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Avira Free AV now bundled with Ask toolbar

#1 User is offline James (Jim) Hillier

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    Posted 13 June 2011 - 09:52 PM

    Marko - This is one which should probably be checked out:

    Multiple reports are circulating that the latest version of Avira Free comes bundled with the Ask toolbar. One can opt out but then the Webguard component will not be enabled. So, if one wants the Webguard protection one must install the Ask toolbar.

    I suppose, strictly speaking, there is still an opt out system in place but this really is just another sneaky tactic.

    It's ironic that until now Avira has always flagged the Ask toolbar as malware, now the pubishers are pushing it down users' throats.......go figure!

    Another listing which should be appended with a cautionary note perhaps?

    Cheers.....Jim
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    #2 User is offline marko

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      Posted 15 June 2011 - 08:34 AM

      Will definitely get a look at this one shortly Jim, and if it is as you say then yes, an advisory is in order me thinks :angry:
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      #3 User is offline marko

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        Posted 15 June 2011 - 09:08 AM

        OK, just installed this one, no sign of either the ask toolbar nor in fact the Webguard component - not sure where you're reading this Jim but from the latest download direct from Avira themselves I'm certainly not seeing any issues in regards to toolbars and from what I can see on their site, and our own description (https://freewarebb.com/files/file/4359-avira-antivir-personal-free-antivirus/), they don't offer the Webguard component in their free version :huh:
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        #4 User is offline marko

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          Posted 15 June 2011 - 09:26 AM

          Did a little more digging on this one Jim, and it appears that for some reason Avira DID decide to partner with the likes of "Uniblue", a somewhat very controversial distributor of such software as Registry Booster which some have labelled as 'scareware' - basically it tells the user they have a lot of serious registry errors and the paid version of the software will fix them - some have indicated that the registry errors do not actually exist!. As for the ask toolbar, I've seen a few other forums talking about this and the fact Avira had also decided to recommend this add-on, but I'm personally not seeing it in their latest installer, they have possibly since removed this or those reporting the issue have been wrong, personally I'd find it hard to believe the latter and would therefore conclude they made a major mistake by including such add-ons and have since thought better of it!.

          I will be making a note of this on the download itself just in case I've missed something and will ask for anyone installing this to let us know of their findings.
          Cheers
          Marko
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          #5 User is offline James (Jim) Hillier

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            Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:11 AM

            Hey Marko - Apparently the Uniblue connection involves the commercial version only, that's why I didn't mention it.

            According to the reports; the Ask toolbar will be incorporated into the next version of Avira Free which is expected to be released very soon. This latest version will also include the Webguard component which will be automatically disabled if the end user chooses not to install the Ask toolbar.
            http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r25973411-Avira-Partners-with-Scareware-and-Sleazeware-Vendors


            Cheers mate....Jim
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            #6 User is offline marko

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              Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:22 AM

              Then their name will most definitely be off the ole gang hut, so to speak - they can't possibly expect (particularly as an anti-virus vendor) for users to even begin to understand why they would incorporate such a third-party app in their product - it's bad enough when developers include the "ask!" toolbar as an opt-out, but to try and incorporate it in such a way that by declining it's installation it then denies users to one of the most useful features of a download. It's quite obviously a very bad move by Avira and a rock they will no-doubt perish on should they choose to implement it - I'll be keeping a close eye on this one and will be making our feelings known on the download listing should they follow through with this :o

              Thanks for the heads up Jimbo :)
              Marko
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              #7 User is offline marko

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                Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:31 AM

                Wow, just also read that Avira have been emailing their users urging them to actually install Uniblue's products!. I know we've discussed developers including questionable add-ons recently, but this has to be the ultimate sell out from a supposed Anti-virus vendor - as you rightly say Jim, up until just recently they flagged both the Ask! toolbar and Uniblue's products as suspicious, yet they are now actually hassling their users to install this stuff!. I think the damage is already being done with Avira's reputation as we speak, but if they go ahead with this I'll be removing our support outright for Avira and would find it interesting to see which other download sites would be prepared to do the same!!! :P
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                #8 User is offline James (Jim) Hillier

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                  Posted 15 June 2011 - 09:47 PM

                  Yes Marko, no wonder Avira users are up in arms.

                  Perhaps the backlash of protest may cause the publishers to rethink the situation....let's hope so.

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                  if they go ahead with this I'll be removing our support outright for Avira and would find it interesting to see which other download sites would be prepared to do the same!!!
                  You already know the answer to that one mate....NONE!!!

                  FreewareBB is the one and only download site which places its users above all else. :)
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