A closer look at ESET Online Scanner

ESET Online Scanner is a free online tool for detecting and removing malware from any PC by using only your web browser – there is no need to install anti-virus software. It uses the same technology and signatures as ESET Smart Security/ESET NOD32 Antivirus, and is always up-to-date.

System requirements for executing a scan:

  • OS: MS Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000/NT
  • Browser: IE 5.0 or later, support for alternative web browsers (Firefox, Opera, Netscape, Safari and others), ActiveX controls
  • Memory: 32 Mb
  • Disk space: minumum – 15 Mb, optimum – 30 Mb
  • User permissions: Administrator privileges required.

As I mentioned before, there is no installation process apart from an add-on. After you accepted the EULA, your faced with this window (if you open the advanced settings):

As you can see, there are some options to choose from: do you want to remove found threats? Scan archives? Scan for potentially unwanted or unsafe applications? Enable Anti-Stealth (anti-rootkit) technology? You can choose which parts of your machine you want to scan:

Also, if you are using this tool for the first time, downloading the needed signature database could take some time (not that much, as it turns out – half a minute). The next time you use it, the process is much faster because the database is just updated with new signatures.

Scan results:

You are presented with a list of found threats, which you can export to a text file.

The infected files are not automatically deleted, but put in quarantine:

Choose if you want to restore them – the scanner sometimes also detects files that are part of other antivirus solutions and that could get in the way of it working properly, but that you maybe want to keep.

Two more options are offered before pressing the finish button: uninstalling of the application on close, and deleting quarantined files.

ESET Online Scanner is a handy tool when you don’t want to be bothered with lengthy installation processes or for a quick check if you’re on an unknown computer. It’s also extremely user-friendly – perfect for beginners. You can try it on here.

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