Best Online File Scanners

What are the best online scanners? Here we review software built to ensure the Microsoft Office and zipped files you download are safe.

Reports On The Threat

In a cybersecurity report published by Cisco in 2018 during the Annual Cybersecurity Report, a terrifying piece of the cybersecurity puzzle was revealed.

It was noted that email hackers using malicious file extensions to attack users were mostly in the almost ubiquitous Microsoft Office formats. Yes, we are talking about PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, and Excel. 

In a different report/ study, the Cost of Data Breach by Ponemon Institute and IBM, it was discovered that data breaches cost organizations worldwide upwards of $3.6 million. Juniper Research’s further revealed that the cost of cybercrime, globally, could be more than $2 Trillion by the end of 2019.

These glaring numbers all seem to be communicating that since data is the most important commodity today, it’s time for the whole world to rise and fight cyberattacks. 

Naturally, our fight against the giants in the cyber world established hackers and criminals will be a tough one since they are looking for new and better ways of defying the measures we put in place. However, the best that we could do is to try.

Best Online Scanners To Fight At The Source

So, what better place to start the fight than at the source – the online space! While we won’t be able to ward off all kinds of attacks launched from the online space, we could invest in and install the best online file scanners we could ever find. 

In this article, we’ll focus on guiding you around some of the best online file scanners. These scanners will ensure that the Microsoft Office and the zipped files you download are not only safe, keeping your computer system at its best and safest. 

Some of the reviewed scanners are dedicated scanners for online viruses, and the others will not only scan but also eliminate existing threats from your PC.

1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020

bitdefender antivirus plus 2020 online scanner

If you are looking for a protection mechanism that offers reliable and rock-solid performance, this Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 could be exactly what you need. It’s suitable for use with the Windows Operating system and loaded with all the features you need for the highest level of protection to your files before they reach your computer’s folders. 

As an online file scanner, this Bitdefender antivirus will not only detect viruses but also block your access to malicious sites and files thanks to its web filtering function. It also enhances the security of your web browser, ensuring that your online shopping or online banking systems are protected.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 also features a password manager which will auto-complete your credit card information when you are using web forms. This application also scores quite high in anti-phishing thanks to its anti-phishing module, which will alert you to any malicious links from your search engine results.

By doing this, Bitdefender blocks you from accessing a dangerous site. The other reason why this antivirus application ranks high on our list has to do with its multi-layer protection from ransomware. In this protection system, Bitdefender will learn the behavior of threat-ridden files and links heuristically.

At the same time, this Bitdefender application will scan any, and all of your linked devices thanks to the Bitdefender Central app for your mobile device.

The other top-rated features offered by this antivirus protection application which also doubles as a great online file scanner include file encryption, a very high detection rate, anti-spam functions, parental advisor, and a safe firewall.


  • It has very high detection rates
  • Reliable performance
  • Scans files and websites that you access
  • It offers anti-spam protection for your email
  • It comes with a reliable password manager
  • It’s accurate
  • The subscription plans are affordable


  • It hogs on more resources than would be considered normal
  • There might be a conflict with other programs

 2. ESET NOD32 Antivirus/ Online Scanner

ESET NOD32 Antivirus/ Online Scanner

If you are looking for an exclusive online scanner, you will not go wrong with this ESET Online Scanner. The scanner is one of the best online scanners around, and it will scan for viruses accurately, and fast. 

The ESET online scanner is compatible with most (if not all) Windows Operating Systems, including Windows 2003 and it runs on all the major browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, as well as Internet Explorer.

Therefore, if you are using any of these systems, this scanner will work well for you. The only catch is that for you to use this scanner, you’ll be required to download a rather small (32MB) tool that will allow the scanner to run. This tool will download your database’s signature and also scan your computer system.

According to the company, this scanner will detect known and the unknown viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, as well as phishing threats, among other types of cyber threats. Since this scanner allows single-click scans, the use of the scanner is quite simple.

You might also like this ESET Online Scanner because it’s up-to-date, at all times. To do the intended job, the scanner will connect to your internet in every scan it runs. Using the Threat Lab detection systems by ESET, the scanner will easily root out all questionable files.

The ESET Online Scanner will also come in handy when you are looking for a quick fix thanks to its quick scan function. So, if you suspect a program in your files is affecting the normal performance of your computer, this scanner will root out the problem fast.


  • It’s fast
  • Easy to use
  • It scans for known and unknown trojans, viruses, spyware, worms, and phishing attempts. 
  • It also scans archives
  • It cleans all threats automatically
  • It has a small impact on performance
  • It also comes with webcam protection
  • Reliable UEFI Firmware protection
  • It covers a maximum of 5 devices


  • It’s expensive if you have multiple devices
  • Its malware protection could be better.

3. Norton Antivirus Plus

norton antivirus plus scanner

If you are looking for the kind of top-notch protection that will not slow you down, the Norton Antivirus Plus protection might come in handy. 

