Adware and Spyware

Dennis Faas's picture

" Increase your download speed with software X! "

At some point, you've probably come across a program that claims to download programs faster: Download Accelerator (Speedbit), Marketscore (previously Netsetter), and GetRight (Headlight Software) are just a few popular titles. But did you know that these programs do more harm than good?

How download speed is effected by a download accelerator

When a file is being downloaded, it is sent to your computer using a single connection: you are connected to the web site, and the web site is sending you a file. A download accelerator works by increasing the number of connections to a web site so that the same file can be downloaded faster.

Are you being watched?

The truth is that almost all download accelerator programs contain some sort of Adware or Spyware. Adware is software that sends advertisements to your computer through a banner window or pop up advertisement. Spyware is intrusive software that keeps track of information about you, and has the ability to collect your name and email address via the Windows Registry in order to send unsolicited emails. How nice!

Read the Fine Print

Most accelerators offer some sort of "essential" feature, such as the ability to resume a download. The "essential feature" is usually what interests most users to install the download speed enhancing software in the first place. As with most software obtained from the Internet, download accelerators come with an End User License Agreement (EULA) which is displayed during the installation process. Most of us are so accustomed to skipping through the install procedure that we miss out on the tidbit about the Adware and Spyware which will be installed on our systems in addition to the main program. Some programs such as MarketScore come hard-coded with Adware and Spyware and cannot be uninstalled separately.

Uninstalling couldn't be easier... or not!

In general, the nature of most download accelerators must modify the Windows Registry so that multiple connections can be opened in order to increase download speed; as well, it modifies how your computer interacts with the world wide web so it has the ability to send advertisements to your machine. In MANY cases, a download accelerator does not uninstall cleanly and can leave many web applications (such as Internet browsers) unworkable.

More Adware and Spyware programs

Unfortunately, more and more programs are being produced to promote Adware and Spyware. Why? Simply because it pays the developer who wrote the program. Programs which are FREE usually come at some price. If you want to check whether or not a program you have installed contains Adware or Spyware, I recommend visiting Spychecker. It contains a database full of Spyware and Adware programs:

Free Spyware Removal Software: (Spybot) (Ad-aware)

More about the Windows Registry

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