Author Topic: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!  (Read 13300 times)

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Offline DonnaB

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Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« on: November 11, 2011, 06:30:09 PM »
I've been reading a lot about Cnet.com download sites and now try to steer clear if at all possible. Why? Because of the thread I found HERE that linked me to the article HERE that starts out with what I quoted below:

Quote
Those of you who think that the popular portal CNET Download.com, which offers software downloads, is a rather safe bet concerning malware, may be forced to reconsider. The new policy of CNET Download.com concerning the downloads coming from their site, involves a certain download and a possible installation of unwanted software which comes with their new installer.

I see that pastywhitegurl was a victim of their new policy.

Geesh! Who can you trust anymore? :undecided:

Sad....very sad.   :cry:

 
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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2011, 06:38:24 PM »
Bill Pytlovany also wrote about C|Net a couple of months ago: 
Quote
There are a large number of websites that provide useful reviews and what seems like easy ways to download free software. Unfortunately, these websites also sell ads and allow advertisers to use well known software as keywords in their ads. The result is users often end up with software they can’t remove from their computer instead of what they were looking for.
More at Bits from Bill:  Dangerous Downloads on Legitimate Websites & Search Engines

As always, my recommendation is to download software from the vendor site when ever possible.


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Offline DonnaB

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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2011, 06:51:48 PM »
Here's a site that R-C introduced many to that was posted at Garden Web. The downloads only consist of the installer. Nice.....!

Ninite

The nice part is that if they don't have the installer you can suggest what you'd like and they try to get it for you.

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Offline Corrine

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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2011, 06:54:46 PM »
Here is Ed Bott's article about Ninite:  Ninite is fast, easy, and foistware-free | ZDNet.


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Offline DonnaB

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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2011, 07:02:44 PM »
Well I'll be! You're just the information station aren't you?

Nice article. Thanks!  :cheesy:  Another link to add to my growing library of bookmarks.
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Offline babyoh

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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2011, 05:46:46 AM »
cnet, apparently, has gone to the dogs:
http://www.ghacks.net/2011/08/17/the-cnet-download-com-installer/

- thanks for tipping us off.

are Softpedia http://www.softpedia.com/  and Major Geeks http://majorgeeks.com/ still safe to use, do you think?

 :dance:


Offline DonnaB

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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2011, 01:07:27 PM »
Hi babyoh,

Personally, I like Major Geeks' for downloads because they do give you the option to download from the Author's site along with a couple other sites to download from. It is always best to download from the authors, publisher's, developers sites. If you don't know who the developer is you can always google for more information about the software that you'd like to download to find out or just ask us and anyone would be more then happy to help you find out who the developer is.

Softpedia? Many rely on that site as well. I found a pretty good review about that site at McAfee's Site Advisor though I can not give my personal opinion because I search to find and sometimes even install the software just to make sure that I'm not providing a site that has adware or other potentially unwanted programs.

Another thing you have to watch for is the publisher itself. Some have reverted to adding unwanted software for advertising purposes. I'm sure money is involved somewhere. There are a few programs that I noticed that no matter where you get the download from they offer browsers and toolbars, etc. that in my opinion are totally unnecessary. I was helping a lady to install the Comodo Firewall a while back. To prevent the install of unwanted programs I installed Comodo on my machine and found that it included what is called Geek Buddy. After some research I found this to be a remote access product where you can ask for live help and they remotely access your computer to help you. I didn't like that at all.

As I stated above, I do my best to find the publishers site for the download.

Let's see what others have to say.

Donna :)
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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2011, 01:39:05 PM »
I too prefer the author's direct download, but use Major Geeks when that option isn't available.
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Offline blues

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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2011, 01:50:43 PM »
It's sad to see the demise of once trusted sites and apps.

If a site or app lets us know up front that they intend to bundle something with the intended download...and provide the opportunity to refuse it, then I don't have much heartburn in such an instance.

