A new hard drive has been on my list of things to buy since mine crashed last year.
I like to think of myself as a knowledgeable consumer and as such I spend hours checking and comparing prices and shopping online.
Ever since I started looking for a hard drive I’ve seen adverts for PC components popping up on every website I visit. Sometimes these adverts are useful but after seeing the same advert across three websites in a row it becomes tiresome.
That’s why when we were asked to review TrackOFF I jumped at the opportunity.
In the simplest terms possible, TrackOFF prevents websites and advertising platforms from knowing who you are and protecting your privacy.
The app does this not by preventing websites from placing cookies on your PC, but by eating them away.
If like me you’re curious as to who is trying to see who you are, TrackOFF allows you to see which websites have tried to track you and you can make adjustments to your browsing habits where necessary.
How hungry for resources is TrackOFF?
The app is a 43MB download that when installed will take up 110MB of storage space.
On my PC TrackOFF is set to start on startup and it has never caused the startup process to stall or take longer than before the app was installed.
Once running you hardly notice TrackOFF. The app uses very little RAM and CPU power and I’ve run everything from games to video capture apps while TrackOFF was running and never noticed a slow down.
The app will send you a notification when it blocks a tracking attempt and will tell you when it changes your digital fingerprint. I found these notifications to be both an annoyance and a bit of a blessing.
You start to realise just how many websites are tracking you when you install TrackOFF and while the endless “bing” of Windows 10 notifications can be annoying, I always thought it better to know what was going on and who was tracking me than not knowing.
After a month of use I haven’t seen a decline in the amount of advertising I see just less targeted advertising.
For instance, I no longer see adverts for “Gamer dating” websites. Something that popped up frequently before the app owing to my browsing habits and perhaps my Facebook profile being used as a login for numerous websites.
The app also has a VPN service which is only available in the Elite pricing tier.
This works in much the same way most VPNs work and allows you to mask your location. Sadly, you can’t use this to access Netflix’s international library, though that’s not the fault of the app.
The VPN can allow you to appear as if you browsing from Japan, Turkey or 28 other locations. It’s incredibly simple to use and connecting and disconnecting takes a click.
What’s the price?
If you’re tired of being followed around the web by advertisers and websites then I would highly recommend opening up your wallet and getting a TrackOFF license.
Be warned however, the app is not cheap.
A basic license will cost you $34.95 (R465.65) for a year and you’ll be able to use all the features I’ve outlined across three computers. Sadly the VPN service is not included in this price tier.
If you want the VPN you’ll need to pay TrackOFF $59.95 (R798.73) every year.
Comparatively the pricing isn’t all that bad, especially when you consider that you’ll be protecting your privacy for less than a top tier Netflix subscription costs each year.
If you’re sick of advertisers following you around the web and you don’t want to install an ad-blocker, TrackOFF offers a rather convienent and secure middle ground.
TrackOFF is available for purchase through the official store front.[Image – CC BY SA Kieran Lamb]