AVG 8.5 Free

Though AVG 8.5 Free has a good, straightforward interface and useful blocking of Web-based attacks, its malware blocking is below average

AVG (AU/NZ) 8.5 Free
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Good at PC disinfection, ability to scan Web traffic and e-mail

Cons

  • Middling malware detection, Slow on-demand scans

Bottom Line

AVG 8.5 Free is well-rounded overall, but its second-tier malware detection rate should make you consider one of the better-performing programs first.

Would you buy this?

AVG Technology's AVG 8.5 Anti-Virus Free antivirus app has solid features and a generally polished interface, but its relatively lacklustre showing at malware detection is a disappointment.

AVG detected 95.8 percent of AV-Test.org's malware zoo of about half a million Trojan horses, worms, spyware, and other nasties. Although that isn't a terrible result, it doesn't stand up well against the detection rates of the top performer, Avira Antivir Personal. Hampering AVG's overall score was its 95.3 percent detection rate for Trojan horses, the most common type of malware in the set, as well as its surprisingly poor 88.8 percent detection rate for spyware that tries to steal financial-account passwords.

AVG 8.5 Free's proactive detection and scan speed are both middle of the road. The software was third in tests that evaluate the program's ability to block new and unknown malware. It ranked the same for on-access scan speed, which comes into play when you open or save a file. For on-demand scans it was a lot pokier (sixth out of nine), but since you can schedule the scans for when you're not around, a slower speed isn't as problematic here.

This long-standing program performed well in system disinfection. In one test, AVG 8.5 Free detected and disabled all 10 malware infections. It tended to miss less-critical things such as Registry changes or blocked access to the Windows Task Manager, but so did all the other free antivirus software we tried. AVG also did well in avoiding false positives, making only one boy-who-cried-wolf mistake.

The AVG package offers a good set of features. Its LinkScanner component will try to detect and stop attacks on web pages while you surf, and it will provide safety ratings for search results (you can download LinkScanner by itself).

AVG 8.5 Free can scan email, too, something only Avast Antivirus Home Edition and ClamWin Free Antivirus also offer. But while that is a beneficial extra, the program's AVG toolbar with search options doesn't afford any additional protection; you can safely skip it during installation. You'll likely find most of the default settings appropriate, except for the daily full scan at noon. You can choose another time of day in the installation wizard, but to change it to a weekly scan you'll have to adjust the settings after installation.

AVG 8.5 Free displays an ad for its paid product at the bottom of the main program window, along with an occasional pop-up ad. Neither is especially intrusive, and the interface is generally straightforward enough for use on a daily basis.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?