SuperAntiSpyware is a popular and effective malware scanner that is available as a free and professional version. The developers of the program have now launched SuperAntiSpyware Online Safe Scan, a free portable scanner for Windows systems.
Some users may find the name to be misleading, as it is not a web based scanner such as Virus Total but a portable version of SuperAntiSpyware Free.
The developers suggest to run the application directly from within the web browser which is a possibility. Users with SuperAntiSpyware installed cannot run the online scanner at the same time as the core program (killing the process helps).
The program, offered as a .com file, leaves no traces on the system and does not need to be installed. Before you think about copying the program to an USB device or tools DVD, you should consider that there is no option to update the program database.
The check for updates button and automatic updates option are grayed out and not selectable. This leaves on demand scans but only on systems with a working Internet connection (to download the portable program).
The program is limited to scanning and repairing the computer. Several features like scheduled scanning or automatic updates are grayed out and not selectable. The same is true for most of the program options which are also grayed out.
A click on scan your computer runs the selected scan. Available for selection are quick, complete, critical point, custom and rescue scans with complete scans being selected by default.
SuperAntiSpyware Online Safe Scan can remove threats found on the computer. This is an advantage of pure online scanners who usually cannot perform those operations and require that you download a program to your system in order to do just that (sometimes commercial).
The Repairs section can also be handy as it can restore functionality to features of the operating system that malware may have corrupted or disabled completely.
This includes resetting the browser homepage, enabling the task manager and system tray, resetting url prefixes or repairing broken network connections.
Those features alone make it a nice to have program. The downside is quite obvious: You need to re-download the program every time you want to scan a computer. If you do not you may not be using the latest program version which in turn may reduce the detection rate.
An option to update the program would certainly be useful as it would allow you to use it on a USB device regularly without having to download the latest version before you start using it.
With that said, it may still be worth the download if you want to check a system with a wide range of different security tools and prefer to do so using portable programs.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.