Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Freeware, Now with Malware! Or, SUPER, the Best Video Converter That Needs an Alternative

If you are looking for safe alternatives to SUPER converter, look at the end of this post.

I had a completely different topic in mind for my first blog post, but the circumstances surrounding my SUPER converter ordeal pushed itself to the top of the pile. I should preface the rest of this post by stating that I am a huge supporter of freeware, especially those with the quality of SUPER converter. SUPER converter, to me, was a standard for free audio/video converters that only the quality of certain purchasable programs could match. Sure, the conversion could be slow as hell, but for all the ways it could be done, it was worth it. (It didn't hurt that I use an 8-core CPU either!)

For those not in the-know, SUPER converter is a freeware program. It could be downloaded in several places, including the developers' website.That used to be the hardest part of SUPER converter, going through their tricky website to find the right page with the download.

Anyways, I have been using SUPER converter for years. It always gives you a message when a new update is ready. I usually ignored this message until I felt like actually going through the download and install process again. I recently needed SUPER converter for a project my wife's boss wanted. While my objective with SUPER converter was not met - for reasons I won't go into here - I did decide to perform the update. I noticed that they had lessened the amount of webpages you had to scan through in order to download SUPER converter, which was an improvement.

After the download had finished I immediately started the install setup. The setup had some new items that had never been employed before... the installation of optional free items! It was forgivable as I could understand needing funding (or just wanting money), but certainly not an improvement.

I continued through the setup not allowing anything extra to be installed, or so I thought. Once the install was complete, I jumped back online for some reason or another and I was no longer greeted by Google but by the browser hijacker Qone8! Qone8 takes over as your homepage search browser and when a search is made it gives irrelevant results and ads. With no time to feel sorry for the corruption of what once was the best freeware audio/video converter available, I spent the next few hours attempting to bring my computer back to normal. By early morning, it seemed that the hijacker was gone...

The next day, I was out and about when my wife WhatsApp'd me and informed me she was using my computer. I got back home and began to work when suddenly my browser shut down, messages from some unidentifiable "Anti-Virus" software began to pop-up. It stated that my browser, command prompt, and any program I tried to open, was a virus. It even showed pictures from my wife's Facebook! I knew right away this was going to be an issue, but wasn't sure how big.

I tried to boot into Safe Mode, but as soon as it tried to open, it would immediately shut down and reboot into Windows. Frustrated, I searched for a solution on my phone. Apparently, you could type in an activation code that worked so it would stop preventing me from doing anything. I did so, it worked, I rebooted into Safe Mode. I then went through another length process of removing this malware.

Once that had been done, I then had a different sort of browser hijacker. I had Google as my homepage search engine, but when I would get results and click on one, the URL would redirect through MaxDataFeed and to some random website (my browser of choice). I tried numerous things to get rid of this redirect hijacker, and it took the help of a simple, yet powerful freeware program called ComboFix to remove it. Oddly this had only affected Firefox as opposed to all my browsers.

So, now you have some pretty good reasons not to use SUPER converter. But what about an alternative? What is available to you that is still free and won't harm your computer? Well there are several alternatives, and I'll list them in what I consider decent to best:
  • DVDVideoStudio - This is a decent studio of programs that can convert a lot of different formats into a lot of others. It does not have every option, but it does have some of the most popular and some cool programs worth having. If nothing else, it is safe.
  • Any Video Converter - This is a good converter. It is free, recommended by many, and safe. The interface is simple, but the many options available in SUPER converter are not present. There are A LOT of options, but they do cover everything you could ever need.
  • HandBrake - This is a great converter that is very popular. It can convert numerous formats. There are several options to alter and take advantage of. You can download it for Windows, Mac, and even Ubuntu; and if you're really serious you can compile it from source. The main issue is that it can only convert to MP4, MKV, and M4V.
  • Format Factory -  This is by far the best alternative I have come across! It does everything that SUPER converter did. The GUI looks a bit stylized, and it is not a simple interface like SUPER converter, but it took me less than a few minutes to familiarize myself. The conversion time was also incredibly short!
Well, that's it. You know the issues and the solutions available. Obviously, I would steer clear of the solution where you install SUPER converter and go through hours of time deleting malware.

If you like this post please leave me a comment, if not, to each their own.

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