Have you ever downloaded a file and sat there pondering whether it was actually clean? You promptly scan it with your antivirus application, but then you’re left wondering whether it could be a virus that has yet to be discovered. If you use VirusTotal, a free online service, you might be able to rest a little easier.
VirusTotal is different from our last list of free online virus scanners because it’s not designed to scan your entire computer. Instead you upload a single file to the site and it will be scanned with a whopping 32 different antivirus applications! It even includes many of the top antivirus programs including NOD32, Kaspersky, Panda, BitDefender, and much more.
The service is actually pretty quick considering how many different applications it has to interact with. To finish scanning a PDF file that I uploaded it took about 6 minutes to complete, but the results are immediately shown to you after each antivirus application completes. Unfortunately the file you upload is scanned in alphabetical order. I would prefer to have a customizable order so that I can have it scan using my favorite antivirus programs first.
But wait, it gets better! You can send an email to the service to have any attachments scanned, and the results will be emailed back to you. Here’s how that works:
- Write SCAN in the Subject field of the email to email@example.com.
- Attach the file to be scanned (must not exceed 10 MB).
- You will receive an email with a report of the file analysis once the scanning has completed.
There is also a Windows program that you can install to add a VirusTotal option to the Send To menu when you right-click on a file, but I don’t think I would use the service that much to justify installing it. The website itself has definitely earned a spot in my bookmarks though.
Thanks to Goyuix for the tip!