The number of viruses, malware, and other types of computer threats has been on the rise.
More and more people are looking for the best antiviruses in the market to help protect their devices and essential information from hackers and viruses that may hold them hostage, or worse still, destroy their information and devices.
Most people will look for the best antivirus at the lowest prices; however, if they can find a competent antivirus for free, they will most likely take up that offer!
ClamWin is one of the leading free antiviruses in the market.
Boasting at over half a million users, the program is also one of the most popular antiviruses in the market!
So how effective is the ClamWin antivirus? Stick with us to the end of the article, and you will get an all-round review of the antivirus, and find out whether it’s worth it or not.
Let’s take a look!
For free antiviruses, the ClamWin is a definite win for the Windows PC antivirus in 2020.
The antivirus comes with excellent basic protection for your devices, without any bells and whistles that are common with the paid versions of the antivirus.
What We Like
- The antivirus is free
- ClamWin comes with the option for scanning at your convenience
- Easy to use
- Can scan selectively, dependent on preference
What We Don’t Like
- The antivirus cannot carry out automatic scans, so you have to open the files first
- The speed of processing is quite slow
- It does not have 100% virus protection
- The updates are not as frequent
ClamWin Antivirus Review – Pricing
The antivirus is free software based on the Clam AV engine. It uses a general public license and it supports Microsoft Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP/Me/2000/98 and Windows server 2012,2008 and 2003.
All you will need to do is download and install the antivirus, and you are ready to go!
The ClamWin antivirus uses the ClamAV database for its antivirus definitions. ClamAV is an open-source, cross-platform antivirus engine, which is also used for the best antivirus tools for Linux Desktops, just to show how powerful the antivirus is.
However, because the antivirus draws its power from the cross clam AV platform, the antivirus comes with some slight issues in its security capability.
The program lacks any real-time protection, which is essential when it comes to protecting your devices from any zero-day threats. These are any kind of vulnerabilities that haven’t been patched yet.
The antivirus does not also have a financial backing for a user base where there are actual cybersecurity personnel to help with any kind of threats to your online financial stores and access protocols.
They would be important in keeping the antivirus constantly up to date. They are useful when it comes to looking out for emerging user submitted codes from user samples.
However, despite the setbacks associated with the ClamWin antivirus, it is worth noting that the antivirus is updated severally throughout the day.
The program also comes with a number of scanning options, which will help protect against a number of viruses, malware, and Trojans lurking in your files or other parts of the devices.
The antivirus may lack some fancy features associated with the paid versions of antivirus such as the sandbox features.
However, it comes with the capability of appending infected programs and files found to be dangerous, and prevent them from executing any actions.
It will also move the data to a quarantine folder of the users choosing. This is assuring, as it will prevent viruses from spreading, and further ruining their info and devices.
The systems in the ClamWin antivirus will not be as sophisticated as other paid versions of antiviruses; however, they will be sufficient in safeguarding your device.
The ClamWin antivirus also comes with the possibility of scheduling scans as well as executing efficient system scans at pre-determined times. The antivirus will also allow you to initiate a memory scan, which will only run on programs currently running in the system memory.
The antivirus also comes with the capability for configuring filters, which helps in preventing the software from scanning specific files and locations within your devices.
It will also allow enforcement of file size scanning limits. This helps in speeding up the scanning process and protects known directories that are known to be safe.
Although the antivirus lacks the ability for scanning files when they are open, the antivirus comes with sufficient protection; however, it cannot catch emerging threats and any kind of sophisticated attack vectors and roots.
The antivirus’ scheduled scanning can also only be activated through the configure on a per-drive basis.
If you want to do something more comprehensive, mainly your entire system scan, plus some other attached drive all at once, you’d be better off getting another program.
Is ClamWin Safe? – Malware Performance
When it comes to the antivirus performance in terms of threat, malware, and virus performance, the antivirus had ranging results based on different antiviruses.
The antivirus performed best when it came to the identification of rootkit threats.
It was able to identify all the rootkits introduced to it; however, when it came to their removal, the antivirus could not remove all of them.
When it came to on-access scanning, the app was not as successful, and it performed at nearly the slowest, only performing better than PC tools antivirus, which had even slower scan times.
It also came in with the worst results in terms of disinfection as it could only clean five of the ten infections introduced to it plus the detection of only six of the ten introduced to it.
The antivirus was, however, better at detection of malware, as it was able to detect about one-third of the samples while using two-week-old signatures.
