AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012

Download Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
4.0
out of 24626 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2012.0.2178
  • Total Downloads:
    552,200,141
  • Date Added:
    May 29, 2012
  • Price:
    Free; paid upgrade available
  • File Size:
    4.79MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    448,193
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Product ranking:

Editors' Note: The Download Now link will download an installer file to your desktop. Remain online and double-click the installer to proceed with the actual download.
To learn more about AVG products and to ask questions and receive answers from AVG company representatives, please visit CNET's dedicated AVG Forum.

Editors' Review

+

The bottom line: AVG Free 2012's renewed focus on performance keeps scans zippy, but struggles with slowing down your boot time and too many false positives.

Review:
The never-ending mantra chanted by security suite vendors sounds a lot like "faster scans, easier to use, better performance," and AVG has released a new version that it says accomplishes all three. Certainly, the scans are faster, it does install more quickly, and some tweaks to the interface have made it easier to view. Two new core security changes will make you safer, too.

Editors' note: Portions of this review are based on CNET's review of AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012.

Installation
We found that the program can go from completed download to ready to use in about 5 minutes.

Last year, AVG cut down the number of installation screens from 13 to 5. This year, the process continues to be short, but savvy users will want to be wary of a few things. First, if you have a browser open when installing, AVG will not warn you before it forces it to close. Second, you are opted-in to AVG's Security Toolbar and the Secure Search default search engine change. Users who opt out of installing the toolbar but want it later will need to rerun the installer to get it.

On the polite side, AVG does not opt you in to an automatic AVG Internet Security trial. By starting from a null position, you are required to actively choose to install AVG Free or the 30-day trial of AVG Internet Security. So this year's install procedure is a bit of a crapshoot, better in some ways than last year, but unchanged in others.

Interface
The changes to AVG's interface in the 2011 version were minor but actually improved usability quite a bit. This year, the tweaks are even less pronounced. There's not much different besides redoing the icons in the main interface so they're easier on your eyes.

There's a one-click Fix button for automatically repairing security breaches that appears at the top along with a yellow X when your system safety has been compromised. It disappears when your system gets a clean bill of health.

Joining the one-click Update button on the side nav is a one-click Scan Now button. There's a clean look to the nav, as well, with bigger fonts and timestamps for the most recent scan and most recent update.

AVG has placed icons for its security components in a central pane. Double-click on one to access more information and basic configuration settings for each specific tool. Advanced settings are available under Tools on the menu bar at the top of the window.

The new interface changes are small, no doubt, but they do make AVG easier to use.

Features and support
AVG 2012 includes a couple of solid changes to make you safer. The first is a patent-pending technique for identifying one of the most obnoxious threats to ever reach your computer: the fake antivirus. If you're unfamiliar, these programs purport to be an antivirus, or a Web-based antivirus scan. Once they install on your computer, the only way to get rid of the infection is to "buy" their license. They're also related to the ransomware infections, which don't even bother with the effort to pretend to be an antivirus. AVG 2012 will block both of them.

The LinkScanner tool has been improved to watch out for more dynamic code, which is essential in the security game because threats are mutating at such a rapid rate. Meanwhile, premium users get the new AVG Accelerator option, which optimizes your Internet connection to speed up downloads and rendering. It currently works on two sites: YouTube, and you can see its impact when pausing and unpausing videos; and Download.com binary downloads. The accelerator protocol was developed internally at AVG.

AVG now includes a monitoring tool that automatically warns you when Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer consumes too much memory. Called AVG Advisor and in all of the AVG suites, it opens a small pop-up and asks you if you'd like to restart your browser. There's no way to "force" it to activate, although if you open up a couple dozen tabs, wait a few minutes, and then open another dozen or so, it ought to kick in.

Changes made last year are still relevant. The software offers what it calls "smart scanning," which leverages AVG's behavioral detection network to scan known safe files once, and only rescan them if it detects changes. As with its competitors, AVG's network is made up of its user base anonymously contributing data up to the cloud. You can choose to opt out of contributing your data when you install, or from the options menu. AVG says opting out won't negatively affect your security.

The smart scanning tech also gives you a built-in system resource manager that prioritizes scans. If a scan is scheduled to begin while the computer is in use, it will automatically restrict the scan so that it runs slower but doesn't interfere with the computer's other tasks. When it detects the computer idling, it will then allocate more power to the scan. The feature comes with a slider so you can customize how sensitive it is.

The desktop gadget for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users that lets them initiate scans and updates with one click, without having to open the full interface. It also contains links to AVG's Twitter and Facebook pages, which the company uses to bolster its support for the free version.

