So the past couple days, internet speeds in our house have been abysmal. Like, dial-up slow bad. After doing a couple speed tests and seeing ping numbers off the chart (well into the four digits) and upload/download speeds crawling, we got worried that our internet provider was throttling us or something happened to the service.
Today I spent over an hour with two different technicians trying to fix the problem, restarting the modem, testing each computer one at a time, only to discover that the issue was my computer. The tech thought I had a virus or spyware that was eating up all of our bandwidth, and I ran a full series of scans to verify that it was clean. Then we went into the processes and started shutting them down one at a time until we found the one that was crippling our internet.
Turns out, it was a program called Pando Media Booster (pmb.exe). Disabled it and *poof*, my speeds are back to normal.
So how’d it get on my machine? Google search for the program instantly turned up DDO and LOTRO as the top search results.
PMB is supposed to help with downloading large files (like MMOs), but there’s quite a few reports on it doing what it’s done to me — slowing a computer’s internet speeds down by running in the background and engaging in cloud computing without you knowing about it. Some players have even labeled it malware.
Seriously, I didn’t know this was on my computer until today, and once I did, I found a nice FAQ on the DDO forums telling you how to get rid of it or disable it. Nice to know. I don’t mind downloader helpers, fine, but keeping it running without asking me about it and having it choke up my internet connection got me pretty ticked off. Why is Turbine using this again?
Anyway, a general FYI — if you have this on your computer, at least go into msconfig.exe and uncheck it from starting up every time you turn your machine on.