May 01, 2012, 7:41 AM — AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition was PCWorld's top pick in April 2012's Free Antivirus You Can Trust. It performed well in virtually all of the tests we ran.
In our real-world malware detection tests, which evaluate how well an antivirus package will block brand-new threats, AVG's freebie blocked 85.7% of the samples, tying for the best result among the programs we tested. It detected 98.7% of the more than 129,000 samples of malware from the past four months in our malware "zoo" test. That's a good score, although a bit short of the best results we've seen.
AVG was at the top of its class in disabling active malware infections: On our test PC, it detected and disabled all malicious software, and removed all traces of malware two-thirds of the time.
AVG also scans a PC relatively quickly. When we directed it to check 4.5GB of data, it sped through the job in 1 minute, 35 seconds, the third-fastest time in this test and only 4 seconds slower than the fastest. Its on-access scanner--which runs when you open or save a file--took 4 minutes, 55 seconds to go through the same amount of data, about average for the programs we looked at.
I like AVG's main interface, though its advanced settings could intimidate some users. Apart from that caveat, if you're looking for solid, fast PC protection, look no further than AVG.