However, if the site or app sneaks the secondary software onto your system without alerting one to its presence (forcing you to take steps to remove it), then all bets are off and that site, vendor or app will never again have my business or trust.
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Offline DonnaB

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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2011, 02:49:03 PM »
blues,

I agree 100%. Very sad. :(

Quote
If a site or app lets us know up front that they intend to bundle something with the intended download...and provide the opportunity to refuse it, then I don't have much heartburn in such an instance.

Their way of letting you know up front is to include the option as pre-checked software for which you then have the opportunity to uncheck but many people do not practice patience/safe downloading when they do download anything and the result is heartache.

The publishers go out of their way to ensure that you download what is bundled along side the software that is to be downloaded by tricking you into thinking that if you uncheck just one box that other things will not be installed.

Example below:

I snipped the image below from babyoh's link above. Please notice how they are  pushing the Babylon toolbar as being Recommended. Many people don't realize that it is not needed and the software that is to be downloaded won't be any better if they do uncheck this. I, for one, never knew this 4 years ago. I thought that if it was Recommended I had to have it! 

:smash:

Quote
Quoted from link:
The real problem here however is that the web installer is pushing the Babylon toolbar. Users who do not pay attention to the download process will install the Babylon Toolbar, make Babylon their default search engine and homepage of their browsers.

Here's the trick: If you uncheck the option to not accept the Babylon toolbar, which they say is Recommended, the boxes for the Babylon search engine and homepage may be greyed out yet will still be changed. I found in one instance that if you uncheck the top box to not install the search engine, your  search engine and homepage will still be changed even if the prechecked boxes for those 2 options are greyed out. So, to make sure that these options do not effect your system you have to uncheck the boxes from the bottom to the top to ensure that nothing is changed/added because if you do uncheck the top box first and they are greyed out they become unclickable and the inevitable happens. Very sad. :( But people fall for this trick everyday.



Sneaky little boogers aren't they!  :evil:

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Offline blues

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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2011, 03:38:14 PM »
I have come across that very issue myself in recent months wherein it becomes necessary to ensure that the secondary boxes are deselected prior to opting out of the primary offer.  Cumbersome at best for the end-user and certainly a dishonest methodology by the provider.

It's beyond sad that such practices are in any way considered legitimate and fair game.
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Offline mikey

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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2012, 11:33:25 PM »
Just another ref about download wrappers; http://www.emsisoft.com/en/kb/articles/tec120224/
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Offline pastywhitegurl

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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2012, 02:41:23 PM »
I just visited the Cnet download site and discovered that they have changed their policy.

from their FAQ:
http://cnet.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2065

Quote
5. Do you offer a direct download link?

    Yes. All products on CNET Download.com now have a direct download link. However only "CNET Installer Enabled" products call it out separately with a "Direct Download Link" located underneath the green "Download Now" button.

Bravo CNET.

I might start using them again.

Offline Corrine

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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2012, 04:29:03 PM »
Keep reading the FAQ's:
Quote
7. Why am I seeing offers for additional software during the download?

    The Download.com Installer is supported by offers for additional 3rd-party software. Clearly identified offers may be shown during your download. All offers provide a clear method for rejecting the additional software before proceeding with the download. We only show offers for software that is approved for listing on Download.com has undergone additional screening to ensure compliance with the Download.com Software Policies.

8. Will any additional items be installed on my machine?

    The Download.com Installer does not install itself on your system and does not leave behind any additional components. If you've accepted an offer for 3rd-party software during your download the additional items that you've agreed to will be installed on your system.

You still need to watch each step of the download/installation carefully.  My recommendation:  go to the vendor site whenever possible.


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Offline babyoh

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Re: Are Cnet.com downloads safe!?!?!?!
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2014, 10:39:01 PM »
just checking to see if the info here is basically the same or has changed.
 *** Best sites for downloads : Vendor/Developer (that i doubt has changed)
 *** Next best : Major Geeks.
 - i guess a quicker way to ask this is : is Major Geeks still pretty good for downloads?