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AVG AntiVirus Free 2014

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CNET Editors' review

AVG's Anti-Virus and Internet Security line follows on the heel of last year's highly-ranked security suite by not merely incorporating some minor but key tweaks to both its front-end and back-end, but a stronger push toward personal data management and privacy utilities that help prevent uninvited access to your files. Though many threats still exist, security programs as they stand now start to encompass areas of privacy utilities. Whereas the majority of threats were once external viruses trying to force their way into your machines, nowadays malware focus more on tricking users to inadvertently open doors for hijacking.

Version 2013 was AVG's first push toward adopting and remixing the Modern UI movement. Not just a response to competitors, the Modern UI movement represents an overall push toward creating a more streamlined security experience. For the average consumer, what your anti-virus and anti-malware programs do to protect your computer have followed a set it and forget it mentality.

Balancing along the fine line of being both approachable yet empowering is a key goal of not just AVG but also just about any utility software developer: Modern UI has the visual appeal, but does it evoke control and the sense of security over all the software's power features?

In our last review, we commended AVG's decision to reduce the installation steps. It still contains a toolbar offer, and despite the universal hatred toward being fooled into installing yet another browser helper object, AVG's toolbar actually does include useful security options like Do Not Track. Again it's a tradeoff but if you really wanted DNT's features, then there's a standalone version available for free on Firefox and Chrome in their respective extension stores.

By now, almost every major security software maker has more or less adopted the flat, Modern UI look and AVG has kept its own visuals mostly intact. The main screen is decorated with AVG's primary areas of protection that include your computer, browsing the Web, Identity protection features, e-mail protection, and extras that populate the second row if you opt to purchase the premium or Internet Security suites. It's the same as last year's design, but still a radical departure from the old AVG that's appreciated, yet still may take some getting used to for the more hands-on user. Thankfully, all it's older scan settings are still neatly tucked under the options, though they aren't nearly as touch-friendly.

All visual and organizational improvements aside, AVG 2014 (along with many other security suites we've seen) have more or less been continuing to dress a Windows 7 application without completely assimilating into the actual Modern UI environment, wholeheartedly. I can understand this context under the stance that there are still many who don't face a real urgency to upgrade to Windows 8. But if you're moving toward minimal input and maintenance for running a security program in the background, then perhaps Modern UI might be better suited in the long run.

Once AVG adapts to your machine, scan times are reduced tremendously.

For example, the options menu is still very much geared toward the mouse user, so having a meet-halfway kind of design slightly disrupts the overall experience of maintaining and protecting your machine with the touch of your fingers.

Data Safe is your lockbox to prevent unwanted tampering or snooping if you save files on a public machine.

Two notable additions to AVG Internet Security are File Shredder and Data Safe. File Shredder is a more permanent solution to deleting files and reducing any potential digital trails for recovery. By default, Windows doesn't actually delete files, even after clearing the Recycle Bin, with the exception of overly-large file sizes. For the average user, this might not seem like much but in the era of privacy concerns, it's a welcome feature that will slowly start to become more relevant to the average consumer.

Even Data Safe, AVG's own folder encryption, helps you create what is essentially a secured pseudo-partition in a native location that can only be unlocked with a password. It's a practical precaution for those who share their computers with others and wish to avoid having to create separate profiles.

AV-Test results for 2014 are currently not published, but the 2013 marks for Internet Security showed a slight drop in protection, going down from a 5.5 rating out of 6 to 5.0. Performance remained standard at 3.5 but usability shot up significantly from 4.5 to 5.5 out of 6. AV-Comparatives gave 2013 a 1.1 percent compromise rate in their real-world protection test in their July report. Overall, AVG has maintained a relatively consistent level of security, which is above average, but the gains in usability combined with reduced system load, makes this version one of the most lightweight protection solutions for your PC.

To call this version the best AVG yet is a no-brainer; AVG's security efficacy, though not the best, still remains consistently high scoring among AV evaluations across the board. And though detection rates have improved, the biggest strides for this year's version have been made in the areas of privacy tools that are genuinely useful. As for whether it's the "best" security program around, that may depend on your current needs. AVG's emphasis on privacy tools and reputation ranking attempts to combat malware through educating and empowering users, at least slightly, with tools that remain easy to use yet encourage users to actively manage their PC files. We especially recommend this year's suite for those who actively share their machine with other users.

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

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.0 stars

    out of 24,505 votes

    • 5 star: 11577
    • 4 star: 7498
    • 3 star: 1850
    • 2 star: 993
    • 1 star: 2587
  • Current version:

    0 stars Be the first to review this product
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 21261

  • 1.0 stars

    "Please don't install this program, it's a PUP!!!"

    April 22, 2014  |   By dalekskaro

    Version: AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 2014.0.4355

    Pros

    It's helped me learn how to remove malicious deep rooted PUPs from my computer by being one. I've never been tech savvy before today but I can safely say AVG has taught me two things: 1. CNET is happy to promote PUPs which appear to Anti-viruses. I'd recommend this program to my worst enemies and war criminals. 2. Tread carefully when installing "antiviruses" you may very well regret it.

    Cons

    I had to take very nearly drastic measures to get rid of this thing. I'm very lucky that I had great success with removing this thing by restoring my computer to a save date two weeks ago. AND shredding the remaining files 100 times using Spybot.

