Eset’s NOD32 antivirus application always ranks pretty high in comparison to other programs, and now there is some great news to come out of their site. They just released a beta version of an online antivirus scanner that requires no subscription and no software installation. With it you can scan your computer for viruses, malware, worms, Trojans, phishing, and spyware.
I tried it out, and the first thing that you should know is that it requires Internet Explorer since it uses an ActiveX control to do the scanning. When you go to run it the first time IE will download the 15MB file to install it, but despite the large download I was scanning my computer for viruses in well under a minute (I have a cable Internet connection).
The whole process didn’t take too long, but you’ll notice that the scanner appears to freeze when working on a compressed file (ZIP, CAB, JAR, etc…). That’s because it is scanning the contents of that file for viruses, and when it is done scanning the file the number of files scanned will quickly jump to reflect the work it did.
The scanning process did take a little longer than I expected. The actual NOD32 program can scan my computer in roughly 20 minutes, but this took upwards of 50 minutes to complete. Of course it is just an ActiveX control so it won’t be as efficient as their standalone application.
So why is this such great news? It gives you another way to scan your computer for viruses without needing to install an additional program. I use Avast! to monitor for viruses because it doesn’t cost a thing, and now once a week or so I can scan it with this online scanner for a little extra safety. Or if I’m trying to help someone with a computer issue over the phone I can have them scan their computer for viruses using the Eset Online Scanner since it is basically a no-brainer.
Note: Vista users need to run Internet Explorer in Administrator mode for this to work.