Before moving on to how to check your computer for viruses online, I recommend reading a little theory. First of all, it is impossible to perform a fully online system scan for viruses. You can scan individual files, as suggested, for example, VirusTotal or Kaspersky VirusDesk : you upload the file to the server, it is checked for viruses and a report is provided on the presence of viruses in it. In all other cases, an online check means that you still have to download and run some software on the computer (i.e. a kind of antivirus without installing it on the computer), since access to the files on the computer that needs to be checked is necessary for viruses. Previously, there were options for running a scan in a browser, but even there, it required the installation of a module that gives online antivirus access to the contents on the computer (now this has been abandoned as an unsafe practice).
In addition, I note that if your antivirus does not see viruses, but the computer behaves strangely - an incomprehensible advertisement appears on all sites, pages do not open, or something similar, then it is quite possible that you do not need to check for viruses, but delete malware from the computer (which is not in the full sense of the word viruses, and therefore not found by many antiviruses). In this case, I highly recommend using this material here: Tools for removing malware . May also be of interest: Best free antivirus , Best antivirus for Windows 10 (paid and free).
Thus, if you need an online virus scan, be aware of the following points:
- It will be necessary to download some program that is not a full-fledged antivirus, but contains an antivirus database or has an online connection to the cloud in which this database is located. The second option is to upload a suspicious file to the site for verification.
- Usually, such downloadable utilities do not conflict with already installed antiviruses.
- Use only proven methods to check for viruses - i.e. Utilities only from antivirus manufacturers. An easy way to find out a dubious site is the presence of extraneous advertising on it. Antivirus manufacturers do not earn on advertising, but on the sale of their products and they will not post ad units on extraneous topics on their sites.
If these points are clear, go directly to the verification methods.
ESET Online Scanner
A free online scanner from ESET allows you to easily scan your computer for viruses without installing antivirus on your computer. A software module is loaded that works without installation and uses the virus databases of the ESET NOD32 antivirus solution. ESET Online Scanner, according to a statement on the site, detects all types of threats from the latest versions of anti-virus databases, and also conducts heuristic analysis of content.
After starting ESET Online Scanner, you can configure the desired scan settings, including enabling or disabling the search for potentially unwanted programs on your computer, scanning archives and other options.
Then, a typical virus scan for ESET NOD32 antiviruses takes place, according to the results of which you will receive a detailed report on the threats found.
You can download the free ESET Online Scanner virus scan utility from the official website https://www.esetnod32.ru/home/products/online-scanner/
Panda Cloud Cleaner - cloud virus scan
Previously, when writing the initial version of this review, the Panda antivirus manufacturer had access to the ActiveScan tool, which ran directly in the browser, it was currently removed and now there is only a utility with the need to download program modules to the computer (but it works without installation and does not interfere with work other antiviruses) - Panda Cloud Cleaner.
The essence of the utility is the same as in the online scanner from ESET: after downloading the anti-virus databases, your computer will be checked for threats present in the databases and a report will be presented on what was found (by clicking on the arrow you can familiarize yourself with specific elements and clear them).
Keep in mind that the items found in the Unkonown Files and System Cleaning sections do not necessarily relate to threats on the computer: the first item lists unknown files and registry entries that are strange for the utility, the second indicates the ability to clear disk space from unnecessary files.
You can download Panda Cloud Cleaner from the official website http://www.pandasecurity.com/usa/support/tools_homeusers.htm (I recommend downloading the portable version, since it does not require installation on a computer). Among the shortcomings is the lack of a Russian interface language.
F-Secure Online Scanner
Not very well-known with us, but very popular and high-quality antivirus F-Secure also offers a utility for online virus scanning without installing it on your computer - F-Scure Online Scanner.
Using the utility should not cause difficulties, including for novice users: everything is in Russian and as clear as possible. The only thing worth paying attention to is that upon completion of the scan and computer cleaning, you will be asked to look at other F-Secure products that you can opt out of.
