Protecting over 200 million PCs, Macs, & Mobiles – more than any other antivirus

July 20th, 2009

Why do you distribute avast! for free?

Here is a question my brother (Brian) recently posted to my Face Book: “One should ask the CEO why he is giving their software for free?”  Now Brian is a great brother but he likes to give me a hard time (and of course I do the same to him).  This question was prompted when he told me that his previous security product (you can imagine what product he was using given where I used to work and the fact Brian always got his security products from me) was expiring and he was wondering whether he should renew it or replace it.  Now, I don’t know if he was testing me to see if I would recommend the Avast product or if he was unaware that I had changed jobs.  But, of course, I told him to replace his old product with our free avast!.

So, while Brian was somewhat giving me a hard time, it is a very good question.  Why do we?

First, we do it because it is the right thing to do.  Internet users need to be protected while they use the internet.  A number of studies show that large numbers of internet users are still not protected while they use the internet—either they have no security product or the product they have has expired and they have not renewed it.  So, Eda and Pavel (our founders) had decided years ago to make our core antivirus product free to home users.  This is something we believe in and are committed to.

Now, we are not completely altruistic.  We do need to make money.  After all, we have to pay salaries, rent, development costs of our products, analyze the thousands of new viruses we receive a day, and support 80 million users.  So, we do have a set of premium products targeted at businesses and home users that need extra capabilities. Sales of these products allow us to support our business.

But instead of selling these through middlemen (retailers, computer manufacturers, etc.), we use our free product to make users aware of the premium products.  So when you use the free product, you will be told at registration and expiration time about the differences between the free and paid products. If you decide you need the extra capabilities, you can buy the product directly and seamlessly from us via our online store.  If you decide you don’t need those capabilities, you just continue using the free product.  But, we are committed to making sure all of our users—paid and free—receive the best possible security protection.

So that is the answer—it is the right thing to do and it allows us to cheaply and efficiently distribute our paid products.  And Brian, I do hope you have switched products as your free brotherly technical support for your old product has ceased.

Categories: CEO's corner Tags: ,
  1. CharleyO
    July 20th, 2009 at 16:06 | #1

    ***

    I hope Brian snartly listens to your brotherly advice once again. :)

    ***

  2. CharleyO
    July 20th, 2009 at 16:08 | #2

    ***

    CharleyO :
    ***
    I hope Brian snartly listens to your brotherly advice once again.
    ***

    OOPS … that should have been smartly.

    ***

  3. Tech
    July 20th, 2009 at 22:27 | #3

    Brian, have no fear. We can forgive us as we were forgiven to have used Vincent’s products before… Join avast and be happy!

    All the free work of the community is based on the seriousness of the staff. We will never be here if they don’t start doing such a great product for free.

  4. July 22nd, 2009 at 23:19 | #4

    Just want to thank you guys for giving this away. It’s a good product and I recommend it to friends and family whenever they “forget” to renew/update their antivirus. Good luck in your ventures.

  5. olivia
    July 23rd, 2009 at 00:12 | #5

    Hi There,
    Thanks for providing this great service for free. However, why not ask for donations?
    Cheers,
    Olivia

    • July 23rd, 2009 at 19:08 | #6

      Hi Olivia. We had thought about accepting donations in the past but frankly the accounting is too difficult. And we do think that if people want the extra capabilities of the paid product, they will pay. If not, it is fine for them to us the free product. Instead of donations, just recommend us to your family, friends, and colleagues.

  6. July 23rd, 2009 at 00:23 | #7

    It is very nice to find people like you guys giving away your AVAST for home users, thank you very much for so splendid product and good luck now and always.
    I am and will always be recommending AVAST.

  7. James
    July 23rd, 2009 at 00:33 | #8

    Thanks for providing a product that is superior to Norton & McAfee.
    Avast free home edition is THE BEST software out there! I recommend it to everyone!

  8. Richard Mathis
    July 23rd, 2009 at 00:33 | #9

    I use to use AVG(free) but had problems with viruses and crashes. Switched to Avast and have had Zero problems for over a year now. I will highly recommend your products to everyone I know. Thanks for your goodwill and services.

  9. July 23rd, 2009 at 00:44 | #10

    I switched from Trend a few years ago – they got to High tech for my limited computer knowledge. Now I am no longer working but on a liited disability pension so the free is not just nice; it is the only reason I can even have a computer. And I know I am not alone. The free part is not just nice it is very much apprciated by me and others on fixed incomes. Thanks!

