DownloadWare – You Don’t Want This on Your Computer
The basics first, then I will go into more detail. DownloadWare is a clone of ClipGenie and MediaLoads. DownloadWare is adware, a toolbar, Web hijacker, search hijacker, and Trojan all rolled into one. DownloadWare makes its way onto your computer in one of two ways. Either you may have chosen to install the toolbar, or it will have installed itself using the ActiveX control “Active Install.” No matter which way it was installed on your computer, you now have an infection and an annoyance.
Like many programs that have a toolbar, DownloadWare is mainly adware. Its main purpose is to send you to its advertisers. There are a few ways DownloadWare accomplishes this task. The first is if a network or Internet connection is available, DownloadWare will connect to its servers, which can direct it to install software from advertisers. The second is by hijacking your searches to send you to their advertisers’ Web sites. The third is by actually hijacking your Web browser and sending you to their advertisers’ sites. The fourth way, and in my mind most insidious, is that Downloadware may include other bundled software. This bundled software is usually installed without you knowing it is being downloaded or installed. The software can range from P2P software like Limewire and Mozilla to premium rate dialers which will cost you money.
Removing DownloadWare is a whole other problem. First, you cannot remove it through “Add or Remove Programs.” You can try, but DownloadWare will be back on system reboot. You could try to manually remove the program, but unless you are really good with computers I would shy away from that avenue, as you can really mess up your computer by deleting files Windows needs to operate. That leaves getting an anti-spyware program to remove DownloadWare. I prefer ZookaWare PC Cleaner, because unlike any other program out there, ZookaWare PC Cleaner gives you a 100% removal guarantee. The other programs out on the market do not give you that guarantee, and in fact only remove 80-90% of most infections.