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Windows 7: Centralized virus protection for home network

23 Feb 2010   #1

Centralized virus protection for home network


I'm contemplating configuring a Windows 7 system I have sitting here as a central virus scanner. I'm looking at two concurrent scenarios;

(1). Scan files downloaded by family members
(2). Run scans across my server from the central machine

For (1) I can easily set all download programs like Free Download Manager, DAP, Getright or whatever to always save to a drive on the virus testing machine. Infected files would be sent to a quarantine folder, and clean files would be sent to a "clean" folder.

Likewise for (2) a scan of the map drives each night is easy to set up, though I need a list of files to ignore to prevent false positives.

A couple of questions though;

1. How to make Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome always save to the testing machine, and not to the local machine

2. Any recomendations on what software might offer the best security and flexibility (and I know there are litterally dozens out there, but I'm hoping some one who has worked in corporate environments who use similar virus techniques might have some valuable insights and experiences to share)

3. I'd like to have alerts sent to my machine if anything undesirable is detected.

The network configuruation is 7 Windows 7 client systems, 1 windows XP client and 1 XP system running as a server with coldfusion and IP camera software. These are connected to a gigabit DLink switch and then a netgear WNR3500 router. All cabling and systems support Cat6. All of the Windows 7 clients are running X64 with at least 4gb of RAM.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 SP1

Theoretically yeah, in a way it's nice.

But there are couple of problems I can spot in first look:
  • You are running different versions of Windows (ok, not really bad problem, but may cause some uncomfortability while configuring.
  • If I understand you right you want AV on only one PC and no security programs on other ones..... (it's a bit problem. Maybe you will be able to protect yourself from downloads and stuff like that. But you will still be vaulnurable to attacks like browser hijack, valnurabalities on java, flash, pdf reader, Buffer overflow and so on..... ). If you manage to configure all your Internet traffic to go through the central PC, then in my opinion it will affect your Internet speed on the PC that wants to et that data. (as it will have to go through central PC first and be scanned by your AV)

But if you want to install AV (client program on all your PCs, and server program on one of them) and be able to control all of them from thr one PC. It's different situation. Then you can buy enterprise version of almost any AV and be able to do this. (I think some home user versions give this option aswell)

But, I am not really professional and I have never really managed enterprise enviroment, so I may be mistaked. those were just my first thoughts.
So let me read more about situations like this, maybe I will be able to come up with solution when I know more about it

Till then consider those points...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2010   #3


Thanks for your response Jav.

I agree, It would be somewhat careless to not protect the individual clients. Especially with kids who love to infect their computers. I am running Malware bytes on all clients, but if that conflicts with other software I'm happy to look at alternatives.

I won't be configuring things to go through a single PC. Just to save files from DM's and browsers to a central location which will scan automatically when a write to disk is detected. The question though is how to set all browsers to save to that central location. I tihnk IE uses a registry value in the shell folders, but dont know if other browsers use the same key.

I looked at McAfee enterprise. This lets me run a central virus server, and push updates to individual clients (or pull updates from a central repository on the network). Unfortunately, it's expensive and has a large footprint. Something more conservative would be nice.

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Centralized virus protection for home network

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