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ClamWin Antivirus

CNET Editors' review

ClamWin Antivirus is a free antivirus solution for Windows PCs. This open-source freeware integrates with Windows Explorer and Microsoft Outlook, schedules scans, and automatically updates virus definitions. It offers good, basic protection without the bells and whistles of premium antivirus packages.

ClamWin's installer let us choose to integrate the program with Explorer and install the Outlook module, both of which we selected. Right-clicking the program's system-tray icon let us configure and update ClamWin as well as schedule scans, display reports, manually check for updates, and attend to other matters. The program's main interface is utterly basic but efficient, with a simple tree view for selecting directories to scan. We selected our C drive, and ClamWin performed a thorough scan, turning up a variety of potential issues for us to review, some of which weren't problems but were worth verifying anyway. However, it did turn up a suspected Trojan horse. While it probably wasn't dangerous since we knew its source, we opted to remove it anyway. We could set ClamWin to report findings for manual cleaning, delete suspected files as they're found, or quarantine them. When we opened Outlook, ClamWin opened with it, and it showed up on Outlook's Add-In ribbon; Outlook worked normally under ClamWin's protection, too.

Good protection is cheap at half the price, and antivirus software is certainly one aspect of PC ownership you shouldn't scrimp on. Free tools like ClamWin offer basic but viable alternatives to the subscription-based premium tools, many of which rely on automatic conveniences and extras to justify their price tags. As with any antivirus tool, we strongly recommend reviewing your options and doing some research before you commit to protection of your primary PC. For second PCs, infrequently used machines, and tight budgets, we can recommend ClamWin without hesitation since any decent antivirus freeware is better than no protection at all.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.5 stars

    out of 107 votes

    • 5 star: 35
    • 4 star: 28
    • 3 star: 19
    • 2 star: 9
    • 1 star: 16
  • Current version:

    3.0 stars

    out of 2 votes

    • 5 star: 0
    • 4 star: 1
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-2 of 2

  • 2.0 stars

    "Easy to use, but seems ineffective!!"

    November 27, 2013  |   By saphirerubbies

    Version: ClamWin Antivirus 0.97.8

    Pros

    silently runs in background with no pop ups...

    Cons

    I have got many viruses and malware even with this running... it doesn't detect anything it seems... even when you do the manual scan!!

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Good Low Impact Antivirus program but see below"

    October 8, 2013  |   By br2600a

    Version: ClamWin Antivirus 0.97.8

    Pros

    Very low resource usage.

    Will run under Windows Server 2003.

    No annoying pop ups or nag screens.

    Cons

    False Positives.

    No "real time" protection.

    Summary

    This free Anti Virus program has the lowest resource usage of any program that I have tested, probably because it does _not_ offer real time scanning.

    It is also the *only* free anti virus program that will run under Windows Server 2003.

    The low impact of ClamWin is due at least in part to the fact that there is no real time scanning, so users of ClamWin should be well versed in safe computing. Anything that is downloaded from the net, or even transferred over a network or USB drive should be manually scanned before opening or executing it. This is easily done by right clicking the file or folder and choosing "Scan with ClamWin Free Antivirus" from the pulldown menu.

    The main problem with ClamWin and why I gave it only 3.5 stars is the high number of false positives. Make *sure* that you do not sent it to delete suspect files! Set ClamWin to "quarantine" any suspect files. Then after doing a scan if you find that one of your programs does not operate correctly, you can restore the file to the original location.

    Bottom line: The first choice for someone with an older machine that can't take the overhead of real time antivirus programs, but the user must practice safe computing in order to be fully protected.

    Updated on Oct 8, 2013

    PS: A full scan will take several hours, but this can be scheduled for hours when nobody will be using the computer.

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Results 1-2 of 2

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