Captcha Monster Eliminates CAPTCHA Completion Frustration

The CAPTCHA, short for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”, serves a useful purpose – minimizing, or eliminating, one of the scourges of the Internet; the comment spammer. I can speak to how disruptive comment spam can become since, on a daily basis, I have to deal with 300 – 400 comment spams on this site. It’s infuriating, frankly.

I’ve often though of implementing a CAPTCHA scheme here – but then, I come to my senses. I hate CAPTCHAs and, I do everything I can to avoid sites that use them. I’m just no good at trying to work out a “u” from  “v” – an “rn” from an “m”. I could go on but, you see the point, I expect.

I’m hardly alone in this, and as an alternative, many sites off an audio CAPTCHA. You’d think that this would solve the problem for people like me – but no. Generally, I have absolutely no idea what’s been read back. The end result? I’m out of there.

Visual CAPTCHA samples.

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Graphic – Wikipedia.

So, is there a solution for people like me who have a low solve percentage? (in my case approaching zero   Smile) As it turns out – there is.

Captcha Monster – “an easy-to-use, innovative Firefox add-on that completes CAPTCHA tests without you even asking it to. The add-on was designed with people who suffer from dyslexia and/or sight problems in mind, but also extends to those who are just plain fed up of having to prove they are not a site-hacking machine.”

Captcha Monster – screen shots from the developer’s site. Click to expand.

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Fast facts:

Captcha Monster can work for you in different modes.

Set it to its highest level if you want it to routinely weed out CAPTCHA tests.

Run only when you are filling out forms or simply request it as you need it.

With an average solving time of 8.5 seconds, quite often the CAPTCHA window will be completed before you even see it.

98,94% success rate.

Works with virtually any CAPTCHA.

Complete automation.

Dedicated support.

Unlike many Firefox add-ons however – Captcha Monster is not a free service. Instead, the developer offers a number of monthly plans – as follows.

Basic plan – 60 CAPTCHAs a month @ $2.99 monthly.

Extended plan – 120 CAPTCHAs a month @ $4.99 monthly.

Professional plan – 760 CAPTCHAs a month @ $9.99 monthly.

System requirements: Firefox.

Download: You may download a 30 day trial version at the developer’s site: Captcha Monster.

You can checkout the FAQ page here.

A big shout to Mateusz M. for taking time to turn me on to this service.

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10 Comments

Filed under Adaptive Technologies, Comment Spam, downloads, Firefox Add-ons, Software

10 responses to “Captcha Monster Eliminates CAPTCHA Completion Frustration

  1. VV0VV THAT’5 GREAT :) Up next ~ OCR for handwritten medical scripts

    • Hi Michael,

      lol. Very creative – but, I can expect nothing less from you. :)

      “OCR for handwritten medical scripts” – fame and fortune awaits. So, get on that. :)

      Best,

      Bill

      Best,

      Bill

  2. Genevieve

    I just HATE how captcha has turned out, so many sites I go to now are TERRIBLE captchas. When we were working on what CAPTCHA originally became when we threw it out to the web, it was more friendly in our minds.

    It is good to add,subtract,etc.etc. verifications, because computers cannot do that, because of each page having a selective place to put their “add,subtract” verification box.

    Let’s transverse a moment, I do love how many people now use our idea with their email in an image, no way other than typing it out.

  3. delenn13

    Gawd, I hate those things….And as you know i am notorious for being through into the spam folders..LOL

    I did see one that was different and could serve a purpose. Don’t remember where I saw it…They would show 12 thumbnails of cats or dogs in a shelter with messages of “Please take me home with you” etc. You had to pick out all the cat pics..or the dog pics to prove you were human.

    • Hey D

      Yep, you tend to wander right into my Spam traps. lol

      Haven’t yet seen the pic ones yet. Think that’s the type G was describing as well. Makes a lot more sense.

      This is the 4th time today I’ve cleared Spam here. And, today is a slow day – only 187 so far. It drives me nuts! :)

      Best,

      Bill

    • I think you’re talking about PlayThru by http://areyouahuman.com. I looked at them as an alternative to Captcha on my sites (they have plugins for many popular CMS’ and API’s for many platforms, but they rely on javascript coupled with HTML5 or flash, so they don’t work on some of the less-mainstream browsers.

      Akismet does a pretty good job of weeding out spam. When you’re first starting out the costs may not be something you want to incur though (personal blogs supposedly have a free option, but can also cost money). I use a free service from TypePad (there’s a plugins available that tie in with their API and the keys you get from them), coupled with a number of checks (comments too short, entered too soon after arriving on the page, etc.), and it’s worked pretty well for me so far (though my sites are no where near as busy as Bill’s). The TypePad Captcha is much simpler then the Captcha’s, and coupled with their sort of ‘crowd-sourcing’ of seeing the same offenders spam sites all over, they have caught all of the spammers that have come by my sites so far.

      As much as I’d like to get rid of Captcha’s altogether, dealing with spam takes too much time, and I don’t want to have sites like you see around where spam fills the comments like overgrown weeds in an abandoned lot.

      • Hey RedNightHawk,

        Yep – that’s the one. Finally, we may be coming in out of the dark.

        I use Akismet and on balance I find it very effective. Nevertheless, I still need to quickly walk through each spam comment since it’s not unusual for readers here to include links in their comments. In the past, I would simply drop the hammer on the spam folder until I started to get “what happened to my comment” once too often. It’s a pain – but…..

        Another info filled comment – as always, it’s much appreciated.

        Best,

        Bill

  4. hipockets

    My experience with CAPTCHAs ranges from simple arithmetic (7+1 = ?) to really extreme ones where, once you correctly enter the reCAPTCHA [ I HATE reCAPTHAs ] in a text box, you have to copy a seemingly unending string of special characters and then paste them into another text box.

    I think that too many of the web sites I visit go to extremes with the complexity of their CAPTCHAs. I would think that (relatively) simple ones would be used for simple tasks such as minimizing spam comments, while the really extreme ones would be used where money is involved.

    I found some interesting comments about CAPTCHAs on Wikipedia…..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReCAPTCHA#cite_note-9 :
    ‘….. Luis von Ahn…. An early CAPTCHA developer …. realized “he had unwittingly created a system that was frittering away, in ten-second increments, millions of hours of a most precious resource: human brain cycles.”‘

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAPTCHA :
    “Spammers pay about $0.80 to $1.20 for each 1,000 solved CAPTCHAs to companies employing human solvers in Bangladesh, China, India, and many other developing nations.”

    At those prices, maybe you should farm out checking your reader’s posts for spam! :>)

    • Hey Hipockets,

      Agreed – it’s the extreme nature of some CAPTCHAs that drive us up the wall. As per your first Wiki link – old Luis was right.

      “$0.80 to $1.20 for each 1,000 solved CAPTCHAs” – little wonder those folks live a rough life. Sure points out how far spammers will go in order to beat a system.

      Have a super relaxing 4th. :)

      Best,

      Bill