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Alternative Enterprise Anti-Virus Solutions? 148

Darth_brooks asks: "I admin for a great non-profit organization that has spent the last year rebuilding after a massive fire. We've got a pretty tight system running now, especially compared to the unmanaged chaos that existed before the fire. Firefox for surfing and T-bird for for e-mail, WSUS for updates, and we're slowly replacing Office with OpenOffice. But out anti-virus solution (command AV, a holdover from our old system) is not cutting the mustard. Specifically the management console isn't exactly reliable, and we just don't feel like we're getting our money's worth. What alternatives can the Slashdot crowd suggest?"
"The two obvious names that come to mind are Norton and Mcafee. Since all of our machines are donated, we really don't have the resources for Norton (who does?) and Mcafee's just been dealt a black eye. In addition, we're on a limited budget. Our machines are mostly P2 & P3's, and we're an XP / Active Directory shop with some scattered Fedora & BSD boxes scattered about for non-desktop tasks.

The biggest features we're looking for are the ability to centrally manage updates (which rules of AVG's free edition), and a reasonable price tag for licenses for 50-60 machines. Our current solution is only in place because we signed a long term licensing agreement, and I don't want to see us get into another deal for a product that doesn't turn out to be as god as advertised. I'd also like to hear some of the Horror / Success stories from users."
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Alternative Enterprise Anti-Virus Solutions?

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  • NOD32 (Score:5, Informative)

    by ikejam ( 821818 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @11:41PM (#15363077)
  • by Howard Beale ( 92386 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @11:41PM (#15363083) - donated and discount technology equipment products. We support a local Boys and Girls Club, and they got their software through there.

    Good luck!
  • Clam AV (Score:5, Informative)

    by shadwwulf ( 145057 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @11:42PM (#15363091) Homepage
    I would highly recomend checking out Clam AV.

    It comes in both *nix [] and Windows [] varients and works pretty well for system scanning. It also works very well in a mail server tool-chain.

  • by Tweekster ( 949766 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @11:43PM (#15363092)
    Two year licenses are incredibly useful and their software doesnt suck like Norton.

    AVG takes the approach of just working behind the scenes and doing it well...Norton takes the approach of "I need to constantly justify my existance by letting the user know I am doing...something"

    AVG works great, so go with it. Their support is pretty good too from the couple of times when I needed to contact them.

    It sounds like you pretty much said AVG is good and reasonable so just go with it.
  • F-Prot (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rydian ( 29123 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @11:45PM (#15363100)
    F-prot from Frisk software. []

    I just checked, and a 60 seat corporate license with full updates would run you $240 a year.
  • pay for avg (Score:4, Informative)

    by sdnoob ( 917382 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @11:50PM (#15363116)
    The biggest features we're looking for are the ability to centrally manage updates (which rules of AVG's free edition)

    actually, wouldn't the license agreement rule out AVG FREE edition in your situation?
    AVG Free Edition is for private, non-commercial, single-home computer use only. Use of AVG Free Edition within any organization or for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited. (from [])

    however, they do have a fairly decent commercial product for the price. look at their network edition 01/ [] only $8.20 per seat, per year, at the 50-74 seat price point. this version includes centrialized management and lan updates. runs on all released windows win95 and up, and i386 linux.

  • AVG (Score:2, Informative)

    by Conception ( 212279 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:05AM (#15363179)
    AVG has a enterprise version that's much cheaper than norton. You should check it out.
  • Sophos AV (Score:5, Informative)

    by tulare ( 244053 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:06AM (#15363183) Journal
    We just switched to it after battling the behemoths, and it's been a real boon to me. Management console works well, the product has been catching a ton of stuff that Symantec didn't, price was good, and it does a nice job of push installation (even here - we've got Samba domain controllers - it didn't care). I've had good experiences with their phone jockeys also. Downside - simple file sharing has to be turned off on winxp clients, but if you're on AD that's easy enough to fix.
  • by scdeimos ( 632778 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:06AM (#15363185)
    Although it has great corporate management capabilities, like a centralized program/dictionary update server and permissions on settings (so end users can't stop/break it), it's better than your average ghoul at sucking the life out of your desktop computers.
  • Get Sophos (Score:3, Informative)

    by a.koepke ( 688359 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:10AM (#15363197)
    I would invest in Sophos Antivirus. I am using it in our office and the program is great. Install the enterprise manager on the server and it will automatically download new versions when available and all the desktops will then download them from there.

