Why MajorGeeks is THE Best Download Site


majorgeeks_logoMuch has been written about download sites and their bad practices – forcing adware wrappers, unfettered bundling, not filtering out malicious software, etc. – seems many of these sites are more interested in generating income rather than providing a safe download environment for users.

So much so that the list of bad download sites now well and truly outnumbers the good, a trend which, rather alarmingly, is on the increase. However, there is one download site which continues to stand out like a beacon among all the doom and gloom, and that site is MajorGeeks.

MajorGeeks’ Timothy Tibbetts recently published an article entitled “How MajorGeeks Protects You and Why We Do What We Do“. The article provides a great insight into how MajorGeeks operates and the steps taken to help protect its users. With Tim’s kind permission, here is the article in full:

majorgeeks_how we protect you

Bundleware or Third Party Software
Free no longer necessarily means free. Yes, there are still a few legit 100% freeware listings out there but economics being what they are, many software developers have gone to use our favorite model called “freemium. This means that the main program is free but for a small fee you are given a choice of “pro” features that are not necessarily mission critical (like automatic updates and support) while the program remained fully functional. Others authors have turned to “Bundleware” (our own name for it) to help pay the bills. Bundleware is when you have to accept or decline installing software “offers” prior to installing the actual software you wanted. The authors of the ‘freeware’ then get paid on each install of these offers. In theory, we have no problem with this practice. The problem here is some software offers as many as 6 or 7 programs and they often use lighter colors so you don’t notice. On MajorGeeks you can look for the “License” and you will see the word Freeware, Shareware, Open Source or Bundleware so you know what to expect.

That said, not all Bundleware is created equal. Some are completely legit ways for Freeware authors to make a couple bucks to support their programs, but some of the bundled installers are just downright nasty. Even if you say no, you are still pummeled with installs, hijackers, adware and all sorts of badware. We test for these sorts of behaviors and if found will not list the product. At MajorGeeks will only list the Bundles that allow a user to opt out of the install of an offered product. This allows authors to earn a living and you to have a choice.


Wrappers or Third Party Installers
This is software that a download sites uses to “install” your software. What it really does it try to install software you don’t want before you install the software you really wanted. While we’re all about getting paid, often the software installed is intrusive and something you don’t want and we wouldn’t recommend. MajorGeeks has turned down numerous offers to use a wrapper on our downloads. We present the files from the authors to you unaltered and unwrapped. This has been a huge negative financial hit for us at the same time other websites are probably making more money than ever before… at YOUR expense by adding additional software before you even have to worry about more additional software from the program you wanted. Really? That’s just not how we roll.

Download From the Source
Another common misconception is that you should download directly from the developer. This thought has come about because so many download sites add wrappers to the Authors actual products, that it is hard for users these days to figure out what is what. Once again, MajorGeeks has always have offered a direct link to download from the developer (when available) as a download option. We also have a direct link to the developer’s site under the link “Author”. Many websites don’t offer a link to the developer’s site or a direct download. Some also bury the link so it takes numerous steps to find it, if you can find it at all. What do they have to hide? That said, if we label the software as bundleware and your download from the Authors site directly you will still see the bundle. As said before, we present the files exactly as the Authors intend.

majorgeeks_download locations

Download Now Buttons
One of my favorite arguments. A lot of websites, including us, have buttons that say “Download Now” that is actually an advertisement and not the actual download button. It is damn near impossible, if you run ads with any network like Adsense, to block all the “download now” buttons out there. We tried. We do however mark them as an ‘advertisement’. There is also an animated graphic after the text “your download will start in 5 seconds” that says “Click Here If It Does Not”. Here’s the rub; MajorGeeks does not have a download now button. We have “Download Locations” that let you choose to download from a MajorGeeks mirror including Australia or, as mentioned earlier, from the Author. Download Now does not work for us because you have more than one choice.

majorgeeks_download now

majorgeeks_download vs ad

Finally, here is a video showing what we do before you ever see software posted on MajorGeeks:

We here at DCT pride ourselves on putting user safety first, above all else, and that’s why we continue to promote MajorGeeks as our recommended download site.


[article and images: credit MajorGeeks]

 

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

14 Comments

  1. I agree Jim,

    Very difficult to find good freeware sites lately, too bad re :- FBB, but on a lighter note, the guy who helped marko to continue for a while still has his LO4D freeware site in operation, and Bleeping Computer is also a reputable freeware site.

    I believe that both the other sites deserve a mention beside MajorGeeks, and if it became MajorGeneralGeeks, some of us could move upward from being Private Parts to Corporal Punishment.

    Cheers,

    Jonno

  2. I luv majorgeeks. Unfortunately, it is Windoze only. Since I use other operating systems (Mint & elementary OS), Softpedia serves my needs best.

