Downloading Software From Third Party Sites Makes Sense, Sometimes

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 23, 2011
Updated • Dec 27, 2012

Whenever I want to download software, I try to do so from the developer website and not third party websites. Not necessarily because I trust the developer website more, but to make sure that I can snag the latest version of the program, and not an older version. Yes, even respected download portals do carry older versions of applications in their repository, especially when the release of a new software version has been very recent. Regardless of the download location, I always double-check the downloaded file online and offline before I execute or run it on the system.

There is however one thing that makes me hunt for the software on download sites, and not on the developer website. Some developers like to display surveys or registration forms to users who want to download their applications. While it is their right to do that, I personally dislike this. If I like the software a lot, I'd come back anyway and register an account to keep tabs on the development and closer contact to the developers. Forcing users to fill out forms leads in my opinion to a higher drop rate which in turn means less users that download and install the software.

Whenever I come to a site where I'm forced to fill out a form I'm immediately appalled, and tend to search for the program on portals like Softpedia or Betanews. It is not always possible to find those programs on those sites, but if I do, I download them from there instead.

One example: I recently tried to download the excellent free to use virus scanner Dr. Web CureIt from the developer site. Before I could do so, I was asked to enter my name and email. Thinking this was all, I complied, only to be greeted by a survey on the next page. Even worse, I failed to enter the captcha on that page correctly and was taken back to the start form as a consequence.

drweb form before download

download dr-web

Fed up with it, I decided to search on Bing for the download and found it on Softpedia. I downloaded the program there without having to fill out a form or give away my email address. I tend to use temporary email addresses for this anyway whenever possible.

What I would have liked to see on the Dr. Web page is an option to directly download the software, and an optional registration, not the other way round.

Where do you download your software? What's your experience? Let me know in the comments.


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  1. manoj said on November 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    sorry sir i am happy

  2. smudgie said on June 24, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Funny, i just made a conscious decision to do this 10 minutes before seeing this post. DVDFreeStudio let me know there was an update, and i decided to get it from MajorGeeks because i know the software is always bundled with toolbars and stuff, and i thought maybe the MG version will not have that (probably will, but worth a shot).

    My main sites for updates are MajorGeeks, FileHippo, and Cnet. Not much i want that isn’t on at least one of these.

  3. Wired Buddha said on June 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    my Go-To website for software is:

    loads of software.
    has never failed me for having the latest versions of the software I use.
    although FileHippo does carry XMplay.

    Wired Buddha

    1. Wired Buddha said on June 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      whoops.. typo. my bad.
      should be:
      “…does -not- carry XMplay.”
      (damn virtual keyboards =)

  4. Anonymous said on June 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    CNET, MajorGeeks, SoftPedia. I download a lot of software (well, I used to) so I’ve come across this same, odd, process many times. When it happens I just go away. Stupidly, it never occurred to me that it would be any different if I tried downloading from another site. Thanks for the article.

    Regarding Captchas: UGH. Sometimes they’re impossible to read for all the background noise and you can’t tell O from 0, or l from I.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 23, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      The funny thing is that bots usually do not have a problem solving those captchas ;)

      1. Dan said on June 24, 2011 at 1:26 am

        Not just bots, also cheap human labor. Once I interviewed a job seeker and he admitted that his last employment was as a blog/forum spammer, specifically to get past captchas. Yes, I did not hire him, the bastard. =-\

  5. Robert S. said on June 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm


    First of all i would like to congratulate you guys for the great job you’re doing with the blog.
    I discovered you a few years ago and I’ve been following you since then.

    However, this is my first reply and I’ve (finaly) decided to do it hoping that i could contribute with something to your entry.

    @Martin Brinkmann: I’ve been using Dr. Web Cure It for months and, until a few weeks ago, i was in the same situation as you. That form was a source of frustration every time i had to download the latest version of the app.
    A few weeks ago I found a link that allows me to download the current version of the app, All you have to do is click the link.

    I hope this is usefull. Sorry for the bad english.

  6. Fish said on June 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Old reliable MajorGeeks has been my first choice for many years.

    MajorGeeks, until recently, hosted software builds ahead of the developer, at times by up to a day.

    I don’t know, but nowadays I’d check first, or compare later, whether MG or the developer has the more recent version.

  7. Dan said on June 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I agree with most of the reasons already stated above by other commenters. I’d just like to add that another motivation for downloading in Softpedia is that there is some assurance that the app is “clean”. Especially if it’s some obscure developer that few people have even heard of. Of course, it’s no guarantee that the file is not malware infested, but the Softpedia assurance is better than none. I still use an AV or Jotti/Virustotal just to be safe.

    1. Cattleya said on June 23, 2011 at 8:39 pm

      Yeah, I like Softpedia because that, almost software I download and install/scan with my Kaspersky 2010 have no virus xD
      And in Softpedia, I found Domdomsoft Manga Downloader, a very helpful software help people easy to download manga/manhwa.. from so much online manga site. And report bug will be fixed quickly!


  8. Cattleya said on June 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I’m using, so much software here and i found so much rare software which really helpful xD~

    Other choice: Brothersoft – For old software like Babylon 7.0(lastest 7.0 xD).. – Very fast speed download – Have some usuful software like RBTray

  9. Richard said on June 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I personally am quite a fan of

    1. ReX said on June 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      I get my Realtek HD audio drivers from there, because Realtek’s FTPs are slow as hell (if you’re lucky enough not to get a timeout).

  10. Paul(us) said on June 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I really like
    I agree with your point that i do not like to fill in forms to get software.
    Also nice software sites are the one’s where you get every day a different commercial software program like, ,

  11. Gareth said on June 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Some good advice thanks. Softpedia has a good range of downloads.
    As always when downloading from the internet make sure your anti virus is working and upto date.

  12. Mehdi S said on June 23, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Here are the times which I use 3rd party websites to dl softwares:
    – Main website under heavy traffic/slow.
    – Looking for an older version with less bundled crap, lighter on resources, still freeware etc.
    -The software is no longer available at the developers website.
    -And of course, annoying form filling before downloading.

    1. Cattleya said on June 23, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      I think so.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on June 23, 2011 at 11:35 am

      Good points Mehdi.

      1. Mehdi S said on June 23, 2011 at 11:52 am

        I forgot to add….I even had ONE instance of a program which I use (KMplayer) not having the LATEST version on the main website. I had to download it from softpedia actually!

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