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Microsoft Safety Scanner (32-bit version) 1.0.3001.0

Quickly scan your computer for possible infection with this free portable tool from Microsoft 

by Nick Peers

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Based on 2 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:

32-bit version of Windows only 

Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 15 April 2011
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 5045
Developer: Microsoft
RSS News Feed:
Twitter Feed: http://www.twitter.com/Safer_Online
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/saferonline?v=app_2373072738
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Microsoft Safety Scanner
Get a second opinion by running Microsoft Safety Scanner alongside your existing security tool.

Sometimes you can’t trust your security software to have blocked a specific threat. If your computer is playing up, but your security tool swears blind there’s nothing wrong, you might want to get a second opinion. The problem is, you can’t just go and install another anti-virus tool, because chances are it’ll conflict with the program already on your system.

What you need to do is run an anti-malware tool that has scan-and-remove capabilities, but doesn’t offer any realtime protection. If you don’t want to install another program on your PC, try a portable option: download the program, run the scan, job done.

Microsoft Safety Scanner is one such tool – it presumably uses the same virus definitions and technologies as Microsoft’s popular Security Essentials package, albeit without any real-time protection. Just download the correct version (this is the 32-bit version, there’s also a 64-bit version available), then double-click the tool and follow the instructions. Start with a quick scan, migrating to the full scan if nothing is found and you still don’t trust the results. If any infections are found, the tool will attempt to remove them.

And that’s pretty much it. The download includes all the latest definitions at the point the program was downloaded, hence the large download size. There’s no update facility within it; instead the program will expire 10 days after downloading, forcing you to download it afresh before running it. The reasoning is sound – download a single package, perhaps on to a clean computer before transferring it across – but it’s still annoying as it means the tool can’t be downloaded and stored somewhere safe before updating and using.

Verdict:

Its major selling point is the fact it doesn’t require installation, but the need to re-download a fresh version every 10 days works against Microsoft Safety Scanner. 

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.1

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.1 brings:
 - WhatsApp Calling: Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they’re in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes. Data charges may apply.

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: