[Review] iSurfer Shield

{rw_text}Software reviewed in this article:

iSurfer Shield by Giant Matrix

Version reviewed:

v2.1.8

Supported OS:

Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7 (32-bit)

Price:

$19.95 (USD) but you can get it for free for a limited time at Giveawayoftheday.com!

Software description as per the developer:

iSurfer Shield keeps you safe on the Internet by protecting your PC from malicious websites, hackers and pirates so they can’t harvest information and use it against you!

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Straightforward and easy to use.
  • Gives users the ability to use “premium” (Giant Matrix run) proxies or “public” proxies.
  • Has a handy disposable e-mail generator built-in.
  • Support all majors browsers.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Proxies are extremely slow (at least the USA premium one is).
  • Only three premium proxies available – in USA, Canada, and Germany. Should have at least one, if not more, premium proxies for other continents also.
  • Does not keep the selection of a proxy as default; you must manually select proxies every time you run the software.
  • User needs an e-mail client in order to be able to check the disposable e-mail addresses.
  • Has a few bugs.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}Very easy to use. There is only one problem: Giant Matrix does not provide any sort of web e-mail checking capabilities – all the disposable e-mail addresses created by iSurfer Shield must be used in an e-mail client.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”5″}The proxies are slow – at least the US premium one is – and the program has a few bugs.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”8″}I can see many people wanting to be “anonymous” while surfing the web.
{/for}
{for=”Price” value=”8″}$19.95 is a fairly fair price in my opinion.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”5″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect dotTech’s overall rating/verdict of the program in which all the features and alternatives have been considered.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_badb}

On iSurfer Shield’s homepage, the developer lists a bunch of awards:

I cross referenced the major ones (Download.com, Softpedia.com, and Tucows.com) and did not find any for iSurfer Shield. On the other hand, Giant Matrix’s other software have received awards, such as Anti Tracks getting a 5/5 from Download.com so the developer may not necessarily mean these awards are for iSurfer Shield (it is worth noting that I could find no 5/5 rating from Softpedia for any of Giant Matrix’s software). However, the awards are linked to the top of iSurfer Shield’s homepage (when you try to click on them) and just listing the awards right there is very misleading.

{/rw_badb} –>

{rw_verdict}[tdown]
{/rw_verdict} –>

Privacy is a big issue for most everyone. The Internet, by design, is not a private place. Every time you visit a website, your computer gives that website information, such as what web browser you are using, your monitor’s screen resolution, your IP address, etc. So people are often trying to “protect their privacy”. One of the biggest cons (by “con” I mean “deceitful trick”) of the Internet that has cropped up to help people protect their privacy are “proxies”. I say proxies are a con because they dupe the user into thinking their privacy is protected. In fact, often times a user’s privacy is more exposed using a proxy than not using a proxy. You see proxies are basically servers that you reroute your Internet traffic through so the website you visit does not find out your IP address, but rather finds out the IP address of the proxy you are using. So, in essence, you really aren’t “hiding” your IP while surfing the Internet; you are just changing who gets to know your IP: instead of websites you visit getting to know your IP, the proxy server gets to know your IP. If you use a proxy run by a malicious person – who mines IP addresses – using a proxy puts you worst off than not using a proxy. That is not to say all proxies are bad; you just need to be weary about using just any proxy – use ones that you can “trust” (you should specifically look for proxies that explicitly mention they are not storing your data or something to that effect).

That said, iSurfer Shield is a program that allows you to easily hide your IP address by using proxies:

Using iSurfer Shield is very easy. You select a proxy to use (click the button with the black arrow) and iSurfer Shield reroutes your Internet traffic through that proxy. When selecting a proxy, you have the choice of using “premium” proxies (premium proxies are run by the developer of iSurfer Shield – there are three to select from, one in USA, one in Canada, and one in Germany), or using “public” proxies (public proxies are proxies run by third party sources; currently there are public proxies located in India, Indonesia, Russia, USA, and Brazil). After you select a proxy, click on the shield so “Shield Disabled” turns to “Shield Enabled” and start surfing the Internet – all your traffic will be routed through the proxy you selected. According to the developer, iSurfer Shield works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari. I have been able to verify it works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera – I don’t have Safari installed so I don’t know if that is supported or not.

