Does WhiteSmoke Really Work?

Does WhiteSmoke Really Work?
1.4 (27.27%) 22 votes

Does WhiteSmoke really work?WhiteSmoke is an English grammar software suite that checks for common mistakes made by both native, and non-native speakers of the English language. Although some claim that it is a thinly disguised piece of malware and a virus, the software we tried didn’t appear to be harmful.

Overview
Sending a grammatically incorrect piece of writing can be embarrassing, and can shed light on your inability to speak English. It is hard to check your own writing for grammar mistakes, especially if you’re not familiar with all of the rules. English is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn, so it’s no wonder that demand for a product like this is high, and many people have tried it in hopes of writing better emails and business documents.

The Claim
WhiteSmoke claims to be an advanced grammar checker, as well as correcting for punctuation and style. One of its features is to go through your email sent through Outlook and check it for mistakes. It can work on any platform you use that includes a typing or word processing interface, including Microsoft Word.

They also claim that it helps you improve your writing with different tools and tips. It also provides examples of how you use certain words and phrases, so your grammar skills can improve with time and repeated use. It not only checks for basic spelling errors, but also checks the context of the words and corrects things like homonyms, based on their location in the sentence.


It also lets you know when you’ve used a word too many times in a row, and when you’ve left out words that are important to a sentence. It can also translate full blocks of text with a click of the mouse, and includes lots of templates you can use to format letters and other documents.

The Controversy
Many people say that this is a scam product, whose real purpose is to deliver malware, spyware, and adware to your computer. Many products that offer free trials are set up this way, and will let you download their software after trumping up its benefits. At this point they don’t care if you buy the full version, because they only want to get their software and viruses onto your computer.

In fact, while researching this company my computer’s virus software initially blocked me from visiting their main website because they are on the list of untrusted sites. However, after going to download.com we were able to further analyze this piece of software and test it out.

However, they seem to be making a valid go at being a legitimate business, and there may be some fake websites out there that have offered similar looking software, even calling it WhiteSmoke, and taking advantage of their popularity. Also, there are people out there that will try to find the full version for free, and this is likely how it got a bad reputation. If you try downloading it from a torrent site, you’ll probably get a virus and all sorts of malicious programs. Buy it from a trusted source and you’ll be fine.

The Cost
If you decide you want the full license it’ll set you back $90 for the latest version.

Evaluation
WhiteSmoke does what it says, to some degree. It is not stellar, but it is also not junk. It does miss some grammatical errors, but it also catches quite a few, and can be a good learning instrument for someone that needs it. No grammar checker could possibly catch every mistake, as there are so many rules, and so many different things you can write. But having this as your first line of defense against making simple errors that could potentially make you look stupid, is something of value.

If you can get it to work, this is what it looks like:

Final WhiteSmoke Review

As long as you download the software from a reputable source like CNet, you shouldn’t worry about it being malicious, and it does seem to work as described. Depending on your English ability this product will either help you, or be a nuisance.

Those with English as their second language will likely find it more useful than native speakers. But some of its corrections can be helpful to anyone that uses it. However, as far as paying full price for it goes, it can best be avoided by native speakers.

Our Recommendation
If you are studying English and have had the misfortune of sending improper emails or letters to people, then you should get WhiteSmoke as another filter to help you avoid obvious errors. It’s still best to get a trusted friend that is a native speaker to proofread your writing so you can be sure it sounds right, if it is s really important document like a school assignment, cover letter, or business memo.

What do you think? Does WhiteSmoke work or not?


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Josh B July 11, 2013 at 1:57 am

There are many resources (some free and others paid) that can provide all sorts of assistance for those learning English or would like to improve their written capabilities online. You could even say that you wouldn’t need a program like this when you could easily find someone on website like iTalki, Lang 8, LingQ or even an ESL/EFL forum to get assistance. Writing is important in any language you learn (and being a polyglot myself I especially know how important it is to correct grammar for various situations such as finding a job, writing a resume or CV, etc in the new language). It’s always a good idea to find seek out a native speaker of the language to correct you. Especially since software can only get you so far.

There are even times where these types of programs will mark something as incorrect even though it was indeed correct. A great example of this is a poem entitled: “Ode to my spell checker” which displays how a spell checker (and even a grammar checker too) could miss detrimental details that a a native speaker could easily point out and correct with more accuracy.

