AVG AntiVirus FREE 2013 2013.0.2667 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

AVG AntiVirus FREE 2013

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To learn more about AVG products and to ask questions and receive answers from AVG company representatives, please visit CNET's dedicated AVG Forum.

CNET Editors' review

Review:
AVG's updates for 2013 look to the future while struggling to overcome the problems of the past. There's a new interface optimized for Windows 8 that really does make the suite easier to use, and the suite once again tackles its lengthy installation procedure. However, one of the best new features in AVG was actually introduced as a midyear update during 2012.

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

AVG's touted its five-screen installation for several years now. While it's true that the process continues to be short, it's important to call out a few improvements and one glaring snag.

The installer itself now weighs in at 33MB, down from more than 100MB two years ago. The installer also does not require a reboot. This isn't surprising for Windows 8, but even on computers running Windows 7 and older, installing AVG will be reboot-free. Unfortunately, not only do you still have to opt out of AVG's toolbar and SafeSearch if you don't want them, but even when you choose only the toolbar, it commandeers your default location bar search in Firefox. This is, of course, problematic because the toolbar provides some important security options, such as AVG Do Not Track.

AVG loses points as well for force-shutting your browser without warning during installation, and for not adapting the installation options to Windows 8. AVG has retained the small check boxes from previous years, which are difficult to use by touch.

A more customer-friendly approach would be to go for an opt-in process that doesn't move forward until the user makes a decision. After all, this is what AVG does when asking you to choose between AVG Free or a 30-day trial of AVG Internet Security.

Shouldn't we be done with search engine commandeering by now?

Interface
Windows 8 has forced every Windows software maker around to reconsider how its programs look, and that's a good thing. Whether kicking and screaming, or gleefully leaping, software designers are changing how they make their Windows apps, and AVG is no different.

Although the security suite had been using a variation of the same interface for years, the 2013 suite has been overhauled with a new one that embraces large, boldly colored, tile-like buttons that ought to feel at home in Windows 8.

The new main interface lays out AVG's features in a clean, legible manner. The upper right corner has links to Reports, Support, and Options. At first blush, the Options list is overwhelmingly long, but navigating is impressively accurate on a touch screen. It contains direct links to features that are also available behind the tiles that take up most of the interface.

Next on your way down the main screen is a protection status notification in green for safe or red for unsafe, and then there are three rows of tiles. The first row of bright green tiles are links to core security options: Computer, Web Browsing, Identity, E-mails, and Firewall. The second row are blue, and link to AVG's performance optimizer, parental controls, and the backup service LiveKive. Next to LiveKive there's a button for AVG apps, new services that haven't been revealed at the time of writing.

The third row contains two teal buttons, one to commence a scan and one to update virus definition files. If you're running AVG Free, the bottom quarter of the interface is an ad to upgrade to AVG Internet Security 2013. Behind each of the buttons is a deeper dive into its associated functions. Under Computer, for example, you have access to antivirus and antirootkit scans, statistics, and configurations.

The interface is basically highly navigable, except that people with Windows 8 touch screens could find the third level down tricky without a mouse. If you go into Configurations or another deeper settings level, the advanced settings options could still be too small for some people to easily adjust.

Do note that AVG is essentially running a Windows 7 program with Windows 8 dressing. It opens to Desktop mode, and runs in a single window that doesn't take up the full screen. It's possible that there have been under-the-hood improvements that will allow AVG to adapt to a Metro interface easily, but that's not available yet.

Features and support
While the interface is new, and as you'll see below, the performance improvements are stunning, AVG's focus for 2013 has not been to push aggressive new security tech. That's okay. Instead, the focus this year was to bring some tech that exists at competitors to AVG's enormous, 128-million-strong active user base.

When you start AVG for the first time, a window appears over the main interface that promotes links to its new, free 24-7 telephone support; the AVG Android app; and a tutorial on getting started. As one of the best-known names in Windows security, we like that AVG is making it easy for newcomers to get acclimated.

There's a new file reputation system, which AVG also uses in conjunction with its scans to scan dramatically faster than before. Basically, it looks at a file in the order that its bits were saved to disk, not in order of the directory file tree. It may sound hokey, but as the benchmarks below show, it's an effective technique. By cross-referencing that data with what other AVG users are running, AVG is able to create a more effective net for blocking malicious files.

