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Avast Offers Freebie Endpoint Protection to Schools

To gain traction in the enterprise cyber security market, an endpoint security company has begun granting free licenses for its software to education organizations. In the first seven weeks of the offer, "Free for Education," Avast reported that it has granted over a million licenses for use on student and faculty computers.

Under the arrangement, any public school in the United States may use Avast's Endpoint Protection Suite at no cost. The license includes two central management control options to let IT administrators remotely manage antivirus programs on mobile devices, laptops, desktops, and servers. The free set of security tools doesn't include email, firewall, or anti-spam protection; those components are part of the company's "Plus" offering.

"It's a win-win situation," said CEO Vincent Steckler, "because the school gets something valuable for free and we increase our user base, which helps us to increase our brand visibility and word-of-mouth advertising for our products."

Among the K-12 customers who have signed up is California's Madera Unified School District, which applied for a license to cover 2,575 endpoints, and New Jersey's Evesham Township School District, which projected that it would save $14,000 annually by switching from its current paid product. A group of charter schools in Arizona said it expected to apply the licenses to 550 PCs and 100 servers and save about $10,000, the company said in a statement.

Noted Ohio's Grand River Academy Technology Director Jeff Studer, "Due to lack of resources we have been without network antivirus protection for the past three years… I really like Avast on my home PC, so I knew it was protection I can trust."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.