Anti-virus software is a necessary evil (unless you're a Mac or Linux user, am I right?), but it doesn't have to be a costly one. Witness Grisoft's AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition, which offers robust virus protection without any money changing hands.
The just-released version 8.0 includes a spiffier, easier interface and a new feature called LinkScanner, which promises protection from malicious links returned by Web searches. Better still, AVG 8.0 adds anti-spyware to the mix, bringing it closer to that other free anti-virus favorite, Avast. (The latter includes rootkit protection as well, which AVG still lacks.)
Indeed, when it comes to free security software, everyone seems to have their favorite. Some users prefer Avira AntiVir, but I couldn't stand its nag screens. The question is, do any of these freebie tools offer the same level of protection as their commercial counterparts? I'm no security expert, but I've been virus- and spyware-free for as long as I can remember--and I use only the free stuff. How about you? What's your security software of choice, and why? Hit the Comments and discuss.
In the meantime, you can find out more about AVG Anti-Virus 8.0 Free Edition in CNET's First Look video.