For 10 years now, AVAST has been giving free antivirus protection to home computer users. What started on June 1st 2001 as an innovative step to bring the avast! brand to users around the globe without expensive advertising has worked very well indeed. Over 130 million users are now protected by avast! Free Antivirus and while it may sound like a cliché, even the users who have the free version are very valuable to us.
For starters, it is you, the users of the free version, who give us priceless word-of-mouth advertising. The majority of new users know about AVAST only because it was recommended to them by their friends (hence, we don’t pay for any advertising). You help us to translate the software (avast! is now available in 38 languages and 11 are now being finalized). You help each other and us at the Support Forum and, last but not least, you help us to find new viruses via the CommunityIQ system.
And of course, many users who have experience with the free version at home purchase the avast! PRO Antivirus version for their business or upgrade to avast! Internet Security at home to receive the Firewall, AntiSpam and SafeZone™ features. Personally, I especially like letters from users who say they have been using the free version for years and feel it is appropriate to purchase the paid-for version to give something in return back to the company.
The subject of ‘giving’ brings me nicely to the topic of this blog post. For some time back, AVAST was helping on an ad-hoc basis with donations to charitable organizations and to victims of natural disasters. At the end of 2010, we have decided to create an official foundation with a given annual budget that could more efficiently manage requests for donations and will focus on providing significant support to organizations and individuals who are either suffering from poor health or are in some other way disadvantaged. During the last 8 months, we already helped with 15 projects.