As I mentioned in the start of this post, some proxy owners may be mining your data instead of protecting it. I don’t know, and therefore can’t verify, the “scumbagness” of the premium or public proxies available for use in iSurfer Shield. In other words, I don’t know if those proxies are mining your information or if they are truly there to serve as a way for you to protect your information. My educated guess is the premium proxies probably are not mining your information, but that is only a guess.

One “extra”, and potentially very useful, feature iSurfer Shield has is the ability to create disposable e-mail addresses:

The e-mail addresses are temporary (you can select how long they last – from as little as 1 hour to as long as 30 days) so you can use them for any sort of registration need to do on the Internet and don’t want to give out your real e-mail address. Do take note that the developer provides no capability to check the e-mail addresses you generate via a website – you must use an e-mail client to check them (or you could use something like Gmail that allows you to import e-mail address from different servers).

Here is a very short video by the developer that shows iSurfer Shield in action:

To view the video click above. If you have JavaScript disabled you will not be able to view the video by clicking above so instead click here.

Now, when using a proxy, speed is a very critical aspect of the whole experience. By definition rerouting your Internet traffic (which is what happens when using proxies) will slow down your Internet surfing speed. However, the amount of “slowness” depends on the proxy. In other words, a proxy is only as good as its speed. As per my tests, iSurfer Shield proxies fail; epic fail in fact. I tested the USA premium proxy (the server for the proxy is located in Houston, Texas and I live in the USA) and it was very, very slow. Although I immediately felt the dramatic speed decrease after I turned on the proxy, I decided to gather some empirical data to show instead of tell: it took me 42 seconds to load Google.com with the proxy enabled! 42 seconds!!! (Google.com loads instantly for me without the proxy.) I understand that all proxies will cause some sort of speed decrease, but an increase of 42 seconds in load time? Geez. I was unable to test the other proxies – premium or public – because the trial version of iSurfer Shield only lets you use the USA premium proxy, but I don’t have high hopes for the other proxies considering the USA proxy is hosted by The Planet who are known for providing world-class web hosting services on premium bandwidth (therefore the fault is more likely the developer’s).

Other than that, there are also other cons to iSurfer Shield:

  • iSurfer Shield has a few bugs:
    • Recall how I mentioned earlier that you need to click on the shield on the main program window so “Shield Disabled” turns into “Shield Enabled” to use the proxy. That actually is not true. Apparently as soon as you select a proxy from the proxy list, iSurfer Shield kicks into gear even if it says “Shield Disabled”.
    • On a similar note as what I just mentioned, when trying to disable the shield (i.e. it says “Shield Enabled” and I want to turn it off), iSurfer Shield freezes and crashes.
    • iSurfer Shield allows you to turn off support for browsers. Although iSurfer Shield supports Opera, it only shows IE, Firefox, and Chrome under options so Opera users can’t “disable” Opera support:

  • Every time you run iSurfer Shield, you need to manually select a proxy from the proxy list. There is no feature that allows you to “save” your selection so you need not have to select it every time you run iSurfer Shield – it would be selected for you. I find having to manually select the same proxy every time I run iSurfer Shield very annoying.
  • There needs to be more premium proxies. Having premium proxies in USA, Canada, and Germany only shortchanges users from other parts of the world. There should be at least one premium proxy in all continents (minus Antarctica and maybe Africa depending on how many sales the developer plans on generating from Africa).

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

Tor

Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.

Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location. Tor works with many of your existing applications, including web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the TCP protocol.

-Developer

TrashMail

Create a free disposable email address! It’s really easy to use:
Create a new email address on trashmail.net. All mails to this address will be forwarded to your real email address for a number of times you can set up on the following form. When the limit is reached, the Trashmail.net email address will be automatically deleted. All following mails (like spam, newsletter, etc) will be rejected at Trashmail.net.

-Developer

NOTE: All TrashMail users are subject to German privacy laws. E-mails sent and received via TrashMail are not anonymous.

