VUWER
VUWER 1.7.1
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(10) 4.65

Remotely track lost or stolen Macs.   Free
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VUWER (pronounced like "viewer") is an application designed to remotely track your 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.

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.
What's New
Version 1.7.1:
  • VUWER is now compatible with OS X 10.9 Mavericks.
  • Modified IPInfoDB.com IP geolocation subroutine to conform to new API commands.
  • Made numerous fixes to restore Installation Option 1 functionality in OS 10.4.11 Tiger.
Requirements
Intel/PPC, OS X 10.4.11 or later



MacUpdate - VUWER




  • Prey
    +7

  • Undercover
    +4

  • Lockdown
    +3

  • iAlertU
    +2

  • Sneaky Bastard
    +2

  • RedHand
    +1
VUWER User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 1.x:
(10)
Your rating: Now say why...
Overall:
(10)

sort: smiles | time
burypromote
+1
Tim Holman (developer) commented on 28 Jan 2014
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.
[Version 1.7.1]

2 Replies

burypromote

+156
Markus Winter replied on 28 Jan 2014
Great! If you need help with the localization then I'm happy to help out.
burypromote
rae8860 replied on 29 Jan 2014
Installed and working like a charm, thank you, my mac is safe again.
burypromote
+1
Tim Holman (developer) commented on 22 Oct 2013
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.
[Version 1.7]

4 Replies

burypromote
+1
Tim Holman (developer) replied on 23 Oct 2013
Update: A solution has been identified. I'll be pushing out a new VUWER update soon - hopefully by the end of October.
burypromote

+156
Markus Winter replied on 11 Dec 2013
Any progess?
burypromote
rae8860 replied on 15 Jan 2014
It this abandonware now?, i hope it is not.
burypromote
+1
Tim Holman (developer) replied on 19 Jan 2014
No, VUWER has not been abandoned. I have been drowning in work over the past 3 months, and my release date keeps slipping. I should finally get out from under my deadlines after this week, after which I hope to have two or three uninterrupted days to finish the changes to the code and test it on several machines.

Sorry for these delays, but I have to give first priority to my regular job.
burypromote
+2

+556

Penguirl reviewed on 19 Feb 2013
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.
[Version 1.7]


burypromote
+2
Tim Holman (developer) commented on 15 Dec 2012
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.
[Version 1.6.3]


burypromote
-7

+65
NotUsed commented on 17 Sep 2012
What if the thief steals your Mac and creates a better icon for VUWER???? Should you let him keep the Mac?
[Version 1.6.2]

1 Reply

burypromote
+12
Tim Holman (developer) replied on 17 Sep 2012
That's a rather unusual comment about VUWER.

If you'd like to create a new icon for VUWER, please be my guest. If I like it, I'll switch to your version, and give you credit in the documentation.

Plus, in recognition of your effort, I'll send you a free copy of VUWER. :-)
burypromote
+1

+1
stuartm23 commented on 10 Dec 2011
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?
[Version 1.5.2]

4 Replies

burypromote
+6
Tim Holman (developer) replied on 10 Dec 2011
Like all anti-theft Mac software, VUWER can't work if the thief can't use your Mac to connect to the network. You have to give him a way to do that.

When installing VUWER, it is recommended that you password protect your own personal account (and set a firmware password as well), but then create a standard guest account (without a password) for the thief to log in and use. Provided the thief takes the path of least resistance (and many seem to do exactly that), he or she will happily use the guest account and you'll be able to get data from VUWER. Note that this technique of providing a guest account for the thief to use is standard practice for commercial anti-theft programs as well. Read the VUWER documentation for more information.

Note that if the thief does happen to learn or change your password (but doesn't erase the hard drive), VUWER will also work for your personal account.
burypromote

+19
S/ash replied on 28 Jun 2012
@Tim

Will it work if FileVault 2 is enabled on Lion? The reason I am asking is because the guest account in Lion with File Vault runs from the recovery partition, on which VUWER cannot be installed.
burypromote
+2
Tim Holman (developer) replied on 28 Jun 2012
@ S/ash

You are correct - VUWER will not work with the "Safari Only" Guest Account that Lion places on your computer. Consequently, you need to give the thief an alternative. Create a standard (non-admin) account as described in the VUWER documentation, call it something like "Full Access Guest", and you can be sure that the thief will use it instead. Offer a thief a way to get more with less effort, and you can just about guarantee he will take the bait.

