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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    319

    New trial users - watch out for Pando Media Booster

    I installed the free trial a few days ago, and it installed and used that Pando Media Booster/

    Nowhere did it inform me that it would stay installed and KEEP UPLOADING AT FULL BANDWIDTH after I had downloaded and installed the game.

    Before I noticed it, it had uploaded about 20GB of wasted bandwidth without my knowledge or permission.

    Comcast's "unlimited" internet actually limits you to 250 Gb a month and this just ate up a large percentage in the first day of the month.

    This is even more detrimental to people who get penalized and charged for over use of bandwidth.

    Why are we not told about this? Why does Turbine continue to use this malicious program when people have been complaining about it for years?

    (Yes, I did a search after it happened and found posts dating back years)

    What's even worse is that not only do they fail to tell you, it installs itself as a nondescript startup item so the average user wouldn't even know that it is running on startup every time you boot the computer.

    So to protect yourself and prevent Pando from using all of your available bandwidth, slowing down your internet access, and costing you money, UNINSTALL Pando Media Booster as soon as you are done downloading the trial.

    I really do not understand why Turbine still uses this malware, or if they must use it why do they not have the install program uninstall Pando Media Booster when you install the trial? No they leave it installed and never tell you anything about it. Very sneaky and negligent and I am reconsidering buying into this game because of it.
    Last edited by Mulch2010; Aug 01 2010 at 12:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1

    Re: New trial users - watch out for Pando Media Booster

    You sure? I don't see Pando Media Booster running

  3. #3

    Re: New trial users - watch out for Pando Media Booster

    There's a sticky in the Technical Support forum on Pando and how to disable or remove it later. There's also a link to the same Pando FAQ on the download page. It's not as 'top secret' as you suggest but I'm not sure what else they could do, force your browser to load to the FAQ page ? Pop up a screen and pray someone reads it ? How many times have you scrolled straight to the bottom of one of these sort of things on an install just to click the 'Proceed' button, not reading a single word ?

    http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?t=290438

    http://www.lotro.com/support/download-lotro
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS]"You can't fight the Enemy with his own Ring without turning into an Enemy" - J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter # 81


    [/FONT]

  4. #4

    Re: New trial users - watch out for Pando Media Booster

    Quote Originally Posted by tuor66 View Post
    There's a sticky in the Technical Support forum on Pando and how to disable or remove it later. There's also a link to the same Pando FAQ on the download page. It's not as 'top secret' as you suggest but I'm not sure what else they could do, force your browser to load to the FAQ page ? Pop up a screen and pray someone reads it ? How many times have you scrolled straight to the bottom of one of these sort of things on an install just to click the 'Proceed' button, not reading a single word ?

    http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?t=290438

    http://www.lotro.com/support/download-lotro
    Well, to be clear, most other programs DO have pop-up messages that state they are about to install 3rd party programs and give you the option of saying yes or no to those extra programs. Game installs often have these pop-ups for things like dx9, x-fire, game-spy chat/social feature, etc. Audio/video devices and programs usually have pop-up installs about extra programs for sharing your music/vids online, connecting with online music/video stores and even installs for more professional editing programs.

    So yes, it shouldn't be hard for them to put a message in the installer saying Pando, a 3rd party program, will be installed, what it does, and a check-box to mark if you want it installed or not. Not having something like that is pretty shady, especially if it can ruin peoples bandwidth caps, and it kinda reminds me of Turbine's DDO offer-wall fiasco.
    New Player? Check out this chart for Quest Pack access for different accounts/purchases. [URL]http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?427692-LotRO-Account-Quest-Pack-Access-Chart&p=5778210#post5778210[/URL]

    German version here: [URL]http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?429055-HdRO-chart[/URL]

    [charsig=http://lotrosigs.level3.turbine.com/0c2140000000179b7/signature.png]Kualo[/charsig]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,726

