Technical update of AdGuard VPN for Windows: fixing a major mistake

We've released another update. It's technical and doesn't contain any changes for most of the users yet it fixes a major mistake.

If you use AdGuard VPN for Windows, you might notice that when pressing the Update button AdGuard ad blocker would be installed instead of the AdGuard VPN update. Obviously, it was an oversight on our part, for which we apologize to all the users who were affected by it. But one apology can't make up for it and we feel obligated to explain what happened.

What's the matter

The day before yesterday we released a new version of AdGuard for Windows but by mistake placed it on the AdGuard VPN for Windows update channel. This update was available for a couple of minutes but it was enough to cause problems. To better understand what happened, let's first figure out how AdGuard VPN is updated.

How it works

  1. AdGuard VPN asks the backend the latest version of the app available.
  2. Saves the information about this version in a local database.
  3. Downloads the installation package, which is in fact a full-fledged installer.
  4. Checks the digital signature on this package to make sure it is really ours.
  5. Runs the installation.

What's the problem

What could have happened after pressing the "Update" button? There are two possible scenarios:

  • If you do not have AdGuard ad blocker installed, this package will install it. It is not supposed to be this way, and such behavior is completely unacceptable for a normal app.
  • If you have the AdGuard ad blocker installed, nothing will happen. But since AdGuard VPN wasn't updated and its version hasn't changed, the information about the newer version is "stuck" in it.

We do apologize to you for this mistake and feel bad that our own negligence resulted in the incorrect update in the AdGuard VPN channel. This situation revealed the mistakes we made when designing the AdGuard VPN update process. It should not, at all, allow a situation in which the service pack that arrives is not the service pack of AdGuard VPN itself.

What we're going to do

  1. We've released a technical update that has removed information about the previous update from the local database. Unfortunately, the new update has to be installed manually.
  2. The new update won't allow a situation with "stuck" updates to happen again.
  3. In the nearest future, we'll reduce the amount of manual work when preparing the update, this will eliminate human errors.
  4. Finally, we'll build additional checks into the update process to prevent starting the update of the package other than AdGuard VPN. Similar checks will be added to the AdGuard ad blocker update procedure.

It's our fault that this problem has hit some users. We are particularly sorry for those who didn't have AdGuard ad blocker installed before. As an apology, we've given a six-month AdGuard ad blocker license and a three-month AdGuard VPN premium to all the affected users. If you are one of these people, please check your AdGuard account.

Lena Ter-Mikaelyan on AdGuard VPN
November 12, 2021
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