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The software awards scam

Discussion in 'Software' started by Major Attitude, Aug 23, 2007.

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  1. Major Attitude

    Major Attitude Co-Owner MajorGeeks.Com Staff Member

    Good stuff, exactly what we try and warn people about only this time the guy submitted a program that did nothing but tell you that the program was not a program. Lets see how many awards it received!


    Update: 7\20\11

    Thanks to mjnc for pointing out a similar article from a software developer:


    FYI, when we see our editor's pick button posted when it was not given, we have it removed. We have done this dozens of times. Guess who likes to "borrow" these 5 star buttons? Rogue developers trying to trick you. That's why you don't see a lot of OUR editor's pick buttons out there.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  2. Adrynalyne

    Adrynalyne Guest


  3. musksnipe

    musksnipe Guest

    LOLThat's goes to show ya really gotta pay attention on those OTHER download sites. (Not that I download apps from anywhere else)
  4. matt.chugg

    matt.chugg MajorGeek

    Another point that is just as interesting is where all these software sites get their software, I only release my software on my site and here on majorgeeks, yet its on several download sites with 5 star ratings some of which list warez etc and some which are in languages I don't even understand!

    Another idea for his 'experiment' (and an idea I had myself) could have been to make each download unique so the original source could be found and see where everything originated!
  5. Natakel

    Natakel Guest

    Just one more reason I stick to Major Geeks for all my software needs. :major
  6. Mada_Milty

    Mada_Milty MajorGeek

    Gotta be nice to see that
    (despite what people may think of Softpedia)
  7. Major Attitude

    Major Attitude Co-Owner MajorGeeks.Com Staff Member

    Lol, Softpedia lies. A lot. Incorrect version numbers and more. I see stuff in our admin they post within minutes as malware free. Check Siteadvisor.com, you will be suprised how much is infected. Of course, I dont pay them much attention, half their site is widgets, screensavers and ebooks. They use the malware free button exactly the same way as awards, to drive traffic. Be afraid, its a scam. Theres no such thing as a malware free promise, to do so should send people a red flag.
  8. MickeyRoush

    MickeyRoush Specialist

    Wow, I'm so fortunate to have access to a place like MG:major. ;)

    I don't go much of anywhere else to get freeware, etc. :)
  9. chipper_atmacneil

    chipper_atmacneil Private First Class

    Thanks for the warning. I don't download at many sites (the only other site I use is Download.com), because of the malware factor. I'm glad to see this to be able to identify untrustworthy download pages and warn others off. ;)
  10. Major Attitude

    Major Attitude Co-Owner MajorGeeks.Com Staff Member

    Download.com is about the same, just use caution. Their policy is to remove malware infected items if discovered, which can take days, sometimes weeks. Again, Siteadvisor will show you what they carry. Often, these are crap programs, screensavers, etc. Stuff we don't list because of the majority of crap.

    Remember this article is pointing out perceptions. These websites have used the malware free claim just like the awards. The majority falls for it, so thats all that matters to them. The wise are better informed and don't visit these sites.

    Note the butt kissing:

    lots of red, bad downloads, but a green rating. 2.5 emails spams a week, guess thats ok too. Someone knows someone at SiteAdvisor\Mcafee :)


    Lets see Softpedia:

    lots of red, bad downloads. They are testing the "Three" signup forms and have been for months, so no spam email report.


    Our gaming site, Demonews once had a SINGLE bad file, we were flagged as red because of it. Apparently, you can't trust a big company like Mcafee either as their system is messed up. Took months for them to fix this:



    Majorgeeks, no comments needed. Clean, always has been.

  11. chipper_atmacneil

    chipper_atmacneil Private First Class

    Thanks for the warning, I'll be more careful of how much faith I put into anything offered at Download.com.
  12. Tater

    Tater Tot

    This makes me happy to think of how many people I've had come to this site that continue to come here for help and downloads.
  13. ShockTroop

    ShockTroop Specialist

    Some sites you can just tell are sketchy. Sites like download.com and SoftPedia just look cluttered because of paid ads and other crap we don't need to see, along with product information that just plain old looks wrong. Pretty funny (but great) that someone actually decided to test them and point out to people what sites to avoid. About time someone shows those craptacular sites what's up.
  14. Bladesofhalo