As to FileVault 2, VUWER will work with it enabled. However, you'll need to add a password to your standard guest account if FileVault 2 is activated. If you do that, try something like this: assuming your password is "letmein", change the long name of your guest account to "Full Access Guest (pw is letmein)", i.e. just tell the thief what the password is.
burypromote

+19
S/ash replied on 29 Jun 2012
@Tim

Thanks for the clarification. I was looking at only two options -- disabling FV or uninstalling VUWER. Thanks for a better workaround :)
burypromote

+40

Frieddylan reviewed on 02 Dec 2011
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!
[Version 1.5.1]

1 Reply

burypromote
+2
Tim Holman (developer) replied on 02 Dec 2011
Thank you for the comments. The Google account is unavoidable, because the only alternative is for some third party to run a remote server for controlling / querying VUWER. If you are willing to pay for that sort of convenience, there are several commercial programs that you can purchase and install to protect your Mac. In fact, links to those programs are provided in the VUWER documentation.

The philosophy behind VUWER is different, and intentionally so. You are trading off increased set-up complexity for full control of the software. This approach is not for everyone, but VUWER has enough users to tell me that I'm not alone in preferring it over commercial solutions. Consequently, VUWER is open source and free of charge, and will always remain that way.

Also, there's a reason why VUWER is written in Applescript. It runs on OS 10.4.11 through 10.7.2 because Apple has taken extreme care not to break Applescript between different operating systems. Scripting the entire program has greatly simplified the task of software maintenance. Interpreted languages do occasionally have their advantages. :-)
burypromote
+2

+2

GraemeP2 reviewed on 20 Sep 2011
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!
[Version 1.5]

1 Reply

burypromote
+1
Tim Holman (developer) replied on 21 Sep 2011
If you haven't already done so, I recommend that you upgrade to the latest version on your machines when you do your next round of maintenance.

The new version uses Google Wi-Fi geolocation, as opposed to the Skyhook Wireless geolocation, which is no longer accessible via Applescript. So far, my experience has been that Google's geolocation is more accurate than Skyhook Wireless geolocation.
burypromote
+1

+4

Ccarter reviewed on 06 Jul 2011
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.
[Version 1.4.7]

2 Replies

burypromote

+4
Ccarter replied on 06 Jul 2011
Don't know why it showed as 4.5 stars. It's a 5, really!
burypromote
+1
Tim Holman (developer) replied on 06 Jul 2011
I'm pleased that VUWER is proving useful to you. I'm working on VUWER 2.0, which hopefully will be released sometime later this year.

As for the rating, you must have accidentally clicked 4.5 stars instead of 5. You can change your own rating if you want, but you can't delete it.
burypromote

+13

Kankei71 reviewed on 25 Apr 2011
Vuwer is a very clever way to get information about a stolen laptop. It is working very well and the developer is very friendly.
[Version 1.4.3]


There are currently no troubleshooting comments. If you are experiencing a problem with this app, please post a comment.


rae8860 rated on 23 Jan 2014

[Version 1.7]



taha-mohammed96 rated on 04 Jan 2013

[Version 1.7]



+57

Tim Holman rated on 06 Jul 2011

[Version 1.4.7]



+63

Awado rated on 01 Jul 2011

[Version 1.4.7]


Downloads:13,571
Version Downloads:420
Type:Utilities : Security
License:Free
Date:28 Jan 2014
Platform:PPC 64 / PPC 32 / Intel 64 / Intel 32 / OS X
Price:Free0.00
Overall (Version 1.x):
Features:
Ease of Use:
Value:
Stability:
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VUWER (pronounced like "viewer") is an application designed to remotely track your 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.

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 either by email or by secure file copy to another computer 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.

See http://stumpy.vuse.vanderbilt.edu/vuwer.htm for more information.

Please submit comments and bug reports to tim.holman (at) vanderbilt.edu.


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