    Summary

    DO NOT INSTALL THIS PROGRAM!!!! It is NOT a helpful anti-virus, it is a PUP masquerading as one. Avast, Malwarebytes, and Spybot are the best programs out there. I went out of my way to make a CNET account to warn everybody about this malicious program. PLEASE TAKE HEED!!!

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  • 4.0 stars

    "This is a great product"

    April 22, 2014  |   By slickmachines

    Version: AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 2014.0.4355

    Pros

    Works great

    Cons

    No issues.

    Summary

    This works as expected

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

  • 1.0 stars

    "Unethical business"

    April 21, 2014  |   By Danny3xd

    Version: AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 2014.0.4355

    Pros

    Works, simple.

    Cons

    Can not be trusted as AVG it self uses malware

    Summary

    Their search can not be removed. They not only provide anti-malware. They provide the malware as well.

    I am boycotting their products and asking others to join me.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

  • 3.0 stars

    "AVG2014 ignores settings...but better than nothing(?)"

    April 17, 2014  |   By jhudson253

    Version: AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 2014.0.4355

    Pros

    does seem* to provide protection for:
    antivirus, scans* (scheduled, etc), supposedly ID Protection(?)... separate sections for Computer, Identity, Email, Web Browsing, Firewall ... and settings all refer to the same "settings index" (not sure if this is a 'Pro' or not).

    Cons

    ignores the box "Heal infections automatically" (I UN-checked this box, to receive notifications of what it may find, but scan report indicates that it "healed" Many* files anyway, of its own accord. 'Support' is one big circle. Tried using their Forum, but no help there either. Still have No Idea where it stores the Reports... can't find it/them, No Help thru support or forum so far (about a week now). Had to turn Off scheduled scans until I can figure out how to get it to Stop removing, altering, files it says* are "infected". Oh, & no explanation as to what the 'infection' might be, that I can determine.
    Maybe I Shouldn't* have opted for the free 30-day Premium trial*!

    Summary

    unsure... except support seems to be non-exixtent (except for the one moderator I noticed that lives in the Czech Republic*...and he's not an AVG tech*). Interface looks 'complicated enough' to appear substantial, but the fact my Settings are ignored bothers me a lot*!

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "not even a star..useless paid program"

    April 16, 2014  |   By pmarie1

    Version: AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 2013.0.3349

    Pros

    no pros what so ever......

    Cons

    I have been using avg paid edition for quite a while...nothing ever came up and said i was protected yet had heaps of problems with cookies and pop ups..... someone suggested using spybot free and it found 114 problems first time...whydidn't AVG warn me of anything??? i called AVG tech support, we checked that everything was ticked correctly and was told AVG doesn't really help with spyware.....well your add for the paid edition says it does.....and I quote "Detects and stops viruses, threats and malware. Essential easy-to-use protection everyone needs."unquote. No other option was given to me except to send a copy of the spybot report so you can update your files. Saying new spyware isn't picked up when i had 114 errors found going back 12 months makes a total waste of money of the AVG system. They don't even offer your money back!!! joke. Buyer beware. The fee edition is enough...just use spybot search and destroy (free) as well if you really want to protect your system.

    Summary

    buyer beware....the paid version is useless as you don't get any extra protection at all!

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Really good.Personally, I like it very much"

    April 16, 2014  |   By Kern4477

    Version: AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 2014.0.4355

    Pros

    Really good.Personally, I like it very much

    Cons

    Really good.Personally, I like it very much

    Summary

    Really good.Personally, I like it very much

    Reply to this review

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  • 4.0 stars

    "looks like good protection so far."

    April 16, 2014  |   By randolphgarrison1gmail

    Version: AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 2014.0.4355

    Pros

    easy installation, scans quickly, good interface.

    Cons

    nags to purchase full suite.

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Not Free At All"

    April 16, 2014  |   By spawn05

    Version: AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 2014.0.4355

    Pros

    Great Antivirus, Not a resource hog, Easy To use, works great

    Cons

    The download is free for only 29 day after that you have to pay. I really liked AVG antivirus been using it for many years and have always told everybody I know to use also. But not I won't use it or recommend it to any one else either.

    Summary

    It's very strange because the 2013 version was free with no problems.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 1.0 stars

    "This Stinks !!!!"

    April 13, 2014  |   By bettyboop229

    Version: AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 2014.0.4355

    Pros

    Not a Single One !!

    Cons

    It doesn't work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Summary

    I have contacted my Bank and it's being Disputed on my Debit Card !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Much improved in 2014"

    April 13, 2014  |   By quartlow

    Version: AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 2014.0.4355

    Pros

    Unobtrusive, amazingly fast hard drive scanner, not bloatware.

    Cons

    Am suspicious about the speed it scans but have been using Avast for the last 3 years and am probably just used to slow software on a speedy new desktop.

    Summary

    Used the free and paid versions of AVG 3 years ago and the free version was all that was needed as the "pro" version was over the top trying to do too much. Then the free version got bloated as well. Switched to Avast and the paid version of it was also less useful than their free version. Avast finally became too big for its britches on the April 3, 2014 update and added a useless full page at each new Firefox startup. Used the REVO uninstaller full program to remove Avast and it had deeper roots than any program I've ever removed. AVG seems to have fixed their stuff now and works fine along with the new paid version of Malware Bytes. So long, Avast - you got way too bloated and greedy.

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-10 of 21261

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