Mark's Stuff

My Foray Into Weblogging. Using this to store interesting items for later review.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

NOD32 changes licensing

Looks like Nod32, my favorite recommended antivirus solution, is changing their licensing just a bit, but will cost me bucks.

First, a little about what I am trying to do.  I run a pretty decent laptop with Windows Vista, 4gb ram, and anywhere from 2 to 7 hard drives (1 internal, of course, and the others on USB).  As a software development consultant, I run a number of virtual machines. Some are for unique setups for clients (their VPN, or older version of Visual Studio or Windows); some for testing purposes (e.g. clean systems for testing setup packages, older browser versions); some with server OS's (Windows server 2003 or 2008) with older SQL server, or SharePoint development.

Trying to have an antivirus solution properly licensed for all these virtual machines is a pain.  The only av product I found that allows virtual machines to share the same license as the host is Nod32.  So besides the very reasons to use this product (fastest, smallest memory footprint (100mb), and best detection (it heuristic engine has never missed an in-the-wild virus, ref), having to buy only one license makes it a very good fit for me.  And it is one of the few client antivirus products that will install on server OS's.

Starting with their version 3.0, the server OS's were no longer permitted for a single-user license, only a business edition license could install Nod32 v3 on Windows Server 2000/2003.  This was not too much of a problem, as we were permitted to use the previous version, v2.7, on the servers and was still supported.

Now here is the new problem.  Nod32 v4 was released this week.  And when my license it renewed, the new username will not be permitted for v2.7.  Nod32 v4 will still not allow installation on Windows servers with single-user license.  I will have to buy a new business edition license to be able to install on Windows servers on virtual machines.  But business licenses have to be purchased with a minimum of 5 users, at (currently) $42.99/user ($214.95), as compared to $39.99 for home/single-user.  So in order to install Nod32 on my server VM's, I need to buy for 4 unneeded/unused users.

My options are somewhat limited.  No one else allows licensing on virtual machines except as a separate machine and license (and since I have about 15 virtual machines, buying licenses for them is not an option).  AVG free edition is not an option, because it does install on server OS's.  Looks like I have to buy wasted business user licenses.

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  • At 3/05/2009 9:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hello Mark,

    Aryeh Goretsky here. I work at the US arm of ESET. I am not in sales or marketing, but do work with them, as well as customer care and other parts of the company.

    I read your blog post and really feel horrible. Whomever you spoke to in customer care or sales about licensing must have given you bad information; at the very least, they did not understand your question.

    ESET licenses software based on the product type (NOD32, ESET Smart Security, server versions, et cetera), number of computers it is run on (1+), and the duration of the license (1-2 years is standard). If you are purchasing more than five copies of ESET NOD32 Antivirus or ESET Smart Security v3.0 or v4.0, then you do get the business editions which support server OSes, signature update mirroring, remote administration and other features are typically not needed by home users.

    However, the one thing which is not determined as part of a license is the version of the software licensed.

    In other words, if you have a valid license for ESET NOD32 Antivirus, you can download and install NOD32 v2.70.39, v3.0.685.0 or v4.0.314.0 and run them in your various operating environments, subject to the terms of the EULA, compatibility with other installed software, et cetera.

    If you have licenses for ESET Smart Security (ESET NOD32 Antivirus + firewall + antispam), you can download and install ESET Smart Security v3.0.685, v4.0.314.0 or substitute ESET NOD32 Antivirus for one of the ESET Smart Security seats.

    One other thing to know is that when you renew an existing license, you can ask that the Username and Password be preserved, so you don't need to re-enter anything into your installed copies of the software--they just automagically keep downloading updates until they reach the new expiration date.

    One more thing to leave you with: If you do decide to install V4 on one of your desktop OSes, be sure to try out the new integrated version of ESET SysInspector. It is newer than the standalone version available for download on the website (that will be updated shortly) and is pretty useful for collecting information about operating environments and comparing two of them at a time. Judging from some of your blog posts, I think you might like having a tool for that purpose.


    Aryeh Goretsky

  • At 3/07/2009 1:22 PM , Blogger Mark Harr said...


    Thanks for the comments. However, I was explicitly told by customer service of both ESET and Software Security Solutions (the reseller I bought the original license from) that the renewed license will not be able to work on NOD32 v2.7 anymore. That is what was forcing me to the business edition, so that I can install and run it for my server vm's.

    I don't mind paying for a business edition license, though I will not use the multiple PC features. I only was hoping to buy one license that will install for all OS's.

  • At 3/09/2009 4:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hello Mark,

    After reading your blog post, we went back and tested downloading NOD32 v2.7 with freshly-generated ESET NOD32 Antivirus and ESET Smart Security V4 licenses, just in case there was an issue. And it worked just fine.

    I can only guess that some of the training material which went out for the V4 release must have not been clear.

    My email address is my first initial plus my last name at ESETdotCOM. Send me an email and I would be happy to provide you with a test license so you can verify this yourself.

    In the meantime, I will check in with the customer care and training folks.


    Aryeh Goretsky


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