Posted by: David Harley | January 5, 2011

Sophos Support Query

@Mikie asked about the fact that when he updates his Sophos AV, it “consistently now downloads the entire 72MB of the database rather than simply the individual smaller update files.” This is particularly problematic for him because he lives somewhere fairly isolated with a slow ISP connection.

Well, that doesn’t sound like the update is working properly, but I’m not qualified to do product support for ESET, let alone for one of our competitors, so I asked a Mac-savvy friend at Sophos if he could shed some light on the issue (thanks, Paul!)

He looked into it and was given this prompt response:

“The only reason i can see that would cause a download size like this for every update would be is the /Library/Caches/ directory is flushing the Sophos data after/before each update.The caches CID dir is ~83Mb, and this would vary over time depending on how many IDEs we had released in the month.”

He also suggests that if this information doesn’t help, Mikie can post a query in the Mac area at, where it can be answered more formally (and presumably he can benefit from the experiences of other users of the product).

I have to admit that I’m impressed: not only has Sophos made its Mac AV available to home users without charge, the company has also demonstrated that it can go out of its way to be helpful, even to product users who add nothing to its revenues. Kudos! 

(Link also posted to the Mac Virus links/resources page.)



  1. I am also on a sufficiently slow connection at home that I would notice an unplanned 72MB download. Fortunately, I haven’t seen this problem so far, supporting the theory that Mikie has a local issue.

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