Windows Server - Need Free Antivirus for SBS 2003

Asked By Brian B. on 07-Oct-08 12:28 PM
I am doing testing on a couple of SBS 2003 computers, and need to install an
anti-virus program.

I do not wish to shell out the money for a "server" antivirus program for
these tests.

Once we install a "production" SBS server, I will then purchase a good
antivirus program, but in the meanwhile, I need something free for now.

I am *not* interested in "90-day trial" versions either.

Can anyone send some suggestions this way please?

Thanks in advance for all replies,

Holz replied on 07-Oct-08 12:31 PM
AVG Free?
Google for it?
MMurph replied on 07-Oct-08 12:43 PM
Last time I tried to install AVG free on the SBS box, it knew it was a server
OS and stopped cold, telling me I had to buy a server product.  I have not
tried lately, that was version 7.5 and its now up to ver. 8.

Yes, I work for a cheap skate!
Brian B. replied on 07-Oct-08 01:10 PM
AVG Free will not install on SBS. Even the latest version 8.
I have tried it, as I use it at home, and thought it may work for this.
Cris Hanna [SBS - MVP] replied on 07-Oct-08 01:24 PM
Don't think you will find a "free" server AV program, at least not one you
can trust

Cris Hanna [SBS - MVP]
Co-Author, Windows Small Business Server 2008 Unleashed

MVPs do not work for Microsoft
Please do not submit questions directly to me.
Al Williams replied on 07-Oct-08 01:50 PM
To "test" an SBS server you need to use the AV program you will be using in
production as it hooks in at quite a low level and can affect things a great
deal.  Any tests you run wouldn't be valid without it.  As free server AV
programs aren't available I think you need to pick one and go with a free
trial (not sure why you are against that) - most manufacturers will allow
you extend the trial if you need more time.

Allan Williams
Holz replied on 07-Oct-08 02:01 PM
Did you try the open source clam av?
I do nto think it cares about OS, not the last time I tested.
I do not think it has real time yet though.
Coli replied on 07-Oct-08 03:01 PM

As it is a test environment, why is not a trial good enough ?

Regards Colin.
Holz replied on 07-Oct-08 03:33 PM
May be because it is not a test?

Cliff Galiher replied on 07-Oct-08 08:31 PM
Okay...something here is fishy:

1) Why is a trial not good enough if this is a test?
2) Furthermore, if this *is* a test then you should be testing with the same
product you will use in production, otherwise your tests are worthless.
Different products behave differently.  'nuf said on that topic.
3) Why free?  It is one thing to trust your client PC to a free AV product.
You can nuke the client and start over.  But to trust your ENTIRE
NETWORK?!?!?!?  You want not only a good server-class AV product, but it
should be exchange aware AND be able to manage client AV as well since this
*is* the hub of your organization.  Don't be cheap.  Just do it.

Leythos replied on 07-Oct-08 09:46 PM says...

Why not install what you're using with your current server. Most people
buy enough licenses to cover their server and workstations and have 1 or
2 left over.

What are you using on your other servers?

- Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.
- Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented worker" is like calling a
drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist" (remove 999 for proper email address)
Brian B. replied on 09-Oct-08 01:16 PM
Two days ago, I put out a request for some help on finding an AV program.

I've been getting a bit of negative feedback from a few people on my search.
I do not believe that what I wrote has deserved the negative feedback that I
have been receiving.

Please read my replies and reasoning below...

I have had negative experiences in the past with trial licenses of software.
Specifically some have limited functionality, and others have numerous
my use of the software.

After further thought, I am willing to use a trial IF it offers full
functionality and doesn't keep poping up all the time reminding me to
register or purchase the product. I want it to run like a paid version would

I understand this. Here is what I am working on: Over a two to three month
period, I will be testing some custom software on an SBS 2003 R2 system on
an older server to test for certain areas of the software and how it works
(or doesn't) on SBS, and how it interacts with other applications that my
customer currently uses. The software has previously only been running on
Server 2000, and my customer has asked me to test it on SBS.
After the test is complete, if my customer chooses to move forward with
implementing the software, I will be setting up a completely new server,
complete with new, full licenses of SBS, antivirus software, etc.
I have used four or five different AV server packages, and I DO KNOW that
they all work differently.
I just want to install a cheap AV on the test system, where if the test goes
past 90 days, a trial version won't quit on me. And I don't want to shell
out a couple hundred dollars on AV s/w if after 60-90 days the tests go
south and we don't continue with this project. I am a small IT Service
Provider marketing to the Very Small Business segment (2-20 users), and I
just don't have an extravagant budget for testing systems...yet.

See above clarification please.

If the project moves forward after the test, we WILL be putting in a good
Cliff Galiher replied on 09-Oct-08 11:18 PM
Not negative (IMO) but just matter-of-fact.  The situation did not fit the
explanation and I was simply pointing that out and trying to reconcile the
difference.  I tend to be very blunt, I work on computers after all....facts
and figures work better for me.  Sometimes that comes across with an edge,
but it is neither positive or negative in my mind.  I apologize if you
interpreted it as such.

With that out of the way, I stand by my previous assessment.  you put out a
request for help...but the problem is your request simply cannot be
adequately filled.  I can request help in funding my desire for a new
car...but there is no obligation for people to follow through on my request.
In your circumstance, the consensus is that you've laid out competing
requirements: free, not trial, and for a server.  You have to choose which
of those you are willing to give up, pure and simple.  Receiving feedback
from people telling you "no" and explaining why is *not* negative feedback.
It is simply a statement of fact...and to some extent an explanation of
*why* the answer is no.

Finally, I should point out that if you are in the business of providing
solutions to other people then you have to accept that there is a cost to
doing business.  It is one thing for a time-strapped IT guy to come in here
asking for free software because his manager asked him get something done
and he is responsible for a non-IT company's private server.  But
consultants, such as yourself (and myself for that matter) accept that this
*is* our business.  I spend a lot of money on training, books, hardware, and
software.  And Believe me, I understand a tight budget.  But sometimes you
just have to knuckle down and do it anyways.  As a recommendation from one
shop to another....purchase some licenses for *multiple* products so you can
demo them to potential customers, use them for temporary onsite
installations, and such.  If you do, you'd already have a product you could
use for exactly this scenario.  Then, if the project goes forward, you
simply include the cost of that license in your statement and buy yourself a
new license.  ;)  Works out great.

If you reach out to the various security vendors, you can become a reseller
for most of them and get NFR licenses to do exactly this anyways...for demo
uses and personal use.  Most companies have free or significantly reduced
partner licensing agreements (think Action Pack for Microsoft) and you get
added advertising exposure and resources by being a partner.  It is a

Charles Lavin replied on 10-Oct-08 01:46 AM
I deal with these situations all the time, since I target the "small" side
of the SMB market.

I recently set up an SBS server at a client who assured me he had an AV
license for the server. Turns out it was a single-user Trend Micro license,
and I found this out the day I was going to deploy the server. So I
downloaded the Symantec Antivirus trial from Symantec's Web site and
released the server with that. The trial version worked with no restrictions
or reminders until it was approaching the end of its demo period, at which
time I installed the license we acquired for this client after the server
went online.

As for testing beyond a "standard" demo license's demo period: You're
describing something that's best handled with an in-house NFR license, which
you can easily get from any manufacturer with which you've established a
business relationship. We tend to recommend Symantec antivirus products, but
I maintain business relationships with several other manufacturers in
addition to Symantec. This allows me to propose an alternate product if, for
whatever reason, the Symantec product won't "work," or to help support any
clients with other existing antivirus software. (The same holds for just
about any other hardware or software we handle).