SETI@home (SETI at home) is a distributed computing project for home computers, hosted by the University of California, Berkeley. SETI is an acronym for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. SETI@home's purpose is to analyze data incoming from the Arecibo radio telescope, searching for possible evidence of radio transmissions from extraterrestrial intelligence. With nearly 5 million users worldwide, the project is the most successful example of distributed computing to date.
It performs three main tests:
The SETI@home distributed computing software, available for all major operating systems, runs either as a screensaver or continuously while a user works, converting otherwise wasted processor power into useful research.
SETI@home, in addition to its altruistic use to aid SETI, is quite useful as a stress testing tool for computer workstations. Since it uses error-correction algorithms to verify the results of the computations, SETI@home is often used to check on the reliability of a computer configuration when overclocking.