Ghacks has a new owner, and that is good for everyone

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 7, 2019
Updated • Oct 9, 2019

TLDR; Softonic acquired I remain editor of the site and all writers remain on board. We have full editorial control over the content and articles will be published just like before. Ghacks remains Ghacks.

When I started back in 2005 I never thought about the possibility that it could become a highly respected well visited technology news website. I wanted to share my findings and information, and it happened almost by accident that the site came to some popularity weeks after I set it up.

I quit my day job to start working on the site full-time in late 2006 and never looked back. Almost 15 years is a very long time for a site on the Internet, and especially once that is run by an individual without the backing of an organization or team.

I worked on the site seven days a week, even when I was on holiday, and stayed awake plenty of nights trying to figure out display errors and other site issues.

ghacks shirt

Fiddling around with technology was always my passion and writing about things that interested me came naturally. In the past couple of years, I noticed that administrative tasks would consume more and more of my time, sometimes more than writing and researching did.  

There were new regulations, e.g. the EU cookie law and GDPR that caused sleepless nights. The changing advertising landscape did not help either, and the desire grew to go back to the roots and focus my efforts on the researching and writing part again.

Softonic contacted me about a potential partnership and talks evolved quickly to a potential sale of the site with me and the other writers staying on as staff.  We came to terms quickly as Softonic met all my requirements for a sale of the site.

I remain editor on Ghacks and publish articles just like before. Ashwin and Mike continue to write articles for the site as well and everything in that regard stays just like before. We have full editorial control over the articles and you can expect the same level of quality, if not better..

Softonic takes over many of the administrative tasks including managing the domain and hosting, advertisement, and communication with partners. 

It was not an easy decision but in the end, it was the right one. I can focus on what I want to do – write and fiddle around with tech – and Ghacks’ future is secured.

Feel free to leave a comment below or use the contacts option of this site to get in touch with me.

Ghacks has a new owner, and that is a good for everyone
Article Name
Ghacks has a new owner, and that is a good for everyone
Softonic acquired I remain editor of the site and all writers remain on board. We have full editorial control over the content and articles will be published just like before. Ghacks remains Ghacks.
Ghacks Technology News

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Service Pack said on February 22, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    This is the most terrible thing to happen to Ghacks… Look at the articles of the other writers… The title is part of the body of the article… The content is not well researched…

  2. Everton Blair said on January 30, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Martin

    Dropping in for the first time in years. A wise move I think given how hard it is to run websites these days, particularly when it all started as a hobby for us. Hope the new change brings the fun back for you, like when we used to work together.

    All the best


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 30, 2020 at 7:37 pm

      Hi Everton,

      yes I’m pretty happy about that as it freed up a lot of time. Really enjoyed working together. Hope you are well.


  3. owl said on December 9, 2019 at 2:19 am

    In order to edit technical news and manage the Website, it takes a lot of time to “collect materials, confirm facts, verify technology, respond to Comments, etc.”, and income for living is also required.
    “GHacks Tech News” has been delivering such great news for many years, but the method as before is “Volunteer management, debilitating mind and body, and limited income”, there won’t get a family understanding.
    I am keenly aware that the editors are suffering from such a reality.

    Naturally, a collateral to the sponsor (Softonic) is necessary.
    However, the page has been edited properly. Check well:
    The official website of the application is clearly stated in the “Summary” (on top of the Comments).

    Ghacks has a new owner, and that is good for everyone | gHacks Tech News
    by Martin Brinkmann on October 07, 2019
    TLDR; Softonic acquired I remain editor of the site and all writers remain on board. We have full editorial control over the content and articles will be published just like before. Ghacks remains Ghacks.
    I worked on the site seven days a week, even when I was on holiday, and stayed awake plenty of nights trying to figure out display errors and other site issues.
    Softonic met all my requirements for a sale of the site.
    I remain editor on Ghacks and publish articles just like before. Ashwin and Mike continue to write articles for the site as well and everything in that regard stays just like before. We have full editorial control over the articles and you can expect the same level of quality, if not better..
    I can focus on what I want to do – write and fiddle around with tech – and Ghacks’ future is secured.

  4. Sysop said on December 7, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    @Martin Brinkman and JohnWold,

    I made a comment in the artical about Necromancer’s Dos Navigator, posted today, about this and Softonic. The artical is great as always, but the redirect to softonic… To my suprise the comment was removed/deleted within 10 min after posting it. No email motification that I was breaking some rules, nothing. Martin, I did suport you in the past with some donations. You did a great job, running this site and all. I understand that you needed to take some steps to ensure the future of this site, but after a few months I sorry to say this site isn’t what it was anymore, at least for me.

    Thank you for the great service you did give me for years in a row. I wish you well, and I hope that this message is allowed here long enough for you to read this.

  5. Phil McCavity said on December 7, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Why do people use sites like Softonic anyway? If you want to download software go to the website of the company that makes the software.

    Ghacks uses Doubleclick, which is a tracker that doesn’t honour Do Not Track, so I don’t know why everyone is so surprised that Mr Brinkmann has sold out, since he’s dodgy already in my book simply for using Doubleclick, which is blocked in my browser by both uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger.

    Mr Brinkmann, you’re no longer in control, you’re owned and not a free agent. In time you’ll be asked to make more and more compromises, which you’ll either go along with or decide enough is enough and decide to quit. This is a terrible decision. And if they end up sacking you at some point, you’ll only have yourself to blame.

  6. JohnWold said on November 1, 2019 at 3:20 am

    Why do new software articles have a Download Now button pointing to softonic?

    I thought nothing was going to change.

  7. Anonymous said on October 24, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    A few days late seeing this article. I will continue to visit as I have learned very much over the years from Ghacks and have appreciated Martin’s commitment and hard work.

  8. Ali said on October 18, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Although i don’t trust websites like softonic and such, i trust you judgment about this.
    I hope best thing happen to you in the future.

    Also one question, what is this domain?

    It shows ghack for me!
    Seems like a complete clone.

    1. 99 said on October 19, 2019 at 1:05 pm


      1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 19, 2019 at 2:24 pm

        Thanks, I just confirmed what you are saying and have forwarded the issue to the webmaster.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on October 18, 2019 at 6:07 pm

      It is a scraper site.

      1. 99 said on October 18, 2019 at 8:09 pm

        Comments made on the scraper site appear also on This means ghacks and the scrapper share one and the same database.

        Are you aware of this and do you have any explanation?

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on October 18, 2019 at 9:24 pm

        Can you please use contact to send me an email with the information you have on the issue? Thank you.

