Hi Techie101 et all,
avast! 4 Home Edition is free for home noncommercial use. To update it user should insert license key - it's send to users filling the form at: http://www.asw.cz/i_kat_207.php?lang=ENG
and it's valid for one year (exactly for 14 months). After expiration of this period user should register again to obtain another license key. It's our policy since introduction of avast! Home in June 1, 2001 and we aren't going to change it.
Why there's registration for free product? Why it's valid for one year only?
The answer is simple - we should plan bandwith of our "download" & "update" servers. We, better you, spend about 3.000 (yes three thousands) GB per months. And we should know about "active users" to plan when and where to lease new server.
Maybe it's much clear now.