UTorrent and VLC Media Player Clean Apps?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by greg0129, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. greg0129 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    #1
    Dear forum,

    I recently lent my macbook air to my brother for his freshman orientation weekend and had it returned to me with two new apps: UTorrent and VLC Media Player. I'm not familiar with these programs. How can I check that they are legitimate and didn't come bundled with adware or something malicious? A little bit of Google searching has left me uneasy.

    According to my brother, he downloaded them from the original publishers. The installation files in finder are called: uTorrent.dmg (Date Modified: Nov 1, 2013; Size: 1.4 MB) and vlc-2.1.5.dmg (Date Modified: Jul 25, 2014; Size: 33.5 MB). I think the first date may be in error because I have not had the computer that long.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance. I'm not a technologically versed user and appreciate the help.

    Regards,

    Greg
     
  2. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #2
    Those are both well-known, well-respected apps.
    uTorrent is for the downloading of torrents and VLC is a media player with support for many more audio/video formats than those supported by QuickTime.
    Delete them or keep them but I wouldn't waste too much time worrying about them (unless your brother was downloading illegal materials).
    ;)
     
  3. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #3
    VLC is very nice, I'd keep that. I was on 2.1.4, so thanks for letting me know it was updated to 2.1.5, yes, 2.1.5 is current.

    Your brother has good taste in software, I wouldn't worry about it at all.
     
  4. AxoNeuron macrumors 65816

    AxoNeuron

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    The Left Coast
    #4
    You kind of acquire a skill at telling if something is going to have malware or not. Mainly, it's all about the money. Look at how they get their money. If they have a "lite" version and a "full" version, it's usually a good bet that it won't have spyware (but not always). Also, if it's totally free open software with a community website it usually never has spyware. Try to look at the motives of the people who make the software, and why they're doing it. Unfortunately, you have to be very suspicious.

    Utorrent and VLC are both excellent programs, I use them both. No spyware/malware on either. What would be more worrying is what he downloaded with Utorrent. Some torrent websites are absolute cesspits.
     
  5. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    You can trust your brother he knows what he is doing right. No harm is done on your MBA. uTorrent and VLC are great apps I use them all the times. :apple:
     
  6. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Location:
    Far away from liberals
    #6
    Both apps are excellent. Been using them on my Mac's and PC's for years :)
     
  7. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    I didn’t realize VLC and μtorrent had a VPN option.

    VLC is a universal video/music player. If you ever need to play a non-Mac video (like wmv) this is what you will use. As long as it was downloaded from the official site you will be ok. The unofficial sites like to add their own malware inside.

    μtorrent used to be good, but they have added a hidden bitcoin miner in the latest version, which wastes CPU and battery so that they can make money. Definitely needs to be removed. The older version might be free from this addition, but it us really much better to use something else since this company is known for shady business practices. Also check what your brother downloaded, it make be taking up space if you don't need it.

    Deleting them should be just removing them from the Applications folder, assuming you didn't give your brother your password which would allow the apps to spread elsewhere.

    The dates refer to the time the apps were modified by the author.

    To check if VLC comes from the official source, there is a relatively simple but involved process. Launch Terminal, type openssl sha1, then type a space, and then drag the vlc dmg file to the terminal window and press enter. This should get you a hash of the file. Then compare it against the official hash from here: http://download.videolan.org/pub/videolan/vlc/2.1.5/macosx/. Open the link that ends in sha1 and compare the official hash against yours. You might have to choose textedit.app if it asks you to choose an app to use. I found the hash:
    in the file. You just need to compare (what looks like) the garbled characters.

    For future reference, the best way of avoiding your issue is to create another standard (not administrator) user account for your brother (so he can only use simple apps). Then anything he does will be contained to his account and you can delete it if it causes issues or wastes space. Or enable the guest account, which is designed to let someone borrow your Mac.
     

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