Now the online environment is swarming with cybersecurity threats, such as malware, ransomware, spyware, DDoS attacks, virus infections, etc. These threats are becoming more damaging, dangerous, and malicious with each passing day.

The easiest way to streamline online protection is to use safety measures, such as an online antivirus scanner. In this way, you can ensure maximum online security and decrease the risk of virus infection and system infiltration.

With that in mind, let's discuss the importance of online antivirus protection and list some of the best online antivirus scanners for you.

In this article
    1. Virus Total: Access to more than 70 reputable antivirus and malware engines
    2. SafetyDetectives Known Vulnerabilities Scanner: Antivirus tool with access to the CVE database
    3. Norton Power Eraser: Online antivirus scanner with threat removal capabilities
    4. Bitdefender Virus Scanner: Full system scan for Mac desktop devices with threat removal
    5. Eset Online Scanner: In-Depth System Scanner and Malware Remover
    6. FortiGuard: Online Virus Checker and Antivirus Engine
    7. F-Secure: (Real-time online scanner with identity protection)

Why You Need the Best Online Antivirus Scanner

Before we explain the importance of online antivirus protection, let's first touch on online vs. offline virus scanners. Most internet users have offline antivirus software installed on their desktop devices. These tools protect their personal devices against malware, viruses, you name it.

These solutions exist to ensure offline protection, but what happens when you go online? While some offline solutions include online protection, they provide limited online scanning capabilities. In case you download a malicious attachment or a shady document, your traditional antivirus software won't be effective enough to prevent a potential virus infection.

Online scanners for viruses are designed as web-based cybersecurity tools. They provide real-time internet-based protection against malicious Image names, trojans, botnets, ransomware, malware, etc. Using a free online antivirus scanner offers a few advantages.

reasons you need the best online antivirus scanner

First, we're talking about a freeware tool. Though free solutions come with limited functions, they can still help protect your online identity and ensure online privacy and safety. Second, free online scanners receive new updates regularly. Top-rated free antivirus software providers regularly add upgrades and updates to their systems to ensure user safety.

Antivirus scanners can also connect to multiple scanners on their servers to help users build an online antivirus scanning system to eliminate any threat that comes their way.

Moreover, new advanced malware and virus infections can bypass offline security measures. Online antivirus scanners help you avoid such threats, strengthen online security, and protect yourself against well-hidden threats.

On top of these advantages, the best online scanners for viruses are also:

  • Easy to use and require no installation or storage space;
  • Compatible with your preferred web browser;
  • Ideal for conducting regular live threat checks to ensure your system and network is shielded against malware, ransomware, phishing, and viruses across every website you visit;
  • Cloud-based solutions, meaning they're efficient and highly secure;
  • Incredibly swift when it comes to scanning large files with more accuracy.

The best free online antivirus scanner provides a fast, simple, and effective solution for ensuring free internet-based virus protection without downloading and installing any third-party antivirus program on your devices.

Best Free Online Antivirus Scanners

Now, let's delve deeper into the best free online antivirus scanners you should know.

Virus Total: Access to more than 70 reputable antivirus and malware engines

virus total free online antivirus scanner

Virus Total deserves the first-place position on our list for one simple reason. It does what other online antivirus scanners can't do – ensure online protection before you even visit the target site or page.

Aside from being free, Virus Total will perform a simple scan of all your files and folders to flag malware, detect PUPs, etc. It gives you access to an online portal with over 70 different anti-phishing, anti-malware, and anti-virus scanners, including domain/URL blacklisting engines.

Key Functionalities

  • 70+ antivirus/malware/trojan/phishing and URL blacklisting engines;
  • URL analyzer;
  • IP address checker;
  • Domain health checker;
  • Advanced search function for filtering search results by file hash, domain, IP address, URL, or file;
  • Heuristic scanning engine;
  • Antivirus signature database;
  • Threat metadata extraction;
  • Malicious signal ID.

