscrito

    Man! I tottaly agree with AVG. It’s the least troublesome of every AV I every tried, Avira has the advertising and the stupid updates, and Avast has completely resource hog my pc. AVS from AOL is good, but I think that AOL can’t be trusted. AVG Antivirus is so smooth updating, it uses very few resources and plus is a good AV. It’s not the best, I know that avira and avast both have better detection rates, but I prefer a stable AV over Avira or Avast.

  • Jack_Pumkin_King

    joao_proscrito said: Avast has completely resource hog my pc

    What type of PC do you have? I’m running a 1.3 gig with 256 ram with Avast and there is no difference in speed. AVG on the other hand, slowed it to a crawl.

  • aman

    avg is best for PC but hard for virus

  • Chris Thomas

    I have used AVG AV Free since version 6. I have never had a virus, trojan or worm infection. I routinely run checks using Panda online scan and Stinger amongst others, without discovery or any virus, trojan or worm infection. I can’t remember the last false positive that AVG AV Free reported. It works quietly and efficiently.

    AVG AV Free works perfectly with Agnitum Outpost personal firewall (now at v4 and EXCELLENT), Spyware Doctor, SpyBot Search and Destroy, Spyware Guard, Spyware Blaster and Prevx Pro. All these products are valuable assets in my quest for good online security. I also use a-squared free and Lavasoft AdAware free to run routine scans. Nothing serious has yet been reported.

    AVG AV Free is kind to my machines – Windows XP(SP2), 2000(SP4) and 98SE. It uninstalls properly and is very stable in operation. The understated aesthetics suit my plain tastes.

    I would take a lot of convincing to use anything other than AVG. I have great confidence in AVG AV Free and recommend it with enthusiasm.

  • Very solid product, a much better interface and visually nicer than Avast, but both do a good job at preventing and removing viruses and do not use up memory like Norton and McAfee do.


  • i used to have a lot of problems due to viruses as my work is where i have to jack in cds pen drives of ppl and many i don’t really trust….from last 8 months i never have had such problem thanks to AVG free….it is the best doesn’t take up too much system resources and still has good virus detection rate…..Thanks AVG



  • Al

    I was going to download AVG based upon some friends’ recommendations. However, I started looking via Google for comparisons and found:

    This shows AVIRA AntiVir to be better than AVG, but it doesn’t cover e-mail. I never have had trouble with e-mail since I use yahoo.com so I will probably download the free AVIRA.
    Anybody know about these two progams?
    Thanks, Al

  • cicom3nd3z

    I’ve used AVG for a long time. I think is a great product.

    The good: It is the most lightweight AV I’ve used. With such a low memory and CPU usage it doesn’t slow down your computer. Offers good real-time protection and it has automatic updates.

    The bad: It doesn’t have a great way of dealing with infected archives. It deleted an entire archive even if only one file inside was infected. Also scans a limited type of archives compared with other free AV-s (like Active virus shield – no longer available from AOL)

    There is no such thing as the perfect antivirus. If you constantly visit warez sites you submit yourself to the danger of getting infected. The first thing you need to do is change your browsing habits. I don’t recommend using a free antivirus product if you continue exposing yourself to threats.

  • aa

    this is very good antivirus programm

  • irfan

    this is a good antivirus program

  • jainauto


  • pooja

    anti virus

  • dileep

    it’s really good

  • Anonymous


  • muktesh


  • danny

    i have just installed this ,so i can’t judge it’s operation but i am impressed with the ease with which i was able to update the virus database.
    I had earlier installed virus buster 2006 antivirus from a cd but was unable to update it due to some serious flaw in the software and am now unable to find it listed anywhere in the program list to uninstall it.

  • Hi
    AVG i cant explain in my words. Its a powerful antivirus. Since i have this one i and my computer feel life easy.

    Only one problem to scan with this is it has no sence that some files r necessary to run window if they r infected AVG also delete them all.

  • just one comment,
    avg free is good at preventing virus intrusion, but it won’t recover your already infected system, it just delete the virus.
    so make sure you have a clean system before you implement avg free.
    the avg paid version btw can recover your system nicely…

  • avg 7.5 is light, but not avg 8.0. it’s eat your memory. in my machine, it take up 30 MB in memory. in AVG v8.0 they include much new feature, like anti spyware, link checker, AVG toolbar. but, i like it, because AVG able to protect my computer. it’s a great anti virus.

  • derBeobachter

    While V7.5 is a great product, the new V8 is complete crap! It is 3 times slower, and uses sooooo many resources that a slower PC will come to a halt (like mine).
    Unfortunately the support cycle for 7.5 is almost over, so I’m afraid it’s time to say goodby to AVG. I have switched to Avast, and I’m happy again!


    I like it

  • Also used to use AVG but have nowswitched to Avast. It is a vast improvement (sorry, bad pun!) and runs a lot faster
    than AVG

  • AVG used to be an excellent free anti-virus product. When i’m installing PC’s at people’s homes I alwas installed a copy of AVG. I liked the product so much that I also purchased the nework edition for the school network I manage and some webservers. This was a mistake that cost me dearly!

  • NotAVG

    Avira, Avast, MSE,are better than avg, avg dont pass any test!!!…anyone can see that!!!….

  • Taufiq

    I’ve used AVG free edition (3 years) and Avast free edition (2 years) before, and now switched to Avira. I can tell you that Avira is the best one. Try it!

  • The DataRat


    I used AVG for ~years~ after finally giving up on Norton AV (Symantec kept making it
    progressively worse and worse !). Recently, though, I switched to Avast.


    Both are freeware, but I’ve come to like Avast far better. Samer is correct: Avast versions
    ~did~ have a “funky looking” (and poorly implemented) interface. This was fixed in v. 5,

    If you’re going to use AVG -and it’s a good AV product- keep the heuristics turned off !

    I just have fewer false positives, and faster scans, using Avast v. 5.

    Nevertheless, either vast or AVG are ~better~ than pay-for AV solutions. I’d take AVG
    (or Avast) any day over Symantec NAV, McAfee AV, or Panda AV.

    [ And, interestingly, I bought the paid version of AVG yet liked it less. I ate the year’s
    subscription to AVG Internet Security, and went back to AVG Free ! ]

    And, just FYI, both AVG and Avast are Czech products made by different developers.


    The Computer Rodent


  • Sav

    “Avira AntiVir Personal” compared to “Avira Free Antivirus” Whats the difference?
    I am using windows 7, 64 bit home. (Dell XPS 15),
    I wonder the difference between “Avira AntiVir Personal” (found : http://www.avira.com/en/support-download-free-antivirus) and “Avira free AntiVirus” (found: http://www.avira.com/en/support-download-avira-free-antivirus)… both are free, but what are differences? which one suits better for a 64 bit system?