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General Discussions

kingfish
MVP

Windows 10 Privacy: Debotnet 0.5 update brings massive improvements

Debotnet 0.5.2 is the latest version of the Windows 10 privacy tool. We reviewed the initial version of Debotnet here on Ghacks in December 2019 and concluded that it was a promising program that helped Windows administrators significantly when it came to taming the operating system's data collection activities.

The program was released as beta back then and we decided not to rate it or add it to the list of privacy tools that we maintain here on Ghacks; this changes with the release of the new version.

Debotnet is no longer beta and Mirinsoft, the company that develops the program, added significant improvements and changes to the application.

Windows administrators may run the program from any location as it does not need to be installed. I scanned the program at Virustotal and it came back clean, another improvement compared to previous versions.

The first change becomes visible right way: the interface has changed for the better.

debotnet 0.5

The left sidebar lists various categories such as bloatware, third-party, or privacy now that improve accessibility significantly. The previous version displayed a long list of tweaks without any categorization.

Equally beneficial is the new logic when it comes to running the tweaks. It is still possible to select multiple tweaks and run all of these at once, but the confusing run options of the previous version have been removed. Now, all it takes is to execute the run, test script, or undo script options.

Probably the biggest improvement of the new version is the number of tweaks and options that have been added to the application. If you check the list of categories in the sidebar, you may notice that some are not related to native Windows 10 apps or functionality.

The third-party category lists options to block the Chrome Software Reporter Tool, CCleaner monitoring, or Adobe's Acrobat Reader online service while Ninite Apps options to download and install popular applications using Ninite.

debotnet

Here is a quick overview of the provided categories:

  • Start -- Options to handle some of the worst native privacy offenders, e.g. Telemetry, web search, Diagnostics Tracking Service, Location Tracking, or the automatic installation of apps.
  • Bloatware -- displays a long list of Windows 10 apps that admins may remove. Includes the games that Windows 10 ships with but also apps like 3D Viewer, Game Bar, Microsoft News, or Xbox.
  • Cortana -- Quick and easy options to disable or remove Cortana.
  • Deprecated Apps -- Options to restore Classic Calculator, Paint, or Sticky Notes.
  • Edge -- Options to neutralize Edge and prevent the installation of the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser.
  • Gaming -- Option to disable Game Bar features.
  • Miscellaneous -- Option to download the tweaking tool Wim Tweak, and a link to our privacy tools listing (appreciated!).
  • Ninite Apps -- Download more than 70 popular apps for Windows using Ninite.
  • Privacy -- Option to open the Windows 10 privacy settings.
  • Security -- Tweaks to disable the password reveal button and Windows Media DRM Internet Access.
  • Slim -- Disable system features that tend to take up storage (Reserved Storage, System Restore, Uninstall Software, the last downloads GeekUninstaller Portable to speed up the process).
  • Third-party -- Block the Chrome Software Reporter Tool, disable CCleaner Monitoring and Acrobat Reader online service. Also, download Winapp2.ini to enhance CCleaner.
  • Update -- Options to delay, block, or enforce downloads of updates and other update related tweaks.
  • Windows Defender -- Option to disable or remove Windows Defender.

It is rather easy to use the program. We recommend that you create a system backup before you do. While you get options to undo tweaks, it is always better to have an independent backup.

Just check the tweaks and options that you want to change and hit the run button afterward. We suggest you use the "test script" and "run script" options first to make a dry run before you use run to apply the changes to the system.

Note that you need to hit run for each category individually.

Closing Words

Debotnet is a well designed privacy tool for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system that has made leaps since the release of the first beta version. The tweaks worked well during tests and I did not notice any issues caused by the program.

I'd like to see an option to search for tweaks and that selected tweaks would remain selected even when switching between categories. A global run option or maybe a full listing (all) would improve the program further.

Windows 10 Privacy: Debotnet 0.5 update brings massive improvements - gHacks Tech News 

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9 Replies
hardcoregames_
Big Boss

Re: Windows 10 Privacy: Debotnet 0.5 update brings massive improvements

windows 10 is unstable enough without messing with it more

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kingfish
MVP

Re: Windows 10 Privacy: Debotnet 0.5 update brings massive improvements

I thought you were Mr.Windows 10 is a gift from God?