How it Works

You simply copy/paste the site's URL into Virus Total's portal and have 70+ different antivirus systems scan it for threats. Aside from telling you if a URL or file is clean, Virus Total gives you an all-encompassing report on all detected threats across all supported search engines, including URL scanning results with details on the web browser, the downloaded system files, known subdomains, and more.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Access to reputable antivirus scanning engines;
  • Totally free online antivirus scanner;
  • Effective URL scanner;
  • Detailed threat intelligence;
  • Access to a supportive online cybersecurity community.
Cons
  • May share user data with third parties;
  • Virus Total keeps track of cached scanning results;
  • Can't remove viruses or malware;
  • Offers scanning service with no service level agreement.

SafetyDetectives Known Vulnerabilities Scanner: Antivirus tool with access to the CVE database

safety detectives known vulnerabilities scanner free online antivirus scanner

SafetyDetectives Known Vulnerabilities Scanner is an online security vulnerability scanner and protection tool that conducts real-time threat checks across user devices for known vulnerabilities, threats, and hack attacks.

The tool has access to the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database to ensure full-time protection against all the latest and well-known threats.

CVE is a cybersecurity system and a data repository for publicly available data security exposures and vulnerabilities. It helps internet users learn about all recently identified security vulnerabilities by providing detailed insights into the common traits and characteristics of said exposures.

In addition, the antivirus scanner keeps updating its protection measures with the latest, innovative, industry-standard security patches.

Key Functionalities

  • Access to CVE database;
  • Threat detection and mitigation;
  • Antivirus measures and support;
  • Regular security patches and upgrades;
  • Threat mitigation recommendations;
  • Detailed incident reports with historical data;
  • Real-time threat protection;
  • Test system software for known bugs;
  • Debugging practices;
  • Software update alerts.

How it Works

The SafetyDetectives Known Vulnerabilities Scanner quickly scans your operating system and web browser against the CVE database to find and eliminate potential security threats. You get a detailed report with recommended threat-specific mitigation methods.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • 100% online and free;
  • Access to the updated CVE database with the latest cybersecurity threats;
  • Threat mitigation recommendations;
  • User-friendly interface with no ads;
  • No installation required.
Cons
  • Ensures protection against well-known threats only;
  • No malware protection;
  • No deep scan option.

Norton Power Eraser: Online antivirus scanner with threat removal capabilities

norton power eraser free online antivirus scanner

Norton Power Eraser isn't only an online antivirus scanner but also a virus/malware removal tool. The Power Eraser gives you an easy-to-use, effective threat detection and removal platform to detect and remove hidden malware on your desktop device.

Key Functionalities

  • Unwanted application scan;
  • Threat reputation assessment;
  • System scan for vulnerabilities, bugs, and anomalies;
  • Access to Norton malware database;
  • Multi-boot scan for advanced system scanning across multiple operating systems;
  • Rootkit scan (in-depth scan with threat removal tools).
  • Malware quarantine;
  • PUPs removal.

How it Works

Norton Power Eraser is straightforward. It provides anti-malware and virus protection by scanning all program files, folders, and your entire operating system. Then, it compares the scanning results against its malware database to give you a detailed threat report.

Aside from scanning your device, Norton also removes unwanted applications, known threats, and malware from your device.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Antivirus scanner and removal tool in one solution;
  • Free and user-friendly;
  • Lightweight build;
  • Offers full system scans;
  • Multiple scanning options.
Cons
  • Requires a download;
  • No active scanning;
  • No VPN;
  • No real-time antivirus/malware protection.

Bitdefender Virus Scanner: Full system scan for Mac desktop devices with threat removal

bitdefender virus scanner free online antivirus scanner

Bitdefender Virus Scanner is a user-friendly, free antivirus scanner that helps you check your Mac computer for security threats. It can detect and remove viruses and malware infections from macOS devices and document all incidents in detailed reports, including the location of the infected file, the mitigation procedure, and the threat name.

