Browzar

Post details of freeware that are found to be not portable here. Posts in the submissions forum relating to freeware found to be not portable should also be moved here.
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shadowsteel
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Browzar - no footprints an stuff

#1 Post by shadowsteel » Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:36 am

found http://www.browzar.com/ over slashdot.

Browzar
Your private window on the Web

With Browzar you can search and surf the web without leaving any visible trace on the computer you are using.

Browzar is free, it only takes seconds to download and you don’t even need to install it, so you can download Browzar time and time again, whenever and wherever you need it to protect your privacy.

* No browsing history, stored files, or cookies
* No embarrassing search auto-complete
* No installation. Just click ‘run’ and go
* No registration required

sadly no Tabs, hope you all enjoy trying it

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Andrew Lee
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#2 Post by Andrew Lee » Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:49 am

Posted to the database. Thanks!

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Andrew Lee
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Should I remove Browzar from the database?

#3 Post by Andrew Lee » Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:26 am

I added Browzar yesterday and it has already attracted a swarm of negative comments and links.

The two main complaints are: 1) it is adware, and 2) it doesn't do its job well.

Contrary to the blog postings above, there is nothing to prevent you from typing "www.google.com" into the URL bar and landing in Google's homepage, then perform your search from there. The only thing that is rigged is the search box found at the top-right hand corner of the UI, which is hardcoded to land in Browzar's preferred search engine (where they make some ad money, presumably).

I also could not replicate Scott's experience with Playboy.com. On the machine where I tested with some sample sites (including playboy.com), nothing was left behind. Of course, it is not fullproof protection (since the data are written to disk in the first place and deleted later), and one cannot refute the claim that a determined adversary will be able to recover the deleted files and data with a little effort.

So my dilemma is this: Browzar does appear to be a functional (though terribly simplistic) IE-based browser that does what it says it does i.e. leave nothing on the machine on which it is run (in the "your technically untrained daddy won't be able to recover the information" sense). It doesn't write any settings as far as I can tell. However, it is a little sneaky in that it directs your search box to its preferred search engine for making some ad money, which they don't tell you explicitily. But one can argue that you don't have to use the search box.

I am running a poll for 3 days to get your preference. If the majority thinks it should be removed, then I will do it when the poll is closed.

Darkbee
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#4 Post by Darkbee » Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:31 am

I got the impression that this was another one of those "it's free for the moment until we have a product that some mugs will actually be willing to pay for" type affair but I could be wrong. I can't say that I blame people for viewing this application negatively (although I haven't tested it for myself).

I'm wondering if, rather than remove it from the database you could somehow flag it, so that it appears like some non-portable apps when searched for i.e. not actually in listed but 'mentioned' on the far right. That way, there is some record that we've all seen this app before, so that it won't keep being suggested in the future. Naturally, this still brings us back to the old problem of discriminating against certain simply because of personal tastes. However, in this particular instance, since so many people have expressed negative reaction to the program then I guess this is an example of democracy in action.

Actually, this might also apply to some other apps that are portable but are of questionable and/or limited use, or they are simply poorly implemented. Having them remain in the database but flagged as mentioned, might lead to a more thorough resource.

As a personal remark, I wouldn't cry too hard if one less browser was entered into the database because between K-Meleon, GreenBrowser and OffByOne, I pretty much have my portable browsing needs covered. (and that is not to make any mention of probably the most popular non Internet Explorer browser of all)

ClausValca
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#5 Post by ClausValca » Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:18 am

I'm torn as well.

I battle malware and the ilk all day long at work--but am very hesitant to call this application "mal-ware/spyware/etc." It does seem to exhibit behavior that would (at the least) "irritate" many who are rightly sensitive to that issue/behavior.

But without first running a Wireshark packet capture on it, I can't say for certain what it does behind the scenes "call home / redirect" wise and if it fully justifies that designation--at least just yet. I don't have a need for this personally and much prefer PortableTorPark instead. But to each their own.

Furthermore, it is Beta level software. Maybe the developer will clean it up and optimize it better based on feedback (if it is truly on the up and up). As new versions are released, it is possible more fixes will be made so prior "bad" behavior cannot be replicated any longer on newer versions.

I would--respectfully--recommend the following based on the high-standard that PortableFreeware exhibits to it's faithful fans:

1) Create a new sub-category of "Browser-Wrappers" for stuff like this. (I think Maxthon Combo might also fit this bill.) As it isn't a web-browser in the traditional sense of having it's own rendering engine, etc. but piggybacks on existing system software browser.

