Here’s What Happens When You Install the Top 10 Apps

January 11, 2015 – 7:33 PM

We installed the top 10 apps from, and you’ll never believe what happened! Well… I guess maybe you might have a good guess. Awful things. Awful things are what happens. Join us for the fun!

We’ve been railing against freeware download recommendations for years, and recently we taught you how to test any software safely using a virtual machine. So we thought, why not have some fun and see what really happens if you download software like a regular clueless user might?

For the purpose of this experiment, we’re going to just click through all regular installation screens with the default options using a fresh virtual machine. And we’re going to install ten applications from the most popular downloads list. And we’re going to assume the persona of a regular non-geek user.

Why would we choose Because their policies page states clearly that they do not allow malicious software on the site, and further that they do NOT accept any software that contains the following:

  • Software that installs viruses, Trojan horses, malicious adware, spyware, or other malicious software at any point during or after installation.
  • Software that installs without notice and without the user’s consent.
  • Software that includes or uses surreptitious data collection.
  • Software that diverts or modifies end users’ default browsers, search-engine home pages, providers, security, or privacy-protection settings without the users’ permission.
  • Software that installs in a concealed manner or denies users an opportunity to read the license agreement and/or to knowingly consent to the installation.
  • Software that induces installation by making false or misleading claims about the software or the software publisher.

I mean, with all those protections in place from the trusty people over there at CNET, why would anybody worry? I mean, CNET News is a trusted source, right? Right.

Danger! Do NOT Try This at Home!


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