This Norton Antivirus is available for Windows devices, and it promises the best-advanced security, a global civilian intelligence network, and the best financial security. All these functions come from the fact that this antivirus is a great malware hunter that will protect your PC remarkably well. 

While this product represents one of the products newly introduced by Norton, the Antivirus Plus is more of a replacement of the old Norton Antivirus Basic. The change from basic to Plus means the addition of extra functions which enhance the security effects and advantages of the application,

Among others, some of the standout features of this software include the URL blocker which scans and keeps you off the malicious sites. Like most of the new online file scanners and malware protection/removal tools, this antivirus has a heuristic system which allows the application to recognize file behavior in advance, protecting you from downloading unsafe files, And even if the malware still finds another way into your computer, the antivirus will use its intelligent behavior and the antivirus functions, identify and quarantine the malware threat. 

The other impressive feature is its hands-on design that allows you to run on-demand scans of your computer. You could also set up, and then save your custom scans, which ensures that you always scan the important or vulnerable areas. You could also schedule the scans.

Some of the additional features in the Plus plan, but absent in the Basic plan include the additional 2GB of space for your cloud data backup, as well as the password manager. 


  • It’s quite easy to use
  • The configurations features have been given a thumbs up by the experts
  • It’s rated highly by the leading testing labs
  • It doesn’t affect the performance of your computer significantly
  • It will block all the old and new malware


  • The chrome version might stop for no reason 
  • Some of the extras for the browsers are quite unreliable

4. VirusTotal 

virustotal online file scanner

VirusTotal is the other online file scanning tool you might want to try as it’s known for its ability to analyze any suspicious URLs and files. This tool also boasts the ability to scan different malware, worms, viruses, and the trojans by inspecting at least 70 antivirus scanners online, as well as top domain/ URL blacklisting services. 

By accepting URLs and files, VirusTotal allows you to search for IP addresses, domains, file hashes, and URLs.

Some of the scanning services present in this application include signature databases, heuristic engines, malicious signal identification, and metadata extraction. Thanks to these scanning services, VirusTotal will not just report on whether the file or even URL you are interested in is safe or harmful, but it will also give you an overview of the engine’s results and detection. It will also analyze the detected threats.

For the URL scans, VirusTotal offers comprehensive details about the files in questions by giving you information about all the known subdomains, WhoisLookup, as well as the files downloaded by your browser when you visited the URL. On top of all these, you will also learn more about the system files that communicated with that URL.

Therefore, this online scanner is an important URL analyzer which will protect the integrity of your system, even before you check out your favorite (and new) online sites.


  • It uses behavioral heuristic engines to detect malware 
  • It scans online files and URLs 
  • Comprehensive information about suspicious URLs
  • Also checks system files
  • It detects and eliminates issues from your computer


  • You might get a false-positive on some results

5. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus

Image result for webroot secureanywhere antivirus file scanner

When it comes to antivirus software and online scanners, you always need the best, but also the most lightweight program you could find, and this Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus could be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

This is an actual lightweight antivirus that weighs only 2MB, meaning that its installation will only take seconds. In addition to the tiny bandwidth, the antivirus doesn’t have any of the bulky and signature updates you’ve dealt with in the past.

The other reasons why this antivirus is top-rated include features such as core protection, accurate real-time anti-phishing, smart behavior monitoring, enhanced anti-ransomware, and network and firewall monitoring, among others. Thanks to these systems, your online access is safe, and you won’t have to worry about downloading infected or malicious files. 

The impressive feature of this antivirus is that it’s not just the best online file scanner, but it also offers the best malware protection, and you can scan literally everything in your computer.


  • Advanced malware protection
  • It’s light on the system resources
  • It protects from fraudulent and malicious URL links
  • Super-fast scans
  • Ransomware protection
  • It’s easy to use


  • There aren’t any lab test results 

The Search for the Best Online File Scanners/ Antivirus Applications

The truth is that all of the products reviewed above will offer the highest level of protection by scanning all the files you wish to download from the internet, as well as the URLs you check out.

However, you shouldn’t purchase antivirus software just because other buyers say it’s great. Perhaps it’s good for them because it meets their needs, but does it meet or match your needs? 

When buying an online file scanner or an antivirus, you should look at things like:

Whether you have kids at home, hence the need for protection from cyberbullying or access to inappropriate sites, or not. If you have kids, then your solution should have something like parental controls.

Are you looking for a suite that offers all the necessary data protection measures, and can you afford such products? And if you cannot afford them, which alternatives could you settle for?

Do you understand all the risks involved in downloading or buying some of the software, especially when they are free? Will the application fit your needs, in terms of the number of devices that you can use under the plan you wish to subscribe to?

While other plans/ venders offer plans for use in single devices, others allow use on multiple platforms. Finally, compare the features offered by different vendors.