Key Functionalities

  • Deep system scan;
  • Critical locations scan;
  • Custom location scan;
  • Threat detection and alerts;
  • Threat reporting;
  • Find Mac-specific malware;
  • Malicious file quarantine;
  • File exclusion;
  • Hourly antivirus updates;
  • Full OS scan for Mac.

How it Works

Bitdefender Virus Scanner utilizes a special, up-to-date cloud-based threat scanner to check Mac devices for malware, viruses, and other threats. Unlike most free online antivirus scanners, Bitdefender Virus Scanner can detect and remove threats.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Three scanning modes;
  • Easy installation;
  • Simple interface with streamlined navigation;
  • Detailed threat reports;
  • Free to use;
  • Can also remove malware and viruses.
Cons
  • Requires a download and installation;
  • No real-time protection;
  • No firewall;
  • Lacks system optimization tools.

Eset Online Scanner: In-Depth System Scanner and Malware Remover

eset online scanner free online antivirus scanner

Eset Online Scanner is a simpler version of Eset's premium Windows antivirus protection. It offers basic threat detection and removal protection, including malware elimination, in-depth system scans, and more.

Eset Online Scanner will thoroughly search every corner of your PC, including local drives, external storage devices, and operation memory. Aside from scanning, Eset Online Scanner can also quarantine threats, mitigate infections, and alert you to any suspicious behavior on your computer.

Key Functionalities

  • In-depth system scans;
  • Scan removable media, files, or individual folders;
  • Quick scan;
  • Custom scan;
  • Scheduled monthly scans;
  • Malware detection and removal;
  • Anti-stealth rootkit detection.

How it Works

Eset Online Scanner utilizes anti-stealth technology to scan your Windows system, detect anomalies across files, folders, and removable media, and quarantine and remove viruses, malware, and rootkit infections.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Can detect and remove malware and virus infections;
  • Impeccable malware detection rates;
  • Lightweight build;
  • Customizable scan options;
  • Can remove rootkits.
Cons
  • No unwanted app scan and removal option;
  • Requires a download;
  • Available for Windows users only;
  • Free version limited to one scan only;
  • Scanning time could be faster.

FortiGuard: Online Virus Checker and Antivirus Engine

fortiguard free online antivirus scanner

FortiGuard is an online scanner that helps internet users check files and programs for suspicious or malicious content. If you've downloaded a program or a file that may contain a virus infection or malicious data, use the FortiGuard Online Scanner to check it. You'll receive an email with a detailed scanning report.

Key Functionalities

  • Threat checker;
  • Online scanner;
  • Antivirus engine;
  • Antivirus database;
  • Security updates.

How it Works

Visit the Fortiguard Online Scanner website, select the suspicious file you want to check for viruses, click Submit to upload it, and let the scanner check it for malicious behavior. You'll receive an email containing a detailed report on the scanning results, including mitigation recommendations. Fortiguard also lets you use a file hash search to scan for viruses and malware infections.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Easy to use;
  • Access to the latest cybersecurity news;
  • Simple interface;
  • Ultra-fast threat checker.
Cons
  • Free online scanner puts a cap on file size (10MB);
  • Only a scanner (can't remove threats);
  • Limited user options,
  • Outdated interface.

F-Secure: (Real-time online scanner with identity protection)

f secure free online antivirus scanner

The free F-Secure Online Scanner can scan your Windows PC for the latest spyware, malware, and virus infections and remove any threats plaguing your computer. Instead of scanning every location on your PC like other free online scanners, F-Secure looks through folders where viruses are normally found to eliminate any potential threats. However, it has zero custom settings.

The online scanner provides real-time online protection to keep your identity, browser, passwords, applications, downloads, and online identity safe from cyber threats like identity theft, financial fraud, and data breaches.

Key Functionalities

  • System monitoring;
  • Threat signature database;
  • Online scanner;
  • Malware/virus remover;
  • Online privacy and identity protection;
  • Real-time protection;
  • Password manager;
  • 24/7 virus scanning.

