Of all the free antimalware packages — most notably, Avira AntiVir, AVG Free, Avast!, and most recently, Microsoft Security Essentials — I’ve had the most experience with AVG Free. I’m currently running AVG 8.5 Free on at least 4 systems (all test machines: 2 notebooks and 2 desktops) and also have it installed on my son’s MSI notebook PC as well. It’s not the absolute best of the free PC antivirus packages — at least, not according to Nick Mediati’s recent and well-researched and -tested Free Antivirus Software roundup for PC Magazine dated 8/24/2009 — but it’s always proved adequate for my needs and seems to do the job reasonably well.
That’s why I read yesterday’s announcement of AVG version 9.0 (as reported on ITWire, for example) with considerable interest. This latest version of the program adds a list of ‘safe’ files from previous scans to its database, along with an improved firewall, better anti-phishing detection in its LinkScanner, and a partnership with Intersections, Inc. to offer access to identity theft recovery services to users of the program.
This all sounds both promising and interesting. But alas, a quick jump to the AVG Free pages shows that the an AVG 9.0 Free version isn’t available for download just yet. And sure enough, numerous stories confirm that this version won’t be available until “later this month.” That said, if you have users with personal machines or VMs to protect against malware (and who doesn’t nowadays), you might want to keep an eye out for release of the free version for such use. And of course, given its release timing, this version incorporates full-on support for Windows 7 versions.