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Is antivirus for WHS really necessary? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm just wondering what peoples' opinions are on this. I have the trial version of Avast! installed but am still undecided on whether to purchase it when the trial expires or just uninstall it. In my case I have remote access enabled, and family and friends use it mostly to upload/download photos, music and videos.

     

    I realise you can have some success installing server versions of AV from various companies, but you don't seem to hear much about upcoming AV products specific to WHS, and it seems to me that if AV protection really was that important for WHS, or if it was susceptible to viruses and malware, then you would have had a few more products available at its launch or shortly thereafter.

     

    Microsoft wouldn't release a brand new version of Windows on which no current AV software works, and if it were releasing a new version then there's no doubt that companies would have new versions of their AV software ready upon its release. I know that in this example a new version of Windows would generally have a much bigger global uptake than what WHS has due to WHS catering for specific environments, so companies would have to have their software ready, but it makes you wonder whether AV is really necessary for WHS.

     

    What do you think?

    Saturday, April 19, 2008 9:26 AM

Answers

  • This has been debated hotly in the past and there are some things that would affect if you really need it or not. I personally do run an AV on my WHS OEM. Here are some things to think about.

    1. If you have AV on you client pc's, then all files would be scanned before moving them to WHS anyway. So, no AV would be needed.
    2. If you don't let other people upload files to your WHS remotely, then you don't need an AV.
    3. If you don't download files from the Internet directly to WHS, then you don't need an AV.
    4. If you don't run a any third party software on WHS that can down load files directly from the Internet, then you don't need an AV. (I.E. uTorrent, Internet Explorer, etc.)
    Basically, if all files pass through another protected pc on your network, then you should....should be safe. I'm willing to bet that was what MS was thinking when there was no real push to develope a new AV for WHS. (but we know how people don't bother with AV just like backups...LOL) I have been known to run uTorrent as a service on WHS, so I installed an AV.  Also, I have a few friends that do have access to upload files directly to my WHS.  If you don't do things like me that put your WHS at risk, then save your money and make sure the AV on all your client pc's is up to snuff.

    There is currently only one AV that is officially made for WHS, and it is Avast.  I run AVG Network Edition 7.5. It's not made for WHS, but I've tested many AV's last year and it was the only one that worked correctly before Avast came out. Since I purchased it at the time, I see no need to move to Avast until the license expires.

    Hope this helps.
    Saturday, April 19, 2008 11:35 AM

All replies

  • This has been debated hotly in the past and there are some things that would affect if you really need it or not. I personally do run an AV on my WHS OEM. Here are some things to think about.

    1. If you have AV on you client pc's, then all files would be scanned before moving them to WHS anyway. So, no AV would be needed.
    2. If you don't let other people upload files to your WHS remotely, then you don't need an AV.
    3. If you don't download files from the Internet directly to WHS, then you don't need an AV.
    4. If you don't run a any third party software on WHS that can down load files directly from the Internet, then you don't need an AV. (I.E. uTorrent, Internet Explorer, etc.)
    Basically, if all files pass through another protected pc on your network, then you should....should be safe. I'm willing to bet that was what MS was thinking when there was no real push to develope a new AV for WHS. (but we know how people don't bother with AV just like backups...LOL) I have been known to run uTorrent as a service on WHS, so I installed an AV.  Also, I have a few friends that do have access to upload files directly to my WHS.  If you don't do things like me that put your WHS at risk, then save your money and make sure the AV on all your client pc's is up to snuff.

    There is currently only one AV that is officially made for WHS, and it is Avast.  I run AVG Network Edition 7.5. It's not made for WHS, but I've tested many AV's last year and it was the only one that worked correctly before Avast came out. Since I purchased it at the time, I see no need to move to Avast until the license expires.

    Hope this helps.
    Saturday, April 19, 2008 11:35 AM
  • The other thing to remember here is that the data that most people are storing on the WHS is very, very valuable - and for alot of people (myself included), $40 is cheap insurance to make sure no problems make their way to the server.  Incidently, on my first run of Avast on my WHS, it sound issues with some of my files.
    Saturday, April 19, 2008 2:24 PM
  • Even if you antivirus on the clients, it certainly does not hurt to have it on WHS.   Personaly, I had nothing but problems with Avast for WHS and found it to slow things up considerably despite having a fairly fast server.  "IF" it is working for you I would keep the peace of mind for ~$50 and not worry about it even if it is not 100% necessary.  The fact that you are connected outside and that you have serveral users copying back and forth is worth the peace of mind.  My 2 cents.

     

    Mike

     

     

    Saturday, April 19, 2008 5:25 PM
  •  pcdoc1958 wrote:
    Even if you antivirus on the clients, it certainly does not hurt to have it on WHS.   Personaly, I had nothing but problems with Avast for WHS and found it to slow things up considerably despite having a fairly fast server.  "IF" it is working for you I would keep the peace of mind for ~$50 and not worry about it even if it is not 100% necessary.  The fact that you are connected outside and that you have serveral users copying back and forth is worth the peace of mind.  My 2 cents.

     

    Mike

     

    Plus, with the avast WHS edition, you can monitor all of the clients' AVs from the console as well (if you have the avast workstation editions installed on them, of course).

    Saturday, April 19, 2008 5:36 PM
    Moderator
  • I use Eset Antivirus on my laptops so wouldn't be able to use the monitoring function of Avast! through WHS.

     

    I don't use uTorrent on WHS (yet) but do have people uploading stuff to the server so maybe it would be a good idea to purchase it when the trial expires.

    Saturday, April 19, 2008 10:23 PM
  • Really, you don't need AV on WHS if you don't let outside people upload to it or if you know they are running updated AV on their own systems. Also, if you have updated AV on each of your clients, you should be good too. I would rather spend the $50-$75 and install on on WHS. Or get an AV that can scan network systems too and install it on the client pc.

    The Avast product does have a Console add in that is nice and they offer a package where you get the AV for WHS and as many client pc's you want. Not so sure I need to have Console access, but it's pretty cool. There have been a few that have had serious issues with Avast working correctly. I'm not up on that, so you'll have to search that out here on the forums and decide for yourself.

    Like I said earlier, I use the AVG Network Edition 7.5.  You have to do a little set up on it to auto update itself and run a weekly scan all on it's own. I have a How To on MSWHS.com if you're interested in using their product.

    Just becarefull using other AV's on WHS. I've tested about 6 of them. All caused some serious issues...some after a day or two. So, use the AVAST product or the AVG Network Edition 7.5 if you feel you need some added protection.


    Sunday, April 20, 2008 1:00 PM
  • avast! has some nice centralization/management features in addition to the virus scanner. You can see the status of your home PCs, for example (assuming they're turned on), and can check to see the results of previous scans. You can also remotely trigger a scan on any home PC joined to WHS.
    Sunday, April 20, 2008 2:06 PM
    Moderator