World Community Grid
When you register with the WCG and download the software, you are joining people from all over the world, dedicating your computer's idle time to helping humanity. Here is how they explain it on their official website:
"Who We Are
World Community Grid brings people together from across the globe to create the largest non-profit computing grid benefiting humanity. It does this by pooling surplus computer processing power. We believe that innovation combined with visionary scientific research and large-scale volunteerism can help make the planet smarter. Our success depends on like-minded individuals - like you.
How You Can Help
Download and install secure, free software that captures your computer's spare power when it is on, but idle. You will then be a World Community Grid volunteer. It's that simple!
How Grid Technology Works
Making a difference has never been easier! Grid technology is simple and safe to use. To start, you register, then download and install a small program or "agent" onto your computer.
When idle, your computer will request data on a specific project from World Community Grid's server. It will then perform computations on this data, send the results back to the server, and ask the server for a new piece of work. Each computation that your computer performs provides scientists with critical information that accelerates the pace of research!"
Research performed, past and present, includes: