I find the idea of downloading and running a patch a bit worrisome. I've never heard of people using patches to distribute malware, but there's no reason they couldn't. For instance, I'm trying to run Voobly off of a Steam AoE2 game, and there's this that has a link to a patch, and it's on a website that has no connection (AFAIK) to Voobly or Steam. On the one hand, it sseems a bit paranoid to think that whoever wrote that patch did it get malware on m computer, but on the other hand downloading and installing programs from random webpages seems a bit risk.
However I played long time with 1.0c (and 1.0e) patch, because on 1.0 there were some known hacks. You can just download AOE 2 from any torrent site or from voobly (but their links seems to not working). But you risk same as downloading it from www.aoccs.net
If you want to be sure, just play on steam, there is no big difference.