Jotti’s Malware Scan is the tool you should save for those rare times you need a second opinion from a virus scanner. Whether you are running Windows, macOS, or even Linux, sometimes you want to make sure that files are safe but don’t want the hassle of running a constant virus scanner. Or maybe you need a second opinion from a different antivirus vendor.
Background Info on Jotti’s Malware Scan
Jotti’s Malware Scan started out in 2004 when a single developer made a site that would scan uploaded files using different virus scanners. It was and remains a free service today. You can upload up to 5 files at a time with each individual file size maxing out at 250 megabytes.
How it works
You first need to go to the main Jotti’s malware scan page, where it will display the various scanning engines it uses. From here, you’ll want to click the browse button and choose the file you will upload and have scanned. This would most likely be an exe or compressed zip file. You can also drag and drop from your desktop right onto the page, which might be more convenient.
For this screenshot, I uploaded the exe file of a Playstation controller utility for Windows. I know it’s fine, but if it was my first time checking out this program, I might be hesitant to trust something from an unknown developer. The results came back, and none of the virus scanners detected anything malicious AKA no funny business. When this happens, you can rest assured that the file(s) contains no malicious code and should be safe to run on your system.
If Jotti detects a virus
So, you’ve seen a clean scan, but it would be reassuring to see that the scanners actually do pick up something, right? I’ve taken a famous virus scanning test file known as EICAR and ran it through Jotti’s virus scan. EICAR is a universal file that is used to test if a virus scanner is working or not. You can even download it yourself and try it on your antivirus of choice.
There you go. The EICAR test file set off every single scanner, which is a good thing. If a scanner didn’t detect this file as being a virus, then you know that scanner ain’t worth having.
An alternative to VirusTotal
Jotti’s Malware Scan is an excellent alternative to VirusTotal (owned by Google). VirusTotal has about 47 different virus scanners that check the file you upload. However, many of the scanners that make up that list are lesser known companies that most likely aren’t worth paying attention to.
Some of the scanners featured in Jotti are Avast, Bitdefender, eset, and Trend Micro. Those are quite some heavy hitters, and I believe you can feel a sense of relief if they don’t detect any problems with the files. There’s also the added benefit of having the results be on one page instead of having to scroll through a massive list like on VirusTotal.
Final Thoughts on Jotti’s Malware Scan
Yes, Windows has a built-in virus scanner these days, but you should never trust just one company’s database when it comes to dealing with malicious files. Maybe that emulator you downloaded is sketchy, or you want to check a small piece of freeware you found on the web. Running it through Jotti’s malware scan is a great way to see what other security programs think of the file. If you’ve got a file that you think might be fishy, give it a quick check here and make sure.
When I was running Windows 7, I normally ran it without Windows Defender running for an extra performance boost. Instead, I used Jotti to check whether that file I downloaded was safe or not. Eventually I started using Windows 10 and just leave Windows Defender on, but more often than not I get some false positives. If your operating system throws up a red flag, be sure to check it online before believing that the file is malicious.
Link: Go try it!