Restoro is a relatively new system optimizer/repairer based on the scan-and-fix principle. To find out whether or not Restoro is legitimate, please read on.
Back in September 2016, we published a similar article: Is Reimage Repair Legitimate. I believe it has since been proven beyond much doubt that Reimage Repair is an extremely shady software/service. If you haven’t viewed the terrific video in which Jim Browning exposes Reimage Repair, including a phone conversation between Jim and a Reimage Repair representative with Jim pretending to be a naïve potential customer, you really should watch that video– it is very enlightening: SCARE-WARE!! Reimage Scam
Today I am writing about another very similar software/service called Restoro which has only been around since 2018. Both Restoro and Reimage Repair are scan-and-fix type services that involve downloading free software that then scans the computer and eventually demands money to fix any identified issues. In fact, it appears that Restoro and Reimage are associated in some way– this from the Restoro website:
There are quite a few favorable editorial reviews for Restoro across the web but I put very little faith in these reviews as they can quite readily be bought. In fact, the companies behind these services rely on these types of quid pro quo arrangements as a tactic not only to help spread the word but also as a means of making their products appear to be reputable. Oddly, the adds for these services, which are prolific across many sites, do not usually name the service and rely more on the promise of a simple, easy fix:
Clicking an ad takes you to a site where you can read more about Restoro and download the scanning software.
Restoro claims to be McAfee and Norton certified. However, both McAfee and Norton are certifying only that the Restoro website is a safe site to visit and in no way are these security companies certifying the Restoro software and/or associated service.
Clearly, at the very least, a misleading claim.
Restoro – Negative Reviews
As mentioned earlier, I don’t place much store in editorial reviews but I do value genuine user reviews, especially when those reviews are overwhelmingly one way or the other. In Restoro’s case, user reviews are overwhelmingly negative. Here is a sample of user reviews from sitejabber.com:
WOT (Web Of Trust) is a service that rates sites based on company ethics and consumer safety. Here is WOT’s assessment of Restoro:
And here is a sample of the WOT community members opinions of Restoro:
Malwarebytes assesses Restoro as an infection and has even published instructions on how to remove Restoro which includes the following intro:
The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Restoro is a “system optimizer”. These so-called “system optimizers” use intentional false positives to convince users that their systems have problems. Then they try to sell you their software, claiming it will remove these problems.
Virus Total: scanning the Restoro executable through Virus Total produces flags from five antivirus engines, all of which are highly regarded:
Note that ESET-NOD32’s identifier includes “ReimageRepair“, further strengthening the suspicion of a bond between Restoro and Reimage Repair. It is common knowledge that Reimage is owned by Kape Technologies (formerly Crossrider), a company with a shady history, and I am fairly certain that Restoro is a fork of Reimage under the same umbrella.
And comments submitted by the Virus Total community members are all 100% negative. Again, here is a sample:
Okay, I believe we’ve now pretty much established what users and security/safety services think of Restoro, and it’s not looking good. Now I am going to show you the results of my own testing with Restoro.
Restoro – In Action
I installed Restoro in a pristine Windows Sandbox which is the equivalent of a brand new clean install and ran the scan. Here are the results of that scan:
The 32 items listed under Privacy were somehow related to Internet Explorer which was not even active in the Windows 10 sandbox. There was one program identified with two issues, and the remaining issues were merely related to orphaned registry items and junk files. Bear in mind that this is a pristine, never used, Windows 10 environment. When I then clicked on a Repair button, I was taken to a webpage where I could pay to fix the so-called issues as identified by Restoro:
Amazingly, despite the shady, if not downright unethical, practices employed by the companies offering these types of scan-and-fix services, they continue to flourish. In his follow up video — SCARE-WARE!! Reimage scam (Part2) — Jim Browning shares details of how the company behind Reimage is a global presence raking in millions of dollars per month.
I guess the promise of an easy, simple fix is what appeals to potential customers. However, in my opinion, users would be far better off taking their computer to the local technician to be fixed. It might be less convenient but it would almost certainly be more cost-effective in the long run, and with a much greater degree of certainty that any real issue(s) would actually be fixed. Personally, I wouldn’t touch Restoro or Reimage Repair with a barge pole.