It's obvious from all these thousands of messages about AVG 8 that the free version has left out some key components that users apparently found useful. There's a saying though, and 9 times out of 10, it's so true. You get what you pay for.
Recently in his LJ, masterofmusings wrote about an experience that he had with his roommate's computer which was supposedly being protected by AVG. Thirty-five infestations total. That's thirty-five too many in my opinion, and it was fixed by using a different program. But what if it hadn't been? I worked with someone once who used AVG. It updated on a regular basis and she figured that she was protected. She wasn't, and she discovered this when a virus brought her system to a screeching halt and had to be reformatted to get rid of the viruses. The place she took her system to charges no less than $140 for a reformat and reinstall of the operating system. She has since updated to a much better software package and things have been working well I suspect. The thing is, paying $50 or whatever a year for a well-known, reliable protection package is going to be so much more cost-effective in the long run than if you rely on a free package that most likely isn't doing the job.
My computer is a big investment, and I don't want to sink any more money into it than I have to. To me though, this means keeping it free of viruses and other problems. In the ideal world, we wouldn't have viruses, or the need to run software to keep them from happening. This isn't the ideal world though, and the reality is, people need to keep this in mind. After the virus has done its work it's too late. By that time, the damage is done, and if you can't afford to get your computer fixed, you're sitting there, unable to do anything with it, and hopefully realizing that the situation could have been avoided.
Yes, I feel very strongly about this, having seen problems on so many different machines using AVG. These programs aren't there to look pretty, they're supposed to do a job. If they're not, what's the point. I've had people say that they've used AVG for years and never had any problems. Great, but do you really KNOW that you haven't had any problems? Have you tried running an alternative program to see if it picks up anything? How's your machine running? Is it slow, crashes a lot, and just generally doing weird abnormal things?
Okay, I'm going to quit now. This whole thing just frustrates me obviously, and since I spend so much time trying to fix these messes, and I just know that in so many cases they could be avoided.