The PC Analyzer scans your system for Registry and disk errors. It includes a disk defragmenter and a broken-shortcut cleaner, as well. Although the feature is restricted in full to paid users, if you have the free version, the PC Analyzer comes with a one-time offer to clean all errors it finds. It provides a link to download the separate PC Analyzer tool, once the scan is completed. This is an interesting twist on the idea of letting users detect but not repair errors, and it provides more functionality while not affecting the basic security of your computer. However, it's likely that some users will shy away from the extra download.

Other features are restricted to users of AVG's paid upgrades. The paid upgrade version of AVG Anti-Virus 2012 distinguishes itself by offering chat link shield, a download scan for files sent via instant message that looks at all ports, not just port 80, and telephone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The PC Analyzer option mentioned earlier is also included, and comes without restrictions. New in 2012 to premium users is the new AVG Accelerator option, which optimizes your Internet connection to speed up downloads and rendering. It currently works on two sites: YouTube, and you can see its impact when pausing and unpausing videos; and Download.com binary downloads. The accelerator protocol was developed internally at AVG.

AVG Internet Security 2012 includes all that AVG Anti-Virus 2012 offers, and adds in a firewall and antispam protections.

Performance
AVG claims some major performance enhancements in the 2012 versions. Specifically, the company says that it has reduced by 40 percent the size on your hard drive of the virus signature database. That database is a major component of how the program recognizes threats. AVG also stated that the number of running processes that run suite has been reduced from 16 to 11, that it uses 20 percent less memory overall than previous versions, and that it ought to impact your computer's boot time less.

CNET Labs' benchmarks found that, on the whole, it is a faster program than last year's. However, we can't directly compare this year's results to last year's because we upgraded our testing computer from Windows 7 x64 to Windows 7 x64 with Service Pack 1. We can report that AVG's boot time impact was slower than average, ranging from 2 seconds slower than the average suite from AVG Free to 18 seconds slower than average for AVG Anti-Virus. AVG Internet Security was a few seconds slower than AVG Free. This is not unusual for AVG, as it historically has a big impact on startup, but that doesn't mean we don't want to see it get faster.

Shutdown impact continued to be minimal. Security scan times were the third-fastest suite we've seen so far year, though not as good as last year's tied-for-fastest numbers. The impact of the suites on the computer while in use were very similar to last year's--in general, slightly better than average, but not stellar.

Security Program Boot time Shutdown time Scan time MS Office performance iTunes decoding Media multitasking Cinebench
Unprotected system 40 6 n/a 395 120 342 17,711
Average of all tested systems (to date) 64.3 16.6 1,185 418 125 348 17,111
AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012 66.3 12 753 411 125 347 17,131
AVG Anti-Virus 2012 82.3 13.7 842 410 124 346 17,026
AVG Internet Security 2012 69.9 11.3 792 416 124 344 17,259

*All tests measured in seconds, except for Cinebench. On the Cinebench test, the higher number is better.

In our other tests, it was a bit faster than the median. It's not a big shift from last year, but it's enough to notice that it's moving in the right direction. You're looking at a much slower startup, fast scans, a minimal impact on shutdown, and a midrange hit to general system performance with AVG Free.

Third-party efficacy results haven't been published yet for AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012, but the 2011 suite marks are solid, if not spectacular. In the AV-Test.org test on Windows 7 from the first quarter of 2011, AVG Internet Security 10 (version 2011) scored 13.5 out of 18 overall, a solid midrange score. The suite had a 5.0 rating out of 6 in Protection, a 4.0 in Repair and a 4.5 in Usability.

The second quarter 2011 test, on a Windows XP computer, definitely showed improvement in some areas and regression in others. It scored 13.0 out of 18 overall, also a midrange score. The suite improved in Protection and Repair with a 5.5 rating out of 6 for the former and a 4.5 for the latter, but Usability dropped to 3.5 most likely due to false positives.

The most recent AV-Comparatives.org Whole Product test, which looks at on-demand scanning, retroactive tests, and "real-world" guards including cloud-based protections, puts AVG Internet Security 2011 toward the back of the class, out of 17 suites tested. Looking at Whole Product test results cumulatively from January 2011 to June 2011 found that AVG came in 13th, blocking 95.1 percent of threats. Much of that low score came from bad showings in March and April; by May it was back up in the 96 percent range.

It's fair to conclude that according to these third-party tests, AVG has been moderately effective, with some indications that it's been getting better in recent months. However, since AVG Internet Security and AVG Anti-Virus Free share the same engine, you're getting a strong level of protection at no cost.

