How to check if a file is infected without using an antivirus

You only need to use an online antivirus: there are several and some, besides being very effective, are also free. Here are some of the most used

The first step to protect yourself from one of the many malware that infest the network is to install an antivirus. But that's not enough. The program must, in fact, be kept updated. Always. Sometimes, however, it would be good, in the presence of an infected file, to make a sort of cross-check.

Antiviruses are, undoubtedly, a valuable tool to identify and block a potential threat. But they are not always able to stop malware. Especially if the malicious program is hidden inside a document or another type of file downloaded, for example, from an email message. In such cases it would be advisable, for security reasons, not to risk it. If the content is suspicious, it is better to avoid opening it. However, it is not always possible. What to do? There is a solution to try to solve the dilemma. And it has a name. There are several of them and some of them, besides being very effective, are also free. They are very useful as they allow you to analyze a suspicious file directly online. Here are some of the most widely used platforms.


One of the most popular scanners is definitely VirusTotal. First of all, it is entirely free. Through this online antivirus you can check whether a file contains a virus or not. VirusTotal lets you upload to its server many files with a maximum size of 128 MB. How does it work? It uses several antivirus scanners simultaneously. All you have to do is choose the file you want to check and press "Scan". VirusTotal is also useful for checking a suspicious URL.

AVG Threat Lab

AVG certainly needs no introduction, being one of the most widely used antivirus programs. In addition to the classic versions for computers and mobile devices, the company offers a tool that lets you check online whether a site is malicious. It is enough, in fact, to connect to the AVG Threat Lab Internet platform and paste a suspicious URL. The site is also useful because it provides statistics on the types of malware detected, the countries that most often host infected sites and the number of malicious pages detected.


Jotti is another website through which you can check a suspicious file. You can upload several files at the same time, up to a maximum of 5. Each item to be checked, however, must not exceed 100 MB. Its operation is very simple. Like VirusTotal, you just have to insert the file, press "Browse", and then send it.

F-Secure Online Scanner

More than an Internet verification tool, F-Secure Online Scanner is a kind of real antivirus, capable of working even if you have another protection program installed on your machine. You download the tool and F-Secure Online Scanner performs a full analysis of your computer.

Kaspersky Lab VirusDesk

Kaspersky Lab, a well-known computer security expert, also has its own online tool. VirusDesk allows you to check a suspicious file and paste the URL of a website. The scanner works using the same tools used by the Russian company's famous antivirus, with the difference that it doesn't eliminate the threat, but informs you if the content is malicious or potentially so. You can upload several files to the server, which should not exceed 50MB in size.

Panda ActiveScan

Like F-Secure Online Scanner, Panda ActiveScan is another online antivirus. The service is not completely free. After a one-month trial, in fact, you need to subscribe at a cost of €5.99 per month.

TrendMicro House Call

TrendMicro, another company specializing in cybersecurity, also provides an online scanner for protection. This is also a full-featured antivirus, so much so that you need to download an installation file even though it works over the Internet.