Softonic is one of the larger software repositories on the Internet that is offering hundreds of thousands of programs on its site. Like Cnet and others, it is making use of a downloader application that bundles all downloads on sites with adware that they use to earn additional revenue. While you find direct program links on the download pages as well - scroll down to find those as they are more or less hidden at the bottom of the page - these do not work all the time, for instance if the original homepage of the program is no longer available.
So, when you have to use the Softonic downloader you are stuck with a process that is not as transparent as it should be. When you click on the big free download page on the site you are redirected to another page where the download starts automatically. Downloaded file names always start with SoftonicDownloader_for and then the file name of the program. If you are not using the English language interface, you may get a localized word for "for" instead like the Spanish "para".
This is just the downloader to download the program you want from Softonic. It is basically an installer to distribute unrelated programs to users to increase the revenue of the site. You need to click on no thanks in the interface to block these programs from being installed on your system.
The download itself is happening in the background and you get no say in where the files are saved to. Softonic does not reveal where they are saved to either which can be problematic as they are executed automatically after they have been downloaded. Portable software for instance does not get installed on the system and to run it again, you need to know where it has been saved to.
To save you the hunt for the download folder. The folder all applications downloaded from Softonic to is the desktop folder. All program downloads are listed here so that you can run, install or remove them from your system easily.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.