Feb
12
2011

JottiQ: Scan mutiple files for malware at once – and get the results without opening your browser.

Jotti’s malware scan is a service that allows users to scan files with 18 different anti-virus/anti-malware scanners and get a report from each. Users upload individual files to their website, and Jotti’s malware scan sends it to all the scanners, which then scan the file and report back the result. Jotti then collects and displays them on the page. You can only upload one file at a time, and there may be a delay before results come in, in order to prevent the server being overloaded.

JottiQ is a desktop program that extends the usability of Jotti’s malware scan. Its main purpose was to get around the single-file limitation for those who have a need to scan several files at once, but there’s many more things it can do. Here’s a quick look into what the program looks like:

Slick, huh?

JottiQ has the ability to simultaneously scan two or three files, while the rest of the files users add are queued up and scanned in order.

Another useful thing about JottiQ is that you don’t need to use your browser to see the results – they appear in the program as well! Once files are scanned, JottiQ displays the virus scan results right inside the program window. Of course, you have the option to go to the online results page as well, if you so want. Just click a finished scan, and press F4, or use the right-click menu option. Using the online page does have one advantage: You can link others to the results.

JottiQ won’t actually start scanning, though, until “Process Queue” is turned on. By clicking the “Process Queue” button, you can turn it on and off at will. The button will be surrounded by a blue box when turned on, and won’t be when it’s turned off.

JottiQ has a few more settings you can change, available by clicking the spanner icon:

JottiQ Settings Panel. Below is an explanation of all the options.

  • Scan … files at the same time: You can configure JottiQ to try to scan one, two or three files at the same time. If you are scanning loads of files, setting this higher will let you get results faster – but higher settings also cause more load on the server, and the program may have to wait to scan files if Jotti gets too overloaded.
  • Remove safe items in queue – If ticked, items will be taken off the list once they’ve finished scanning if Jotti finds them safe.
  • Show full path in queue – Self explanatory.
  • Queue processing active at startup – If ticked, then “Process Queue” will automatically be turned on when you next start JottiQ. If not ticked, it won’t.
  • Insert new items at top of queue – Again, self-explanatory.
  • Update intermediate scan results – You can decide how quickly JottiQ tries to get the already known results when the scan is still going. But note that quicker results will cause more strain on the server.
  • Show JottiQ in File Context Menu: Probably the best feature of JottiQ in my opinion. To make it easy to scan files, JottiQ has the ability to add itself to the menu you see when you right-click any file on your computer, through which you can quickly send that file to JottiQ:

    This is what the option looks like (click to enlarge)

    Having this right-click context menu entry is completely optional and users can remove it at any time.

One thing to bear in mind is that Jotti’s malware scan has a 20MB file size limit. JottiQ does not and cannot circumvent this restriction, so if you try to scan too large a file, it will be rejected. This is basically the same as any other similar service, though, and is mainly done for speed reasons. It is not a weakness of JottiQ or Jotti itself.

A while ago, when JottiQ was first released, it turned out to be WAY too popular, and the mass amount of users using it to scan millions of files at once, greatly overloaded their servers. To prevent this happening again, JottiQ now uses a few tricks to reduce the footprint it has on the service.

Firstly, now and then you may find JottiQ “throttling” uploads/scans. If this happens to you, there is no need to worry or panic; that just means JottiQ has noticed that the Jotti servers are a bit busy now, and so it’s waiting until Jotti’s malware scan servers are not so overloaded before it sends the file for scanning. You actually don’t even have to do anything except wait because JottiQ will automatically upload/scan “throttled” files using Jotti’s malware scan when the server allows for it. In fact once you add a file into JottiQ, you don’t need to worry about it; JottiQ makes sure all queued files are scanned… eventually.

Another way JottiQ prevents overloading Jotti’s malware scan servers is before it uploads a file to be scanned, it conducts a MD5 hash of the file and compares it to the MD5 hash of programs already scanned by Jotti’s malware scan. If the MD5 hashes match, that means the file has already been scanned using Jotti’s malware scan and instead of uploading and rescanning the file, the previous scan results are shown.

When I originally posted the review, I was still using the v1.0.2 build of JottiQ, which is why the screenshots make mention of this version. However, shortly before posting, I found out that v1.0.3 had been released, so I changed the links at the bottom to lead to the new version. v1.0.3 works exactly the same as v1.0.2, and only fixes bugs and adds an “Auto-update” option, so the information you read here works for both versions.

To conclude, while JottiQ is in no way a replacement for your anti-malware security software, JottiQ is a very useful program. I hope similar programs are made for other services soon. Here’s some final stats about the program, followed by the links to go to if you want to check it out:

Versions reviewed: v1.0.2 Build 22338 and v1.0.3 Build 11323

Supported OS: Windows XP and higher

Requires .NET Framework 4.0 Client Profile and Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package. If you don’t have any of these two installed, you will be prompted to download and install them during JottiQ’s installation, so you can just accept and continue sitting back while it does the hard work for you.

Download size: 1.1 MB but .NET Framework 4.0 Client Profile and the C++ package are extra, if you don’t have them already.

JottiQ homepage

[Direct download v1.0.3 – installer]

[Direct download v1.0.3 – portable .7z archive version]

Comments are closed.