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}I like the idea of iSurfer Shield, but the implementation is horrible. Specifically, the developer needs to iron out the bugs and make their proxies a lot faster; thumbs down. Personally, my recommendation is to accept the fact that you will never have true “privacy” on the Internet. However, if you insist, you can give Tor a try and see if it works for you (be sure to read up on exactly how Tor works and what you are getting yourself into). On the other hand, I whole heartily recommend TrashMail; TrashMail is an excellent tool for creating and using temporary e-mail accounts for the purposes of avoiding spam.
{/rw_verdict2} –>

Share this post

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

49 comments

  1. Auvi

    @ashraf,
    i would really prefer to use TOR.
    but the thing is i use google chrome as web browser and tor doesn’t protect chrome. i can only use it with firefox. but  there is no way i’m switching to firefox cause chrome it so much faster than firefox.

    so, please can u tell me which free software i should use?
    how about ULTRASURf ? any suggestion on that?

  2. Mike

    @Ashraf I think you are wrong here….

    It is true Internet Explorer contains security holes, which are (“sometime”) used by hackers, crackers, having said so, “serious” attacks are not usually done through IE or closed software

    Open source software are ALWAYS better and more used by hackers, crackers to attack other PC’s, federal agencies and more as they don’t need to scan any software for new holes since they already knew how the whole thing work from inside

    Just FYI I have been personally doing hacking activities between me and my friends just for fun for ‘years’, so I have been there…in their forums, in their articles which you and rest of your class try to capture any information from it to write a new paper if we are going to talk about CS schools ;)

    Finally your site depend on your ‘experience’ and your editorial review, so before writing ‘Free Alternative’ remember to write (I didn’t use them….) or (not responsible for whatever happen to you if you used it)

  3. jb1974

    @Penelope:
    Ashraf may not be the most expert person on the ‘Net, but he certainly isn’t stupid. He has wide, if not perfect, knowledge of software and understands what the software does. If on occasion there is something technically incorrect or incomplete, his advice is still good and his reviews make sense.
    Your anger, on the other hand, did not make sense to me. Maybe if you actually explain why you wrote what you did and how he was wrong, rather than ranting like a troll, you’d get more people to listen to you. If you explain yourself well and cite your evidence, I might even believe you.
    – JB

  4. Joji

    @Ashraf: Sir, grammatical errors!

    “There is no feature that allows you to “save” your selection so you need not have to select it every time you run iSurfer Shield – it would be selected for you.”

    Bolded words are the mistakes you made.

    :D

    ~Joji~

  5. MikeR

    @Esquire:

    There’s a danger even in the best run and most amiable of blog sites for important — and serious — posts to pass by unremarked.

    I just wanted to thank you for yours: the information you’ve kindly provided today is of relevance to me at this time, and therefore very much appreciated.

    Thank you again, Esquire.

  6. MikeR

    @ Ashraf, #38

    Well, er, naturally, um, I really do hesitate to say this, but:

    In defense of Microsoft, there will always be something that they “could have added”.

    Wouldn’t that have been more appropriately placed on a website called EpicExcuses.com. . .?

    I dunno. Here you are, supposedly the guy who knows quite a lot about these things, and you’re posting on the wrong website.

    Not only that. (Hey: if I’m gonna rant, I might as well finish the job.)

    Computer users aren’t bitching about what Microsoft might have *added.* They’re complaining about what Redmond either subtracted. Or wrecked entirely through unnecessary and unrequired bloat.. Thus:

    1) No facility in Vista / Windows 7 to hit the delete button in Windows Explorer. . . because it ain’t there any more;

    2) No facility in Vista to quickly search by file type. . . because it ain’t there any more;

    3) No ability to quickly organise the File View options list because in Vista it’s now populated with around 10 times the number of entries that previously existed.

    (In consequence of which it’s now a helluva job to move up / move down relevant tags like ‘date’, ‘size’, or ‘bit rate’. . . but infinitely easier to mark a file with the kind of attributes all of us desperately sought, including the Post Office Box Address and Fax Number of Your Personal Assistant’s Uncle’s Second Cousin’s Weddding Anniversary Date and Zip Code If In The Continental USA.