Conclusion
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.

 
read more +

Publisher's Description

+
 
read more +
User Reviews
+
  • Current Version

    2.6

    out of 18 votes

    • 5 star 5
    • 4 star 2
    • 3 star 1
    • 2 star 0
    • 1 star 10
  • All Versions

    4.0

    out of 24626 votes

    • 5 star 11634
    • 4 star 7509
    • 3 star 1853
    • 2 star 1003
    • 1 star 2627
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–10 of 18

5 stars

"It is free and brilliant"

June 12, 2012  |  By akurasue

 |  Version: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012 2012.0.2178

Pros

It is Free.....and fast

Cons

Can't think of any

Summary

Brilliant

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0)   (1)  

5 stars

"AVG Free is the Most Important"

June 11, 2012  |  By Nolil32

 |  Version: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012 2012.0.2178

Pros

I Like AVG Antivirus Free Version Without Trial Version. That is the best to my favorite software of AVG Antivirus Free Version. Thanks this is great. No Problem. :) . By the way. AVG Free Newer Version Looks like Windows 8

Cons

No problem. its Fine

Summary

IF you have a Problem hard to Remove Virus. Try Rescue CD its Free Version. AVG Free 2013 for Windows 8 is coming soon!. :)

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0)   (1)  

5 stars

"AVG has NOT crossed to the Dark Side"

June 10, 2012  |  By cnetguy7

 |  Version: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012 2012.0.2178

Pros

-Excellent root kit detection and removal.
-Superb web protection.
-Superb malware detection and removal rates.
-Highest rated free AV by PC MAG, consistently in top 2, mostly top free av in avtest. org 's test reports.
- Frequent updates and excellent 0 day protection.
- Simple installation and uninstallation process. They even have a AVG removal tool on their website.

Cons

- the process count is a little high.
- CPU and RAM usage can be bettered. nowhere near the industry best.
- System is marginally slower as opposed to some other free AV.
-many have uninstallation problems ( not me personally).

Summary

FIRST, i will address the criticisms from the not so sophisticated computer users. I have installed and uninstalled AVG multiple times. Never ever has the safesearch tool and default been installed on my system except out of choice. At certain installations, i uncheck it and don't have a problem.

Now you will ask me why i install AVG so often. That's because i'm always checking out trial security suites. Right now, I am trying bullguard internet security free for 60 days (pretty good, uses bitdefenders legendary engine) and before that webroot secureanywhere and eset smart security.

AVG has always COMPLETELY UNINSTALLED on my windows 7, windows xp and family members windows vista so i am reading all these reviews below and am dumbfounded but I won't comment on thsoe problems.

Please be patient during install and read so that you UNCHECK the two boxes - AVG secure search toolbar and AVG secure search default search.

AVG, Avast offer free protection. NOT ALL their revenues come from paid subscribers. They also make money through browser search. That's their business model. This is the OPTIONAL price AVG users pay.


Nothing better security wise for free. WAIT, there is. It is called Comodo Internet Security. Comodo offers far more than AVG, Avast, Avira can ever hope to, even their paid versions. However, Comodo isn't ideal for non tech savvy people.
AVG is Perfect for installing on the systems of non- tech savvy people.
It quietly does its job of updating, monitoring, quarantines infections, cleans up the system and monitors for illegitimate processes.
I personally like it because it has protected my family's computer safe longer than paid like Mcafee, Norton and better than free ones like MSE, Avast and avira.
I can honestly say AVG is the only free AV that has completely healed an infected system without the need for a reformat.
Works well with comodo firewall, emsisoft online armor firewall and privatefirewall.

Reply to this review Read replies (3)

Was this review helpful? (5)   (0)  

1 stars

"AVG has crossed to the Dark Side!"

June 10, 2012  |  By fred64ha

 |  Version: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012 2012.0.2178

Pros

AVG used to be one of my recommendations -- no longer!

Cons

Now they attack your browsers with Avg security search, AVG toolbar, home page and new tab defaults most of which you cannot simply remove.

Summary

AVG has become what they should be protecting us against! Intruders taking over aspects of your system, with no ability to turn them out once they are in.

You should create a restore point before trying this software. Unfortunately, AVG has also become one of those check boxes when you download other software from cNet -- if not unchecked you are infected with the AVG secure search stuff.

I have home page blockers that constantly pop up telling me AVG is trying to change my home page if I block them. AVG has also abducted my the blank page in my browsers.

I'm trying the AVG uninstaller (you can get it from their forums, but many others have reported even that does not work.

Shame on AVG for doing such stuff and shame on cNet of enabling them within their download per checked check boxes for other products as well.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0)   (6)  

1 stars

"AVG IS A HIJACKER"

June 10, 2012  |  By avis1214

 |  Version: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012 2012.0.2178

Pros

NONE! Starts out ok...then...all h*ll breaks loose on your system...

Cons

It doesnt even give you the option to opt out. It will infect all your browsers, and constantly send your information "somewhere". I used to have this program in an older version, but this version is just another informtion-collecting piece of crap. DO NOT DOWNLOAD! Unless you enjoy rebooting, restarting et all...I dont think my computer will ever be the same. I think its really hurt from this...

