Posted by Deliverator on July 14th, 2008
I’ve been a long time user of SmartFTP, in part because it is one of the few fully featured ftp clients which is free for personal use. The software has an auto-update check built in and frequently recommends upgrading to the latest version. As per usual, I did the recommended upgrade, but after installing the upgrade was greated with a notice that SmartFTP is now strictly commercial and is now disabled until I purchase a license key. I don’t mind that they’ve decided to make there software commercial, I do mind the backhanded way they attempted to force end-users hand. By making no prominent up front mention of the change in license terms prior to upgrade, and then disabling the software after, they effectively lock the user out of their saved list of sites and passwords. To be frank, I view this as near extortion and I make a point of not doing business with companies that attempt to artificially lock in users, rather than competing honestly in the marketplace based on the merits of a product.
It is possible to downgrade back to an old version by restoring from backup, although you may have to disable some shell extension .dll’s to be able to overwrite all the new files with old. Nirsoft, as usual, is an excellent resource for finding arcane utilities for such purposes.
UPDATE – It appears that older versions of Smartftp include an expiration date, which my copy has now passed. Such date checks are often easy to defeat by messing with the system clock and the like, but I think it is time I found some new software instead….