  9. stefann said on October 14, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Softonic ? LOL ! They who forced malware on peoples computers via the downloaded files during install…. I thought You was against such things, but apparantly You support such behaviour ! How long will it take Softonic to turn this site in to crap ?

    Everyone that sell something is doing it for the money, not their own interests. It is always like that !

    1. Keith said on October 25, 2019 at 2:58 am

      I’ve downloaded a few programs from Softonic, never had any problem.

  10. Ray said on October 14, 2019 at 2:45 am

    Congrats on the sale. Hopefully, this frees you up to for more articles :)

  11. 99+1 said on October 13, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    There are unconfirmed rumors Softonic is only the straw owner and Mister Brinkmann secretly expanded already his million dollar baby into the european market ;~)

  12. yetanotherone said on October 12, 2019 at 12:35 am

    Martin, I’ve been with you before this site was a thing.

    I hope you will continue in doing what you like to do, and that this next step will help you do that more.

    And even if this site goes down with sketchy ads and such, you have already done more than enough all these years.

    That said, have you ever considered doing a tech talk show on YouTube?

    IDK if you would be comfortable in front of a camera, but I’m sure a lot of folks would like to see you chat about tech.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 12, 2019 at 7:56 am

      Thanks. I will definitely continue and since I have more time, I will definitely explore some options. I don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera though so that is out of the question :)

  13. OldNavyGuy said on October 10, 2019 at 11:08 pm

    Saw this coming over a year ago…

    Bottom line…it takes money to keep the lights on.

  14. BM said on October 10, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Martin, Congratulations! Too many naysayers here. Change is inevitable – as you say, it is remarkable that Ghacks evolved and lasted this long (which says a lot about the quality of this site and your leadership, commitment). If you keep publishing good content and the community stays as engaged as it is now, things will work out well, despite all those who are expressing fear and concern (nobody ever likes change).

  15. Anonymous said on October 10, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Good purchase, Softronics. I’m sure you are smart enough to leave well alone.

  16. Iain said on October 10, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Well done Martin. Good luck to you.

  17. amarillo said on October 9, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    que lastima you’ve always been a Firefox strong supporter; the mozilla foundation never reward youre scrupulously enthusiastic collaboration by a partenership.
    Who are you going to support today ?? the only motivation of yours is to be paid; you know you can be sack out now. Si quieres el perro, acepta las pulgas

  18. mouser said on October 9, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Glad to hear ghacks will be able to continue with you at the helm — sounds like a great outcome for all of us.

  19. Bernie said on October 9, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Wondering, what might be the interest for Softonics buying your site. You, me and everyone else interested, knows that they are a very famous ugly place for misbehaviour
    Understanding your point for cashing in, which is well deserved.
    But to me it seems they’re looking to buy a good name to get a better image….
    Why – please tell me – should I start trusting a company, whose greatest achievement still ist to misinform and fool people, who don’t know how to deal with their business-type?

    Well, I’ll too see what will happen, but will be very suspicious.

    Nevertheless, best wishes for you.


  20. Joe Lyga said on October 9, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    I’m happy for you, and I’m glad that you found a buyer for the site. Even if you decide to step down, this site will still have a home. Keep posting that Firefox news.

  21. Anonymous said on October 9, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    wonder if the downloadlinks to useful software will be rerouted to softonics website in the future while hiding the original authors source website. hope that will never happen.

    1. Mike Murphy said on November 24, 2019 at 7:29 pm

      Starting November, the softonic links appear first in the article, and at the bottom the original author’s links.

      And now, promoted articles that are just advertisings are appearing too.

  22. Femail said on October 9, 2019 at 11:53 am

    just read the privacy policy. interesting…

  23. femail said on October 9, 2019 at 11:45 am

    What I don’t get: did no other company, with less flaws, ask to come in?
    seems weird

  24. Martin P. said on October 9, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Softonic. —> Really bad company that I completely distrust.
    Ghacks. —> Really exquisite tech website that I have utmost respect for.

    All I hope for is that Ghacks’s stellar reputation doesn’t eventually get damaged by Softonic’s shady and dishonest practices. I will continue visiting Ghacks like before but I’m sad that you had to associate with them.

    Best wishes of success.

  25. DuMuT6p said on October 9, 2019 at 11:12 am

    I also have concerns like the other people based on bad experiences. However I am glad personally for Martin and the team so they can have more fun in what they do. I am sure the quality of the articles will remain the same and if the website quality declines… the world wide web is still wide enough. For sure will continue to support the team in what they do.

  26. m3city said on October 9, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Hope this site will flourish! There is no other tech/software page like ghacks. Quantity, quality, scope of articles – it’s just perfect for me.

    I trust that Mr Brinkmann took the best decision in his own interest in the first place, and readers somewhere down the list – that is what I would have done.

  27. Marek said on October 9, 2019 at 6:51 am

    Good luck Mr. Martin.

  28. Paul said on October 9, 2019 at 2:09 am

    Congratulations Martin, glad you now have the worry and stress of financing removed and free to do what you do best, deliver quality content.

  29. PANAMA PATRICK said on October 9, 2019 at 1:49 am


  30. Herman said on October 9, 2019 at 12:20 am

    I’ve been reading since around 2010 and have found many useful tips and programs I may not have been aware otherwise or would’ve eventually stumbled upon during my work as a commercial IT manager. I do hope the site won’t change very much or slant toward topics and software that Softonic wants to be pushed. I think this would be the wrong venue and if they did try and the snake oil they often try to pedal would be found out very quickly.

    I don’t like Softonic for a myriad of reasons and find it untrustworthy but not in the sense they would intentionally try to harm a user but more like the used car salesman who is trying desperately to convince you that every car or in their case, program on site it top notch and that you need not look any further on the web to meet your requirements. I hope that ghacks will have enough control to prevent this mindset from influencing its reviews and opinions. If not, a sad but fond farewell. Hope not though.

    Good luck on your new endeavor.

  31. Jody Thornton said on October 8, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    I just notice that the title has an extra “a” prior to “Good for Everyone”

  32. Clint said on October 8, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Hi Martin. Something seems to have already changed on gHacks. Now, when going to the site in a mobile browser, more than a third of the screen is taken up by a large cookie notice, and there is no option to turn off all cookies, and all targeted tracking cookies are enabled by default. The visitor has to go through multiple steps just to turn off some of the cookies, and cannot turn off others.

    Please provide a single button on the first screen to disable all tracking.

