Google would like to request your help with Google Compute, a new feature for the Google Toolbar. By turning on this feature, you enable your computer to work on complex problems when it would otherwise be idle. The work it does is automatically sent via the Internet to researchers who combine it with information sent by thousands of other users.
The first beneficiary of this effort is Folding@home, a non-profit research project at Stanford University that is trying to understand the structure of proteins so they can develop better treatments for a number of illnesses. In the future Google Compute may allow you to donate your computing time to other worthwhile endeavors, including projects to improve Google and its services.
The Google Compute feature of the Google Toolbar shouldn't affect your regular computing activities and you can easily disable it at any time for any reason.
Google Compute is designed to run even on low-bandwidth connections such as modems. The total amount of data transferred per month is generally under 20MB. In more detail: Each work unit and corresponding result totals approximately a megabyte in size and typically takes two to three days to complete. The files that need to be downloaded at install time are around 1MB in size. Updates to the Folding@home client and scientific core occur generally every few months, and are around 500Kb-750Kb.
Via Google Compute