Last year, we introduced our Top 10 Downloads of the Year lists, presenting the most popular Windows and Mac software on

In 2011, we've taken the honors up the proverbial notch with the Top 11 Downloads of 2011, featuring the 11 most popular software apps each for the Windows and Mac platforms, along with the 11 most popular programs in each of the 11 most popular categories in Windows and in Mac.

Security Software is unsurprisingly the most downloaded software by Windows users; Mac users, perhaps also predictably, elevate the MP3 & Audio software category to the top slot; and everybody on both sides of the aisle loves a good utility app.

The most popular categories for Windows software are:

  1. Security Software
  2. Utilities & Operating Systems
  3. Internet Software
  4. Video Software
  5. MP3 & Audio Software
  6. Networking Software
  7. Communications Software
  8. Digital Photography
  9. Web Browsers
  10. Games
  11. Business Software

The most popular software categories for Mac are:

  1. MP3 & Audio Software
  2. Internet Software
  3. Utilities & Operating Systems
  4. Browsers
  5. Business Software
  6. Digital Photography
  7. Communications Software
  8. Games
  9. Networking Software
  10. Desktop Enhancements
  11. Video Software

While AVG Anti-Virus Free (Windows) and VirtualDJ (Mac) maintained their top spots as leaders of their respective download platforms, several products such as TeamViewer and RealPlayer made noticeable headway up the overall charts.

These Top 11 of 2011 lists are defined by the highest number of downloads for one product for the entire calendar year. Unlike the CNET editorial awards, there is no subjectivity in these lists; the products on these lists are determined solely by the number of downloads for each software program from January 1, 2011, to December 13, 2011. In other words, they are selected by you, our users, en masse. (Thanks for downloading!)

To learn what the top software products overall in Windows and Mac are, click through to the Top 11 Downloads of 2011 landing page; to browse through the most popular products for a specific platform, visit the Windows or Mac category pages. Find out where your favorite download ranks against the rest, or discover some great new software that might be new to you.

(As for the question of why 11, well, it's one higher, isn't it?)

Peter has been working at since 2003, when trialware was shareware and toolbars were those large metal rods for smashing car windows. Currently, he wrangles the reviews, videos, newsletter, blog, and special collections for, as well as managing the program data throughout the software directory.