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freeware programsWith our lives revolving more and more around the computer and mobile devices, our expenses with technology also seem to be increasing. One can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on software every year, even if you are only purchasing the bare minimum you need for certain tasks. So what is the solution?

The good news is that there are thousands of software developed everyday that do most of what commercial software does, but for free! Some of the best places to download freeware programs can be found here.

1. CNET

CNET has a huge selection of freeware programs for all platforms and almost 100,000 of them are free. The site also has an active community which comments on the software and editors that review and rate them. The users’ reviews are a major contribution, since you can see what other users’ experience has been with the software.

freeware programs

2. ZDNet downloads

ZDNet also has a huge number of downloads, and selecting “free” as one of the search options will list all of the freeware programs. ZDNet lacks CNET’s interactivity and user feedback, but it advertises itself as being the Web’s largest library of software downloads.

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freeware downloads

3. Tucow’s Butterscotch

Butterscotch proposes itself to “”¦turn you on to the latest and greatest in language everyone can understand”¦”, and for the most part it succeeds at making the site user friendly and warm looking. Starting from the sweet Butterscotch name to the list of “delicious downloads”, it’s a good site for those who don’t want to experiment much with their freeware, but prefer to follow what most people seem to be using for those particular tasks.

freeware downloads

4. Brothersoft

Brothersoft also has a very large selection of free downloads. Not much differentiates it from the sites above, except for the Editor’s Blog, which can be informative and a good source of news about lesser known software.

freeware downloads

5. FreewareFiles

The main advantage this site has is that it takes the guesswork and the need to sort through paid software to find the freeware out of the equation, since all of the software featured on FreewareFiles is free.

freeware software

6. Get Jar – Mobile Downloads Only

Get Jar is one of the best websites for freeware programs for your mobile device and you can access it directly from your phone, even if it’s not a smartphone, using any phone browser. It currently has over 70,000 applications and games, many of which are completely free. One of the features from Get Jar that make it a very appealing mobile option is the fact that if you access it from your phone, it will automatically detect what phone you are using and display software that would work on your particular phone model.

freeware programs

When choosing freeware, there are a few things to pay attention to, such as whether the software you are downloading really is free of charge.
Even when using one of the sites above, make sure you are looking at the ones clearly labeled, “Free” or “Freeware”. Some software will be labeled “Free to Try”, which basically means that it’s a trial version (which usually lasts 15 to 90 days) of the paid software and it is bound to expire right when you get comfortable with it, and have spent enough time with it to care whether or not you can use it.

At that point, the software will stop working unless you pay for the “full version”. It is also very important to download, freeware in particular, from reliable sources, to ensure that it doesn’t come infected with viruses. Checking reviews for potential spyware or hidden ads is also a good idea.

Most of the freeware programs you will find are created by dedicated people who are willing to share their work with you for free. Be generous in return. If you really love certain software, and have been using it as a way of helping you make some income, go to their website and check if you can donate a few bucks. It would help ensure that those who create good programs continue to produce them for free.

What is your favorite freeware? And where do you usually download it from? Post a comment and let us know.

  1. Athena Smith
    July 8, 2010 at 12:25 am

    I much prefer filehippo.com, snapfiles.com, or freewaregenius.com. I rarely use any of those listed here, mostly because there's too much flash and junk between me and a download.

  2. Athena Smith
    July 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I much prefer filehippo.com, snapfiles.com, or freewaregenius.com. I rarely use any of those listed here, mostly because there's too much flash and junk between me and a download.

  3. John
    July 7, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Snapfiles.com has been my favorite for a long, long time. It is so good in my opinion that for me, it takes first and second place. As for third place, I like MUO for finding free programs.

  4. John
    July 7, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Snapfiles.com has been my favorite for a long, long time. It is so good in my opinion that for me, it takes first and second place. As for third place, I like MUO for finding free programs.

  5. Vamshi
    July 6, 2010 at 1:22 pm
  6. Vamshi
    July 6, 2010 at 11:22 am
  7. com4myst@blogspot
    July 4, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Where is Filehippo ??????

  8. Robert
    July 4, 2010 at 6:52 am

    techsupportalert.com is awesome, been using it for years

  9. Robert
    July 4, 2010 at 4:52 am

    techsupportalert.com is awesome, been using it for years

  10. Saad Hussain
    July 2, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    i wonder what this rating is based on.. but i use filehippo for downloading freeware... it has an archive of all the previous versions so that i can download whatever version i want.

