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Security => Security Software Programs => Topic started by: G_Mugford on March 27, 2018, 12:55:51 AM

Title: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: G_Mugford on March 27, 2018, 12:55:51 AM
I wax and wane about various Security programs and suites. Sometimes, when I see a sale, I'll splurge and spend the money ... only to find I bought a limited-time licence or that the program itself is insufferable. Then, it's back to Avast! and ZoneAlarm.  THEN, their repeated come-on's for upgrades get me looking for the next sale. It is under the latter situation that I once again renewed my acquaintance with WinPatrol. Actually, I've bought WinPatrol several times over the years to support Bill. Don't actually use it because it's a bit Nanny State for me. But I do install it every now and then and see if it fits MY needs. It's usually gone in a few days. However, I have a future Win10 computer arriving to replace my long-time workhorse, a Win7x64 Pro machine. I decided that I'd take advantage of a Bits Du Jour sale and grab a licence that would cover the workhorse, the new computer (code name RUHROH ... you have to be a Scooby Do! enthusiast to understand the name) and my laptop. The latter also runs Win10, a system that I dislike on many levels.

I DO run a pro version of eSet as my anti-virus. So, I installed WinPatrol Firewall and WinPrivacy, the two items I needed to cover my suite. There were some of the annoyances that I associate with WinPatrol software, but I was handling them. Until the Firewall kept throwing messages up onto the screen about a program that I had told it was OK. Going to the dashboard, I found it kept coming up about a non-existing program called Update. I searched high and low for the program. It was, indeed, missing. So, I contacted support at winpatrol.com. I got NO answer. The email was, admittedly, confrontational. But not excessively so. NO answer. And this is a program that is now approaching a year without an update.

At the very point that I was thinking about uninstalling WPF, with prejudice, I figured out that it wasn't a program at all. It was a folder called UPDATE. THAT still didn't work. It took adding the targeted program via copy to UPDATE that was eventually proven successful in quelling these incessant WRONG alerts. Unfortunately, after every update to Palemoon (a webbrowser variant of Firefox), I have to resort to the whole rigmarole again. 

Would support give me a PERMANENT work around? Don't know. Two messages in and NO responses. Would an update fix this? Don't know. Never have seen one and it appears I might be in for a long wait. In a software sector that changes DAILY.  Will things like a non-dismissive alert box (seriously, the only way to get rid of it is task manager OR clicking on it to bring up the Dashboard) be fixed? And yes, I know I can turn off ALL messages if I want, which I DO NOT want. Just the fake ones should be dismissed. Or maybe adding the BLOCK INTERNET feature which just about EVERY firewall I have used has, in case I need to chase down a rogue piece of malware. Nope, I have no pathway to expect those two things to happen either.

I am ... disappointed that the legendary support I got from Bill, WHEN needed, has disappeared from the company that supposedly carries on that legacy. Of course, just as I have been unwell of late, it IS possible my requests are going into a black medical emergency hole. So, I ask here, DO YOU GET SUPPORT? When was it last needed and responded to? How long did it take to get a response? Is WinPatrol salvageable? Is the whole suite?

Appreciate any and all responses. ANY responses would be better than I'm currently getting. GM
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: MikeW on March 27, 2018, 08:09:54 AM
I can fully understand your frustration, and it would appear you are not alone. Personally I was never a fan of the program and removed it many years ago.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: Digerati on March 27, 2018, 02:26:07 PM
Well, I was a long time fan of WinPatrol which, IMO, makes it that much more disappointing to see just about everything about the program and company fall from grace.

The current owner has had some serious personal family issues of late that would affect any one. I am not offering that as an excuse, just a partial explanation for some of the lack of attention issues.

All I can really say is if I didn't already have a lifetime license, I probably would not still be using it. I only use WinPatrol Plus, not any of the other programs.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: Gopher John on March 27, 2018, 04:18:23 PM
I have lifetime licenses for the trifecta of WinPatrol products.  Thus far, they are performing tasks flawlessly.  Therefore, I cannot speak to support issues.  It's not always necessary to have regular updates to have fully functioning software.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: dallas7 on March 27, 2018, 10:22:16 PM
I've got over 60 gmail threads with Bret going back to June of 2016 when I was running WAR beta versions on my Windows 7 primary and 10 test systems.  By the time January 2017 rolled around, WAR matured to the point I no longer needed support or desired more beta work.  Then was about the last time we corresponded.

