Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Anti-Virus geekiness

So the company I work for has decided to start migrating from one anti-virus software (Symantec Corporate Edition) to a new one (Kaspersky Anti-Virus).


So far we have converted only a small number of offices to the new software, hoping to find any flaws, bugs, quirks that apply to our infrastructure on a small scale, before deploying out to the entire company. This wait-time allows for some great comparison's between the two for me.

So for anybody in these shoes here are the differences that I've noticed after about a month of use:


- Kaspersky is more of a pain to deploy out to clients. You have to install two programs (the anti-virus client, and the network agent which allows communication with the administrator console). You end up having to restart each machine 2 or 3 times during installation, which can be a serious pain in the rear especially if you are installing at a remote site.


- Kaspersky's administration toolkit is way easier for the network admin to use. You can separate servers into groups easily, setup different scan and update profiles for each group easily, and get an immediate visual idea of how healthy your network is (by the color of the icon on each computer). You can do all these same things in Symantec, but it isn't as easy.


- Kaspersky features remote installer. Hands down one of the most useful little features ever. It allows you to remotely install any executable from one place to a group of computers. Great for those of us who are too cheap to by a program like GFiLANguard. It also allows you to add command switches to your executables so that you can have them install silently, wait for restart, blah blah blah. Very useful when you want to roll out the newest service pack to a group of computers while working from home. :)


- Setting up tasks and remote installs with kaspersky doesn't seem very polished. You have to create a remote install profile, and then go through and setup a task for that profile, then choose which computers that task applies to. Seems like more work than it has to be.


- Symantec has way better communication with their clients. Within the first week of use Kaspersky they sent out a bad update that caused problems on all clients. It took them 48 hours to come up with an update, and didn't provide any feedback in their user forums to address the problems and its resolution status. Pretty ridiculous for a corporate-targeting software company.  On the one or two occasions that this has happened with Symantec the problem was generally resolved within 4 - 8 hours, and there was constant communication with symantec through their user forums.


- Remote server administration. Biggest time saver. I can setup the kaspersky administration toolkit to access any of the networks that I have setup over VPN. So I can track every office's status from one central application, instead of having to log on to each server individually with symantec. This seems like a no-brainer, and something that symantec should totally have. Maybe they do, and I was just not able to easily find it? Either way, it only took 5 minutes to setup in Kaspersky, and will be awesome once we get all of our sites moved to this suite.


- Kaspersky costs less per client. By almost half. Yeah, that is a HUGE deal when you have lots of clients running the software. We will save THOUSANDS every year thanks to this change.


So although there are a few quirks to using Kaspersky, overall it seems like a better program for less money. So far so good!


melissa said...

I have to admit I scanned and skimmed through your post a little cause, you know, Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... :P

But I was wondering - how do you feel about AVG?

melissa said...
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TomboCheck said...

Melissa - A wee bit boring eh? Like reading a dissertation about the differences of the african wood swallow as compared to the english wood swallow. :)

AVG - as far as home AV programs go it is pretty decent. The premium one that you pay for tends to be a little nicer than the freebie.

For freebie software I have been using AntiVir.

Stay away from TrendMicro's PcCillin. McCafee and Norton are both resource hogs like nobody's business and do way more useless crap than they need to. :)