The lowdown on utility downloads

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA

Q: I recently purchased a new computer and proceeded to download various utility programs. To my dismay, I found numerous download websites offering the utilities I wanted, but I couldn’t tell which ones were trustworthy. As a result, twice I ended up unintentionally downloading malware along with the intended utility programs. It seems that today, many malicious websites provide downloads of legitimate software programs secretly bundled with malicious malware. How can I tell which utility download websites are legitimate?

A: Try downloading your utilities free from ninite.com. Ninite is an established one-stop website that provides downloads for dozens of popular utilities, including Acrobat Reader, Ad-Aware, Chrome, Classic Start, Dropbox, Evernote, Hulu, iTunes, Java, keyPass2, Paint, QuickTime, Silverlight, Skype, Thunderbird, TrueCrypt, uTorrent, WinRAR, and more. In addition, Ninite provides the following benefits:

  • Allows you to install all of your utilities at once;
  • Automatically installs apps and utilities to their default locations;
  • Automatically declines installing extra toolbars, menus, or junk;
  • Automatically installs 64-bit apps on 64-bit machines;
  • Performs installations in the background; and
  • Always installs the latest stable versions.


In addition, running Ninite again later will automatically update your utilities.

 

To use Ninite, visit Ninite.com (pictured above), check the boxes next to the utilities you want to install, then click the Get Installer button; the installations will be performed in the background.

As an option, for $9.95 a year, Ninite monitors and updates your utilities and apps automatically. In addition, Ninite Pro (priced starting at $20 per month) provides the ability to install utilities and apps remotely, manage multiple PCs from a central location, turn off annoying notifications (such as “Java Update Available”), customize installation schedules, and more.

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