Since WAR continues to work without issue on my tower and a laptop, both Windows 7, support has been unnecessary.   Product updates are not of a major concern to me.  Which is to say I'm not dismissing 10 users considering those four Redstone bulldozers.  (I have only one active 10 box and it's dedicated to NAS and restricted to FTP and my LAN, so no need for WAR.  And I have no concern to run WAR on my 10 test system at this point.)

I notice that WARSvc still bangs a couple or three IP addresses in ip dot secureserver dot net (for my SW USA location) when I install/run new stuff.  Of course, there's no way to tell if the server side has seen any data maintenance.  However it most likely continues to act on its core functionality. 

That domain and winpatrol dot com are hosted by Go Daddy - Domains By Proxy and some one is paying the bills.

I had only recently become aware of Bret's absence and hope he soon recovers from whatever family and business troubles are disturbing his calm.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: Digerati on March 28, 2018, 02:14:26 PM
It's not always necessary to have regular updates to have fully functioning software.
This is very true. As long as there are no previously undiscovered bugs, no compatibility issues with the latest version of the OS or latest generation hardware, and as long as new security threats don't need to be addressed, there is no need to push out an update.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: G_Mugford on March 31, 2018, 03:07:55 PM
Thank you all for your responses to this. I've been going through my on health issues (three heart attacks and other stuff and I KNOW the struggle these things can do to a life). I feared this might be the case. I wish I had been wrong. It explains the lack of response and it's one I can respect as a reason rather than an excuse.

That said, despite the warm reviews (mostly) of WPF, there is no reason to continue to believe it will adapt to my particular needs. The interface remains mired in the past, doesn't perform some functions that I think make sense and it has a bug that has bitten me on the backside. In fact, said bug is scheduled to re-appear when I reboot Pale Moon on this system to update it. Sigh.

A switch back to Zone Alarm is on the horizon. I see the 1 yr licence is running an Easter Sale. I will have six months of peace and then a litany of update/upgrade notices. Rumpletstiltskin. Sigh.

I only wonder one thing. If Brett is under the weather, why did he have the time to run the sale on Bits Du Jour? Caveat emptor indeed.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: plodr on April 01, 2018, 05:56:19 PM
Bret is not under the weather. There was major flooding where he lives. His mother died in the flood; people have been displaced and Bret was down to a skeleton staff because of the flooding/moves etc.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: Corrine on April 01, 2018, 07:16:45 PM
Actually, he had been very sick with the flu.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: plodr on April 02, 2018, 12:24:42 PM
Thanks for the update. He has had his share of troubles of late.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: Digerati on April 02, 2018, 01:34:32 PM
It seems to be pretty much a one-man show.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: DavidON on April 23, 2018, 05:26:59 PM
Of course Bret has my sympathy and we've all needed tolerance from others for our own personal issues. However there are a couple of points that I must mention...
 - Bret's response to issues has been seriously lacking since at least December 2016 - yes, almost a year and half now.
 - I'm surprised at the number of people who are saying that the programs simply work. While this has always been my experience with the original WinPatrol, this has not been the case with WinPrivacy/WinPatrol Firewall. It has been in need of some TLC for quite a while. The update in May, IIRC, was a long overdue repair of a fundamental security failing in the program. Meanwhile, we're left with that version's poor handling of work files which causes it to regularly use using huge quantities of disk space (no, I'm not saving connection history). In addition, there are the foreground messages for routinely blocked programs which require the window to be manually closed (from the TaskBar!) unless you're willing to look at them for 60 seconds at a time.

Regards,
David.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: plodr on April 23, 2018, 07:02:36 PM
Actually I'm running a very old version of WinPatrol. (33.6.2015.1 from an image because later versions gave me problems).  From that point on, I was unwilling to test later versions.

I bought 1 license for Win privacy and disliked it so I removed that and did not attempt to put it on another computer.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: Charyb on April 30, 2018, 04:48:24 PM
Actually, he had been very sick with the flu.
Since you have been in contact with him has there been any talk regarding continued program development?
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: Corrine on April 30, 2018, 06:30:37 PM
Sorry, no, that wasn't discussed.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: dallas7 on July 21, 2018, 10:39:07 PM
I stop in here every now and then to catch up on whatever news there is about WinPatrol.  And to lurk some of the other forums.

