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9:53am on Sunday, 26th June, 2005:

Anti-Virus Software that Doesn't Kill your PC


If you've received an email from me recently, you'll have noticed something like the following appended to the end:

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.323 / Virus Database: 267.8.0/27 - Release Date: 23/06/2005

After losing patience with Norton, I switched to McAfee for my anti-virus solution. However, McAfee was itself somewhat problematical.

One of the consequences of getting a new printer was that I had to turn off my anti-virus software while it installed. As it took well over a week to persuade it to bow down before me, this meant I had no anti-virus software and no anti-spam software for long enough to experience what life would be like without it.

Actually, it wasn't too bad. The spam filter afforded by McAfee was much slower than than deleting dud emails manually, plus I get to see stuff before it's (sometimes wrongly) despatched to the spam folder (that I couldn't look at except with McAfee's proprietary hack of an interface program). I no longer need a firewall because I have a router now to protect me from all that. The only thing, therefore, that McAfee (or Norton) sold me that I really needed was the anti-virus functionality.

After moaning about this here in QBlog, I got an email from Glenn Broadway recommending I try out AVG from Grisoft. The personal edition is free. Free is my favourite price as a buyer, so I did try it out.

Well, I've been using AVG for three weeks now, and I have to say that it's just what I needed. It's very fast at scanning, it downloads virus profiles in a trice, I can switch off its scan-the-entire-PC feature and (yes!) it automatically dumps all virus-infected email in a mail folder. I get no gloating about how it's saved my bacon, my PC runs as fast with it installed as without — it's a dream come true!

And it's free! No purchase price, no yearly subscription. All it costs me is the 4 lines of publicity it adds to the end of all the email I send.

The thing is, though, it allows me to switch off its scanning of outgoing mail. If it doesn't scan, it doesn't add the publicity. Should I take this as tacit permission to get rid of its signature?

I'm going to leave it. It's such a boon to have a simple, effective piece of anti-virus software running at last that I don't mind spreading the word. I doubt anyone will buy the AVG professional edition as a result, but I'm doing my bit for their grapevine.

Thanks, Glenn!

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).