    Bladesofhalo MajorGeek

    This is why I stick to MajorGeeks for all my software needs :D
  15. chipper_atmacneil

    chipper_atmacneil Private First Class

    I'll tell you something, MajorGeeks is the only download site I know that I've never encountered a problem with. I've used Download.com thinking that security is an issue wherever I go, but I didn't realize they'd publish anything, whether it was useful, garbage, or worse, malicious. Well, maybe not malicious, but I could tell a few stories of hairy times trying to get Spybot S&D and the kind of cretins who'd try to sucker callers into downloading their crap. When I started taking them here, sure enough, I stopped having that problem. I don't believe any download site is perfect, but I've never had a problem here. If Download.com does not weed out the trash from what they publish, I see no reason to go there or rely on anything they say.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2007
  16. bigbazza

    bigbazza R.I.P. 14/12/2011 - Good Onya Geek

    I missed this thread until today. LOL at the awards won. :D
    I use MG for most of my downloads. :cool
    I use PCUtilities magazine (UK,USA and Australia) CD/DVD downloads on occasions. I have not had trouble with them. :)

    Thanks for the reminders about other download sites. :major Bazza
  17. JakeD

    JakeD Corporal

    Good Stuff MA!!! ;)
  18. auzziez

    auzziez Private E-2

    very funny lolz!!!
  19. Rainy

    Rainy Guest

    MG is the best website to download website, it do help a newer like me a lot from u guys' comments and rating. to tell the truth,i am addicted to MG recently,i browse MG every day if there is any new cool software. i wanna say, MG,u r awesome!
  20. Bugballou

    Bugballou MajorGeek

    MajorGeeks. Best site for downloading Windows programs by far. Throw in the formus and everything else there is to offer and it's the winner hands down. I do visit sourceforge on occasion, as well as some of the University web sites for downloads, but that is for other operating systems.
    Thanks guys for all the hard work you do, and hope you will be here for a long time to come. Someday people will open their eyes to sites like dwnld.com and sftpda.com.

  21. chookers

    chookers Staff Sergeant

    I used to waste my time searching and reading reviews to see whether the software I was considering was likely to be any good, safe, not going to stuff my system up... Now, apart from the obvious sites such as AVG, I rarely bother going anywhere other than Major Geeks to download things I need. Nice to know the reviewing/checking has already been done for you! Thanks guys!
  22. Monster

    Monster Guest

    As far as I know MajorGeeks.com is the only downloads source that is actually clean and honest.. the only website that has a clue about honesty compared with the others...

    I was of the impression that claims of "Software Awards" meant clean functional downloads.. but now I see your point(s), and will be a lot more cautious... THANKS!..

    In the software awards box I heard that Adaware, Window Washer, and a few others were supposedly max prime.. but over the years I found Spybot S&D, and CCleaner in combo with CMdiskcleaner, to be better, and free...

    So, does this "awards scam" thingawhozits mean that the criminal element has infiltrated and polluted even the purity of gentle heavens..?
  23. pclover

    pclover MajorGeek

    Yep i see those all the time on software. I know they are not real because you can search the software on Google to see if it is a good program.
  24. Monster

    Monster Guest

    That's for sure... Now days, before I download anything software I surf the Net, adding the name of that item in question to a series of key statements...

    "X is super"...

    "X is bad"...

    "X is crap"...

    "X is buggy"...

    "I tried X"...

    This search gives me what I need to know about X software... I figure if people are using it, then they are talking about it.. and this search tells all...
  25. chipper_atmacneil

    chipper_atmacneil Private First Class

    I wouldn't assume everyone involved in it are criminals, legally speaking, but it's crooked just the same. Downloads are user beware. I would point out that user beware applies here, except this site actually tells you this and doesn't guarantee itself to be spyware-free like the other guys. And unlike the other guys, it usually is.
  26. SpiderFighter

    SpiderFighter Private E-2

    Whoa! I know I am late posting on this thread but I had no idea about stuff like this!

    Well I knew certain sites are dodgy but not a couple of those, wow :confused pfft, I'll stick to here at least you guys are honest :major totally rocks! Not had any bad downloads from here, just a full download folder and some cool apps :cool

    I have had trouble with SiteAdvisor though, got SpyAxe downloaded from a graphics site, just popped up and I clicked the red X, ouch! Got rid of it but when I went to MSA it had a top rating because it had "loads of cool things" thought it was about safety not eye candy! Flawed results for sure.
  27. eeze2020

    eeze2020 Private E-2

    i was on a genuine windows site yesterday loooking for stuff, it asked me to try out the program "silverlight" which i did, i got realplayer popping up playing a small vid of a man in an adult position, i was asked to install an activex, which i know are risky, but seeing as i was on techspot i thought i would be safe enough, think i will scan everything now before installion, so many dodgy site out there.
  28. Lance Bombardier

    Lance Bombardier Private First Class

    For your private eyes, the old adage actually says De gustibus non est disputandem
  29. _AnnA_

    _AnnA_ Private E-2

    Download.com doesn't check their sources. They did after all recommend Kazaa. When I do go there, I first look at the comments ppl left...negative ones only. I like to see what kind of complaints ppl have.

