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AVG tempts Antivirus Free users with cloud scranning

Adds Windows 8-friendly interface

Antivirus firm AVG has launched its 2013 suite of security products featuring a number of useful tweaks and a redesigned interface to cope with the touchscreen-driven world of Windows 8.

The interface is probably the biggest news, which the company said was intended to perform the tricky balance of allowing conventional mouse control to co-exist with a touchscreen interface modelled on feedback from user testing.

The company also pushed the theme of better performance, claiming reduced startup time (-26 percent), better scan times (-36 percent) and a smaller footprint although all antivirus companies say much the same thing during product launches.

AVG said the integrated firewall had been redesigned to make it easier to understand and the software now included 'file reputation', a service that checked all new files added to a PC against a cloud database. This should spot suspicious files although such technology has a reputation of giving users false positives froom time to time.

What about AVG's AntiVirus's army of free users? Apart from the new interface and performance tweaks, pretty much as before. It scans files on a hard drive and monitors memory.

Free users do get AVG Secure Search (previously called LinkScanner), a browser security layer, as well as the cloud file reputation service for anyone that opts in.

"We were the first antivirus company to offer a free product to all users ten years ago and in March 2012, we were also the first to provide an active Do Not Track privacy feature in both our free and paid products," said AVG CEO, JR Smith.

One thing that is clear is how complicated computer security marketing must has become. On top of its hugely popular free antivirus product, the company now offers seven other product across PC and mobile markets, including AVG Internet Security (its standard antivirus suite) and AntiVirus for Android.

For consumers this is hugely confusing although every other mainstream security company must also grapple with the same problem of how to communicate and license security software in an age of consumers running several computers and operating systems.

AVG 2013 Free can be downloaded from the company's website.

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