VUWER free download for Mac

VUWER1.0

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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How would you rate VUWER app?

32 Reviews of VUWER

Tim-Holman
28 January 2014
Version: 1.7.1

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.
(3)
Filou53
08 January 2020
Version: 1.0
all links seems to be broken ... :-(
(0)
Tim Holman
14 April 2019
Version: 1.0
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.
(2)
Show comments (3)
MichaelHaeusler
10 November 2018
Version: 1.9.2
Is the app discontinued? I just wanted to install it on a new Mac, and the developer's site is gone. (?)
(0)
Show comment (1)
Tim-Holman
31 July 2016
Version: 1.9
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.
(0)
Show comments (2)
Tim-Holman
29 July 2016
Version: 1.9
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.
(1)
Tim-Holman
29 July 2016
Version: 1.9
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.
(1)
Tim-Holman
27 July 2016
Version: 1.8.2
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.
(1)
Tim-Holman
05 July 2016
Version: 1.8.1
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.
(1)
Tim-Holman
13 June 2016
Version: 1.8
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.
(1)
4.5
MichaelHaeusler
11 June 2016
Version: 1.8
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.
(0)
Show comment (1)
5
Derekcurrie
11 June 2016
Version: 1.8
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.
(1)
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Tim-Holman
10 June 2016
Version: 1.8
VUWER users: VUWER 1.8 has gone "live". Try the new Dropbox integration - you'll like it!
(1)
Tim-Holman
10 June 2016
Version: 1.7.7
VUWER users: I've just uploaded the latest VUWER 1.8 beta to http://stumpy.vuse.vanderbilt.edu/vuwerbeta.dmg. This version fixes some bugs in the previous beta. Give it a try and send me your feedback. Installation Option 3 with Dropbox integration is working very well for several users so far.
(1)
Tim-Holman
26 May 2016
Version: 1.7.7
VUWER users: a major update is coming soon to VUWER. In the past few years, VUWER's email option (Install Option 1) has become less reliable as many ISPs (including Google) have instituted anti-spam measures. Install Option 2 (file transfer via SCP) remains fully functional, but is difficult to set up unless you have access to a second computer and know how to configure SSH.

Consequently, I will shortly be introducing Install Option 3, where VUWER integrates directly with Dropbox to upload all files. All you'll need to do is create a Dropbox account, and VUWER takes care of the rest. Eventually I hope to add similar services such as Google Drive, OneDrive, and/or Box to VUWER.

In the meantime, if you are using Gmail for Install Option 1, I recommend that you turn on two-factor authentication for the VUWER Google account, and create an application password to enter into the VUWER setup program. I have had one user tell me that Gmail is rejecting VUWER emails even with the "Access for Less Secure Apps" option enabled. Using two-factor authentication should alleviate this problem.
(1)
Show comment (1)
Tim-Holman
09 January 2016
Version: 1.7.6
I have just learned that Google Gmail now requires you to change the security settings in order to receive an email message from VUWER. If you are using Installation Option 1 with Gmail, you need to do the following so that the sendEmail application in VUWER can forward email:

a. Log into the VUWER Google account.
b. Go to https://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps.
c. In the "Access for less secure apps" box, select the "Turn on" option.

