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9.7
( 3596 votes )
Pros
  • Advanced search feature
  • Mobile app has a good and simple interface that is easy to navigate
  • It is free for everyone to visit and view profiles
  • Quick and easy registration process
Cons
  • Additional unexplained membership fees
  • Limited communication options
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The review of Ashley Madison: Life is short, have an affair

‘Life is short, have an affair’ is the slogan of Ashley Madison, the review of which we want to share with you. We liked the slogan and its thrilling submission by the creators of this dating-and-cheating website, so we were interested to find out more. And that’s what we found.

The first thing we’d like to mention is that the website’s correct domain name is ashleymadison.com. This is the only viable address. We say it because there are many other fake sites, which copy the name and internal content of it (or just being visually similar) to play on its loud name. Even the large datingscout.com site of reviews leads you to a fake address – ashleyrnadison.com. As you can see, ‘m’ letter here is replaced by two letters ‘rn’. Visiting fake sites and registering there, you just leave your data to fraudsters – including your login, password, and sensitive payment data, which then they steal. So be super attentive to visit only the correct domain name. So, has dating scout become a fraudulent site? Well, pretty obviously, yes.

The editorial review of Ashley Madison

The site originated in 2001 and has been catering to the ever-changing needs of people ever since. The privacy of members has been put to the first place since the large hacking of the site’s database in 2015. Now the system of anti-hacking has been largely improved, and the site’s image was mainly restored. 

The biggest share of users is from the USA (24 million) and they are mostly middle-aged. The site itself tells that it has 2.8 million new members every month. 

The main purpose is to find an offline sex partner but it is also possible to interact with it online only – but there will be not too much fun, as this site is specifically tuned at finding a partner and doing nothing more (unless you wanna see private erotic pics of their people).

We like the possibility to stay connected thanks to official apps of Ashley Madison that you download from iTunes and AppStore, which definitely adds points to the site in total (on fake sites of Ashley Madison, there are icons without links to the downloadable app, which is another sign of fake).

Registration process

The registration in Ashley Madison takes just a minute, during which you fulfill the next set of fields:

  • Relationship status
  • E-mail
  • Ethnicity
  • Country
  • Zip/postal code
  • E-mail (no verification will be done)
  • Login 
  • Password.

The first step after the registration is uploading a photo (disguised, for your own privacy). You can tick the checkbox of automatic sharing your private pics with anyone sharing them with you (or leave it un-ticked).

Tell the system more about you (the more info you share the bigger the response rate you’re going to have). For instance, you can be very specific in what you want to find:

  • Something short or long-term
  • Erotic chat or cyber affair
  • Whatever happens
  • Whatever excites you.

Then you tell a little about you, how to greet you and indicate your weight + height. The metric system and the US system are both applicable. 

As you finish this, you are going to be directed to the main page – with a lot of profiles of people of your primary interest and location automatically pre-selected. You can do another search if you dislike the given results.

It is possible to view a profile (bear in mind that some people will not have pictures or they will be blurred – and the level of blurring may vary from light to heavy), write a message to a person you liked to start a conversation, and to show your private pics to him or her.

Remember that you cannot do pretty much anything (starting chats and replying, viewing other people’s private pics) unless you pay to buy credits.

Payment

When you request any paid action but you don’t have enough credits on your account, the system redirects you to their purchase. You can buy as follows:

  1. The basic package (49 US dollars for 100 credits)
  2. Classic mid-value package (149 US dollars for 500 credits)
  3. Elite pack (249 US dollars for 1,000 credits). This purchase also highlights your profile amongst the others for 30 days. 

You should know that extra taxes are applied to all the abovementioned sums. If you have gift cards of major brands (Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, Starbucks), you can also exchange them for credits in the system (the gift card must have the balance above 49 dollars but no more than 500). In this case, no credit card required. 

