If you have ever been infected by a malware or virus, then you know the pain, suffering and damage they might cause. They not only corrupt your important data, but also cost you a lot of money in cleaning your system and getting it back up running. If you want to stay safe from viruses and do not want to spend lots of money on buying a commercial antivirus, then you can try free ClamWin Antivirus.
ClamWin is a free and open source antivirus program for Microsoft Windows. It supports all the versions of Windows starting from Windows 98 to Windows 7. ClamWin antivirus can detect and remove a wide range of viruses, malware and spyware and offers email scanning by integrating with Microsoft Outlook. It supports automatic virus definition updates, scheduled scans and email alerts on virus detection. Unfortunately, it does not support real-time scanning for files. Here are some of the key features of ClamWin antivirus :
- A high detection rates for viruses and spyware
- It allows you to schedule scanning for viruses
- It performs automatic downloads of regularly updated Virus Database.
- Standalone virus scanner and right-click context menu integration to Windows Explorer
- Add-in to Microsoft Outlook to remove virus-infected attachments from emails automatically.
- Available both as an installable program and as a portable application.
You can download ClamWin antivirus for Windows setup installer from the ClamWin website. The download is around 50 megabytes in size. You can also download the portable edition which is around 8 megabytes in size. After the installation, the program would ask you to download and update latest virus definitions. The update process may take a few minutes to complete. During this process, it downloads main.cvd which is the main virus database file and daily.cvd which is the daily update of virus definitions.
By default, ClamWin only reports found malware and does not remove or quarantine them. You can and should change this in the ClamWin preferences so that it can remove found viruses. To do this, select Tools → Preferences in the main ClamWin window. In the Preferences window that opens, select Remove (Use Carefully) under the General tab as shown. Click OK to save the settings.
Now you can use ClamWin to scan your computer for viruses. In the main ClamWin window, you would see two scan buttons (icons with magnifying glass) in the toolbar. One is for scanning your computer memory for viruses and other is for scanning selected files for viruses. Just select a drive or folder from the list (you have to double-click on a drive to open the folder list in that drive). And then click on the toolbar button for scanning files for viruses or just click on the Scan button at the bottom as shown.
You would now see a log window which would show you all the events when a malware or virus is encountered. The found viruses are removed immediately (because we changed this setting earlier). You can also make ClamWin move all the found malware move to a quarantine folder which would be a much safer approach.
ClamWin is a free, open source and fast antivirus. Unlike today’s most other antivirus products, it supports all the versions of Windows starting from Windows 98 – making it an ideal choice for older systems. The only thing that lacks in it is a real-time scanner component. But even without a real-time scanner, it can be used as an on-demand scanner for scanning and removing malware and viruses from your system. You can download the ClamWin installer from http://www.clamwin.com/. You can download the portable edition from http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/clamwin_portable.