AVG Anti-virus recently displayed a popup window telling me that I needed to upgrade from version 7.5 to version 8.0. AVG Free 8.0 is no longer only an anti-virus program, it now includes an integrated anti-spyware and a safe search web browser extension. AVG Free also no longer cripples the scheduler, you can now have it run a full scan whenever you want.
Previously, the only way to get version 8.0 was to pay for it, and for a moment I was very disappointed that AVG stopped offering a free version of their great software. I soon realized that this was not actually the case, so I figured that I would create this post in case others were confused by the upgrade process as well.
First, you are presented with the upgrade notification screen. Click the “Learn more & Upgrade now” button to begin the upgrade. (Note: After the upgrade was complete, this window did not disappear for me, so I had to click the “Upgrade later” button to get it to go away.)
Next comes the screen which caused the initial confusion. It states that I can upgrade to AVG Internet Security 8.0 for only $54.99 USD for one year. Upon reading in a second time, I realized that on the very bottom (in bold, silly me) it states that if you want to stick with AVG Free 8.0, click here. So I did.
Now I saw a more familiar screen. I clicked the “Download” button under the AVG Free column. Now would probably be a good time for me to point out that AVG free is only for personal, non-commercial use only. If you want to use AVG on a computer owned by a company, you must pay for a license. Go to the AVG Free Limitations page for more information.
After that you are taken to the Download screen, where you can choose to download it from Download.com or directly from AVG’s servers.
I clicked on the “Download directly from AVG” tab and then clicked on the “Download” button. Firefox then displayed the save file dialog. Woohoo!
Unfortunately, that is not the end of my tale. The installer is pretty much just like every other one, with the exception of a few things.
Apparently, AVG Free now includes a security toolbar for your web browser. I did not install it, so I cannot vouch for what good it actually does, but according to Article 6, Section B, Clause ii of the License Agreement, the toolbar will change the “DNS ERROR PAGE” and the “ERROR 404 PAGE” of your web browser, and that “THE TOOLBAR MAY COMMUNICATE CERTAIN BASIC USAGE INFORMATION TO VISICOM MEDIA INC. VIA (”APPLICATIONSTAT.COM”) TO HELP VISICOM COMPILE GLOBAL STATISTICS”. Hmmm, no thanks.
Then there was the I am happy to give you my web browsing history screen. I do trust AVG so I think that you would be fine to do this, but I personally like to keep my information out of as many databases as possible. I would like to thank AVG for making this one opt-in (unchecked) by default.
AVG Free 8.0 now includes an extension for your web browser called “AVG Safe Search”. It checks the results for any search done on Google, Yahoo, or MSN and displays security information in the form of an icon next to the link. You can hover your mouse over a link and it will pop up detailed information. If you do not like this feature and wish to remove or disable it, please check out this post.
I am pleased with the new AVG Free 8.0 and I am glad to see them combine their anti-spyware offering with their anti-virus. I have doubts about the new safe search (LinkScanner) which seems to scan each result every time you search the web. I think this will waste bandwith for sites that rank high on search engines, and as I pay for my own website, I hate the thought of programs driving my costs up. I suppose that if it helps keep you safe, it is a good for you and therefore I recommend keeping it enabled. I also dislike that AVG is bundling a toolbar that has ties with other companies and changes your browser settings.
All in all, I like that AVG Technologies (formerly Grisoft) continues to offer a superb product that helps protect home users for free. It really keeps me from having to constantly have to repair my friends and families computers. Thanks AVG!