Here the best performer among the antiviruses tested was Avira antivirus. The antivirus was able to catch at least half of the malware introduced to it.
However, compared to other free antiviruses, the ClamWin antivirus performed better, only outshined by the likes of Comodo antivirus.
When introduced to malware meant to attack your financial information, the antivirus is impotent and missed up to two-thirds of the malware introduced to it.
It also missed a couple of viruses introduced to the software, but I, however, was able to detect up to half of the viruses, password stealers, and AV-TESTS.org zoo malware samples.
Virus GR did a test, which showed that the antivirus version 0.93 came out with a performance of 54.68% while version 0.95 performed at 54.48%.
The antivirus was also run on a cNet test. Here the antivirus was taken on a cross-platform feature, which gave the antivirus four stars out of five.
The program does offer some important and effective features, especially on tests run on the scanning options for the antivirus.
Is ClamWin Good – ClamWin Features
1. Email Alert
To get the antivirus to send you an email alert in case of threat detection, there are specific steps you will have to take.
You will have to enter the server for the device. An example of this is 184.108.40.206 Port 34. Do not input either the username or password.
After this, you are then required to enter the email address, after which at the subject area you will have to enter the message, “ClamWin Virus Alert on? Problem computer.” Send this to the [email protected], after which it will work.
When it comes to the antivirus anti-spam feature, the antivirus will also protect you from any kind of threat through spamming.
The antivirus will come through for its users through an anti-spam, where the antivirus will work to fight against the proliferation of spam, and help prevent spam emails from entering the system.
How the anti-spam works is through filters or the use of opt-in email, which help protect against spam.
3. Intrusion Detection System
An intrusion detection system is a way through which software or application will monitor a network and catch policy violators or malicious activity. Mostly, this information will be collected centrally through an event management system.
There are various types of IDS, which will range from antivirus software’s to tiered monitoring systems, which will follow an entire network system. The most basic classification for these IDS are:
- Network intrusion detection systems (NIDS): This system will analyze incoming network traffic.
- Host-based intrusion detection systems (HIDS): this monitors essential operating system files
Apart from the basic types of IDS, we have a subset of IDS most commonly associated with signature detection and anomaly detection as identified below:
- Signature Based-this kind of IDS helps in detecting possible threats through checking specific patterns that can range from anything from byte sequence in the network traffic, malicious instruction sequences that are used as a way to enter the device in the form of malware.
- Anomaly Based – this is a newer kind of tech, which is created to detect and adapt to unknown attacks, mainly due to the explosion of malware. Machine learning is used in this scenario, which will create a defined model of trustworthy activity, which will, in turn, compare new behavior against this trust model.
To understand better just how IDS systems can be outwitted into missing threats, one should understand the cyber techniques cybercriminals use:
- Fragmentation – this is where cybercriminals will send a bunch of fragmented packets, which allow them to stay unnoticed, and bypass the detection system’s ability to check the signatures.
- Avoiding Defaults – in case there is a port that is getting used by a protocol, it will not automatically translate to the protocol being transported in case an attacker reconfigured the protocol, he can then use the IDS to detect a Trojan presence.
- Coordinated low bandwidth attacks – this can be done through scanning among a large number of attackers, or the allocation of various ports to different attackers. It will make it hard for the IDS to correlate captured packets and will find out that a scan is at work.
- Address Spoofing – hackers can also use poorly or incorrectly configured proxy to help with obscuring the source of the attack, through bouncing the attack. In case the source is spoofed and later bounced, then it becomes even harder to detect.
- Pattern Change Evasion – the IDS will also rely on a pattern matching to help detect attacks. Through slight adjustments to the attack architecture, any kind of detection can be prevented.
An IDS system can act as quite the adaptable safeguard tech, in case of technologies fail. Cyber-attacks will only become more and more sophisticated; therefore, protection tech must adapt to their threats.
4. Spyware Removal
Spyware can be described as any kind of unwanted software that may infiltrate your computer device and steal sensitive data or introduce viruses that may be risky for the device.
The ClamWin antivirus software will remove any kind of spyware that may be lurking on your computer.
However, it is worth noting that the antivirus may not be able to detect zero-day threats and new current spyware that may be introduced as it does not carry out real-time threat prevention
5. Vulnerability Setting
The antivirus will also come in handy in detecting vulnerable places within the device or files and programs. It will then work towards improving these system vulnerabilities, ensuring the equipment is safer to use.
It is quite an essential feature as it strengthens the overall device and will lead to a safer environment against hackers who may attack some of the programs.