  10. Hermann S
    July 23rd, 2009 at 00:55 | #11

    I’m using Avast Antivirus a lot of years. Yes I’m using the free Home Edition. I think I can’t do better and I’m very satisfied with it. Thank you so much to giving it away for free.

  11. kusitino halemai
    July 23rd, 2009 at 00:56 | #12

    free thank you very much

  12. Tatjana
    July 23rd, 2009 at 00:56 | #13

    Thank you for providing such an excellant product for free. You are a blessing to the poor. Avast has protected my computer very well and is easy to use. I would recommend it to anyone. May God bless and prosper you too. As the old carol “Good King Wenceslas” said, Ye who now do bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.

  13. Mortis Venunum
    July 23rd, 2009 at 01:39 | #14

    Avast and excellent and free it is wonderful

    a big thank you for that

  14. Mortis Venunum
    July 23rd, 2009 at 01:44 | #15

    @Mortis Venunum Avast is excellent and free it is wonderful

    a big thank you for that

  15. Mortis Venunum
    July 23rd, 2009 at 01:46 | #16

    @Mortis Venunum
    Avast is excellent and free it is wonderful

    a big thank you for that

  16. July 23rd, 2009 at 02:06 | #17

    I am disabled and I am currently living off of my credit card, I am truly suffering in every way.

    So I can not thank you guys enough,

    Edoctoor

  17. July 23rd, 2009 at 02:41 | #18

    I do not to write in English, but Avast is my solution. Thank you AVAST

  18. July 23rd, 2009 at 02:53 | #19

    Thanks guys and gals for a great product. You’re a model company for “doing the right thing” by offering consumers your free version of antivirus software. Some of us are being affected a bit harsher by the economic downturn, and not having to worry about a yearly fee for virus protetion is a relief.

  19. Paul
    July 23rd, 2009 at 03:09 | #20

    It is truly gratifying to know that your company is willing to provide such a superlative product at no cost to those of us hard hit by the current economic crisis. I have used various malware detection/removal products in the past, but Avast! is the best by far. The only criticism I have (and it’s a minor one) is not for the product, but for your website: orange lettering on a white screen is a little difficult to read for us old guys since there isn’t much contrast. Once again, many thanks for your devotion to protecing users from the nasty things that inhabit the internet.

  20. Marlene
    July 23rd, 2009 at 03:18 | #21

    THANKS!!!!!!!! Geeks advised me to use this because they thought it was the best. I have not had a virus since.

  21. jack234
    July 23rd, 2009 at 04:14 | #22

    i have been using free edition for more then a year now and not only iam THANKFUL but also greatful to you all , It is much better then many paid ones . Since i have installed i had no virus problem i fall short of words when ever i think how much you all are heling people like us , THANKS again and best of luck may your bussiness grow more then ever

  22. molly99w
    July 23rd, 2009 at 04:34 | #23

    各位辛苦工作人員你們好,非常感謝你們的努力讓我有這麼好用的產品還是免費的,讓我這個沒有收入的人能夠安全的使用網路,而且他是一個非常好用,又安全有效的產品。我也會將它介紹給親朋好友,告訴他們他比諾頓、卡斯巴基…..等等都來的好用安全。在一次謝謝你們!願慈愛的 上帝賜福 avast公司以及各位,你們的付出求 上帝補足你們。

  23. John
    July 23rd, 2009 at 04:47 | #24

    Thanks for this service. I am on a very limited income and appreciate all your work. Thanks again.

  24. July 23rd, 2009 at 04:59 | #25

    I use this for my personal and as well as my wife’s computer. Thinking of upgrading as well. Great service, with latest finds and solutions. Thanks AVast!

  25. July 23rd, 2009 at 05:27 | #26

    A great product, with great support and great utility. And, all this ‘great’ stuff for free, Way to go!! I recomend using avast! to every single person that I see using something else, and even those not using anything else :)

    Cheers!

  26. Misa Marie
    July 23rd, 2009 at 05:36 | #27

    Just wanna say thanks for letting us all use your great product for free!! :]

  27. Mario Roger
    July 23rd, 2009 at 06:08 | #28

    Dear Mr. CEO,
    The “use it free or upgrade and buy it ” is not only a very businessman like thinking, but it makes your company a very very sympathetic one to all of us users. To “crown” the philosophy the product is an excellent one I did not have a single virus ever since I started using Avast. Congratulations!

