What exactly is the new Cnet Download Manager?
At one time, downloads requested from Cnet (Download.com) behaved like any other, you clicked the link and your download began. Now though, ordinary users are required to use Cnet's own wrapped installer in order to download a program. This means what you end up with could well contain additional elements you might not want, and if you fail to notice any “opt out's” during the install process, these extras will be installed on your computer.
Not all Cnet hosted programs have a wrapped installer, but those that do have the words "CNET Installer Enabled" displayed at the bottom of the green download button. There is however a direct download link just under this which bypasses the wrapped installer. A Cnet account is no longer necessary for direct downloads. This is a welcome development [February 2012] in response to the pressure exerted by both users and vendors who host their files with Cnet.
Overall, we still remain unhappy with the whole issue surrounding wrapped installers and will continue to link our own downloads to MajorGeeks, Softpedia and FileHippo instead.
There will be instances when programs are only available from Download.com, or where the alternative mirrors do not meet our criteria for reliability and safety. In such cases we will post a warning notice next to the download link.
As with all downloads, from wherever sourced, we recommend you scan the file with your resident antivirus first before executing it. Alternatively, you can use the free version of Malwarebytes which includes a right-click scan option, or upload/email the file to VirusTotal which uses multiple scanners.
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