Update: No they have not as you can see on this page.
A download wrapper is a program that is offered to users who initiate downloads on a website making use of them. It displays advertisement and a link to the "real" program the user wanted to download in first place.
Companies claim that using them improves security and reliability of the transfer but it is mostly done to increase revenue by displaying offers to users.
In fact, download wrappers are a core potentially unwanted programs (PUP) source on the Internet.
Download.com up until now displayed the download wrapper link prominently on its website and a clean direct link less prominently on it after backlash over the implementation of the feature (it first used the download wrapper exclusively).
If you visit the site today and check out download pages on it, you will notice that only one download link is listed on it.
I have checked about 20 downloads of popular programs and unknown programs on Download.com and all linked to the software directly.
It seems that Download.com has stopped using download wrappers on the site to serve downloads to customers.
This is a welcome change from a customer perspective as it will reduce the distribution of potentially unwanted programs to user systems.
Experienced users may have simply switched to a different download portal such as Major Geeks with clean downloads while inexperienced users often did not know better and feel victim to these -- often -- unwanted offers.
Why the change of heart? You are probably wondering why CNET removed download wrappers from Download.com.
Since CNET did not announce the change on its site, it is unclear. Google added better protection against unwanted and harmful programs to several of its services and programs, and it seems likely that those played a role in CNET's decision making process.
Several antivirus and security companies have improved the capabilities of their programs to detect and block unwanted programs and adware installers on systems running Windows which may have played a role as well.
The removal removes a major source of potentially unwanted programs from the Internet. While that is good, it may take more to convince users who have been burned before by the site's download wrappers and unwanted programs it may have installed on the system.
Now You: Which download site is your favorite currently?Advertisement
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.