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#1 2019-06-25 14:52

EnigmaRM
Member
Registered: 2019-06-25
Posts: 2

falsely detecting "commercial use"

Hello!

It is my understanding that in order to police the misuse of the software in commercial settings, there has been some implementation of "commercial use" detection placed within NetSetMan.  I completely understand why that is there, and agree that it might be necessary to stop people from taking advantage of the non-commercial license.

Having said that, I have run into the issue of NetSetMan wrongly detecting that I am a commercial user.  I am a student at a university that uses an active domain for users on their network that need access to certain resources that the university makes available to it's students.  I have two profiles on my computer: a local user profile for home/off campus use, and a domain user for when I need access to university resources.  One of these resources, for example, is a network shared folder for students in one of the Computer Science programs that is only accessible if logged into a domain user account. 

I have read in one of the other support threads here that part of the commercial use detection is detecting a domain.  I believe that this is causing me, as a student, to get the "commercial use" 14 day warning, though it is my understanding that the software is free to use for students.

What can I do to remedy the situation?

Just for clarification, the software is being used for personal use, as a student, on my personally owned laptop.

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#2 2019-06-25 16:27

NetSetMan Support
Administrator
Registered: 2005-08-06
Posts: 1,511

Re: falsely detecting "commercial use"

You are probably referring to this topic here:
https://www.netsetman.com/support/viewtopic.php?id=1038
Yes, we can confirm what is stated there and that a membership in a domain network (instead of a workgroup) causes the warnings.

We are unaware of any university that is forcing their students to join their network domain just to access university resources. To be honest, that doesn't even make sense to us. To access a network domain you require a Professional edition of Windows. The private Home edition is not capable of joining a domain for a reason. You would need to either purchase a Windows Professional or Enterprise edition yourself or the University would need to provide free licenses to all students and request them to upgrade their system to join their domain.

Please be aware, that by joining a domain network, you grant full management control over your device through group policies to the administrators of that domain (in your case: your university). In our opinion, no one should ever join their private device to a foreign domain network.

If you still think, that this is a good idea, please at least consider it from our point of view:
We would like to make NetSetMan available to private users free of charge. Of course, there is no legal obligation to do so, but we believe that’s the right thing to do. At the same time, we need to make sure, this is not getting abused (as you have correctly noted). There are technical possibilities but also limitations for verifying that. We are convinced that a domain membership is an absolutely suitable method. We sincerely feel sorry for false positives, but if a user creates a professional environment (using a professional Windows version and joining a domain) we also feel that this is out of our hands.

The only solution would be to leave the domain (or of course to purchase a NetSetMan Pro version that you can also use after graduation). We hope for your understanding.

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#3 2019-06-25 17:55

EnigmaRM
Member
Registered: 2019-06-25
Posts: 2

Re: falsely detecting "commercial use"

I understand completely, and I do not fault you for adding in that protection.  I believe that your company has a right to it's well deserved compensation for providing the software, and truly appreciate that it is offered for free for personal non-commercial use. 

To be clear, my university does not "force" me to join the domain.  The laptop was purchased by me from the university with Windows 10 Pro already installed.  There are no local policies in place, so when I log onto the computer with the local account, the university's domain admins have no management control over that account.  The group policies that are in place are applied to the domain user account that I was given so that I could be granted the correct permissions to access resources such as the network shared folders for my degree program, as well as for security reasons.

It is true that I could access some of the resources (eg: network folders) via a VPN, but not all resources are available that way, and a VPN tends to be much slower, which is detrimental when dealing with large files being transferred.  It is much more convenient to log into the domain account while connected via Cat6.  This also allows me to separate my school work computer environment from my home use environment (Helps to eliminate distractions while at school haha).

Either way, I don't fault you for putting protection in place to protect your livelihood.  It is unfortunate that my circumstances lead to this conclusion, but it looks like not much can be done, and I will have to search for another method of managing my network settings. (or I guess just change them manually, which isn't THAT big of a deal, but it is super inconvenient, and can be time consuming if I had need to do it often.)

It's a shame because using the command line through a batch script was very very convenient for me.

Thanks anyways!!

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#4 2019-06-25 22:42

NetSetMan Support
Administrator
Registered: 2005-08-06
Posts: 1,511

Re: falsely detecting "commercial use"

Thank you very much for your understanding!

We are not in a position to criticize the network structure of your university, but we would like to clarify a few points to emphasize that domain networks should only be used with corporate laptops:

EnigmaRM wrote:

There are no local policies in place, so when I log onto the computer with the local account, the university's domain admins have no management control over that account.

There are user policies and computer policies. Your assumption is correct for user policies. But the computer policies are applied for the whole system, ergo for your local account as well. You basically have to fully trust your system to the network administrators.
This answer sums it up quite well:
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/186 … ng-locally

EnigmaRM wrote:

The group policies that are in place are applied to the domain user account that I was given so that I could be granted the correct permissions to access resources such as the network shared folders for my degree program, as well as for security reasons.

Network shared folders can be protected with user credentials in workgroups as well. There's no requirement for domains for that purpose. It's probably more convenient to manage a domain network, but in the end it's not a decision without alternatives.

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