VirusTotal Scanner offers near-instant malware scans

If you’re worried about the safety of a file on your PC then uploading it to VirusTotal.com is a great way to get some piece of mind. The site will run it through more than 40 of the top antivirus tools -- GData, AVG, Avira, Kaspersky, they’re all here -- and let you know if any of them have raised a red flag.

There could be a lengthy delay while the file is uploaded, of course. But you don’t have to put up with that, because VirusTotal Scanner delivers the same results without having to upload the file at all.

The program is very simple to use. There’s no installation required, just download and unzip it and there’s a portable version you can run right away.

Locate the file of interest, drag and drop it onto the program, and click VirusTotal Scan.

And the key point is that VirusTotal Scanner then calculates a hash (a digital fingerprint) for the file. The hash is then sent to VirusTotal, instead of the file itself, and because it’s just a number this takes almost no time at all.

As an example, we gave the program a 28.7MB executable to check, and within just two seconds it was displaying the usual VirusTotal analysis: its overall detection ratio, the individual verdict for each tool used, and all the other regular site features.

If this is something you want to use regularly, then the program also comes with a handy setup tool. Using this adds a right-click “VirusTotal Scanner” option to Explorer context menus, making it just a little easier to check any suspect file.

The VirusTotal Scanner portable option is good enough for us, though: a simple, straightforward tool which can save a little time whenever you need to check a file for malware.

Photo Credit: Sergii Korolko/Shutterstock

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