Have you ever been on another computer and wished that you had an antivirus program? Maybe you were trying to clean up a computer for a friend, or maybe you received an email attachment while using a public computer? One thing is for sure, and it’s that having the best antivirus is important, but there are times where you just need something.
Today we’re going to present you with three portable antivirus solutions that can be used for scanning files in an emergency. They are all self updating, and require absolutely no installation. But remember, these are not replacements for installed applications as they are only made to do on-demand scanning.
–Portable ClamWin (Homepage)–
ClamAV is an extremely popular open source antivirus application. It was recently ranked very highly in the quest for the best Linux antivirus, it even beat out many of the highly acclaimed commercial solutions. Shortly after that the makers of the application were acquired by Sourcefire.
To get Portable ClamWin up and running all I had to do was run the executable, which then extracted several files to a directory. The first time that I ran it I was forced to update the program because the portable version comes with no virus definitions. So you may want to make sure to run the program at least once before throwing it on your USB drive, because if you don’t have an Internet connection you’ll be out of luck.
This is my top recommendation for portable antivirus software because it frequently receives updates.
Portable ClamWin will occupy about 19.1MB of room on your drive.
–Portable Antivirus (Homepage)–
This program appears to be relatively new, and from what I can tell it has been around for less than 7 months. My favorite thing about this generically named program is that it is composed of a single file. It even comes bundled with a set of virus definitions so that it is ready to go out-of-the-box. Although the included virus definitions are just a small set relative to the other apps mentioned here.
There is a real-time scanning option available on this application, but it will be disabled if you are running it from the standalone file. This makes sense though, because if you were to use this on a USB drive it would create insane amounts of overhead, and would greatly hinder your ability to access the drive.
One nice touch that the program offers is a useful System Tray icon. From there you can start a full system scan, check for updates, or close the program all together.
Portable Antivirus will occupy about 847KB of room on your drive.
–MicroWorld Free Antivirus (Homepage)–
This is one of the last tools that I stumbled upon, and I thought it was just a virus scanner like the others that I’ve listed here. It does scan your memory, registry, files, and more for viruses, but it also has an extremely useful network activity monitor.
In the network activity monitor you’ll be able to keep track of any communication going in and out of the computer. It also shows the ID of the computer “on the other end” so that you know who you are communicating with. If you ever try to diagnose a friends computer that is plagued with unknown programs and files, this will be a good way to identify the software that is frequently communicating with the outside world.
MicroWorld Free Antivirus will occupy about 18.8MB of room on your drive.