    I've often wondered about those award things. I downloaded a free trial of system mechanic at the recommendation of a family member. Turned out to be more annoying than the most aggressive malmare. Popped up a dam bubble in task bar like every 5 mins to "remind" me i have XX days left to buy it. It also said I don't have a firewall or antivirus program. What hogwash. Like anybody is stupid enough to fall for tht and run to get their credit card to buy the licensed version of this crap. And now I'm constantly being spammed by this company in email. A2squared is another one I would warn to stay away from. Adds to running processes and denies you when you try to end it. Even after uninstall I find traces of it in registry.
  30. PC-XT

    PC-XT Master Sergeant

    The stuff that requires little thought is easiest to spread because it is simple to understand.
    I've written many programs that many people would think were useless, because I wrote them simply for myself. When writing for other people, many complications, such as preparing for all the differing systems that may run it, have a tendency to confuse things unless you are well organized. When someone actually makes a great program, they shouldn't be brought low with the others that are just handed 5 stars for asking. I've made few programs that I think people would give 5 stars, but I'm proud of them. I haven't submitted them to any download sites. Most are specialized or are now obsolete, anyway. I've always been wary of download sites, especially those that promise great things.
    I don't trust something, especially on the Internet, until I get to know it well from different sources. I have seen enough to know that MG is trustworthy. Although, I still don't download everything I hear is great from here until I know more about it, as much will just end up wasting space until I delete it if I discover it's not what I thought. It always bugs me when people say a site is good because it or some logo on it said it was. That's recursive logic. It also worries me when people say they don't download anything, except for email attachments or hyperlinks on Web Pages, or some similar statement. That's why I'm glad for sites like this where people can get clearer info; they don't deserve the other sites.
  31. frankzro

    frankzro Corporal

    I LOVE THIS SITE, and BTW hey everyone who posted. Its been a long time since I have been on here but I still love this site. GIVES SITE A HUGE HUG :D:D
  32. markj

    markj Private E-2

    I would to paraphrase "The software awards scam" into "The software scam site award" for which, in the year 2008, I would like to nominate Softpedia.

    It seems, that from the beginning of this year they decided to adopt a new business model or something. Now they persistently put the same shareware titles (which is mostly all sorts of media converters) on the front of the Windows section of the site, and now Softpedia has just became a blunt money making platform, nothing more. I used to go there daily, and have been discovering many useful programs, and getting updates for my existing ones, but that time is gone. Softpedia is only after money now, which is sad.
  33. slopyjoemess

    slopyjoemess Private E-2

    i agree softpedia is a money making scam, MG is way better (and it has better story's):D:D
  34. DavidGP

    DavidGP MajorGeeks Forum Administrator - Grand Pooh-Bah Staff Member

    Hi Markj

    Welcome... yes sadly many download sites have adopted this model of throwing specific software down your throat, but here at Majorgeeks we dont do this, yes we do have adverts as they are needed to pay the bills, but we just have personally tested and approved software for download, so you will not see us with every bit of software thats available for download, NO you will only see what we like and recomend.

    So hope you adopt us as your port of call for software.
  35. markj

    markj Private E-2

    Thank you, and I already like it here :wave
  36. djcalzar

    djcalzar Private E-2

    Yeah I installed that too but thought it was rubbish and thankfully I have just installed a clean OS so no more silverlight
  37. grc123

    grc123 MajorGeek

    Ditto on the "SilverLight" "thing" or whatever the hell it's called. It looked completely useless to me (but apparently I have traces of it left, as Windows Update seems to recognize that I had/have it - and offers an optional update everytime I go to the Update site).

    To think of all the developers out here that have some really good (and some really GREAT!) products that are free, and they simply (have to??) ask for donations, and then Microsoft ACTUALLY PAYS people (and pays `em pretty-damned well I'm sure) to come up with crap like that!?! What a waste of time & space!
  38. djcalzar

    djcalzar Private E-2

    Well I'm beginning to just get wise to everything I download now whether it's free or not. I do like Newsrover...good bit of software and once trial period is up will purchase a copy of that.
  39. ynot

    ynot Private First Class

    This site has taught me loads of useful information keep up the good work ;)
  40. grc123

    grc123 MajorGeek

    Well, it seems to me, the more I "learn" (term applied loosely), the less I understand .... and the more that's left to learn. The latter is a well and good I suppose - the former, ain't.

    I very well may have it backwards, but my experience has been just the opposite. I am downloading less and less all the time. Seems to be too much potential for conflict (problems). I have a "Free" firewall on my PC right now that I've had nothing but problems with (a PC which is not even two months-old yet!) that I can't seem to get rid of - nor get any suggestions that help. My Vista OS is reporting its FW as "On", as well as the other one - in other words - my PC says it has two (2) FW's runnning concurrent ... simultaneously ... at the same time (!!!), even though I followed all the instructs as to how to remove it COMPLETELY.

