SurfRecon Pro Tools

By SurfRecon Free to try Editors' Rating

Editors' Review

Download.com Staff Jan 6, 2009

If you're worried that potentially pornographic images are lurking in your system's drives, this program promised to scan and find them. Although we encountered several false hits, the bigger problem was how many features are disabled in the demo version.

This install for this app is a 175MB file. It is made to be portable for thumbdrive use, and carries all fonts and such files for that purpose. It also carries files to run the app on Linux and Mac. It would have been nice for the publisher to separate the operating system packages.

On each run the app quickly installs updates. Unfortunately, testers complained that the app would go into a loop of downloading updates and restarting the app. Users must install an updater patch from the publisher's support site to correct the problem.

Operating SurfRecon is a mere matter of starting the scan and waiting. The app displays all images found in a series of tabs including those reviewed as Safe, Sexual, Child Porn, Gaming, and Personal. All images in categories other than Safe are pixelated. Controls to display those images are locked in the demo.

The app notes that images listed as sexual include those submitted by law enforcement, discovered by the publisher's Web crawler, or have been linked to porn sites. The publisher notes that pornographic images are found by comparing a file's hash to a list of hashes of images deemed porn. Testers found many false alarms as the app listed generic images as sexual. The evaluation mode pixelates all found sexual images, forcing users to look for the original files to check the content.

The demo locks down all features save the scan making it difficult to accurately test this app. Nevertheless, those concerned that porn may exist on their drives can use this program's easy-to-follow scan function to find images.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 1

This version is the first release on CNET Download.com.


Release November 7, 2008
Date Added July 15, 2008
Version 1

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows, Windows XP, Windows NT
Additional Requirements Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista


Total Downloads 1,915
Downloads Last Week 0
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Developer's Description

SurfRecon is a rapid-image-analysis tool that you can use to quick and discreetly scan almost any computer - Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer systems - for pornographic content. The application will fit on and can be run from a 1GB or larger thumb drive, making it highly mobile and easy to use. The value of SurfRecon is that it allows you to actively protect computer systems by scanning, identifying, and reviewing any pornographic content found on a suspect computer system. SurfRecon leverages the largest image-hash database, the IFID, with over 100 million image hashes in order to quickly identify and categorize any pornography discovered.

SurfRecon also includes a number of safety tools to limit an individual's exposure to dark and often-disturbing pornographic content, making it an excellent tool in corporate environments for those individuals who are tasked with reviewing suspect computer systems. You can only scan a set of pre-installed images. This version is the first release on CNET Download.com.

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