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Antivirus Advice Needed

Posted on 2004-10-03
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I need to recommend an antivirus solution for a school with approximately 55 workstations.  Most of my experience is with small businesses and residential clients so I am not sure how to go about setting up antivirus for this many comptuters.  There is no server in the group, as most of these workstations are for learning in the "computer lab".  Should I install single copies of a standard antivirus program such as Norton or AVG on each workstation, or should I look for a workgroup or corporate edition?  Also, as they are on a limited budget, is there one that someone would recommend as far as being more affordable?

Thank you.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.  
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Question by:CTSLA
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by:stafi
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by:Lee W, MVP
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You'll get a variety of responses, I'm sure, but this my suggestion.

Network Associates McAfee VirusScan Enterprise Edition.  Two year license is ~$40 or less (depending on support options selected).  We used it for a 600 client/40 server network that I managed until recently.  RARELY did we need support and even then it was primarily for issues with installing on an Exchange 5.5 server.  It can be easily deployed to all workstations AND preconfigured using a utility available with your license from McAfee.  Further, in my experience there are few if ANY conflicts with other programs that I've seen (I've seen NUMEROUS issues with Symantec's Norton Antivirus).  AND Norton has also been - to me - a little slow in updating the actual product for protecting against infections where McAfee, I feel has been very quick.

Questions like this will undoubtedly result in others bashing McAfee - and possibly norton.  But I used it in the one 600 client/40 server environment and in a much smaller 2 server/35 node environment and never had a significant headache because of it - I cannot say the same for Norton.
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by:4ceReconSniper
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i recommend avast anti virus www.avast.com, there is a free version, both both are powerful, uses low resources ideal on low memory pc and customizable, it even has skins which you can download or even create
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avast is installed in my pc for years and i have no problems, the only problem i have is i forgot ejecting cds prior to shutting down because you can set avast to check removable media before shutting to minimize the risk of infection
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by:imnajam
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The one I am using is Micro Trend PC-Cillin corporate edition with the server installed on one pc and clients installed on others

I would recommend you to use the antivirus for corporate edition which contains Server / Clients.Almost all the antivirus companies support corporate edition.
the main advantage of using corporate edition is that you don't need to take care of all individual pcs' you will be just updated virus defination ON SERVER and the clients would be updated automatically.

Good Luck
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alandc earned 125 total points
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A client/server approach is NOT necessarily easier to manage as each computer can update itself from the web (eg. LIVEUPDATE) but if you don't have Internet access to all workstations (or the update is blocked by a firewall) then client/server is your only approach.  You could setup a spare workstation initially as a anti-virus server. It may only be able to update a few systems at a time but you only have a few that will need to update simultaneously.

Most companies will charge you less for corporate versions (per copy) based on the number of seats you have as opposed to buying multiple individual licenses. What I would look for is software that isn't priced really expensive for year-to-year licensing and renewal. The cost of renewing your licenses will become a large budget item and you cannot afford to be without antivirus protection!

Even more difficult than configuring your product is managing your licenses and that is why they make "corporate" versions.

Corporate versions can be configured to update either from a server or from the internet. They do NOT however stop running because of licensing nor do they require special activation routines. For any company with more than a few dozen seats I would suggest corporate licensing to ease administration whether you choose to update from a local "server" or from the internet.

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by:CTSLA
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Thank you all for your responses.  With your help, I am starting to get a feel for what needs to be done.  

Assuming I elect to set up a workstation to use as a server, will I need to install a server-based software, such as Windows 2000 Server, along with the acccompanying seat licenses?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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If you were to use Active Directory deployment methods, then yes, you would need a server running Active Directory and also client access licenses.  It's important to note, Microsoft has fairly reasonable discounts for server for educational use.  I believe the server license (no cals) would be roughly $150 - compared to $500+ for a non-academic version.  
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by:alandc
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Windows 2000 workstation is fine for up to 10 connections at a time.  Server might be preferable but would add significatly to the cost and I would on install it if it appears to be necessary for other purposes. Educational prices are significatly lower.
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by:CTSLA
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Again, thanks to all who responded.  I am going to use Norton Corp Edition and Win 2000 Server.  The school system actually has a pricing deal for these products.  With your help, I have a much better idea of what I'm doing and why.
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