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Reader Comments (63)

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 5:00PM Seffrid said

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@wildcoyote

That's my experience too. Moreover, when I checked my msinfo start-up entries after the last scare-mongering article/comments I found it was disabled even tho' I'm not aware of having disabled it.

I don't see what all the fuss is about, but then perhaps I don't frequent the sort of sites and downloads that get this kind of product a bad name!
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 6:47PM Plastic said

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@wildcoyote

The major complaint is the lack of warning regarding the continuous bandwidth consumption after installation and the fact that it's the default setting, not that the program installs itself without permission.
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 5:19PM firithnorm said

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OK - you want a certain game, it downloads Pando first and then installs the game. Then, your regular internet speed sucks until you remember to uninstall Pando, which brings things back to normal.

Why don't the game companies simply uninstall Pando as their last installation step? Or maybe even Pando do that as well? Or a pop-up that says "Hey, I'm still running - do you want to uninstall me?"

Oh, yeah... cuz it needs a certain number of people to NOT uninstall it to make the whole thing work efficiently.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 5:39PM Skyydragonn said

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[quote]than having to install a different torrent for each game and having multiple torrent clients on your computer.[/quote]

I stopped reading right about there. The CEO of a P2P service provider and he doesn't even understand how a torrent works? You dont Install a torrent file. and you rarely (If Ever) need multiple Torrent clients.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2012 4:55PM Cyroselle said

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@Skyydragonn I was tripping over that one too. Then again, read the rest of the article, it really doesn't seem that English is the guy's 1st language.. likely he means something else..
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 6:54PM Space Cobra said

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They say you can uninstall Pando Networks, but I am wondering if the game gets it's updated files strictly through this software, how will a game update files if Pando is an updater/manager?

It seems like if you uninstall it, you can't update your game client, so you'd have to re-install/re-enable it just to get the new updates/files for a game, right?

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 7:11PM Pingles said

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I use it. I uninstall it afterwards.

But I do think it's a bit invasive.

How about turning itself off when YOUR download is done?
How about a pop-up when you start your machine to remind you it's running in the background?

I have been caught several times wondering why my system was sluggish only to discover it in my processes.

That shouldn't happen. And I dont think it's fair to users who might not know how to investigate its symptoms.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 8:07PM purewitz said

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I only leave PMB on my PC long enough to download a game. Then I uninstall it. I don't like it, but it seems to be an evil we must endure. If we want to try games that use it. I always make sure I have proper security measures running, while using PMB.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 8:12PM ChongShin said

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"But if every company had their own torrent file and you, on your computer, had 10 or 20 different torrents, different clients, for different games, that's worse than having one instance of Pando Media Booster"

He can't be that stupid. The guy's trying to be sneaky to take advantage of people's ignorance; it's clear that PMB takes after its papa. I'll stick to uTorrent, kthx.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 9:17PM Deliverator said

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Damn, wish I was the one who got to interview that guy. You should have sent someone technical.

First, Pando's benefit to the player is created *only* when the gaming company won't or can't provide enough download bandwidth for its players. Second, Pando only makes sense - it only works - if a large number of users don't know what's going on and don't 'easily uninstall' it. That's why the warnings, popups, and checkbox to 'uninstall when done' aren't and will never be right in your face.

Bit-torrent/p2p (person to person, nothing to do with Pay 2 Play or revenue models) was developed to address the differing caps in upload speeds. For instance, say I want to download a 3 gig Linux installation and have a 10Mb connection. Say the servers I can download from only have 4Mb connections - if I only download from 1 source I can only reach a max speed of 4mB because that's all the server can give me. Basically, torrents and torrent clients allow us to combine multiple slower sources and download at closer to our own personal maximum rate. If the game company provides (pays for) enough bandwidth so that its customers get a decent download rate you don't need torrents or p2p download clients. There's no benefit to you because Pando is a cost saving measure for gaming companies - you only need it because they chose to distribute via Pando instead of paying more for bandwidth.

The reason Pando has a bad name is because they only way they can function is by hoodwinking a certain percentage of a games’ player base into leaving it running. They’re after people like our non-technical friends that we help out with new video drivers over Vent. There are far, far more people that can figure out how to install a game than can figure out that their kids’ LotRO installation is what is stuttering their Netflix movie downstairs. Yes, this affects your entire house’s bandwidth, not just your web browsing on the one machine where you installed LotRO.
Additionally:
They don’t pay to use your hard drive rotations - I think we all know hard drives have a limited life span by now.
They don’t pay for the hard drive space and they go so far to rename the files and folders cryptically so you’re nervous about deleting them.
They don’t pay to use a portion of your data connection - the usage irritates me and I don’t even have to deal with caps/pay for overages where I live.

