AVG AntiVirus Free 2013 review

Not the most effective free package, and the tiled interface simply gets in the way

Darien Graham-Smith
15 Feb 2013
4

In the past few years, we’ve seen AVG consistently achieve better protection than its free rivals. This year, however, a mediocre 91% protection rate against zero-day threats puts it some way behind Avast Free Antivirus's 98%.

That might be excusable if AVG AntiVirus Free were otherwise a friendly and well-featured package – but sadly, the opposite is true. Although this latest version of the software sports a new Windows 8-inspired interface, it’s still frustratingly unclear which buttons lead to genuine features of the software, and which are merely there to steer you towards AVG’s paid-for products.

AVG AntiVirus Free 2013

In fact, the core features consist of only a virus scanner, an email scanner and a browser plugin. In other words, not only is AVG less effective than Avast - our recommended free antivirus tool - it’s also shorter on features; its 272MB memory footprint is more than three times as heavy.

We’d like to think that stiffening competition will prompt AVG to come back next year with a streamlined package that’s capable of retaking the crown. For now, though, we’d steer clear.

Details

Software subcategory Internet security

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Linux supported? no
Operating system Mac OS X supported? no
Other operating system support Windows 8

Read more about