VUWER
VUWER
1.0

4.5

VUWER free download for Mac

VUWER

1.0
02 August 2016

Remotely track lost or stolen Macs.

Overview

VUWER (pronounced like "viewer") is an application designed to remotely track your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro (or any other Apple computer) in the event that it is lost or stolen. VUWER is not foolproof, but it is reasonably secure, easy to implement, and costs nothing but a little time and effort to set up.

Features
  • VUWER is free of charge, open source, and relies on standard OS X commands and readily available freeware applications for installation and operation. Also, since VUWER is written in Applescript, it is relatively easy to modify or enhance in any way you choose.
  • You are in complete control of where the captured data from your stolen laptop is sent and how it is accessed; data can be transmitted by email, by secure file copy to another computer account, or to a Dropbox account.
  • You can remotely capture screenshots, iSight/FaceTime camera images, and IP geolocation data from your laptop, and separately choose their respective repetition intervals.
  • No third-party intermediary is required to track your laptop. VUWER eliminates any possibility of an unscrupulous person at a theft-recovery company snooping on you.

Please submit comments and bug reports to tim.holman@vanderbilt.edu.

What's new in VUWER

Version 1.0 (1.9.2):

Note: Although Finder indicates app version to be 1.0, the developer refers to it as version 1.9.2.

Note: Now requires OS X 10.6 or later

  • Modified VCP creation routine to make script compilation more reliable

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31 VUWER Reviews

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Rate this app:

Tim-Holman
28 January 2014

Most helpful

VUWER is now functional for OS X 10.4.11 through 10.9.1. VUWER should have a more regular update schedule in the months ahead, with language localization to be added later this year. My apologies to everyone for taking so long to release this update; sometimes the "real world" gets in the way of your best intentions.
Like (3)
Version 1.7.1
Tim Holman
14 April 2019
VUWER is not dead, but it has definitely been neglected for the past year. Right now I am working on a new version to fix two issues: (1) Google geolocation is broken (needs an API key), and (2) screencapture crashes and hangs VUWER. In addition, I need to move the VUWER web page to a new site. It is currently offline, but will be back as soon as I can relocate it.
Like (2)
Version 1.0
3 answer(s)
tno
tno
26 June 2019
Hi Tim, Any update on your progress, site, etc.? thx
Like
Tim Holman
Tim Holman
26 June 2019
I have a new web site, but have yet to activate it. VUWER 2.0 should be going up sometime before the end of the summer.
Like
Filou53
Filou53
01 October 2019
Hi Tim. Your website mentioned on MacUpdate seems to be out :-( What about the new site ?
Like
Version 1.0
MichaelHaeusler
10 November 2018
Is the app discontinued? I just wanted to install it on a new Mac, and the developer's site is gone. (?)
Like
Version 1.9.2
1 answer(s)
MichaelHaeusler
MichaelHaeusler
20 November 2018
And the site is back.
Like
Tim-Holman
31 July 2016
VUWER users: I've just uploaded version 1.9.1, which includes fixes to deal with an upcoming macOS Sierra security feature called App Translocation. If you've unsuccessfully tried to install VUWER on a Mac running the beta version of Sierra, VUWER 1.9.1 should fix the problem.
Like
Version 1.9
2 answer(s)
Michelovic
Michelovic
21 September 2016
Very good app, thanks!

One question, ¿there are a way to define where to save te folder of the client computers on te remote?
Like
Tim-Holman
Tim-Holman
25 September 2016
Michelovic, the folder location cannot be moved.

