Panda Security, those helpful people with the online virus scanner have gone one better with the Cloud Antivirus. Now instead of having a virus scanner running on your machine, clogging up your runtime and slowing everything down, you can use the thin-client model and let Panda’s machines do all the work. By doing it this way, you escape the continual update drudge of conventional antivirus and everything including software updates is maintained on the server side.
You’ll need an active internet connection for it to work obviously although it can work without one but not as effectively. The virus scanner works by uploading the signature of the file to be scanned as well as its heuristic features. If a match is made, the client software will lock the infected file for it to be dealt with. There are some trade-offs to doing it in this manner and you can read an in-depth review of the beta version here. The application is free at the moment, so try it out while you can.
UPDATE: Sorry, the application will always be free as pointed out in the comments. Thanks Shiggy!
[Screen shot from Panda: Tactical Sniper]
With Panda Cloud Antivirus we introduce a new protection model based on a thin-client agent & server architecture which services malware protection as opposed to locally installed products. By combining local detection technologies with cloud-scanning capabilities and applying non-intrusive interception techniques on the client architecture, Panda Cloud Antivirus provides some of the best protection with a lightweight antivirus thin-client agent that barely consumes any PC resources.