The file reputation is an extension of AVG's "smart scanning," which takes advantage of AVG's behavioral detection network to scan known safe files once, and rescan them only 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 more slowly 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.

Another major change was introduced earlier in the year. AVG's Do Not Track add-on has been folded into the AVG toolbar. AVG's version lacks the nuance of Abine's Do Not Track Plus, making it more of a logger's chainsaw than a surgeon's scalpel, but it's still good to get privacy-protecting tools out to as many people as possible.

AVG offers a wide range of effective tools for keeping your computer safe. Along with the expected antivirus and anti-malware engines, it has rootkit detection and removal; fake antivirus and ransomware blocking; and basic e-mail and identity protection.

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.

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 a download of 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 2013 distinguishes itself by offering a chat link shield, a Wi-Fi guard for open Internet connections, and a download scan for files sent via instant message that looks at all ports, not just port 80. The PC Analyzer option mentioned earlier is also included, and comes without restrictions.

AVG Internet Security 2013 includes all that AVG Anti-Virus 2013 offers, and adds in a firewall and antispam protections.

Performance
After publishing this review, CNET Labs discovered a hardware error on our test computer that affected our published system benchmarks. AVG claims major performance improvements in the 2013 versions, and both CNET's own revised tests and independent labs appear to bear this out.

This year's version leaves a lighter touch on your system than last year's, a big change for the better for AVG.

AVG's boot time impact was not particularly impressive, adding around 15 seconds to our test computer's boot time. Shutdown time was adequate, adding only around three to four seconds, but our new Wake from Sleep test showed our test computer taking much longer to wake from sleep mode with AVG than unprotected.

However, AVG's impact on in-use performance was impressive. Antivirus scans are among the fastest of any suite, free or paid, and on our MS Office test AVG Free was actually significantly faster than an unprotected computer. AVG claims that this is because of how it reads your computer's files. Whatever the cause, it's clear that in some cases, AVG improves in-use system performance.

Security program Boot time Shutdown time Wake from sleep Scan time MS Office performance iTunes decoding Media multitasking Cinebench
Unprotected system 47.5 7.8 11.5 n/a 412 124 344 17,116
Average of all tested systems (to date) 52.2 11.4 6.3 1,038 426 125 346 17,327
AVG Anti-Virus Free 2013 64.4 11.1 17.8 554 353 124 342 17,158
AVG Anti-Virus 2013 64.4 12.2 13 889 411 126 345 16,960
AVG Internet Security 2013 63 11.4 15.9 588 405 124 341 17,046

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

Third-party efficacy results haven't been published yet for AVG 2013, but the 2012 suite marks are excellent. In the AV-Test test on Windows 7 from the second quarter of 2012, AVG Internet Security 2012 scored 15 out of 18 overall, a lowish high score. The suite had a 5.5 rating out of 6 in Protection, a 5.0 in Repair, and a 4.5 in Usability. On the same test, AVG Anti-Virus Free 2012 scored slightly better with 15.5 out of 18 overall. The suite had a 5.5 rating out of 6 in Protection, a 5.0 in Repair, and a 5.0 in Usability.

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 2012 in the middle of the class, out of 21 suites tested. Looking at Whole Product test results cumulatively from January 2012 to June 2012 shows that AVG came in 13th, blocking 97.7 percent of threats.

When it comes to security, AVG isn't hands-down the best out there. But it is more effective than it used to be, and it's clear that it takes a smaller toll on your system than it used to. Those are big gains for the suite.

Conclusion
AVG Anti-Virus Free continues to offer an excellent if not perfect level of security, and deserves a serious shot at being your go-to suite. If you're unhappy with your current suite because of its impact on your system performance, AVG is worth checking out.

You get a fair number of extras when you pay to upgrade, but it's not essential and really only for people who either feel safer when they pay or want the added bonuses. However, if you're on a Windows Vista or XP computer, you definitely ought to have a firewall upgrade. You could get a free one, but if system resources are a concern, it's worth checking out one that's bolted to a security suite as with AVG's paid suites.

