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Reader Comments (63)

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:15PM Faction 3 said

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I never had a problem with PMB. Don't really understand what the issue is. Ive installed games with it, and then uninstalled it once I grew tired of such games.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:22PM djodars said

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@Faction 3 The issue with it is that it steals bandwidth even if you're done downloading the game (which is what PMB is for). On a single computer with a good connection and no bandwidth usage limit, you won't notice the difference but on a multi-computer network (2+) with a normal high-speed connection, PMB makes it that you can barely load websites when it's running in the background. That's why it's shit and that's why I uninstall it every single time a company uses it.
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:28PM (Unverified) said

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@Faction 3 Same here played LOTRO for a long long time not to mention jumping on and off DDO from time to time but never had an issue disabling this thing on my bar. Why is it people can't educate themselves a little better these days when there's pleanty of accurate and solid information on the internet?
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 5:47PM Celtar said

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@Faction 3

I don't mind it as long as I can uninstall it ( which is what I do after I'm down using it). I have six computers running on the net work plus X-Box 360, so bandwith is important to me. You get 2 systems running Netflix, another downloading and couple others playing games and bandwith gets eaten up pretty fast.

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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 11:44PM nhat said

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@djodars I just disable it after I finish downloading....
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:20PM (Unverified) said

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The problem is really obvious: They do not ask the users if they want to install it, they do not make it clear that it'll use your own bandwidth significantly for no gain of your own, and people don't know it's there until they see their whole internet slows to a crawl and investigate. I live in Canada where we have VERY strict bandwidth caps, and how Pando gets installed is completely and utterly unacceptable. This is why people are pissed off.

As for the guy you interviewed, OF COURSE this is bundled. The fact that you can uninstall it if you know exactly what you're looking for doesn't change that fact. Pando is crapware that gets installed on your system and runs all of the time when you install something completely unrelated. And it does so without EVER telling the user it exists, what it does, or how to turn it off.

And you know why? It's their business model. Very few people would say "hey, I'll sacrifice my internet speed and incur overage charges with my stingy ISP so a 14 year old kid in Kansas can get his LOTRO update 4-5 minutes faster".

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:28PM Darkie said

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@(Unverified)

This. This is exactly what's wrong with PMB. When you download a game through it for the first time it does NOT warn you that it's gonna launch a hidden process that eats your bandwidth every time you turn your computer on.

After trying out DDO I noticed my internet had become REALLY slower, and only after looking around on forums did I learn about PMB being in the background.

So yes, it's removable, it's modulable, but it never warns you about what it does, and that is why most of the people will dislike PMB.

It could be as simple as a popup warning you when you install the game, and it would become much more reputable if the process that launches in the background had a feedback, like an icon in your system tray showing you how much bandwidth it's consuming.

Until then, I will sigh and go "oh please not this crap again" every time I see a game downloader using PMB.
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:35PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) gaming companies do that all the time, and so do many other companies...hello windows. I never wanted the full-of-holes can't get rid of it because it's forced upon you internet explorer but it doesn't mean i'm going online to bitch about it LOL When i installed LOTRO and DDO i used an app called game booster which turns off unnecessary crap running in the background, which is absolutely a must if you run windows to play anything since they don't run on protected memory slots like Linux or Macs there were mini apps running all over the place in the background of windows taking up memory. Yes Pando is one of them but there are easy ways of disabling them, the problem isn't Pando the problem is Microsoft. I guess my point is this, Pando can easily be disabled with Game Booster, and Pando would never be able to do what it's doing on a Mac because Mac's actually warn their users about EVERYTHING being installed. If Windows had this secretive crap hole or code rewritten so it actually PROTECTS the user instead of abusing the user then companies like Pando wouldn't exist.
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Posted: Jan 3rd 2012 4:53PM Cyroselle said

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@(Unverified) Wow. Other than the programs I'm currently using, (browsers, music, email, coder app) the only background processes I have running are those directly involved in the OS, and I /am/ running windows. Then again, I built my own system from the ground up, and really don't represent your average desktop user.

IMO the easiest way to ensure that you won't have a bunch of mini-aps running in the background, is just don't install certain programs... iTunes for instance. Just running iTunes will also run about 5 additional 'services' (Bonjour!) in the background. They won't impact your CPU or RAM significantly, but these things do add up. ;P
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:23PM Silverel said

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Last time I used PMB was to install League of Legends. I don't recall having any problems with it, and it was significantly easier than trying to find a legit torrent of a current game client which I tried first. As far as configuration options, they were basic but appeared to be satisfactory enough. I still uninstalled PMB when I finished the download, which is probably due to unjust paranoia over their past reputation.

5 years ago, PMB was terrible. I recall having issues removing it from my system, hell, it might still be on my XP machine. Today, I would use it again, and probably well before getting a torrent from the random internet wilds. Granted, if Riot left a torrent link on their site, this would be a lot easier as I could use my own client, but those are locked down just as quick as they're revealed. The problem is the reputation, but that can (take a look a Zynga) be restored over time provided they keep at making a quality product that people don't hate to use.