    Setup MailMonitor on a Linux box for incoming email scanning and you will end up with a solid AV solution.
  • Re:Clam AV (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:17AM (#15363225)
    ClamAV isn't an "anti-virus solution". It doesn't offer protection, just after-the-infection scanning. The on-access module to fix this is, last time I checked, still in alpha and will take a while to arrive.
  • Re:NOD32 (Score:3, Informative)

    by NormAtHome ( 99305 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @12:25AM (#15363258)
    I'll second that, I've been using NOD32 in a small non-profit enterprise for 18 months and we haven't had a single problem after flushing Norton with which we had hugh problems. The enterprise management console works really well and if you are also a non-profit make sure you mention that since Eset does give an additional discount to non-profits over their standard business pricing.
  • by RedDirt ( 3122 ) * on Friday May 19, 2006 @01:22AM (#15363456) Homepage
    I've not ever had a slowdown that I can attribute to AVG. Prior to trying them I used F-Secure (ate CPU like candy to no appreciable benefit), McAfee (Random crashes on shutdown and the occasional munged update file that'll eat my data? Are we sure that NAI isn't in the virus WRITING business?!?!), and Norton (gods above, make the pop-up notifications and tray icons and wacky security alerts stop! Plus it also makes my system crawl). AVG just gets the job done and doesn't (well, other than at log in) get in my face. Certainly it doesn't bundle anti-spyware but why aren't you using MS Defender for that? And firewalls? D-Link has some nice hardware that'll augment the Windows boxed package nicely as well as giving you wireless and other toys. =P
  • Re:I'd call AVG... (Score:5, Informative)

    by From A Far Away Land ( 930780 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @01:38AM (#15363492) Homepage Journal
    I know libraries can get a 30% discount, and when you renew you pay only 50% of the inital purchase, which lasts for 2 years instead of only 1. Considering AV is more important at the firewall and email filter than the desktop anyway, it's great to save on the desktop install price with AVG.

    AVG Admin will save you time. If you use Windows Desktop Protection in the Shared Computer Toolkit, Grisoft will even send you the script for auto-updates when Windows Updates from your WSUS run.

    AVG Free edition is ruled out by the licensing which doesn't cover non-home users pretty much. Even libraries are excluded from using it legally.
  • Re:ClamAV/ClamWin (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, 2006 @02:03AM (#15363577)
    winpooch? []
  • Re:AVAST! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mistshadow2k4 ( 748958 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @02:03AM (#15363578) Journal

    I agree. I recommended AVG for years to my customers, but decided to give Avast! a try on a customer's infected PC after AVG. Avast! found a virus AVG didn't and uses 15%-20% less memory.

    But I also recommend winpatrol []. Not an AV program, it blocks out most malware, including some of the nastier stuff that can stealth-download itself into a Windows computer as long as the user is online. It only uses about 4 mb of memory to run in the background -- but I have no idea how much an enterprise solution would cost, as the regular version is free to home users. WinPatrol Plus costs $29.95 normally, so if there is no enterprise version, I guess it would depend on how many computers you need to isntall it on.

