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I'm setting up an Active Directory environment for 5 users (very small) and I'm wondering what is the best antivirus for clients (Windows 7) and servers (Server 2008 R2 x64)?

I use Symantec Corp at my organization (50+ users) but I think that is overkill for this company. I wanted to use Microsoft Security Essentials for the clients (I use it for home machines and it's the best free AV in my opinion) but I don't think it will work on the Servers (3 servers, PDC, TS, and File). They are behind a Sonicwall TZ 200.

What would be the best? Free would be even better. Thank you!

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closed as not constructive by Ben Pilbrow, pehrs, GregD, Wesley, sysadmin1138 Jan 3 '11 at 6:34

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Use of the term "best" helps to make your question wholly subjective and not really answerable here. Ask 10 sysadmins what they consider to be 'best' and you'll likely get 10 different answers. – GregD Jan 3 '11 at 4:17
MS Security Essentials EULA allows installation on up to 10 devices in a small business, I don't have experience to comment on how well it works. – Ed Fries Jan 6 '11 at 19:43
@Ed Fries thank you! I've been using it at home and personal computers/laptops for months now and have been really pleased (use to use AVG free). I have already installed it on the domain clients. I'm curious about it being installed on a server, specifically a terminal server with users on it. Thank you for pointing out the specifics of the EULA. – drpcken Jan 7 '11 at 2:20
@GregD I whole heartedly agree with you on that, but if you can get similar answers from a few of those admins, wouldn't that seem like the most reliable and the best place to start researching? – drpcken Jan 7 '11 at 2:23
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I've had a couple of problems with Symantec AV software. If you don't want to go for a paid solution, you could get a freeware antivirus (That work just as well!) such as Avast, MSE, or something like Kaspersky. You may want to look at detection rate charts and decide from there. If your server is open to the internet, Use software with a firewall or network scanning. If you want to take the time to actually set it up, you can set your clients to connect to the internet from a proxy server that scans traffic on the fly (such as Dansguardian) using AV software such as ClamAV.

Hope this helps, Mike

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Free anti-virus is typically only free for non-commercial use. That leaves software like Avast and AVG out. I'm not familiar with the licensing for other free packages, but please check them before using them. – blueben Jan 2 '11 at 22:55
I think you are free to use the GPL-licensed ClamAV, but it isn't a very good solution for a production server. Just spend a little on a server Antivirus. Shouldn't be too much. – Mike Jan 2 '11 at 23:31

Take a look at independent tests of antivirus comparatives.
I hope you find it useful in order to choose your AV.

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