How to scan files with more than one antivirus

This article was modified on 2012-05-29 07:42:18

You can find a lot of infected files on the Internet. Things could go wrong if you trust only one antivirus. I am not trying to say that I am using several antiviruses. Like every other Windows user I am using only one antivirus. If you would like to know how to scan a file with more than one antivirus engine ( several or almost all known antivirus engines )  I have a solution. It`s called VirusTotal, a website which allows you to scan a file or an URL ( another website ) for viruses, worms, trojans and all other types of bad files.

The good news: their service is free and it`s quite fast
The bad news: the maximum size/file is 20 MB and I don`t know for how long it`s going to be free

Let`s see how we can use their website, first thing, visit VirusTotal homepage:

 VirusTotal homepage

 As you can see, it`s simple to use so if you need to check a file just use the first option called ``Upload a file`` and choose ``Browse``. Navigate and choose the file that you would like to check, this is an example:

Choose file to Upload

If you selected the file you should see the path and all you have to do is to choose ``Send File``

Path of a file using VirusTotal browse function

Depending on the size of the file you will see this temporary window which allows you to see the size of your file, how much was uploaded and the percent left.

Uploading a file window

If someone else, tried to check the same file you will see this message, telling you that ``the file sent has already been analysed by VirusTotal in the past``. I am going to use ``Reanalyse`` so that you can see how it`s going to look if it`s for the first time when it was analysed.

File already submitted message

Here it is, it`s going to perform a scan with all antiviruses listed and their result. Since I can`t make a screenshot with all of them you will see only a part of them. You can see the antivirus used for the scan, the version, Last Update and the result of their scan.

VirusTotal results of a scan using several antivirus engines

If no virus, trojan, worm or any other form of malware was not detected, should I consider this file clean ?  Theoreticaly but as you can read on their website, they also said the following: ``these results DO NOT guarantee the harmlessness of a file``. So, there are no guarantees. Why ? It`s simple, all viruses and malware released by unknown people, especially the most dangerous one are able to infect your computer even if you`re using an antivirus. It`s true that all antivirus producers will fix most of their problems in several hours or days but if you`re the unlucky guy trapped in those hours or days your computer will get infected. Remember that I am using their service as a ``double-check`` method for unknown files, especially from the Internet but if I will get a virus or not, I guess it`s a matter of luck in the end.

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