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Opinions on ClamAV/alternatives needed

Joined: 08 Apr 2020
Posts: 3
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Hi! I recently got a computer and decided to get my hands dirty privacy wise, so I was wondering if ClamAV is any good in my situation:

I want to dual boot Windows 10 alongside with Linux, since I'll use Windows for school stuff (Windows, assignment PDFs, etc.) and occasional light gaming (Steam) and Linux for more private and personnal things.

Now, I still want Windows to be as private as possible. This is were ClamAV came into my research. It's an open source antivirus, but what is it worth? I read a lot that it couldn't detect as much malwares/viruses as other antivirus, but a lot of the info seemed too old to be relevant. I consider myself an aware user, what I mean by that is I don't get fooled by fake ads or hidden installation steps, etc. This would be more of a backup just in case.

So is it good, or I shouldn't even bother trying it? What are your personal experiences with this?

Last edited by farukhcasy2 on Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 4664
Location: USA
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ClamWin for Windows prepares a Windows port of the Clam AV Linux program. The ClamWin developers change the code to make it run on Windows and slap a graphical user interface on the code for Windows users. Clam AV is a free, open source antivirus program developed specifically for Linux email servers. The Clam AV project is now run by Cisco employees (in their spare time). Clam AV has no one working on it full-time. As a result, it does not have a sufficient number of virus detection signatures, and, for the most part, it does not have any other detections than signatures (no heuristics, no behavior blocking, no machine learning, and no Cloud detection. Neither ClamWin nor Clam AV have much of a budget-being free, open source projects. Clam AV has occasional updates, but ClamWin has not had any updates/improvements going on two years now, and there have been some Clam AV improvements that ClamWin has not incorporated in the past.

Besides the faults of Clam AV mentioned above, ClamWin does not run in real-time--it runs only "on demand" as called or scheduled by the user. Users need real-time operation and at least some of the additional detection capabilities mentioned above (heuristics, behavior, ML, cloud, full-time employees).

If you must use ClamWin, you should use it only as a backup AV scanner to a real-time AV program. There are lots of free ones out there (watch out for tracking as recently exemplified by Avast/AVG). I recommend using Microsoft's free/pretty good Windows Defender antivirus. If you want free, good extra protection, get OS Armor by NoVirusThanks (free from France).

Let me say that I started using ClamWin back in 2006, and I was a Clam AV sigmaker preparing virus signatures for about 5 years on behalf of ClamWin/Open Source. I started helping to moderate these forums in 2014 after my 5 year stint as sigmaker. Sadly, I no longer rely upon ClamWin.

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Opinions on ClamAV/alternatives needed
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