  • performance does seem much worse when AVG is running

    My laptop is a P-III 600MHz / 512Meg RAM running WinXP Pro and frankly, AVG doesn't seem to have any impact on performance at all. If I do nothing, Task Manager reports 0% usage, so I don't think that AVG gets much in the way.
    What AVG does do is a dayly check and if you're working while it does that, you might "feel" it. Normally it's at 8am for me, but I don't know if its a rule (or if I configured it that way) At 8am, I'm so sleepy that I usually don't do much on my computer anyway ;-))

    (It doesn't deal with spyware)

    It does detect stuff like Diallers tough, but those are technically trojans. Spyware is not an issue if you have secured your machine and avoid Internet Explorer like the pest. I run SpyBot and Ad-aware on semi regular intervals and none of them ever reports anything. Reason: my network is appropriately firewalled, my Windows is patched, and I only use Firefox....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, 2006 @06:28AM (#15364284)
    Regular users should not be able to install whatever software they want (what an admin nightmare for you otherwise! =), so maybe use a Squid proxy to block unwanted EXEs and the like (info here []). I think there is an AV plugin for Squid too. Of course, there are Windows-based options like MIMESweeper for Web []. Good luck!
  • by mrhuman ( 70568 ) on Friday May 19, 2006 @09:29AM (#15364932) Homepage
    I haven't seen any BitDefener recommendations yet. I will be considering it along with Kaspersky, F-Secure and NOD32.

    BitDefender []

    The New Virus Fighters: Our Antivirus Picks,aid,12416 3,pg,3,00.asp []
  • by Morel ( 67425 ) <eugenio@per[ ]com ['ea.' in gap]> on Friday May 19, 2006 @06:58PM (#15369535)
    You should check your facts before calling people shills.

    Ad-Aware's free edition is called Ad-Aware Personal and updates have never stopped being free. In fact, I just tried it myself, just to make sure. Go here [] and see for yourself.

  • Great response (Score:4, Informative)

    by Darth_brooks ( 180756 ) <> on Friday May 19, 2006 @08:30PM (#15369944) Homepage
    First and foremost, thanks for all of the responses! Lots of information and (so far) no suggestions that I just [freaking] google it. My faith in slashdot has been revived.

    Second: cripes, I've finally developed computer user grammer. It passes spell check but not basic grammar.

    Third: some clarifications. The reason we keep AV running is that is because it's the right thing to do. Firefox, T-bird, and the firewall keep most of the bad stuff out. OpenOffice will cut down the risks even further, but we've still got a couple of points of entry to worry about. One is laptops. Even though no one has admin except those who need it (me and the other members of the tech. group), users can still install some simple programs. It's only a matter of time before somebody gets a network aware worm and brings the machine on site. Another point of entry is USB drives. We're pushing people towards those instead of floppies for the sake of relieability. In order to balence safety with usability, we add the layer of protection offered by AV.

    In addition, WSUS isn't always on the ball. Occasionally you get a machine that quits grabbing updates, or one that never showed up in the first place. It's nice that I can keep those machines somewhat better protected with an additional program. On top of all that, we're an all volunteer group, so AV software gives us an addition layer of "false sense of security." I know that I can count on the firewall, the patch server, AND AV to buy me 48 to 72 hours of safety should the crap hit the fan like it did with Sasser or Blaster. Anti-virus, like any single layer of protection, isn't infallable, but it damn sure helps.

    Linux: We're doing that in some areas, but the whole site isn't an option right now. Most of our users are technophobes, usually retirees. Actually, recovering technophobes now :). We concern ourselves with WW2 Aircraft, Radial engines, things of that nature. Technology didn't play a big role for the masses pre-fire. We wanted to change that, but never had a good starting point. When the rebuild started, we had to get the organization up and running in some capacity *YESTERDAY*. We had the proverbial chance to "strike while the iron was hot" and there wasn't time to hem and haw about the possiblity of mass migration. Right now, the machine that sees the most use by our least technical users (the Museum docents) is a Fedora Core box. The logic being that it would be the hardest for them to break. So far that has proven true. But our users that had experience had it using windows so, in order to aid in our evolution from "a couple machines here and there connected by coax (yes, coax. at the end of 2004.) with no real network connection" to "50-ish machines, ethernet, on a domain, network storage, off site backup, and an honest to god professional grade network that I would be proud to show off, and that moves this organization from 1993 to 2006 and beyond" we sacrificed and opted to stick with windows. Linux keeps coming up, but it's going to be a slow move.

    Thanks again for the responses. I've gotten exactly what I wanted, solid reading material for a few days and some worthwhile points to ponder.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein