BitDefender Online Scanner
If you need an online virus or spyware scanner, I’d start with the BitDefender Online Scanner. It’s ease of use and features make it stand out ahead of the competition.
BitDefender’s biggest selling point is the fact it’ll not only do a thorough scan, but it’ll actually perform a cleanup of any infected files. Most free scanners will only perform a scan giving you the option to run a trial edition of their full product should you need a tool to help clean up.
BitDefender supports Internet Explorer 4.x+ and runs as an Active-X control. Unfortunately, this means Firefox, Chrome and Linux systems are unable to take advantage of this scanner.
When you go to the scanner page, you’ll be prompted to accept the User License Agreement before downloading an Acitve-X control. After the control is installed, you’ll be able to modify scan options that include the following:
- Folder Selection (scan some or All directories)
- Scan Boot Sector
- Scan specific file types (All, Program Files or files with specified extensions)
- Scan inside archive files including email archives
- Actions options – report only, prompt user, disinfect or delete
Compared to other free scanners, this is a pretty comprehensive feature list.
Starting up the scanner took about five minutes on the first time as BitDefender stores the definition database on your computer during the scan. Starting subsequent scans were much quicker as only updates to the virus definitions since the last download were obtained.
The user interface is clean and simple – it gives you the status on number of files scanned, the total number of files to scan as well as estimated time left for the scan.
BitDefender’s free online scanner gets my recommendation as the best free online virus and spyware scanner available.