As we have prepared to add more subscribers to the Community Anti Virus Plan, we've carefully evaluated a variety of product options. We want to offer the best product that meets the community's needs!


Our priority goals:

  • Reliable Anti-Virus management for the user base
  • Incredibly easy and simple for a tech-averse ministry leader in the two-thirds world.
  • MS Windows is the urgent need.
  • Effective for isolated users.
  • Easy, effective administration by trustworthy volunteer high-tech professionals.

Our additional goals:

  • Low cost.
  • Works well for larger user groups, networked computers, servers, etc. in the two-thirds world.
  • Western users also served well.
  • Integrated Anti-Spyware if possible
  • Other OS eventually.


After evaluating a number of products, we've decided to use McAfee Managed Virus Scan plus Anti-Spyware. Your feedback on the following matrix is much appreciated! It is based on in-depth analysis of the products, with feedback from System Administrators experienced with their use.

McAfee?'s MVS-AS product meets the stated goals very well, for all who use Windows client computers. Its overall impact on the enterprise is to eliminate viruses and spyware as an issue both for users and administrators. Downside: Mac and Linux users are not served by this product.

Grisoft AVG has lower direct cost, but much higher ongoing time cost. Due to its complexity, it is rarely configured to provide full monitoring of user protection. AVG is available for Linux (server and workstation), an advantage for some ministries. Downside: ongoing administration cost, lack of effective user monitoring.

Eset Nod32 also has lower direct cost with higher ongoing time cost. It does not offer group reporting. It uses rulesets rather than pattern-matching to detect viruses. At present, this means Nod32 may require fewer data updates than its competitors (McAfee? also uses heuristic rulesets, which catch 40% of new viruses.) Downside: ongoing administration cost, minimal user monitoring.


Feature Distinctives
Auto-Update Automatic, 4 hr after a 'breakout' Typically 12 hours (Last data update: July 2005?!)
Anti-Spyware included? Yes No Yes?
LAN-based replication Automatic Configure server(s) and wkstns Configure server(s) and wkstns
Consolidated reporting Automatic
(One-click for enterprise-wide reports, and can download as spreadsheet, etc)
None None
Updates/monitoring of offline PC's Yes/yes
(command line switch to enable relay on any online PCs or servers)
(install and configure LAN database and relay servers)
(install and configure LAN update server)
Language Support Admin: 11 euro, latin, asian languages
User: same

(English, French , Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Korean, German , Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese)
Admin: English, German, Czech
User: 10 European languages

(English, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Serbian, Hungarian)
Admin: 13 euro, latin, asian languages
User: same

(English, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish)
TOTAL 2-yr, 500 user cost (est11) $10,788/$10,788 $13,427/$8,427 $11,663/$6,663
Direct Costs
Workstation Cost, 2-year subscription $20 $7.00 $7.00
Network Server Cost, 2-year subscription12 $20 ?? ??
Workstations per server (typical LAN size) n/a 100 100
Est. Server HW cost (one time) n/a $1000 $1000
Est. two year 500 user cost (if servers not in place) $10000 $8500 $8500
Est. two year 500 user cost (servers already in place) $10000 $3500 $3500
One-time Setup
User documentation (rough indication of simplicity/complexity) Total: None
Users do not manage the software
Total: 165 pages Windows,
(17 pages Linux)

113 page Windows workstation user
23 page Windows workstation ref
29 page Windows firewall settings config

17 page Linux workstation

Total: 75 pages
52 page full install
23 page quick/typical install
Admin documentation Total: 83 pages
10 page Quick Start
73 page reference
Total: 209 pages general, 149 pages Windows server, 17 pages Linux server, 50+ pages email server
136 page Network Admin user
27 page Network Admin ref
19 page Network Admin quick
13 page TCP (relay) server ref, Linux
1 page clone prep ref

125 page Windows server user
24 page Windows server ref

17 page Linux file server ref

22 page Exchg email server ref
36 page Linux email server ref (use with Amavis s/w)
26 page (general) email server ref
Total: 30 pages
8 page update mirror
21 page remote admin install

Local Replication per-workstation setup n/a 5 min1 5 min
Report Server setup/config time n/a 60-120 min ...
Local Replication Server setup n/a 10 min ...
Ongoing Time/attention cost
Users (Isolated users configure/maintain the software?) Zero. Generally invisible to users. Yes8 Yes8
Admins (Level/freq of support questions/response needed when user system captures viruses?) None once initial viruses removed. Users no longer think about viruses. A few each week. Estimate: 1% A few each week. They see virus then wonder whether it was handled and contact helpdesk.
Estimated ongoing management time
Weekly, Overall 10 min summary report review n/a 10 minute review of network status
Weekly, Per-workstation 5 min/week report review per group 1% users need 5 mins helpdesk 1% users need 5 mins helpdesk
Weekly, Per-server n/a Replic'n svr: 5 min
Report svr: 10 min
Replic'n svr: 5 min
Report svr: n/a
Est. two year 500 user mgmt time9 31.5 hr 197 hr 126.5 hr
Est. two year 500 user mgmt cost10 $788 $4927 $3163
Additional Notes
Overall Click-once-forget for users.
Zero admin setup.
No servers.
Once setup, easy for users.
Some local server setup is required.
Group-reporting setup is painful; most admins do not bother with it, leaving users on their own.
Once setup, easy for users.
Some local server setup is required.
Group-reporting is not available. Admins depend on scripted emails from users to detect virus outbreaks. Users are on their own to ensure protection is in place.

End Notes

All documentation verified January 2006.

1 McAFee Managed Virus Scan plus Antispyware, updated daily. Documentation updated December 2005.

2 GriSoft AVG version 7.1, updated (??). Documentation updated January 2006.

3 !Eset Nod32 version 2.5, last data update July 2005. Documentation updated December 2005.

4 SysAdmins report that they typically do not bother tracking per-user protection; it's too much hassle to set up and use.

5 GriSoft AVG experience as reported by OCI and others.

6 McAfee experience as reported by JPII, COG and others.

7 Nod32 experience as reported by HCJB and others.

8 Network admins can tackle these tasks on behalf of users. However, the vendor perspective is reflected in the AVG user guide (and the similar Nod32 guide). Their end user instructions (for the network products) say: "Ideally, you should prevent computer viruses from intruding into your computer... AVG...allows you to check your computer... You can use the pre-defined tests, or you can create your own user-defined tests and specify your own special settings. You can run the tests manually or you can schedule them to run automatically."

9 Based on the above assumptions, plus 75% of clients configured using remote "push" installation (avoids per-client setup)

10 Based on $25/hour estimated value of Sys Admin time

11 First number assumes spending $5,000 for five network servers for LAN groups. Second number assumes servers already purchased.

12 To be conservative, cost of protecting Network servers is not factored into totals. We believe McAfee?'s per-server costs are lowest, as the Workstation software works on any server.