Designed for desktop PCs running on small to medium-size networks, F-Secure Anti-Virus Client Security (AVCS) is an impressive antivirus package and is far superior to, the company's single-user application, in both features and functionality. AVCS even runs well on laptops unplugged from corporate LANs. F-Secure deserves praise for adding a firewall to AVCS, an essential security feature not found in , , or . AVCS is priced at $31.92 per user with a minimum of 100 user licenses, but home users and those in small offices can find a similar level of protection in . We installed AVCS on a standalone notebook PC. Setup via CD-ROM is short and sweet: load the CD, select Client or Policy Manager setup, and it's over in minutes. Unlike Norton AntiVirus 2004, AVCS doesn't run a preinstall scan--a time-consuming step that nevertheless adds an extra layer of security by scanning for viruses and worms before setup. We were also disappointed that AVCS doesn't run a postinstall scan--a standard feature of just about every antivirus program on the market. However, F-Secure officials assure us that IT administrators can enable this feature.
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The F-Secure Anti-Virus Client Security main screen provides an easy-to-read snapshot of your PC's protection level.
AVCS's interface easily beats that of Sophos Anti-Virus and rivals those of industry leaders NAVP and MVP in the ease-of-use department. The main screen shows the current status of your PC's security, with green check-mark or yellow exclamation-point icons indicating whether everything is fine or adjustments are needed. Compared with F-Secure Anti-Virus for Windows 2003, the company's desktop antivirus program, AVCS makes scheduling scans and configuring system settings a breeze. Simply click the Virus Protection icon to access a list of setup options.
The firewall component is integrated within the main interface and is easy to configure--a boon for traveling or telecommuting workers who need to tweak their security settings. One gripe: the firewall's Application Control interface doesn't lead you through the process of adding or removing Internet-accessing applications; rather, you must browse the hard drive yourself to find the appropriate executable files.