How to do an online virus scan

Have you downloaded a “suspicious” program from the Internet and, although your antivirus tells you it is “clean”, would you like to subject it to further checks to make sure it does not contain malware or viruses? Don’t think of installing a second antivirus on your PC! You would only run the risk of slowing down the system and creating conflicts between the two scanning engines!

If you want to check a file with multiple security tools and thus have more opinions on its degree of reliability, you have to resort to online solutions. Yes, you read that right! There are some Internet sites on which, after having uploaded one or more files, it is possible to know if they are infected or not according to the scanning engines of all the main antivirus software available on the market. At what price? Zero euros! The services in question, which I want to talk to you about today, are all completely free (or almost) and in most cases they do not even require a registration to be used.

Do not you believe it? Then take five minutes of free time, take a look at the services I’m about to recommend and try to do an online virus scan following the instructions below: you will be surprised by the accuracy, usefulness and speed of these solutions. And, of course, after using them you can tell yourself whether or not your files are reliable.

Index

  • Best solutions for doing an online virus scan
    • VirusTotal
    • MetaDefender
    • Jotti
    • YOMI
  • Other solutions for doing an online virus scan

Best solutions for doing an online virus scan

As I told you, on the Net there are solutions by which you can do an online virus scan . Below, therefore, you will find those that in my opinion represent the best in the category. I am sure they will be able to satisfy you.

VirusTotal

If you are new to VirusTotal, it means that you have never really done an online virus scan. It is, in fact, the most famous online antivirus in the world. It is completely free, it is not mandatory to register and allows you to check any type of file (or Internet address) with a maximum weight of 128 MB using the engines of over 70 different antivirus. Another interesting feature to report about this service is that it automatically “recognizes” files that have already been scanned on it: this means that if you try to check a file that has already been scanned on VirusTotal, you can get an instant scan result without having to wait for the outcome of each antivirus engine.

To use VirusTotal, connected to the home page of the service , click on the Choose file button in the File  tab in the center of the page and select the file you want to check. Alternatively, directly drag the file you are interested in to act on the browser window and click on  the Confirm upload button .

As an alternative to what I have just indicated, you can provide the address of a website or file that is online by selecting the URL tab  and pasting the address to be examined in the bar that appears in the center of the screen. You can also search for the reference files directly online, by selecting the Search tab and proceeding with typing in the search bar shown.

After indicating the file to be scanned, if this has already been checked by someone in the past, you will see a screen with the scan results. Or rather, with the results of the scans, since VirusTotal shows the response that each antivirus (eg Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, Kaspersky etc.) gave for the file. If the file contains no threats, you will find Undetected  next to the name of the antivirus that checked it. If not, you will find the name of the malware detected. At the top left, then, there is an icon with the summary of the results (eg 0/68 if the scan did not give positive results for any of the antivirus used by VirusTotal).

On the VirusTotal scan results page, in addition to the results and technical details about the scanned file (e.g. size, SHA-256 hash, etc.), you can find tabs with more details about the file (e.g. various types of hashes, creation date, etc.), the relationships with other files scanned by VirusTotal (e.g. zip archives that contain the scanned file), the behavior of the latter (e.g. if it is an executable, the registry keys it queries and the system files it uses) and commentsof users: this last tab will be very useful when some antivirus will say that the file you upload is suspicious while others will consider it “clean”. By reading user comments, in fact, you will be able to understand if they are false positives or if there is really something to fear.

In principle, I can tell you that the files reported only by one or two antivirus are safe (at most they are programs that contain promotional content that can be disabled during installation), in any case always act with the utmost caution and check user comments (as well as the number of votes “safe”, ie safe, or “unsafe”, ie not safe, always present in the comments tab)!

Should you find it too “tiring” to open the browser and check files through the VirusTotal web interface, know that you can use this very useful service also through a handy application available for Windows and macOS called VirusTotal Uploader . Note that the program is no longer officially supported, but is still functional. Allows you to upload files to VirusTotal via the context menu of the operating system.

If you use Windows , to download VirusTotal Uploader on your PC connected to this web page and click on the link Download the App here .

When the download is complete, open the  vtuploader2.2.exe file and, in the window that is shown on the desktop, click first on the Yes button and then on the  I Agree , Next , Install and Close buttons to complete the VirusTotal installation process Uploader.

Now, you just have to select the file to be checked with VirusTotal using the right mouse button and choose the items Send to> VirusTotal from the menu that opens. The selected item will be uploaded to VirusTotal and the web page with the scan results will automatically open.

