This Has To Be The Most Ridiculous Adware Installer Ever

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 21, 2012
Updated • Feb 22, 2012
Software, Windows

I originally wanted to post a review of the image effect editor Vampix, but when I tried to install the software, I stumbled upon something else. The program setup did not include one, two, three or even four third party software offers. No, it included a total of five of them all neatly packaged in the installer with the last one being displayed on first program start.

I do get it when application developers want to make money with their applications. But bundling more than one or two offers, that's just insane. Users who do not pay attention may install all five of those offers, and while some may even themselves out in regards to changing the homepage and search provider, they still end up with programs on their system that they had no intention to install in the first place. Users who do pay attention on the other hand may get annoyed and even stop the installation of the application when they are fed up with the offers thrown at them.

Two versions of Vampix are offered on the developer's website. A version with and one without Relevant Knowledge. If you download and install the one without RK, you end up with four third party offers. Lets take a look at how this plays out:

First up is Relevant Knowledge. If you do not want to install it, select Decline and then next.

Next up is the Super Software package, uncheck the optional sponsor to exclude it from the installation.

super software package

The third offer that comes up later on in the installer is the Babylon Toolbar which will be installed if you do not switch to custom installation. Make sure you also disable the homepage and default search engine change if you do not want it to be made on your system.

babylon toolbar

The third option is for Complitly which will also change the homepage and search provider.


When you start the application for the first time afterwards, you'd be presented with the fifth and final option. This one will install the Cuivo Toolbar on the system if you do not hit the Decline button again.


What's your take on this? Is that overkill?

Update: The author is offering versions of the applications without third party offers. I first overlooked the listing, it is right beneath the table of sponsored free software.


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  1. H. E.N. said on April 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    jdownloader has a Babylon virus(?) in a “recommed Windows download” , while the Linux download is sleek. Take that other option for Windows, you’ll get an another “recommendation of a unknown program” ( have forgotten the name), which default option is to install it.

    What’s going on?
    Why are they so obscessed on such adwares/viruses?
    What can we do to stop such malwares?

    And why aren’t media writing something about the Babylon malware?
    My friend suffered with the search motor crap, he had to remove 23 lines in the registry,
    I didn’t understand first why it was a issue, it could be 400, and he told me that programs usually have 2-3 (?), and it’s a more sane way to install itself on Windows.
    Windows should apply a upper limit for registry, controlling how much a program can fill in.

  2. elben said on February 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I would install it because it is only a matter of few clicks. You just need to be careful. I am always careful when I install a software. Why should I spend my money. A few clicks to uncheck and a few clicks on decline should solve the problem.

  3. jonejan98 said on February 23, 2012 at 6:01 am

    I have seen people complaining about it but honestly speaking it’s not a virus. The software is used to measure online activity. I also thought it to be a virus initially but then found their website I did not have any problem in uninstalling it.

  4. ricks said on February 22, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    take note of the name & never install it, how nice its now just 2 opt out’s

  5. Kyle said on February 22, 2012 at 9:51 am


    I’m the developper of Vampix.
    We’re about to change our “Sponsor policy”.

    As soon as new isntallers are ready, user’s won’t be proposed more than TWO sponsors.

    Thanks for updating your review as soon as it is done !

    1. Leslie said on February 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm


      From one developer to another …….NOT GOOD ENOUGH !!!

      This comment is not just to you (although you are the worst offender I have ever heard of) BUT….. how about you require a specific OPT-IN rather than OPT-OUT which is sneaky and damages your reputation.

      How about having the custom install as a default with the crapware unchecked. Now that would be honest. as a rule I NEVER EVER want this stuff on my machine. I would rather pay a few bucks extra not to get the crap that you think I want.

      So, are you going to come to the party of will you keep shovelling your tripe at unsuspecting users !!!

      @ Martin, Good on you for making everyone aware of this. I think there should be a page where we shame the developers and let users know they could be getting scammed. What do you think ??

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on February 22, 2012 at 10:24 am

      Kyle that is good news. Thanks for taking the time to post here.

  6. geeknik said on February 22, 2012 at 1:09 am

    When I clicked on the link to, I was met with this message:

    This host was blocked by OpenDNS in response to the Conficker virus, the Microsoft IE zero-day vulnerability, an equally serious vulnerability, or some other threat. If you think this shouldn’t be blocked, please email us at [email protected].

    Doesn’t look like I’m missing out on anything. ;)

  7. Jojo said on February 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Its like a supermarket. They are just trying to give you a selection of choices to meet your own special needs! [lol]

    1. Wayfarer said on February 21, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      LOL, Jojo….

      My late Mum used to say – whenever we’d had a day of changeable weather – “You can’t grumble when you’ve had a selection!”

  8. Midnight said on February 21, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    There’s prove right there that you should be very, very careful when installing any warez, no matter where they’re from!

    Take your time, check each and every window, instead of rapidly clicking and installing all sorts of crap that you will later regret and have to uninstall!

    Some developers are overstepping their boundaries when trying to promote their software!!

    1. Midnight said on February 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      S/B Proof and not prove!

      My bad! :)

  9. Wayfarer said on February 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I wouldn’t install this. Not just because of the adware, but because that adware suggests to me the developer isn’t trustworthy. I can avoid the adware, I know – but do I now trust the actual application? Not on this showing I don’t.

    Bit of an own goal really when you think about it – this developer must have a death wish.

  10. bastik said on February 21, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Just wonderful. I wonder which homepage would be the default one when all of them get installed.

    I certainly understand developers to add something that brings money, but sometimes it’s just unbearable. I haven’t seen the Google Toolbar, but Google is anywhere, anyway.

    The Ask Toolbar is pretty common, once it was bundled with Nero and some security products told the user there’s adware in the installer of Nero. Today there’s no warning anymore and even worse installers of security products contain an Toolbar.

    Donating to developers might help. Not in the first place as it seems as I get the stuff offered even when one does donate.

  11. fokka said on February 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    i hate it when programs try to feed you adware. i understand that developers of free programs also want to make money, but adware is just not ok imho. and if a installer would install this babylon-virus by default, i know thats a program i dont need.

  12. Robert Palmar said on February 21, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    An installer that treats users as idiots
    should only be installed by idiots.

    1. Midnight said on February 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Usually is! :)

  13. Baas said on February 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    You missed the links at the bottom of the page:

    Free of all sponsors download links : SUMo, VideoInspector, KFK, Ignition, IDPhotoStudio, KCleaner, AudioGrail, PhotoToFilm, AVIToolbox, Vampix, Zer0.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      You are right. I update the article.

  14. Justin said on February 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Imagine how much better it would have been with the CNET installer on top of that.

    1. Midnight said on February 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      I believe that Martin recently posted an article about that and how to avoid the dumb CNet downloader!

      I tend to avoid any downloads from them, regardless!

  15. EuroScept1C said on February 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    You ask if that’s overkill? Something tells me the developer is Chinese. I don’t know why I think so…

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