6. Web-Traffic Reporting
This is where the ClamWin antivirus will assess your devices’ web usage and report anything it deems suspicious from your web traffic. Giving you the option of taking a closer look as to whether the said report I valid, and there is something that poses a threat to your device.
7. Internet Security
The antivirus protects your device from malware that may come in through the internet. It will identify them and will afford you the opportunity of either quarantining them or removal.
8. Two-Factor Authentication
The ClamWin antivirus also comes with a two-factor authentication mechanism to enhance your security.
A two-factor authentication system is a security process that protects the user in terms of access to the software.
The system differs from a single factor authentication method, which typically requires only one factor, such as a password, to access the software by increasing the requirements for software access.
The two-factor method will ask for a password; after which they will also ask for a security token or a biometric factor such as a facial scan or a fingerprint.
The additional layers of security help make it harder for hackers to access the device and the software.
How ClamWin Works
After you get your copy of the ClamWin antivirus from the official website, you can set up the installer in your device. The antivirus will come in two sizes; the windows set up installer of about 50 MB or the portable edition of the program, which is 8MB.
After a successful installation, you will get a request to download and update the antivirus to its latest definition. This, if allowed, will be done in a matter of minutes.
The antivirus will download the main.cvd, which comes in the form of the daily.cvd and the main virus database file!
As previously stated, ClamWin will only report found malware but will not remove or quarantine them.
However, there is a way you can automatically change that so that it eliminates or quarantines these viruses. Select-tools-preferences, after which you can choose to remove (choose carefully).
Find this under the General tab, and click OK to save the settings.
You can now start scanning the computer, through the main window, navigate to the icons for the scan buttons in the toolbar.
Two buttons will give you two options for scanning:
- Scan for viruses in your computer memory.
- Scan selected files for viruses.
Select the folder you want to scan and click on the toolbar button for scanning either files or viruses.
Navigate to the scan button, and the scan will start. The antivirus will show you the progress of the scan and all the viruses encountered during the scan.
The viruses will immediately be deleted from the computer. However, you still have the option of quarantining all malware and personally deleting them.
Although the antivirus does not come with the real time scanner, it does have an on-demand scanner that will scan for viruses on your computer.
The ClamWin installer can be found at http://www.clamwin.com/ or the portable edition at http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/clamwin_portable.
Microsoft Outlook and Windows Explorer Integration
The antivirus can help you send individual folders, files, or other email attachments for inspection. This it does through integrating directly into the Microsoft Outlook email client together with windows explorer.
Unload from Memory
In case there is any kind of malicious programs running within the system memory, then it can forcibly unload it.
Ease of Use
Based on the ease of setting up and running, plus an easy to use interface, makes it easy to navigate the menus and get to exactly what you need.
The user interface may be friendly; it is also quite outdated, no much of the graphics and swag you see on the paid versions. This comes as an advantage if you have the older slower computers as this antivirus will function well with them too.
The antivirus comes with a FAQ, which has several topics covered, which can go a long way in solving any questions you may have.
The antivirus also comes with a forum where you can join and search for answers, or also pose you ow and see if someone else may know what you are talking about.
How you can help
The antivirus also has a way for users to assist with the development of the software.
You can submit any kind of undetected malware samples. You can also submit bugs and any type of feature request after you test any of their latest releases.
You also get the chance to improve their documentation by sending requests to the company.
The company will also allow you to promote antivirus across the internet. You can link to the clamwin.com on the website, and let other people know about the software, download, and even join in developing it.
In case you are a python or a C++ coder, then you can join the antivirus’s project and improve it.
Although the ClamWin antivirus is free, it has an option for donating. The donations do a lot to help improve ClamWin free antivirus. Any of the major credit cards are accepted, plus you can also use PayPal.
The donation apart from helping in the development of the antivirus, it also comes in handy in covering ongoing costs.
When it comes to customer support, the antivirus will only afford a limited avenue for customer feedback from the physical software support. This can be attributed to the limited resources due to the software being free software.
The best the application can offer is the online forum it comes with, which is well populated, increasing the chances for getting answers to queries you may be searching for.
Just to be clear, the antivirus has no email ticketing system, phone, or any live chat options.
For users looking to get the best antivirus for basic computer protection, and are not willing to part with any money for the antivirus, then the ClamWin antivirus is a winner!
The antivirus definitions are up to par and they are regularly updated. However, for those looking for the more sophisticated types of viruses, then they would be better off with the paid versions.
The antivirus will, however, remain the best free security antivirus for your computer device.