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hardcoregames_
Big Boss

Re: Windows 10 Privacy: Debotnet 0.5 update brings massive improvements

kingfish wrote:

I thought you were Mr.Windows 10 is a gift from God?

not quite but I prefer to install all updates.

windows 10 is hardened from ransomware which i have seen attack a lot of shops who did not upgrade

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Re: Windows 10 Privacy: Debotnet 0.5 update brings massive improvements

Not sure how I feel about this. Blocking telemetry is one thing, which you can do with a couple of ticks anyway these days, but disabling/removing Windows Defender, because of the very outdated view that it is ineffective and that third party free programs such as Avast are better, disabling System Restore, and using unattended software installations which may be obsolete versions and configured in all the wrong ways (such as installing additional toolbars or changing settings), among other concerns, make this program definitely for the experienced user. The "No license checking" option is also of particular concern, especially as it relates to both legality and because some users might think it legitimizes running a pirated OS.

hardcoregames_
Big Boss

Re: Windows 10 Privacy: Debotnet 0.5 update brings massive improvements

black_zion wrote:

Not sure how I feel about this. Blocking telemetry is one thing, which you can do with a couple of ticks anyway these days, but disabling/removing Windows Defender, because of the very outdated view that it is ineffective and that third party free programs such as Avast are better, disabling System Restore, and using unattended software installations which may be obsolete versions and configured in all the wrong ways (such as installing additional toolbars or changing settings), among other concerns, make this program definitely for the experienced user. The "No license checking" option is also of particular concern, especially as it relates to both legality and because some users might think it legitimizes running a pirated OS.

guess you did not hear what Avast was doing as spyware

My Windows 10 is activated and I am licensed and I also have Office 2013 pro plus

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pokester
MVP

Re: Windows 10 Privacy: Debotnet 0.5 update brings massive improvements

I have to agree that I am not sure mixing disabling features and telemetry in one app is good. It depends on how well it explains what is happening thoroughly. 

While I applaud any company trying to make tools to make managing Windows better I am wondering if this has default safe setting?

O&O Shutup while it only supports Windows not 3rd party apps has a default disable set which promises to only disable telemetry not change any settings that remove functionality beyond data collection. I have used this for years now on all our machines and have had zero issues doing so. It has certainly not added instability and in fact can only imagine it would help in that regard as less going on behind the scenes is usually a good thing. 

Thanks for the share kingfish . I will look into this app as it is always good to have several tools at ones disposal. 

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hardcoregames_
Big Boss

Re: Windows 10 Privacy: Debotnet 0.5 update brings massive improvements

The insider versions of Windows 10 are loaded with a lot of additional telemetry to scan the events etc for faults. Most do not think to look at the event viewer at all.

This is why I believe that the tool is misguided because some unskilled person uses it and they nailed with ransomware or worse

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pokester
MVP

Re: Windows 10 Privacy: Debotnet 0.5 update brings massive improvements

I did not realize the insider version had above the normal Telemetry but I would guees that makes perfect sense and even belongs in such a product. I don't however think it belongs at the LEVEL it does in the release versions. At least without it clearly being explained and easy to opt out of or IMHO you should have to OPT IN.

hardcoregames_
Big Boss

Re: Windows 10 Privacy: Debotnet 0.5 update brings massive improvements

pokester wrote:

I did not realize the insider version had above the normal Telemetry but I would guees that makes perfect sense and even belongs in such a product. I don't however think it belongs at the LEVEL it does in the release versions. At least without it clearly being explained and easy to opt out of or IMHO you should have to OPT IN.

I have beta tested a lot of versions of windows, so I do what I can to explain how redmond works

minidumps are uploaded to servers for analysis, then problem are sent to developers when specifics are noted

insiders also have an advanced feedback tool so they can discuss issues that do not always make sense

microsoft marks issues when posted by using a bot to read everything,  this this is analyzed by servers as well 

I have more than enough skill to analyze minidump files manually as they are human readable

unfortunately amd does not have an option to attach files like crash dump fines so I am limited to what I can do for people who come here seeking answers

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