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Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2014 review

Simon Handby
18 Dec 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
136.80
inc VAT

Comparatively easy to configure and manage, yet offering very high protection, Endpoint Protection is great for businesses

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Last time we tested Symantec's Endpoint Protection we concentrated on the cloud administration, with which we experienced some communication problems. The software can be administered either through the cloud or through a console installed on a local PC, however, and for this review we've opted to use the latter. Before getting stuck in we tested the setup, management and scanning of a computer via the cloud agent to see if the communication problems had been resolved - this time we had no problems, which is encouraging.

Symantec Endpoint Protection

Setting up the local Endpoint Protection Manager involves a huge 1.6GB setup program, which installs the management software to a single PC on the network. It doesn't physically have to be a server, but we installed it to our Windows Server 2012 Essentials machine without a problem. With the Endpoint Protection Manager installed, the next step is to roll the software out to the other computers on the network. Here there's a choice between emailing the client a link to the install package, saving the package to a shared drive, or pushing it out automatically to the client. As with the other software packages the last option wouldn’t work on our test network, so we distributed the client via a network share.

Once clients are installed they must be managed from the Endpoint Protection Manager PC, which could be a limitation, but the management interface is one of the better examples we've seen. The Home page contains the usual overview of the network and any threat status, along with an activity summary and Symantec's current ThreatCon rating, which is a bit like the anti-virus version of the MI5 UK threat level and equally not much use to the general public. You can quickly switch to a list view of computers, which you can organise into groups. It's easy to send ad-hoc commands to a group or selection of PCs, including some unusually powerful options such as a forced restart.

Symantec Endpoint Protection

The Computers view is where you'll find the various configurable policies which govern the way computers, or sub-groups of them, behave. Through these you can control mundane settings such as how PCs update and scan, and set what level of virus and spyware protection should be used. It's worth noting that Endpoint Protection can perform on-demand scans for both internet email and Microsoft Outlook.