WinPatrol Plus 2013 – AppFound Giveaway

WinPatrol is an effective monitoring and system information program unique in its scope of abilities, most of which are available in the free version.  In this review, Plus features will be clearly indicated. This is a must have addition to your current AV protection as it works perfectly alongside without any interference and yet is small in size and low in resource demands. (In Task Manager, winpatrol.exe system monitor uses 0.9 MB working memory and WinpatrolEx.exe, the GUI, when open, uses 2900-3000 kb as seen on my machine).

Some notable quotes:

USA Today says…best kept secret in computer protection.”

Tech Republic says: “If you had to choose one application to control crapware, I would recommend WinPatrol”

Gizmo calls it the… “Best Free Intrusion Prevention & Detection”

Current version is 26.1.2013.0:26.1.2013.0 and updated regularly.

Quote Description from the website:

WinPatrol PLUS allows you to efficiently monitor programs running on your computer without

slowing you down or hogging all your memory.

WinPatrol takes a snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you in real-time to any changes that may occur without your knowledge. You’ll be notified of critical system changes.  This is a must-have addition to your current AV protection.

Plus Version:

Has access to over 30,000 easy to understand program descriptions with recommendations as to safety and usage.  The Plus information can be saved as a note inside the right-click context menu of the program listed in WinPatrol so that one doesn’t have to constantly check online for the same files repeatedly.

Installation: extremely simple and straight forward; NO hidden installations!

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#1: The opening screen gives some basic information and links to visit the website or to email support.

#2: The Licensing Agreement

            I could not get the scrolling copy to work for the screenshot, so I copied the whole thing for your reading pleasure.  Truly, it IS a pleasure to read; it’s written in everyday language and extremely brief.  Primarily it discusses the types of licenses available for PLUS and how they differ, and then an admonition to be honest about licensing.  Bill works very hard on this program, and he’s a true genius, so he deserves the support he gets from licensing.  Plus he is very dedicated to providing the free-ware version so that the general public can have good protection as well.

2b Here’s the whole License Agreement

WinPatrol FREE License

The Free Edition of WinPatrol is available for permanent but only personal use and is not just a trial version. This program is a powerful tool that alerts you to system changes, allows you to prevent selected programs from running, allows you to safely explore what programs might be slowing you down and more. The WinPatrol Free Edition license is limited to personal use but may be installed on multiple computers if used by one person.. You agree to use WinPatrol at your own risk.


WinPatrol PLUS                               Single User Personal License

Upgrading to WinPatrol PLUS is a personal user license, not a yearly subscription. You’ll never be asked to pay again but you may not share your PLUS activation code. Friends and relatives should get their own personal use license.  Once you receive a PLUS code you may use it to activate PLUS features on any computer you own and you personally use. It does not include computers used by immediate family members if all you do is provide support & maintenance. Our Family Pack license is recommended for entire families who use WinPatrol.  WinPatrol PLUS may be purchased for a business environment but is still limited to individual users. This license is fully transferable to any new computers you purchase or if you experience equipment failures.  We recommend installing WinPatrol as the first applications when you have a new computer.

Using a PLUS activation code not obtained from BillP Studios, WinPatrol.com  or one of our partners is discouraged and could result in your PLUS features being disabled without warning. Obtaining a PLUS code from an illegal “keygen” download site is risky and often results in a malware infection.  While they don’t aggressively chase after illegal use of their PLUS codes, if it can be proven, they will turn over an IP address if requested by organizations currently working to reduce the use of pirated software.

WinPatrol PLUS                                               Family Pack License
A single WinPatrol Family Pack code may be used by all members of your immediate family within your household. Immediate family includes a common-law spouse or a domestic partnership as well as any offspring living within your home.  It also includes children who are away at school.
Like the single personal license, you may continue to use your activation code on all future versions of WinPatrol without any additional fee. If you have a single license and would like to upgrade to a Family License contact support@WinPatrol.com and we’ll give you a coupon so you won’t have to pay the full license fee.
WinPatrol Enterprise                      Single Machine License

This license includes an upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS lifetime subscription.  WinPatrol Enterprise may be purchased for a personal or business environment and is limited to individual machines. Enterprise includes notification of changes to a system administrator and requires a yearly subscription for Email notifications.

