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News

A Quarter Of UK Households Now Using Avast Antivirus

Avast Software : 20 October, 2010  (New Product)
AVAST has reached a major milestone with 5 million installation of the company's anti-virus product suite in the UK alone
A Quarter Of UK Households Now Using Avast Antivirus
AVAST Software, developer of the award-winning avast! antivirus, signed up its 5 millionth active UK user in late September, making it the leading security vendor for the UK consumer market. In just 12 months, avast! has grown from less than 2 million to 5.024 million UK users, adding approximately 8,800 users a day. Approximately 1 in every 4 UK households which are connected to the internet now use avast! Free Antivirus to protect against viruses and malware. Globally, avast! now has more than 130 million registered users.

"The growth in the UK market has been exceptionally strong but the overall trend matches a global pattern of consumers switching to free internet security tools," comments Vince Steckler, CEO of AVAST Software, "According to data from OPSWAT, over 42% of home users now use free antivirus software and each month, as paid subscriptions software licences expire, more are simply replacing them with free alternatives."

Part of the success of avast in the UK is attributed to the depth of the free product, which has won a number of high-profile awards for threat detection, infection removal and speed. But Steckler believes there is still more work to do in educating home users that they need an effective antivirus program and that there is an alternative to expensive antivirus software that requires yearly fee. This is borne out by the latest Internet Access 2010 survey from the UK Office for National Statistics that found 7% of UK Internet users did not use any kind of Internet security software or tool to protect their computer or data.

"Many antivirus vendors who sell paid versions like to deride the free alternatives," comments Steckler. "But the reality is that in comparative tests, we are in the top three almost every time. In addition, our free version uses the same core detection engine as the paid versions which are protecting a growing number of large NHS trusts, schools and universities across the UK."

The global avast! community also helps in the detection of new threats through its users who participate in CommunityIQ, a huge internet threat sensor with millions of individual computers. Every time a CommunityIQ member visits a website, the avast! antivirus installed on their computer examines it for any infection, viruses, or suspicious activity. If malware is suspected, avast! then shuts off the connection - protecting the user's computer - and sends data to its servers in Prague for researchers to analyse. These anonymous packets of data include information on the suspected malware activity type, visited website, and applications running on the targeted computer. By combining and cross-referencing these individual reports, avast! researchers are able to quickly spot threats and discover new attack vectors. As most CommunityIQ members are average PC users that go online as part of their daily routine, this gives avast! the unparalleled opportunity to find new threats at close to or even at zero-day.
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