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Beware privacyroot.com

privacyroot wipe prevent restore startup guard

6 replies to this topic

#1 marko

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    Posted 22 November 2011 - 11:01 PM

    These guys produce "freeware" such as Wipe, Prevent Restore and Startup Guard which are advertised on their website as "free", yet the minute you download, install and begin using their software you are presented with a "register now" button which takes you to their website for payment.

    Fig 1.0 (Free Tools)
    Attached Image: 22-11-2011 22-56-59.png

    Fig 1.1 (Not sure which part of "free" covers a payment)
    Attached Image: 22-11-2011 22-56-38.png


    #2 James (Jim) Hillier

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      Posted 24 November 2011 - 02:08 AM

      Marko - I do believe you are being a tad harsh here. You had me intrigued by this report so I decided to check it out myself.

      Downloaded and installed their "Wipe" software. Then ran it several times, exiting and restarting the program each time. At no time was there any request for payment, no mention of payment at all unless I actually clicked on the "Register Now" button, which sits unobtrusively at the bottom of the GUI.

      IMO, this policy is in line with many other freeware offerings (Sandboxie being just one example), where a nag screen, popup or ad is removed after registration and/or payment.

      What is of more concern to me is this from the Pay Now page: "Extra functions of the software will be available to you after purchase."

      On the face of it, there seems to be no apparent/obvious limitations with the unregistered software. Most importantly, there is nothing on the privacyroot site which compares features between registered and unregistered. Nothing which identifies what features are missing in the unregistered software nor what extras one gets for registration/payment.

      This relevant and important information appears to be unavailable - I have sent off an email to their support seeking clarification.

      Cheers mate...Jim
      Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com

      #3 marko

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        Posted 24 November 2011 - 07:47 AM

        Jimbo I hear what your saying mate, and if I stand corrected I'll be the first to withdraw my comments - although I can't help feeling there is something not right here - why would they offer the opportunity to buy a product when they are giving it away for free?. I think the maths speak for itself here, people will not buy something they can get for free and their pricing structure resembles that of paid products - they could alternatively ask for donations instead of pricing the products individually, just doesn't make sense from where I'm sitting.

        I installed Wipe myself and couldn't stop the process nor uninstall it from the CP or program folders, instead I had to execute the uninstaller from Tweaknow Powerpack - and rolling my system clock forward a year I noted it prompted me to check for free updates, which I did and then every button I pressed throughout the update process opened another browser window to their website, 3 in total - quite spammy.

        On the face of it, nothing to suggest they are forcing people to pay, but their software does raise a few questions, as you say, what "additional" features are we talking about, why the silly pricing structure if the products are free, why the need to spam our browsers with multiple instances of the same webpage and why the lack of an uninstall procedure?. Maybe in themselves, not valid enough reasons to warn others to stay away but I've seen a million tricks with software developers over the years, and these guys make me nervous enough to want to stay away.

        Let me know if you find anything else mate :)
        marko

        #4 James (Jim) Hillier

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          Posted 24 November 2011 - 08:11 AM

          I'm hearing you mate and I am not for one minute defending them, you are very right to be suspicious. However, I do believe they deserve a chance to explain their position.

          If/when I hear back from them, rest assured you will be the second to know - after me of course. :)

          If I don't hear back from them - well, that will speak volumes in itself and I'll join in the condemnation. If nothing else, that might stir up a response.

          Will keep you informed mate.

          Cheers...Jim
          Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com

          #5 James (Jim) Hillier

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            Posted 24 November 2011 - 11:24 AM

            Hey Mate - Well I received a response from privacyroot support - it's short and not at all satisfactory: "In a free version only "simple delete" method available. In registered version all deletion methods will be available"

            So, none of the secure methods for deletion actually work in the free version of Wipe - despite this in the free product's description: "WIPE incoporates US DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann ( full 39 steps ) and Russian GOST algorithms to completely erase your personal and private data, making deleted usage tracks unrecoverable."

            That's no minor limitation and should be made clear on their site somewhere. Obviously they are hoping that people will be fooled into downloading the free version, discover the disabled feature(s) and some will opt to pay out the money.

            Certainly makes you wonder what major features might be disabled in their other so-called freeware.

            So, you're doubts and suspicions have clearly been vindicated mate - privacyroot.com's freeware is a huge scam and their deception borders on fraud.

            I'm going to post an article on the DCT blog explaining all this - if it's okay with you I'll include a link to this thread too.

            Cheers mate...Jim

            Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com

            #6 marko

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              Posted 24 November 2011 - 11:53 AM

              Tis a sad fact that so many developers are resorting to these kind of tactics Jim, can't say I'm pleased at the confirmation, just proves more and more developers are beginning to use trickery more often - feel free to use the thread as you like mate :good:

              #7 James (Jim) Hillier

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                Posted 25 November 2011 - 01:58 AM

                http://www.davescomputertips.com/2011/11/warning-beware-privacyroot-com/
                Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com








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