Choosing Anti-Virus Software for the Small Enterprise

Notes to self really…

The goal posts keep shifting – you find a good Anti-Virus package and six months down the line they have changed the pricing structure or how subscription renewals work and you have to start all over again to find the best deal…

When I worked at UCL the college had a volume license for Sophos Anti-Virus. I admired the simplicity of the package – no whistles and bells like Norton. After moving to The Prostate Cancer Charity and taking responsibility for running the computer systems I found they too had a license with Sophos.

Since leaving TPCC I have experienced various anti-virus products through freelance work and sorting out my own PC. Norton seems to be everywhere, by fact of being packaged for free with many new PCs. I am turned off Norton after finding an office of 30 computers in Nairobi which all needed full manual uninstalls for a variety of reasons. After that I wouldn’t touch Norton with a shitty stick. Besides, it uses much more disk space and memory than I think necessary.

The thing is people in businesses are so used to Norton that they want to keep it. But Norton really isn’t good for businesses with a file and email server. It is much better to buy into an enterprise level system which protects the server. Consumer packages like Norton just don’t cut it.

So what are the choices:

Sophos
Lightweight serious AV. They seem to be the last of the bunch to have sorted out automatic updates – they used to mail a CD out every month!
Trend
Last year this was the most cost effective option. Recent changes to their pricing have made this less attractive, but still a competitor.
Symantec
Lost points for being from the same stable as Norton. Never tried it and the pricing is not competitive with either of the above
Grisoft
Make the free AVG anti-virus. The corporate edition is cheap, but email protection is by mailbox rather than server – not good.
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