Should I run an antivirus in a publicly-facing Windows Server?

If so, which one would be the best for that situation?


If it's connected to any machines that may be connected to the Internet, then absolutely yes.

There're many options available. While I personally don't like McAfee or Norton, they are out there. There's also AVG, F-Secure, ClamAV (though the win32 port is no longer active), and I'm sure hundreds more :)

Microsoft has even been working on one - I don't know if it's available yet outside of beta, but it does exist.

ClamWin, mentioned by @J Pablo.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus Business Edition, from https://serverfault.com/questions/2899/what-anti-virus-for-windows-server

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    There's a ClamWin which is based on ClamAV and it runs on Windows. – pupeno Sep 1 '09 at 5:55
  • Sorry, but I disagree. The only reason to install antivirus on a server is if it's a file server. Antivirus software just has too much impact on CPU and disk performance. – Nicholas Sep 1 '09 at 7:59
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    impact on CPU and disk performance? I've not seen more than a couple percent impact, personally - and with any Windows system connected to the world (like, say, a school mail or wev server), it's a Good Idea(tm). If it's merely a file server, and nothing's running there, then you could theoretically offload the scanning to desktops. However, for a single-digit percentage performance hit, I'll run the AV on the server :) – warren Sep 1 '09 at 8:09

If you handle files and programs on the server from unsecured locations, definitely yes. Try http://www.avast.com. They have pretty good antivirus solutions for servers with a minimum footprint on your resources.

  • it doesn't support server OS :-( maybe it used to but not on Server 2012 – Simon Oct 30 '14 at 23:36

which one would be the best for that situation?

i'm using A-squared CommandLine Scanner for that.

create various batch files for certain scenarios (e.g. update, scan the entire system, scan user folders only, etc.) to be scheduled in various intervals.

it's free (for personal use), extremely fast, scans for viruses AND spyware, handles archives, low foot print and A2 excels with a very high detection rate.

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