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Check downloads for viruses before downloading them!

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#1 marko

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    Posted 12 July 2009 - 02:13 PM

    EDIT: Our recommendation for Dr Web no longer stands as they have proven seriously unreliable in the past few months.

    A great way to keep your machine extra safe is to make sure that when you download files, you are sure they are clean before you download them. How is this possible? ... well, it goes without saying that when you download your freeware from us we've already made sure that the files are clean but when downloading from other sources it's difficult to vouch for their services but there are a few URL scanners available on the web, the best of which include Dr Web and Garyshood Virus Scanner, both of which allow you to enter the URL of the download and have them scan it before downloading it.

    Using Dr Web, you simply choose the "Scan a link (URL)" and put the download link in the box provided then hit the "Send" button. For Garyshood Virus Scanner you enter the URL in the "URL:" box and choose the "Method" as "URL" then hit the "Scan" button.

    Now there are circumstances where these services won't be able to scan a file using the URL and this could include where those downloads are protected from hotlinking meaning unless the download request comes from the authors website you won't have access to the file and if you find that the service can't scan the file remotely you will probably have to download it and have it scanned by sending them the file.

    Out of the 2 services I've mentioned above, I would be inclined to favour Garyshood.com simply because they use multiple virus scanners as opposed to Dr Web who seem to use only one. The advantage of using multiple scan engines is when one virus engine misses a suspicious file, another may pick it up. At the moment they use F-PROT, Avira AntiVir, BitDefender, AVG, and ClamAV to scan files.

    Another great virus scanning service is offered by VirusTotal who don't actually allow you to submit a download URL but do offer the best scanning of uploaded files with 38 virus engines ranging from big names like AVG, Avira, ClamAV, Comodo, a-squared, McAfee, Norman Antivirus, BitDefender, Norton and more!.

    Mess around with the services we've mentioned here and see if you can spot any problems with a file you thought was safe and you never know, you may just be in for a surprise. Similarly, if anyone can suggest another URL scanner please feel free to mention it :P

    Please remember that we have people from many different timezones on the site and if your post requires a reply it could take longer at some at some points because of this.

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