Important update: I am no longer recommending AVG as the preferred antivirus. Please see this post for an update.
AVG antivirus (free version) has been part of my recommended software for several years (I actually started recommending AVG in 2004). Aside from being free for personal use, it does a great job and doesn’t use a lot of memory (RAM) like some other antivirus programs do.
I know many of you already use AVG, and I have installed it hundreds of times on client computers. This past week, you may have had a message pop up on your screen offering you the opportunity to update your antivirus software. It looks like this:
Should you update your AVG to the 2011 version? Yes.
You don’t necessarily need to do it right away, but you might as well take care of it now. I have started installing this on all of the laptops I sell. You can either upgrade to AVG 2011 when that message pops up on your screen, or you can go and download the new version right now.
The download and installation each have a thing or two to watch out for, so here is how to do it the right way:
1. Go to free.avg.com and find the link to download the free edition:
2. Next you will see a window that compares the features of the free version against the paid version. Obviously, they want you to buy the paid version. Nothing wrong with that, but in my opinion you don’t need the other features when you have the proper antispyware software installed separately (Malwarebytes). Look for the column with the free version and click on Download:
3. The next screen should show you a line of text at the top that says “You’re about to download AVG Anti-virus Free Edition 2011”. There is also a green “Download” button to download the file from download.com (cnet). Click it to go to that page:
Note: only click on the button that looks like the one shown above! There will be banner ads from software companies on that page, and they will have in big letters “Start your download” or something similar. This is designed to confuse you, and many people click on those ads and end up with some other software that they didn’t intend to get.
5. When you click that button, the next screen shows “Your download will begin in a moment…”. Again, don’t click any other links on that page to download something different.
6. The download will either offer you the option of saving it to your computer or running it (depending on if you are using Firefox or Internet Explorer). You can do either one. If you save the file, go to where you saved it and double click to start it.
7. The AVG Installer window will open. Click “Accept” to agree to the license agreement, then choose “AVG Anti-Virus Free” and click Next.
8. The License Number will already be filled in for you on the next screen – click Next.
9. Now you have a couple of things on the next screen. First, if you see this image offering the “gadget”, make sure you UNcheck that box (it takes up screen space and you don’t need it):
10. Now you will see a screen that is a repeat of the last version of AVG – it’s an attempt to install a toolbar, and to set Yahoo! as your default search engine:
I don’t recommend either of these, and if you agree, you need to uncheck both – but you have to uncheck them in this order: uncheck the Yahoo! option first, and the toolbar option second. If you uncheck the toolbar first, the other checkbox cannot be unchecked (a sneaky little trick that I don’t like at all).
11. The “real” download begins now. This is the part of the installation that takes the longest, because AVG has to now download over 100 mb of data. But we’re almost done. During this process, you may be required to restart the computer, so be sure you have saved any important documents or files.
After the download is complete, you will have the option of giving AVG your contact information. I always decline that, but it’s up to you.
Finally, when installation is done, AVG might want you to do a full scan. You can do that right away, or you can wait and continue with your current schedule.
If you would like AVG installed but don’t want to do it yourself, contact me. I can set it up for you remotely while you watch from the comfort of your office chair. 🙂