Alternatively, you can enable two-factor authentication for the VUWER Gmail account, and create an application-specific password for VUWER. (That is why I wasn't aware of the problem, as I use two-factor authentication.) Thanks again to Phil (a user of VUWER) for bringing this to my attention.
(0)
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Tim-Holman
04 December 2015
Version: 1.7.6
VUWER users: version 1.7.6 has been released. This version patches several additional bugs introduced by El Capitan. In particular, if you use a non-U.S. English keyboard character set, this version should fix VUWER crashes during setup and/or operation. I recommend that everyone upgrade to VUWER 1.7.6 as quickly as possible.
(0)
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Tim-Holman
20 November 2015
Version: 1.7.4
VUWER users: version 1.7.5 has just been released. This version is fully compatible with El Capitan, i.e. you don't need to disable SIP to use it. My apologies for the delay in getting this update posted, but unfortunately I had entirely too many emergencies to deal with in the past month. I also want to reassure everyone that I intend to continue supporting and developing VUWER for as long as I own and use Apple computers. I have plans to incorporate some additional features to help you recover your Mac, as well as add multi-language support; it's just a matter of finding the time to do the work. Thanks again to everyone for your encouragement and support!
(2)
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Tim-Holman
08 October 2015
Version: 1.7.4
VUWER users: OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) breaks VUWER completely, due to the new "rootless" System Integrity Protection built into the operating system. I have identified a solution and I'm working on an update right now. If you want to keep VUWER running, you might want to hold off on upgrading to 10.11 until I push out the update.
(1)
Show comments (4)
Tim-Holman
04 September 2014
Version: 1.7.2
VUWER users: If you have a newer Macbook Pro or Macbook Air, you may find that VUWER cannot capture any FaceTime camera images. This appears to be due to a hardware compatibility issue that prevents wacaw (the camera utility used by VUWER) from working with some of the latest Macbook models. However, all other VUWER functions should work normally. I have identified a fix that will be included in the next release of VUWER, which should happen sometime in the next few weeks.
(2)
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4.5
Kankei71
08 June 2014
Version: 1.7.2
Simple, smart and reliable. Thanks for providing this free tool.
(1)
Show comment (1)
Tim-Holman
28 January 2014
Version: 1.7.1
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.
(3)
Show comments (2)
Tim-Holman
22 October 2013
Version: 1.7
A heads up to everyone - it appears that OS X Mavericks breaks VUWER, at least for Option 1. If you rely on VUWER, I recommend that you hold off on upgrading to Mavericks until I can resolve this problem and push out an update.
(1)
Show comments (4)
4.5
Penguirl
19 February 2013
Version: 1.7
At first glance VUWER setup can seem intimidating but it really isn't. Taking one step at a time, and allowing yourself time for setup, it really is quite easy. The developers instructions are clear and concise.
(2)
Tim-Holman
15 December 2012
Version: 1.6.3
VUWER users: you may have noticed that VUWER geolocation (i.e. latitude & longitude data) has recently stopped working. You still get IP address information, and information about the wireless networks that your Mac detects, but the Google Gears API server (which provided free geolocation queries) has been permanently shut down. If you are running OS 10.7 or 10.8, note that iCloud's "Find My iPhone" feature can be enabled on your Mac to provide a map of your laptop's location. For those of you with older operating systems, I'm working on an update that will use the new Google Geolocation API instead of Google Gears. It should be released by January 2013.
(2)
NotUsed
17 September 2012
Version: 1.6.2
What if the thief steals your Mac and creates a better icon for VUWER???? Should you let him keep the Mac?
(2)
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stuartm23
10 December 2011
Version: 1.5.2
How does this help if you have your computer password protected? Provided that the thief isn't able to figure out your password, will it still connect and provide iSight pictures?
(1)
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3
Frieddylan
03 December 2011
Version: 1.5.1
Great idea- a little too 'involving' for setup. Yes the author has ample documentation but really a package and front end beyond applescripts could easily make this a more polished product that I wouldn't mind paying for. In general I would say this is a 4.0 but the convoluted setup (managing a new google account is a work around not the solution) makes Ease of Use drop the rating considerably. Still I believe the thinking and stability is solid. Good work!
(0)
Show comment (1)
4.5
GraemeP2
21 September 2011
Version: 1.5
Great piece of software - I use it to monitor about 200 machines at my school. I "lost" a laptop one day - I located it within 15minutes. Someone had taken it home & not returned it. I liked it when it showed its location on Google Maps - even if it was a bit out. I can't get the Overall rating to go to 5 stars - but 5 stars is my vote!
(2)
Show comment (1)
4.5
Ccarter
06 July 2011
Version: 1.4.7
This is a very useful tool. I agree with another reviewer about the developer. He is very helpful and willing to help make this work.
(1)
Show comments (2)
5
Kankei71
25 April 2011
Version: 1.4.3
Vuwer is a very clever way to get information about a stolen laptop. It is working very well and the developer is very friendly.
(1)
5
MichaelHaeusler
08 July 2010
Version: 1.4.1
Great freeware security enhancement.
(1)
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Beamy
05 May 2010
Version: 1.4
This is a great tool ! It's easy to use, free, open source and it is getting better and better. :-)
(2)