<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/freesoftware.jpg” />With 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.
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.
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.
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.
4. Brothersoft [Broken URL Removed]
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.
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.
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.
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.