    So. Let’s face it. EpicExcuses is the place for an explanation of why this nonsense has come about.

    In fact, the next time Bill Gates and I have dinner on the decking overlooking his personal lake (not Michigan, but it’s something trivial like that) I’ll invite him to post on EpicExcuses the defense he’s come up every time we’ve played bridge together, viz:

    ‘Microsoft did indeed employ 175 separate development teams to create Vista and Windows 7 and we now regret the way we completely forgot to enable any of ‘em to communicate each with the other.’

    There. Ends rant.

    Though I think I may have to start posting on here as Penelope.

  7. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Joji: “what he did to me when I was little…”. Am I the only one that was a bit concerned when I read that? >.>’.

    @Joji: Hehe, you have good eyes. Yeah, I took the WU one down for now; it should be back up later. I am sure now everyone can guess that there will be a GU promotion on dotTech in the near future.

    @MikeR: In defense of Microsoft, there will always be something that they “could have added”. There needs to be a line drawn somewhere so Windows doesn’t become a huge bloated piece of [bleep]. Oh wait… XD, hehe.

  8. MikeR

    @ Ashraf #28:

    Not to go entirely O/T here, but your comment about Open Source is, in my ‘umble opinion, fully justified.

    Open Source demonstrates, time and time again, how individual software developers of minimal means but maximum talent beaver away on projects which some of the world’s mightiest corporations can’t begin to equal — never mind out-match.

    Currently, one such developer — Ivo Beltchev — is singlehandedly demonstrating how to make Microsoft look stupid (I know: in theory, it doesn’t take much; in practice, however, it takes a helluva lot.)

    For any dot.techies on Windows 7 or Vista who miss the simple delights of something as basic as a delete icon (fer Gawd’s sake!) in their Explorer bar, or yearn for a Start Menu in the good ol’ XP style, Ivo’s labor of love is a must-have:

    http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/

    Ivo isn’t making a penny out of this.

    And though Classic Shell has been around awhile now, such is the lot of the little developer, working unpaid and unloved, that it’s only recently that major sites like Windows Secrets are giving him the recognition he’s due — for as Windows Secrets correctly asks:

    if Ivo can do this, why the heck couldn’t Microsoft?

    Just thought I’d wave a flag for the little guy!

  9. Joji

    I spy with my little eyes… a new advertisement!

    Can you guess where it is? It’s a amazing how companies are now asking Ashraf to advertise their programs below his his logo… and it’s free! Though, I miss the WinUtilities ones… that was a very nice banner. :D What’s your favorite banner?

    ~Joji~

  10. alan

    @Joji:

    Joji

    “Bleep” is used on T.V. comedy/outakes to mask naughty words.

    “beep” is my gentle way of advising the lady in front that I too like looking at Green, but wish to drive through before it changes to Red ! ! !

  11. Joji

    @Ashraf: I just came back from school… wrote that at lunch break. XD

    I know it’s all good, I just like to point things out, and at the end, I look to put “I forgive you”. Forgiving is the key to making others happy and making your self happy too! :D

    I had this school bully when I was little, and I saw him at science camp 2 years ago. He felt kinda guilty for what he did to me when i was little, but I forgave him because everyone can change… except Hitler. XD

    …and what’s a “bleep”, don’t you mean “beep”? Or are you trying to make a new word and make it sound funny? LoL. BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP! Hahaha…

    ~Joji~

  12. alan

    @Giovanni (cunning King Of Freebies…LOL!):

    http://www.fspro.net/my-lockbox/
    Caution – it may let you down.

    I vaguely recall using something like lockbox 2 years ago on a USB connected drive.
    At that time it tweaked the operating system to ignore its folder.
    When I plugged the drive into a different P.C. there was no tweak and everything was fully available.

    It will probably give protection to a folder on the same physical drive as the O.S. whilst running that O.S., BUT an O.S. on a BOOT-CD will not be tweaked and will see everything.

    If your P.C. is stolen than your financial/personal etc. stuff will be quickly accessed – unless they have now a different way of doing things.

