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Message 1 of 27

SiteAdvisor Irritations

I'll be postitive here. Intend this to be read for feedback & suggestion purposes by the developers. Please ignore some of the critical language; I'm just really annoyed right now.

Overall I like the program, think it does a good job, and would never leave my LAN without it.

But there are some things about SiteAdvisor that are really irritating. I run the free version (I know; whadya want for free anyway?).

(1) New versions notifications (not). SiteAdvisor apparently automatically updates, but the way it does it is scary. See my prior thread here for background on this:


And again, thanks to ExBrit for his help in that thread.

Anyway, I caught it automatically updating again yesterday, and for the reasons stated in the above referenced thread, I stopped it. I noticed today that the SiteAdvisor icon had disappeared from IE's toolbar. It wasn't available to add back (View\Toolbars). A quick check in Add/Remove showed it was gone. I assume the first step in the automatic installation of the new version before I stopped it was to uninstall the old version? That left me unprotected.

I would very much prefer that, since you have a perfectly good SiteAdvisor icon in the toolbar that pops out balloons if I go to a red site, you simply have it pop out a notification that an update is available, with a link to download the new version. Don't update automatically in the background. It's arrogant and disrespectful of your customers. Let us know when one's available and let us decide when to do it. Taking it a step further a choice of update settings as with Windows Automatic Updates would be great.

It would also be very nice if you gave us information about what the changes are. I've found that information very hard to find. Pretty much a black box, and I would really like to see a list of changes/fixes/enhancements, like the rest of the software industry provides.

(2) So, I went to siteadvisor.com and downloaded the new setup file.

(2a) The old setup file was named sasetup.exe. The new one is saSetup64.exe. Why the <insert epithet of your choice here> would you use 64 in a setup file name when the whole rest of the software industry uses 64 to designate 64-bit software, which is what I immediately wondered? After installing it, I see I now have version 2.9.143. Why didn't you name it sasetup29.exe, again keeping with what the rest of the industry does?

2(b) Thanks again ExBrit for posting this sticky at the top of the SiteAdvisor threads:


The same issue described is true of ver 2.9 also. Thanks for providing a workaround, although I'll be happy when it's fixed. I want it over there on the right.

(3) Finally, SiteAdvisor is a free program, and is probably intended as a lead-in to other McAfee products. Support and company resources devoted to it probably have a limited budget because it is freeware; yes, that's a guess.

I'll stick with SiteAdvisor, but it wouldn't lead me to purchase other McAfee products for all the reasons listed above.

26 Replies
Message 2 of 27

RE: SiteAdvisor Irritations

I've amended the sticky and am going to add some things you've posted here to the agenda for our weekly conference call with McAfee management on Monday.

By the way, SA was originally privately owned but was bought by McAfee. That's why it's available as a separate download as well as part of most packages, and now of course also the "Plus" version.
The website http://www.siteadvisor.com/ is the original website from when it was a separate company, now with the McAfee logo added of course.

I'm speculating that 2.9 is a fix for the Firefox issues with 2.8 perhaps?

I wonder if you can verify any differences?

I still haven't updated to either one myself, but I'm using Plus which possibly could be a reason.
Message 3 of 27

RE: SiteAdvisor Irritations

Here's also an addon that I just found listed under Firefox Tools/Add-ons/Get add-ons it's called WOT and seems to work similarly to SA in Firefox (only).
Message 4 of 27


As always, thanks Ex Brit.

I see I wasn't clear about my browser. I'm running IE6, not Firefox.

I have it set up with 2 bars.

At the top, the menu bar with the address bar to the right.

Below that, the IE Toolbar with the SiteAdvisor icon to the right (until this update).

That gives me an almost full screen view, but keeps what I want available.

After the new install, SiteAdvisor was insisting on being in a separate bar below the other 2. I did decline the Yahoo bar crap during install and just cancelled out of that. I assume SiteAdvisor is on a 3rd bar to make room for that.

In any case the workaround of moving SiteAdvisor to the LEFT of the toolbar worked for me.

