We have come across too many situations where we have received questionable files unknowingly. Most files land in our mailbox and we have been guilt of downloading these on our systems. On a similar basis, there have been innumerable times when we have downloaded, supposedly clean files to only find out that the file is a malware. How do we handle situations where we are not sure about the authenticity and veracity of the files that have reached our desktops or laptops? It could be through email attachments, a pen drive or even a downloaded file through the Internet websites.
Online file scanners are very useful. They help in establishing the credentials of the file, and ensuring that the file is clean and safe for use on the desktop or the laptop. It takes a few minutes for the file scanning tools to update the status of the file, whether it matches any malware or virus definitions or if it is clean against the continuously updated threat database.
Below we look at some of the best tools that can be used, for free, to scan files online.
VirusTotal.com has to be ranked as one of the best, if not the best, online file scanning tools in the world. In 2012, VirusTotal was acquired by Google. The file scanner hosted on Virus Total website is one of the most exhaustive file scanning tools.
I uploaded a file and it was checked for the hash signature by the Virus Total engine. This was followed up with a check against 58 virus engines to find malware or virus in the file. It took less than 2 minutes for the entire process to scan and report on the quality of the file of 2 Megs.
To check your file on Virus Total website, visit the https://www.virustotal.com/gui/ link and upload the file that you wish to check against the 58 virus engines.
Jotti’s virus scan is also a free file scanner tool. Do not be waylaid by the primitive interface of the website. Initial impressions may make Jotti look like an old and discarded site.
Visit the https://virusscan.jotti.org/ website and upload the file that you wish to scan. Jotti’s online scanner will test the file against 15 virus engines. Compared to Virus Total, the number of virus engines on Jotti is lower. But, Jotti does cover the virus engines well.
You could also check the file’s hash value on the Jotti website by visiting this link – https://virusscan.jotti.org/en-US/search/hash. It becomes another way to check the credentials of a file against the existing virus definitions database.
Jotti’s scanner is fast and it offers credible evidence on file’s malware and virus definitions.
Meta Defender by OPSWAT
OPSWAT’s Meta defender is another fast and dependable online file scanning tool. Meta defender scan works by checking the file against 34 virus engines. You can put it right next to Virus Total, in terms of virus engines and scanning for malware and viruses.
One of the notable features of OPSWAT’s Meta defender is that is allows you to check your file on a sandbox environment. You could check a file by putting it on the sandbox. Sandbox offers Windows 7 and Windows 10 64 bit environment. You could detonate your file on OPSWAT’s sandbox and validate the response on a real time basis.
To perform a virus and malware scan on a file, please visit the OPSWAT’s meta defender scan engine by visiting this site – https://metadefender.opswat.com/.
FortiGuard Labs is the new kid on the block. The security site offers scanning of a file for the presence of virus or malware on the file. Compared to the other sites, however, the FortiGuard site collects your email address before reporting about the file. Aside from that, you can upload a file of maximum size 10 Mb. Jotti allows you to test a file that could be as big as 250 Mb.
You can scan your file on the FortiGuard website by visiting this link – https://www.fortiguard.com/faq/onlinescanner
Hybrid Analysis is another site that checks the file for malware and virus online. But, it actually uses three site scan engines to scan for malware and virus. Hybrid Analysis works with Creative Falcon, Virus Total and Meta Defended to check the submitted file on a real time basis. It, optionally, collects your email address to send a scan report to your email address.
Hybrid Analysis also allows you to detonate the file on a sandbox environment. You are provided an option to detonate the file on Windows 7 32 bit or Windows 7 64 bit operating system environment. Sadly, there is no Windows 10 sandbox environment to test your file. To check your file and submit it to the Hybrid Analysis website, visit the site – https://www.hybrid-analysis.com/
In my personal opinion, Virus Total and Meta Defender are the two top class online virus and malware scanner tools. These tools are free. And, Virus Total leads the pack with 58 virus engines. Meta Defender follows suit with 34 virus engines.
Whenever you are in doubt, use Virus Total. Remember, it is free and backed by Google. You could use OPSWAT’s Meta Defender to be doubly sure about the antecedents of the file.
Helen is a geeky nerd who seeks to find and fix tech gaps in the latest gadgets. She is always on the lookout for resolving technical queries of users, and is an avid writer on technical subjects.