TrendMicro, a leading anti-virus and anti-malware company, offers a free online virus scanner called HouseCall. HouseCall works for Windows 7 whether you run the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the operating system. HouseCall is quick to download, easy to use and can help alert you to issues on your computer surrounding viruses, malware and other threats.
In the latest version of HouseCall, you can take advantage of a better looking user interface and it scans for more threats especially those focusing on the Windows Management Instrumentation. HouseCall’s latest version also offers better support for issues through Internet Explorer.
Let’s take a brief walkthrough HouseCall and how it can help protect your system from active threats.
How to use HouseCall
Visit TrendMicro’s web site and download HouseCall.
Windows will prompt you to give it permission to install the HouseCall launcher.
Click “Run” to continue.
You do not need to install HouseCall, instead it is an active launcher-based program. This means it will automatically begin to work once you click Run.
HouseCall utilizes three basic steps: Get Started, Fix Problems and Review Results.
For Get Started, you can begin a scan and work with the settings of HouseCall.
Click “Settings…” before your scan.
A pop-up will appear for you to work with the basic settings of HouseCall. In the Scan Type section, you can choose what drives HouseCall will scan as well as what type of scan it will perform. If you suspect a high threat, choose Full system scan before proceeding.
Now, click “Smart Feedback.”
This allows Trend Micro to collect information on what is going on with your computer as it relates to HouseCall. This can help other users who might run into the same threats as well as increase Trend Micro’s ability to help protect its users.
Click “Ok” once you are finished with the Settings and head back to Get Started.
Click “Scan” to proceed scanning your system for threats.
Depending on the scan you selected, this could take several minutes to over an hour. Things such as infection level, the size of your hard drive as well as what type of scan you selected will determine the time of the scan.
Fix Problems is the second step to HouseCall.
This is where HouseCall scans your system for threats. Just let HouseCall do its job and sit back as it tracks down what is going on with your system.
Review Results is the final step to HouseCall.
This is where you will see the summary of results. If you have active infections, HouseCall will alert you to it as well as how to deal with it. If you have no infection, you will see this, too, as is the case in the current scan.
From there, you can either scan again or close HouseCall.
You also have the option to check out the logs associated with the scan. Click on “More Details” to see them.
This will open the logs for the current scan but also allow you to browse through previous scans to see what happened, if there are patterns to infection or any other information you may require from the logs. You can also choose to restore your computer to a previous point based on how HouseCall responded to a threat.
HouseCall offers you the opportunity to submit feedback as well based on your computer’s system and specifications.
This can help Trend Micro better serve those using its services, not just HouseCall by building a database of threats, specs and best ways to handle them.
HouseCall is that simple to use and can be the difference between finding a threat lurking on your computer and letting it hide until it destroys your system. If you think you have an active infection and your tools are not picking up on it, try Trend Micro’s HouseCall and see if it makes the difference.
Pros of Trend Micro’s HouseCall:
- Large, evolving database of threats
- Updated frequently to accomodate for Windows updates
- Quick and easy to download, install and use
Cons of Trend Micro’s HouseCall:
- May not always offer a viable way to eliminate a threat once found
- Depending on infection level, may not be able to run an online scan
- Does not offer real-time protection from threats
Is HouseCall an effective way to protect your computer?
When trying to protect your computer from viruses, malware and more, utilizing just an online computer scanner like HouseCall is not an effective way to manage your computer’s safety. Since online scanners cannot provide real time protection, the only time you can safely rely on them is if you think you are infected but cannot figure out what the infection is or where it is on your system. Online virus canners provide an extra layer of protection but they cannot be relied on to keep your system free from harm like real-time protection can.
By utilizing online scanners with a more traditional real-time protection program, you can build an effective arsenal to protect your computer from harm. Trend Micro’s HouseCall can be a way to help bolster what you use for real-time protection and fight viruses, Trojans, malware, spyware and other threats that crop up.