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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    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]
    AMD Althon II X3 435 [color=red]|[/color] 2GB DDR3 PC1033 RAM [color=red]|[/color] 1GB GeForce 220 [color=red]|[/color] Windows 7 [color=red]|[/color] 2TB Hard Disk Space [color=red]|[/color] 7mbit Cable

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Boston
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    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 :)
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    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
    "Eat, drink, and be Merry, 'cause Pippin was a fool of a Took."

  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
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    3,550

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

    The whole point of doing peer-to-peer (p2p) like Pango and bittorrent do is to always approach the maximum bandwidth available on the line.

    For that statement alone Turbine can get sued.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    319

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Darmokk View Post
    The whole point of doing peer-to-peer (p2p) like Pango and bittorrent do is to always approach the maximum bandwidth available on the line.

    For that statement alone Turbine can get sued.
    Well, that quote is from the Pando website, not Turbine.

    I've played other MMO games that use P2P but they always make it clear when the loader is seeding and make it easily disabled. That's really all they have to do with this launcher to make it right.

    And you really shouldn't have to search forums to find out about it.
    Last edited by Mulch2010; Aug 03 2010 at 06:51 PM.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Boston
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    3,550

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

    Not much difference legally.

    The only difference between p2p and straight download is that in the latter case you use up the bandwidth of the file size 1x, in one direction, with only TCP ack packages flowing the other direction.

    With p2p you do the same, with more partners you download from, which is neutral bandwidth usage wise. But there is the upload to all the other suckers on top.

    So, the bandwidth usage is strictly more than straight download and hence the statement is a blatant lie. In fact bandwidth usage is maximized (while the net win for you is the same, one download). That's the whole point.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    319

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

    I ended up with 1 download at 3X the actual bandwidth, which certainly isn't minimal. It would have been much worse if I hadn't taken a look at my daily bandwidth usage on my router. The "average" user would probably never do that, and hence that is how Pando makes their money and is able to make these claims about the speed and cost effectiveness of their product.

    It's just downright sleazy.

    By "minimal" bandwidth use I thought they were referring to the rate at which it is used. If it had limited the upload data rate to say 10 Kps it wouldn't be a big deal and barely noticeable. But no, they default to 100% of the available upload speed.

    Another point which hasn't been mentioned, its really in Turbine's best interest to disable the max bandwidth seeding after the game has been downloaded. In my case, when I installed and tried the game for the first time, with 100% of my outgoing bandwidth being hogged by PMB I was getting a horrendous framerate and hitching in the game.
    This was my first impression and for a game several years old it seemed really bad. So I went and turned down a lot of the graphic options, making the game look worse than was necessary in order to get a playable speed.
    So for a free trial in which the point is to impress the new player, their launcher is making it look worse than it should.
    Last edited by Mulch2010; Aug 03 2010 at 07:26 PM.

  14. #14
    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.

  15. #15

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulch2010 View Post
    Another point which hasn't been mentioned, its really in Turbine's best interest to disable the max bandwidth seeding after the game has been downloaded. In my case, when I installed and tried the game for the first time, with 100% of my outgoing bandwidth being hogged by PMB I was getting a horrendous framerate and hitching in the game.
    This was my first impression and for a game several years old it seemed really bad. So I went and turned down a lot of the graphic options, making the game look worse than was necessary in order to get a playable speed.
    So for a free trial in which the point is to impress the new player, their launcher is making it look worse than it should.
    That's an excellent point.
    [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]

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2

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

    ya i have used pando media boost lots of times for games ive played i have a lets just say unlimited downloads ea month XD my net speed is 512 kb/s. i let the downloader upload to other players just like a torrent helps otheres download.

    tho my net is fast i dont feel the lag most others do XD

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    319

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

    Seeding is fine as long as you are aware of it when it happens, and are able to control at what data rate it seeds.

    But mine was seeding at MANY times 512 kb/s and with PBM eating up 100% of it every other outgoing request was slowed down, and this game played very poorly because of it.

    I wouldn't have been bothered had it only been 512 kb/s. I wouldn't have noticed it either.

  18. #18

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

    Pando Media Booster

    First Go to Pando Website and read exactly how this thing works. It is not true Peer to Peer. In a Peer to Peer the tunnel is made you at one end and the server at the other.
    This software passes more information to the next one on the server.

    Basically it is this:

    You connect to the server and start downloading as bit enter your computer and a copy of the bit is sent to the next one on the server from your computer.

    So can I bill turbine for acting as a server which is not allowed on Comcast.


    This download is taking 5 hours at 535 KBps.
    There is not a control to make it go faster.

    I am running Win 7 Ultimate

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    319

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

    Look around there might be mirrors with the trial download as a direct download. Even a normal torrent would be better than PMB.

    I found one for the beta client and got it at 1.5 MBps, took about 2 hours.

  20. #20

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

    I would also like to voice my dissatisfaction at the use of Pando Media Booster to download the LOTRO client. I downloaded the Bullroarer beta client a few days ago. After it was installed, I thought that was it. I did notice the message for PMB before the install began, BUT NOWHERE WAS IT CLEAR THAT PMB, AFTER THE LOTRO CLIENT HAD BEEN INSTALLED, WOULD CONTINUE TO RUN ON WINDOWS STARTUP, AND WOULD, AT TIMES, USE 100% OF MY UPLOAD BANDWIDTH TO (PRESUMABLY) SERVE THE LOTRO CLIENT TO OTHER USERS. I could not figure out why my internet connection was being shot to hell. I thought I might be having problems with my ISP/modem. No, it was actually this sneaky malware that Turbine decided to use as their download mechanism.

    TURBINE CHANGE THIS NOW, IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. You either need to make it clearer that PMB will continue to run and upload data after the LOTRO client is installed, or you need to find another way to serve the LOTRO client. Again, THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    319

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

    Welcome to Pando Media Malware. That is exactly what happened to me and why I started this thread.

    I don't think Turbine is going to do anything about PMB, Turbine LOVES PMB, as they get to use the bandwidth of unsuspecting free trial users to distribute their software.

    Take a look at this quote from the front page of the Pando website...

    Customers Say...
    "Not only did we see an increase in download speeds and completion rates, the Pando downloader demonstrated that it would significantly reduce Turbine’s content delivery costs by utilizing a state-of-the-art peer-to-peer download technology."

    Chris Dyl
    Chief Technology Officer
    Turbine Inc.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    3,550

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

    Just to clarify, this isn't limited to abusing the bandwidth of free trial users.

    Paying customers who re-download for any reason are also subject to using p2p for download which means they also provide upload to other customers of Turbine. At least the high-res client is only offered via p2p now, and I think they also changed the low-res client recently.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    319

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

    True, I should have clarified that. But I think a lot of current users, at least those who read the forums, are probably aware of what Pando does by now.

    All Turbine has to do really is make it clear that if left enabled, Pando will continue to upload at full bandwidth, and give users an easy option to turn it off. Not installing it as a startup item would be nice as well as there is absolutely NO logical reason for it to be a startup item.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    9

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

    Those who would rather have a full download minus the Pando: (Fileplanet links)

  25. #25
    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)

 

 
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