GFI LANguard Network Security Scanner version 8

I noticed that GFI has released a new version of their network security scanner which now has the ability to scan your entire network for over 15,000 vulnerabilities. There’s a 30 days free trial to use the product, so I just went ahead and downloaded it to try it on my home network and see if I spot anything I should be worried about.

I ran into problems straight away unfortunately. My current machine is running Vista and I got bitten with User Access Control objecting to the installation. I checked the download page, which confirmed the product should run ok on Vista, and tried again. No luck, so I replied to the nice introductory email they sent me asking for help.

I was pretty impressed with the support GFI provide. They’re based in Malta, so I was quite proud that they offered such a high level of service. Anyway, someone was on the case pretty quickly and walked me through the problem and a number of suggested solutions. Unfortunately none of them worked, so I left it with them and installed the package on my Windows XP box instead.

I went through the installation process without a hitch (this time). The product is pretty comprehensive, incuding the ability to run as a service, automate scans across your network and email someone if a vulnerability is found. It’s very much an overkill for what I wanted to do, and looks perfectly capable of protecting an entire organisation, not just the handful of machines I have at home. In fact it scanned my entire network in a couple of minutes and came up with some vulnerabilities I was expecting (as it’s a home network I have sharing turned on and very little use of passwords) and some I wasn’t.

All in all I was pretty impressed with the product and with the support GFI gave me. I was a bit disappointed I didn’t manage to get it running on Vista, so I’ll only give it 4.5 stars, instead of a glowing 5. If you’re into security, download the evaluation copy and try it out.

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