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Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2015 review

Michael Passingham
9 Jan 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
137
ex VAT (six licences, one year)

Reliable malware protection and a brilliant web-based management interface makes Symantec's small business offering our top choice

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Specifications

OS Support: PC: Windows XP, XP Embedded SP2, Vista, 7, Embedded Standard 7, 8, Mac OS X 10.6.8+. Server: Windows Server 2003/R2 SP1, Server 2008/R2 SP1, Server 2012, SBS 2003 (32bit), SBS 2008 (64bit), SBS 2011 (64bit), Essential Business Server 2008 (64bit), Mac OS X Server 10.6.8+, Minimum CPU: 1GHz Intel Pentium III, Minimum GPU: N/A, Minimum RAM: 512MB (Windows), 1GB (Mac), Hard disk space: 850MB (Windows), 500MB (Mac)

Symantec Endpoint Protection can be managed either from an onsite server or PC installation or from a lightweight Cloud-based web interface. We opted for the Cloud interface this time around as many small businesses are ditching onsite hardware for offsite Cloud products. It's simple to set up, all you need to do is install the Endpoint software on PCs on your network and they'll show up in the web interface, ready to be managed remotely.

Read our comprehensive guide to Internet Security 2015

The web dashboard provides seven-day summaries of events on your machines, letting you know about problems that have been prevented by Endpoint Security. There's also a "ThreatCon" level, which gives you a measure of how Symantec is feeling - during our testing ThreatCon was at level one of four: everything was "Normal" within the world of cyber-security.

Symantec's web-based dashboard gives you plenty of information about your network at a glance

Symantec's web-based dashboard gives you plenty of information about your network at a glance

Setting up users and policies is also simple, although you have to put your faith into Symantec's own capabilities because the options aren't particularly complex. You can assign computers and their users to policies, and within these policies you can turn various elements of protection on and off. There's no way to customise the levels of protection here: on and off are the only options. While most managers will probably be fine with this, those who want a little more control may have to look elsewhere.

Unlike Kaspersky Small Office Security, Symantec's product comes with email protection; meaning email clients on your employees' PCs will be monitored and can be scanned.

The Windows client for Symantec Endpoint protection

The Endpoint software sits quietly in the system tray, although we did notice an occasional stutter from our Windows system when opening some web pages, which suggests that less powerful machines may feel the effects of such tight security controls. The software is also available on Apple devices running OS X.

Symantec's protection score of 292 out of 300 equals that of Norton Internet Security 2014 and puts it top of the small business anti-virus rankings. Performance was identical, too: 99 threats were eliminated before they had a chance to gain a foothold, while the remaining one piece of malware was unfortunately allowed to run on the host PC.

If your employees take their work devices home with them or you operate a bring-your-own-device policy, they'll be happy to know that Endpoint Security isn't overbearing when it comes to the installation of legitimate software. It achieved an accuracy score of 832 out of a possible 846, blocking one program without asking and throwing up a pop-up on one other occasion.

Thanks to its easy-to-use web interface, stellar protection scores and reasonable price, we think Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition is the top choice for smaller firms when it comes to protecting employees' devices. It's a close run thing with Kaspersky Small Office Security, but the lack of a web-based interface and email protection counts against what is an otherwise great product. Symantec wins our Business Buy award this time around. 

System requirements
OS SupportPC: Windows XP, XP Embedded SP2, Vista, 7, Embedded Standard 7, 8, Mac OS X 10.6.8+. Server: Windows Server 2003/R2 SP1, Server 2008/R2 SP1, Server 2012, SBS 2003 (32bit), SBS 2008 (64bit), SBS 2011 (64bit), Essential Business Server 2008 (64bit), Mac OS X Server 10.6.8+
Minimum CPU1GHz Intel Pentium III
Minimum GPUN/A
Minimum RAM512MB (Windows), 1GB (Mac)
Hard disk space850MB (Windows), 500MB (Mac)
Buying information
Price including VAT£137
Supplierwww.symantec.com
Detailswww.symantec.com
Product codeEndpoint Protection Small Business Edition

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