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download.cnet.com user reviews (771)
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CNET sometimes tries to force you in installing unwanted software. If the green download button says "Installer enabled", click the "Direct Download Link" below it! And it's bloated with ads, too. But otherwise, it's a good site with nice software reviews.
This software repository is increasingly cited by customers for stealth downloads of unwanted and/or malicious software in addition to the advertised software.
Recommendation: If the web site of a trusted software author offers a CNET download link, it's probably safe if you also reject any add-on offers. Otherwise you should scan what you download from CNET for malware before you use or install it.
download.cnet.com is blacklisted by Sucuri. References:
CNet is starting to place a proprietary "wrapper" around the downloads which can install additional software (toolbars) that are not part of the what the user asked for. Considering there are many software titles found on Download.com were not put there at the request of the software authors, this constitutes an ethical issue as well as a potential legal one.
A more complete write-up can be found at the ghacks and MaximumPC websites.
From my experiences, it is recommended to not use this site for general downloads since they are packed with adware and PUPs, which to you is ad-filled programs or potentially malware. Apart from this it can have general news and information related to technology. Avoid the downloads here, go for Softpedia or more reputable domains with free software.
Download.com has recently started adding a "download stub" to each and every program on their site that tries to foist a bunch of 3rd party bundleware onto you. If you check out their FAQ on this, they say its all in the name of protecting you. Sorry, but it looks more to me like CNET's attempt to get into the lucrative bundling game at the expense of their less savvy users. To be fair, if you look at the tiny print under the download link, there's a link to directly download the program. Unfortunately, you have to register and be logged in to download.com to do this. Basically they'll trade you the direct link for your personal information. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll be avoiding download.com from this point on. Discussion here: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=304653
CNET has gone low and now makes you download a "installer" to download the actual software you went in for. Then their Installer has a bunch of hidden options that changes settings on your system and browser.
C|Net Download.Com has been wrapping programs with a program that is considered Malware so when you install it your computer gets infect by a trojan. For years they have lied but the truth is starting to come out....
See the following
A free download site, but the installer installs Babylon and Vosteran on my computer. Be careful
Download.com wraps downloads in bloatware, lies about motivations
The downloads provided are uniformly excellent with the exception of the mandatory downloader. This adds various free things to your browser which are difficult to impossible to remove and have been impossible to avoid. I am going to scan the download with Webroot prior to any further action and see if it can remove things...unless I abort prior to the actual download. If I can successfully download now (and remove the crap, as in search bars and the like) and can modify this comment I will. Otherwise I would suggest looking at downloads here and downloading them elsewhere or not at all.