Free Anti-virus Programs

Review HouseCall Free Online Virus Scan Version 7.1

This is AllAboutCookies independent review of HouseCall Free Online Virus Scan Version 7.1 edition.

HouseCall is a highly popular freeware anti-virus solution from Trend Micro, one of the respected leaders in the PC security industry. It is a semi-online web-based scanning program that quickly detects, identifies and removes a wide range of threats that include worms, Trojans, spyware, viruses and malware, with a more powerful and browser independent cleaning engine. Unlike most true online scanning apps where no downloads are required, HouseCall requires downloading a launcher file.


HouseCall is an on-demand scanning software that has more affinity with online scanning services and is not meant to replace your existing antivirus or security programs that do proactive all-the-time real time scanning in the background. Instead, HouseCall supplements it.

The latest iteration of HouseCall now has a version to support 64-bit computing under Windows 7 and Windows 7 SP1. Its detection algorithm has been strengthened for higher detection rates to include rootkits and more sophisticated threats and malware that exploit WM (Windows Management Instrumentation. It now has better compatibility to support Internet Explorer 9 with improved scanning performance. It also comes with options for Full scan, Quick scan and Custom scan

The program boasts of a competent on-demand detection and scanning feature for identifying and removing threats to your PC and online. Full system and custom scan allow you to specify which folders or directories to scan while Quick scan allows target scanning of critical and specific systems areas and suspected resident malware to reduce scan times. Its browser-independent scanning implementation ensures no compatibility issues when protecting your PC online that is often associated with browser-activated antivirus solutions.

HouseCall uses cloud-based computing in protecting your PC. Its Smart Scan technology leverages the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network™ to download the latest virus signature updates and provide effective scanning catch of the latest threats. The network benefits from a Smart Feedback system that shares threat information on newly deciphered virus within the global intelligence network regularly.

Installation and Set-up

As a freeware for online scanning, HouseCall 7.1 does the job from a downloaded executable launcher file that is simple and easy to use. The downloaded launcher eats a mere 1.91 MB of hard disk space and this is what makes HouseCall work independently of any browser. The launcher manages the local scanning, downloading and installing additional local scanning components such as the scan engine, virus signature files and configuration files. What you save on your PC is just the HouseCall launcher. Needless to say, you need to go online for the program to work.

User Interface

HouseCall comes with an intuitive user interface enhanced from the previous version with an updated scanning screen design. Launching it prompts you to choose from among its three scan types – Full, Quick or Custom. After a scan, you get the scan results detailing the threats and actions done and are prompted to Scan Again or Close it. On subsequent operations, the program launcher checks scanning components and downloads updates when necessary. It now has a "select all" option that allows you to review and compare quarantined files to recover and restore harmless files suspected in scan results. By default, the program performs Quick scans to check only key systems or critical areas on your OS to reduce scan times.

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