Vincent Steckler

14 September 2009

Avast by the numbers

It has been a while since I have posted—we have been very busy moving into a new building, getting the new products out in beta form, and handling our first ever reseller meeting. But, thought it might be interesting to share some numbers:

  • Number of free users—between 80 and 93 million. We have 93 million registered users and about 80 million of them have updated their virus definitions recently. Both numbers are of course huge. We think this is the 1st or 2nd largest security user base in the world.
  • Number of pirated users—a while back we saw that we had 14 million pirated copies of Avast! Professional in use. We started notifying the users asking them to either pay or downgrade to the free product…..Hopefully none of you readers received such a message.
  • Amount of malware we block—1 billion a month. Last week I saw a press release from the largest traditional security company. The central point in the first paragraph was that they had blocked 245 million pieces of malware a month. 245 million seems big and readers may have been impressed. But it is tiny compared to 1 billion. Of course we have many, many more users than them….and maybe we even find more malware….
  • On any given day, 1 out of 15 of our users encounters at least one piece of malware.
  • How many unique pieces of malware do we block? There is no way of knowing. We have about 2.1 million detections built into our product. But a single detection may detect many, many pieces of malware.
  • We roll out nearly 3,000 new detections a day—most of them are done automatically.
  • We have about 90 staff—so 1 staff member for every 1 million users. Everything in the company is highly automated which allows us to support massive numbers of free users without much cost.
  • How large the Version 5 rollout will be—we will be rolling out over 3 petabytes of data during the upgrade. To understand what a petabyte is: According to that link, 50 petabytes is the entire written works of humankind from the beginning of recorded history and 1.5 petabytes is the size of the 10 billion photos stored on Facebook.

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