    Alan.

  13. Joji

    @Penelope: Hello person perhaps from 4free or a person who has no brain at all! How foolish are you to say dot.Tech is sh*tty website! In fact, if you look carefully around you, many Technology related sites have advertisements everywhere… it’s all to pay off hosting these kinds of websites. This kind of website probably costs around $100 per month since it is “self hosted”.

    In addition, are you not allowed to put a “donate to this site” page and ask readers if they want to donate or not? It’s a personal choice, Ashraf is not forcing anyone to donate. If you like dot.Tech and all its posts and stuff, sure you can donate if you wanted to. It’s like saying “thank you Ashraf, you made my life so much better by reviewing so many things that other sites didn’t”.

    Another thing is that GAOTD reviews are frigin huge, and you can NOT post pictures on comments. Who’s the smart one now? No one will read such huge comments and it would lag the page. If they want to read the full review, then they would read it here where everything is more organized and all that.

    Everything Ashraf does is by experience, he tests the software/program out and checks out all the features and writes notes down on paper. After that, he summarizes all his notes into a review and creates pictures indicating some interesting parts of the particular program. I don’t know how he reviews GAOTD stuff, but that’s probably what Ahsraf does… or similar.

    Now for spelling and grammar. Ashraf is careful about his spelling and grammar, and uses proper sentence forms. 99.9% of all the posts on dot.Tech does not have any grammatical mistakes at all.

    Penelope, I suggest you should apologize to Ashraf for commenting something that is completely unagreeable and false.

    Though, we all make mistakes in our lives like I said in previous comments, don’t feel completely shame of what you did! I’m sure Ashraf would forgive you, and me too. Actually, we all would, right guys?

    Though, I’m feeling suspicious if your’e from 4freeOnInternet or not… the words you said were very similar to the ones of the mods said on 4free… -_-

    ~Joji~

  14. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    Has anyone installed and tried out iSurfer Shield for themselves? My Digsby refuses to work properly ever since I installed and uninstalled iSurfer Shield… I don’t know if the problem is related to iSurfer Shield or if it is just coincidence.

  15. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Mark: When I recommend a product I make it fairly clear that I am recommending it, such as in the case of TrashMail. I am not really “recommending” Tor (I have not used it nor do I have any experience with it; I have only read about it so I can’t really “recommend” it); rather I am just stating it is available as an alternative for people that want to use it. That said, I can see where you may think I am recommending it – I will make it a bit more clear as to my intentions.

    Furthermore, your viewpoint of open source is wrong. I realize that accepting the fact that open source software are actually (usually) more safe than close sourced is counter intuitive. However, the fact remains that they are. For a simplistic example, compare Firefox to Internet Explorer. How much quicker are security holes detected and plugged in FF than IE? For more concrete proof, visit your local university’s computer science department; you will find atleast a couple, if not more, thesis-es/dissertations on the advantages of open source.

    @Penelope: Nah. If I were to just post on GOTD, how would I receive the kind messages – like yours – from appreciative readers like yourself?

    @Everyone: Thanks for your support.

    @phoenix_rising: I agree.

  16. Giovanni (cunning King Of Freebies...LOL!)

    To surf anonimously on the net try these great FREE tools:

    http://www.ultrareach.net/download_en.htm (Software + Firefox Addon)

    http://toonel.net/downloads.html

    Please note that the first tool mentioned above (ULTRASURF) can also be used inside bloody countries with heavy Internet censorship as it alllows users to visit any public web sites in the world safely and freely (saying f@@k off to censorhip…LOL!!)

    The second tool (TOONEL) is very useful for those geeks that are forced to pay a fee based on the amount of data you transfer (e.g. 3G/GPRS/DSL/CDMA) and have monthly download limit, or for those like me that have narrowband connection (e.g. dialup modem) as it’s based on a technique that compresses virtually any traffic conserving network bandwidth through anonymous proxies.

