The most pirated software in the world might just surprise you

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Research looking into the most pirated software in the UK has found that creative solutions are the most likely to be downloaded illegally. However, even relatively cheap tools, like WinRAR, have still proved popular among pirates.

IT disposal firm Computer Disposal Limited (CDL) analyzed Google search data by matching hundreds of software names to the terms “torrent” and “download free” in order to discover which applications are most commonly being pirated.

CDL found that Adobe software made up the majority of the top 20 most downloaded solutions in the UK, with only two creative platforms in the top 20 not developed by Adobe. This isn’t all that surprising given that Adobe software can be expensive.

A pirate's life for me

What is a little unexpected is that when CDL repeated their investigation by looking at worldwide search data, WinRAR came out on top. That’s right, the humble data compression tool that comes with a 40-day free trial that seems to continue indefinitely is apparently the most pirated piece of software in the world.

WinRAR taking the top spot was not the only unusual finding to come out of CDL’s research. Free tools, including Malwarebytes and Kaspersky Security Cloud, also scored highly when paired with piracy-related terms. The other irony is that many pirated versions of legitimate software may come packaged with malware, so instead of protecting your device, that illegal download may be leaving you vulnerable to future cyberattacks.

Looking at the list of pirated software, it’s clear that price is often a factor. However, even cheap or free tools can’t escape the piracy treatment. Perhaps, some individuals have simply gotten used to taking the illegitimate route to acquire their favorite software, regardless of the security risk involved.

Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.