There are quite a few free virus scanners online that are effective, convenient and easy to use. While an online virus scanner won’t replace having virus scanning software installed on your computer, it can help you to catch viruses that an installed virus software program might miss. Online virus scanners can also function as a supplement to your resident virus protection.
Trend Micro Housecall Online Virus Scanner
One of the best free online virus scanners is Trend Micro Housecall. This online scanner can scan for and remove different types of malware such as viruses, Trojans, worms, browser hijackers and spyware. It is browser independent, so this may be the online virus scanner for you if you’re using a browser such as FireFox or Safari. When you first visit the Trend Micro Housecall website, you will have to download and install a small file. Select the 32-bit version of the file if you have a 32-bit operating system, and the 64-bit version if your operating system is 64-bit. You can use Trend Micro Housecall’s online virus scanner to scan your entire computer or select specific folders to scan. Select “Settings” under the “Scan Now” button to select the type of scan you’d like to complete and which folders you’d like to scan for viruses. “Quick Scan” is selected by default. The “Full System Scan” will scan your entire computer. Select “Custom Scan” to scan only specific folders for viruses. When the scan is complete, click on the link under “Threat” to see a page about the malware that Trend Micro Housecall found. If you’d like to eliminate the threat, select “Fix” from the drop-down list and select “Fix Now.”
Symantec Virus Detection
Symantec Security Check includes a free online virus scanner called Virus Detection. Offered by the makers of Norton Antivirus, this free online virus scanner that scans for a wide range of malware threats. Symantec Virus Detection requires Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher to run. You must also install ActiveX controls to use this online virus scanner. Once the control is installed, Virus Detection will perform a thorough scan of your computer’s hard drive. Symantec’s Virus Detection scanner will not remove viruses or other malware from your computer’s system, but it will give you a detailed list of which types of malware were found and the location of the files on your hard drive. You can search the Symantec Security Response site for information on how to remove the threats from your computer.
McAfee’s Free Online Virus Scanner
Like with Symantec’s virus scanner, you must download and install an ActiveX control to use McAfee’s free online virus scanner. Disable any anti-virus software you have running on your computer before running the scanner. You can select to scan your entire hard drive or just the My Documents folder or Windows files. McAfee’s online virus scanner does not remove malware files, but rather provides a list of the location where malware was found along with the name of the threat. You can click on the link to see a description of the malware which the McAfee online virus scanner found.
Use these free online virus scanners whenever you like. However, it’s important to remember that an online virus scanner is no substitute for a resident virus scanner. Make certain that you have anti-virus software installed on your computer at all times and that real-time virus protection is enabled.