Bloatware: An Unwanted Software January 7, 2021 htshosting Post in Software A Bloatware is a type of unwanted software that exists in a preinstalled form on computers and other electronic devices, such as tablets and smartphones. Its primary aim is to serve the function of generating revenue for the device’s manufacturers as well as for the distributors and carriers. It tends to slow down the device on which it is installed and impacts the performance of that device adversely. Moreover, it consumes space and truncates the life of the device’s battery. Often referred to as Junkware, Shovelware and Crapware, it provides no value to the device user. Rather it can become a cause of exasperation and in many situations extremely harmful when it directs the user to malicious websites, changes his homepage and manipulates his browser’s settings. All of these can be detrimental to the device user. The Bloatware that are found most frequently on devices are applications that are related to weather, music and video, finance, health/fitness, sports, messaging, navigation, personal productivity assistance, system update and toolbars and junk-browser extensions. In the context of devices that are connected with the Internet (computers, mobile phones etc.), mentioning websites and web hosting services becomes vital, before proceeding ahead. The reason for it being the use of the Internet primarily for browsing a diverse range of websites. Apart from that, as mentioned previously, a Bloatware often makes its way into a system through malicious websites. A website is a collection of related web pages and content (data) that is available for online browsing and is located under a single domain as well as is identifiable by a common domain name. Every website is made accessible for online viewing by a certain web hosting service provider. These service providers are also referred to as web hosts. Server space is leased by these web hosts to store and make available the files that form a website. All the necessary services and technologies that are needed to make a website accessible for online viewing and to keep it up and running, are provided by web hosts through the various packages that these offer catering to the different needs of different types of websites. Certain terms that are often heard, such as “Top Cloud Hosting Company” or the “Best Windows Hosting Company” as well as the “Best Web Hosting Company” are used to refer to those web hosting companies that have been providing outstanding service in this field consistently, by offering various types of web hosting packages. Bloatware is essentially of four types, which are, toolbars, adware, trialware and utility applications. These preinstalled toolbars rarely match the performance of the customized ones. These are found to be littered with random websites and in the extreme case can hijack a user’s browser. An adware is a pop-up advertisement and is meant to inundate the device user with spam messages as he browses the Internet. It can not only retard a device’s performance but also make it vulnerable to security risks. It gets installed in the operating system, preventing evasion from advertisements even in the situation of deletion of cookies. A trialware is another preinstalled software that can be present on a device. It is valid for a limited time and is offered for free initially. It continues to exist on the device and consumes space even after the end of the trial period. It can expose the device to security threats in such a case. Last but not the least are the utility applications, which are another type of preinstalled Bloatware. These are supposed to either solve some problem or fulfil a particular purpose. Usually referred to as Junkware, these often serve the purpose of drawing in the device user to use a certain version of a particular product. A common supply chain practice is to supply devices with preinstalled software in order to generate revenue. This is usually done by the manufacturers of devices, the creators of software as well as by the carriers and the vendors. The device manufacturers that sell their devices post installing their own software on it, do so to ensure that the device users use their software. The creators of software pay to get their software preinstalled on devices. Their main purpose is to acquire new customers and increase the generation of revenue through the newly acquired customer base. Additionally, the software creators use it as a marketing channel. Since a Bloatware is of no use and can often pose as a security threat, it is imperative to remove it. For that, first it needs to be identified. The most effective method to locate a Bloatware on a device is by taking the aid of a Bloatware Cleanup Tool. Such a tool automates the entire process, which can otherwise consume a lot of time. A tool that has been designed especially for this purpose can differentiate easily between a Bloatware and a program that is not a Bloatware. This helps the user by ensuring that none of the useful programs get uninstalled accidentally. There are some other ways that help to identify a Bloatware. The sign of a Bloatware is, that it is not at all easy to uninstall. Moreover, it will aggressively market those offers that target the user as a potential purchaser of additional features. If a user finds a particular software on his device that he hasn’t installed, then it could be a Bloatware. Another sign that indicates the presence of a Bloatware is that the user’s browser starts displaying downrightly annoying pop-ups. To conclude, a Bloatware is a preinstalled software on a user’s device, which is totally unnecessary, unwanted and of zero value to the user and usually provides him no advantage. It only brings disadvantages by consuming storage space and valuable resources along with slowing the device and draining its battery. Additionally, it causes security risks by introducing adware and malware to the device. Since a Bloatware is poorly designed and has nothing of use or value to offer, getting rid of it after proper identification is the best solution and should be the immediate step to ensure a top-notch quality of a user’s device’s performance.