Tag Archives: Top 20

Checkout CNET’s Top 20 Hot Downloads

imageMy favorite download site, by a substantial margin, is CNET’s Download.com. I trust the programs I download from this site to be free from adware, spyware, and the multitude of other malware that floats freely on the Internet.

Since CNET adheres to a strict policy of offering untainted downloads, regular readers of Tech Thoughts know, that when I review an application, if the program is available for download at Download.com, I direct interested readers there.

If you’ve ever wondered what applications make it to the top of CNET’s vast repository of software, then take a look at the top 20 downloads for the week ending July 2, 2011, listed in terms of popularity.

Here’s a look at what’s hot:

1. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2011

Downloads last week: 1,149,295

2. RealPlayer

Downloads last week: 775,522

3. WinRAR (32-bit)

Downloads last week: 734,754

4. YouTube Downloader

Downloads last week: 708,205

5. Avast Free Antivirus

Downloads last week: 640,589

6. FreeZ Online TV

Downloads last week: 392,594

7. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Downloads last week: 390,689

8. TeamViewer

Downloads last week: 389,105

9. Advanced SystemCare Free

Downloads last week: 363,161

10. Camfrog Video Chat

Downloads last week: 355,868

11. Virtual DJ

Downloads last week: 316,837

12. PhotoScape

Downloads last week: 289,353

13. Free YouTube to MP3 Converter

Downloads last week: 286,598

14. Internet Download Manager

Downloads last week: 276,425

15. MyVideoConverter

Downloads last week: 274,045

16. Ad-Aware Free Internet Security

Downloads last week: 246,708

17. VLC Media Player

Downloads last week: 223,572

18. GOM Media Player

Downloads last week: 203,111

19. UMPlayer

Downloads last week: 183,894

20. CNET TechTracker

Downloads last week: 183,430

Keep in mind that an application’s popularity is not always indicative of its strength, but I’ve tested the majority of these programs, at one time or another, and found many to be every bit as good as advertised.

Additional high quality download sites that are worth investigating:

MajorGeeks

MajorGeeks is here to help you get the most out of your computer mainly by offering tools to the beginner or advanced user (hopefully you someday). Try not to be overwhelmed, just take it one step at a time. Your hosts (Jim and Tim) are both self taught, as are many of our visitors.

SourceForge

SourceForge.net is the biggest and best place to download and develop free open source software.

PCWorld

Freeware, shareware, and trialware files for your PC.

FileHippo

Freeware, demo and shareware programs to download in several categories. Also features latest updates and most popular downloads.

I’m always on the hunt for safe, clean download sites so, if you’ve got a favorite site I’d be happy to hear about it.

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Filed under downloads, Freeware, Recommended Web Sites, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

20 Years of Malware – Panda Security Ranks the Worst

pandasecurity_logo “Happy anniversary” to Panda Security, which is celebrating 20 years in the rough and tumble world of cyber security – helping us protect our computers against the hoards of cyber criminals intent on doing us harm.

In the course of that time, we have been exposed to some truly dangerous malware threats – from Friday 13, a real nastie that deleted all contents of  a hard drive, to Conficker. And who could forget Conficker?

In celebration of their anniversary, Panda has created the following list of the most dangerous threats – for home users and for businesses – of the last 20 years.

How many do you remember?

Malware

Panda’s Hall of Malware Fame, or should that be, “Hall of Shame?”.

Friday 13 or Jerusalem. Created in Israel in 1988 (even before Panda existed) and first reported in Jerusalem, it supposedly commemorated the 40th anniversary of Israel. Whenever the date was Friday 13, it would delete all programs run on an infected computer.

Barrotes. The first well-known Spanish virus appeared in 1993. Once on the computer, it would remain hidden until January 5, when it would activate displaying just a series of bars on the monitor.

Cascade or Falling Letters. Created in Germany in 1997. Whenever it infected a computer, it would make the letters on the screen fall in a cascade.

CIH or Chernobyl. This virus was produced in Taiwan in 1998, and took just one week to propagate and infect thousands of computers.

Melissa. First appeared on March 26 in the USA. This ultra-smart malicious code used social engineering to spread, with a message that read “Here is that document you asked for… don’t show anyone else ;-)”.

ILoveYou or Loveletter. So famous, it hardly needs introduction. This romantic virus emerged from the Philippines in 2000. With the subject ‘ILoveYou’ it infected millions of computers around the world and even organizations like the Pentagon.

Klez. Created in 2001 in Germany, it only infected computers on the 13th of odd months.

Nimda. The name is basically ‘admin’ spelled backwards, as it was able to create administrator privileges on infected computers. It originated in China on September 18, 2001.

SQLSlammer. This was another major headache for companies. It first appeared on January 25, 2003, and affected more than half a million servers in just a few days.

Blaster. This virus, created in the USA on August 11, 2003, contained a message in its code: “I just want to say love you san!!” (We still don’t know who ‘San’ is), and “Billy gates, why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software”.

Sobig. This German virus was famous in the summer of 2003. The F variant was the most damaging, it attacked on August 19 of the same year and generated more than 1 million copies of itself.

Bagle. This emerged on January 18, 2004, and has been one of the most prolific viruses with respect to the number of variants.

Netsky. This worm also came from Germany in 2004 and exploited vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. Its creator was also responsible for the notorious Sasser virus.

Conficker. Last on the list and most recent, it appeared in November 2008. Oddly enough, if your keyboard is configured in Ukrainian, it won’t affect you…

For up-to-the-minute computer security news go to Panda Security Twitter.

All in all, not a bad list – but present day malware, particularly “rogue software”, makes the malware on this list, with the rare exception, look like the work of raw amateurs.

Let me know – what was the worst experience with malware you’ve had?

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11 Comments

Filed under Interconnectivity, Malware Reports, Panda Security, Windows Tips and Tools

What’s Hot in the Download World? – Checkout the Top 20

image There must be a gazillion sites on the Internet that offer application downloads, of one type or another – OK, that’s a slight exaggeration.

My favorite download site though, by a substantial margin, is CNET’s Download.com – although it is not the only download site I use.

I trust the programs I download from this site to be free from adware, spyware, and the multitude of other malware that floats freely on the Internet. Because of CNET’s adherence to a strict policy of offering untainted downloads, regular readers of Tech Thoughts are aware, that when I review an application, if the program is available for download at Download.com, I direct interested readers there.

If you have ever wondered what applications make it to the top of CNET’s vast repository of software, then take a look at the top 20 downloads for the week ending May 10, 2009.

Here’s a look at what’s hot:

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition

Avira AntiVir Personal – Free Antivirus

Advanced SystemCare Free

Avast Home Edition

Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition

Orbit Downloader

LimeWire

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

WinRAR

YouTube Downloader

Camfrog Video Chat

Download Accelerator Plus

VersionTracker Pro

FrostWire

GOM Media Player

IrfanView

Free YouTube to MP3 Converter

PhotoScape

FLV Player

Virtual DJ Software

If you don’t find anything in this list that interests you, check out CNET’s main site.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Audio Software, Digital Media, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Graphic Software, High Definition Video Players, Image Editors, Interconnectivity, Media Player Replacement, Multimedia Tools, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools