Antivirus, anti-virus, AV, or anti-malware scanners protect users from uploading and using malicious data on your Linux VPS. While your choice of Linux operating system (OS), or distribution (distro), can change the probability for successful cyber attacks, it won’t negate it altogether.
There are many free AV scanners for every OS including Bitdefender, MalwareBytes, and SUPERAntiSpyware. For cPanel server security, the two most popular options are ClamAV or ImunifyAV Free. In this article, we’ll discuss:
- cPanel AV Scanning
- Which is Best For You – ClamAV or ImunifyAV Free?
cPanel AV Scanning
For years, we’ve recommended the ClamAV cPanel plugin for customers looking to harden cPanel servers. It’s easy for cPanel and WebHost Manager (WHM) users to use. It’s easy for power users to configure in the terminal, or command line interface (CLI). It integrates well with a lot of software via third party modules and clamd.conf configuration. Their developer, Cisco, is a brand familiar to experienced IT professionals. There’s even a ClamTK GUI application for Linux desktop users.
Then CloudLinux created something to rival the go-to server scanning application – ImunifyAV. Like ClamAV, ImunifyAV is easy to use and maintained by a well-known company. Unlike ClamAV’s cPanel plugin, there are more GUI options that make configuration quicker. But which AV scanner is best for your hosting plan, expertise, and needs?
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ClamAV enables users to scan their cPanel accounts anytime. However, advanced features are only configurable from SSH.
- Completely free and open source
- Scans from cPanel and CLI
- Can be configured to scan remote files
- Available on many popular server and desktop Linux distros – Ubuntu, Arch, etc.
- Third party Integrations available for many other web applications including Mattermost, Nextcloud, Moodle, and Splunk log analyzer
- Very stable; been around for years
- Only configuration options in WHM are what types of files to scan
- All other features must be configured in the CLI
ImunifyAV FREE can do monthly automatic scans and results will show in WHM and cPanel. However, cPanel users cannot start cPanel account scans and you must pay for some important features such as more frequent automatic account scans set in WHM.
- Scans entire server from WHM and CLI
- Monthly automatic scans easy to configure from WHM
- More options and information available in WHM and cPanel compared to ClamAV including resource management settings
- History of results for past scans
- List of directories in a specified “Ignore list”
- ImunifyAV must be configured for the ability to initiate scans from cPanel
- Important features in WHM such as automatic cleanup and more frequent automated scans require a paid subscription
- No popular third party integrations to connect with other web applications yet
- Fairly new, most documentation only available from official website
Which is Best For You – ClamAV or ImunifyAV Free?
Enabling cPanel Users
Because cPanel users can initiate scans with ClamAV, it may be best for cPanel server administrators and resellers wanting to enable end users to be more proactive in their website security posture.
Easier Configuration and Automated Scans
ImunifyAV FREE and ImunifyAV+ versions have more features available in WHM and cPanel for faster setup. Sysadmins willing to pay for additional features can enjoy many more options without the terminal.
System administrators wanting to reduce the load on cPanel users may prefer ImunifyAV for the easy setup for monthly server scans.
Sysadmins wanting to enable cPanel users, not wanting to pay for additional GUI features, and willing to do some extra configuration may prefer ClamAV. Sysadmins can configure automated scans, quarantine methods, and notification options with cron jobs.
How did you decide whether to use the ClamAV or ImunifyAV Free cPanel plugins?
Learn more about VPS management from our Managed VPS Hosting Product Guide.