You can download the online virus scan utility from F-Secure from the official website https://www.f-secure.com/en_RU/web/home_en/online-scanner
Free HouseCall Virus and Spyware Search
Another service that allows you to conduct web-based checks for malware, trojans and viruses is HouseCall from Trend Micro, also a fairly well-known manufacturer of antivirus software.
You can download the HouseCall utility on the official page http://housecall.trendmicro.com/en/ . After the launch, the download of the necessary additional files will begin, then it will be necessary to accept the terms of the license agreement in English, for some reason, the language and click the Scan Now button to check the system for viruses. By clicking the Settings link at the bottom of this button, you can select individual folders for scanning, and also indicate whether you need to perform a quick analysis or a full scan of your computer for viruses.
The program leaves no traces in the system and this is a good plus of it. To search for viruses, as well as in some of the solutions already described, cloud anti-virus databases are used, which promises high reliability of the program. In addition, HouseCall allows you to remove detected threats, trojans, viruses and rootkits from your computer.
Microsoft Safety Scanner - virus scan upon request
Download Microsoft Safety Scanner
Microsoft has its own product for a one-time computer scan for viruses - Microsoft Safety Scanner, available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/ru-ru/default.aspx .
The program is valid for 10 days, after which it is necessary to download a new one with updated virus databases. Update: the same tool, but in a newer version, is available under the name of Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool or Malicious Software Removal Tool and is available for download on the official website https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/malicious-software -removal-tool-details.aspx
Kaspersky Security Scan
The free Kaspersky Security Scan utility is also designed to quickly identify common threats on your computer. But: if earlier (when writing the first version of this article) the utility did not require installation on a computer, now it is a full-fledged installed program, just without a real-time scan mode, moreover, it also installs additional software from Kaspersky.
If earlier I could recommend Kaspersky Security Scan as part of this article, then now it will not work out - now it can’t be called an online virus scan, the databases are downloaded and remain on the computer, the scheduled scan is added by default, i.e. not quite what you need. Nevertheless, if you are interested, you can download Kaspersky Security Scan from the official page http://www.kaspersky.ru/free-virus-scan
McAfee Security Scan Plus
Another utility with similar properties that does not require installation and checks the computer for various kinds of viruses-related threats is McAfee Security Scan Plus.
I did not experiment with this program for online checking for viruses, because, judging by the description, checking for malware is the second function of the utility, but the priority is to inform the user about the absence of antivirus, updated databases, firewall settings, etc. However, Security Scan Plus will also report active threats. The program does not require installation - just download and run it.
You can download the utility here: http://home.mcafee.com/downloads/free-virus-scan
Online virus scan without downloading files
Below is a way to check individual files or links to websites for malware completely online, without having to download anything to your computer. As noted above, you can only check individual files.
Scan files and sites for viruses in Virustotal
Virustotal is a service owned by Google and allows you to check any file from your computer, as well as sites on the network for viruses, trojans, worms or other malicious programs. To use this service, go to its official page and select any file you want to check for viruses, or specify a link to the site (you need to click the link below "Check URL"), which may contain malicious software. Then click the "Check" button.
After that, wait a while and get a report. Details on using VirusTotal for online virus scanning .
Kaspersky Virus Desk
Kaspersky Virus Desk is a service very similar in use to VirusTotal, but the scan is carried out on the basis of Kaspersky Anti-Virus.
Details about the service, its use and scan results can be found in the overview Online virus scan in Kaspersky VirusDesk .
Online file scan for viruses in Dr.Web
Dr.Web also has its own service for checking files for viruses without downloading any additional components. In order to use it, go to http://online.drweb.com/ , upload the file to Dr.Web server, click “scan” and wait until the search for malicious code in the file is complete.
In addition to these utilities, if you suspect a virus and in the context of an online virus scan, I can recommend:
- CrowdInspect is a utility for checking running processes in Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7. At the same time, it displays information from online databases about possible threats from running files.
- AdwCleaner is the simplest, fastest and very effective tool for removing malware (including those that antiviruses consider safe) from your computer. It does not require installation on a computer and uses online databases of unwanted programs.
- Bootable anti-virus flash drives and disks - anti-virus ISO images to check when downloading from a flash drive or disk without installing it on a computer.