AVG Free Edition 8.0 merges anti-virus with anti-spyware, adds safe-search

LinkScanner technology incorporated into AVG’s latest free offering.

AVG's Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.0 will be available for download from Friday 25 April, providing basic protection against viruses and spyware to consumers.

The key difference AVG Free 8.0 boasts over the previous edition is the merging of AVG's anti-virus and spyware engine into the one product.

"So now it only requires one pass to do both jobs," said AVG's Australia New Zealand marketing manager Lloyd Borrett.

"That would be a primary reason (for upgrading) but I really think one of the key reasons is that we've also put the LinkScanner real time safe-searching technology into the product as well," he said.

In December last year AVG acquired the maker of LinkScanner, Exploit Prevention Labs, and has incorporated the technology into its products. LinkScanner has two main components: safe-searching protection and proactive safe-surfing.

When a site is clicked on from within a search engine, the safe-searching technology detects whether the site is potentially dangerous before the redirect takes place, and provides users with a warning when threats are identified.

"LinkScanner checks in real-time at the time that really matters - when you're about to click on the link," Borrett said.

Safe-surfing technology protects against drive-by downloads, but is not included in the free edition. Protection against hackers, keyloggers, spam, phishing attacks, malicious downloads from instant messaging or email attachments, telephone and email support is also not included in the free edition.

"There is an option in the free edition that people can click on when it detects a faulty site so it can be reported back to us. By doing this it helps us have a greater collection of threats that we can investigate further," Borrett said.

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.0 is available from www.avgfree.com.au.

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