I do hope they decide to implement at least some of the suggestions/*****es I voiced initially.

Message 5 of 27

RE: Firefox

We've just finished our conference call and Siteadvisor was the main topic of conversation.

They are aware of all the issues and are working hard to fix them.
Message 6 of 27


Ex Brit,

As always, thank you.

New symptoms to throw in to the mix.

Today is August 5.

I'm going to divide this between my computer, the one I've been discussing, and a friend's computer that I'm re-installing from scratch. Both are XP Pro, SP2, with Internet Explorer 6. All MS patches current through July. All 3rd party software patches current through yesterday.

MY COMPUTER. Running SiteAdvisor ver. 2.9.143 as I previously reported. When I first opened IE today, the SiteAdvisor icon was completely greyed out. I at first assumed this might be the old and recurring "We're having communications problems" symptom that has been discussed in several previous thread when the baloon is opened. However, when I tried to open the balloon, both Show Balloon and View Site Report are greyed out. Parenthetically, I might mention that I checked, and SiteAdvisor is enabled. Settings are Enabled: Help us make SiteAdvisor better..., Show Site Ratings with search results, and Highlight search results. Disabled is Encrypt SiteAdvisor communications (SSL).

I attempted to go to http://www.siteadvisor.com, but I cannot reach the site. "Cannot find server or DNS* error". Note that I tested connection to about 10 other sites, and all opened immediately right away.

I assume siteadvisor.com is down? I've emptied my cache and attempted to connect to it several times over the last hour and a half before posting this, but I'm still receiving the same result.

FRIEND'S COMPUTER. Yesterday, as I was finishing up the reinstall, I downloaded and installed SiteAdvisor on her computer.

Curiously, the version I have on her computer is 2.8.255. This is an older version than the one I downloaded on mine last week. Has 2.9 been pulled?

In any case, it was working fine yesterday. Today it's spotty. After opening a page, it takes about 2 or 3 seconds for the icon to turn green. Sometimes it never turns any color but remains grey.

I also attempted to connect to siteadvisor.com on her computer. After several attempts, the page did finally partially open, but it's funky and doesn't look at all like the page I'm used to. It's also not completely loaded yet after about 15 minutes.

*Regarding DNS. I know there are active DNS Poisining attacks in the wild at present. Just to check, I changed DNS settings to a known good one, resolver1.qwest.net ( There was no change. I could not connect to siteadvisor.com.

For right now, I'm going to assume that my SiteAdvisor is unable to connect to check sites, and I'm going to leave it alone for today.

I'll post again tomorrow with updates.

Message 7 of 27

RE: Update

McAfee's servers have been out intermittently all day so that would explain Siteadvisor's erratic behaviour as it calls home for information on any link, web page etc.

According to the engineer I spoke with yesterday there's no such thing as version 2.9, I said that he'd better check his own department and get back to me. He hasn't got back....!

This wont really be sorted out until a brand new version is released and when that will be I really don't know.

For the Firefox users there is a add-on called WOT which does much the same thing as Siteadvisor.

(Tools/Add-Ons/Get Add-Ons)
Message 8 of 27



The connectivity issues are resolved, and SiteAdvisor appears to be operating normally today, albeit I'm still seeing display of the icon and it's color a bit slow to load. It's around half a second to a full second after the page displays.

On the no such thing as version 2.9. I have a screenshot of SiteAdvisor's About, which clearly shows version 2.9.143.

Apparently I can't post an image file here, but if you want to send me an email, I'll be glad to attach it to a reply.

I've also enabled the receive email from other members in my control panel options in case my email address is suppressed in this reply.

Message 9 of 27

RE: 2.9

The only way you can post a picture here is to host it at one the free hosting sites such as http://photobucket.com/ and then posting it here using the square bracket [img] URL they provide.

I removed your email address from your post for your own privacy. Spambots patrol all public forums looking for anything with an @ in it.

We know your email address anyway - even without having it enabled.

Is it still acting up as in your first post?
Message 10 of 27

RE: 2.9

I sent you an email Pat.
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