Author Topic: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...  (Read 3739 times)

TimtheEnchanter

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... and wondering why....   

Champions Online installs a program called Pando Media Booster (PMB.exe in task manager). What it does is turn your computer into a P2P client, and then uses it to transfer data to other users. This presumably is used by many F2P game companies now to take some of the load off their file servers and let your computer do the task of delivering game updates and install files to other users. Overall it's harmless but sort of under-handed, especially for anyone who's ISP charges them per GB.

If you wish to remove it, it can easily be uninstalled via Add/Remove programs in Windows.

Just thought I'd send this warning out to people in case anyone else is jumpy about internet activity that is unaccounted for. When I turn off every background app I have and still see the activity lights flashing like crazy, I tend to go into alert mode.

zybron

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 08:43:43 PM »
Interesting. I installed CO via Steam and it didn't install Pando Media Booster with it. Of course, there is some trade off there, as well, with Steam sometimes randomly popping up ads. Still, though, something to consider.

Starsman

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 09:16:47 PM »
Steam popping up ads?  :o I have not seen any ads popping up due to steam...
For the sake of the community: please stop the cultural "research" in your attempt to put blame on the game's cancelation.

It's sickening to see the community sink that low. It's worse to see the community does not get it.

I'm signing off and taking a break, blindly hope things change.

zybron

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 09:51:13 PM »
After I close out of any game I run through Steam, there's typically an ad window that's displayed. Not always, but often. It's common enough that I thought of it as a potential drawback to running Steam. It's always just an ad window for Steam games, but it's still an ad.

Starsman

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 09:58:42 PM »
Hmmm, i know steam brings up one popup every time it launches. I think if you dont have it on auto-launch, and boot the game, it will in turn launch Steam in the background and that popup may be waiting for you once you leave the game... I rarely reboot my PC, i only see the popup every tiem I reboot, but I keep steam running 24/7.
For the sake of the community: please stop the cultural "research" in your attempt to put blame on the game's cancelation.

It's sickening to see the community sink that low. It's worse to see the community does not get it.

I'm signing off and taking a break, blindly hope things change.

zybron

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 10:05:12 PM »
I don't reboot very often, either. I don't think I have Steam set to run automatically on boot, though, so maybe I'm seeing it more often because of that? I don't know. I tried to run something quickly and get it to spawn that window for a screen shot on the post above but it didn't. Like it knew I was going to use that against it. :P

Still, better than Pando Media Booster by a mile or more, IMO.

TimtheEnchanter

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 11:19:26 PM »
So I guess this is only something that only comes in through the launcher from the CO website, not Steam.

Been quite a while since I used Steam since it always slowed down CoH for me, so I tended to keep it turned off, and never even thought to go looking for CO with it.

Atlantea

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 03:55:36 AM »
I acquired CO and STO both through Steam. I've never seen any pop-ups except the one in the far lower righthand corner that might pop up when a friend comes online. That's it.

No pando media thingamajig either.

I have no problems with Steam. Doesn't seem to affect me at all. I've got a reasonably robust system though. YMMV.

I'd say there may be some good reasons for going through steam. Not least of which is it's a handy Messenger program that lets you know when your friends are online playing the game!

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Kaiser Tarantula

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2012, 04:44:57 AM »
The downloader that CO downloads through uses Pando Media Booster, which continues to run in the background even when the download is finished and the game is installed.  It tends to hog your bandwidth to obscene levels, and has no configuration options to stop it.

Once your initial download of the client is finished, open up your task manager and kill PMB.exe, then uninstall Pando Media Booster from your Add/Remove Programs window.

The actual launcher for the game, which handles patching the game, does not use Pando Media Booster, and is safe.

The BitTorrent download does not use Pando, and judging from the talk here in the thread, neither does the Steam version.  This makes sense, as BitTorrent can easily handle the 3+ gigs of the full client w/o the need for a downloader, as can Steam.

Tenzhi

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2012, 07:19:38 AM »
Interesting.  I've been randomly experience framerate drops that coincide with the ping going up.  I wonder if that's the culprit.  I'll have to uninstall it next time I'm going to be playing Star Trek or Champions.
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FatherXmas

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2012, 06:59:24 PM »
The downloader that CO downloads through uses Pando Media Booster, which continues to run in the background even when the download is finished and the game is installed.  It tends to hog your bandwidth to obscene levels, and has no configuration options to stop it.

