A few weeks ago someone came to me with their computer because it was in a virtually unusable state. They couldn’t download and install any applications anymore because of multiple viruses they managed to get infected with, and their existing antivirus app had been expired for quite awhile (sigh).
Since I couldn’t install anything I decided to turn to ESET’s free online antivirus scanner, and it worked beautifully. It runs in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Netscape, and Safari browsers without needing to actually install an application. In a few clicks I was able to kick off a scan, and it would show each virus it found as it chugged along. I don’t use online antivirus scanners often, but in this situation it saved me a lot of headaches.
Here are some of the features of the ESET Online Scanner:
- Uses the most current threat signatures and heuristic detection algorithms available from ESET’s Threat Lab.
- Detects both known and unknown forms of malware, such as viruses, worms, Trojans, phishing and spyware.
- All infiltrations and infected files are moved into the quarantine where they no longer represent any threat for your computer. In addition, quarantined files can be restored or deleted permanently.
Once ESET finished it managed to clean off about a half-dozen different viruses, and the machine was purring along just fine again. As much as I love ESET in the end I still ended up installing Microsoft Security Essentials on their computer because, well, having a free antivirus app installed on someone else’s machine is the way to go since you know they’d never renew a paid program.
Just remember that these online antivirus scanners are there to provide help when you don’t have many other places to turn. It also doesn’t hurt to run them on your own system from time-to-time to get a different set of “eyeballs” looking at your system.