GCN LAB REVIEW

Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0

Endpoint Protection 11.0 is still an ideal security platform if you need a thick security blanket for a midsize to large enterprise

Performance: A
Features: B+
Ease of use: B-
Value: A+
Price: $49.54 per computer for networks containing five to 249 computers

If you have the budget for a small team of tech-savvy network administrators and your midsize agency demands the toughest security available, Symantec’s Endpoint Protection 11.0 offers the features and performance you need at a good price.

The reason we emphasize having the admins is because we found this program to be the most complex and least user-friendly in the roundup. The suite’s limitations on network diversity are also disappointing. The program protects predominantly Microsoft Windows machines.

Although the next iteration of Endpoint will include protection for Unix, Linux and Mac OS machines, we feel that an antivirus solution offered to midsize to large enterprises should already have the capability to protect multiple operating system platforms. Finally, we found several of the messages and prompts to be confusing, even those geared to clients.

Despite those issues, we liked everything else about Endpoint Protection 11.0. Priced at $49.54 per computer for networks containing five to 249 computers and $23.52 for every computer after 250, Symantec’s Endpoint Protection is the most aggressively priced software in the review.

When we learned about the price, we expected bare-bones antivirus software from Symantec, but Endpoint Protection does a good job at attempting to be an all-in-one network solution that includes policy and protocol creation.

Endpoint uses TruScan, a proactive threat scan to protect networks against unseen malware — that is, bugs whose signatures are not known. Instead of using signature-based technology, Endpoint detects malicious code by looking past individual actions to target malicious processes.

Endpoint also comes with a robust and comprehensive firewall with a feature called Smart Traffic Rules, which helps adminstrators avoid having to set up special firewall rules to handle common network configuration settings, such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and Domain Name system requests, across the firewall.

The firewall also includes automatic settings that can be found under the Traffic and Stealth Settings tab, which enable reverse DNS lookups and stealth-mode Web browsing. Those features prevent a Web site from being able to figure out which operating systems and Web browsers your enterprise uses.

Endpoint would be a clear front-runner for a Reviewer’s Choice designation. But we want to wait until Symantec supports more operating systems and works on making the interface a little easier to use before it receives the full designation. Although Endpoint 11 is not perfect, it’s still an ideal security platform if you need a thick security blanket for a midsize to large enterprise.

Symantec, 408-517-8000, www.symantec.com

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