Once your initial download of the client is finished, open up your task manager and kill PMB.exe, then uninstall Pando Media Booster from your Add/Remove Programs window.

The actual launcher for the game, which handles patching the game, does not use Pando Media Booster, and is safe.

The BitTorrent download does not use Pando, and judging from the talk here in the thread, neither does the Steam version.  This makes sense, as BitTorrent can easily handle the 3+ gigs of the full client w/o the need for a downloader, as can Steam.
I disagree, I have several MMOs that use it, DDO, STO and CO, and on my system I've never seen it use any bandwidth while playing any of those games (checked via Process Explorer) and it unloads when the game closes.  Lets not turn this into the digital version of the MMR vaccine scare.
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Kaiser Tarantula

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2012, 09:00:18 PM »
Pando doesn't run when playing the game, unless you play the game right after installing and Pando has not closed down.  As I said, CO's launcher doesn't use it, and neither does the game client itself.  Both are clean.

Only the downloader does.

Also, I'm speaking from experience having just downloaded and installed CO over the past two days.  After the downloader finished and the game was installed I noticed that my bandwidth was still being used even after the downloader had closed.  I opened my process list to find PMB.exe running in the background.  I killed PMB.exe and uninstalled Pando Media Booster, then restarted, and haven't had a problem since - the game and its launcher runs just fine without it.

Further, I am not accusing Pando of being anything more than a poorly-behaved resource-hog.  From all I've read about it, that's its only problem.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 09:12:05 PM by Kaiser Tarantula »

FatherXmas

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2012, 09:15:38 PM »
I know, but I didn't see it running after the initial download or during any of the patches.  It shut down when I was done downloading the games.  Now this was back in September when I downloaded them here, I had downloaded DDO and STO at my parents a while back and I didn't see any activity in Pando once the downloads were complete.

Then again I tend to download/install and patch at hours not primetime in the US so in which case Pando can revert to a "normal" now P2P mode when demand is low.
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TimtheEnchanter

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2012, 11:13:12 PM »
I disagree, I have several MMOs that use it, DDO, STO and CO, and on my system I've never seen it use any bandwidth while playing any of those games (checked via Process Explorer) and it unloads when the game closes.  Lets not turn this into the digital version of the MMR vaccine scare.

Well as I said, it's harmless in that it's not going to install virii or anything.

But dang, after I installed CO, the next time I booted up my computer... I was out of the room for 5 minutes and when I came back, over 100MB of data had gone out.

Kistulot

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 11:42:16 PM »
Pando Media booster is used by a lot of people, and I have never seen a single good reason why I should keep it installed.

If anyone has one, I'd love to know! :)
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Lily Barclay

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2012, 07:20:05 AM »
Thank you for clearing that up. I knew it was there, I just want sure if I should delete it.

JaguarX

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Re: New CO players: if you've been seeing unusual modem activity lately...
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2012, 05:01:32 PM »
yeah you can delete it with no problems. In fact when you report a connection issue one of the first thing thye tell you to try is to delete Pando. I havent had it actually solve or difference in whether it was installed or not or solve any problems whether it was installed or not but apparently it is supposed to have some sort of function, but I just havent noticed anything between pre-solving connection issue installed and uninstalled and post-connection issue installed or uninstalled.

I just went on and uninstalled it as I do not trust many if any P2P software on my computer. My computer is called personal computer for a reason and no one else, especially some random person with half way know how of the backdoors of p2p stuff should be able to waltz into my computer files. If they want it, they will have to hack it. Then nothing much I can do about that but like a car alarm. If someone of a certain expertise wants your car they will take it regardless of locked doors and alarm systems but that doesnt mean you leave the keys in the ignition and doors unlocked while going into a store for an hour.
Until more information on how Pando actually works and not the usual "Oh it's safe" jumbo that is said about any program out there whether it's spam or not, virus infected or not, I'm not using it. If they cant bother to give out more infomation, I cant bother using it. Policy with any program or product becasue when something does goes wrong with the computer, it is never their program that caused it and they sure as hell isnt itching to buy a new computer.