Grisoft has released AVG Free 8.0, and it's pretty. All users of AVG Free 7.5 have till May 31st to download and install the new version --- there will be no more virus definition file updates for v. 7.5 after that. And the only bad news is, users of Win 98 and Win Me can't run the new version. So Win 9x users will essentially be left without virus protection at the end of this month.
But all is not lost. I've been meaning to try avast!, the other big free European anti-virus suite. Since several of my clients stilll use Win 9x, and so do the four old Toshiba laptops I bought at the Hospice Thrift Store, this seemed as good a time as any.
And I like it! It loads easily, it runs quietly in the background, and it's easy to turn off the 'providers' I don't need: Peer2Peer and IM, two things I don't do, so there's no need to protect myself from their vulnerabilities.
Click this link to download the installation file; choose Save, point to your desktop, and click Save again.
Disconnect from the Internet, turn off WinPatrol, and uninstall AVG before double-clicking the downloaded file. (did you notice it was only 20 MB? Cool! The new version of AVG is 45 MB.)
avast! protects from 'rootkit' infections, so it has to reboot the computer to take effect. Connect to the Internet and register the software --- they'll send you a product key and easy instructions on how to apply it, via email. Turn WinPatrol back on.
A couple of things I like about avast!:
1. You can schedule a virus scan to run at reboot, before all the Windows files are loaded --- allows for a more thorough scan of the system.
2. When you receive an updated virus definition file, a voice tells you so. If you find this annoying, turn it off:
Start » (All) Programs » avast! AntiVirus » avast! AntiVirus »Settings » Settings » Sounds » Disable Avast Sounds » OK.
If you're running Win 2000 with Service Pack 4 Rollup, or XP, or Vista, you can go ahead and move up to AVG Free 8.0, if you prefer. As stated above, it's a 45.5 MB download.
Click here to download AVG Free 8.0. It now includes anti-spyware protection, so if it was me, I'd uninstall Spybot S & D. But keep WinPatrol.
Space on my free Utilities CD is at a premium, and I'm trying to keep from making it a 2-CD set. So, I'll be removing AVG from the CD ASAP. I'll probably leave a link to it on my website for a while, subject to change without notice. When I find a utility that covers lots of Windows versions, and a similar program that only works with a sub-set thereof, I tend to favor the program that helps more people. And it doesn't hurt that, in this case, the more broadly useful program is the (much) smaller of the two --- did I mention that I'm out of space on my CD?
Write me if you need a copy of my free Utilities CD. I'll deliver a copy or two for free in the Clearwater, FL vicinity, or mail you one for $4 (or two for $7).
Till Next Time...