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Installers Hall of Shame (Unwanted add-on)

A lot of programs, including Freeware, come with various techniques to install additional and most times unwanted software. It is a method for Authors to make some money. Lately, even the better ones do this. CNet.com (download.com) even uses it's own install wrapper to programs that it offers links to.

The best advice I can give is to never automatically click through installation buttons without thoroughly investigating each page. Many times, options are included during the installation and you must either opt-out or opt-in. Opt-outs are especially bothersome as if you click the "next" or whatever button without un-checking the box, the software will be installed. I prefer portable programs and this is one of the reasons.

The CalendarOfUpdates website attempts to alert folks of software that includes potentially unwanted software.

The owner and Webmaster for Snapfiles recently posted the following to our forum:

"I have been running Snapfiles since 1997 and I can assure you that I absolutely hate any misleading toolbar installations. We are *very* strict when we add software to our listings and all of them have a prominent disclaimer (if they install something else) to inform the user. But we don't simply post the disclaimer and leave it up to you, we also filter out all the junk bundles (like Somoto) that are known (to us) to install crap, whether you like it or not.

Whenever possible we opt for the portable version. Legitimate third party installers have become a business model that feeds freeware developers, there is nothing wrong with that - as long as it is done in a legit way.

However, there are many apps that are simply created for the sake of bundling. These are low quality apps that rarely (or ever) get updated and are purely designed to make money from installs. They don't care whether you like the app or not, once you install it, they already made their money (or not). It's all about the appeal and potential, they just want you to download it and go through the sponsored offers.

The bottom feeders will always use the not-so-legit bundle companies since they have the highest conversion rate. That's why there are so many apps with stupid names like "Make Windows Faster 300%" - they don't care, they just want to appeal to the idiots, because those are the ones most likely to install the toolbar/bundle offers they include. Once the user installed the app, the "developer" either made money or not. Anything beyond that simply doesn't matter. Those are just a few of the things we keep in mind when we list programs on Snapfiles."