Scanning the computer from an online location provides several advantages over the classic local scan. The most prominent one is that the risk of a virus infection of the virus scanner is not present and that the engine used by the scanner is usually up to date. A local virus scanner needs to be updated regularly to stay effective.
An Internet connection is needed on the other hand to perform the scan which sometimes can be a problem if the system is not booting into the operating system. A Live CD may help but many Online Virus Scanners demand the Internet Explorer which is obviously unavailable on Linux systems.
Online Virus Scanners can be used to get a "second opinion" without having to install another anti-virus software on the computer. It is probably a good idea to use as many of the virus scanners as possible if it is suspected that the system was infected by a virus. Below is a list of services that provide access to online virus scanners.
Bitdefender Online Scanner - requires Internet Explorer 4+. Update: Now also compatible with other browsers including Google Chrome.
BullGuard Virus Scan - Seems to require browser extensions or downloads, even though the site claims it does not.
Comodo Free Online Scanner - Requires the installation of plug-ins or Active-X controls. Is not compatible with Google Chrome, has not been updated in a while it appears.
Eset Online Scanner - requires Internet Explorer. Update: Chrome, Firefox and other browser users need to download a small file to run it.
F-Secure Online Scanner - works only with Internet Explorer 6+. Update: Downloads a file to the system that you need to execute.
Kaspersky Free Virus Scan - browser independent, downloads roughly 25 Megabytes of files prior to scanning. User can select locations to scan. The scanner does not remove infected files.
McAfee FreeScan - requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 5+
Microsoft OneCare Live - requires Internet Explorer. Update: no longer available.
Microsoft Safety Scanner - Downloads a file to your system that you need to run to test your PC for malware.
Norton Security Scan - Downloads a file to the local system that you need to execute to scan your system for malicious programs and processes.
Panda ActiveScan - requires Internet Explorer or Firefox, does not run in Opera. Update: Downloads a small file to the system that you need to run.
Shields Up! - browser independent but very slow and unresponsive currently.
Symantec Security Check - down or gone.
Trendsecure HouseCall - Java based scanner, works with Java compatible browsers.
Windows Security - Trojan scan that requires Internet Explorer 5+
Avast Online Scanner - file size limit of 16 Megabyte
Metascan online - Supports files up to 80 Megabytes in size, scans with 40 different engines.
NoVirusThanks - 20 Megabyte file size limit, can also scan websites. [no longer available]
VirScan - Free service that accepts files up to 20 Megabyte in size and scans them against multiple antivirus engines.
Virus Scan - file size limit of 10 Megabyte. Update: limit increased to 25 Megabyte.
Virus Total - email upload option, 64 Megabyte file size limit, can scan web pages.
Do you know any other services where users can scan files or the computer ?Advertisement
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