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

November 22nd, 2012

Avast is now free for schools and libraries in the USA

Starting this week, we have made most of our Avast antivirus products and solutions free for use by schools and libraries in the US. This is just the first step and if it is successful, we will extend it worldwide. We are doing this for a couple of reasons. First, even though schools need security products, in these tough budget times, they need the ability to focus their spending on teaching. A couple of us here at Avast used to run the government and education sales at Symantec some years ago. We know that schools spend a lot on security—money that could be better spent on teaching.



While the first reason is altruistic, the second is not. Quite simply, we want to increase our visibility in the US market. When students, staff, and faculty use our product at school, they will be more inclined to also use our free product at home. We also ask, but don’t require, that schools make a link to our free consumer product available to their students, parents, etc. We know that for every million free users, a good number will end up upgrading to our paid product. These upgrades to our paid products enables us to protect 160 million users for free.

In the US, there are about 130,000 schools and according to the US Census Bureau, about 79 million students. Add to this the millions of teachers and staff required to teach 79 million students and there may be close to 100 million involved in education. Providing our product free to these students, faculty, and staff is a great opportunity to get our name and products much better known. Using our product for free is also a good way for schools to save money. Let’s assume that there are about 10 million PCs in use in schools—that would be about one for every 10 students, staff, and faculty. If antivirus costs about $20/PC, that is $200,000,000. If an average teacher costs $100,000 (salary, retirement, benefits, etc.), this $200 million saved could fund 2,000 teachers.

This is not a teaser campaign. We are offering not just our normal free consumer products, but also our core business product for free:

  • Avast! Free Antivirus—this is our normal consumer free product which has about 160 million users. In the past, we only allowed this product to be used for free by home users. Now it can be used for free by home, school, and library users. It can run on Windows PCs, Macs, and Androids.
  • Avast! End Point Protection Suite—this is our most popular centrally-managed business product and it has never been offered for free. Two different management environments are offered for this product: the small business console can support about 200 – 300 computer environments while the enterprise console can centrally support up to 30,000 computers.

We started piloting this about a month or so ago and already have about 100 schools that have requested about 200,000 licenses. These schools range from small K-12 rural schools to large state Universities:

  • Mississippi State University, School of Human Services
  • University of California (San Diego), Carver College
  • Ranger College, Worthmore Academy (IN and MN)
  • Excell Academy for Higher Learning
  • Evesham Township School District
  • Mount Clemens Community School District

We have made the free product easy to get. Just visit http://www.avast.com/en-us/education to submit your application. The difficulty though is getting the word out. So, please feel free to forward this blog entry to your local schools, teachers, teacher unions, PTAs, etc.

Now, for the fine print. These products are only available for free to public or non-profit schools as defined by the IRS Regulations 501(c) and to public libraries. Second, since the product is free, we are not able to provide extensive technical support. Instead we recommend that schools use their IT department, their normal IT service provider, or a local Avast partner for support.

Happy Thanksgiving,.

  1. November 22nd, 2012 at 21:33 | #1

    This is certainly a very nice gesture. I really hope you guys will extend this to EU as well.

  2. Milos Korenko
    November 22nd, 2012 at 21:35 | #2

    @RejZoR
    Indeed. It is planned ;)

  3. zorro55555
    November 22nd, 2012 at 22:32 | #3

    Bravo. I’ve recommending this to people that don’t use protection.

  4. lbrito
    November 23rd, 2012 at 00:15 | #4

    Can faculty also have it directly from Avast? If so, what do we need doing?

  5. Milos Korenko
    November 23rd, 2012 at 11:29 | #5

    @lbrito
    Yes. It would be under the same licence for the school. Your school IT department will apply for the free licence (there is simple application form on http://www.avast.com/en-us/education ) and presumably your IT will then also deploy the security for the faculty computers.

  6. Mindvision
    November 23rd, 2012 at 15:45 | #6

    Waiting for this offer in PAK :D

  7. agent769
    November 23rd, 2012 at 17:38 | #7

    Proud of you Avast in supporting Education in this manner!! I sideline in computer repair. Most of what I see in issues are viruses. Everyone always tells me “I have antivirus protection” or “I just downloaded one because I was having problems. Sure an antivirus program is crucial! However, It is only as good as its owner. What I mean is, most antivirus programs will stop most threats. But, if you let it in through another downloaded program or something then it is in and will do the damage. Avast is one of the best I have seen and has some of the best reviews!! I put Avast on every computer I work on. I also go through it with everyone and teach them how to use it. I have found Avast to be the least tasking on a computer of all the antivirus programs I have used in the past. Also, it has some of the easiest features and tools to use. I encourage everyone to upgrade if they feel they need even better protection (businesses, teachers, and friends needing a little more protection). I have had one person come back and say that Avast antivirus didn’t protect them. Upon closer inspection I found that the person had been clicking on coupon sites and links within Facebook; this is how she got the virus (allowed it in; remember what I said “only as good as its owner”). You have to vigilant in the protection of your computer, the information on it and don’t expect any one software to keep it protected 100% of the time. Avast, Keep up the great work! I am a proud user and you have my recommendation (5 Stars!)

  8. Tech
    November 23rd, 2012 at 18:58 | #8

    Will you go outside of US?
    Really, who needs more free products than “other” countries?

  9. Milos Korenko
    November 23rd, 2012 at 22:11 | #9

    @Tech
    Yes, the plan has always been to first pilot in US and then offer the program everywhere. With the verhy positive reception in US I guess it will be sooner rather than later. So if you have a good university in Sao Paolo where we could perhaps start sooner… let me know ;)

  10. Cnare
    November 24th, 2012 at 00:19 | #10

    The news on public and non profit schools and libraries is great news. Have you considered offering this to people with disabilities?

  11. Mithun Raj
    November 24th, 2012 at 08:02 | #11

    Seriously a superb Service, Avast u live longer :)
    Mainly in Edu Institues it ll b Very Helpfull, Thumbs Up Buddy :)

  12. Mindvision
    November 24th, 2012 at 16:08 | #12
  13. Muhammad_Khurram
    November 26th, 2012 at 07:33 | #13

    Avast is very useful Antivirus – I hope that the AVAST Group will also provide the Free Software in Pakistan’s Schools and College and Universities. I am praying for the success of Avast.

    Muhammad Khurram
    MCS, LL.B,
    Muneeb Book House
    1-Turner Road,Lahore – Pakistan

  14. December 9th, 2012 at 15:51 | #14

    What about charity organizations? Will avast be expanding the help to them in the future?

  15. therealslamo
    December 10th, 2012 at 23:04 | #15

    @ngantengyuen
    I agree. Avast is all I use (for Windows XP/7/8, Linux, and Android)! Non-profits would benefit from this program completely!

Comments are closed.