AVG LinkScanner Free Edition 2013 is a standalone version of a component of the full AVG 2013 suite, both free and premium editions. It provides a layer of additional protection against a variety of online threats, such as hacked Web sites that can redirect your browser to sites you don't care to visit and that can threaten your privacy and even the security of your computer system. It's designed to work in the background, scanning each Web page before it loads to head off exploit sites and similar threats without slowing your browsing noticeably. It's also included with AVG's full app. The only obvious difference is that LinkScanner's reduced interface becomes part of the full AVG interface.
Installing LinkScanner usually requires a system reboot. In standalone mode, AVG LinkScanner Free's user interface is a simplified version of AVG 2013's interface, with an up-to-date, tile-based look, though only the Web Browsing tile is active. LinkScanner accesses two basic tools, Surf-Shield and an optional Online Shield that requires an upgrade to activate. LinkScanner indicated our system's Protected status, while the Report showed no threats. The Support view offers information about LinkScanner's version, licensing, and similar data. Options include Advanced Settings such as Privacy Preferences and an Ignore list as well as general options such as updates.
We tried AVG LinkScanner on a PC without AVG's antivirus software installed, and it seemed to perform its stated mission well enough. However, we had some trouble uninstalling it. The process required some effort and apparently had the unfortunate side effect of preventing us from reinstalling the free AVG 2013 antivirus program, though we tried more than once. Other users report similar experiences. The version of the tool that comes with AVG's free antivirus application never caused any trouble that we're aware of, nor did it seem to slow down or compromise our browsing significantly. Based on this, we can't recommend the standalone AVG LinkScanner Free Edition 2013. If you need or want extra protection from Web threats without using the free AVG 2013, other alternatives are available.