You can upload a specific file to VirusTotal to have it scanned by various antivirus engines or enter a website address to have VirusTotal scan an entire page for malicious links.
Archives like ZIP and RAR can be uploaded but the maximum acceptable size for any file type is 128 MB.
A browser extension is also available for Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer users that allow URLs to be scanned from the right-click menu and files to be checked for viruses before downloading them.
MetaDefender Cloud (previously called Metascan Online) is a slick website that allows files up to 140 MB to be uploaded and scanned against 30+ different antivirus engines at once, including ones used by popular vendors like Microsoft, Kaspersky, McAfee, and AVG.
I was able to upload 7Z, EXE, ZIP, and a few other similar file types to MetaDefender Cloud, as well as other common files like images and documents.
In addition to uploading a file to MetaDefender Cloud, it can also scan by IP address, hash value, and website URL.
Results are really easy to read; a bright green checkmark is placed next to each antivirus engine that identifies a file as safe, and a red mark with the virus name if it's found to be malicious.
There's also a Chrome extension you can install to scan downloads made through that browser.
The form asks for your contact details so the URL of the results can be sent to you. A maximum of 5 files no larger than 50 MB each can be uploaded.
Over 20 antivirus engines are used to scan up to 5 files at a time (with a 100 MB limit for each) that you upload to Jotti's Malware Scan.
The date and scan detection status of each antivirus engine is shown in an easy to read list so you can clearly see which ones did or didn't find the file to be dangerous.
Jotti.org also includes a hash search if you wish not to upload a file but instead, enter the MD5 or SHA-1 cryptographic hash function of a file. This will only work if the file was scanned by Jotti.org at an earlier date, by you or someone else.
Note: Jotti's Malware Scan is sometimes busy, making you wait in a line before your file can be processed.
NoDistribute is an online virus scanner that lets you upload one file at a time to be scanned with over 35 unique antivirus engines simultaneously.
When a scan is complete, you can share the direct link with others that point to the results page, which is pretty handy.
Only one file can be scanned at once, and only 10 files can be uploaded within a 24 hour period.
Another online virus scanner is ThreatExpert. You can upload files as large as 5 MB (one at a time) and get the results of the scan sent to you as an email.
If you create a free account with ThreatExpert, you can keep track of the results of all files you've sent in for scanning.
FortiGuard Online Virus Scanner is a super simple online virus scanner that works in any browser. It works by letting you upload a file to the website for scanning.
You have the option to show the scan results on screen only or to send the results to you as an email after the scan completes.
Files can only be as large as 1 MB.
08Send Files Over Email
Instead of a browser addon or website form, use one of the email addresses listed below to have suspected files scanned for you. Results of a virus scan are emailed back to the sender.
I've ordered these by how fast the results came in:
Files sent to VirusTotal can be as large as 32 MB. Enter "SCAN" in the subject line to get an automatic reply that's in plain text form, or "SCAN+XML" for XML format
MetaDefender Cloud: email@example.com
Forward suspicious emails to MetaDefender Cloud for a reply about what its scanners found
Use "Sample submitted for analysis" as the subject of the email. Password protect the files in the ZIP file format and enter the password in the body of the message. Results are scanned and then analyze by a real person who will send you the results
To send files to Avira, compress them to any archive format and specify the password in the email. You'll get an automated response with the results in it, as well as a URL that stores all the scans they've ever made from your email address
Pack the files in a ZIP or RAR file type secured with a password and include the password in the email. You'll get a simple reply that says if the data is clean or not
Compress into a ZIP file with "infected" as the password
Norman Safeground: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pack files into a ZIP archive with the password "infected"
Tip: See my Free Zip & Unzip Programs list for some free programs that will make ZIP or RAR files for emailing to these online virus scanners.
Free Online Virus Scanners
A List of the Best Free Online Virus Scanners
A free online virus scan is pretty much what it sounds like - an online-based, free scan for viruses and other malware. This kind of virus scan differs from your "traditional" virus scanning mainly because the work is all done on a server on the Internet.
Every online virus scan site does this a little differently. Some let you upload a file for scanning, others check websites for links that contain malware, and still others install browser add-ons or other small programs that scan your entire computer but do the behind-the-scenes work online.
Free online virus scanners are good options for one-off virus scans if installing a full-fledged antivirus program isn't an option for some reason, or maybe just for an extra layer of precaution. Regardless of why you're using one, each of the free online virus scan services listed below are completely free!
Bonus: Check out item #8 on the bottom of this page for a list of email addresses from several online virus scanners that you can send files to directly that you think might be infected. This is a great option for virus scanning on the go or from your smartphone!