I did notice the web site is selling anonymous licenses for $4.99.

My main interest is in WAR which I still use on my primary desktop, an old i7-3770K clunker running Windows 7 SP1.  As such I don't find the need for updates (divers, libraries) as they were pretty much ironed out by early 2017.  I consider it still provides rock solid protection relative to its mission as detailed at winpatrol dot com.   So, that $4.99 might be a Pretty Good Deal for some.

WAR hits servers at akamai, cloudflare and netdna on a routine basis, definitely during program installs and updates, and as Bret explained it to me at one point early on, that's for license validation, checking for updates and whitelists.  As I'm not seeing any errors returned, some one is still paying the bills for the server side duties or paid for a multi-year contract(s) that no doubt will expire at some point.   It can be assumed the whitelisting data is old, but that data was just to speed up things on the client side.  WAR doesn't depend on any white or black lists or sigs or defs, local or cloud.

One day I might block warsvc and wargk outbounds to see what happens...

The WinPatrol domain expiration date is October 7, 2023 at Go Daddy.

The news about Bret's mother is disheartening, especially reading that newspaper account posted in that other thread. 

I hope he can rebound and get Ruiware back to business soon.
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: Lion on October 05, 2018, 07:17:52 PM
First, I wish Bret success in recovering from and moving beyond the misfortunes mentioned above and getting the WP train rolling again. So, a few concerns:

1. The once-informative WinPatrol News, emailed to subscribers, hasn't been issued in ages.

2. It's been roughly a year and a half since any of the WPP products have been updated, which is vastly longer than past development cycles. Perhaps that's why no newsletters.

3. I've been running, trouble-free on Win7Sp1 x64, licensed WPP for many years and WAR since it was a toddler, and never had occasion to contact support until recently, when I encountered my first WP problem.

4. When I downloaded and installed, to see if it met my needs, a utility named WinCatalog, each attempt to run the program aborted instantly, even after re-downloading and re-installing it. So I captured the APPCRASH data and sent it to WinCatalog support.

5. When they promptly responded that the crashing module, CerberusTwo.dll, was a component of Ruiware's WinPatrol and not of WinCatalog, I forwarded the details to support@winpatrol.com. That was a week ago, and still no acknowledgement of or response to that email.

Has anyone else here encountered a similar crash?

Also, one of Bret's early newsletters (1/16) announced the availability of four support forums on LandzDown: WinPatrol Forum; WinPatrol How-to's, Tips and Information;
WinPrivacy Forum and WinAntiRansom Forum. But each of the supplied links yields "The topic or board you are looking for appears to be either missing or off limits to you."
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: Corrine on October 05, 2018, 10:29:54 PM
Hi, Lion.

Yes, it is sad that whatever has been going on has prevented Bret from updating the programs and sending an updated newsletter.  Generally speaking, however, it seems that, until you encountered the issue with WinCatalog, WinPatrol has continued doing just what it is supposed to do.   

Not having heard about WinCatalog before, I found a review of the free version that is in the Windows Store (Get WinCatalog 2018 - Microsoft Store (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/wincatalog-2018/9nblggh442pg?silentauth=1&wa=wsignin1.0&activetab=pivot%3Areviewstab)):

Quote
This app had a five star rating with no written reviews that I could find. I installed it twice and repeatedly tried to created a disk catalog and each time received an error message that the app had quit working. Since I could not create even one catalog, the app was useless to me.

As to the forums we had here, they were closed in September of last year and archived earlier this year.  For many years, LandzDown was the "Unofficial Support Site for WinPatrol", approved first by Bill Pytlovany and subsequently by Bret when Bill retired and Bret purchased WinPatrol.  However, it got to the point that there were very few posts and we agreed with Bret to close the forums but before archiving them, the old posts were moved to this forum. 
Title: Re: Quality of Support from WinPatrol
Post by: plodr on October 06, 2018, 12:52:54 PM
WinCatalog is from a completely different company so it should not be confused with WinPatrol.

Here is the company info for WinCatalog
https://www.orange52.com/