Monday, June 13, 2011

Avira Software New Partners

 Toolbars are bundled with a large amount of applications. Most of the time they are strongly disliked, however Software Makers are attempting to expand their profits and most of the times they think adding a toolbar is the simplest way.

  Now a bigger debate is surrounding should should security programs be "endorsing" this kind of software. This question has really picked back up again today when Avira "announced" two new partners: UniBlue and For UniBlue I have never tested a UniBlue product before. I did a search for the product Avira is sharing and I found a link to their Home Page. The first thing I found was the WOT was ranking the site yellow. Some comments say the product is OK while others are complaining about it. Another thing to note is that the product that is being recommended is a Registry Cleaner. If you do not know what you are doing you can seriously mess up your computer. I am not the only one that will tell others this, check out this report from the experts at BleepingComputer who are also sharing the same message.

 Now how is Avira recommending this? Well if you are a user of Avira free you know they have a message that pops up after updates. Well ads for the Uniblue product have been reported by some members over on the Avira forum. Another person reported on the forum that they got an email about the Uniblue product.

 Avira's next new partner is Ask for the toolbar. Now the Ask toolbar is most likely one of the bigger disliked toolbar in the computer security community. In fact Calendar of Updates has a whole topic dedicated to security software that bundles the toolbar and the reason why they don't like it. Adding it has hurt the reputation of a few companies that have added it in. However gladly a few companies have came in and said no. Lets take for example the creator of Winpatrol. He was offered a partnership to put a toolbar with Winpatrol to make extra cash and he turned the offer down. In fact he turned the offer down twice! The creators of Online Armor also decided to not put the toolbar in the program and instead listen to the users.

 So this leads to the next question, how will Avira push the toolbar? Well the Ask Toolbar will be pushed with the free version of Avira according to the plan.  It is being said that free users would be able to get the Web filtering free if they install the toolbar and make their default search engine. So if you will want the web filtering you will have to install the toolbar.

 An Avira staff members said the staff were still reviewing all the feedback they have gotten from the announcements. To close I just want to quote something from Mike on the Online Armor blog post:

 Users place a lot of trust in security vendors. They are trusted to do the right thing. Do not abuse that trust. -Mike from the Online Armor Blog


  1. my two cents:
    i remember one of the Uniblue products was analyzed in PandaLabs and marked as goodware. i think it is incorrectly being accused of being "ransomware" - i assume Uniblue products do not block anything if you don't buy it. the problem may occur with the classification as "scareware/rogue", however i doubt we can classify Uniblue as scareware/rogue by its "strong definition" (malicious and/or completely useless); as we could define many other legit apps like that (detection but paid removal etc).

    the quotation by Mark is very nice. i don't understand this partnership, i think it is rather counterproductive - more money at the start of the partnership > decreasing reputation/trust > lower financial profit at the end.

    note that my opinion is based almost purely on assumptions and/or is quite simplistic.

  2. That's true I do remember PandaLabs checking out the one. I think UniBlue is more in the grey area. A few companies still have UniBlue marked as a PUP last I checked.

    However the question is what the people that don't know about computers are going to do. All these people will click on it thinking they need to buy it because it came from their AV program. You can already read some of the complaints about the Software on Complaints Board:

    It seems a lot of complaints I found online are about how hard it is to get money back.

  3. i agree with the grey area.

    from what you discovered this partnership seems even more unwise to me. well, it will probably lead to more customers/users for the competitors ;)