To download VirusTotal Uploader on macOS , instead, connect to this web page and click on the link Download the App here .

Next, open the resulting .dmg package  , grab the VirusTotal Uploader icon and drag it to the macOS Applications folder. After this step too, start VirusTotal Uploader by right-clicking on its icon and selecting the Open item from the context menu of macOS (operation necessary only at the first start to bypass macOS restrictions against apps from non-certified developers).

Then drag the file to be scanned into the window that opens and wait for the result of the check to be shown. By clicking on the link located in the Permalink column you will be able to open the page with the scan results in the browser.

If you have an Android terminal , you can install one of the many apps that integrate with VirusTotal, for example VirusTotal Mobile  (also available on alternative stores ), which allows you to analyze the apps for the mobile platform in question using the scanning engines present on VirusTotal .

Finally, I would like to point out the availability of extensions for Chrome and Firefox that allow you to invoke VirusTotal and check URLs found on the Web directly from the browser’s context menu.

MetaDefender

Another service you can rely on to do an online virus scan of your files is MetaDefender , which allows you to analyze the files that are fed to it using the engines of various antivirus. It allows you to define various settings for scanning and it is free, but to access some advanced features you need to subscribe to a paid subscription.

In order to use MetaDefender, connected to its home page, click on the paper clip icon in the text field in the center and select the file on the device you want to analyze. If the file is online, you can get it from there by directly typing its URL, IP address, etc.

Next, press on the gear wheel button located on the right to customize the scanning options (if you deem it necessary), deciding whether to activate the sandbox, the reference operating system, etc., then press the Process button to start the ‘analyses.

At the end of the process, a page will appear with the summary of the scan results and if, among these, there will be any potential threats detected, it will be clearly indicated to you.

To view the complete list of results, including those with negative results, click on the Get full report button that you find in the Metascan box .

Jotti

Jotti is another online antivirus that uses the engines of multiple software to provide the user with detailed analysis about the files that the latter deems suspicious. It’s free, requires no registration, and allows you to scan 5 files at a time with an upload limit of 100MB per object.

In order to use Jotti, connected to the home page of the service , click on the Browse button  located at the bottom left and select the items to check.

Within a few seconds, the page with the scan results will appear, then with the technical details on the checked file (name, hash, etc.) and the list of antivirus supported by the service with their response next to it. If next to the name of an antivirus you find the entry Found nothing , the file is “clean”. Otherwise you will find the name of the potential threat found.

YOMI

Another great tool for doing an online virus scan that I want to advise you to use is YOMI . It scans the files that are uploaded to it for any malware and it’s free, but in order to use it you need to create a free account.

To use YOMI, go to the home page of the service and drag the files to be analyzed directly into the browser window. Alternatively, click on the YOROI DRAG HERE icon located on the left and select the files manually.

After completing the above steps, press the Sign Up button and register your account by filling in the fields visible on the screen with the required data (name, surname, username and e-mail address), accept the conditions of use and press the Register key . Then, open the email that was sent to you by the service and click on the link contained within it to set the password.

On the Web page that you are now viewing, confirm that you want to submit your file to analysis by pressing the Confirm button and decide in advance whether to obtain a private report by selecting the appropriate option and after completing the scanning process you will be returned the “verdict” with all the various details regarding the file: any malware family to which it belongs, degree of danger, first and last scan date, geographical origin of the file sending, etc. You will also receive a notification email.

Other solutions for doing an online virus scan

The resources that I have already indicated did not convince you in a particular way and would you then like me to recommend other solutions by which you can do an online virus scan? No sooner said than done! Find them below.

  • Hybrid Analysis– this is a very advanced free scanning service offered by Payload-Security.com , a German-based cybersecurity company. It leverages a hybrid analysis system that is independent of antivirus signatures and allows you to detect malware very effectively in various virtual environments.
  • ESET Online Scanner– is a no-cost online scanning tool made available by one of the most renowned companies specializing in cybersecurity. It allows you to scan the entire operating system, going to malware and any other threats present on the PC.
  • F-Secure Online Scanner– free and working online antivirus that was made available by the software house F-Secure. It allows you to scan your PC and find any viruses, malware and spyware that may be present on it.
  • HouseCall– this is another antivirus solution that works online and made available by Trend Micro. It’s free and works by first updating definitions and then scanning your computer for any kind of cyber threat.

Keep in mind that some of the online antivirus that I have reported to you just now require you to download and start a special application on your computer, which is essential in order to complete the antivirus analysis. So, if you are asked to download the aforementioned file, do not worry, everything is normal.

 

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