Update: We’ve found a great tool for removing remnants of AVG if you get stuck, or if you accidentally install version 9 over version 8. Read the updated info at the end of this article.
The good folks at AVG have released the latest version of their excellent antivirus software, AVG Free Version 9. As many of our readers know, Computer Courage is a big fan of AVG. They provide high quality antivirus to the masses for free, without bogging down your computer.
The latest version of AVG Free doesn’t have much in the way of new features, it’s supposed to be faster and lighter. This is probably a response to the release of Microsoft Security Essentials – a new free antivirus option from Microsoft itself. MSE has some real promise to it, but we’re not ready to recommend it over the proven AVG yet.
When it comes to AVG, the most common question we hear is “why is it free?” The answer is simple. They provide a free product to millions of home users, with an option to upgrade to the paid version (which contains extra protection that we think isn’t necessary for a typical user). Even if they get only a tiny percentage of users to convert to the paid version, they will make big bucks. The other big guys (Norton, McAfee) use other methods such as advertising, and getting their software pre-installed on new PCs. Any way you cut it, everyone is making money.
Now, if you are running AVG Free 8 or 8.5, it’s time to upgrade. The upgrade is easy, with one caviat: You must uninstall AVG Free 8.x before installing AVG 9. This is critical – it will not warn you if you try to install AVG Free 9 on top of 8, and it can result in a loss of protection.
- Uninstall AVG Free 8.x : Start Menu -> Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> AVG Free
- Restart the PC
- Download and install AVG Free 9 from here.
- When installing, a few things to consider:
- Make sure to select the Free version in the installer – don’t get fooled into upgrading!
- Don’t install the Toolbar, it’s overkill
- Set up a weekly scan to run at night
If you have any thoughts about the new version of AVG, or free antivirus in general, please share in the comments.
The last two responses have been about problems upgrading to version 9 of AVG. Here’s a very important tool that I’ve learned about, which should help you if you are “stuck” between versions.
You may need the AVG Remover. This is an official tool from AVG which is supposed to remove all traces of AVG from your system.
You can download the tool here: http://www.avg.com/us-en/download-tools
Note that there are 32 bit and 64 bit versions, you’ll need the appropriate one for your operating system.
How to use this tool:
1. Read all documentation that comes with it, and follow recommended use practices from AVG.
2. Try to remove AVG manually, though the Control Panel.
3. If removing doesn’t work, then download and run the AVG Remover from the link above.
4. You are now free to download and install AVG 9. Alternatively, we’re having fantastic experiences with Microsoft Security Essentials – http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials.We highly recommend you check it out – we may be advising it as our recommended solution soon.