F-Secure Anti-Virus Small Business Suite
A slight difference to the rest of the products reviewed here, in that F-Secure Anti-Virus Small Business Suite is more than just anti virus. The product also includes spyware removal tools and also a very good firewall that can work in tandem with or in place of the integrated Windows XP firewall. However, it is the anti virus aspect of the product that we will focus on here.
Installation of the F-Secure product was quick and painless, but do expect to do a reboot on completing in order to get everything running, though the basic operation and auto-updating worked fine without one.
As with all the products we tested, F-Secure's had no problem at all in dealing with our test viruses in both the quarantine and disinfect scenarios.
The client-side management display is like a mini dashboard, similar to the Windows XP Security Centre and detailing what is switched on, switched off and in need of attention. Depending on what is working and what isn't, the F-Secure management display will decree whether your machine is protected or not. The familiar traffic light colour scheme is used to indicate at a glance if all is well or in need of attention.
Centralised management within F-Secure is good, if difficult to work with post-installation. Selecting Central management from the main dashboard, followed by the Advanced link takes you into a separate configuration window with several expandable options, for controlling everything from real-time scanning, to email scanning to where and how the application will gather its updates (even in a 25-user environment, there are benefits to having a single server host and provide virus updates, especially if internet connectivity is slow or, and it is still a big issue in business, on a dial-up line.
Help files are poor and there is little to no signposting on configuration options to help you work out what you are doing or about to do. You can easily have to work through 25 different screens to fully configure and fine tune the F-Secure product. In fairness, not all of this is for the anti virus feature, it is also for the firewall, but still it's a lot of confusion to work through. A granular product is good, but configuration needs to be supported by clear guidance either on the screen or off the page in a help doc. F-Secure is below par on both alas.
F-Secure Anti-Virus is a solid product and will fit well into a centrally managed and administered IT environment. However, it's really not as straightforward to configure as it should be, and can be prone to update failure.
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