Remove download links

I don’t think there’s a good reason for us to maintain a list of download links for every piece of software on the site since the developer’s website always has it anyway. I think it would also make the cards look a bit sleeker.


This seems sensible and I’m always in favour of decluttering…

I think the problem with doing this is that it indicates what platforms a particular tool is available on.


Yeah but I think if people want to know what platform it’s on they’ll just go to the dev’s site.

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I am going to heavily disagree with this, one complaint I have of the current site is that the OS for each tool is not obvious enough. You see, people COULD look it up, but I find myself linking the site to other people and then holding their hands a little more after the first fews clicks land them on tools that won’t work for their OS. Honestly speaking, the fact that the download button is a toddle is not so obvious to everyone and what is under it is more important than the development’s site or the GitHub page.

A notorious case for this is the OTP Apps, there are two options and choice is made for you by your phone OS, you need to click into the first one to realize it won’t work for you if you have an iPhone when that could be right there.

What if icons were shown, in the top right corner for example, to indicate the platforms that the app/service is available on? They don’t have to lead to the download links, they can just be static icons, and it also solves the problem of not being clear where the app is available.

This could be an opportunity to make the site more visitor friendly. Linking download pages would reduce the friction in adopting new apps and services. It is annoying that the links have to be updated from time to time but I do appreciate it a lot.

Also when I have to clean up a PC, I used to just point them to this site and click on the download links, especially during the time when we had a lot of recommended plugins.

Well it seems like the downloads are popular so I think we’ll keep them.

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I prefer this idea as it removes the need for maintaining links.
Nowadays, mobile apps can also run on desktop OSes.

I think it is important to make clear that security or privacy isn’t about the tools you use or the software you download. Even if you use the most secure tools and software, your privacy can still be compromised if you do not properly secure your devices, use weak passwords, or share personal information online.

Just had a situation with Shelter where the only download link was dead so now it’s just sitting there with no downloads. Also we seem to link to an unofficial source for Tor on FreeBSD? Very strange.

I still stand by my idea. It will be a lot easier going forward to simply handle a set of icons for different platforms than it will to go hunting for new download links every time the app’s website changes or they add/remove their apps from the different app stores.

In the case of Shelter, it is still technically available on Android, but only through F-Droid or the developer’s own F-Droid repo. While F-Droid is an anti-recommendation, Shelter isn’t, so it would be a lot easier to simply link to their Git README and have them handle their own download links. This also solves the unofficial sources problem since the developers themselves usually don’t list those or have them specifically marked as unofficial.

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Its still f.x. hard to find the github download link sometimes. While at the same time we recommend to get apps this way. I think the links are worth the effort.

I’d say keep the GitHub links but just have one link for the downloads page on their site

I still don’t agree with this. One app being removed from the Play Store after not updating it for a long time because the developer didn’t comply with their policies is a rare thing, and it’s not like you have to scour every single recommendation every single day for that.

Being able to see from which sources an app can be downloaded at a glance while you’re still browsing through the website is something that I find very useful. This may not be immediately obvious for people who don’t use Android, for example, but where an app is available for download tells me what I need to do to obtain it, what that entails (in the case of Play Store, it requires having an account, or using Aurora Store, which has been shaky at best lately), if it’s only on GitHub then I need to think about whether I want to deal with not having unattended updates for that app and so on, and so forth.

I wish that all platforms had very straight forward, obvious and secure ways to obtain apps/programs, but that is largely not the case, so I see a lot of value in Privacy Guides recommending download locations which are recommended vs ones that aren’t, and Shelter being removed from Play Store shouldn’t be what changes that.


I know this topic is “closed” but I wanted to add. For a privacy focused group I’d think keeping links would be preferable for security reasons as well. If I have to search for the link myself there is a greater risk of finding a malicious link than if I can find a link from a trusted source.

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