How it Works

F-Secure Online Scanner requires a download to work. Once you download it, the tool will swiftly scan your computer for potential threats to remove any infections lurking on your device. In addition to scanning for infections, F-Secure will also check all your apps, downloaded files, banking transactions, private data, browser security, network traffic, and passwords to ensure real-time online protection.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Real-time threat detection and removal;
  • Removes spyware, malware, and viruses;
  • Scan your computer for free in three easy steps;
  • Additional security features included in the free online scanner tool.
Cons
  • Only available for Windows;
  • Free online scanner includes a one-time online scan;
  • No custom settings;
  • Ads pop up after each scan.

Comparison Table of Best Online Scanner for Viruses

Online Virus ScannerSupported OSRemove
Virus
Additional Security Features
Virus Total Cross-platform Cybersecurity engines, malware flagging,
PUP detection, URL analyzer, IP checker
SafetyDetectives Known
Vulnerabilities Scanner
Cross-platform CVE database, software debugger,
threat mitigation recommendation system,
browser security, OS vulnerability status checker
Norton Power Eraser WindowsCrimeware detection, in-depth scanning technology,
PUP/malware removal, virus isolation
Bitdefender Virus ScannermacOSSecurity status checker, Bitdefender antimalware engines,
malicious file quarantine, threat alerts, app scanner
ESET Online ScannerWindowsAnti-stealth technology, rootkit removal,
malware elimination, trojan prevention
FortiGuardWindowsN/A
F-SecureWindowsSpyware protection, threat removal,
malware quarantine, threat signature database

[Bonus] How to Recover Deleted Data Caused by a Virus

Though online antivirus scanners can scan your device for potential threats and alert you of incoming malware/antivirus infections, cybersecurity tools can not guarantee 100% security. A virus infection can cause many problems for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android users, ranging from partition loss, disk or file corruption, and complete data loss to system crashes, identity theft, and unauthorized system access.

If a virus or malware infection causes you to lose your data, you can get your files back using a reputable data recovery software solution like Wondershare Recoverit. It is a professional data and system recovery software tool for preventing data loss caused by malware and virus infections.

Free Download
Free Download

It helps you recover data and entire devices across various data loss scenarios. With Wondershare Recoverit, you can recover your computer after a system crash, mitigate disk corruption, recover a lost partition, retrieve deleted files caused by virus infections, and more.

Download, install, and launch Recoverit on your computer, then follow these steps to get your deleted files back.

  1. Navigate to the File Recover section and select Hard Drives and Locations;
  2. icon note
    Note: Click Hard Disk Drives to recover files from virus-infected internal hard drives; Select External Drives to recover deleted data from external devices;
  3. Click Start to initiate the recovery process;
    use wondershare recoverit to recover data loss caused by a virus
  4. Wondershare Recoverit will automatically scan the selected drive for recoverable files;
    let recoverit scan the selected drive for retrievable files
  5. Use the search filters to find the files you want to retrieve;
    check for recoverable files during the scanning
  6. Once Wondershare Recoverit completes the scanning process, check the results to locate the deleted data;
    preview the data to start the recovery
  7. Select the data you want to retrieve and click Recover;
  8. Choose a destination for the retrieved files and click Save.
    recover deleted files and save your data to a safe location

Conclusion

Free online virus scanners offer swift protection against countless threats lurking on the internet. They ensure your online safety and privacy by detecting and removing malware, spyware, and virus infections.

Most online virus scanners don't require a download and installation to work. Though you can rely on freemium tools to protect your data online, you should always have multiple backups of your data stored in several safe locations.

In addition, we recommend installing reputable data recovery software like Wondershare Recoverit on your computer to increase your chances of data recovery in case a virus infection deletes your files.

Free Download
Free Download
Alex Nappi
Alex Nappi May 14, 24
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