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Maxthon Web Browser Displays Message Ads In The Status Bar -- Safe? ...Remove It?

RegulaOne
RegulaOne used Ask the Experts™
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Hello. I have a question to ask you.

I just started using the less popular web browser called Maxthon (version 3.1). I am running it on Windows 7 64-bit operating system.
 
Now, I get a message in the bottom left corner of the Maxthon interface that displays informative messages like instructional links for Maxthon browser, but also written linked ads as well. It rotates ads when I open this browser as long as your mouse pointer is not on a link on a webpage, then the link for whatever the pointer is pointing at will show in the status bar. Please see the attached image clipping below in this post. The attached image clipping is while the mouse pointer is not pointing at no webpage links.    

Questions:

1. Are these written linked message ads spyware (or any kind of malware) in any way, shape or form other than adware whether or not you actually click on this link?

2. Can these written linked message ads in some way be removed from Maxthon web browser? I have been doing some snooping around (checking out) the browser settings and interface and I do not see any means relating to these written lined ads.

Please reply.

Thank you!

 Maxthon Status Bar Messages Image Screen Capture
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You'd be safer with IE8 or 9.
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-web-browser.htm#maxthon-avant-review
"On the downside, these shells share most of the same security problems as IE because they utilize the IE engine."
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.

Commented:
Maxathon is a shell for the ie engine but I can't imagine it does something better than ie 9 so I agree you should probably just use ie.

If you really don't want to use ie, why not use a truly free, non ad supported browser that runs a different engine?

Author

Commented:
Hello. Please excuse my absence of comments.

I am out of town for the next several days, hoping to arrive back here on EE by Saturday (8/13/11).

If anyone that has already responded would like to make further comments... ...or any new comments from another EE member would like to add their input to this thread's issue(s), please feel free to do that too.

When I return, I will follow through with your comments.

Again, thank you for your patience!
Sudeep SharmaTechnical Designer

Commented:
Could you run and post the HiJackThis logs here. There could be some toolbar which may be causing this.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial42.html
http://www.5starsupport.com/tutorial/hijackthis.htm

Download installer:
http://www.trendmicro.com/ftp/products/hijackthis/HiJackThis.msi

Download Standalone Executable:
http://www.trendmicro.com/ftp/products/hijackthis/HijackThis.exe

Post the logs here for further analysis.

Sudeep

Author

Commented:
@ S Sharma & anyone:

Hello. Nice to meet you, S Sharma! Thank you for your comment.

Interesting comment and thought! Let me as you this FIRST, does Maxthon INDEED HAVE a BUILT-IN ad feature in the browser frame or the status bar by default or not??? PLEASE ANSWER. ..are these ads normal with Maxthon or not???

I have posted the HiJackThis as an attachment file for your inspection. Please reply with your observations, results, and conclusion what needs to be done in order to fix this issue, *IF* anything really needs to be done. Yes, you may find some observations that *should be* fixed or cleaned up on my system, HOWEVER they may NOT be related to THIS ISSUE. PLEASE INDICATE THAT as well if the observations you find are directly or not related to THIS ISSUE TOO.

Please reply.

I appreciate your time in helping me.

Thank you!  

 hijackthis---8-13-11-PM.log
These days, the fundaments of being secure root in ALWAYS updating everything which is web enabled;  Windows, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader, and anything else you use on the web. If you don't keep up with those updates, you are a dead duck if you see the wrong web page in almost any browser.
One correlary is to keep that list as short as possible so adding browsers, IM clients, iTunes, etc. should be carfully considered before installing.  Another factor is, the smaller the number of software vendors, the fewer problems you will have.......
And, ironically, if you use a utility like CCleaner ( http://majorgeeks.com/CCleaner_Slim_d4191.html ) to clean out the junk on a regular basis, IE is one of the fastest browsers there is.
Did you want to use Maxthon for privacy reasons, security reasons, or for speed?
I think what is showing in the status bar is to generate some revenue for Maxthon's authors; but, there doesn't seem to be a way to turn it off in version 3.

Author

Commented:
@ all that have replied and posted comments:

Hello. I have to say that it "sounds" like your all in agreement with me over the Maxthon web browser -- it is an ad supported web browser. Yah, I understand that "some" developer companies need to make $$$ in order to further development of their program lines, but then why do other fully featured program developers offer their web browsers for free???

The answer is that the developers are making some "profit" IN OTHER WAYS whether or not you can readily see those business transactions. It may be that Maxthon International Limited has add-ons or features (like Kingsoft Safe UL Checker -- a third party program built-in to Maxthon) that need to be paid for and they need to generate revenue from some source in the form of advertisements and your cookies. Also, I have to think that one of the search engine giants like Google "may" be paying Maxthon International Limited for its advertising through its program interface and its own for each Google search query. Actually this scheme or business model is very good in that the end user does have to pay a penny to have full robust programs. Otherwise we would have to pay the likes of Maxthon International Limited either a specified time period subscription fee or a version fee for each new upgrade version. I rather have the "put up with" advertisements than have to pay for it.

Yes, yet look at the other big 5 web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, & Opera) and I do not see ad supported there. I guess it is how they channel or business generating revenue models that doesn't make the advertisements *AS OBVIOUS* as Maxthon does.

I have been reading reviews online and found that Maxthon web browser has come a long way and is feature loaded. It is more feature loaded than Internet Explorer 9. I have read about security issues with this browser as many of you above using the lesser secure Trident engine that Internet Explorer uses. I understand that is why it hasn't made it BIG in the United States due to its security issues from experts shying away from the Trident engine.

From the last paragraph, to me that does play a big role -- "security". For that, I strongly value your opinions.

@ DavisMCCarn:

Thank you for your last comment. You answered my question I initially posted in your last statement in your last post above. Thank you! Your comment: "I think what is showing in the status bar is to generate some revenue for Maxthon's authors; but, there doesn't seem to be a way to turn it off in version 3."

I'm sure you are right! Why would they want to have the user be able to shut off their revenue making feature??? I guess I am being ignorant and totally stupid! I guess I thought I had a glimmer of hope it was possible. Now I am sounding naive! I guess this question/thread I posted here on EE with be my "stupid question" to date! I do know better than that!

To answer your question, "Did you want to use Maxthon for privacy reasons, security reasons, or for speed?" All of the above is the answer (I want it all!), however the "actual" reason I was seeking at the time was for features and faster user interaction for access to features within the browser frame. I found Maxthon offers this.

Okay, I will now close this thread. Question answered.

Thank you!
 

 

               

Author

Commented:
@ DavisMcCarn:

Hello. Again, thank you for your answer!
You are welcome!