When it comes to virus scanners, there is absolutely no shortage of options to choose from. These virus scanners can be present either as installable software packages or web-based tools. Both of these options have unique characteristics. Some individuals prefer software-based virus scanners, and others rely on online virus scanners determining these special characteristics. In this Virustotal review, we intend to explain the characteristics of one of the best online scanners, VirusTotal.
What makes an online virus scanner different?
When it comes to an online virus scanner, you don’t necessarily need to install any software on your computer. And, that is the main difference between an online tool and a software-based scanner. In other words, online virus scanners solely rely on an internet connection and operated through a web browser.
Do you want to stay away from the trouble of installing software and avoid filling your hard-disk space? If yes, you should consider using online software. In addition to that, online software tools hardly have any compatibility issues. They function perfectly on pretty much any platform – be it a PC, MAC, Android, etc. In general, online tools come with lightweight and very minimal system requirements. All these characteristics make online virus scanners are a handy alternative to software-based scanners.
Now, let’s get into the subject. VirusTotal is regarded as the best online virus scanner by many individuals due to various reasons. Apart from scanning web addresses (URLs), VirusTotal can effectively scan IP addresses and files as well. Their system scans files against various antivirus engines. Apart from that, it has the ability of scanning emails you received. In general, all these features are good enough to assure the safety of any computer user.
Since VirusTotal utilizes dozens of various antivirus engines to scan files, the safety is assured. In other words, VirusTotal uses a large range of factors to capture malicious files.
Pros associated with VirusTotal
- It can scan all the file types very effectively
- It supports files up to 256 MB
- VirusTotal can scan a whole webpage simply after entering the URL
- It can scan the IP addresses to assure your online safety
- It can scan more than one file through the desktop program
- Easily share the results of a particular scan through a public link
- VirusTotal can function as a browser extension for all the leading browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, etc.
- It can scan all the email attachments to ensure your safety
- You can use it on any Android device with the assistance of an app
- You can use file’s hash to search for past scan results
Cons of VirusTotal
- If you use the web-based interface of this tool, you can scan only one file at once
- VirusTotal doesn’t support commercial uses; you can use it for personal tasks only
- Lower priority is deployed for email attachments when using the web interface
- Files larger than 32 MB are not supported when you are using a desktop program
Sending files to VirusTotal through the email program
You don’t need to worry about uploading files into VirusTotal server as you can use the email program. In other words, you can send the files as email attachments for the scanning process. So, you can send the files to VirusTotal website through an email to ensure no viruses.
Here’s the information you should use in order to send the email attachments to VirusTotal.
Subject: Use the term “SCAN” OR “SCAN+XML”
If you use the term “SCAN” on the subject field, you will get the scan results as plain text. However, if you enter the term “SCAN+XML” you will get the scan result in XML. Through this system, you can scan any file format without any issue. If you need to scan more than one file using VirusTotal, you should create an archive first. Such a system allows you to scan multiple files and however, the archive must be less than 32MB. Their official website offers more information about this respective feature.
One of the most significant specialties associated with VirusTotal is that it simply utilizes multiple engines to scan. With the assistance of multiple engines, VirusTotal can deploy a more powerful and reliable virus scanning process. In fact, VirusTotal uses reputed and safest engines such as AVG, Comodo, Malwarebytes, Baidu, etc.
The ability to send different file formats to scan is another impressive feature associated with this tool. As we all know, email attachments are among the most commonly used ways to spread viruses. However, since VirusTotal can scan email attachments thoroughly, it makes your email communications safer. Moreover, since it is an online scanner, you don’t need to worry about the operating system of your computer. It works perfectly on all the platforms including Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, etc. However, if necessary, you can use the local program VirusTotal and send local files to VirusTotal website. All the strategies associated with this method is particularly safe and strong.
Having a permanent virus scanner installed on your computer is an inevitable aspect in terms of safety. However, a special tool like VirusTotal can be handy for any computer user on certain occasions. You can use such a tool as a second option to scan the files you are not too sure of. Since it utilizes the scan engines of many reliable virus guards, its reliability is impressive.
VirusTotal’s Search Feature
The search feature associated with VirusTotal is a free value addition. Whenever a scan is performed by a user, VirusTotal will store the respective analysis. Such approach allows users to look for respective reports even without submitting files to VirusTotal website.
VirusTotal ensures that you do the go through the comments of the previous users. You can go through the files and URLs they have already posted and monitor the passive DNS data. Then, you can retrieve the most important details related to various IP addresses and domains that are suspicious. With the assistance of such information, you can stay away from any potential threats.
However, this search functionality is not be used to accomplish commercial purposes. If you are looking for a virus scanner for commercial purposes – therefore – VirusTotal may not be the best option. In addition to that, you shouldn’t use this search feature to retrieve VirusTotal reports. The virus scanning tool will identify such attempts automatically and ban the scripts.
So far, in this Virustotal review, we have only mentioned its free version. However, if you are looking for a tool with more advanced features, you can consider using VirusTotal’s premium service. This respective service comes as VirusTotal Intelligence. In fact, VirusTotal Intelligence lets you monitor sample characteristics first. These characteristics include items like detection name, type of the file, size, binary content, etc. Then, this tool will compare those characteristics with your files and decide if they are malicious or not. If necessary, you can download these samples (with the characteristics of malware) for further inspection process. In addition to that, VirusTotal Intelligence comes with features to perform live submissions together with sample clustering.
VirusTotal search form comes with features to let you search scan reports, IP addresses, domains URLs, etc. By visiting their online community, you have a greater chance of getting an idea about malicious files and URLs.
Why is it important to have a virus guard?
Having a virus guard installed on your computer has become a mandatory aspect for decades. Now, with the increased use of the internet, computer users need more protection. The Internet has become the most common media for various malware to spread from one user to others. These viruses can be incredibly dangerous as they can make you vulnerable to various threats. Some of these malware programs can collect your personal information and put you in various unwanted troubles.
However, if you have a strong virus guard in your computer, the chances for unfortunate incidents are minimal. A good virus can eradicate all the viruses from spreading from storage devices and email attachments.
Well, that is our Virustotal review and other related information. Hope this information might help you to be safe when engaging in various online and computer-based activities.