Among the safest popular download site which users trusted blindly to download software was FileHippo. But this looks about to change! FileHippo.com has started offering software downloads along with their Download Manager, which will offer to install 3rd-party software.
With this new development, FileHippo now joins the ranks of BrotherSoft, Softonic, FreewareFiles, Tucows and Sourceforge who will offer you downloads via their Download Managers or Installers.
So what are these Installers or Downloaders? They are nothing but setup files that try and first push third-party offers on to your computer before giving you access to the file you want.
The Installer does not appear to have been rolled out site-wide yet, but I did see it being offered for UltraDefrag, 3DMark, uTorrent, Team Viewer, BitTorrent, NetDrive, VLC, etc. At the time of writing, CCleaner was however, not being offered with the FileHippo Download Manager.
To check it out, I decided to download UltraDefrag. I was offered pre-checked boxes to install the Yahoo toolbar and change some of my other settings. As I said earlier, Don’t click Next Next Next blindly, else your Windows computer could get straddled with unwanted software and you could end up with a new home page and a search engine!
Have a look a the screenshot gallery.
Says the FileHippo post (now deleted):
The FileHippo Download Manager delivers software straight from our supercharged servers to your computer. The Download Manager allows us to use multiple network connections at the same time to guarantee you the fastest, safest delivery possible. During this process, the Download Manager may offer you other free applications provided by our carefully chosen partners. These offers are completely optional and you are not required to install any additional applications to receive the software you selected.
While download sites profess that the real intention is to provide a fast, secure, feature-rich download experience and make exclusive third-party offers, the fact remains that each bundled software, when installed, earns the download site & maybe the developer also, money. Sure I understand, everyone wants money, and large websites have large bills to pay. But the pressure to get a healthier bottom-lines at any cost, has forced such decisions that do not give a good user-experience.
One redeeming feature is that all FileHippo Installer-enabled software will have a Direct Download Link in text, that you can use to download the clean software directly. You will see the small text link, under the large green Download button.
I guess it is time to add this update to our post: Safe software download sites – Beware of deceptive download links & PUPs.
UPDATE: As I said earlier, you can see them for a few software only currently. Maybe it is being rolled out gradually over regions too. I am uploading images of the Download Manager Enabled download buttons below.