Long respected in the DOS and Windows 3.1 world for offering a powerful and customizable virus scanner, ThunderByte glides into the Windows NT market with a powerful version of ThunderByte Anti-Virus (TBAV) software for networks. In a client/server architecture, TBAV for Networks supports most network configurations, from networks with a single Primary Domain Controller (PDC) to small peer-to-peer networks.

TBAV for Networks is primarily a network-scanning utility. By installing one copy of the scanner on a local server, you can locally scan and clean all workstations on the network individually, or you can scan and clean them through the network.

You identify workstations by giving each a unique name up to 12 characters long and an 80-character description. This information is stored in TBAV's environment settings on the server, ensuring that if a workstation crashes, all system-integrity information is stored on the server side. If a workstation's settings change, you can simply modify that system's entry in the TBAV environment settings. TBAV supports network updates, so you can update all versions of TBAV via remote distribution.

TBAV's installation process on NT 3.51 is intuitive--second only to Symantec's Norton AntiVirus for NT. A series of dialogs led me through putting TBAV in a shared net-work directory where workstations can retrieve updates (see screen A). Unfortunately, TBAV for Networks refused to install on my beta version of NT 4.0, claiming Windows 3.1 as the lowest common denominator that it supports.

Security is paramount with TBAV for Networks. To prevent unauthorized tampering, TBAV can automatically lock itself with a password after a pre-specified time of user inactivity. For servers that are not physically secure, this capability can ensure that TBAV maintains a pristine configuration.

TBAV for Networks takes an innovative approach to activity logging. With Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) drivers, which the setup application automatically installs, TBAV can input logs in an audit database that monitors TBAV activity such as workstation failures and when TBAV was last active. Unfortunately, scanning updates and virus detections are not stored in this database but go into a report.

Reports are a separate window and display information such as inoculation and cleaning information and which virus is infecting the system. You can't save reports to disk (as a text file), but you can send the information to a printer.

ThunderByte's reputation in the 16-bit market is impeccable, and TBAV for Networks reinforces that reputation. If you're looking for a desktop package, you'll want to look elsewhere--TBAV for Networks is overkill for a single-user system. I highly recommend TBAV for a network environment, however. Because it's a Win32S application, TBAV can run on any Windows version in your corporation. NT Server's robustness and stability with TBAV for Networks' remote workstation scanning and audit database facilities is a difficult combination to beat.

ThunderByte Anti-Virus for Networks
ThunderByte * 800-667-8228
Web: http://www.thunderbyte.com