AVG Antivirus has been a part of my tool box for years, in my opinion their free software ranks among the best in the business however on some of my PCs I prefer not to run a full fledged AV suite. But I still want to be sure I have the added protection I need for malware, spyware and generally nasty sites.
This is were AVG LinkScanner comes in. The software, that was originally packaged as part of AVG's Free Edition suite, now comes as a stand alone for anyone that wants protection from malicious sites while surfing or doing Web searches.
AVG LinkScanner will also scan existing bookmarks as well as links in e-mails and instant messages before they are opened. A feature I think is lacking is the ability to scan links on other sites. Scanning links on Twitter or MySpace would be great. The email scanner didn't seem work well, at least in my testing. I opened a phishing email received via AOL's webmail and it didn't report anything malicious, nor did it report the link as bad. FireFox phishing took care of that.
Is this something you need?
Both FireFox and IE incorporate anti-phishing filters and Google serves up its own warnings in its search results, but for users that use Yahoo or MSN this might be a useful tool. As mentioned I found it a bit lacking when used with webmail and of course it only works with web searches so it has its limits.
It only uses minimal system resources so it won’t slow down your computer and it does run seemlessly with both IE and FireFox so you hardly know its there. So there really is no draw back to adding it to your machine.
If you are using Windows 7 and want to test it out I'll warn you that I had issues uninstalling it. It might have been my machine but it never wanted to complete the uninstall.