7 things you didn’t know about Avast

Gonzalo Torres, 19 June 2018

The world’s favorite online security company is turning 30! Here are 7 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Avast.


It’s our 30th birthday! We’ve been taking a look back at how we got to where we are today, and we’ve collected a few interesting tidbits you may not know about us.

1. We used to be called Alwil

Like the City of New York, or Spiderman, or Marilyn Monroe, we weren’t born with the name that made us world-famous. Our very first name was Alwil.

2. Our name means “stop”

While the company name was initially Alwil, we became known for our popular antivirus software program called Avast, so we later made it our company name.  Now the rumor is that we named it Avast because it means “stop” in English old-sailor slang.

As in “STOP the bad guys from hacking my devices”.

However, this is little more than a happy coincidence — in our case, Avast really stands for “AntiVirus Advanced SeT”, for our original security program which had a comprehensive set of capabilities.

3. Our first virus arrived on a floppy disk

You don’t get to be 30 without having used lots of rad tech — walkmans, dial phones, floppy disks… In fact, our origin story kicks off with someone bringing a floppy disk to our founders’ lab, with a virus on it. It was 1988. Our founders Eda and Pavel got to work cracking the virus’ code… and the rest is history.

4. We’ve kept our very first PC

It’s a beautiful, chunky, 1983-model Olivetti M24. It lives in the reception of our headquarters in Prague — a piece of computer history right in the heart of Europe. So, if you’re ever in the neighborhood…

5. Our antivirus speaks 45 languages

Still working on Klingon.

6. We have a chess superstar spokesman

None other than Garry Kasparov, chess grandmaster, former chess world champion, and considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time. He’s also a prolific writer on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and technology for this very blog.

7. We’re a pretty big family… and growing

Alongside the Avast line of protection, privacy and performance tools, we’ve grown into a large family over the years: AVG, Hide My Ass! and CCleaner have joined the world’s favorite online security company, now protecting and boosting over 400 million devices globally.