Online virus scanners are a good means of detecting malware on your system and they can be employed if your regular security software is not working, i.e. because some infection is blocking it.
They are not, however, a good substitute for actually having a good antivirus program installed locally on your computer.
Here is the final piece of the puzzle, the best of the online virus scanners.
The Top 10 Free Online Virus Scanners Of 2009
#1 BITDEFENDER QUICKSCAN
From the BitDefender site –
- Very fast scanning. Less than 60 seconds
- Runs online from any Internet connected PC
- Doesn’t slow down your PC
- Based on award wining BitDefender anti-malware technologies
This particular scanner only detects viruses, it doesn’t remove them.
You can find this virus scanner here : BitDefender Quickscan
#2 F-SECURE ONLINE VIRUS SCANNER
F-Secure’s free Online virus scanner can not only detect viruses and trojans but it can also remove them
It can also take care of spyware too.
You can find this virus scanner here : F-Secure Online Virus Scanner
#3 FORTIGUARD CENTER ONLINE VIRUS SCANNER
FortiGuard Center can only detect viruses and is not suitable for removing them.
FortiGuard can be used to scan the files that are on your computer and you also have the option of submitting multiple files to their research labs for analysis.
One point to note though is that you can only check one file at a time and there is a file size limit of 1MB.
You can find this virus scanner here : FortiGuard Online Virus Scanner
#4 JOTTI ONLINE MALWARE SCAN
Jotti utilises results from several different scanners to inform you of any infections you may have on your system.
This particular scan is good for detection purposes but cannot be used for removing malware.
You can find this virus scanner here : Jotti Malware Scan
#5 KASPERSKY FREE ONLINE VIRUS SCAN
Kaspersky are a well known member of the antivirus market and they too offer a free online virus scanning tool.
Again, this one is only good for detection and not removal but their scanner is much quicker and more efficient than some of the alternatives.
You can set the Kaspersky online virus scanner to trawl through individual files, folders or even entire drives on your computer.
You can find this virus scanner here : Kaspersky Free Online Virus Scan (temporarily unavailable at the time of writing)
#6 PANDA ACTIVE SCAN
Panda Active Scan is another free tool that you can use for detecting and eliminating viruses from your computer.
Not only can it scan your files but it can scan you email too.
It installs as an ActiveX control in your Web browser (Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher).
This offering from Panda offers virus removal as well as detection abilities.
#7 TREND MICRO HOUSECALL
Trend Micro’s Housecall is also capable of cleaning infected files.
This virus scanner is able to detect and remove the most common viruses, though it may be less effective with Trojans and some of the other more obscure types of infection.
You can find this virus scanner here : Trend Micro HouseCall
#8 VIRSCAN FREE ONLINE SCAN
The eighth offering in this list comes from VirSCAN.org who have a free online scanning service that can check uploaded files for a variety of security issues including viruses, spyware, trojans, backdoors and many other types of malware.
There is a file size limit of 10MB but any type of file can be uploaded and checked.
One thing to note, however, is that this scanner only offers detection of malware.
You can find this virus scanner here : VirSCAN Free Online Scan
#9 VIRUSTOTAL ONLINE SCANNING SERVICE
You can upload single files to VirusTotal which will then quickly scan for viruses, worms, trojans and many other types of malware.
With VirusTotal you have a 5MB limit on the files you can upload.
Files that have been uploaded can then be scanned with a large number of well-known virus scanners and results from each are then displayed.
Again, detection only with this one.
You can find this virus scanner here : VirusTotal Online Scanning Service
#10 WINDOWS LIVE ONECARE SAFETY SCANNER (now discontinued)
Number ten in the list won’t be here for long as Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner is making way for Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).
This scanner is good at detecting the more common viruses but only works in conjunction with Internet Explorer.
Also, it is only able to detect viruses, it cannot remove them.
You can find this virus scanner here : Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner (now being being replaced by Microsoft Security Essentials)
Also, whilst you are here, why not check out my favourite ten internet security programs of the year.