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Choosing the Best Free Internet Explorer Virus Scan

written by: Donna Buenaventura•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 8/31/2010

There's plenty of online virus scan service by security vendors, but the best free Internet Explorer virus scan lets you remove detected malware or even quarantine and create a system restore point in Windows. Find out which is the best and safest free to use online virus scanner using IE.

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    Free IE Online Virus Scan

    Some antivirus vendors are offering free online scanning for a computer, using quick, single-file, custom or full system scans. It helps you Free Internet Explorer Virus Scan Using Panda ActiveScan identify malware in critical areas or active malware in Windows. However, not all antivirus online scans provide a malware removal tool as well..

    The advantages of using a free Internet Explorer virus scan are as follows:

    • To verify the system does not have a virus or malware infection that the resident antivirus protection may have missed.
    • To check whether the detection by an antivirus program on the computer is not a false detection.
    • Another use of an online scan is to allow removal of malware that your antivirus program fails to remove. This is possible if the malware is a variant and the antivirus program is does not have a new detection signature for the variant but the online scanner by another vendor does, and detects or removes it.

    Please note that an online scanner works by using a web browser and add-ons. An ActiveX or Java plug-in may be required to use a free Internet Explorer virus scan. Also, some online virus scanners require you to temporary disable the Protected Mode feature in IE, or by using the browser with elevated privileges, run as administrator allowing the scanner to find malware that is running in memory.

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    Free Computer Online Scanner with Removal Options

    The best free online virus scan with removal options are provided by the following security vendors. Check out the system requirements prior to use.

    • ESET Online Antivirus Scanner – the online scanner by ESET scans for malware and hidden files, aka rootkits, using a quick or full computer scan. An option to quarantine detected items before removal is available and the scanner runs on IE, Firefox, Opera and Safari browsers for Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7.
    • Panda ActiveScan – Panda offers an option to run a quick and full system. You can also choose to scan only the emails and document directories. ActiveScan will run on Internet Explorer by installing a browser add-on. Firefox users may also use the service.
    • Trend Micro Housecall – the popular online virus scanning service by Trend Micro offers virus removal on detected threats. Auto-clean of the found malware is an option, so you don’t need to decide which one to remove. Housecall runs on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.
    • Windows Live OneCare safety scanner – Microsoft’s online virus scan takes advantage of the restore point in Windows OS. A complete, quick or full system scan options is provided. The OneCare safety scanner can also scan the computer for junk files and entries on the hard-drive and in the registry.
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    Free Internet Explorer Virus Scan with No Removal Option

    The following antivirus vendors are only offering free Internet Explorer virus scans. These online virus scanning services are not as highly Free Internet Explorer Virus Scan Using BitDefender QuickScan recommended as Eset, ActiveScan, Housecall and OneCare safety scanners, because there's no removal option. However, it's safe to use if you only want to verify the status of your computer for any malware infection.

    • BitDefender QuickScan – this free online scan provides a cloud-based detection, which means you are not going to download virus signatures. It will only look for malware that is actively running in Windows. If you are using Vista or Windows 7, you may also run QuickScan as Windows add-ons; e.g. as a gadget for Windows sidebar or by using another browser such as Firefox and Chrome in addition to IE.
    • McAfee FreeScan – the online virus scanner by McAfee only runs in Internet Explorer. The scanner requires elevated privileges to run. Like BitDefender and Norton's online virus scan, the removal of detected threats is not an option.
    • Norton Free Online Virus Scan – you can run the full system online scanner by Symantec using Internet Explorer. A vulnerability check in addition to virus scan is also available. Firefox users may run the online scanner but are limited to only running a vulnerability scan.

    Other online virus scans that can be used with IE or another browser are the single-file online virus scanner from Kaspersky, and VirusTotal online scanners.

    Image credit: Screenshot taken by the author.