UPDATE (2016-05-01): Now that Microsoft have officially turned off Web Protection Services, please see our latest article on why Finding a Forefront TMG replacement is more urgent than you thought!

As you probably know, Microsoft stopped selling Forefront TMG as well as its subscription based Web Protection Services in December 2011.

Although you can still purchase Forefront TMG through the OEM loophole, there is no way to purchase a new subscription of Web Protection Services. This means that Forefront TMG cannot download malware signature or URL filtering updates, and any URL Filtering rules you have in place will not work.

New installations of Forefront TMG come with a 90 day trial of Web Protection Services, but it is unfortunately very easy to miss when your WPS subscription expires. If you’re using TMG Reporter, you’ll notice that all the Productivity dashboards and reports are blank, and your top category (and only category) is ‘Uncategorized’.

Fortunately, if you had an active subscription that expired after November 30, 2012 but before December 31st 2015, you can renew your WPS license using the following steps (originally published in this Microsoft KB article: License extension for End-of-Life Antigen and Forefront products):

  1. Start the TMG management console.
  2. In the navigation pane, locate and then right-click the Web Access Policy node.
  3. Click Configure, and then click Malware inspection.
  4. In the Malware Inspection dialog box, click the License Details tab.
  5. In the Expiration Date field, set the date to which you want to extend the license.
  6. When you update the expiration date of the subscription license through the product, you may be prompted to enter a new License Agreement Number. If this occurs, you can enter 3974799.

Note: If you did not have a valid subscription on November 30, 2012, you can no longer continue to receive signature updates for the product.

I hope this helps anyone that has discovered Forefront TMG’s Web Protection Services has expired, and are going through the process of trying to renew it.

If you want an early warning system for an expired WPS subscription, go ahead and install Fastvue TMG Reporter. When the entire productivity of your organization is Unknown, or your only category is Uncategorized, then try the steps above to kick WPS back into action.