Take care, FileHippo starts offering downloads via Installers!

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.

FileHippo starts offering downloads via Installers

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.

Stay safe!

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

23 Comments

  1. Kiran kumar

    Thanks for the info… 🙂

  2. Hadrian Embalsado

    Damn, Filehippo is getting desperate for ad revenue… Well it’s gonna come to this anyway.

  3. Dmitri

    Strange, I just checked the site, encluding the exact same page you give screenshots for, but found no changes, downloads work fine without any attempts at pushing anything.

  4. Check for these software, you will find them. UltraDefrag, 3DMark, uTorrent, Team Viewer, BitTorrent, NetDrive, VLC. Maybe it is being rolled out gradually…

  5. amir

    RIP FileHippo.com…

  6. Ryan Plant

    Pretty sure you’re seeing things mate. I’ve literally just been on there and downloaded like 10 software and have not bumped into this and before you start telling me to clear my cache etc. I already I did that. I’m a senior engineer so i’m not that stupid.

  7. Ryan Plant

    Dude, I downloaded TeamViewer & VLC and have not had this. You’re seeing things or you have malware on your PC.

  8. Ziggy

    Hmm…Never had the problem but usually when installing software the option is given for custom install which is a better way of installing programs from sites offering free programs. Readers might wish to check out Ninite (https://ninite.com/) which removes the junk for you.

  9. Calm down Ryan, Don’t get so worked up and personal! Many a times what one sees is not the whole truth. Maybe you are not seeing them and maybe others are. I am! I have updated the post with new images.

  10. Yes, I too am sure that you are not that stupid.

  11. Dan

    UltraDefrag’s own site has three individual primary links to downloads: one each for 32 bit, 64 bit, and 64 bit Itanium; maybe one type gets the installer, another doesn’t, as you say “maybe it is rolled out gradually”? Sounds entirely likely.

  12. BetrayedByHungryHippos

    Goodbye Filehippo, it’s time we see other people. It’s not me, it’s you. Whore.

  13. Andem

    It doesn’t seem to be for all geographical regions yet. I suspect they are testing different regions before launching it to everybody.

  14. Andem

    Ryan: It doesn’t appear to be launched in all regions of the world yet. I tested it with some proxy servers and depending on the IP address, the download wrapper came and went.

  15. Juhax69x

    Thanks for the info again, Anand. 🙂
    Sad, that one previously very good software site turns to crap one, if that downloader feature really takes over.
    Luckily, there´s plenty of other good sites, without crappy downloaders or web installers. Example pcauthority.com.au. I check that page every single day, for new softwares and updates.Filehorse.com also offers only full installers, never crappy web installers.

  16. Eric-Jan H te A

    Come on he is a Plant. What else do you expect 😉

  17. Dave

    It’s a real shame this was one of my favorite free download sites, and now it’s ruined by this stupid installer. I simply won’t use this and will have to go to the actual sites to download files now.
    Maybe it’s worth starting up a new file downloading site.

  18. johnpatric577x

    My choice is safe and secure software site: http://www.FileHorse.com/ Fast & Simple Way to Download Free Software for Windows and Mac. Enjoy!

  19. Thomas William Moore

    That was hilarious.

  20. FilehippoGA

    Sad, that one previously very good software site turns to crap one, if that downloader feature really takes over.
    Luckily, there´s plenty of other good sites, without crappy downloaders or web installers. ExampleFileHippo. I check that page every single day, for new softwares and Filehippo Browser also offers only full installers, never crappy web installers.

  21. Paul Q

    I use Sourceforge.net and LO4D.com – the former has optional third party adware you have to watch out for.

  22. Artsaï

    Filehippo is still clean. Luckily they abandoned this plan based on the user feedback

  23. Thanks alot. FileHippo is cool, and I love their service. MikiGuru dot come told me about the website

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