Summary

JUST DONT DO IT! peace...

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (2)   (5)  

3 stars

"AVAST 6.0.1367 is much faster on low ram computers!"

June 10, 2012  |  By roomy999

 |  Version: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012 2012.0.2178

Pros

The previous versions of AVG were all highly reviewed in many places. I don't know about the new version, but I use an older version of Avast 6.0.1367 for the reasons listed in the "Cons" section below.

Cons

AVG slowed down my computer considerably. Avast is much faster for low ram computers. But, if you have an older version of Windows such as XP, ME, etc. then do not use the new Avast (7.0) because it will cause problems. However if you need to uninstall Avast then you MUST use the program on the Avast home page to uninstall it. Nothing else will work - trust me, tried it!

Summary

I don't know about the new program, but the old program does a great job of protecting the computer, but it uses alot of ram.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (2)   (6)  

1 stars

"Slows down computer!"

June 10, 2012  |  By escobedo1210

 |  Version: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012 2012.0.2178

Pros

Makes computer slow and does not protect against spyware.

Cons

AVG let a win32 virus in my pc! AVAST took care of AVGs sloppyness!!!

Reply to this review Read reply (1)

Was this review helpful? (2)   (5)  

1 stars

"Horrible product, no brain between whole support team"

June 09, 2012  |  By Azzy777

 |  Version: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012 2012.0.2178

Pros

I got rid of it by reformatting my machine. Only possible way to remove it after weeks of customer supprt and run around in the forum. They know the uninstallers dont work because there are links to special instructions once you complain. Too bad they dont work either.

Cons

Weeks of frustration, the support just stopped answering my emails. CNET is covering for them as they keep deleting bad reviews and still more and more appear. I even wrote the author of this article and nothing changes.

Summary

Atay away from this garbage product it is malware and who knows what data they are taking. I cant believe 1 million people have been duped. Shame on cnet, I trusted them.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (3)   (5)  

1 stars

"stay away from it"

June 08, 2012  |  By joepiedepoepie254

 |  Version: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012 2012.0.2178

Pros

the security will probably be as good as it always was
the speed of scanning seems to be improved

Cons

it hijacks you internet browser and you cannot romove this terrible AVG search engine. It takes a lot of time to find out how to disable it: a pain

Summary

stay away from it

Updated on Jun 8, 2012

Forgot to mention that any selection to instal the tool bar yes or no is ignored during installation. Installation itself is slow, but this is something you do only once. Not being able to remove a tool bar is a show stopper: It's my PC...

Updated on Jun 8, 2012

Ofcourse I read the instructions on the site by AVG and I was NOT able to de-install, I was only able to switch off. During installation no matter what you choose, it always installs the tool bar and Search. I've already de-installed AVG 2012 completely. I'll switch back to the previous AVG which I always liked a lot.

Reply to this review Read reply (1)

Was this review helpful? (3)   (7)  

1 stars

"1990's style browser hi-jacking"

June 07, 2012  |  By dekeguard

 |  Version: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012 2012.0.2178

Pros

anti-virus ok

Cons

Installer installs AVG toolbar and multiple extensions that subvert your own settings for search in all your browsers, and can't be uninstalled, only disabled, if you can find the settings.

Unchecking the option to install the toolbar during installation is ignored.

AVG has reverted to the slimy tactics of the 90's in hijacking your browser.

Summary

Absolutely not worth it. Run away and stay away from this software.

Reply to this review Read reply (1)

Was this review helpful? (4)   (6)  

Results 1–10 of 18

Add Your Review

Login or create an account to post a review.

You are logged in as . Please submit your review for AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012
Add Your Review

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

Update Your Review

Since you've already submitted a review for this product, this submission will be added as an update to your original review.
Submit

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

 
see all reviews +

Full Specifications

+
What's new in version 2012.0.2178
Version 2012.0.2178 is a maintenance release.
General
Publisher AVG Technologies USA
Publisher web site http://www.avg.com/
Release Date May 29, 2012
Date Added May 29, 2012
Version 2012.0.2178
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Antivirus Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows XP/Vista/7
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 4.79MB
File Name avg_free_stb_all_6086p1_177.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 552,200,141
Downloads Last Week 448,193
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

Add to my list Report a problem
 
read more +

More Products to Consider

Close[x]

Submit a problem report for AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2012

Please describe the problem you have with this software. This information will be sent to our editors for review.

Problem:

The Download.com Installer isn't working as expected

The download link does not work

The software has a newer version

The product contains malicious software

Other

Description:

Please select a feedback type.

Please enter a description.

Submit Problem Report

Close[x]

Problem Report submitted

Thank you for submitting a problem report! The Download team is committed to providing you with accurate software information.

OK