For Installation Option 3, all client computer folders are stored in the /Apps/VUWER subfolder on the Dropbox account. This location is set by the Dropbox API in order to prevent any 3rd party applications from getting access to other files in your Dropbox directory.
Like
Tim-Holman
29 July 2016
VUWER users: I've made a quick change to the VUWER disk image that fixes two problems that became apparent: (1) a bug causing crashes in Installation Option 1, and (2) a bug fix that prevented installation in the macOS Sierra preview. I haven't changed the version (fixes too minor), but if you have had any problems installing VUWER, download the program again, and you should find the problem solved.
Like (1)
Version 1.9
Tim-Holman
29 July 2016
VUWER users: Once again, an anti-virus company is causing problems for VUWER. If you are running McAfee Endpoint Protection on your Mac, VUWER installation will fail because McAfee mistakenly flags the Platypus script wrapper as malware, and disables it before the installation process is complete. What has happened is that a malware writer created a program called Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor using Platypus (which is a completely legitimate program). McAfee "solves" the problem by deleting the ScriptExec module in the Platypus command line installation. For now, the workaround is to disable McAfee during the VUWER installation process. Once VUWER is installed, you can re-enable McAfee. It will still disable Platypus, but VUWER does not require the Platypus program during runtime operation. I know that other people have reported this false positive to McAfee, but it remains to be seen if they will do anything about it.
Like (1)
Version 1.9
Tim-Holman
27 July 2016
VUWER users: A beta version of the next version of VUWER is available for download at http://stumpy.vuse.vanderbilt.edu/VUWERbeta.dmg. This new version introduces the VUWER Control Panel for Installation Option 3, which greatly simplifies a user's operation of the software. Please give the new beta a try and let me know what you think.
Like (1)
Version 1.8.2
Tim-Holman
05 July 2016
VUWER users: I've discovered a bug that can cause VUWER to fail with OS 10.8.5 or earlier. I'm testing a fix and should have it released in the next couple of days. If you haven't been able to get VUWER to work with an older Mac, this new update will fix the problem.
Like (1)
Version 1.8.1
Tim-Holman
13 June 2016
VUWER users: if you have been getting an SSL handshake error while attempting to send email using Installation Option 1, try this beta version: http://stumpy.vuse.vanderbilt.edu/vuwerbeta.dmg This problem does not affect all VUWER users, but this beta should (hopefully) fix the problem if it does. If you try it, and it works for you, please let me know.
Like (1)
Version 1.8
MichaelHaeusler
11 June 2016
Long-time fan of VUWER… and now with Dropbox support: great update. One thing, though: it installs its own version of wacaw, sendEmail, imagesnap etc., and I always have to re-symlink from my homebrew Cellar. My suggestion: before installation VUWER Setup should check if the necessary binaries are already installed, and if yes, check their version numbers, and only install the VUWER-packed binaries, if the installed versions are older. On the other hand, deleting and re-symlinking isn't that big of a deal. :) On a philosophical level I still don't know what I'd do if my Mac were stolen: delete all HD contents via Apple or try to find the Mac hoping for VUWER ex machina? Anyway, 4.5 stars. Highly recommended, as always.
Like
Version 1.8
1 answer(s)
Tim-Holman
Tim-Holman
11 June 2016
I will put the binary version check on my "to do" list for the next update of VUWER, Michael. If nothing else, I can give the user the option of deleting or keeping the existing binaries.

As to what to do if your laptop is stolen: I've had an idea on the back burner for some time that could provide some additional security in lieu of wiping the entire HD via "Find My Mac". The thief has to use the laptop in order for VUWER to do its job, but clearly you don't want your personal information left intact. I've experimented with installing a VUWER root daemon that would allow the owner to execute remote administrative commands (e.g. delete all files from every administrative account), but I couldn't come up with a simple way for the average Mac user to deliver those commands.

Dropbox integration changes all that. It should be straightforward to add a remote root command system in a future version of VUWER. In addition, I am thinking of adding a feature where a user can insert a USB thumb drive into his Mac while installing VUWER, and VUWER will put a "helper" application on the drive. Then, if your laptop is ever stolen, you insert the thumb drive into any other Mac computer, run the helper app, and either download VUWER data files from your stolen laptop, or change the command file via a simple user interface.

The Dropbox API has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Expect to see some significant upgrades to VUWER in the not-too-distant future.
Like (1)
Derekcurrie
11 June 2016
Note: Some anti-malware applications send out an alert regarding VUWER specifically because it incorporates the open source software 'imagesnap'. Intego VirusBarrier says imagesnap is the malware 'RobSnap.A'. IGNORE this warning! I've personally attempted to interact with Intego about this situation and they had nothing to say. The developer of VUWER (Tim Holman) and I have discussed the situation and neither of us can comprehend Intego's problem, except that possibly imagesnap has been used abusively in the past. Summary: Ignore 'imagesnap'/'RobSnap' warnings regarding VUWER. They're nonsense. VUWER is greatness.
Like (1)
Version 1.8
1 answer(s)
Tim-Holman
Tim-Holman
11 June 2016
Thanks, Derek. I should probably write something about this situation on the VUWER web page. Intego's misidentification of the Imagesnap binary as malware has been a source of ongoing frustration for me. Who knows how many people may have downloaded VUWER and then deleted it without trying it, because VirusBarrier said it was infected with "RobSnap.A"?

What is especially frustrating is that a Google search for "RobSnap.A" turns up nothing. This so-called malware apparently exists nowhere except in Intego's own malware definitions. This is exactly why I avoid anti-virus products from third-party vendors.
Like (1)
Free

4.5

App requirements: 
  • Intel 64
  • Intel 32
  • Mac OS X 10.6.0 or later
Category: 
Developer Website: 
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