    If you are worried to keep your privacy and sensitive data from hackers when accessing free public Wi-Fi hotspots, HOTSPOT SHIELD 1.37 is the right FREE tool for you:

    . Secure your web session with HTTPS encryption.
    · Hide your IP address for your privacy online.
    · Access all content privately without censorship; bypass firewalls.
    · Protect yourself from snoopers at Wi-Fi hotspots, hotels, airports, corporate offices and ISP hubs.
    · Works on wireless and wired connections alike.
    · Secure your data & personal information online.

    http://www.softsea.com/review/Hotspot-Shield.html

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Security/Security-Related/Hotspot-Shield.shtml

    But if your goal is to hide the existence of your secret or confidential data from prying eyes, you can also password protect any folder on your computer using a nice FREE tool called “LockBox”:

    http://www.fspro.net/my-lockbox/

    And to learn the best tricks and tools designed to hide your IP while surfing the web, please visit this nice website:

    http://www.how-to-hide-ip.info/

    For more information about browsing privacy see also:

    * HACK ATTACK: BOLSTER YOUR BROWSING PRIVACY AT WORK!!

    http://lifehacker.com/software/privacy/hack-attack-bolster-your-browsing-privacy-at-work-228841.php

    * TOP 10 WAYS TO LOCK DOWN YOUR DATA

    http://lifehacker.com/5113886/top-10-ways-to-lock-down-your-data

    Then use the freeware AGNITUM SPAM TERRIER to get rid of spamming once and for all for FREE.

    Finally if you really care about your privacy don’t forget to use at least a couple of these great Firefox privacy addons:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/it/firefox/collection/aca2624c-27d3-6fe8-6da9-04613712296a

    http://www.technobuzz.net/top-firefox-extensions-for-security-and-privacy/

    In particular I suggest you installing BETTER PRIVACY and IXQUICK PRIVACY SEARCH ENGINE to make sure your sensitive data will never fall in wrong hands while using search engines:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/it/firefox/addon/12389

    In particular I recommend you using the HTTPS version of IXQUICK, which means the web pages you visit are encrypted before being transmitted over the Internet.

    Ixquick is a meta-engine, so it searches other search engines and uses AES-256 bit high grade encryption, which is very impressive indeed!

    And say bye bye to GOOGLE “spying” online activity once and for all….LOL!!

    Hope this helps!

  17. Sunny

    Penelope…..What? Who?

    It might be a woman (tho’ I doubt it). It sure ain’t no lady and definitely not one you’d want to invite to dinner. Not with a foul mouth like that – a good strong scrubbing brush applied to it, that’s what’s needed.

    Smart? I don’t think so. Certainly not so smart that he/she can resist coming to dottech to read the reviews. She just can’t stop giving into temptation – no wonder she’s so angry with herself and fiercely projecting it out onto someone else.

    It’s time to grow up Penelope.

  18. Esquire

    Regarding Trashmail and anonymity: The German Federal Constitutional Court has deemed the current German law of telecommunication data retention – which BTW only applied to the logging of IP addresses and not its content (the latter is strictly forbidden according to German privacy laws) – as illegal as of March 2nd 2010 and required the immediate deletion of all data retention logs.

    However, there is an EU law for data retention (which the German law in its version overapplied and again only applies to IP addresses and not communication content) which after a transitional period forces all EU member states to integrate it into their national law.

    Germany now has to rewrite that law from scratch without overreaching and in accord with its constitution.

  19. tejas

    @Penelope: If you really think, “Half of the time you’re wrong and the other half shows your stupidity.”, then why do care where he posts the reviews? Why would you bother reading them? Jealous much?
    @Mark: I count 5 ads……. not exactly a site full of ads in my book.

  20. Mark

    Sources of JAP is also available which make it risky…please check those 2 modest links just as a very small proof to what I am talking about here:
    http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/index.cfm?newsid=6601

    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html#respect1

    Open source programs are never the solution, having said so I must admit there are decent freeware programs which are NOT open source and I depend on, for example Ad-aware

    So it is not about the ‘freeware’ it is about the ‘open source’

  21. KC Carpenter

    Thanks Ashraf,
    You save us from making many serious mistakes by thoroughly checking out software that might otherwise pollute our PCs. Your knowledge, experience, and great volumes of time have saved me from the brink of reformatting on several occasions.
    Thank you again.
    KC

  22. MikeR

    @ Mark, #6:

    It’s easily done, Mark, having too many tabs open simultaneously with the result that you finish up posting a comment on the wrong website. However, if you delve into your History folder, the CNET link should still be there.

