A new file-sharing service called Rhever is using an interesting tactic to get customers. It appears to be trying to scare users away from BitTorrent and LimeWire, and onto its service. Their promo videos are entertaining, I admit that, but are you scared enough dump torrents and try it? I don’t think I am.
I mean, come on. Who needs BitTorrent when the Rhever network has over 20 Million files, 300 TB’s of downloadable content, with another 2 TB’s of information added daily? Also, Rhever has some great (Mac vs. PC inspired) promo videos (we’ll see them below) poking fun at LimeWire, KaZaA and (gasp) even Bram Cohen! And it gets even better.
No more slow downloads, viruses, or adware/spyware required to find the files you are looking for. The Rhever application has a built in easy-to-use search engine to find what you are looking for and does not require you to troll websites looking for .torrent files.
Unfortunately for Rhever, there is no Internet ‘buzz’ around their brand, people just aren’t taking about it, which is a bit strange for such a seemingly great product. If you do a search, 95% of the stuff you’ll find are press releases – and they only appear to be designed to worry people onto their new service.
They play an awful lot on the closure of TorrentSpy in their attempts to generate fear, uncertainty, doubt – and new business for them.
The ‘launch‘ press release lays off most of the scare tactics but is still littered with strange and misleading statements. Rhever spam is posted on dozens of forums, like this one and there are also some ‘interesting’ articles and blog posts around (tagged ‘Rhever’) proclaiming the end of BitTorrent sites. Even Digg doesn’t escape Rhever spam submitted by the company itself.
Also, Rhever use the most contentious music industry statistics to ‘prove’ that other P2P networks are dangerous, and refer to the IFPI as “respected industry analysts.”
If the fear doesn’t work, maybe the comedy angle will get them some subscribers? Rhever has produced a series of (admittedly quite funny) promotional animations showing the benefits of using Rhever over existing file sharing networks. Take a look at the ‘Rhever vs LimeWire’ video below which says that Rhever has done the impossible – and completely eradicated viruses from its network. In its own words:
Each of its [Rhever's] 60,000 servers are run by an administrative team that monitors the servers for any rogue files – viruses, fake uploads and other negative features that are removed instantly
LimeWire vs Rhever
BitTorrent vs Rhever . In this video you will find the secret of the Rhever network..
So it seems Rhever is selling access to good old Usenet and advises its subscribers to use NZB files to get their material, recommending its own (currently non-operational) site to get them – NZB.net.
Considering that Rhever’s strategy is to worry people about the legality of their chosen method of sharing files so much that they sign up, they’re quite cavalier about their own legal position. NZB sites in the US don’t have a great lifespan and offering a full package with Usenet seems very brave.
Finally, here is the KaZaA vs Rhever video:
Rhever is keen to play on the adware bundled with KaZaA, and that proves interesting when armed with WHOIS.
Rhever.com and NZB.net are both owned by a company called JMH Media. JMH Media are the current owners of the MySpaceBar.com domain, which was previously connected to the Scam.MySpaceBar malware. Unsurprisingly, McAfee doesn’t like it at all.
I’m not exactly inspired with confidence to try this Rhever but hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained! Time to sign up. Unfortunately, no matter what I put in I get errors, a point not lost on the solitary poster on the Rhever forums:
No mention of prices anywhere. No contract information. No proper terms or conditions. No company information. No privacy statement. No contact information. No postal address.
There is however, a link to the Rhever client, named ‘setup.exe’…..
Maybe Rhever’s fear-marketing has got to me? Far from being scared into leaving BitTorrent, all this uncertainty means that i’m too scared to even install ‘setup.exe’ due to what might be inside it – an instinct I acquired in my days as a LimeWire/KaZaA user. I think something just backfired.
Well then, another couple of hours wasted looking for The Holy Grail, only to realize that much like the French soldiers in the movie of the same name, I already have one.
What we really need now is a talented animator to make a proper ‘BitTorrent versus Rhever’ video….