18 November 2006

Is the free AVG AntiVirus going away? (via the LangaList) 

If my volume of reader mail is any indication, many of you are concerned about the imminent demise of a favorite antivirus tool. Take reader Graham Gwilliam's note, for example:

"Fred, I hear that Grisoft's AVG AntiVirus Free Edition will not be free in the new year. I, together with my friends, have used this excellent antivirus software for some years. Is this the latest free software that we will now have to pay for or find an alternative that works as well?"

Not to worry. It's only the older versions that are going away. The newest version of AVG (7.5) is already available, and is still offered in both free and paid versions. (I'll give you the links in a moment.)

The reason for the confusion is that Grisoft's main Web site is set up so that you have to read through a lot of descriptive prose about the paid version before you find the links to the free one.

That's not a malicious trick or raw greed on Grisoft's part, it's just good business sense. Grisoft is doing a wonderful service to the computing community by continuing to offer a free, fully-functional and quite complete antivirus tool for personal and home use. But although that version is free to end users, it's not free to Grisoft. They paid to develop the free version, they pay to make it available for free download, and they pay still more to keep it updated.

That's very generous of them, but no company can afford infinite largess. So, if you can spring for the paid version on at least one of your personal-use PCs, please consider doing so. It will help Grisoft stay in business and allow it to continue to deliver good software. But if you truly can't afford the paid version, or can't afford it on all your PCs, then fine. That's what the free version is for!

And, by the way, one of the reasons Grisoft is trying to move all its customers to the new versions is that AVG AntiVirus 7.5 (free and paid) will ship with the "Security Center" in the soon-to-be-released Windows Vista. That makes AVG one of the most widely applicable AV tools in existence: Version 7.5 will run on all versions of 32-bit desktop Windows from Win98 through Vista.

The new paid version 7.5 is available now from Grisoft's main site. The free version is also available either by navigating from the above site (look for the small type near the bottom of the pages) or by going directly to the free download area.

Other free antivirus tools: Avast, ClamWin, Comodo, Antidote Lite

Ed. I will put the hypertext links in later!

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