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For years I purchased a licence for antivirus software to use on my home computer. Licensing was always a nightmare, and even for home use, the software was quite expensive. And that wasn’t the worst of it – the old antivirus software ate up a chunk of my system’s resources.

So I changed over to AVG’s free antivirus software. This version is free for non-commercial home use only. Although AVG doesn’t provide any support for the free edition, you will still be able to find good help from AVG discussion forums. Just so there is no misunderstanding, AVG states the following on its website:

  • Compatible with Windows XP and Windows Vista
  • AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is for private, non-commercial, single computer use only. The use of AVG Free within any organization or for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited.

  • AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is not for use with any type of OEM bundling with software, hardware components, or any other services.

  • AVG home and small office products do not have support for server operating systems (Windows 2000/2003 Server). Server protection, central administration and multiple licensing are available with business products.

AVG version 8.0 provides protection against viruses, spyware, adware and identity-theft. It’s not the top rated free anti-virus system reviewed on the Net though, and AV-Test of Germany rated the utility very good at spyware detection, good at virus detection, but merely satisfactory at cleaning up what it detected. I’d have to concur with this – it seems to find Spyware on my computer from time to time, but I am never quite sure what it does about it.

Having used AVG at home for over a year now, it seems to do the job satisfactorily. It is lighter on system resources than the previous product, and its updates are much less invasive than the old software I was using. Although the software installed fine, there was a glitch when the product wouldn’t open a few days after installation. It didn’t take long to find a solution on the Internet though, and since then AVG has worked fine. One other area of differentiation between the free and paid products is that the free version only updates once a day, whereas the paid products can be configured to update more frequently. For my home use I find that updating once a day is quite sufficient.

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