California, the third-largest state by area and number one by population, also seems to want to be number one in terms of education. Since our AVAST Free for Education program launched in November, 2012 (yes, it will have its 1 year anniversary soon!), almost 200 California schools, districts, colleges, universities, libraries, and other education institutions have obtained over a quarter million FREE licenses.
In a recent survey, we found that over 96% of schools in the United States are likely to face a major technology crisis in the new year when Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft. Educational institutions of all sizes around the world are going to have to foot the bill of upgrading not only their operating system but also their hardware.
Schools that don’t upgrade to a new operating system by the April 2014 cut-off could be at risk. The withdrawal of support means that there will be no updates such as security patches, driver refreshes, or bug fixes — all of which are essential for networked personal computers, where protection of children and information is especially important.
At AVAST, we took a closer look at the costs schools will face: The cost of upgrading from Windows XP to a more recent operating system is approximately $200 per computer and it is not likely to stop there. Many schools are also facing the expense of upgrading their hardware as well since hardware older than three years is unlikely to be able to support Windows 7 and beyond. The cost to schools in this situation could run into tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
To help alleviate some of the burden, we created the Free for Education program which provides bullet-proof antivirus protection completely free to schools in the United States. Institutions can save an average of more than $14,000 USD per year by taking advantage of this program.
A great example of how AVAST’s Free for Education has benefited a local school system is the ABC Unified School District in Cerritos, California. With the program, they have saved over $40,000 USD. “With AVAST Free for Education we were able to take some strain off of our budget,” said Joe, Machado, Network Analyst at ABC Schools. “Our savings in licensing alone will be at least $20,000 USD per year. And, our savings in time from cleaning up outbreaks from unprotected or under-protected systems is easily another $20,000 USD per year.”
Since launching in November 2012, the AVAST Free for Education program has protected over 2.8 million computers and servers belonging to over 1,800 education institutions. If you are interested in more information or to participate in the program, please visit: www.avast.com/education
 AVAST Software survey amongst 164 educational institutions, July 2013
Keeping kids safe while they are online is a major concern for educational institutions from schools to libraries to museums. Schools in the United States spend a lot of money on education technology—it was estimated at $56 billion dollars in 2012. That’s about $400 per student per year. A portion of that is earmarked for security software and support. In fact, an average school district pays over $14,000 for antivirus protection. Because of declining budgets, 5 percent of schools can’t even afford this protection.
AVAST gives away Security Software for FREE
AVAST offers avast! Endpoint Protection Suite software for FREE to schools, universities, libraries, and other educational institutions in the USA (and its territories). The award-winning security software is available for up to 30,000 devices, can be centrally installed and managed, and also protects servers – all at no cost to educational institutions. It’s free, and there is no catch or hidden surprises.
You can find out more information here: www.avast.com/education
In the same way that avast! Free Antivirus gets shared between family and friends, we ask you to share with anyone that could benefit from this program. This fun infographic is a great way to do it!
When we launched the AVAST Free for Education program last November, some journalists were asking us “what’s the catch”… They didn’t quite understand why we would do such a thing. I guess for them “advertising” means TV commercials, print ads, online banners, radio adverts, billboard, outdoor, and so on. In the world of antivirus companies, that would mean a company like Norton/Symantec, which pours $2.8 billion into Sales and Marketing (42% of its annual revenue).
But advertising can be different! Such as providing free computer security for Salt Lake Country Library System. In total: 50 servers and 500 computers in 18 library locations. Cost? Our cost is only to provide the virus definition updates, as we do pay for the bandwidth. That is less than 2 cents per year per computer. In this example, the servers are getting the updates and they mirror them within the network for free. Total cost for AVAST: $1 per year (yes, ONE dollar).
Benefit? Well, I guess we will not be visible to all of the 600 thousands library card holders served by the 18 libraries. But I’m sure we got 1 loyal user there: Scott Condie, the library Infrastructure Manager. (To quote him: “AVAST is a great product! Works as well as any antivirus program we’ve ever used. And it doesn’t have the bloat that slows down PC performance like other products we tested.”)
Then there are the 380 employees of the library whose computers are now protected by AVAST. And of course we will be visible to some of the library visitors who use the on-site computers. Overall, not bad visibility for $1 per year. Quite likely many of them will install AVAST on their home computers once their Norton license expires. And if only one of them buys an AVAST paid-for version… our advertising investment of 1$ into the Salt Lake Country Library System has paid for itself. More than enough!
Free is GOOD
If your library license is about to expire… get one for free here: www.avast.com/education
Norwalk and La Mirada are two suburban cities in Los Angeles County, with a combined population of 155 thousand people. The Norwalk-La Mirada School District embodies 17 elementary, 6 middle, and 5 high schools – for a total of 20,000 students and 2,000 staff and faculty.
Viet Tran, the Network Administrator, applied for a free license (3,000 endpoints and servers) based on a recommendation from his friends back in May. Deployment in the testing environment was smooth and, with full installation, Norwalk-La Mirada is looking at a nice annual savings of $30,000.
Free is good!
Happy back to school
The New York City Department of Education could save as much as $2.5 million this coming school year, just by using AVAST antivirus software. That’s a MASSIVE saving; money which could be better spent on upgrading IT hardware, or introducing new technology such as tablet computers to the classroom.
In total, we are already protecting some 72,000 computers and servers for over 124,000 students in New York City. Institutions which have already benefited from the program include the City College of New York, New York Institute of Technology and Brooklyn Law School.
Not every school knows about this program – please share this blog (using the buttons below) with as many New York City and New York state schools as possible – let’s see if we can help them all save $2.5 million!
Schools, school districts, universities, libraries and other educational institutions can register and find out more information here: http://www.avast.com/en-us/education