Perpertual use of trial and Beta software?

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Ngwana, Aug 25, 2006.

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  1. Ngwana

    Ngwana Registered Member

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    I occasionally take time to view different threads and I have to confess that it ‘helped’ me to discover some very good (IMO) security products that I previously did not know of. One advantage is that others can recommend some good products that one can buy or use for free.

    The downside seems to be that there is a temptation for one to be always running ‘trial and beta software’ for serious personal use. I would like to believe everyone knows what they are doing but Judging from some of the help pleas raised by others using trial and beta software I am not so sure. Any possible danger? :D
     
  2. phasechange

    phasechange Registered Member

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    Trial software that is not pre-release is usually ok but Beta is called "Beta Testing" for a reason. They expect bugs to exist and be found. So I don't run Beta software on my live systems unless I take a disk image using ATI to an external drive first. Even then I only Beta test when REALLY interested in a bit of software.

    Trialing is good because it helps you choose what to buy. Good for you and good for the vendor.

    Fairy
     
  3. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Trial versions of softwares are safe, they just stop working when the trial is over.
    Beta versions are not safe and are usually for beta testers only, but nobody seems to care about that anymore.
    If you like to play with beta versions, you need a good immediate system recovery software, like FirstDefense-ISR, that allows you to recover your system inside and OUTSIDE Windows, much better than Windows System Restore.
     
  4. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Any trial or beta I will just run in a temporary snapshot of my system. After the game is over, I will RollBack to my previous snapshot. On my working anspshot I have only one four betas for permanant use-- Locate 32, Ws Defender, Comodo firewall and IE7 and all are quite stable, so no problem.
    NO trial on this snapshot.
     
  5. herbalist

    herbalist Guest

    I'm not presently running any beta software, but did run SSM throughout its beta period, including the 1.8 and 1.9 releases Max was developing. Except for a couple releases that weren't stable and had to be removed, even the beta versions were an asset to my system. When I started using a separate PC for testing, I kept Max's last release, 1.96b2+ if I remember, on my primary PC and ran the 2X versions on the test unit. Even though he called it a beta version, it was quite stable.
    Although not technically security-ware, I also tested several beta versions and release candidates of the Mozilla suite, using it as my default browser.
    Aside from some minor stability issues, I didn't see where using either constituted a risk. The worst that could happen is that I'd end up relying on my original security package or I'd have to use IE6 if Mozilla failed.
    Beta testing can be quite a rewarding experience. On those rare occasions when you get to test an application like System Safety Monitor, and get to do it for a group that's as responsive as the SSM development team, it's a rare, enjoyable privelege. Besides being able to do something for the common good, many companies give the tester a free copy or license for the software being tested.
    Rick
     
  6. Ngwana

    Ngwana Registered Member

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    Great stuff and thanks; I have no issue with BETA TESTERs since most of them run such software on non-mission critical systems , are highly technical and know what they are doing.

    As for someone trying out a TRIAL product I do not think there is no problem with that. My gripe was with a person who does not want to buy any software and resorts to permanent use of BETA software, or keep jumping from different trial products as they expire. It sounds far fetched but it is quite common. :oops:
     
  7. dallen

    dallen Registered Member

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    I agree that one should not rely on beta software. However, personally I struggle with the issue of using a trial software into perpetuity. I am guilty of extending my use of trial software beyond the software company's intented period.

    My method is that I create a snapshot and when the period is over I simply pull any data I want to keep from the snapshot and remove that snapshot. By creating another snapshot, I am able to use the trial again. It is easy to see how this could go on forever.

    I would never withhold deserved money from a company that has created good software. However, in the case, like BitDefender where an issue supposedly exists between it and Raxco's products that I have been unable to replicate, I am reluctant to purchase the software even though I really like it. Since the company has been less than helpful in working with Raxco to resolve the issue, I simply continue testing the software and have done so for over 4 months. Is this wrong? Am I violating the law in some way?
     
  8. zcv

    zcv Registered Member

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    Hello dallen,

    I don't know about the law, but you're certainly violating the agreement between you and BitDefender.

    To be honest, I would probably do the same given the situation as you've presented it.

    Regards - Charles
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    On the other side of this I've been running KAV 6.0 beta's since the early this year. My KAV licenses came up for renewal this summer, and once I knew the new version was okay, I renewed both licenses. Still running the beta's though.

    The real key to whether one should run beta's is if you can handle the problems. Some builds are bad and can trash your machine.

    Pete
     
  10. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    theres nothing wrong with that. if one product expires, u can uninstall it and try another software.
     
  11. Ngwana

    Ngwana Registered Member

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    Ok! We can make an exception for those who by nature of their work need to 'test' or 'evaluate' different security applications so that they could determine how effective thay are, how to securely configure them and whatever features/functionality/technologies they use. In that case different full functioning trial software will be needed.

    I am aware there is no law to limit the number of trail software one can use, in any case if a person owns a PC they have every right to install/uninstall sofwtare as they wish. My concern is related to safety. :D
     
  12. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    safety of what? o_O

    the only problem i can see is if programs arent thoroughly uninstalled. imaging or rollback software would be the best option. utilities like total uninstall would be the next best thing.
     
  13. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Of course it's common, because it's free of charge. It's even worse, many users try to crack the trial period, so that the software doesn't expire anymore, but that is illegal and 'dangerous' too.
     
  14. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Hi Dallen! I can,t say it against the law( no idea) but I personally think that surely it seems against ethics.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2006
  15. herbalist

    herbalist Guest

    IF the beta is stable, they're not causing themselves any problems by using it. The ones that jump from version to version, are loading up their system with leftover registry entries and files. A lot of uninstallers leave stuff behind. Besides general slowdowns, leftover files and registry entries can cause system conflicts.
    Rick
     
  16. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    U can do it safely with any instant recovery software or imaging, otherwise a tset PC.
     
  17. Ngwana

    Ngwana Registered Member

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    Thanks to you all for responding:

    From all the answers given, it seems using trial security software all the time is fine, and even stable beta security software is ok to use for a long time.

    However I think I failed to ask the right question. The intent was to determine how safe is permanent use of Beta and trial security software?

    Some trial softare is supposed to be 'fully functioning' when in fact:

    1. Some of the best features/technologies are left out unless a licence is used.
    2. Some vendors do not even allow automatic/manual download of defination files, one has to download a zipped file that must be manually placed in the right folder.
    3. Others even disable real-time protection/guards.
    4. Others disable/hide configuration menus.
    5. other constantly 'call home' and want to force adverts/promotions down a trial user's throat.
    6. and many other irritating(if not unsafe) things....

    I think the dangers relating to beta software have been covered sufficiently.


    Again thanks. :D
     
  18. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    i typically dont use software that is crippled like that.

    i do see your point about trials without an update function tho. if it was an antivirus and it wasnt up-to-date, it could place the user under risk.
     
  19. herbalist

    herbalist Guest

    I have yet to find any trial software that I want bad enough to resort to doing that. There are a few apps I've installed on my testrig for more than one run, evaluation period too short to really test it properly.

    ngwana,
    With trial software that uses the methods you listed, I throw those out as soon as I find that they're not fully functional. Oftentimes, it's the advanced features that I'd really want to test and see if they are as good as claimed. If I can't test the whole fully functional package, I won't use it. Keep looking for what you want. For almost any purpose that you'd buy pay software for, there's freeware or Open Source that can do the same things, often more. Good, legitimate payware companies will let you test a fully functional version for a reasonable period of time. They'll rely on the quality of the software to make the final sale.
    Rick
     
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