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In my opinion, is the mother of all software download websites. It’s the oldest of its type and was established about 14 years ago. The site is owned by CNet, one of the biggest names in Technology. There's an app on Apknite has a similar name but I don't know if it belongs to them or not. 

One thing that places a black eye on in my regard is the practice of wrapping installers in their own installer.  That just leaves a bitter flavor in my mouth.  I'm not sure if they are still doing it as I stopped visiting at the point where they started the practice.

And that's one reason why they are not going on my list.

The other is the quality of their downloads. They will list pretty much anything, with little regards for whether or not the software they list is safe. Maybe they scan it with an antivirus, maybe they don't. Regardless, you'll find plenty of junk with forced toolbars, home page hijackers, search hijackers, webpage ad hijackers, and old fashioned spyware. They never even bothered to clean up their listings to remove old, notorious classic spyware apps, like Gator.

And that's the kind of junk I am trying very hard to avoid adding to my list.

On a side note, is there an intent to record something like "when an assessment for a particular site was made" per site?

The Wordpress plugin I am using (WP Links Page Pro) lets me see when it was added, and I can edit the entry to change that, but there's no way to automatically include that info in the displayed list.

I suppose I could add that in the title field, though.

Thanks for the suggestion!

UPDATE:  This has now been added for each existing entry and will be included for all future additions on this list. (not sure if I will do this for all lists on my site, though)

Since you guys mentioned so many popular freesoft website.
I just want to add this one:

Nope! They use an obnoxious ad block blocker.

Freeware Home (which I did not know) seems to have stopped putting out additional material in early 2018.
-Steven Avery (July 25, 2019, 08:01 AM)

They are looking for someone suitable that is willing to take over running the site.

Even though it hasn't been updated with new content in quite awhile, I added it to the list because they usually link to the developers' sites, where one can get the latest version of any app they list, so it's actually not as outdated as it might seem.

Major Geeks is very heavy with advertising, and many people can be duped into clicking buttons for possibly disreputable software. So I usually go elsewhere.

I tend to forget that I am running an ad blocker, till some obnoxious page reminds me (see above), so I didn't notice anything wrong with Major Geeks. I'll have to make sure I view all the sites on the list with ad blocker turned off, and recommend an ad blocker in the site's description, if I think one is needed.

These are the ones commonly mentioned that may be good afaik.
And you may be passing them by for specific reasons.


FOSShub and Ninite are already listed.  8)

Sourceforge won't be on my list because I don't feel comfortable with adding them due to multiple reasons.

1. By its very nature, SF is full of stuff not ready for general use, stuff that doesn't work, stuff that isn't even compiled. Browsing for stuff to try can be a frustrating endeavor, if it's not in the "most popular" list.
2. SF has had some quality control issues over the last few years with closed source crapware making its way onto their site, because they allow anyone to make an account and upload whatever they want. A lot of sleazy people have been taking advantage of that, uploading crapware, adding fake reviews and comments, so when they spam forums with the links, their posts will be less likely to get deleted, because a lot of forum moderators and admins are duped by the sourceforge domain name, never actually checking into what they are actually linking to.
3. Despite the fact that SF changed their position on forcing their own bundled crapware installers on people, after the huge backlash from the public and developers pulling their software from their site, and how SF also started hijacking popular open source projects from other sites, creating unofficial repositories for them, just so they could bundle them with crapware, the fact SF ever thought any of that was ok and that they could get away with it, made me lose all trust in them. I don't know what sleazy thing they might come up with tomorrow.

Some Reviews - including some junk sites, not much really added.

I'll have to take a look at these later.

Do sites in languages other than english qualify?
-ConstanceJill (July 25, 2019, 02:14 AM)

It's easy to make a note about a site's language in its description, but as someone that only speaks English, it can be a little harder to evaluate the trustworthiness and reputation of non-English sites, even if I can use a translator to read it. Unless other DoCo members can vouch for its reputation, I am a bit hesitant to add non-English sites that I am not familiar with.