  3. Thanks for another fine article, Jim.

    MajorGeeks and Softpedia have been my go-to sites for downloads ever since CNET was acquired by CBS. Though there is a very high degree of overlap, some applications are unique to one or the other site.

    Also, occasionally one site makes available only an on-line installer for a particular app, while the other offers the full executable (sometimes both); whenever possible, I prefer the latter.

    Finally, Softpedia have a nifty free update notification service one can subscribe to (which is handy, irrespective of where one obtains the software).

  4. It is a shame that there are so many out there who wish not to learn about their computers yet will blindly download programs on someone’s advice (good or bad) to add a capability they think they need just because it is FREE. These same people then will not take the time to learn the new software they just downloaded but complain that it does not work. They then call me to get them out of their mess because I don’t charge them.
    I personally think freeware should be abolished. All software should cost even if it is only a buck or two. This eliminates the need for this bundling and other nasty add-ons unless the vendor is just malicious. Now these foolish people need to think twice before blindly downloading something and their chance of staying safe just went up a notch.
    I am perfectly willing to pay a little to help the programmer recoup a little for their efforts and help pay for the software site to cover their costs (and make a little for their effort). This is also more incentive for the programmer to improve the product.

  5. How wrong this article is. I remember a while back reading how Majorgeeks listed IObit positively in a large number of categories and even defended IObit throughout the entire malwarebytes intellectual property theft of their virus definitions, this in the face of overwhelming evidence that proved IObits guilt. It also turned out that IObit listed Majorgeeks as their “preferred download partner”.

    Funny that isn’t it?. Why would a download site list IObit at the top of many categories when other software had been proven by many other, independent tests, to do a better job?.

    99% of download sites are crap, they list crap and will push crap based on revenue. The other 1% of download sites are generally the good guys who are struggling to survive because their morals don’t allow them to capitalise and trick people so they can earn good money and keep their sites running or list devious companies at the top of their categories in return for favourable backlinks or payment.

    • Jim, ALL download sites list iObit products positively, so singling out MajorGeeks is a tad unfair.

      Also, the software under each and every category at MajorGeeks is listed in alphabetical order, so iObit couldn’t possibly be listed “at the top of many categories”. If you have evidence to the contrary, please provide examples.

      We are definitely not iObit fans: http://www.davescomputertips.com/beware-iobit-malware-fighter/ and do not recommend any iObit software. However, there is no escaping the fact that a number of iObit’s products are very popular and I certainly would not blame any download site for listing them.

    • Hey Jim and Jim – I’m Jim from MajorGeeks.com I stumbled on this comment and thought since we all had such awesome given names I would respond.

      MG has been around in one form or another since 1999 when Tim and I started a site called TweakFiles. As such, we have had the honor to get to know many of the software authors on a personal level as they start out. Then, in some cases, watch get very, very big. With IOBit, we’ve known the founders since …well long before it was IOBit and the other author you reference, since before he was an author. In that dispute, I had a front row seat. It wasn’t fun to watch a couple buddies get in a tiff. We complied with all wishes of both sides, removing any products in question ( the first in the world to do so), until the matter was settled between them. We remain close friends with all parties to this day. I hold both CEO’s in very high regard. Oddly, we were in Vegas not too long after that hanging with one of the CEO’s for the weekend, and it wasn’t brought up by them or us or anyone — So I am not so sure why after so many years you still personally hold a grudge. 😉

      As to IOBit linking to us as a preferred download site – they have always linked to us as a preferred download site going back to their initial Beta products. It had absolutely nothing to do with any deals or other such nonsense. If you knew Tim and I, you would know something like that couldn’t happen. We have literally turn down millions so as not to screw over our users — we can’t be bought with a link. ’nuff said.

      The top links you speak of – I think – you mean the “Featured Links” sometimes we will list a featured products in a category as ‘Featured’ near the google ads. This is sometimes due to the programs awesomeness and sometimes do you some sort of sales / advertising program. We done that for at least a decade I’ve never had a complaint.

      I see how from the outside looking in that 2+2 could equal 5 so I hope this clears everything up for you. If you have anything else, feel free to drop me an email.

      Now to Jim H… Best article EVER written n the Internet (But I may be biased:) ) You Sir, are truly an Aficionado! Keep up the good work.

      • So, Jim is replying to Jim and Jim… LOL

        Regardless of differences of opinions, I’ll wager we’re all very good looking guys. 🙂

        Thanks for dropping by Jim, and for the kind words.

  6. Hi Guys,

    I’ve been an avid fan of MG since 2003 and so far had not been failed in providing solutions to PC softwares or OS that I downloaded. In fact, though I’m not a Tech wizards on PCs,some of my friends asked for help & I always go back to MG & recommend it to them. Thank you guys for the help you pass to us here in the Philippines especially in the Mindanao Area.