Have you downloaded a "suspicious" program from the Internet and, even though your antivirus tells you it is "clean", would you like to further check it to make sure it does not contain malware or viruses? Don't think about installing a second antivirus on your PC! You would only run the risk of slowing down the system and creating conflicts between the two scanning engines!
If you want to check a file with multiple antivirus and thus have more opinions on its degree of reliability, you have to resort to online solutions. Yes, you read that right! There are Internet sites on which, after uploading one or more files, it is possible to know whether or not they are infected according to the scanning engines of all the main antivirus software available on the market. At what price? Free! The services in question, which I want to tell you about today, are all free and do not even require a registration to be used.
Do not you believe it? So take five minutes of free time, take a look at the services I'm about to recommend and try do an online virus scan following the instructions you find below: you will be surprised by the accuracy, usefulness and speed of these solutions. And, of course, after using them you can tell yourself whether or not the files you have downloaded from the Internet are reliable.
If you're new to VirusTotal, it means you've never really made one online virus scan. VirusTotal, in fact, is the most famous online antivirus in the world: it is completely free, does not require registration and allows you to check any type of file (or Internet address) using the engines of 68 different antivirus. Another interesting feature to report about this service is that it automatically "recognizes" files that have already been scanned on it: this means that if you try to check a file that has already been checked on VirusTotal, you can get an instant scan result without having to wait for the outcome of each antivirus engine. Beautiful, is not it? Then don't waste any more time and try this service now!
To carry out an online virus check with VirusTotal, connected to the main page of the service, click on the item English located at the bottom right and select the option Italian from the menu that appears to translate the site interface into Italian. When the operation is completed, click on the button Upload and analyze the file and select the file you want to check. The file must not exceed 128MB of weight. If you want, in addition to clicking on the "Upload and analyze file" button, you can check an element simply by dragging it with the mouse in the browser window.
Within a few seconds, if the file has already been checked by someone in the past, you will see a screen with the scan results. Or rather, with the results of the scans, since VirusTotal shows the response that each antivirus (eg. Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, Kaspersky etc.) gave for the file. If the file does not contain threats, you will find the word "Clean" next to the name of the antivirus that checked it. If not, you will find the name of the malware detected. At the top left, then, there is an icon with the summary of the results (eg. 0/68 if the scan did not give positive results for any of the antivirus used by VirusTotal).
If the file you uploaded to VirusTotal had never been checked before by the service, you will have to wait patiently for the response of each antivirus. If, on the other hand, the file was already checked and you want to have it analyzed a second time, you must first click on the button (⋮) which is located at the top right and then on the icon of circular arrow which appears below.
On the VirusTotal scan results page, in addition to the results and technical details about the scanned file (e.g. size, SHA-256 hash etc.), you can find tabs with more details on the file (e.g. various types of hash, creation date, etc.), the relations with other files scanned by VirusTotal (eg zip archives containing the scanned file), i behavior of the latter (e.g. if it is an executable, the registry keys it calls and the system files it uses) and Comments of users: this last tab will be very useful to you when some antivirus say that the file you upload is suspicious while others think it is "clean". By reading user comments, in fact, you can understand if they are false positives or if there is really something to fear.
In principle, I can tell you that the files reported by only one or two antivirus are safe (at most they are programs that contain promotional content that can be disabled during installation), in any case always act with the utmost caution and check user comments (as well as the number of votes "safe", ie safe, or "unsafe", ie not safe, always present in the comments tab)!
In conclusion, I point out that, if you want, you can scan the address of a website or a file that is online by selecting the tab URL present on the VirusTotal home page and pasting, in the bar that appears in the center of the screen, the address to be examined.
If you find it too "tiring" to open the browser and check files through the VirusTotal web interface, know that you can use this very useful service also through the handy applications available for Windows and macOS.
If you use a Windows PC, for example, you can check your files with VirusTotal Uploader, a free program (no longer officially supported but still functional) that allows you to upload files to VirusTotal via the Windows context menu. To download it to your computer, connect to this web page and click on the link Download the App here.