  33. Stan said on October 8, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Yep, and let’s not forget WinPatrol and Stylish after the new owners took over…

  34. jan said on October 8, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Remember when CCleaner was acquired??? And all the shit that happened more or less instantaneously thereafter!!! That is more often the reality than the exception.

  35. Robert Wellock said on October 8, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    I’m not familiar with Softonic, though I wasn’t impressed with any of their “Latest articles” that I’ve just read on that website. Several of their articles just seemed like thinly veiled “SEO” adverts thrown together in less than 5-minutes.

    Furthermore I couldn’t get any poster comments within those articles to actually: Load…

    I’m assuming my browser is blocking some dubious JavaScript they employ. I already know it was blocking some dodgy and aggressive third-party tracking. Certainly that Softonic website was plastered with repetitive annoying Lightbox style popup windows and widgets, which reopened – even though I’d already closed them seconds before.

    In the future, I hope you are allowed enough freedom to keep on being able to write articles (of your choice) on gHacks to your current high-quality standard, etc. If you ever go down the JavaScript required for viewing comments, I will lose faith on how much influence you still have regarding on the content on the website.

    Good luck!

  36. A.J. Averett said on October 8, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Greetings Martin,

    Ghacks is an invaluable resource.

    May it continue to maintain its excellence, independence, and (perhaps above all) trustworthiness and integrity.

    With every best wish.



  37. Stan said on October 8, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    That was a test…The checkboxes have gone ?

  38. Stan said on October 8, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    wore to top

  39. ss said on October 8, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Martin,

    I wish you the best of luck with your new owner and continued success. I know that you value the best interest of your users and am sure that you have thought long and hard in considering being acquisition compared to continuing to operate the site independently.

    Will there still be a way for us to contact you by email after the acquisition. That personal touch was something I appreciated about Ghacks.

    I also hope that commenting will not require actual names or switch to requiring you to log into social media accounts in the future. While I never liked the mobile version of the site after the redesign, for me, the current site design for desktop and tablets has been fantastic for me.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:28 pm

      Thank you. You can reach me at any time using

  40. thebrowser said on October 8, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    I do share the same feeling as others regarding Softonic but your decision is understandable, and something most of us would do if we were in the same situation. If you have to consider all the time and effort you’ve put into this site and how that has affected your lifestyle then you don’t even have to explain yourself to us: you’ve made the right choice.

    Looking forward what Ghacks will bring us soon!

  41. kalmly said on October 8, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    I just want to say that what you’ve done here, Martin, is amazing, and I wish you the very best.

  42. Declan said on October 8, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Martin, thank you for the heads-up. I completely understand and support your decision. I’m sure you sought both friend’s and legal advice and made a decision you felt would be best for you and Ghacks. I know it wasn’t easy.

    Six months ago I was approached by a tech publisher to sell my site,, and do much as you did… I would retain editorial control, they would handle administration stuff. For five years I kept my site with bare minimal ads, and was told many times how much readers appreciated that. I even won an award in the second year.

    But the buyers made it clear they planned to pepper my site with ads every few paragraphs, an ad-only sidebar, and regular popups. At that point I backed out. I absolutely cannot stand websites like that and I didn’t want mine to become a wasteland of ads.

    So I know you have your website and your readers in your heart if you feel Softonics can maintain the integrity you’ve built over the years.

    I can only say congratulations and moving to the next phase. I wish you well and will remain a loyal follower.

  43. TelV said on October 8, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    I note that according to your privacy policy it was last updated on August 20 this year:

    My question now is will Softonic’s privacy policy replace your own shortly?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:28 pm

      Yes it has replaced the old privacy policy.

  44. Leo said on October 8, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Martin, please take us through the changes that Softonic wants implemented on this site.

    Also, will ghacks net be our bookmark in the future or will we get a redirect to the Softonic website.

    The status of our email addresses should also be disclosed.

    Tnx Martin

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:29 pm

      Ghacks remains an independent site just like before.

      1. Anonymous said on October 14, 2019 at 4:46 pm


        And who owns *********.net and why is every mention of this site on ghacks prohibited?

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on October 14, 2019 at 5:37 pm

        It is a scraper site that has nothing to do with this site.

        I edited the URL in your post because of it being a scraper site.

  45. John C. said on October 8, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    While I don’t trust Softonic very much, I do trust you, Martin, as well as Ashwin and Mike. I will continue to frequent your fine website daily. I certainly understand your motivation for freeing up time. None of us outsiders will probably ever know what kind of money changed hands or what kind (if any) of non-public conditions Softonic imposed on you. I hope there were none of the latter. I certainly hope the email address I provide is still safe.

  46. michael said on October 8, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    impressive opportunity, Martin. The amount of work you put into the is project is staggering, and not many people would be able to single-handedly maintain such a project for 15 years.

    Being able to sell a website to a large player is a huge accomplishment, and no one who didn’t regularly pay for your work is entitled to criticize you for this move. I wish you all the best for your remaining career.

  47. M said on October 8, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    This looks like a cashing out move @martin. I honestly would not blame you. It’s just wait and see mode now I guess. Btw, are you guys paid staff of ghacks now?

  48. Andrew said on October 8, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Congratulations Martin. :-)

  49. Antonio said on October 8, 2019 at 10:39 am

    IMHO Ghacks has a new owner, and that is a good for his previous owner, not everyone. It’s difficult for me to think of a worst buyer.
    I think that ghacks future is predictable. And even Martin future. I have never seen any acquisition where previous owner stays to dictate the line. I suppose that after a while he’ll leave and start another adventure.

    Anyway, I understand Martin. 15 years is a lot of time. He’s taken the right decision for him, and this is the only thing that matters.
    Thank you Martin for the service you have freely provided to us for all this period.

  50. Piyush said on October 8, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Long time reader. Thanks for those full RSS posts :)

    Wonderful news ! I am glad that you can spend MORE energy on research and writing.

    I had some bad experience with softonic. Past is past. I completely trust your judgement on the ownership of site.

    Looking forward to next 10 years of great freewares and tech news :)

  51. Anonymous said on October 8, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Hmm, reminds me of ccleaner and avast .. lets see how it goes. Im not super optimistic, too many bad examples out there. But both deserve the chance to prove us pessimistic wrong.

  52. Hollister said on October 8, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Like other says, Softonic is no thrustable. Best software portal turned into an adware nest.
    They even messed up his own blog. It was very interesting in the beginning, but It didn’t take long to use clickbaits like:
    You will stop using this program when you discover it’s new feature
    Do you know this program new feature? the answer will surprise you

    And Google software searches? You searched “a software that do exactly this” and first results where softonic search results itself, with 0 results.