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Phyllis DeFalco July 14, 2013 at 3:17 am

I agree and I have used many online grammar checkers like Grammerly which was a nightmare and a half it was way too picky and it was not accurate in some instances that were important which inflicted me with more work than I started with. I agree that it is important to make sure that resumes and school papers as well as professional e mails and such are grammatically correct so here is how I see it. If you want to invest in your future and you are sending numerous correspondence on a regular basis and competing with others, you will not be disappointed. I would be sure to have as much security on your computer as possible so that you can secure your computer before you download any sort of program, not just this one.

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in4cer October 17, 2014 at 8:08 pm

WhiteSmoke is a scam. Their so called “Life-Time” software is only good for 12-18 months, if you are lucky. They claim that your life-time subscription was good for the old version which is discontinued. So every 12-18 months you have to buy a new life-time subscription.

Now, I know why an elephant is their logo! it should be called “white Elephant” not white smoke!!!

Cheers,

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in4cer October 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm

BTW, don’t believe the ratings. The ratings are done by paid writers or their own employees/developers.

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JG7 August 12, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Grammarly.com is better but much more expensive. While I am at it, not only is WS 80% crippled, you have to understand English fairly well to know when ‘WM+S is suggesting incorrect corrections 80% of the time.

Regardless, knowing its limits, I used it as a back up to Grammarly and it caught a few mistakes grammarly missed.

However, the reason I will never go back to WS is their customer service/ billing is reliably incompetent. While they offer no way to monitor or regulate your account, you have to find their hidden email address to make any changes and then you can be sure they will almost always do the opposite of what you ask including double billing.

Their download still causes PC errors as of 2015.

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Ivan November 20, 2015 at 6:29 pm

Do not waste your time and money with WhiteSmoke. It is a scam.
The company is going to bankrupt. They cancel user accounts much earlier. You will find so many negative comments and reviews on Internet about scamming with user subscriptions.

I suggest you to use Grammarly or LanguageTool. The second one is free and really woks well.

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Wes Jura December 3, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Whitesmoke does not work with Microsoft Word 2013. It shuts down Word any time I try to save the revised document. Their customer support is one of the worse ones. After I purchased this software, I could get no support. No one has ever answered the phone calls or the numerous emails. Wes

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Ornat Turin January 25, 2016 at 7:14 pm

After a short Demo period, I bought ” lifetime – anywhere: accesses.
Ever Since, I had the chance to use it less than ten times. They block my password, and when I approached technical support- no answer, the online chat is never online. Simply the worst service one can receive, at the minute you buy- lifetime access you are no longer a fruitful customer and they simply ignore you, I urge you not to spend your money on this company

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Nancee May 18, 2016 at 3:25 pm

On my Mac El Capitan no matter how manny times I tried to get the software connected to my Wi-Fi it would not… also the translator doesn’t work and Japanese is not listed like
Whitesmoke’s website stated was a langue it could translate. The dictionary has the same frame box as the translator, which is not the correct frame, The PC sort of works but there is NO translator TAB or Dictionary TAB.

I googled the issues and did all the suggestions I found…Nadda nothing worked.
I’ve used computers both Mac and PC for many, many years… Now I know why you don’t have a trial version if you did I would have NEVER purchased this software.
I’ve called several times, NO return call, I have e-mailed 3 times to sales and 3 times to billing asking for a refund after one day of having tested the software, and as per their refund policy requested before 31 days after purchase….NO Response!

Finally contacted my credit card company to dispute the charge… go for Grammarly!!!

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Bill October 31, 2016 at 6:24 pm

I had a lifetime subscription. A lifetime subscription only last one year. Stay away from Whitesmoke

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Ricky October 10, 2017 at 2:00 am

So they cancelled your account or what?

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James July 5, 2017 at 6:25 pm

My advice is stay away from them. I went to the website and they had a special discount for 79.95. When I tried to use it the check out box said 89.99. I went back 4 times thinking I had done something wrong and making sure I followed checkout procedures right. Same thing. when i emailed them they assured the problem would be corrected. That day and several days later, same problem. I emailed and suggested they fix this is it impedes customer confidence. Never got a response to that. SO, I bought Grammarily after consulting with the customer service for my wordprocessor. They didn’t badmouth Whitesmoke but stressed very strongly I select Grammarly. Now, they are spamming almost daily.

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