Once the download is complete, start the executable vtuploader2.2.exe e, nella finestra che si apre, fai clic prima sul pulsado Yes and then I Agree, Next, install e Close to finish the VirusTotal Uploader installation process.
Now you just have to select the file to check with VirusTotal using the right mouse button and choose the items Send to> VirusTotal from the menu that opens. The selected item will be uploaded to VirusTotal and the web page with the scan results will automatically open.
VirusTotal Uploader is also available for Mac. If you have an Apple computer and want to install it, connect to this Web page and click on the link Download the App here. Then open the dmg package you get, grab the VirusTotal Uploader icon and drag it to the folder Applications say macOS.
After this step too, start VirusTotal Uploader by right clicking on its icon and selecting the item apri from the context menu of macOS (this operation is only necessary on first launch to bypass macOS restrictions against apps from non-certified developers). Then drag the file to be scanned into the window that opens and wait for the result of the check to be shown. By clicking on the link located in the column Permalink you will be able to open the page with the scan results in your browser.
If you have a terminal Android, you can install one of the many apps that integrate with VirusTotal, such as VirusTotal Mobile, which allows you to scan Android apps using VirusTotal's scanning engines.
Finally, I would like to point out the availability of extensions for Chrome and Firefox that allow you to invoke VirusTotal and check URLs found on the web directly from the browser's context menu.
Another service you can rely on to carry out an online virus scan of your files is Metadefender, which is completely free and allows you to analyze files up to 200MB in size using the engines of various antivirus. To use it, connected to its main page and drag the file to be scanned in the browser window (alternatively type an address in the bar at the bottom and enter, if you want to check a URL).
Within a few seconds, a page with the scan results will appear and if, among these, there will be any positive (therefore a potential threat detected), under the heading Metadefender critical detection results you will see all the details, then the names of the antivirus that have detected a potential threat and the type of malware that, according to their scanning engine, is contained in the scanned item.
To view the complete list of results, including those with negative results (therefore the list of antivirus that deem the file "clean"), click on the item View full multiscan report which is located at the bottom.
Jotti is another online antivirus that uses the engines of multiple software to provide the user with detailed analysis about the files that the latter deems suspicious. It's free, requires no registration, and allows you to scan 5 files at a time with an upload limit of 100MB per item.
To check files with Jotti, linked to the home page of the service, click on the button Sfoglia ... located at the bottom left and selects the item or items to check. To select multiple files at once, use the combination Ctrl + click if you use Windows or the combination cmd + click if you use macOS.
Within a few seconds, the page with the scan results will appear, then with the technical details on the checked file (name, hash, etc.) and the list of antivirus supported by the service (eg. Avast, AVG, Kaspersky etc.) with their response next to it. If you find the entry next to the name of an antivirus Found nothing, the file is "clean". Otherwise you will find the name of the potential threat found.
VirSCAN is also included in the list of services that allow online antivirus scans, a free service that relies on the engines of numerous antivirus (Avira, Avast, Bitdefender, Eset and more) to check the files. As well as the other services mentioned in this post, it is free, does not require registration and allows you to examine any type of file, as long as it does not exceed 20MB in weight.
To find out in more detail how VirSCAN works, connected to the home page of the service and, if necessary, set the use of the Italian language in the latter by selecting the item Italian from the drop-down menu located at the top right. Then click on the button Choose file located at the top, select the file to check and press on Scan to view the results of the check.
If the file has already been checked on the site, a box will appear asking if you want to view the results of the last check performed (The last scan result) or if you want to re-examine the file (Resubmit): then make your choice and check the page with the results of the check, which contains the list of all antivirus supported by VirSCAN and the response they gave: Found nothing if the file is "clean" or the name of the potential threat if the file is found to be infected.
Hybrid Analysis is a very advanced scanning service offered by Payload-Security.com, a German-based cybersecurity company. Leverage a hybrid analysis system that is independent of antivirus signatures and allows you to detect malware very effectively in various virtual environments.
If you want, you can also click on the button Analysis options (under the menu for choosing the scanning environment) and set advanced scanning parameters, such as the Action script of the execution and the duration of the execution. Instead, clicking on the tab File online you can enter the address of a file that already resides online and examine it without first downloading it to your computer.