Software security companies like AVG, Kaspersky or Avast are releasing product updates on a yearly basis. It is not that the old versions suddenly stopped working or anything, and more likely a marketing decision than anything else. You would not want your antivirus product to still read 2012 for instance when the competition is pushing 2014 products on the market.
Anyway, AVG has released the refresh of the company's line-up in the last two days. If you are an AVG user you may want to know what has changed before you make the plunge. And if you are using a different product, you may be interested in the changes as well to see if they convince you to change to AVG's security product.
Avg advertises the new 2014 products on the start page, but you will notice that it is quite difficult to get information about the changes that the company made to them this year.
AVG Antivirus Free 2014 What's New
Here is what is new in the product:
- New secure File Shredder. This is included in all versions of the 2014 lineup. You can access it in Windows Explorer when you right-click files or folders there. You should see a "Permanently shred with AVG" context menu entry after installation. AVG does not really go into details about the functionality, other than that it becomes impossible to recover files deleted this way. It is very likely that it overwrites the space the selected files or folders have occupied with random data.
- Easy access to AVG mobile apps. A click on mobile apps displays them in the application's interface.
- Improved detection.
- File Reputation that reports back to AVG's cloud service to "report the prevalence of certain files on users' computers".
And that is it. It is not the most impressive list of changes and critics may argue that this has the looks of a minor update more than that of a major refresh of the product.
Where to download
AVG seems to have partnered up with Cnet's download.com exclusively, as its website redirects for downloads to the Cnet property.
The official installer is an online installer, which means that it has a size of only 4 Megabyte, and that the remaining data is downloaded at the time of installation.
If you prefer to download offline installers, use this page on the AVG website to do so. It lists AVG for Windows offline installers for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the application. The 32-bit installer has a size of 124 Megabytes, the 64-bit one a size of 136 Megabytes.
I suggest you select custom installation during setup as it gives you better control over the whole process. What this means is that you will be able to block certain programs and toolbars from being installed on the system, which you cannot do if you let AVG make that decision for you.
The installation lists the following components that you can disable if you select custom installation:
- AVG Add-ons - Gadget
- Email Protection - Personal Email Scanner
- Identity - Identity Protection
- Additional installed languages
- Web Browsing - Link Scanner Surf-Shield
- AVG Security Toolbar
How to disable
If you have installed some of those extra components that you do not need, that may interfere with how you use the computer, you may want to uninstall or disable them so that they do not get in your way anymore. This is how you do so:
LinkScanner Surf-Shield can be deactivated with a click on Web Browsing in the main AVG Antivirus Free 2014 interface and changing the enabled switch to disabled here.
The Personal Email Scanner can be deactivated with a click on Emails in the main AVG interface. Here you find that it is enabled for incoming messages, and disabled for outgoing ones. Just change the enabled switch to disabled.
Identity Protection can be disabled in pretty much the same way, only that you need to select Identity in the main window to do so.
We have published a detailed guide on uninstalling the AVG Security Toolbar.
How good is AVG
This one is difficult to answer. There are indicators however, independent tests that have been run that provide you with an impression.
The latest AV Comparatives real-world test for instance lists AVG at the bottom of the tested products. It still boasts protection rates above 90% though and depending on user configuration a lot more than that, but it is not top of the class in the test.
In the latest AV Test, AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2013 received a protection score of 4.5 of 6.0, a performance score of 4.0 of 6.0, and a usability score of 5.5 of 6.0.
Fix AVG is not able to recognize your license number
If you are receiving the following error message:
AVG License Error
AVG is not able to recognize your License Number.
Please click on Re-enter and enter your license number again.
If it does not resolve the problem please reinstall AVG.
Download the AVG License Fix tool from the official website and run it on your computer to fix the issue.