  53. Dolphins said on October 8, 2019 at 9:08 am


    So long, and thanks forma all the fish.

  54. Paul(us) said on October 8, 2019 at 6:57 am

    Martin, I think its a very smart move because everybody can give for a certain period full gas but then you have to slow down.
    And especially that you’re still keeping your hand on the steering weal article wise speaking and outsources the administration is ferry smart.
    This because the administration is a totally different kind of sport and its a hard sport (Compare it to decathlon).

    Writing articles is like a marathon and with the new situations, I believe it’s possible to focus on something I believe is your favorite kind of sport, being research and write.
    So overall I am convinced that you did the right thing for you and use.
    The old is dead long live the new

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 12:02 pm

      Thanks Paul(us)!

  55. Roger said on October 8, 2019 at 6:55 am

    Hey Martin! First time replying although I’ve been reading Ghacks for years now. I’m glad you can continue doing what you love, because you are really good at it. Doesn’t matter who owns what, I will read what you wrote and follow you for my source of knowledge in tech ;)

    Best of luck mate! Cheers!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:39 pm

      Thank you Roger!

  56. M said on October 8, 2019 at 6:41 am

    Wow. Can I have my email deleted from your database? Thanks

  57. HappyAndyK said on October 8, 2019 at 6:12 am

    Congratulations and best wishes, Martin.

  58. Mr. Stank said on October 8, 2019 at 6:00 am

    I wish you the best with the new owner.

  59. Zahra Ayat said on October 8, 2019 at 5:30 am

    hi martin,
    i always trust you and your site perfectly.
    but i never trust softonic, became very sad when i read this news and wished that not happen!
    everytime that i wish to find and learn something, i search google and your website is always helpful and has reply for my needs!
    your website is the best technology website i believe.
    God bless you and His infinite mercy i pray for you.

  60. Simon K. said on October 8, 2019 at 5:14 am

    Man, I can’t believe it, I’m in shock. This was one of the best sites out there.

    Let me guess, we’ll soon have to sign-up and log-in to post a comment. No thanks.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:22 am

      All I’m asking is that you keep an open mind.

  61. Jonas said on October 8, 2019 at 4:43 am

    My past experiences in similar situations… that is, great tech websites that were purchased from the original founder by a big company… were not encouraging. I’m thinking of (for example) Slashdot, VersionTracker, and various others.

    Typically the websites stay OK for a while, then coast downhill, then plummet in quality. I suspect the suits who buy them are not really interested in the founder’s motivations or vision, and just want to milk the sites (extract money or other commercial advantages) fairly quickly, even if it destroys the site within months.

    I don’t blame Martin for this decision… he has a right to move on (and I suspect he will move on once the contractual tie-in period is up)… but I’m not optimistic about the outcome.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:29 am

      Jonas, you have every right to do so and I probably would be as well if the roles would be reversed. Just watch :)

      1. MikeMic said on October 8, 2019 at 11:23 am

        Martin, that is probably a great amount of money, that is good and you deserved it :)

        But I hope you do realize that you are not the boss anymore and you are just an employee with only the level of decision that -your boss- will grant you with…

        Let’s hope everything will be fine

  62. basicuser said on October 8, 2019 at 3:27 am

    Congratulations, Martin.


  63. Philip said on October 8, 2019 at 3:23 am

    Good Luck!

  64. svim said on October 8, 2019 at 2:34 am

    Thank you Martin for all the good work you’ve been doing over the years and I hope this change works out really well in equal measure. I added Ghacks to my RSS reader years ago because there’s so much relevant tech stuff popping up here all the time, and look forward to more.

  65. Dave said on October 8, 2019 at 1:56 am

    @Martin If Softonic puts something on the site we should avoid, will you tell us how?

    1. ShintoPlasm said on October 10, 2019 at 2:08 pm

      Maybe we need a Softonic canary? :P

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:38 am

      Dave, nothing bad is going to happen.

  66. ULBoom said on October 8, 2019 at 1:07 am

    Conratulations! This is a good site, I’ve learned a lot from the articles and comments. If one tunnels around online many similar sites can be found, only difference is the last article is from a decade ago and comments are far out of date. Zombie archives.

    gHacks has withstood the test of time and will do well in the future, I’m sure!

  67. Robert said on October 8, 2019 at 1:01 am

    One of the first things that will go is this message board. We will likely soon have to create an account with Disqus or Facebook if we want to post a comment here. And now they have my email for marketing purposes since I have included it below.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:39 pm

      Robert, there are no plans to change the login/commenting system on the site. Softonic won’t send you any unwanted communications, and communications only if you have opted-in (e.g. newsletter). See the privacy policy in the footer.

  68. Tim Andrews said on October 8, 2019 at 12:56 am

    I am grateful for all of your hard work!

    I hope that everything works out the way that you want.

  69. Anonymous said on October 8, 2019 at 12:50 am

    I’ve seen this movie before so many times. Not a happy ending.

  70. Rick said on October 8, 2019 at 12:40 am

    R.I.P. Softonics, as amply noted above, is in the top 10% of sites banned or blocked by virtually ad blockers.

    Yes, the staff remain the same, but getting to that content will be impossible with the softonic monetization model.

    Can’t fault Martin for his decision to back away from the tech and advertising portions of the site. Having my own, I have first hand experience of how frustrating these are. However, the choice of business partner does leave something to be desired. Ok.. a lot.

    I truly hope all goes well.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:34 pm

      Rick just keep an open mind and judge based on the coming months/years.

  71. Tarmin said on October 8, 2019 at 12:36 am

    How much did they pay you ?

  72. tom42 said on October 8, 2019 at 12:35 am

    As long as they don’t renege on the terms of the sale, it sounds great for everyone.

    But they seems pretty shady, shady enough to renege then drown you in legal fees until they win

  73. Anonymous said on October 8, 2019 at 12:33 am

    Money talks.

  74. sosadnews said on October 7, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Softonic? Apage, satanas!
    Sad, but R.I.P Ghacks.

  75. ProtectYourself said on October 7, 2019 at 11:08 pm

    So we can block all ads on the site now? :-)

  76. Anonee said on October 7, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Congrats Martin! Glad you have finally been rewarded after all these years!

