What is BOINC?
BOINC is a program that lets you donate your idle computer time to many volunteer computing projects like CAS@home, SETI@home, LHC@home, Einstein@home, Climateprediction.net, MalariaControl.net, World Community Grid, and dozens more. Some of these projects are based at universities and research labs, others are run by companies and individuals. You can use BOINC to participate in one or several of these projects.
Is it safe to install BOINC?
Millions of people have downloaded and run BOINC on their computers without any problems. It is secure client-server technology, so does not have the risks associated with peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. Of course, nothing on the Internet is ever 100% safe, so you should only download software from trusted sources. BOINC is downloaded from the University of California at Berkeley, and CAS@home is from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of High Energy Physics.