Again, my preference would be a torrent provided directly from the company that I could leech from my OWN client, but as an alternative, PMB isn't bad, and certainly isn't as malicious as it appeared to be years ago.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:54PM Scuffles said

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@Silverel

I think you are missing the point.

The issue is that PMB is a torrent client. So there is no difference with using PMB and finding a "legit torrent". They are one and the same.

Mind you I have never had an issue uninstalling that POS but I have had it bring my web browsing to a crawl in the past. So yeah its bad rep as a BW hog are well founded.

As for people not knowing how to uninstall it..... that isn't totally inconceivable. Think about it this way, from the point of view of a moron(yes they do exist, yes they do use the interwebz).

It would be like you torrenting a file then not knowing/understanding how to stop seeding it. If you happen to be a bit on the slow side and also happen to have a bandwidth cap .... well good luck.
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 2:52PM Silverel said

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@Scuffles It was an issue finding a legit torrent because LoL simply didn't provide one. Occasionally someone would link to one that they got from a support person, but those links were taken off the official forums rather quickly.

Uninstalling was as simple as running the uninstaller. There was no trickery involved.

As for morons using the internet, I'm not even slightly sympathetic. If you install a new program and don't look at what kind of configuration can be done, you're doing yourself a disservice. It was quite obvious to me how to limit the upload speed with PMB, because I opened the config and looked. Not hard.

You don't need a computer science degree to handle a torrent. If you're irresponsible about understanding what the f*** you're doing on the computer, chances are PMB is the least of your worries.
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 3:38PM sortius said

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@Scuffles It's not always "morons" that don't know how to uninstall stuff. I've worked in IT for 15+ years, and smart people sometimes just don't know about how to do things on their computers.

Add to this that their kids might install a game on their laptop, they expect it to just be a game, not some bandwidth eating crapware. I've seen a user end up with $1000+ mobile broadband bills due to crapware very similar to PMB, I bet they have no response to comments like this.

His continual excuses are "you can disable it, you can uninstall it", how about this: not having it enabled or installed to start with?
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Posted: Jan 3rd 2012 5:04PM Cyroselle said

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@sortius Or really, how hard would it be to have it set, at default, to close once the user's own download had finished?
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:24PM Renko said

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And my PC still hates Pando and has a nervous breakdown whenever I try to run it, no matter how positive a spin the company tries to put on it.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:26PM pid said

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In my opinion, there should be an open protocol that allows downloading that data. Then, Microsoft should implement a service that leverages that open protocol so that it is already installed with the Windows. Finally, game companies would have to provide for CDN that use that protocol. This is a SEAMLESS implementation and clear separation of concerns. Pando does all 3 steps above because MS has not perceived that market niche, but from a security and credibility POV they have a long way to go.
They're not doing anything wrong, it's the way the Internet works: once a name is stuck to a bad reputation it sticks. I don't know where this reputation come from and I guess it's because the first games using pando were of minor quality. So the game's quality carried over to the DL infrastructure, which really are two completely different things. But kids don't realize it and even do not care, so when they read pando they're reminded (erroneously) of that minor quality game they uninstalled after minutes of boring play.
As always, these technologies require time to settle and not always the BEST solution is adopted Internet-wide (examples are HTML, CSS, RSS - all conventions/protocols that are not the best solution but de facto standards).
The openness and separation of protocol and CDN is fundamental. And I don't see that coming from Microsoft. Neither from Pando or ANY company right now.
It's good that pando tries to clear these misunderstandings, but the effect of that effort will be seen in, like, ... months? years?

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:33PM pid said

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@pid well... I reply to myself after reading some comments here. apparently pando leeches in the background to serve packets in P2P to other users who still need to download the client. WoW is also P2P but it stops as soon as the client is fully downloaded, which is acceptable. So... I have to correct myself. it's clear to me now where the reputation comes from.

Maybe I had no idea because I always avoided it in the first place and those games along with it?

Thanks all for the clearup!
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:38PM JohnD212 said

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That was great actually. I'm sure it's hard to overcome such a bad reputation...especially when it's unfounded. I've never had an issue with it. I install it for a game and then uninstall it. No big deal.

Going forward I'll think twice about hating it some much. This was very helpful to be honest!! Thanks

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:44PM jimr9999us said

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I used it to download LotRO. When the dl was complete I uninstalled it.

-shrug-

It's like loving TV but hating the power company. So build your own windmill.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 1:44PM Vendayn said

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I'm on high speed cable, on a multi network and man...pando makes my internet and pc so slow. I uninstall it and my PC and internet go back to normal.

To me, it is pretty much spyware...I hate it. I pretty much avoid games that use it, even if it is easy to uninstall...I don't want it on my system at all.

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