    I’ve been following you for a long time now, since BEFORE ghacks existed!
    I used to hang out at the old Securibox forums in the early-mid 2000’s and at the time, you had a site called and was really useful since it hosted the programs and source code for many of the popular hacking developers at the time, and even gave many of them their own subdomain on deny!
    Hard to believe it has already been 15 years…

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      That’s indeed a very long time ;)

  77. Jeff said on October 7, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    Softonic? I remember it as a shady site not even offering original installer for download for apps but some web stub installer with ads. Even on Wikipedia, they have a reputation of spreading malware via installer file: It’s like you struck a deal with makers of Ask toolbar or BonziBuddy

  78. Clairvaux said on October 7, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    Congratulations. This is the reward for working hard for such a long time in order to create something useful. I hope you don’t get only a lighter workload in exchange…

    To everybody saying that Softonic sucks : I don’t know. I just know the name, and I don’t have any particular opinion on it. I’m just saying that selling a business that started small is a normal step when you’re doing something right. It’s often necessary just to keep it going, and of course in order to develop.

    So we just need to trust that this was the good decision. Only time will tell.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:42 am

      Thank you Clairvaux

  79. Anonymous said on October 7, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    Why though?

  80. James T. said on October 7, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    Question for those commentors that are well versed in Ghacks (since I know Softonic and Martin signed an NDA)

    Not sure how well Softonic treats employees (or independent contractors) outside of Espana..
    When softonic acquired Appcrawler in 2013 for several million they were going through a “difficult time”.
    Laying off two thirds of your employees Softonic
    It wasn’t because of SEO changes Softonic…
    https blogs . elconfidencial . com /tecnologia / loading / 2014-10-28/ el-merecido-hundimiento-de-softonic-poco-tiene-que-ver-con-google_419474/

    The severity of complaints of some of the employees were Pre-ERE is out there somewhere. Also, since Softonic is multinational company with several locations/employees one’s experience might vary.

    I know reading about Softonic former employees that were protesting in Barcelona when they didn’t get a higher severence pay percentage.
    Softonic is in a region of Spain that had problems (Catalona).
    There will be internal and external forces that will be detremental to employees.
    Softonic is hyper-focusing on strategic partnerships (online publishing network) through native advertisment and affilate partners.

    Hiring Scott an outsider was an okay step Softonic. Also shutting down the Softonic downloader was as well.

  81. Ben There said on October 7, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    ‘In February 2015, leading software download website Softonic announced that it had appointed Scott Arpajian to the role of CEO, making him the first American senior executive for the Spanish company.
    Immediately upon joining the company, Arpajian made the crucial decision to discontinue the company’s controversial Softonic Downloader product in order to regain user trust. Arpajian later launched Clean and Safe, an initiative to clean up the website’s software catalog and ensure users a safe and secure user experience.
    Under Arpajian’s leadership, after a period of economic stress, Softonic was able to return to profitability in just 7 months. This has led Softonic to begin considering expansion again.’

    “With more than 100 million unique monthly users who generate more than 4 million daily downloads on, it is our responsibility to make sure our site is clean, safe and also encrypted,” said Scott Arpajian, CEO of Softonic. “We take our users’ safety very seriously and are proud to included on this list.”

    I predict the biggest issue will be NOT being able to post anonymously due to big-data ad networks taking over. Scott came from CNET which is today largely in-bed and very sympathetic to Silicon Valley.
    I used to post to AVS Forum when they were for enthusiasts. Today I avoid the commercialism and infomercials. Try visiting Annad Tech or Toms Hardware without an ad-blocker!

    I quit writing reviews for Amazon when they began quietly selling your purchase history. Today many reviews are corrupt.
    Or why WhatsApp founders quit Facebook.

    From its very nature never trust advertising corps to be truthful. Bring on the mandatory sign-in (Google Facebook) accounts with CAPTCHA for the ‘security of the service’.

    Employee reviews nn Spanish:,8_IL.9,18_IC2547194.htm

    Martin you’ve earned your pot-o-gold. Thank you for the hard work. Ocean-view housing is cheap in Spain!

  82. Roebie said on October 7, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    Congratulations, Martin. You must be a very rich man then, don’t you. 😁

  83. Dave P. said on October 7, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    Hope it all works out and there are no empty promises to come back and haunt you.

  84. jern said on October 7, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Martin didn’t announce that Ghacks had been purchased by M$, or Google/Alphabet, or Zuckerberg – that would have been sad. If Martin says his Softonic deal is good then OK.

    My view is that 50% of this blog’s success is due to the honest, knowledgeable people who respond to Martin’s honest, knowledgeable posts. If that continues, Ghacks will be as useful as it’s always been.

    My thanks to Softonic for helping keep this invaluable resource afloat.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:43 am

      Thank you Jern!

  85. Eaglenik said on October 7, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Thank you for all your efforts guys ! Been visiting the site daily the past 10 years ! <3

  86. Gerry White said on October 7, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    I’ve used, enjoyed and respected your website and your posts since it began and I for one am certainly not jumping ship now. You do a fantastic job Martin (and your grasp of English is amazing!) and I can well imagine that you’re relieved to be free of the financial worries that you had being a ‘sole trader.’ Very best wishes for the future and I hope everything goes well for you and your team.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:44 am

      Thank you Gerry.

  87. AsTroNaUt said on October 7, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    To the edge of the universe… and beyond !!

  88. DComedian said on October 7, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    It’s understandable for people to be wary about any change in the ownership, but those of us who have found the site useful and informative over the years have so much to be grateful to Martin and the team for. It’s the only site I’ve twice made a voluntary financial contribution towards. :)

    Let’s hope the content continues to be of such high quality, and I hope I continue to be introduced to useful new apps and browser extensions.

    Best wishes for the future Martin.

  89. Tom said on October 7, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    Been a daily follower of this site since 2007; a source of countless goods and infos over the years. It has changed many times during that time, not often to my liking but always for the benefit of all and mostly for keeping the site sustainable. I don’t think it’d be otherwise this time. Good luck!

  90. ShintoPlasm said on October 7, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    I really hope this works out well for you, Martin, so good luck and cheers to new beginnings.

    I’m just interested in what it is that Softonic get out of this. More exposure? Some necessary puff pieces in Ghacks Deals? Dedicated ad space on the site? Hopefully you will retain full editorial control in the long term (and hopefully you had proper legal counsel for the contract; can’t ever fully trust larger tech companies). Finally, I hope the site won’t start sporting pay-only ‘Ghacks Premium’ or ‘Ghacks Plus’ article…

  91. Chris said on October 7, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    We should at least thank you for all you’ve given us in the past, while hoping for the best in the future!

  92. Jojo said on October 7, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Mazel tov and best wishes!

    I hope everything works out but if Softonic destroys the blog, then you can always look into buying it back in the future.