At times, when your balance is low or when you haven’t purchased yet for the first time, the system will throw info messages at you with offers of free bonus credits if you buy within some limited time, like, 10 minutes. If you are really interested in such offers – you should just go for them.

Interaction with users

The first thing advisable to do is to set up filters – they will be automatically applied to search users for you. 

The list of filters is as follows:

  • Age range
  • Search location
  • Search within what area (distance from you)
  • Search by the last-time login
  • People in what kind of relations you are looking for
  • The availability of public and private photos
  • New only or all members
  • Body type
  • Height
  • Ethnic background
  • Languages spoken
  • What specificity of relations you are looking for (with a possibility of multiple choices).

There is no such thing, as the ‘Search’ button. If you want to make the search, you just refresh the main page or change your filters (which are search preferences). As you can see, this site heavily focuses on the interaction of users between one another – nothing else. As a result, the interface is neat and highly effective. 

If you do not specify the age span of users, you see the biggest part of users of middle and older age. It is not hard to find people of even 60+. It is clearly seen they prevail over those who are under 30. The minimum age you can start your search based on is 18. No users under 18 are allowed.

According to open-source data, the age distribution of users is as follows:

In females:

  • 18-24 (5%)
  • 25-34 (8%)
  • 35-44 (5%)
  • 45-54 (4%)
  • 55+ (6%)

In males:

  • 18-24 (14%)
  • 25-34 (19%)
  • 35-44 (12%)
  • 45-54 (11%)
  • 55+ (16%).

The total is 100%. As you can see, the male population makes 72%, while women make only 28% (2.5 times more males than females). Nevertheless, you can find your match for a hookup or anything goes – as nobody forbids you to write to many ladies/men, searching for your luck in many places. Also, if you have mutual gravitation, you shall not mind about what is the males/females ratio.

Also, bear in mind that this site is not 100% packed with only people looking for a sexual or romantic connection for free. There are obviously those who offer paid sex and there is some share of sugar babes. This is what we see with eyes and in the free text of users in their profiles. Some even say it directly. We cannot say the exact ratio as the database is huge but we’ve met several already in the first hundred of profiles. So, several percents of those are definitely here.

Other ways of interacting with people (if not through sending a message) is a possibility to: 

  • make virtual gifts (they are sent through the profile)
  • add to favorites
  • send winks
  • send and request private keys 
  • report on the user
  • block the user.

Managing your account

In the settings of your account (that you open by clicking the red striped pictogram at the top left) you can manage your settings:

  1. Verify e-mail
  2. Change your location, password, and language
  3. Turn on/off the display of your location in the search, view explicit photos, change the priority of messages, deactivate or delete your account
  4. Set up security and privacy (like two-factor authentication)
  5. Manage notifications
  6. Contact the user support
  7. Make payments.

Conclusion

As the conclusion of this review of Ashley Madison, let’s say first what we loved:

  1. Bright and clear interface.
  2. Tuning at people’s interaction, without all the surrounding fuzz. You barely will be able to do anything other but search people, look their profiles, and talk to them. So this site is really about making people find one another, unlike thousands of other sites around that do not focus on it.
  3. The site is about the security and privacy of users (but your own discretion is still required).
  4. There is a mobile app – for Android and iOS.
  5. Members can wink to one another for no cost to let others know they are interested in them.

Now let’s mention its cons:

  1. Only women are given a free possibility to initiate chats. Men have to purchase credits for that. 1 initiation of a chat costs 5 credits. But all further messages to this person are free.
  2. Nearly every profile has just 1 or no public picture – that gives no real possibility to discover a person.
  3. The system offers you to start messaging to people by prompting you in the message center. This is an attempt to make more money on you.
  4. We did not find any science behind the matching system. You just search based on search criteria. And maybe, descriptive fields are too scarce and should have been broadened – to know people better before you start a conversation with them.

In general, we find the Ashley Madison site really catering to the needs of lonely or married-but-feeling-lonely people without unnecessary sophistication. And we rate it as 9 out of 10.

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