Now in my 9th year in the consulting business, I find that my choice of software (and software recommendations) changes, but in a good way. At one time, I used Easy CD Creator for CD/DVD burning because it’s what I had experience with and had always used. A few years ago I started using Nero and have never looked back. But the software I use weekly to clean up PCs is anti-virus and anti-spyware software. And in this category, I’ve been using and recommending AVG.
This choice of AVG started because I would often encounter users with no or expired anti-virus software. Thus, they would have viruses and spyware slowing down their PCs. Since AVG has a free edition that can be easily downloaded, it was a good way to clean up these PCs without having to contact the users and see about obtaining AV software.
In using AVG, I found it also worked very well. Before I would use Windows Defender and Spybot Search and Destroy (which I still use along with AVG) because they were free and could remove a lot of malware. But Windows Defender only works on newer versions of Windows with the latest Windows Installer application installed. Spybot is limited on how much it can remove since it targets mainly spyware. So AVG provided a third crucial method of scanning PCs and removing malware.
My old choice for AV was Norton products before all their activation and registration junk (which is why I never used to recommend McAfee, since you couldn’t get updates until you created a login for a McAfee account). Also, I now believe the talk that Norton has become bloated and slows systems down. My recent experiences with Norton first include a user who had a perfectly good working copy of Norton 360 1.0, but who made the mistake of upgrading to 2.0. Nothing I tried could get 2.0 installed on his PC, even 1.0 could not be reinstalled. So instead of reloading his PC just to get Norton installed, I set him up with AVG, which installed with no hassles. Even Norton’s small business products have become needlessly complex to setup; they also take up gigabytes of space for storage.
With that in mind, I have now started installing AVG File Server edition for small business servers. It’s not too expensive (cost is based on the number of clients connecting to the server) and you can purchase a 2 year license and save some money. The only hiccup I recently encountered was a client who was running Windows 2000 Server with SP3. Once I updated his servers to SP4 and other updates, AVG installed easily.
Someone who just bought a new PC and had their brother I think setting it up said the brother didn’t like AVG but used something else (unfortunately I don’t know what), but I haven’t found a reason yet not to use it or recommend it. If you need a change or just don’t feel like paying to protect your home PC every year with bloated products, check out AVG Free Edition and Grisoft’s other products at www.grisoft.com.