Noteworthy Shareware turned Freeware – May 2011


Another installment of this series (see FebMar, and April 2011). Not a bad collection this time around, although (a) some of these didn’t actually turn freeware but rather have become more “freely accessible”

(#1 and #2), and (b) I am not sure if some of these switches took place in May; will not worry too much about it though. The programs as follows:

Comodo Internet Security PRO 2011TrillianStaff FTPFile GovernorHandle Tracer, and ContaCam.

shareware turned freeware may

Comodo Internet Security Pro Screenshot1. Comodo Internet Security PRO 2011: not freeware; however, the trial period has been extended for one full year.

Comodo Internet Security PRO 2011 includes a full package of software protection including an antivirus, antispyware, and a number of other tools (host intrusion protection, auto sandboxing); however, some non-software elements are excluded from the 1 year trial (i.e. 24/7 technical support and the cash virus free and identity protection guarantees).

Despite the title of this post, let me point out again that program has NOT become freeware; however, the trial period has been extended for a full year.

Note: to take advantage of this, go to the Comodo Internet Security Pro download page. Once installed you will be asked to register with a valid email. (Thanks go to Instantfundas for this info).

trillian screenshot32. Trillian: a single-stop IM and social networking client that also supports Skype. Now offers most of the “Pro” features in the ad supported regular version.

I received the following email from reader Carbonize “not sure if it counts towards your turned freeware articles but Trillian apparently now lets everyone have the pro features but you have to put up with ads in their programs. This means that all versions of their program is free from Smartphone to Desktop but you have to pay if you want to get rid of the ads.”  (Note1: this probably was not borne in May 2011 but I decided to list this program here anyway; Note2: I personally did not encounter any ads in the Windows version).

Aside from bringing all of your IM and social media together, from integrating SKYPE support, and from being extremely cool and polished software, Trillian now straddles all of your devices from your PC to your smartphone (including iPhone, Android, etc.)

Note, however, that the ad supported version does in fact lack a couple of “PRO” features. Aside from the PRO version being ad free, it also supports storing/accessing your logs in the cloud as well as providing tech support.

3. Staff FTP: a powerful, fully-featured FTP client that is worth checking out.

Staff FTP screenshot1Staff FTP screenshot2

A very nice FTP client. To quote the site “unlike [other programs] it comes with full tls/ssl support (also with FXP)… [it] also … includes a glftpd-manager with all the site commands (drftpd and other command sets as well).”

I haven’t tested it myself; please leave a comment and tell us about it if you do.

File Governor Screenshot4. File Governor: a file unlocking utility in the style of “Unlocker

File Governor lets you perform normal file operations files and folders that are being locked by system operations or other programs. It supports both 32 bit and 64 bit OS’s and can install itself in the Windows context menu for quick use.

I’ve been looking for a program to replace Unlocker for some time now for a number of reasons (development seems to have stopped, the program website is unreliable, and the ever changing crapware is comes bundled with); however, (update: see conversation about Unlocker in the notes section below). I am not sure how File Governor compares with LockHunter or UnlockIT, both of which I like quite a bit. Please share your experience and any info you might have in the comments.

Handle Tracer Screenshot5. Handle Tracer: this software for advanced users (developers/debuggers) monitors processes in real time and can search, list, and manipulate open handles on 32b it and 64 bit windows.

If you don’t know what this means then don’t worry about this program (most users won’t care about this anyway). If you do try this out however please give some feedback on it in the comments sections.

6. ContaCam: surveillance software

ContaCam ScreenshotContaCam Screenshot2

This software can work with CCTV and Live Webcams can be motion activated, can present motion events as animated thumbnails in your browser, and offers history tracking as well.

Though I am unable to test this one, it seems like quite a sophisticated piece of software. (Also check out their quite competent image viewing software)

If you know of any good software that recently turned freeware, please let me know!

  • tim

    Awww nice find on the Staff FTP software. Definitely going to check it out. I’ve been missing the ability to FXP. Thanks!