AVG Antivirus Free-Protect your PC from viruses and malware.-Download Video Previews:

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.0 stars

    out of 24,502 votes

    • 5 star: 11577
    • 4 star: 7497
    • 3 star: 1850
    • 2 star: 993
    • 1 star: 2585
  • Current version:

    3.3 stars

    out of 49 votes

    • 5 star: 13
    • 4 star: 17
    • 3 star: 3
    • 2 star: 5
    • 1 star: 11
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 49

  • 4.0 stars

    "Modern clear screen diplay"

    October 8, 2012  |   By scarletblack

    Version: AVG AntiVirus FREE 2013 2013.0.2667

    Pros

    I like the modern stylish look

    Cons

    Event Log doesnt work very dissapointed & cant get any sense

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "The BEST free antivirus program ever made"

    September 21, 2012  |   By amadasch

    Version: AVG AntiVirus FREE 2013 2013.0.2667

    Pros

    The BEST free antivirus program ever made

    Cons

    The BEST free antivirus program ever made

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

    Was this review helpful? (0) (3)

  • 4.0 stars

    "By the moment I am testing in Windows 7 64 bits!!"

    September 20, 2012  |   By Miducuast

    Version: AVG AntiVirus FREE 2013 2013.0.2667

    Pros

    Quickly and faster than 2012

    Cons

    I have not found one at the moment.

    Summary

    After I evaluate it I will tell you!!!

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 1.0 stars

    "I could not get it to load!"

    September 20, 2012  |   By JERRYHAAS

    Version: AVG AntiVirus FREE 2013 2013.0.2667

    Pros

    I have used avg free for more than 19 years and it has been flawless.

    Cons

    I could not get support to help me load the s/w'

    Summary

    I am using another free package, but will probably try avg again later.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Doesn't Play Well with Others!"

    September 20, 2012  |   By SnellKrell

    Version: AVG AntiVirus FREE 2013 2013.0.2667

    Pros

    Free and AVG had served me well for years.

    Cons

    Totally incompatible with Microsoft Security Essentials loaded on my computer. Have used previous AVG AntiVirus Free version for years - no problems.
    Free 2013 wouldn't allow my computer to operate for anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. Unacceptable!!!!

    Summary

    AVG tech support tried to help and then finally one rep told me that 2013 would not work well with other anti-virus programs loaded - unlike previous versions. Had to remove AVG and had to say goodbye!

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 4.0 stars

    "I am sure the mechanics of the software are fine."

    September 20, 2012  |   By albythelake

    Version: AVG AntiVirus FREE 2013 2013.0.2667

    Pros

    The look and feel are very attractive.

    Cons

    The menus are confusing, I can't see the difference between "archiving" and flat out deleting, and you seem to have forgotten "speedtest.net". I am not comfortable with how the detail in the reports gets deleted.

    Summary

    Very effective software per usual.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Good when you want it, bad when you don't!"

    September 20, 2012  |   By jxy52

    Version: AVG AntiVirus FREE 2013 2013.0.2667

    Pros

    Decent freebie anti-virus, stops the common threats.

    Cons

    YOU CANNOT UNINSTALL THIS SOFTWARE EASILY!
    This is a common problem (check google if you don't believe me), it uninstalls COMPONENTS of the AV programme but not the programme itself leaving you with a useless AV which won't uninstall because "Crucial files are missing" Most other AV's won't install until it's gone. (Also randomly uninstalled Google Chrome the third time I tried to get rid of it)

    Summary

    Avoid if there is any chance you will want to change AV protection(which there should always be!) Shame aswell, because it USED to be a good AV with no hitches.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Great product"

    September 19, 2012  |   By mikinakn

    Version: AVG AntiVirus FREE 2013 2013.0.2667

    Pros

    Free version: I have been using it for years and it does very well.

    Cons

    None...so far....

    Summary

    It does what it says and does it well, It does not sell you short because it is 'free'. It has a good interface, is easy to install. I set it up and let it do its job. I monitors, scans and shuts down my computer for me without any worries. I have never tried the 'paid' version but it must be an 'awesome' product if you need all the extras. I would recommend this product, the free version to anyone needing good antivirus coverage.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "The product does what it's supposed to do."

