I get asked a lot of questions about what anti-virus company to choose, who is the best and what is the meaning of life. I personally use MalwareBytes Premium on my family laptops, gaming and office computers. For the money and level of protection it provides I highly recommend you buy the premium edition (1 year license for 3 pcs costs only $24.95) instead of the free version. Will that protect you against anything and everything? No, of course not, but it will do a very good job of keeping you protected if you use some common sense when traveling along the tangled web.
We all want a second opinion though, right? That is where online virus scanners can help to a certain point. An online virus scanner will try and detect any malicious files on your pc for that given point in time. Usually to get up and running with an online virus scan you have to download a small client file that will facilitate the scan. Some online virus scanners handle this differently but most use the same procedures. Once the file is downloaded and then installed the scanning will begin. Depending on several factors it may take a while to fully scan your entire pc. If available, pick the option to do an entire scan on your pc.
Online Virus Scanners:
Bitdefender Online Scanner – requires Internet Explorer 4+, also compatible with other browsers including Google Chrome.
Kaspersky Free Virus Scan – browser independent, downloads roughly 25 Megabytes of files prior to scanning. User can select locations to scan. The scanner does not remove infected files.
Microsoft Safety Scanner – Downloads a file to your system that you need to run to test your PC for malware.
Panda ActiveScan – requires Internet Explorer or Firefox, does not run in Opera.