Top Downloads of 2014

You, nation, got more than 630 million apps from our site in 2014. To put the number in perspective, that's more than dollars spent seeing "Guardians of the Galaxy" ($332 million gross), Netflix subscribers (53 million), World Series game 7 watchers (23.5 million), Apparently Kid viewers (18 million), and US buyers of Taylor Swift's "1989" (3.3 million).

So, what had you downloading in droves? In a word, security -- and no surprise, since this year brought Heartbleed and Shellshock; credit card and personal info stolen from Home Depot, Target, and JPMorgan; celebrity iCloud photo hacks; and much more. If you haven't updated your protection yet, read our take on the best security options for your needs. Many of you found utilities on our site to clean up your computers -- another way to sweep for unwanted programs, as well as to free up hard drive space and improve system performance.

Read on to see the year's most-downloaded apps for Windows and Mac, as well as 2014's most popular newcomers. To keep current with new software in 2015, sign up for one of our weekly newsletters.

Top Windows downloads for 2014

  1. Avast Free Antivirus
  2. AVG AntiVirus Free
  3. CCleaner
  4. Advanced SystemCare Free
  5. YTD Video Downloader
  6. Free YouTube Downloader
  7. Download App
  8. Driver Booster 2
  9. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  10. Hotspot Shield

Top Mac downloads for 2014

  1. Avast Mac Security
  2. Microsoft Office 2011
  3. Adobe Photoshop CS6
  4. VirtualDJ
  5. MacBooster 2
  6. YTD Video Downloader
  7. VLC Media Player
  8. Mozilla Firefox
  9. Hotspot Shield

Most popular Windows newcomers

  1. MP3 Rocket YouTube Downloader
  2. Virtual DJ 7
  3. Free RAR Password Unlocker
  4. My WIFI Router
  5. Airy YouTube Downloader
  6. Nero WaveEditor
  7. Nero CoverDesigner
  8. Paragon Backup & Recovery Free (32-bit)
  9. DL Driver Updater
  10. Free Video Compressor

Most popular Mac newcomers

  1. Free Whatsapp Recovery
  2. Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X (Yosemite Preview)
  3. Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X (Snow Leopard)
  4. V-Ray for SketchUp
  5. Memory Diag
  6. CleanMyPhone
  7. CyberGhost VPN
  8. NetGear Genie
  9. Adblock Plus for Safari
  10. Aiseesoft Mac PDF Converter Ultimate

Julie is managing editor of and has been cooking up tech editorial since 1996.