    Re: New trial users - watch out for Pando Media Booster

    I just look for PMB.exe in my process list and cancel it. After I did this, I forgot about it until I rebooted my computer and I noticed it was taking items 5 seconds to move from slot to slot in my inventory.
    That's when I completely stopped in from starting ever again.
    85 RK | 85 CHMP | 75 BRG | many others

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    808

    Re: New trial users - watch out for Pando Media Booster

    Quote Originally Posted by KualaBangoDango View Post
    Well, to be clear, most other programs DO have pop-up messages that state they are about to install 3rd party programs and give you the option of saying yes or no to those extra programs. Game installs often have these pop-ups for things like dx9, x-fire, game-spy chat/social feature, etc. Audio/video devices and programs usually have pop-up installs about extra programs for sharing your music/vids online, connecting with online music/video stores and even installs for more professional editing programs.

    So yes, it shouldn't be hard for them to put a message in the installer saying Pando, a 3rd party program, will be installed, what it does, and a check-box to mark if you want it installed or not. Not having something like that is pretty shady, especially if it can ruin peoples bandwidth caps, and it kinda reminds me of Turbine's DDO offer-wall fiasco.
    Unfortunately, other companies are starting to go this route of requiring some additional download software that runs even if you don't want it to after the product is downloaded (you can, of course, prevent it from running if you know about it). For example, try downloading Adobe Acrobat Reader and you'll also be installing their ARM software that runs on startup without any option or warning. Many programs install additional pieces that will run on startup in order to supposedly make their software load faster ... at the cost of system resources all of the rest of the time (for example, QuickTime). Those are all examples of companies using their own software rather than third party software, but at the same time, they are installing something without telling you that will run in the background taking up resources of one kind or another. Most can be disabled or removed easily as long as you know about them, but it's becoming more and more common to install things like that without telling you.
    [charsig=http://lotrosigs.level3.turbine.com/03202000000310eff/01007/signature.png]Avanthos[/charsig]
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    3,550

    Re: New trial users - watch out for Pando Media Booster

    It does not restart when you reboot. But it will continue to serve uploads as long as the machine is up after your own download finishes.

    I am still surprised by this. This is a big, fat "sue me" sticker on Turbine's chest.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Depends on which game I'm in :)
    Posts
    6,708

    Re: New trial users - watch out for Pando Media Booster

    Quote Originally Posted by KualaBangoDango View Post
    Well, to be clear, most other programs DO have pop-up messages that state they are about to install 3rd party programs and give you the option of saying yes or no to those extra programs. Game installs often have these pop-ups for things like dx9, x-fire, game-spy chat/social feature, etc. Audio/video devices and programs usually have pop-up installs about extra programs for sharing your music/vids online, connecting with online music/video stores and even installs for more professional editing programs.

    So yes, it shouldn't be hard for them to put a message in the installer saying Pando, a 3rd party program, will be installed, what it does, and a check-box to mark if you want it installed or not. Not having something like that is pretty shady, especially if it can ruin peoples bandwidth caps, and it kinda reminds me of Turbine's DDO offer-wall fiasco.
    Pando is the first thing that the installer will install. The installer gives you a pop-up stating that Pando will be installed and asks for your permission to do so. It tells you what Pando does and gives you a URL to the Pando FAQ. As stated earlier, the download page also links to a post by Mirthgar about it who tells you that you can either disable or uninstall Pando once the client has been installed. While I don't like how Pando does things, Turbine is certainly not hiding the fact that it is used in the download/installation process.
    "Everyone's got one. Better to be a smart one than a dumb one." - me
    "It's people like you that [I]think[/I] you know everything that give those of us that [I]do[/I] a bad name." - me
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    319

    Re: New trial users - watch out for Pando Media Booster

    I knew Pando would be installed, but I did NOT know that it would continue seeding indefinitely after my download was finished, and install itself as a startup item.

    And the Pando info page, which I did look at briefly, said you can control it via the control panel, yet when I checked my control panel there was nothing there so I thought it had been removed.

    The Pando FAQ claims it uses minimal bandwidth and would slow nothing down. That is a batant lie. it used 100% of my upload bandwidth for a couple days and slowed everything, including the game for which it was installed to download.