  11. Paritosh_paru
    July 2, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    put softpedia in there.
    and you MUST remove brothersoft simply because they do not have a good check on what is uploaded there...so you may get viruses/illegal stuff/ad supported stuff from brothersoft!

    so use brothersoft only when you know what you are downloading.

  12. Paritosh_paru
    July 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    put softpedia in there.
    and you MUST remove brothersoft simply because they do not have a good check on what is uploaded there...so you may get viruses/illegal stuff/ad supported stuff from brothersoft!

    so use brothersoft only when you know what you are downloading.

  13. Smartsmokie
    July 2, 2010 at 1:11 pm
  14. Smartsmokie
    July 2, 2010 at 11:11 am
  15. airiz
    July 2, 2010 at 11:35 am

    hey .. you forgot

    http://www.softonic.com/

    much bigger as download.com /cnet

  16. Anonymous
    July 2, 2010 at 9:35 am

    hey .. you forgot

    http://www.softonic.com/

    much bigger as download.com /cnet

  17. Prasad
    July 2, 2010 at 8:29 am

    http://www.freewaregenius.com/ is also a good site for freebies :)

  18. Prasad
    July 2, 2010 at 6:29 am

    http://www.freewaregenius.com/ is also a good site for freebies :)

  19. Taty
    July 2, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Good points, everyone.

  20. Chips Challenge
    July 2, 2010 at 5:04 am

    webattack.com is may favorite. Have bee using it since 2003

  21. Chips Challenge
    July 2, 2010 at 3:04 am

    webattack.com is may favorite. Have bee using it since 2003

  22. JK III
    July 2, 2010 at 3:12 am

    Filehippo is better than other sites for 3 reasons. First, it does not make you browse through couple of pages (which I like to call nag screens) after finally giving you the download link. Second, the design is much better and cleaner than other freeware sites. Third and most important reason, it gives you a whole list of downloadable older versions.

    The only downside is that its freeware library is small compared to other sites.

  23. JK III
    July 2, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Filehippo is better than other sites for 3 reasons. First, it does not make you browse through couple of pages (which I like to call nag screens) after finally giving you the download link. Second, the design is much better and cleaner than other freeware sites. Third and most important reason, it gives you a whole list of downloadable older versions.

    The only downside is that its freeware library is small compared to other sites.

    • Hap8192736
      July 2, 2010 at 1:47 am

      The older version is indeed a great feature, but for anything other than major software, it is not sufficient.

  24. Shahar
    July 2, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Gizmo's Freeware Reviews: http://www.techsupportalert.co...

  25. Sueska
    July 2, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Yes I agree with Ashutosh, Noticed a bad wot rating for brothersoft and investigated further.
    http://www.mywot.com/en/scorec...
    http://www.google.com/safebrow...

  26. Sueska
    July 1, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Yes I agree with Ashutosh, Noticed a bad wot rating for brothersoft and investigated further.
    http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/brothersoft.com
    http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=brothersoft.com

  27. Ashutosh Mishra
    July 1, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    FileHippo is much faster than any of these, and usually has everything that one could possibly be looking for. And BrotherSoft doesn't exactly have the best of reputation.

  28. Anonymous
    July 1, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    What about Free Downloads Encyclopedia - Softpedia ?

  29. HPearce
    July 1, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    While CNET is OK, the rest mostly bore me.. I personaly use betanews, majorgeeks, filehippo, versiontracker and softpedia to get my downloads.
    As far as I am concerned, ZDNET and TUCOWS are way gone.

  30. HPearce
    July 1, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    While CNET is OK, the rest mostly bore me.. I personaly use betanews, majorgeeks, filehippo, versiontracker and softpedia to get my downloads.
    As far as I am concerned, ZDNET and TUCOWS are way gone.

  31. Niefer
    July 1, 2010 at 9:03 pm
  32. Niefer
    July 1, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    softpedia.com
    portablefreeware.com

    • Njuguz
      July 18, 2010 at 11:34 pm

      Done.

  33. Dmsllc
    July 1, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Major Geeks, anyone?

  34. dov717
    July 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    What happened to FileHippo? Amazind site!

  35. Me
    July 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    What about sourceForge?

    • JK III
      July 2, 2010 at 6:50 am

      It's for open-source projects only. But of course, it's a great site, and maybe the only major site for open-source software.

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