WinPatrol Small Business            Multiple Machine Licenses
Small and Large businesses should contact support@WinPatrol.com  for special offers to support environments with 10 or more WinPatrol users.

Installation Options:

                        Unless you desire to untic the actual program installation, (probably not) the only option is to change the location of the installation.  Note the tiny file size!  Please see the screenshot that follows.

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Finishing the installation:

            This last window allows you to tic if you want the program to automatically open when finished.  The icon can be found in the system tray if the GUI doesn’t present itself.  (#4)

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#5: The GUI (graphical user interface) The Main Tabbed Interface:  tabs across the top are listed separately left to right across the top.

  1. 1.    Startup Programs Tab

Startup programs tab is first tab and every program that starts up on its own is listed here.  By ticking near the top, the secret startup locations found in Windows are also monitored and a popup warns of a new addition or the loss of a program (handy for malware monitoring J.)  Note that the most popular functions are listed below in clickable boxes and that the Close box closes WinPatrol to the system tray, but a right-click on any of the programs listed shows a number of options that you can do with that program.  You can get information about it, create a note, and add and save information, explore the program folder, open the program’s properties, move the program to the Delay Start tab, delete, disable or delete file on reboot, and access the WinPatrol log or help file. You can also directly access Plus information, an accurate onsite description of the program and what to do with it, if you have the Plus license. [NB: In every referral to “information” the free program has a popup that gives you all the information it can find from the programs themselves on the computer, such as the company (if available) and dates etc.  In addition, the Plus program gives very in-depth information for just about every program online (It’s an ongoing process). You need to see it to believe it!  While with the free version information about individual files can be searched separately on the internet and saved to a note that stays with the program listing, it is extremely convenient to just click the Plus button, and it also supports Bill P. and his extensive work and frequent updates on both the Plus and the free version.  (The base program of the free and Plus editions is exactly the same!  The free version does not lag behind the Plus version.)

  1. 2.    Delayed Start Tab

            This tab’s programs (if any) and right-click options are similar to the Startup Programs tab except there are options for timing the delay of startup and how you want the window

positioned, such as maximized, minimized, etc.  You can also come here to launch the program immediately if you want it sooner than scheduled, and also send the program back to regular startup easily enough.  Again, note the most used functions in clickable boxes at the bottom.

  1. 3.    IE Helper Tab

IE Helper Page: Scotty reports with a popup any Internet Explorer installation of programs, toolbars or links.  The right-click context menu allows for the regular items listed in the first 2 tabs, plus the ability to remove or delete on reboot.

  1. 4.    Scheduled Tasks 1.0

            Scotty the Watchdog reports on programs scheduled by the Windows Task Scheduler.  From this tab, one can get the usual info as in the other tabs such as opening the task’s program folder so that changes can be made to the task through the program’s own scheduler.  Information, note creation, website access, etc. are all available here.

  1. 5.    Services Tab

            Under the Services tab you have access to the regular information and to each service’s settings, the changing of the service’s parameters such as Automatic, Manual, or Disabled, stopping the service, etc. through the right-click context menu.  A tic in the box at the bottom of the page automatically hides all Microsoft services.

  1. 6.    Active Tasks Tab

As Bill P. says, Scotty “sniffs out” all the programs currently running on your machine.  From here you can get information, refresh the program, kill the task, or use the right-click context menu for all the now familiar functions.          

  1. 7.    Cookies Tab: (This shot is only of the page itself- doesn’t show the other WinPatrol tabs.)

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#6 This is an extensive page!  Firstly, you can create your own cookie filters by extracting the words from the unwanted cookies, and when monitored, it gets automatically deleted.  (I don’t have any filters listed because I have a cookie/ ads program separately but this is an effective way to limit unwanted cookies.  Then by clicking, “View Cookies,” a whole new page pops up where you can act upon each or all cookies in various ways:

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One can see from the bottom boxes the typical functions, but the context menu allows you to view the content of the cookie in a text file, get Plus info if available, or help.

  1. 8.    File Types Tab

This tab is rather self-explanatory without surprises.

  1. 9.    Hidden Files Tab

This is an excellent place to look for unwanted programs running and an excellent reason to have the Plus license.  These programs can be deleted on reboot (for the stubborn ones, but it must be remembered that most if not all of the programs are friendly and necessary for your computer’s function.  They are hidden to keep the novice from accidentally removing them.  However, malware likes to park its files in the hidden recesses also.  The context menu is very much like Startup Programs, with the added ability to view the actual file in Notebook.  However, this may be of no benefit to the typical computer user.  Again, Plus info is extremely handy here.

