Adware is on the rise, thanks in part to various “download managers” file hosts have begun wrapping their software with. Taking a few seconds to check what links you’re clicking on will usually reveal a checkbox or direct download to avoid getting the unwanted bytes (and toolbars), but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. Sadly, we may soon be taking the decade-old FileHippo off the whitelist, with news it’s looking to introduce its own helper.
An information page on the company’s website says the purpose of the manager is to “allow [FileHippo] to use multiple network connections” to help you get your software faster from its “supercharged servers”. While this may have some truth to it, the manager will also “offer you other free applications provided by our carefully chosen partners”.
I’m not sure users will be willing to make that particular compromise — not that they will have to, at least in the short term.
Despite the page’s presence, I couldn’t find a link to it after browsing and downloading a number of random files from FileHippo. However, Martin Brinkmann of gHacks did find himself on the receiving end of the manager after hitting up a link to TeamViewer.
What I did find were references to a “Download Manager” by looking at the site’s source code, though it appears to be disabled currently. FileHippo might just be conducting a test run on random users, with a mass roll-out planned later on.