It sounds like you may have had some issues with the CNET Download.com Installer. The CNET Download.com Installer is an ad-supported stub installer or "download manager" used for many software titles on our site, and does offer additional, optional third party applications during the installation process. All offers included in the Installer are tested to make sure that they conform with our security policies prohibiting malware and spyware, and all may be declined or opted-out of without affecting the initial download.
If you do not wish to use the CNET Download.com Installer, you always have the option of using the "Direct Download Link" instead. All products on CNET Download.com have a direct download link, but only "CNET Installer Enabled" products call it out separately.
Depending on your browser and the specific product you are looking at, you can find the "Direct Download Link" in one of three places on the page for CNET Installer Enabled items:
- Right underneath the green "Download Now" button
- By mousing over the green "Download Now" button in order to see and click the "Direct Download Link" in a pop-up bubble
- By mousing over the blue "CNET Installer Enabled" text in the "Quick Specifications" column to the right side of the product page to see and click the "Direct Download Link" in a pop-up bubble
You also have the option to turn off the Installer for the whole site, though you do currently need to have a CNET account and be logged in to take advantage of that feature. To do so, login to the site, click the "My profile" link and then the "Update my Download.com Preferences" link, select the "Off" option and click the "Save Changes" button.
You can read more about the Installer here:
If you have any trouble with future downloads from our site or wish to pass along feedback in general, please feel free to contact our support team by filling out the form and clicking "Submit" on the following page:
CNET Customer Help
I use download.com frequently and have recommended it as a safe place to download software for years. Lately it has become virtually impossible to download the utilities I want without getting some garbage toolbar or other software that infests my computer. Even though I diligently uncheck check boxes during the download, I spend twice as much time undoing the changes to my browser and uninstalling this junk than I do actually downloading what I was looking for. I have always chosen download.com because I didn't have to worry about the hitchhikers that came with the desired downloads, but that is now changed.