    Woody Leonard did this when WindowsSecrets eventually failed after being brought and traded by a number of larger companies. See:

    What happened to Windows Secrets?
    Posted on February 20th, 2018

    btw: The new is a good tech site to add and view if you are not currently aware of it.

    1. Anonymous said on October 7, 2019 at 9:24 pm

      is this a jojos reference?

  93. nobody said on October 7, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    Really loved your insights! Martin

    Alt+SysRq R E I S U O

    1. chesscanoe said on October 7, 2019 at 10:05 pm
    2. Jason said on October 7, 2019 at 9:42 pm

      This may be a R E I S U B instead of an R E I S U O. We won’t know for some time. ;)

      1. nobody said on October 8, 2019 at 9:12 pm

        Actually the command is mostly for… me, due to what the `dirt_ernet` has become these days (aka: the snowden story + intel chips undocumented/hidden commands story); was among last 4 or 5 sites i still visited on daily basis; will still read this article in the following days and that’s it. sorry!

        Good luck! Martin
        Really hope it turns out as you want.

  94. John Freeman said on October 7, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Its a nice partnership. In the end administrating a website and writing article is a difficult task. Good luck!

  95. Kenny said on October 7, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks Martin for the BEST tech site on the web. I hope everyone at least gives Softonic a chance after acquiring a Quality site. after all, I doubt that the information is going to change at all. I look forward to reading more of you (and others) well written and informative articles. Best of Luck!!

  96. chesscanoe said on October 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    It is much too premature to write a ghacks eulogy. Martin, I hope your expectations are met for a long time, and maybe you will even find time again to write another book.

  97. Belga said on October 7, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    We don’t download here, we get information…
    With a little vigilance when making purchases, we will not be any worse off.
    The creator of the site still has my trust and I wish him a good continuation.

  98. Joe Plumber said on October 7, 2019 at 7:55 pm


  99. Gandalf said on October 7, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Call me skeptic, but this is the end for Ghacks. RIP

    The website will be soon full with ads, banners, overlays and paid articles.

    I will watch and see how it goes, but I’m skeptic.

  100. ZeN said on October 7, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Best of luck with your new employers.

    Hope the back-lash isn’t too severe Martin, you’re a sound bloke!

    Everyone has their price…

  101. Rob said on October 7, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Long time fan here :) Hope that deal won’t change your content quality and your site won’t be filled by shady download ads everywhere. Good luck Martin!

  102. Dilly Dilly said on October 7, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    “We have full editorial control over the content and articles will be published just like before. Ghacks remains Ghacks.”

    Softonic isn’t interested in improving the profitability of the site? Ever heard of a game called ‘Just the Tip’?

  103. roene said on October 7, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Wow, 15 years! Here’s hoping Ghacks continues going strong for the next 15.

  104. John Fenderson said on October 7, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    I wish you the very best, Martin! I hope that this enables you to continue to provide excellent commentary, hopefully with a bit less pain on your part!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:32 pm

      Thank you John :)

  105. Anonymous said on October 7, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Good luck! I hope everything works out well!

  106. Jason said on October 7, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Martin, as a long-time reader and occasional commentator, I wish you the best of luck with your new business arrangement. It’s perfectly understandable and even advisable that a site like yours have a “big backer” to take care of the infrastructure. At the same time, like many other readers, I have reservations about Softonic as an owner, so I’ll be watching in the coming months to see how things pan out. Hopefully it will be exactly as you describe.

    I have a couple of questions:

    1. Presumably Softonic will now have access to the email addresses of commenters. How will these data be handled? (Will they be sold off to other companies? If there is a new privacy policy, does it apply retroactively to emails already in your database from years ago?)

    2. You said you have kept editorial control. But have you also kept control over who gets to work at Ghacks? (How secure is your position as editor?)

    The nice thing about smaller online news outlets is that we can actually ask these kinds of questions openly and directly! :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2019 at 6:32 pm

      Sorry for the late reply.

      1. Here is the official answer: As part of the acquisition, Softonic has indeed acquired Ghacks’ assets including data (email address) you may have shared with GHacks but Softonic is not selling any of this data to any third parties and is taking all the organizational and technical measures to ensure the protection and security of the data. If you’ve subscribed to the GHacks newsletter, you will keep receiving it (and you can, of course, unsubscribe from it anytime). If your email address was used to post comments, it is stored within WordPress.Softonic won’t send you any unwanted communications unless you have opted-in. If you would like to know more about the privacy policy from Softonic please follow this link:

      2. My position is secure.

    2. Heimen Stoffels said on October 7, 2019 at 7:52 pm

      1 If they’ll pull any tricks with my data, then I won’t be visiting Ghacks anymore.

    3. TimH said on October 7, 2019 at 7:43 pm

      Martin, I hope you had a legal review of the contract, and there are explicit actions that reward you financially and protect your reputation should there be a breach of contract. For example, if they breach then they lose the rights to the ghacks name and every url variation.

  107. Danger McPhoenix said on October 7, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    As long as softonic does not force their main website down out throats, I think I can learn to live with this acquisition.

  108. Kubrick said on October 7, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Very best of luck to you mr brinkmann and i sincerely hope your site gains more popularity.I for one cannot imagine browsing without at least one visit to ghacks a day.
    Softonic or not it’s still a good site for information.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 7, 2019 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you Kubrick.

  109. leo said on October 7, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    I have been a silent loyal follower on this blog and to see this coming, congrats Martin, you well deserve it. I highly believe it’s a good exit for you, selling this site and remain active on research and writing.

    I don’t really bother about new owner if terms are fine between you and them. At least that’s what Whatsapp owner told us when he sold it to Facebook.

    Let’s see more interesting app discovery and reviews.


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 7, 2019 at 6:46 pm

      Leo thank you. More app and other great reviews coming your way every day ;)

  110. foolishgrunt said on October 7, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    I don’t know anything about Softonic, but I sympathize with your reasons for selling. Good luck, and here’s hoping your new overlords are as lenient as you hope they are. :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 7, 2019 at 6:44 pm

      Thank you for the wishes!

  111. Ascrod said on October 7, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    SoftTonic has always been a shady download site to avoid. I’ve never really trusted them in the past, and I can’t say that I’m very thrilled that they have acquired gHacks. That said, I will trust your judgement and I remain hopeful that the acquisition is yet beneficial for you and your publication, Martin. Cheers.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 7, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      Thank you!