2) Like Darkbee suggests, create a description "flag" indicating the possible issues reported.

3) Also indicate a clear flag in the descriptions for "Beta" status software. Fans might want to know before committing themselves to "installation" or usage.

--ClausValca

erazz
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#6 Post by erazz » Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:28 pm

As I see it there's no question.

This site is called portablefreeware. As such it has become the first site I turn to when searching for a new program. It has not let me down thus far.

In my mind browzar is not freeware, it's adware. I think that the question whether it works or not is moot. If I was looking for adware prog I'd look elsewhere.

Just my $0.02

risk
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#7 Post by risk » Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:14 am

A note for your consideration.

If you link to suspecious sites, this will eventually be reflected at McAfee SiteAdvisor and possibly other saftey ratings services. I would avoid this if it were my domain.

Jzilla
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#8 Post by Jzilla » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:38 pm

More discussion about this IE wrapper at this blog

http://web3.0log.org/2006/09/01/new-sec ... -of-adware


Also I may be splitting hairs but in my mind this software isn't truely portable.
While it is reasonable to assume that any machine you use it on is going to have IE installed, I don't like running software on someone elses pc that may "do" something to the software already installed.

I would like to say this is just my .02 but here in NZ we recently got rid of all small change, So the lowest I can go is .10 :wink:

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Andrew Lee
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#9 Post by Andrew Lee » Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:27 pm

For the benefit for those who don't subscribe to the RSS feed, I have removed Browzar from the database.

Darkbee
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#10 Post by Darkbee » Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:38 am

The more I read about this thing and the more I look at their website, the more I realize that it is a complete load of junk. They claim on their website that "[c]urrently there is no way of privately surfing the internet that is as simple to use as Browzar. "

I always thought that OffByOne browser was about as simple as it gets myself. OB1 has the further advantage that it is entirely self-contained so it does not inherent the instabilities or vulnerabilities of Internet Explorer. The only downside to OB1 is that it doesn't support javascript, which can be a problem for some sites, but it is still highly functional and very private!

Browzar seems like an attempt to make money without doing too much work... Hello people!!! The dot-com bubble burst years ago, get a real job!

@Andrew - I trust that you will keep this thread on the forum for historical purposes, so that should new users search for it, they will find that we've already discussed and dismissed this application?

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Andrew Lee
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#11 Post by Andrew Lee » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:24 pm

@Andrew - I trust that you will keep this thread on the forum for historical purposes, so that should new users search for it, they will find that we've already discussed and dismissed this application?
Sure! I try not to delete any threads unless they are spam.

melendz
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Browzar leaves tracks

#12 Post by melendz » Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:55 pm

This article confirms that the software does not work as advertised.

http://reviews.cnet.com/4531-10921_7-66 ... l?tag=blog

Removing it from the database was the right thing to do.

not_techie
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 11:08 am

Browzar

#13 Post by not_techie » Thu May 22, 2008 9:05 am

I recently posted a question here involving the browser, "browzar" (browzar.com), and got this response;

>>wasn't Browzar found to be horrible icky spyware/malware/adware???

I had agreed, yes, at one point it was, but it wasn't anymore.

Then, of course I started having doubts myself.

My question is, has anyone recently used, or is currently using or testing browzar? The majority of the reviews online seem to be from 2006 with a few from 2007. Those from 2008 are mostly positive, with a few negatives that seem to be qouting 2006 reviews.

I like browzar. I also like firefox and IE, so this is not a "which is better" discussion. I just want to know what your experience with it is or was, and if some of you more technically savvy users would be willling to test/re-test the current version to find out what if any concerns I should have.

Thank you[/url][/list]

portackager
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#14 Post by portackager » Thu May 22, 2008 10:32 am

Hi,

I just tried it really quick, in sandboxie.

1. I'll admit I'm still a bit biased from it's initial release as it was first worded/ claimed to be a whole new browser. But it's just another wrapper for Internet Explorer.

2. It's a skinned browser, and each skinned version is distributed as a separate download. That's sort of an inconvenience.

3. Loading time was fast, but it offers hardly any interesting features, besides proposed privacy features, and tabs.

4. It's a disposable browser and seems to be nothing more than that.
Porta-Lover

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MiDoJo
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#15 Post by MiDoJo » Thu May 22, 2008 3:52 pm

So is it (still not?) as invisible as it claims??? One big problem was that it actually made multiple instances (a kinda fragmented ones) of history/cache/cookie leavings.

Should Andrew revisit posting it since it has "cleaned up it's act"

heh heh yank poll (sorry it's just soooooo funny) :roll:

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