When you download files from an unreliable source, you run the risk of accidentally downloading something malicious to your system. Some developers will try and sneak in malicious files with their apps but a more sinister practice is to take already famous and trusted apps, bundle them with malicious files, and then offer them up for ‘quick’ downloading. An unsuspecting user will download the file thinking they’re getting a trusted app and will end up with a little more than they had bargained for. Fortunately, there’s a little safe-check that’s built into all files to verify that they are legit. It’s called a hash value. You can download the file, generate its hash value, and compare it with the one given on the developer’s website. If you are looking for a good utility to generate and compare hash values of files, check out Md5Checker. It is one such portable application that allows you to calculate and verify hash values for multiple files at a time. After calculating the Md5, you can either compare it manually, or save it to match it with the hash value of the same file at a later time. It can also be used to verify if the file has been tampered with in any way.
The process of calculating hashes of files is very simple. Just copy the files and drag them over to the main interface of Md5Checker. The application will automatically calculate their hash values and display the Name, Path, Current MD5 value, Saved MD5 value (if any), Size of file and Date Modified. Lists can be saved for matching the values again at a later time.
The Md5 Calculator can be accessed from the Tools menu. It allows you to calculate and copy the hash value of text. This feature can be used if you send or receive an important message and want to enable its verification.
Click Tools and select Options to change settings for Auto Start Checking, Saving hash value lists, associate with the application with MD5 format files, add Md5Checker to right-click context menu and Send To menu etc.
The application lacks the option to calculate hash values in checksum protocols other than MD5, which limits its scope a lot, since other protocols, such as SHA-1 and SHA-256 protocols, are also widely used these days to generate hash values of files. Other than that, the application flawlessly performs all the functions advertised by the developer on his website. MD5Checker is a lightweight utility with a memory footprint of only about 1.7 MB, and works on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.