  23. MikeR

    Ah. . . Another GOTD (Gabble of The Day) at #3.

    Pros: passably adolescent; not as silly as some earlier versions

    Cons: some coding bugs; there are better versions out there

    Comment:

    Penelope is the latest release from the well-known Daft Berk, a softbrain developer based in a small bedroom with the door locked to keep his mother out.

    Daft Berk softbrain offerings do not have version or release codes to distinguish one from another but use big girls’ names instead: Janice, Penelope, Angela, etc.

    Some, though by no means all, come with the developer’s guarantee that he really is a big girl himself — or, in the case of this latest version, a woman smarter than you.

    (NB: By far the most substantial of Daft Berk softbrain apps was v5.18.99, otherwise known as Rosamund Unfortunately this had to be withdrawn on account of the developer’s inability to spell ‘Rosamund.’ Also, by bizarre coincidence, it gave away the developer’s age.)

    Daft Berk softbrain apps feature an executable (in the form of a salutation) which when triggered by cursor or scrolling induce sudden bouts of laughter in the computer user.

    The version released today corrects problems in the earlier Janice release, though still displays some flaws (for example: ‘suck’ instead of ‘sucker’.)

    Conclusion:

    Penelope is not quite as funny nor as effective as it could’ve been.

    Yes, there’s some humor in Daft Berk’s admission to being Ashraf’s biggest fan — nobody I know follows every word of Ashraf’s total output in order to identify which half is wrong and which half is, er, stupid: Penelope’s loyalty here is truly epic.

    But such comedy still isn’t enough to mitigate the increasing predictability of this type of softbrain.

    Verdict Rejected.

  24. Victor Healey

    @Penelope:

    Is it ‘PMS’ today or was it the ‘Change of Life’?

    Its ok, I am sure Sharif was not bothered by such unwarranted vitriol and understands where it is coming from.

    Oh wait, I have been had by another April Fools prankster.
    Well so much for being forgiving.

  25. Joji

    I was like “Yay! It came! My favorite program that I wanted!” then a minute later I was then “awwww… it sucks that bad? I expected this program to be pretty good… :(”

    I remember emailing Giant Matrix to make this program for free… and I guess they did, but I didn’t know it sucks that much. I hope they improve it, to me, I like the design and all that, but the developer really does need to put more hard work and effort into this to make it into a success!

    ~Joji~

  26. phoenix_rising

    @Penelope: Aren’t you a charming woman. Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? If you don’t like dotTech, then don’t come here. It’s that simple. I fail to see the point of such foul-mouthed vitriol.

  27. Mark

    @Tina

    Tina, may be Penelope was a bit harsh here, but let’s face the truth…it is true that the site is full of ads but that’s not the big deal…the big deal here is that the editor is giving us recommendation that can jeopardize our online security NOT help us…so do you think this is nice?!

    Having said so, the question we must ask here will this site or any similar site give unbiased reviews to products he resell ;-)

  28. Penelope

    Hey [bleep],
    Why don’t you just post your verdict on GOTD instead of trying to suck us for cash by having us come to your site with ads and “Make donations” bull shit.Half of the time you’re wrong and the other half shows your stupidity. Only freaking ignorant individuals will believe you’re half as smart as you think you are. So quit being a moron and just post on GOTD.

    From a woman smarter than you.

    Edit by Ashraf: If you want to call me cuss words, send it via e-mail so we can both relish your enhanced vocabulary. Please don’t be a potty-mouth in public.

  29. Mark

    Thank you Ashraf. I like your review a lot :)

    But I have a question here regarding your recommendation. Why shall we trust ‘Tor’ the ‘open source’ software while all hacker forums, websites ask them to go participate in open source software, community built products to learn how those products work and hack users using them?! Actually it is one of the hackers, crackers learning essentials :)