ClamWin is a Free Antivirus for Microsoft Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
and 2003. It provides a graphical user interface to the Clam AntiVirus engine.
ClamWin Free Antivirus comes with an easy installer and open source code. You may download and use it absolutely free of charge. It features:
* High detection rates for viruses and spyware;
* Scanning Scheduler;
* Automatic downloads of regularly updated Virus Database.
* Standalone virus scanner and right-click menu integration to Microsoft Windows Explorer;
* Addin to Microsoft Outlook to remove virus-infected attachments automatically.

ClamWin Free Antivirus uses the GNU General Public License by the Free Software Foundation and is free (as in freedom) software. To find out more about GNU GPL, please visit the following link:
Philosophy of the GNU Project - Free Software Foundation.

Now why would anyone want to select a antivirus software which is open source? I don't think many ask this question. What are the benefits of having a open source antivirus software and what are the cons? Does ClamWin provide the kind of response that other free or not so free antivirus softwares provide for newer and upcoming viri?
Lets start with the benefits I have observed:
1. It scans for virus and informs me when it find one! (basic but very important)
2. Its free and open source so I can be re assured that nothing is happening behind my back.
3. Its light both in CPU and memory for me(this might not be the same for everyone!)
4. It has got a auto email attachment scanner, scanning my email attachments runtime.
5. Its got a daily virus scan scheduler
6. Its got a auto downloader for the latest virus definitions from its site. This is very very important to keep the software up to date and working. And best of all I don't have to ask some one to give me the updates or more interestingly to pay for the virus definition updates.
7. And have heard from some (reliable) sources that they are usually the first to find and come out with a solution for any new virus! After all they have got to be at least as close to the virus and as early as possible. No use if I get the fix after the damage has been done right?
8. Its only a antivirus and nothing else!

Now for the not so good things about ClamWin
1. Its does not support realtime file access scan yet! Thats a problem they are working on and also humbly accept that this is needed and a must for any anti virus software.
But hold on lets not lose hope, for the time being we can use Winpooch another open source utility. They both combine to bring it at par with most of the well known anti virus softwares. Also if you use Firefox you might want to install the ClamWin download scan extension for auto scanning of downloaded files from Firefox.
2. "Although the total number of viruses may seem less than other commercial Antivirus vendors claim to have but if ClamAV database misses some viruses then these will be ancient species" - a genuine problem as they have not been in the scene for a very long time have they? ;)

Another small but nice review here.

ClamWin making the world a virus free one!


Anonymous said…
Well, it would not matter how long you are in the business. It is the techniques that you use. Besides, most OS now come with immunity to ancient virus. Especially, since they are built different from 'ancient OS'.
techknight said…
Absolutely agreed. The idea was more of a pun on the very statement. ClamWin is a world class product and (and though I am not very very sure) it heuristics to identify and remove virus is very powerful.

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