    How does Pando Media Booster affect my computer resources and internet speed?

    Pando Media Booster is designed to consume very minimal system resources and bandwidth. Its use of bandwidth, system memory and CPU power is minimal.
    Minimal? Does minimal mean virtually 100% of my bandwidth? I checked the bandwidth meter on my router.

    Why would PMB need to be installed as a startup item anyway? There is no logical or rational reason for it, other than to steal bandwidth from unknowing end users who may not be aware of how it works when they install a free trial of a game. A quick look at the Pando website shows all kinds of claims of the awesome speed of their product. Speed that is obtained through deception, they use as a bragging point to increase sales.
    Last edited by Mulch2010; Aug 03 2010 at 06:44 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1

    Re: New trial users - watch out for Pando Media Booster

    Thanks for this actually. I was looking for info on how to get a trial key (which I'm still not exactly sure) and stumbled on this. Had no idea a p2p program was being installed. I checked Add/Remove Programs and sure enough, there it was. Already uninstalled. Thanks for the info.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    So you've come. Like Moths to a flame.
    Posts
    79

    Exclamation Protect yourself from Pando (important)

    when you are finished downloading the game be sure to go into your task manager and end PMB.exe to save bandwidth and computer resources. Ive done some research and have found that this will drastically improve your computer speed. (sorry for my spelling ive been working all day and am to tired to spell check)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    So you've come. Like Moths to a flame.
    Posts
    79

    Re: Protect yourself from Pando (important)

    Thanks to all who read my posts.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    254

    Re: Protect yourself from Pando (important)

    It is also possible to go to the control panel and either uninstall it or to attempt to limit its max upload rate.
    [CENTER][COLOR=#00cc00][B]Founding Member: Sapience Fan Club and Adoration Society[/B][/COLOR]
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Earth... usually
    Posts
    1,732

    Post Re: New trial users - watch out for Pando Media Booster

    Merged the dupe threads regarding this.

    There is information regarding Pando's use here, the knowledge base link here (note the screenshot under "Step 3") and details and information regarding Pando's use, functions and configuration are listed here.

    In response to some of the concerns that have been brought up in this thread:

    Use of Pando Media Booster is indicated in the very first screen that comes up when you attempt to download the game (ie. downloading and then running "lotrohigh.exe" or "lotrostandard.exe")

    Pando only continues seeding (ie sharing) the files for a limited period (72 hours currently) once the download has completed to offer everyone who is performing the download concurrently good overall connection coverage.

    It is not malware itself, does not download malware, nor does it allow malware to be loaded into its "seed" connections, also it does not allow any other files to be downloaded/uploaded onto or from your system. I strongly recommend everyone read the Pando FAQ both the mini on the forums linked above and the Pando Networks site linked in that thread.
    Last edited by Mirthgar; Aug 26 2010 at 02:57 PM.
    -Helpful Turbine Support Links-

    Note
    : The
    Customer Support forums are best for player-to-player help, for direct official support, please submit a help request via the form here.

    After submitting that ticket be sure to log in to your email providers website directly. Check spam/bulk mail folders and add noreply@turbine.com; techsupport@turbine.com and accountsupport@turbine.com to their "safe senders" list and your contacts list/address book as well. All tickets receive a reply but some responses get flagged as such and your email may not tell you it did so.

  15. #15

    Re: New trial users - watch out for Pando Media Booster

    even after the 72 hours though, the thing stays in your startup and eats memory and resources.

    once done, its really easy 2 step process takes 10 seconds:
    1) open task manager, kill pmb.exe
    2) open ccleaner (dont have it? get it!) and remove it from your startup. If you are new to this, use ccleaner to stop other junkware as well, such as quicktime, adobe flash updater helper, and the like. The only things that really need to start at system boot are your virus scanner, your firewall, and ... thats it actually.


    I would not bother to uninstall it as I suspect it will be needed for future updates to the game.
    Draegon:
    "stack all the morale you want but dont come on here wonderin why you aint hittin hard! :D"

 

 

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