For many years now we have been selling “avast! for VPOP3” as our low cost antivirus software for scanning emails as they pass through VPOP3. At the end of 2012, Avast are stopping supporting their version 4 virus scanning engine, which VPOP3 uses. This means that the “avast! for VPOP3” solution will stop updating after the end of 2012.
We have spent the year so far trying to find an alternative, including re-licensing a more recent version of the avast! virus scanning engine, or looking for alternative providers. Unfortunately, we have been unable to do so at a suitable price point. We already have the Sophos SAV Interface and MailScan for VPOP3 solutions for higher prices than “avast! for VPOP3”, so we have not felt it would be beneficial to offer another antivirus solution at similar prices to those.
We will continue looking for an alternative low cost antivirus engine we could use, but for now we have decided to use the popular open-source ClamAV antivirus engine and create a plugin for VPOP3 to access this. This has allowed us to have a replacement for avast! for VPOP3 from the end of 2012.
The VPOP3 Antivirus offering is even cheaper than “avast! for VPOP3” was, so hopefully more people will take advantage of this fact to add an extra layer of virus scanning to their networks.
Note that we have always recommended having a desktop virus scanner on each user’s PC as the first priority, then an email gateway virus scanner adds an extra layer of protection. The email gateway virus scanner should never be the only protection, since there are other ways for viruses to enter the network.
To use the VPOP3 Antivirus solution you will need VPOP3 v5.0g or later, or VPOP3 v4.0g. These versions have fixes to the antivirus plugin API in VPOP3 which allow it to work properly.
I have tried to answer a few questions people may have below.
Why isn’t the VPOP3 Antivirus free, since ClamAV is?
ClamAV is licenced under the GPL – does this mean we can get the source code to VPOP3 now, since the GPL is ‘viral’?
Can I try to make VPOP3 talk to ClamAV myself, and do it for free?
Why can’t we use our existing desktop virus scanner?
Most desktop antivirus programs are licensed for use by one person, so using them to scan mail on a mail server may be breaching the license conditions.
Also, it can be quite tricky linking a virus scanner to VPOP3, so it would probably not be as easy as you may think…
Why don’t you support XYZ virus scanner?
I want you to support XYZ virus scanner, I’ve already got a licence for it on my PC, so it won’t cost me a lot
I’ve currently got avast! for VPOP3 which is coming up for renewal soon, what happens now?
I’ve already renewed avast! for VPOP3 this year, what happens?
- We can convert the “avast! for VPOP3” subscription, into a “VPOP3 Antivirus” subscription. The length of this will be adjusted to take into account the different costs of these subscriptions
- We can convert the “avast! for VPOP3” subscription, into a “VPOP3 Antivirus” subscription of the same length, and refund the extra amount which was paid.
- We can refund the remainder of the avast! for VPOP3″ subscription from the end of 2012