WARN­ING: JUNK AHEAD

Darien Gra­ham-smith puts the boot into tech vil­lains, jar­gon-spout­ing com­pa­nies and soft­ware stuffed with junk

Computer Active (UK) - - News -

Junk of­fender: Free Youtube Down­loader

I could waste hours (and fre­quently have) on Youtube. There are lit­er­ally bil­lions of videos to dis­cover and en­joy, from amus­ing shorts to fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­men­taries. Un­for­tu­nately, it’s not great for keep­ing you chuck­ling/ab­sorbed on long jour­neys, be­cause it re­quires a con­stant in­ter­net con­nec­tion.

Thank­fully, there are tools that can ride to the res­cue. One of the most pop­u­lar is Free Youtube Down­loader ( www.snipca. com/26052), a no-non­sense lit­tle pro­gram that can copy any Youtube video to your PC for your of­fline plea­sure. Strictly speak­ing, you’re not sup­posed to do this, but no one’s go­ing to haul you over the coals for down­load­ing the odd (per­haps very odd) video for per­sonal use.

There is, how­ever, a darker side to Youtube Down­loader. The in­staller walks you through three pages of agree­ments, but only the first one ac­tu­ally has any­thing to do with the down­loader it­self. The sec­ond is in­no­cently ti­tled ‘Search Of­fer’. It’s only once you plough through seven lines of small print that you re­alise you’re ac­tu­ally agree­ing to in­stall a whole new web browser (the ‘Ya­hoo pow­ered Chromium’), re­plete with ex­ten­sions, and that you com­mit to do all your on­line searches through Ya­hoo rather than Google (in my case).

On the third page you’re in­vited to in­stall a video tool called GOM Player, which, should you ac­cept said in­vite, will be set as your de­fault player for video files. If you’re hap­pily us­ing Win­dows Me­dia Player or VLC, for ex­am­ple, this change will an­noy the heck out of you.

The moral, as usual, is to pay close at­ten­tion when in­stalling free soft­ware. In this case, all of the ‘I agree’ boxes are sneak­ily pre-ticked, so it’s easy to breezily click through the in­stal­la­tion and end up with a browser and me­dia player you didn’t want and don’t like. So give Free Youtube Down­loader a miss. If you want to watch videos of­fline, use a free web-based down­load ser­vice such as y2­mate ( http://y2­mate.com) in­stead.

Ran­somware Wan­nacry struck in May, forc­ing the NHS to can­cel an es­ti­mated 19,500 ap­point­ments NHS Eng­land said no pa­tient data had been com­pro­mised or stolen An in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded that NHS trusts ig­nored warn­ings to up­grade out-of-date soft­ware

Untick the box on this page to avoid hav­ing to browse Ya­hoo-style

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