Do Online Virus Scanners Really Work?

Do Things Like Bitdefender's 60-Second Scanner Really Work?Those of us who are locked into the Windows operating system ecosystem are keenly aware of the importance that anti-virus, anti-malware — anti-whatever — software plays. In fact, every morning when I start my Windows 7 laptop, I patiently wait as my protection software loads up and eventually updates the virus definition files. But as we all know, or should know, no one protection software will guarantee you 100% protection, 100% of the time.

I have written about this before, but I feel it is worth repeating: do not depend on any one software for protection. What I mean by this statement is that you should be running one of the online scanners periodically just to confirm that your computer is bug-free. I usually plan on completing an online scan at least once a month or so and never use the same online scanner twice in a row.

Bitdefender’s 60-Second Virus Scanner is a product that I believe is designed as a supplement to your current anti-virus software and not a full-fledged replacement for whatever software you currently use. With this in mind, I took Bitdefender out for a test drive and here is what I found.

The software requires installation on your system in order to function properly. This explains why the software can scan your system in 60 seconds, while other online scanners take considerably more time to finish a scan. Bitdefender also claims that its program will work with all other anti-virus programs as well. During my test I was using the latest version of avast! free version and noted no issues or problems during the scan by the Bitdefender software.

After downloading and installing Bitdefender onto my Windows 7 system with SP1, I scanned for any critters lurking on my hard drive. Though the scan started with a 60-second timer, the scan stopped clocking the time about halfway through the process. The first scan took about two minutes or so. When completed, the software confirmed what I already knew: that my system was bug free. Subsequent scans finished in less than 30 seconds.

So here is my take on Bitdefender and other free scanners that are available online for free. I personally believe that these scanners are worth trying on your system and here is why I feel this way. As I stated above, no single software can guarantee you 100% protection forever. There is always the possibility that a piece of malware can sneak by. I will stick to my original advice and run different scanners, along with my installed anti-virus program, just as an added measure of security.

What do you think? How do you protect your Windows based computer? Do you use online scanners? Share your thoughts with us.

Comments, as always, are welcome.

Source: Bitdefender

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by Tahoe Sunsets

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I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.