It sounds like your breaking/bending at the behest of 1 user. (not good if you ask me..) and by the sound of it not a very experienced user at that, especially if he trusts any software that has antivirus or antimalware in its title.
I'm sorry, but you misunderstood my message. That was just an example, an anecdote as I'm trying to sound as human rather than as a corporate bot and explain our position rather than speaking like a pr person :)
Our decision regarding removing the "hide tray icon" couldn't be more serious and well-thought. The same is true just about any other feature that we are planning to add or remove. You can only see the end result of it, i.e. the actual addition or removal, but there a long process of discussing and thinking a few months or even years prior to that where we weigh all pros and cons.
how do I prevent a user from stopping the host? I reviewed the information in your blog post. however it does not seem to prevent a user from stopping the host via the start menu/all programs. it can also be done via services.msc
There is a broader question - why would the technician want to prohibit the user from stopping the Host when they wish to do so? Provided that they know what the Host is about.
If the user wants to stop the Host running on their PC using services.msc, then:
- they are an advanced user, apparently, if they know about services.msc and use it to stop the Host at all costs - they don't want the Host running on their computer, so they are perfectly in their own right stopping it
So we are getting back to the question implicitly posed in the blog post/news about this update: if the software use is perfectly legitimate and the user knows they have a remote access software installed on their PC, why would they want to stop it? But if they want to stop it, why would anyone prohibit them from doing so? Except only in a business setting where computers do not belong to employees - but it should be handled by policies on the network/Active Directory level.
Yes, you can hide the Host menu or protect the Host settings, but that's mostly to prevent the user from messing with the settings inadvertently. These features have nothing to do with truly prohibiting the user from being the ultimate master of their own PC :) If it's not their PC, they are not supposed to be an administrator on it, and hence they won't be able to stop the service if they have insufficient privileges.
It was our own decision, of course, and it didn't came out of nothing. It is based on our own research and conversations with analytics from several antivirus software vendors.
also if it is hidden (stealth mode) having antivirus popup to warn a user is a good thing. if it was installed for malicious purpose having an AV detection/warning would be great. if however I am the owner of the PC's (which I am) and I want the icon hidden then as the owner I would configure my antivirus program to ignore or whitelist the application.
The reality is that for an average a/v vendor it is easier to label something as "potentially dangerous" instead of coming up with a smart code/system that can tell for sure whether the use is legitimate or not.
I think you should leave the security decisions to your customers and the AV software.
We would gladly leave the security decisions to AV vendors, but apparently some of them are not capable of making good decisions, so much so that they even hurt their own customers by not letting them use legitimate, digitally signed software the way their customers want.
We are a commercial entity, a business. We need to be profitable and these false positives may negatively affect our sales and overall image. Users don't care if we are right and a/v is wrong - they always blame the software and not their beloved a/v program that they trust so much. :) So we have to look for solutions to the problem, even if it means discontinuing certain features.
Sometimes it's anecdotal. Recently we received a complaint from a user who was running a no-name "malware removal" tool on their PC. The developer of that tool couldn't even be contacted other than via a free Yahoo e-mail address. But still the user was blaming us that we were distributing malware because their tool detected us as such :)
Apparently, anything that has "antimalware" or "antivirus" in their name is unconditionally trusted and rarely anyone has any doubts about whether their antivirus program is as good in doing their job as they claim. :)
I understand. I should stress that we had to remove this option. As we explained in the news about this release, when a program is running in the stealth mode, it immediately raises a red flag for antivirus software. :)
We no longer provide this feature because it's making the tool suspicious in the eyes of security/antivirus software - something that we wholeheartedly want to avoid. Remote Utilities is a tool for remote administration and remote support, not for spying.
We are working on building more trust with our customers and antivirus software vendors. Getting rid of this "dubious" feature was just necessary. Hope you understand. :)
Thank you for the kind words! It should be noted that the primary speed factor is the number and location of our intermediary servers around the globe. Currently, our intermediary servers are optimized for the US and Canada, but we'll expand our geography soon.
Meanwhile, if you are located in another part of the world and you want to make the most out of Remote Utilities you can deploy and use your own self-hosted server as an intermediary for ID connections. It's an entirely free option and doesn't require much work.
As for local networks or situations when the remote PC is directly accessible over the Internet by its IP address (e.g. via port forwarding), Remote Utilities establishes a direct point-to-point connection so the ping/connectivity with the ID server is not important, because it's not being used.