  112. Heimen Stoffels said on October 7, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    Noooooo, Softonic is NOT a good partner at all. I agree with banita: this is the end of the site :(

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 7, 2019 at 6:35 pm

      It won’t be the end. Please trust my judgement.

      1. rickmv said on October 7, 2019 at 11:33 pm

        No single individual can fight the corporate. Even more with the one with that history and in charge of the gHacks now. It was fun while it lasted. Hope you got the best deal to pursue your passion for tech and start a new project soon. Because even your total trust in the best momentary good judgement on the transaction coupled with the most honest intentions proved over many years with your articles, it will not keep gHacks what it is now for not even one more year. Thanks.

      2. Heimen Stoffels said on October 7, 2019 at 7:49 pm

        I trust your judgement, however, I don’t trust Softonic.

  113. banita said on October 7, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Thanks Martin,but this the end this site :( very sad.

    1. Anonymous said on October 10, 2019 at 9:09 am

      I was taught it is smarter to wait before judging than be forced to offer an apology for being wrong.

      1. San said on November 16, 2019 at 7:13 pm

        I could not have said that any better. Fact is I’m going to copy that. Martin, I dont know you but I am glad you dont have to work so hard now. Enjoy and thank you for all you have done.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on October 7, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      It is not the end, it is a new beginning. I still write here and Ashwin does too. Just see for yourself, that is all I’m asking.

      1. Herman Cost said on October 7, 2019 at 7:54 pm

        Congratulations. I am pleased that you were able to get rewarded for creating such an excellent site. Good luck going forward.

      2. banita said on October 7, 2019 at 6:54 pm

        we’ll see :) but I have very bad experience with such acquisitions. Good luck.

      3. WorknMan said on October 7, 2019 at 6:35 pm

        > It is not the end

        Hope not. Out of the 9 million tech blogs on the web, there’s content here that I don’t find anywhere else.

  114. DL said on October 7, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Mine doesnt block softonic by default, maybe you have extra lists installed?

    1. Anonymous said on October 7, 2019 at 7:23 pm

      The ublock origin list that blocks by default is Dan Pollock’s hosts file. It is included in UBO by default but not enabled by default.

      UBO used to block by default however in its “uBlock filters – Badware risks” list, for the following reasons pulled from the badware risks list comments:







      The domain has been unblocked in the UBO badware risks list in June 2017 because Softonic promised to stop spreading badware:

      but it’s still the same company that did those shady things. Exactly the type of company Ghacks could write something against. Like it did here:

      Ghacks selling to such a company is as disturbing as when Github, this central hub of free software, sold to Microsoft, the evil company that called free software a cancer. Keeping full editorial independence while being someone else’s property/employee (especially a shady company with kind of opposite interests) is impossible. This place was interesting as free from the corporate censorship that can be felt in many other places. Let’s hope that the damage won’t be too high in the long term.

      1. John said on October 8, 2019 at 8:12 am

        Martin and GHacks have brought something fairly unique to the table with their focus on software, including browsers major and minor, and detailed information on each Windows update and so on and so forth (Most tech sites are very hardware oriented). A lot of times one is reading about something one already has or can download and install for free if desired, so its both useful in terms of knowing more and diving deep in terms of things we already are using (For example, we can check here and see what the latest Windows or Firefox update we just installed or have been prompted to install is supposed to be, do, or fix) and if we want to acquire the latest thing we read about here, it usually costs $0 instead of $1000 (Not that sites devoted to phone reviews and such don’t have their place).

        All that said, though, in the interest of balance, I would say if I had to name just one small negative to the site, it might be that Martin and his fellow writers are a lot more trusting than I am in some ways when it comes to praising some software sometimes that seems like it *might* (Not is, might) be a security risk, including, ironically some security software (The exception might be that they are much more suspicous of Windows updates than I am). None of that’s a deal killer, no site will exactly match my sensibilities, and it can be helpful to have a site that has an editorial stance on certain things that may challenge me to consider things in a different light (Maybe sometimes I should be more open to that new software and less trusting of Windows, etc.).

        That Martin was willing to do a deal with, and presumably trust, a company that I wouldn’t, seems a natural extension of my impressions of him from his writing here on the site. I think he is genuine in believing that the new owners will not interfere editorially or add malware or excessive tracking stuff to the site and so on and so forth. However, as with the software reviews, its possible he’s being a little too trusting. I think he believes everything he says, but ultimately the truth of it probably depends not purely on him, but on the owners and management of the company that bought the site- and not just the present people in those roles, future investors and employees as well. He also may be relying on some “handshake deals” that may or may not be legally binding in whatever country has juristiction, and which may be plausibly deniable by the company (i.e. Martin won’t necessarilt be able to prove what they told him to a legal standard). He also may have a different take on what certain clauses in the sale contract mean than current or future management at the purchasing company. Sometimes people refer to legal documents as “legalese”, as if they are written in a language of their own and don’t necessarily correspond to seemingly obvious interpretations by people not familar with the ins and outs of the legal system, and that’s when they are theoretically written in your first language. Martin’s first language is probably German (I think he’s mentioned residing there) and has a great grasp of English, whether its his first or second language, but the contract may well be in Spanish!

        Time will tell. I could see an unscruplous company using a site like this to positively review malwarish software and drive downloads. That would be the easiest way to monetize it. I’m sure Martin was told that’s not the plan, but they may not have been straight forward with him.

        My feeling is that I’ll keep reading for now and judge the situation based on what I see going forward, for the most part. The exceptions might be if the site winds up on a block list or an alarm is raised about its practices from a third party site.

        I don’t blame Martin for taking the deal. If you can get a nice pool of money from something you’ve created while in theory getting relived of the aspects of handling it that you don’t like handling and being able to continue handling the parts of it that you find personally rewarding, that’s a win. The best possible outcome monetarily on most websites is to build up their perceived value and sell. We all know that the ad market isn’t what it used to be online, if it ever was. Its all a bit of a bubble when thought of in capitalistic terms. Its nice when something is someone’s non-profit hobby and not their day job, and is intended or allowed to operate at a break even point or even a loss forever, but when it becomes the day job, that changes the perspective, and I get the feeling that this was Martin’s day job, or an important second or third job, rather than a hobby, so you take the buy out. Its understandable. I might do the same were I him.

      2. Matt said on October 8, 2019 at 4:17 pm

        Very reasonable comment. And that’s another thing that I like about this site. I find well reasoned and thoughtful comments, especially in the technology communities, to be extremely rare. But this website managed to attract all the right people somehow.