    September 19, 2012  |   By tvaz123

    Version: AVG AntiVirus FREE 2013 2013.0.2667

    Pros

    The product does what it's supposed to do.

    Cons

    no cons to speak of.

    Summary

    The product does what it's supposed to do.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Best free anti-virus"

    September 18, 2012  |   By cnetguy7

    Version: AVG AntiVirus FREE 2013 2013.0.2667

    Pros

    -faster booting
    -excellent web blocking
    -superb detection rates
    -not a resource hog
    -frequent automatic updates
    -doesn't slow down the internet or the system
    -first AV company to
    -much improved zero day protection with its identity protection component
    -nice green and block user interface, looks like andes mint chocolate
    It has improved over the 2012 version in terms of reduced boot time, design, scan times.

    Cons

    This product has no cons in my experience.

    People complain about browser hijacking by AVG. This is a non-issue for me. I have installed AVG on many computers and I have always unmarked the unnecessary options. Even if somehow your url search changes from google to AVG, it's easily changeable.
    in Firefox url type->about:config->click on I promise I'll be careful->type keyword.url->click it->when you see enter string value->paste this for google as main url search- http://www.google.com/search?q=
    Also, go to Firefox ->addons->extensions->disable AVG security toolbar and do not track(if you want).I can't speak for Chrome because Chrome su(ks and i don't use it,I use comodo dragon (better version of chrome) and easily configurable.
    So all the people crying and blaming AVG, get over it.

    I also could care less for AVG's hyped anti-tracking feature. Ghostery is more effective but little buggy.
    I personally use do not track plus from Abine corp. on my Comodo Dragon and Firefox browsers.

    Summary

    This is the best free anti-virus product. The best free security product I would have to say is Comodo IS but it's not for everyone. You need to set up rules for Comodo, the pop ups are frequent.
    Is this the best anti-virus? Absolutely not. Bitdefender, Kaspersky are significantly better at zero-day protection, web blocking and Bitdefender has better signatures but those products are PAID.

    AVG in my opinion is the best free AV. The first AV I ever installed was Avast! I gave Avast! a chance many times but it failed me. Avira also failed me. It was a total system disaster with Avira. AVG has let things through but never to a point of total failure. At the very worst, AVGs signatures failed but it did block the malware from functioning as intended by the malware writers even after infection.

    First, comparing AVG with Avast! In my opinion, AVG looks better and is evolving. Avast! has more or less remained static.
    Signatures-AVG has in my experience, better detection.
    zero-day - Avast! has a weak zero-day. AVGs identity protection is far superior.
    sandboxing-Avast! does has sandboxing but it is not effective. I think it's just a marketing gimmick.

    out of the box-AVG is amazing out of the box, Avast! needs configuration. you need to increase heuristics sensitivity, tick mark for PUPs which in my opinion is bad because most Avast! users use Avast! AS IS which is very poor.
    AVG with Avira. Avira has poorer signatures compared to AVG and Avast!, looks dated and most importantly, Avira doesn't have a zero-day protection component. Whether you're an Avast! fanboy (there are many) or you prefer AVG, Avira is really nowhere near these two options.
    Now that Windows 7 is the most widely used OS in the world (overtaking XP), you will notice that in the windows 7 testing in AV-TEST's website, AVG always does better than Avast! and Avira. AVG 2012 and now AVG free 2013 are the Editor's Choice for free AV on PCMAG. On the flipside, av-comparatives rates Avast! as better than AVG.
    It's not good to go by reviews alone but I am putting this info. out there for you. Just to be clear, I don't rate AVG highly because of hearsay, I rate it highly because of personal experience.
    The most important thing I want to say is that since most of us are using Windows 7, you should do your surfing on a password protected user account (your admin account MUST be password protected as well) and don't place any important, sensitive files in that account because even if you do get infected, your entire system isn't compromised so generally no need for entire reformat, hackers can't get your data. Just delete your user account and make another one. Do this especially if you visit seedy, naughty sites where the web pages generally have exploits in them.

    Updated on Sep 21, 2012

    no gps247, sorry.

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Results 1-10 of 49

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