  28. steve7132
    July 23rd, 2009 at 06:29 | #29

    I too am on a limited income (disability prevents me from Working a job), which means you need to know how grateful I am that you allow us to defend our computers with your great product. I have in the past used another brand because 1. I didn’t know of your company 2. I also received the starter kit with my computer. Now here is the why I love your product, not because it is free, but it actually does what it is intended to do. The other products I have tried only alerted me to an infection, but didn’t actually remove the threats or protect me before I was actually infected. I would have to call support for them to instruct me How to remove something from my computer. Your product is Number One in protection. I have seen the bells and whistles on your product work and do they ever….

    Thanks to all of your staff who work hard to keep regular people safe….

  29. kanna
    July 23rd, 2009 at 06:35 | #30

    I was a Jesus Christ Believer and my kaspersky AV was expired So a bad thought entered in me. That i want to download Av Illegally with Pro Crack. But Holy reminded me my sin. Then i was wondering for my Pc security. Suddenly i saw Avast i thought its a dummy. But finnaly When i downlaoded I was Amazed It is BEST of ALL Anti Virus.. GOD Bless you AVAST. It has saved me from ym Guilty.

  30. jose duarte
    July 23rd, 2009 at 07:27 | #31

    i always recomend AVAST to my friends and every one who ask me for the best antivirus on earth, and i hope that most enterprises start to install avast in their systems. then avast get the big money and we continued using this wonderfull software… and every one will be happy.

  31. July 23rd, 2009 at 08:09 | #32

    My brother installed Avast on my PC years ago and have been happy with the free software.
    So when my directors were enquiring about changing to a new antivirius system, I recommended Avast and I am delighted to say that they purchased and installed it on all our pc’s. A good way of repaying for all the years I have been using it free and I shall recommend it to anyone who looks for a different software.
    Thank you CEO

  32. Nitin D.
    July 23rd, 2009 at 08:19 | #33

    have been using your home version for years. it has saved me innumerable times. really appreciate the effort to make even a free product so complete. thanks Avast!

  33. Ranjit M.J.
    July 23rd, 2009 at 08:32 | #34

    Its been great using Avast home version for free. Thanks a lot for letting us use this for free.

  34. July 23rd, 2009 at 08:55 | #35

    I always thought giving the product away for free was also a way to get more data about viruses, how people get infected, how people use the Internet. This data ofcourse allows you to be more competitive with your paid products. Was I completely wrong?

    • July 23rd, 2009 at 18:51 | #36

      Hi Walter. No we do not really use the free product for that as we don’t collect that kind of information. But a large using base does allow us to see a lot of viruses and that allows us to make our virus detection even better. And that benefits the free and paid users as they use the same detection engine.

  35. July 23rd, 2009 at 09:01 | #37

    GOOD IDEAS HAVE NO AGE,

    THEY HAVE A FUTURE.

  36. Rizalito
    July 23rd, 2009 at 09:31 | #38

    I used before AVG i am not satisfy with this trialware and so i upgrade to paidware it seem looklike to freeware,im searching at net about virus ware and i found AVAST i am not aware on this product before and i am thinking do i have to unstall my paid product?.after a day i decide to used this product i uninstall the previous one and isntall AVAST once i have install AVAST after few hour im taking my dinner that time i heard a voice telling that i have virus in /C/User/rizal/Appdata/local/temp i tell my self my goodness whatis this??trojan horse and worm2 viruses…this is true i submitt one infected file to a AVAST …thanks AVAST for the great virus software they made

  37. July 23rd, 2009 at 09:35 | #39

    Thank you!!! I have been used Avast four years, I think. I have also help my friends to use it. Now we have it in Swedish to so it been simplier to use for us who’s not so good at english. Thank you very much for that!

  38. vlk
    July 23rd, 2009 at 09:38 | #40

    @Walter Vos
    Yes, sort of. In v4.x we don’t collect that much data (and we always explicitly ask the user for a consent before sending anything). In v5, this will be extended, but again, the user will have to agree with this explicitly.

  39. Daniel Miserez
    July 23rd, 2009 at 09:59 | #41

    I have been using your home version for meny years; it has saved me innumerable time. Really I appreciate the effort to make even a free product so gut and complete,thanks a lot Avast from my part, Daniel.

  40. July 23rd, 2009 at 10:02 | #42

    “You can be sure the heart of 80 million users are blessing you.Iam one of them. thank you.”

