Best 5 Portable Antivirus Software

Security suites do their best to protect your computer from a wide variety of threats. Developers often have to worry about viruses, malware, worm, and other dangerous software. That is why there are frequent updates because of new risks that pop-up every day.

However, there are times when threats penetrate your system without detection. Anti-virus programs work in different degrees of effectiveness. There will be instances when a virus remains undetected. Some virus threats are smart enough to mask itself against the security program on your computer.

It is best to run a third-party anti-virus application if you notice any significant decrease in your computer's performance. There are anti-virus applications which can run without installation. These can be saved on a USB portable drive and scan an infected system.

Here are five of the best portable antivirus software.

#1. Microsoft Safety Scanner

Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free disposable virus scanner. It functions similarly to Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. It removes viruses defined by the security developers of Microsoft Security Suites. Microsoft Safety Scanner can run alongside a primary security suite without any issues. It does not return any false positive caused by running with another security program.

The on-demand antivirus removal program allows you to scan a computer if you suspect that a virus is running on it without the detection from the primary security suite. You can use it online. However, it is for a short time use only. The Microsoft Safety Scanner expires after 10 days. After the expiration date, you have to download another version again. It forces the users to download the latest version as the virus signatures are regularly updated.


#2. Norton Power Eraser Tool

Norton Power Eraser - 5 Best Portable Antivirus

Norton Power Eraser Tool is a free portable security software from Symantec. It claims to remove deeply rooted threats in the system. These risks often block the main anti-virus program from detecting it. The Norton Power Eraser Tool can remove rootkits, scamware, rogueware, persistent malware, or crimeware. It uses aggressive methods to detect viruses and promptly removes them.

Norton Power Eraser Tool will provide a few options before scanning. You can Scan for Risks as its standard scanning service. The anti-virus tool uses aggressive methods, that is why it may return false positives. Accidentally identifying a system program or an application as a virus and deleting it may affect the system.

Because of this, Norton Power Eraser also provides an Undo Previous Fix function in case such false positive identification happens. It will also allow you to create a restore point before running the scan. It serves as another layer of system security if the antivirus deletes a critical system file during the scan. Remember to examine each identified threat before allowing Norton Power Eraser Tool to remove it.


#3 - Avira PC Cleaner

Avira PC Cleaner is an on-demand portable anti-virus from the makers of the popular anti-virus application. It works as a complement to security suites installed on computers. On-demand scanners are also known as second-opinion scanners. They may run next to any anti-virus solution with little to no issues. The Avira PC Cleaner is the second one by the company. The first being the Avira De-Cleaner.

It is a bare bones cleaner which aims to simplify the scanning and deleting process of threats. One important thing to note: Avira PC Cleaner needs to download updated data from the Internet. It is portable, but before running it for the first time, it requires an updated database of threat signatures to run correctly. It provides both a Quick Scan and a Full Scan option. Both works deeply into the system.

As with any aggressive anti-virus scanners, it is recommended to examine the files identified as threats. It is still possible to get any false positives.


#4 - Comodo Cleaning Essentials

Comodo Cleaning Essentials - Portable Antivirus

Comodo Cleaning Essentials is another excellent portable on-demand scanner. You can easily download and run the program from a USB stick or CD/DVD. It claims to employ both heuristic and signature-based scanning methods. A signature-based scanning method describes the typical function of a security program where it downloads an updated database of threat signatures from its servers. 

It checks the computer if there are any similar threat signatures. The heuristics approach describes a method of the security program where it analyzes the behavior of questionable applications. It tags a program as a threat if it fits the behavior of known threats.

Comodo Cleaning Essentials offers three options for scanning the system. You can do a Full Scan which examines your entire system. It can take hours and may use a chunk of your computer's resources. You can also choose Smart Run. It analyzes critical areas in your computer such as your registry and boot sector. It is a faster way of scanning your system. Additionally, Comodo Cleaning Essentials also offers Custom Scanning. You can scan individual files, specific folders, and drives that might be infected by threats.


#5 - Dr.Web CureIt!

Dr Web CureIt - 5 Best Portable Antivirus

Dr.Web CureIt! is the product of a long time Russian security company, Dr.Web. It is their portable free-for-personal-use anti-virus scanner. It can run on any portable devices, like a thumb drive, just like any of the items on this list. Dr.Web CureIt! catches any suspicious files, adware, riskware, hack tools, archive objects, and email objects. It aims to simplify the scanning process by having a straightforward user interface.

Dr.Web CureIt! starts by checking all the critical areas in your system including your primary partition. It may take a while to finish the scan depending on the size of your drives. You can set what it does to threats by choosing any one of its post-scan options: cure, move to quarantine, delete, or ignore.

You can also set it to look at specific parts of your computer including other drives, folders, boot sectors, and other areas. There is an available log which you can check after scanning. Its quarantine manager allows you to see the name of the threat, type, date of addition, and the full path of the objects. It is an efficient way to examine if there are any false positives during the scan.


Full Protection of Your PC

Remember that the portable applications on the list above are secondary protection programs. It is strongly recommended to install an efficient anti-virus and anti-malware application on your PC. Programs, such as MalwareFox, provides useful tools to scan and get rid of any threats on your system. More importantly, the real-time protection creates a layer of security which the tools above cannot provide. It removes any threats even before it roots itself on your computer.

Final Thoughts

Portable antivirus programs are perfect for saving computers that might already be infected. Viruses and malware are getting better and better at fooling your system that nothing is wrong. However, you must remain vigilant and observe if your computer is running as expected. Any strange behavior, files, or programs should immediately be scanned using your primary security suite and one of the portable anti-virus software in this list.

Vipin Pandey
 

Computer technician turned blogger! Dealing with malware attacks and troubleshooting is my hobby which landed me on my first job. This blog serves as platform to share those tips and help fixing the problems.

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