AVG Anti Virus (free addition) from Grisoft is a perfect anti-virus solution for home and personal use. The best part is that the product is FREE. AVG Anti-Virus was originally recommended to me by my companies CTO which is a strong endorsement in itself. More importantly however is that all aspects of the product work great.
I was first impressed by how easy the product was to download and install. Download over a high speed connect takes just minutes. Just a few clicks later and the product was installing on my windows based desktop. I'm not very technical and found this entire set-up to be quick and easy. In addition, the programs interface or what Grisoft calls the "Control Center" is intuitive. Its really easy to check what has been scanned when and the results of those scans.
As for ongoing maintenance, each time I turn on my computer AVG software updates its virus definitions and profiles automatically. As a result my system is automatically protected against any worms, viruses and trojans.
As for how the product works, its based on heuristics and NTFS data streams scanning. These are the same principles used in fee based anti-virus programs. In fact the product works so well that it has received numerous endorsements and certifications from industry groups including:
*West Coast Labs
*Virus Bulletin VB100%
As this is a free product it does not include phone support. It does however provide online support through FAQs and blogs. That said, based on the month plus I have been using the product I am not sure why anyone would need phone support.
For folks concerned that a free product can't work as well as a fee based product, that's not the case. Grisoft has several fee based products to support organizations. AVG Anti Virus is a piece of the overall code and therefore has no real cost to Grisoft. That said, I suspect the company is hopeful that over time satisfied users will buy their other fee based solutions.
Lastly its also worth noting that the folks at Grisoft offers a free Anti Spyware programs that I have recently added. This may be a nice complement for folks looking for protection beyond virus, worms and trojans.
In summary, AVG Anti-Virus free edition is a great product for the individual user.
— As Microsoft has a vested interest in protecting its software, reputation and customers, they have done a great job with Defender and the best part is that Defender is provided to registered Microsoft customers free of charge.