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I would like to setup a complete virus/malware/etc scanning package my home server(Windows) to scan all my home machines (about 4). I would prefer to not install clients or at least only install clients that used very little processing power. All the work and administration should be done on the server.

Does anyone know if any of the popular free packages offer these kinds of features?

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Just wanted to point out that since the data that's being scanned is physically located on the HDDs of your home machines, it will still slow the machines somewhat while the data is being accessed. –  Travis Nov 9 '09 at 22:01

3 Answers 3

You can scan files by sharing and mapping the root of the HDDs on your server. This will not allow you to scan the registry, shadow copies, system restore points, etc. You need a local client to really be secure. Not to mention that doing the scans on remote volumes loses the on-access protection a lot of AVs have.

As far as centralized update/administration of local AV installs, you will be paying an arm and a leg for something like McAfee ePO, or the Symantec equivalent. For a home situation, a centrally managed AV solution is cost-prohibitive.

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Avast! has an edition of their software that runs on Windows Home Server, but I don't think it remotely scans your other PCs. You may be interested in their family pack (which includes 10 "professional" licenses + 1 license for Home Server), which is only $79.95 for a year:

http://www.avast.com/eng/avast-professional-family-pack.html

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Untangle might be worth taking a look at - they have a version that runs on a VM, as well as a free version, and works to keep viruses out at the network level.

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