Whenever you download any executable file from the internet, you should first check it for malware not only using your installed antivirus, but also using VirusTotal – an online service from Google that scans the file in question against more than 60 different antivirus engines. Scanning a file using VirusTotal leaves no doubt in the mind as to whether a file is safe or not. I myself have been using VirusTotal for as long as I can remember.
Typically, you have to visit VirusTotal website and then upload the suspicious files to check them. But using a free tool called VT Hash Check, you can integrate VirusTotal right inside the Windows File Explorer. After installing VT Hash Check you would be able to right-click on any file and choose Check File Hash from the context-menu in order to scan it using VirusTotal.
The first time you try to use it, it will ask you to enter an API key. This key can be had from your VirusTotal user profile. For this you an create a free VirusTotal user account and then check your community profile section to find the public API key. The public key can then be entered into the VT Hash Check settings window. But keep in mind that the public API key is very limited, for example, it does not allow you to check more than 4 files in 1 minute and more than 5760 requests per day.
The results from the VT Hash Check are displayed in a long window where you can see the color coded results from individual antivirus engines. If an antivirus detects the file to be malicious then it is shown in red color along with the malware name. You can click on the Full Results button to visit the VirusTotal website and view the results in a web browser.
Conclusion: While VT Hash Check cannot be used as a replacement of a good antivirus product, it is great for checking any newly downloaded files for the presence of malware. It is small, fast and fetches the results from VirusTotal really quick.
You can download VT Hash Check from http://www.boredomsoft.org/vt-hash-check.bs.