  41. malin Öhlund
    July 23rd, 2009 at 10:29 | #43

    I´m so greatful for the avast( free edition) It is the greatest virus protection! Thank you for you work! and what you are doing for us users..
    Malin

  42. angela
    July 23rd, 2009 at 11:04 | #44

    great job guys, really. Every day I use my notebook for work or games I am glad of your protection! Thanks a lot, expecially to give it away for free. Angela from Italy

  43. Mike
    July 23rd, 2009 at 11:11 | #45

    Well, first of all, I want to thank you for your excellent product. I’ve used it for years and wouldn’t recommend anything else to my family and friends. I don’t know whether other users feel as I do…I can’t afford the PRO version each year but I would like to make a donation when I can. (I do it with other freebies I get if I think they are good and they have a system whereby a Paypal donation can be made) so why don’t you do that? You’ve proved over the years that you’re not an altruistic company so now is the time to slightly change your philosophy? Yes, leave the PRO version as is – it’s a more sophisticated product for certain users who will benefit from it – but allow donmations to be made by some of us who really do appreciate what we are getting. Not everyone will donate, but some of us will. Personally, I sort of feel that I’m stealing your generosity. So, maybe you will consider this unless there is a reason why you don’t want to go along that route. Once again, thanks for a great product. Mike.

    • July 23rd, 2009 at 18:47 | #46

      Thanks for the thought Mike. We have thought about accepting donations on and off over the years. We have no plans to do so and believe it or not, it is pretty difficult to set up the right accounting system to accept donations. But, do feel free to donate to a charity instead. And of course, just recommend us to your friends, relatives, and colleagues.

  44. José Pinto
    July 23rd, 2009 at 11:20 | #47

    I think it is a good action offer an anti-virus product for free – because there are many users of Internet for various reasons that are unprotected – and with the product show that if you feel better, there are other products that ensure protection than paid.
    It is a good policy to market.
    Come on friends Avast.
    Congratulations.

  45. KHOKHOL
    July 23rd, 2009 at 11:21 | #48

    Господа, буду краток.Такие люди ,как вы,РАЗВИВАЮТ И ВЕДУТ ЧЕЛОВЕЧЕСТВО К ЧЕЛОВЕЧНОСТИ. Я ТОЧНО ЗНАЮ,БЛАГОДАРЯ ВАМ,ЧТО Я ДАВНО НЕ ОБЕЗЬЯНА. НИЗКИЙ ВАМ ПОКЛОН. РОССИЯ(вечно богатая,и бескрайне нищая страна.) Спасибо.

  46. Dilmar
    July 23rd, 2009 at 11:57 | #49

    Dear Mr. Stekcler,

    congratulations for your answer! Yes, it is the right thing to do.
    The use of computers, Internet and e-mails is growing a lot and the protection should be available for all people in order to give security in the Internet, this wonderful comunication world.

    I am sure AVAST will grow while think in this way.

    Congratulations for your product, it is the best!

  47. Prospero
    July 23rd, 2009 at 12:03 | #50

    Hello,
    I wanted to thank you for the great service you give us free and I think it is better if you give too the possibility for free users to give, who wishes, some money.
    Many greetings
    Prospero

  48. Stewart M
    July 23rd, 2009 at 12:09 | #51

    I have used Avast! for the last 3 years and must say that it is a pleasure to use compared to Norton or McAfee. I have used (not from choice) those two in the past and they just seemed to cause complications to my laptop…Avast! on the other hand has been great and uncomplicated to use and I always advise my friends and relatives to ditch and uninstall Norton and McAfee and download your brilliant software for which I thank you as it is very much appreciated.

  49. JR Quaife
    July 23rd, 2009 at 14:37 | #52

    I go back to Dr Solomons AV and about 1999 I switched to Nortons and used it on multiple computers at home through 2004. It worked but it used more and more resources, so I looked and found Avast and have used it ever since. I frequently assist friends with computer issues and have recommended Avast with good results. Keep up the great work

  50. July 23rd, 2009 at 14:51 | #53

    Thanks for your products it was the best one I have ever found not only because it is free but because is easy and simple to operate. My wife computer have a lot of problem with his proteccion sistem and the operative sistem and as soon as they expire I install AVAST and my wife is so happy that all problem finish.

    Thanks Again: Ricardo
    Canovanas,Puerto Rico

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