    Best of luck.
  41. djcalzar

    djcalzar Private E-2

    Well two firewalls ain't no bad thing ;) don't forget you also probably have a hardware firewall on both your router and modem so your pretty well protected :)
  42. grc123

    grc123 MajorGeek

    I appreciate the reply, and I am certainly no authority nor expert - not by a long shot ... (I mean, I'm sort of a "wannabe geek"), but two FW's, at least two software FW's (like two Anti-Virus programs) is one too many. Windows (Vista) even warns against it in its Windows "Security Center".

    I believe it is because they will tend to (can, or WILL) conflict (fight) with each other. My fear has been that they might cancel each other out, and then I'd end-up with NO FW protection - but apparently that is not the case. I suppose I'm realizing the worst case in that it seems to be that my PC performance is down (things running slower, been getting some "Not Responding" events, freeze-ups, etc., etc.), and this is also a problem - I mean, who wants a computer that's ANY slower - at all - than it has to be?? It seems to be affecting the RAM on the system as I am always using between 50% and 80% of 1 Gig of RAM (957/958MB).

    Additionally, I'm not using any type of "router" as I am not on a Network (just the one PC here). I do have a high-speed cable modem which is surely Fire-walled at my ISP end, but that would mean I have THREE FW's running - again, one too many, and causing performance issues/problems/slow-downs.

    Thanks again though - perhaps as you have now "bumped" this post, maybe someone who can help me with this will see & reply to it.

    g ...
  43. katcelata

    katcelata Private First Class

    I am so much in agreement with you- I have taken care of so many problems, and had access to such excellent knowledge and advice since I "discovered" MajorGeeks, as well as being able to trust the downloads- and the humor is a plus!
  44. Major Attitude

    Major Attitude Co-Owner MajorGeeks.Com Staff Member

    Glad to hear it, thanks again everyone :)
  45. PC-XT

    PC-XT Master Sergeant

    Well said. Same here. :cool
  46. katcelata

    katcelata Private First Class

    tks darlin' for the attaboy. I just posted a thread trying to help people with overheating laptops- made me feel good I can contribute. I am very, very pleased with this site- I am about to take my laptop down and try to reclaim the lost space in d drive, thanks to a walk through from major dlb- this is a godsend for me- I have just ENUFF computer experience and savvy (sort of idiot savant) to make me fascinated and quasi capable, and a TOTAL danger to myself and my computer! So majorgeeks helps me do what needs doing. I can't afford downtime, I love doing my own work, and that extra help rounds out what I've missed out on, being self-taught. This site is what I want the Inet to be- we are helping each other quite spectacularly, and looking out for each other at the same time- it doesn't get better than that! HOO-RAH!
  47. Major Attitude

    Major Attitude Co-Owner MajorGeeks.Com Staff Member

    Another reason I love these "malware free" buttons; this guys server was hacked and the file infected with malware. It was 5 days before he became aware:


    So, someone promising you it was malware free and linking to the file directly (most file sites direct link their downloads) really should be open to a lawsuit for anyone who got infected and was promised that it would be safe.

    This will happen one day, wait for it... and it will be a deserved lawsuit for a change.
  48. anabellita

    anabellita Private E-2

    this is incredible! sites like softpedia I never used, mostly because the whole layout is so commercial I'munder the impression they're pushing some software and promoting other for commercial reasons, not technological ones. Also because I would hate to be spammed with popups and the like, which is the feeling the site gives me. Same with download.com, but I do use that one if I know for sure it's well-known and reputed freeware or trialware *i.e. I get the information elsewhere, but am ready to download from them). That is why I love this site. I know it tests the software it suggests, and it only rarely tells you some piece of softare is hot or pick.

    For similar reasons, I never really trusted awards from no-name sites. So I hope this answers the previous questions on how common users react to those sites. As a non-savvy common user with common sense, I always thought something was stinking when I surfed those sites.

    But while all these sites have always smelled of crapware sellers, I never would have suspected such well-established sites of being malware providers. Now THAT comes as a surprise :eek

    I'll have to be MUCH more careful in the future.

    Other than MG, which is always my first choice, I also use snapfiles for non-security/non-system related software. I like the fact that the apps they have there have *different* ratings, and nice descriptions of what they do. What's your feedback on that site? I've occasionally downloaded sw that didn't do quite what it promised, but I've never had any problems with malware...
  49. Major Attitude

    Major Attitude Co-Owner MajorGeeks.Com Staff Member

    Snapfiles is as trustworthy as Majorgeeks imho. They do link out to files and are slower then they used to be at adding new stuff, but trustworthy.
  50. anabellita

    anabellita Private E-2

    thanks! good to know ;)
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