While they aren't technically stealing from you, they don't exactly give you a big warning that says:

"We're going to use 10gigs of your drive for files you no longer need and allow anyone with LotRO to access your hard drive and data connection 24/7. We're going to keep doing this the entire time your computer is on, whether you're playing, watching Netflix or trying to download something else even if after you uninstall LotRO..... unless you find us and make us stop. Check here if you don't want this to happen"

They simply can’t. The Pando network doesn’t begin to hum until you’re *done* downloading and they can use your full upload cap to provide the game to other customers. If they were completely open and obvious about what they were doing too many people would uninstall and Pando would grind to a halt. People would agree to this if they understood therefore their entire business model revolves around taking advantage the unaware.

In conclusion - screw you Pando - first for coming here and trying to insult our community with your marketing BS and secondly for insulting our authors who called you out in the first place. Your business model is underhanded at best. Go try to make an honest living you leeches. And to everyone else - uninstall this crap and if you can even figure out which game installed it then email the company. Here’s a clue - start with F2P games.

Thank you Massively for providing the space to respond.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 9:25PM Deliverator said

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@Deliverator
*People wouldn't agree to this if they understood*
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Posted: Jan 3rd 2012 2:10AM pancho72 said

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@Deliverator

Agreed. The whole idea of Pando is to make it hard to notice so that some people will unkowingly share bandwidth.

It runs silently as a system service, an area in Windows many normal users won't know how to configure. Pando is easy to uninstall once you know it is there and is the cause of network trouble, but getting that knowledge isn't exactly trivial when you don't know what you are looking for. Normally the only indication that Pando is running on the system is decreased network performance, something that can be caused by a number of reasons.

I have personally uninstalled Pando on several occasions, in many of those I didn't know how it got installed. It has become part of my normal clean up routine to check if Pando is installed on my system.

Pando may provide a better user experience for the publishers, but certainly not the end users. Thats just business damage control talking.
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Posted: Jan 3rd 2012 5:01PM Cyroselle said

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@Deliverator

Agreed,

Regardless to what the PR spin attempt here is, whenever someone steps up and says something along the lines of 'its for the users' benefit' a red flag immediately pops up on my horizon.

This is where critical thinking gets to have an exercise session.
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2012 11:19PM Mikx said

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I don't mind Pando per se, but you have to recognise its basically a parasite that depends on the ignorance of its host.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2012 1:56AM markt50 said

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I don't mind admitting that I fell victim to Pando some time ago, I downloaded some F2P game to try it and wasn't really paying attention to the install messages (doing the usual clicking next, next , next without actually reading any of the guff every game comes with these days).

For a couple of weeks afterwards my internet connection was dreadful, specifically streaming video, this got really annoying as I could not get sat TV where I live so relied on the net for access to my TV shows. After 2 weeks of constant buffering when attempting to stream video and my internet browsing in general being slow I finally pin pointed the issue down to Pando, it was removed and the problems went away.

I admit that it might be my fault for not paying attention in the first place, but it is this reliance on peoples ignorance that this Pando software seems to rely on and I now see this software in the same light as malware and viri. I now simply do not download any game that makes it a requirement to install Pando in the first place, regardless of how easy it is supposed to be to 'remove'.

I see no reason at all why games companies cannot provide there own torrent files, and maybe they should consider embracing things such as Usenet if they wish to reduce the costs from having to host large client files for direct HTTP download.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2012 3:34AM Sean D said

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Uninstalled Pando after reading this article and a number of the responses. I didn't know that it was installed.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2012 10:34AM fauxcivility said

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I've actually had no problems with PMD. Played LotRO and DDO which used it, in addition to some other F2P games I've forgotten. Speeds always seemed better than a direct download, so personally I'm not against using PMD.

Posted: Jan 3rd 2012 6:18PM Timevalue said

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I agree with most of what everyone says above about Pando, BUT I do see a limited use for people wanting to download their games faster and for the F2P MMO's to keep their costs down.

Let's look at Turbine's use of Pando:
If Turbine had offered a few Turbine Points for a gamer to keep Pando running, I'd bet there would be a fair number of takers for this deal. Instead, this sneaky underhanded tactic is used that is pissing everyone off. I uninstalled Pando on my system, but if Turbine had offered me a few Turbine Points to let the Pando keep running on my computer...I would have actually considered the offer myself.

Maybe MMO's are being stingy by "outsourcing" the game downloads to new users this way (and it is dishonest the way it happens now), but I do see their need to keep corporate operating costs low. Why couldn't Turbine just COOPERATE with their F2P fans and offer a bribe of few Turbine Points each month to share the load instead of resorting to something sneaky like this?

Posted: Jan 3rd 2012 6:40PM Timevalue said

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@Timevalue Making my above post simpler:

If Turbine or other Pando clients would just have been upfront, honest, and offered a bribe of "game points" to keep PMB running then the Media Booster (LOL, cute name) would actually have P2P download potential for the betterment of everyone involved.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2012 10:39PM psycros said

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The issue with PMB is that its completely unnecessary. Its not needed, for any reason whatsoever. It has one purpose only - adding a revenue stream for these loser companies forced to go FTP.

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