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ClamWin – Free Open Source Antivirus Software

by Rono 1 July 2009 3 Comments

This is a gues post written by Rono, a freeware enthusiast and one of our most faithful readers and commentators.


ClamWin Antivirus is a Windows based free open source standalone antivirus program for files, folders, running programs whenever it is launched. The application doesn’t stay resident or scanning transferred files all the time.


The program updates automatically the virus database by connecting to its home web page, it can be scheduled for scans at specific times, can get integrated to Windows Internet Explorer and Windows Outlook (as an add-in).

Update Screen

When integrated to the Internet Explorer, a file is scanned when the user right clicks on it.

At Microsoft Outlook, the program checks all the incoming and outgoing email messages, including their attached files, with no user intervention. This is the only automatic performance; for scanning any directory, folder, file, etc. the user has to launch the corresponding scan.


The application has the capability of scanning programs that are already loaded in memory and running.

Through the preferences settings, it is possible to specify file length limitations: the user can set that files bigger than anspecific length will not be scanned. Also, the user can define which file extensions should be included or excluded in scanning.

After the scan, the application generates resulting reports that can be sent via email to a defined address.

Version Tested




Operating System

Windows All

Download link


Very thorough scaning of each and every file.

When scanning  it’s a little slow and it can’t be minimized. No real time protection (unless the MS Outlook integrated operation for emails).

Reviewer’s Rating


So far ClamWin does not have on-access scanner so you need to be careful and scan a suspicious file before opening it. If you do that you will be as safe as with a commercial antivirus. User awareness is sometimes better than automatic protection, as it may be easier to break the automatic protection than to fool an educated user.

However an average user with little knowledge about online and computer security the on-access component is a must and the ClamWin should be used only as a complementary scanner. We are developing it and will release it in the next major version update.

If the “Integration with Windows Explorer” option is checked during installation, any file can be scanned from within Windows Explorer simply by right-clicking on it and selecting “Scan With ClamWin Free Antivirus

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If you have any trouble with this software just leave a comment, I’ll help you out! If you know better free programs in the same category, please let me know!



  • Antivirus said:

    How, in your opinion, does an open source approach benefit antivirus development? It seems to me that, almost more than any other app, antivirus should be handled by companies, rather than given the open source treatment. I just can’t see the real benefits of it..

  • Bernice Miller said:

    not bad

  • top 10 antivirus said:

    Random question: I am starting my personal blog to share great experiences. Do you think it is hard or easy to post consistently?

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