    2. Rick said on October 7, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      That’s because he enabled Dan Pollock’s item in ubo’s settings. It’s not a default (I don’t enable that one either).

  115. Sunny said on October 7, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Hi, Please DO NOT ALLOW Them to Block Iranian IPs. i hate them. because they want to eat everything that find on web. google, facebook, microsoft and … are dangerous for internet.

    1. Sol Shine said on October 8, 2019 at 11:00 pm

      You are using Sunny as a name, as I did for the last few months here.
      So my new name will be Sol Shine.

      To Martin:
      I understand your situation. Many coders, scientists, teachers and health workers hate it when they need to spend more time on burocarcy and administrative tasks than on doing work they love.

      Personally I think it may have been better to hire somebody to help with the administrative tasks, while you did more research and writing, instead of hiring a new writer.
      But I do not know the details of your situation to make a fair judgement.
      So I and the rest of your readers will have to trust your judgement.

      You and ghacks will take a hit in reputation and trust due to now being owned by a company that has a bad reputation like Softonic.
      You have editorial control, but Softonic has control over the ads and website format.
      The future will show how that plays out.

      I am happy you have less stress, and wish you and the site the best, and I will still be a reader.

  116. Yuliya said on October 7, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Softonic?? It’s even blocked by uBlockOrigin:
    I think it’s one of those sites which were boundling software with their own “custom” installer filled with ads and PUPs. Sad.

    1. finoderi said on October 8, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      “In March, 2015, Softonic announced it had discontinued the Softonic Downloader.”

      1. Yuliya said on October 8, 2019 at 4:47 pm

        finoderi, yeah, I’ve said already that VLC installer was clean. I doesn’t make the website any better. See my second screenshot where it becomes aggressive about me not wanting to download their promoted ccrap. On the same page you can also see other promoted crap, namely something called Driver Booster. And I sincerely doubt that program is able to provide me something which the official dell/intel/nvidia/realtek sites cannot, in case of the laptop I’m posting this from. Such programs are borderline malware, with a couple of exceptions which also happen to be open source.

    2. Yatom Haya said on October 8, 2019 at 11:26 am

      Tom Hawack and Yuliya strike again with their “professional” opinions nobody asked for.

      1. Anonymous said on November 11, 2019 at 2:09 pm

        Yatom Haya said:
        ”Tom Hawack and Yuliya strike again with their “professional” opinions nobody asked for.”

        I have asked a question Tom Hawack or at least have read many of their comments. Other ”Anonymous” seems to be more professional than me, Ghacks writers has many interesting opinions. Yatom Haya, you can also comment that nobody asked for but it is acceptable.

      2. Yuliya said on October 8, 2019 at 4:39 pm

        Yatom Haya, welcome to the comments section. There is a reason it is called this way and not the “echo chamber”.

      3. Zulu Laika said on October 14, 2019 at 4:54 pm


        Welcome to the “echo chamber”

      4. Anonymous said on October 8, 2019 at 3:38 pm

        @Yatom Haya

        They never pretended to be experts or professionals and their opinions are often more relevant than your repetitive baseless personal attacks that you keep doing under different nicknames for suspicious reasons.


        Those “someones” he is talking about are probably trustworthy blocking lists, like the ones included in ublock origin, that built a reputation by not screwing their users. Unlike the kinds of Softonic that they block.

      5. Tom Hawack said on October 8, 2019 at 12:44 pm

        @Yatom Haya, so your name is nobody if I understand you correctly, your navel being the center of your world, yours only unfortunately for you and fortunately for others, us all expressing an opinion no one asked for, relying on the fact doing so is the very purpose of a forum :=)

    3. Tom Hawack said on October 7, 2019 at 11:24 pm

      I can understand selling a site but selling it to Softonic is disapointing.
      Of course is not nevertheless my hosts file which merges several excellent sources includes several occurrences of ‘softonic’ :

      So as long as doesn’t appear in a serious hosts file I’ll keep on visiting/commenting.
      But what a pity it had to be ‘softonic’ ….

      1. Gabriel said on October 8, 2019 at 1:17 pm

        So if “someone” adds ghacks to your “list” then it automagically becomes a “bad website”?
        This is your reference for what is good and what is bad?
        Interesting to say the least.

      2. Yuliya said on October 8, 2019 at 4:36 pm

        Gabriel, Softonic is garbage due to its well known past shady practices which I initially described, and its current ones, also previously described by me. The fact that it’s blocked merely validates my point.

      3. Tom Hawack said on October 8, 2019 at 3:26 pm

        @Gabriel, all depends of the blocklists of course. Once you’ve chosen them with caution you’re unlikely to make an exception, especially in a hosts file and especially if an occurrence appears in several of these lists. Hence if a site is included in a OS-wide blocklist such as a hosts file I’ll just be unable to access it, which happens and in which case I search what hosts file source among those I have merged is the site’s offender. Because I use DNSCrypt-proxy I may add an exception to this application’s whitelist, which I’ve done already but very seldom.

        So, to answer your question, if a site I’ve known for years and practically ever since its launch such as was ever to be blocked, I’d really investigate before not whitelisting it.

        I hope this brings the answer to your pertinent and legitimate wondering; perhaps i should have nuanced my comment above.

    4. Philip said on October 7, 2019 at 6:22 pm

      You’re not being fair to them. They’re not blocked on uBlock Origin by default. You’ve installed a custom filter list that blocks them…

      1. Yuliya said on October 7, 2019 at 6:46 pm

        The Chromium version of uB0 at least has Dan Pollock’s hosts file​​​​​. I did not add any list myself, or any other filter:

      2. gorhill said on October 7, 2019 at 8:32 pm

        Dan Pollock’s is not and has never been enabled by default in uBO.

      3. keepo said on October 8, 2019 at 3:45 am

        haha i guess you should know

    5. Yuliya said on October 7, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      I have disabled uB0 to check that website better:
      They don’t even want me to close their tabs. I downloaded VLC to check its hash, contrary to what I see, the file is indeed clean. They did force me to install Firefox before that, twice the download started without my consent. My stance against mozilla aside, this is not how a website shoult behave. Now I understand why uB0 blocks it.
      I love gHaacks and I read it daily, and will continue to do so + engage into comments section, but nothing will change my mind about softonic: that website is pure filth.
      I hope it won’t harm gHacks in the long run. I hope.. and doubt though.

      1. ilev said on October 9, 2019 at 9:47 am

        My uBO + uBO Extra on Chrome 78.0.3904.44 (Official Build) beta (64-bit) doesn’t block I don’t get pop-up…..

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.