Avast Software s.r.o. is a Czech multinational cybersecurity software company headquartered in Prague, the Czech Republic that researches and develops computer security software, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Avast has more than 435 million monthly active users and the second largest market share among anti-malware application vendors worldwide as of April 2020. The company has approximately 1,700 employees across its 25 offices worldwide.
Avast was founded by Pavel Baudiš and Eduard Kučera in 1988 as a cooperative. It had been a private company since 2010 and had its IPO in May 2018. In July 2016, Avast acquired competitor AVG Technologies for $1.3 billion. At the time, AVG was the third-ranked antivirus product. It is dual-listed on the Prague Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
The company's main product is the Avast Antivirus along with tools such as the Avast Secure Browser and the Avast SecureLine VPN.
Main articles: Avast Antivirus, Avast SecureLine VPN, and Avast Secure Browser
See also: AVG Technologies
Avast develops and markets business and consumer IT security products for servers, desktops, and mobile devices. The company sells both the Avast product line and the acquired AVG-branded products. As of late 2017, the company had merged the AVG and Avast business product lines and were working to integrate the corporate departments from both companies. Additionally, Avast has developed utility software products to improve battery life on mobile devices, cleanup unnecessary files on a hard drive, find secure wireless networks, or create a VPN connection to the internet.
Avast and AVG consumer security software is sold on a freemium model, where basic security features are free, but more advanced features require purchasing a premium version. The free version is also supported by ads. Additionally, all Avast users provide data about their PC or mobile device to Avast, which is used to identify new security threats. Antivirus scanning, browser cleanup, a secure browser, password management, and network security features are provided for free, while firewall, anti-spam, and online banking features have to be purchased. According to PC Pro, the software does not "nag" users about upgrading. About 3% of Avast's users pay for a premium version (10% in the US).
The Avast Business product family includes features for endpoint protection, Wi-Fi security, antivirus, identity protection, password management, and data protection. For example, the desktop product will look for vulnerabilities in the wi-fi network and run applications suspect of having malicious hardware in an isolated sandbox. The Avast Business Managed Workplace monitors and manages desktops, and assesses on-site security protocols. The company also sells management software for IT administrators to deploy and manage Avast installations