So, I got myself a new laptop with the money I earned from designing websites. It’s a pretty sweet, slick, and cool Ultrabook from Asus. And, it’s touchscreen to boot! It was pretty awesome and I was pretty excited to try it out and do create all sorts of programs, design video games and websites, create graphics, and write with it because those were the main reasons I decided to go buy one (after all, I no longer have a laptop to work with since mine’s already reached past its limits and the laptop I had been using was one I borrowed from my dad).
Anyways, the laptop came with a bunch of pre-installed software waiting for you to activate them. One of those pre-installed software was Intel and McAfee’s Anti-Theft 2.2 program.
Now, I didn’t really have any plans on installing this thing. I didn’t even know about it until it kept on popping up telling me to activate it to protect my computer. I don’t know about you guys, but for someone who has already had their phone stolen ones, I wanted some form of security to track my laptop. An anti-theft software from someone as trusted as Intel sounds good to me. So, I installed it.
I should have known better.
Usually, before I install a program on a computer, I research about it. I search for well-known bugs and problems I might encounter if I add said program/software/application on to my computer or my phone. But, for some reason, I didn’t think about researching this one. I should have. That would certainly have saved me from the headache this stupid piece of worthless software brought me.
This headache-inducing and problem-generating software was supposed to do three things: (1) Track your device every time it’s connected to the internet, (2) Lock your computer should it get stolen, and (3) Protect your files.
Now, Intel and McAfee (who are both pointing fingers at each other when it comes to their customer service regarding this matter), should have added some sort of option for those installing this software. For one, they should have asked whether you want to enable all three “anti-theft protection” (as they called it), or if you want to customize your installation/activation/whatever. They didn’t. They didn’t even ask if which files you want protected or if you want to encrypt your files–which it does automatically, even those from your cloud storage (i.e Skydrive) making said cloud storage unusable with other computers.
Not only do they eff-up your files and your Skydrive/cloud storage, they also do not ask you–during the set-up phase–for how long you want to wait until your computer locks up. They just set it to whatever default value (23) and not inform you about it. To top it off, their device tracking is pretty pathetic. It showed me so far away from where I actually am (which, at that moment, I was in Lucena while their tracking showed me at Paranaque City). So, this software was pretty useless. Having realized that–and seeing how much it slowed down my Intel Core-i5–I decided to uninstall it.
Uninstalling a software should be painless. You wouldn’t want to give your user a headache–which is exactly what Intel’s Anti-Theft software did. It does not uninstall properly. It will throw errors after errors at you. And then it will tell you to re-install the stupid program so that you can uninstall it properly. The problem with that is the program will not install as long as you have another instance of it present in your machine. So now you’re left with a slow machine with all of your files encrypted (which you can’t read) and in trouble of locking up.
You might say, “But, Vianca, there’s a web portal where you can edit your settings. Why didn’t you use that?”
Well, those settings are as useless as the software. It doesn’t work. No matter how many times you change the settings from there, it doesn’t do anything. Even if you sync it. It didn’t decrypt my files. The only thing that it did was allow me to keep my laptop from locking up and to stop it from using its sorry-excuse-of-a-tracking-system.
So now you might be wondering how I managed to fix my problem with it? Well, it took me days to take it off of my laptop. And, even then, it didn’t let me decrypt my files and it killed my Skydrive files too, so I’m pretty furious about that. The fix came with reformatting, installing the software again to edit the settings on the web console, uninstalling the software (at that time I was begging for it to uninstall properly, it didn’t), reformatting my laptop again and saying goodbye to my affected files on my laptop and on my Skydrive account.
So, there you have it. My horrifying experience with this shitty–pardon my potty mouth but I really am frustrated with this–software. A software that didn’t protect its user (like it’s supposed to do), but instead created a multitude of problems from two companies whose customer service could only give you phone numbers and throw you back and forth between them.
Heed my advice: STEER CLEAR FROM THIS SOFTWARE! IT’S A PIECE OF GARBAGE!