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Internet-start.net Redirect

Also Known As: internet-start.net browser hijacker
Damage level: Medium

What is internet-start.net?

internet-start.net is an untrustworthy fake search engine and very similar to ciantel.com, initdex.com, defendsearch.com, and a number of others. Although it is supposedly capable of providing an enhanced browsing experience, improved search results, faster searches, and other advantages, it also collects user-system information.

Furthermore, developers promote this site through rogue download/installations set-ups that modify browser settings.

internet-start.net browser hijacker

Rogue downloaders/installers usually affect browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer. As mentioned, they modify browser settings. In this case, they assign the default search engine, new tab URL address, and homepage options to internet-start.net.

Users are thus forced to visit this website when they open a browser, new tab, or search via the URL bar. Note that rogue downloaders/installers also install unwanted browser apps called "helper objects". These reassign settings when attempts are made to change/undo them.

Therefore, the only way to avoid having to visit internet-start.net is to uninstall "helper objects". These apps and the internet-start.net fake search engine gather browsing-related information such as entered search queries, geo-locations, IP addresses, URLs of visited websites, and so on.

Unfortunately, many apps and search engines of this type often gather other, personal details. Furthermore, developers continually share all collected data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue.

Threat Summary:
Name internet-start.net browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.
Symptoms Manipulated internet browser(s) settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit hijacker's website and search the internet using their search engines.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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Most fake search engines (even if promoted as legitimate and useful) are usually designed only to generate revenue for their developers. They provide none of the functionality promised (features, tools, enhanced browsing experience, and so on).

Avoid using fake search engines and having dubious apps installed on your system, since they might lead to problems with browsing safety, privacy, or even identity theft.

How did internet-start.net install on my computer?

internet-start.net is promoted using set-ups that hijack browsers, which change browser settings. Therefore, developers are likely to have used the "bundling" method - they hide all information about modification of browser settings in "Custom", "Advanced", and sections of the download/installation set-ups.

Furthermore, many users do not handle these procedure carefully and allow rogue installers or downloaders to change browser settings and install various unwanted applications. This careless behaviour often leads to unwanted downloads/installations and exposes systems to viruses and results in problems with privacy and so on.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Be patient when performing downloads and installations. Do not skip steps without checking all available settings and options (such as "Custom", "Advanced", and other parts). Opt-out of additionally-included software and dismiss offers to change browser settings. Only then proceed to the next step or finish the download or installation process.

Download software from official and trustworthy websites and using direct links. Avoid using third party software downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), dubious, unofficial websites, and so on. Third party downloaders are often monetized by promoting unwanted apps.

Bear in mind that most intrusive ads seem legitimate, however, they can redirect people to untrustworthy websites (such as gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.). If you experience these unwanted ads and redirects, check the list of installed plug-ins, extensions, and add-ons on the browser, and programs on the computer.

Remove any suspicious, unwanted entries immediately. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate it.

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Quick menu:

internet-start.net redirect removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.

Windows 10 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

macOS (OSX) users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

internet-start.net browser hijacker uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the internet-start.net website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

internet-start.net redirect removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing internet-start.net related Internet Explorer extensions

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Change your homepage:

Removing internet-start.net from Internet Explorer homepage

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://internet-start.net and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.

Change your default search engine:

Removing internet-start.net from Internet Explorer default search engine

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "internet-start.net".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the internet-start.net browser hijacker, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing internet-start.net related Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.

Change your homepage:

Removing internet-start.net from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.internet-start.net) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.

Change your default search engine:

Removing internet-start.net from Google Chrome default search engine

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list, look for "internet-start.net", and when located, click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the internet-start.net browser hijacker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing internet-start.net related Mozilla Firefox extensions

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove all recently installed browser plug-ins.

Change your homepage:

Removing internet-start.net from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://internet-start.net and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

Change your default search engine:

Removing internet-start.net from Mozilla Firefox default search engine

In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "internet-start.net"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with internet-start.net browser hijacker removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage and new tab settings:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".

Change your default Internet search engine:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the internet-start.net browser hijacker, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
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