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When it comes to free antivirus software that is also powerful, there’s really only one option. It’s called AVG Free Edition and it works great for basic antivirus protection on a home PC. I know there are several of you out there who use AVG, so I decided to give you a heads up on some big changes you should be aware of. For quite some time now, the newest version of AVG has been version 7.5. I know I have used it on my home PC for almost a year now and it has worked out great. Well, just the other day, I received a notice that said I need to upgrade to version 8. At first, I thought they were just trying to sell me the pay version, but that wasn’t so!

It seems AVG has completely revamped their free and pay versions of the software. AVG 8 is now available, so if you’re still using v7.5, you should upgrade immediately. After doing some further research, I found out that AVG 7.5 will no longer be supported after the end of this month. So, if you don’t upgrade to version 8 soon, you will no longer be protected from viruses or any other bugs that may be lurking around.

Now, I know upgrading software can be a hassle, so I went and upgraded my AVG 7.5 to AVG 8.0 just so I could tell you all about it! It turned out to be a pretty painless and simple process. Here’s how you do it:

First, go to AVG’s Web site and download the newest version of AVG Free Edition. Here’s the link to their Web site: http://free.grisoft.com.

Make sure you choose the Free Edition (if that’s the one you currently use) and then just follow the steps to download it to your computer. In the final step, you will be asked if you want to save or run the file. Choose Save and just put it on your desktop so that you can easily find it later.

After the file finishes downloading, find your current AVG icon in your system tray down by your clock (it looks like a square with four different colors on it). Right click on that icon and choose “Quit AVG free control center.” That will prompt a warning, asking if you’re sure. Choose Yes. After you do that, shut down any other programs running on your system.

Third, find the AVG installation file you downloaded earlier and double click on it. That will start the AVG free installation. The nice thing about this installation is it will remove the old version automatically. Just go through the steps by clicking on the Next button. After the installation is complete, it will tell you it wants to check for updates, but the update check will fail. Don’t worry, we will get to that on the next step. After clicking Next through all of the screens, you will be asked to restart your computer. Click Yes to do that.

The final step is doing the update that failed earlier. After your computer restarts, your AVG icon will have a red X on it. Double click on the icon and choose the option to update the software. The update will complete and the red X will disappear.

You’re done! You now have the newest version of AVG. Until next week, stay safe out there, my friends!

~ Gary