  • Fred Thompson

    Unlocker’s latest release was April 12, just 6 weeks ago. There is no added crapware. The proper site is

  • With so many companies acting fast and loose with security and privacy, you’d like your firewall and anti-virus service to be one that’s outside of all that nonsense. Unfortunately, that would not be Comodo.

    … and more recently:

  • J.L.

    LockHunter is the one which developments seems to have stopped.

    Still a beta with last release more than 2 years ago.

  • CNK

    Just tried out Staff-FTP.
    It appears that the makers have worked to make this program suitable for both those downloading from open sites as well as from private servers, and although I personally do not transfer files through private FTP, I expect that those who do, will find this software offers some quite advanced features.

    However that’s not to say that I feel it is unsuitable for use by those like me, for the software offers fairly simple GUI (for those used to FTP at least), a selection of skins and to my surprise (although I wonder if some other FTP programs have this as well), some sort of shell for Internet Explorer.

    Unfortunately I did find a couple of annoyances during the short time I played around with the software. For a start, when I attempted to browse a second FTP site, I found that I was unable to navigate away from the root directory using the graphical folders. This was because I still had the previous site’s directory in the directory bar and it required there to be the correct text, which was “/”, there instead. Perhaps I’m nit picking, but it had me stumped for a minute or two.

    Furthermore, I found it a good laugh that when you click on an FTP link to a file in the web browser, Internet explorer begins to download the file itself instead of Staff-FTP!

    There are also some small GUI quirks, but overall I expect that while I’ll probably stay with what I’ve got, I don’t doubt that there are a number of people out there who will find this software suits them perfectly.

    • Samer

      @ CNK: thank you for sharing your experience! I read with interest.

      @ Fred, J.L: it seems I have been very unkind to Unlocker. I remember being disappointed at one point that it installed crapware without asking; now I am unsure if I was confused or mistaken, but in any case it doesn’t seem to be the case anymore and I’m striking out what I said.

      @ Webfork: I know someone who uses Comodo product (Antivirus, Firewall) and loves them. There was a time when the firewall was widely hailed as one of the best if not the best free option out there (I wish I could do a competent free firewall comparison article sometime). Having said that, I always found it strange that Comodo AV would not show up in popular antivirus comparative tests (although perhaps that cannot be blamed on Comodo themselves); nonetheless it more or less dropped off my radar for that reason.

      I am not sure how much stock to put in the issue of SSL Secutiry certificates being sold to malware companies, or the presumed EULA and data privacy concerns. I am unsure if what their practices are any different from what most developers do, but the reality of it is that I do not feel motivated enough to find out mainly because I do not use any Comodo products myself.

      But thank you very much for the links.

  • Zoio do Trigo

    As to a fine and free alternative FTP Client, try FTPRush (Unicode also), here:

    … 😉

  • Samer: Thanks for the response. Although I could argue the security certificates issue is actually really big deal, this site is about freeware so I’ll stick to that.

    At least from my experience, Comodo makes a great firewall that I used it for years. Like Google, Comodo is giving away something for free (or more cheaply than other products) by mining its customer base for valuable consumer data. Its a bit like watching TV commercials before you watch a movie: theater owners would argue its bringing down ticket prices just like data mining reduces the price of this security tool.

    With commercials before a movie, it is at worst annoying. With Google it may may not be a big deal if just *some* of your online behaviors are monitored. However, a security tool like Comodo’s by nature watches your ENTIRE computer, not just what you do online. That’s maybe a little more familiar than you want to get with someone that may not use this information in your best interests.

  • boris

    Thanks for giving me some alternatives for Unlocker with its limited options

  • Danny

    I have tried to contact Contaware regarding their Contacam program because I have a problem with their program and also to offer suggestions for enhancements of their program for future revisions. When I try to send their contact form I keep getting an error message. There is no other contact method that I am aware of.

    Is there another way to contact them?