The discovery of Toll-like receptors (TLR) has revolutionised our understanding of innate immunity. Numerous reviews have been written on the subject in the past few years. Here, we review the evidence that TLRs are involved in sensing and initiating anti-viral responses. There are now three strong lines of evidence that support such a role for TLRs. Firstly, TLRs 'recognise' virally derived molecules and are required for various virus-induced cellular effects. Secondly, TLRs trigger anti-viral signalling pathways leading to the induction of the interferon response. Thirdly, viral immune strategies employed against TLRs have been identified.