  1. 10.  Recent Tab

This page is also extremely helpful to locate malware files because many times the malware pieces are not all running at the exact same time.  Here they can be located and removed by delete on reboot- available in the context menu.

  1. 11.  Active X Tab

Here you can find your active “ActiveX” add-ons to Internet Explorer, and by ticking the “List all ActiveX controls including those not used by Internet Explorer” you will notice extra programs disabled.  At tic at the bottom of the page hides all the Microsoft ActiveX programs, making it easier to determine what shouldn’t be there.

  1. 12.  WinPatrol Registry Monitoring Tab

In the freeware version, this tab does not function; all the benefits listed below are only in the Plus program.  The registry monitoring tab allows you to choose parts of the registry where you want to monitor any system changes.  Scotty monitors the registry locations that you indicated and you’ll receive a pop-up to let you know that something is changed.  Or you can tic the box that simply blocks any changes and does not bother you with a pop-up.  On this tab, you can click on suggestions and the website will give you third-party recommendations for areas of the registry that you may want to monitor.  Issues include:

  • Prevent System Restore from being Disabled (a favorite of malware programs.)
  • DLL Preloading Remote Attack Vector
  • Manually Adding Registry Values to monitor.
    Click the “Add” button and you’ll see the following screen (similar to “add” in Regedit.)

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  1. 13.  Plus Tab

            This tab allows for the insertion of the registration code for WinPatrol, along with easy access to new version checking.  The Reset button will erase your registration!!  There is also a clickable bar direct to “News from BillP Studios.” which most find very enlightening to enhance usage and overall computer literacy.  At the bottom is a program filename internet search.

  1. 14.  Options Tab

            And lastly is the Options tab, where WinPatrol can be optimized and individualized.  One can hide alert messages and lock file types with a tic.  Scotty can be set to warn in real time (PLUS only) and the free version is set to run every x minutes for any changes to the internet start page and search pages as well as changes made to the HOSTS file or any critical System file.  Again, only in the Plus version, you can tic a warning if a program’s Uninstall function has been removed- a clear indicator of malware activity if not done purposefully.  In both versions, WinPatrol runs a “Hijack This” type of log, a spreadsheet report listing registry locations and data about all the programs it monitors (other than Microsoft), and the regular Log which is a mountain of valuable information.  WinPatrol History keeps track of all the changes you’ve made, and if it has an asterisk, the action can be restored.  Settings can be exported to an outside .reg file and can be reimported by merging with the registry (a right-click context ability for .reg files) which is very handy in case you have to reinstall for some reason J.  All the delayed-start programs can be restored to normal startup at the single click of the button on this page.  And then there are a number of personalizations to tic or not as you desire.

In review, the Plus version provides a 30,000 program file library of detailed information on most of the programs you use (it’s an ongoing project- new files all the time J) There is real-time monitoring of Internet Explorer home and search pages, along with the HOSTS file and critical System files for any changes.  There are extensive monitoring abilities of the Registry with a number of issues to protect available on-site.

Overall, for the tiny file size and the small amount of resources this program uses, it does a remarkable number of very useful functions in one program.   I do not believe that even after all these years, there is another program out there with all these functions available, and definitely nothing out there in the freeware world!   As stated earlier, the free version is unencumbered by anything- it has the full function of the program minus the extensive extra information available to Plus members.  The license is lifelong- your lifetime, NOT the computer you have it installed on!

There is a 32-64-bit program available for Win XP, Vista Win 7 and Win 8 as well as a separate version for Win 98 and Win 2K.  Just recently BillP Studios came out with a WinPatrol Removal Program which removes all files and registry entries created by installing WinPatrol.  This requires a reboot to delete all the files.  You can also install a portable WinPatrol.

I have owned this since it began years ago and I never run my computer without it!  Scotty is the best little friend a computer owner/user could want.

Bill Pytlovany is a genius and a great humanitarian in my book for all his hard work for the free version as it’s his belief that all should have good protection for their computers.  The Plus, is, well, a plus! (A very, very good plus)

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