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Do something about the misleading download pages


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Ok, this has been driving me absolutely insane. The download page for paint.net is covered in ads that all say "DOWNLOAD" and take you to other pages to download other products, usually accompanied by spyware and bloatware.

 

This is entirely unnacceptable.

 

I'm a ten year IT veteran and I still have a tough time navigating the minefield to actualy get paint.net downloaded. I cannot even think of recomending this software to my mother, or my nephew, or really anyone I know who is only marginally computer-literate, because they're just going to end up with a virus and maybe a broken copy of Gimp if they're lucky(unlucky options include identifty theft and their computers being turned into porn servers - that's how dangerous these misleading links are).

 

So, first off, has anybody got a direct download link(one that immediately opens a download dialogue) that I can actually safely give to people? Its just downright embarassing trying to explain "The button that says "download" will hurt your computer... you need to find this other link over here."

 

And second: can anyone help me contact the makers of paint.net directly and explain to them how incredibly dangerous this sort of behavior is? I've already sent them several emails over the past 2 years and nothing has been done. This is a great product I literally cannot share with anyone unless I am willing to personally drive over to their house and install it myself.

 

Just to give you an idea of how bad it is, going from this page: http://www.getpaint.net/download.html I clicked on the big, obvious "Start Download" button 4 times. Now based on my experience working in computer security, here is what I know: 3 of the clicks took me to known spyware/malware injecting websites, the fourth got me a download link to a legitimate piece of software... from a completely untrustworthy source.

 

Then I went to this page: http://www.dotpdn.com/downloads/pdn.html where the real download link is. It ALSO has a giant, obvious-looking banner that saws "DOWNLOAD" on it, while the legitimate link is hiding inconspicously off to the side. Again I gave it 4 tries to see what would happen. 4 out of 4 clicks took me to dangerous sites.

 

I will not recomend this product to anyone and I don't even want to think about how many people have tried and failed to get paint.net thanks to downright predatory advertising practices.

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I already have an ad blocker.

 

I'm not the person I'm trying to fix this for.

 

Not everyone is useing chrome(I'm not, for example) and not everyone has ad blockers. Telling someone "Well first you need to download a new web browser... then you need to download an ad-on for that web browswer... oh and then for some reason its just going to automatically drop the download in an obscure folder instead of asking you where you want the file to go..." yeah, thats not helpful.

 

Again: I can navigate a minefield of terrible ad-choices and mis-direction to find my way to a download link on the seediest of sites. I am not asking for help. I am asking to fix this for all the people who's computers I have to fix every time they get a virus from a stupidly-made website. Paint.NET is a great product I'd like to endorse. I can't with these predatory practices.

 

CNET is, sadly, even worse. Yes, that particular page takes you to an actual, legit download link(gold clap). About 90% of Cnet's nice, obvious "download now" links do not; they instead give you the "cnet downloader" which WILL install bloatware if you are not careful, bloatware which usually includes spyware/adware. The company I work for blocks CNET at all our sites for that reason. Its a shame, too, after all the effort CNET went to bulding a reputation for safe, secure downloads, that they have since flushed right down the toilet.

 

Thanks for the link to the developer, I'll see if I can get some traction over there.

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Please remember, the ads on the web site keep Paint.NET free of charge.

If there is an inappropriate ad (like porn), Rick can block it. But, for the most part, the ads stay.

I'm going to lock this thread. If Rick wants it open, he knows what button to push. ;)

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