Alright then, if French language isn't an issue, there's
-ConstanceJill (July 25, 2019, 05:02 AM)

But this one is a hand curated list, the owner seems to have good intentions regarding quality and safety, and I haven't spotted anything questionable in a quick look at the listings, so I will make an exception for this one.  :)

By the way, I tried your contact page on your site (to give an idea for free stuff) and the captcha didn't work for me (Waterfox on Windows 7).  Actually, there was no captcha besides the "I'm not a robot" button, and clicking submit displays a red bar saying "invalid captcha".  Adblocker was off.

Hmm...I'll look into it. In the mean time, you can send me a private message here, if you'd like.

I am compiling a list of the best reliable, freeware download sites, and would like your help.

The list will be published here, on one of my websites.

To qualify for this list, a download site

  • Must specialize in freeware or have a large freeware section that can be directly linked to.
  • Must not bundle freeware with their own crapware installers.
  • Must investigate and remove malware from their listings, when it is reported to them. (if you see known malware on their website, they don't qualify)
  • Must describe programs accurately, including if a program is an adware or demo version.
  • Must not offer shareware in a way that misleads visitors into thinking it is freeware, or that it is a different freeware version exclusive to their site, when it's the same shareware version offered everywhere else.
  • Must warn if an application comes bundled by the developer, with potentially unwanted programs, for which you can opt out during installation.
  • Must not offer only a handful of apps from a single developer. (I am focusing on sites that can act as a 1 stop shop for most of your software needs)

And yes, Donation Coder is already on my list.  ;)

Speaking of Halloween...


And for anyone that doesn't understand:

My guess is that it is some background process or service that is activating it, perhaps some installed software checking for updates, phoning home, or syncing data.

Maybe Chrome, your antivirus, Windows itself, some browser add-on (if you leave your browser open when you go to sleep), e-mail app checking for new mail, a utility from your laptop manufacturer, other software, etc. It could even be your printer, especially if it's a Canon and you accidentally authorized it to phone home with usage statistics, when you installed the software on your laptop. It could even be one of those Start Menu apps that comes with Windows 10 that displays data in your Start menu, such as weather, news, etc.

Here's the hilarious Best of 2018 video:

Living Room / Re: DonationCoder Recipe Sharing Thread
« on: May 09, 2019, 07:21 PM »
This is possibly the only recipe for fruit cocktail crumb pie that you'll find on the internet. I posted it to my recipe blog, yesterday.

2019-05-07 17.53.41-resize.png


Saw this on Mokum, today:

My hotel for robots went out of business because many guests were charged incorrectly.

Be very careful about buying cheap storage (hard drives, ssd, sd cards, flash drives, etc.) especially if they are advertised as having a high capacity. Even if it appears to be a reputable brand. They may not be as advertised, and you might not find out till later, when you lose your data.

A lot of these drives are actually small capacity, and have firmware that erroneously reports them as being much larger than they really are, and copying files to it just loops around when it's full, and overwrites older files, without your knowledge, causing major file corruption.

And manufacturers don't honor warranties on counterfeits of their products, so you won't even get a replacement when it fails.

And if you think you are safe buying them from Amazon, just know that the same merchants that are selling this crap on Wish, Aliexpress, Ebay, etc. also sell it on Amazon and other sites. (always buy a reputable brand, sold and shipped by Amazon, themselves, to avoid the counterfeits and scams)

Living Room / Re: Is there any compact portable browser?
« on: March 02, 2019, 01:03 PM »
(same people who program SlimJet but based on IE's engine).

If the reason why he wants to use a portable browser is for privacy & security, a portable IE based browser wouldn't be a good option, as they usually leave lots of tracks and stuff behind in the IE cache of the OS.

Otherwise I would have suggested dIE, which is something really small (166KB) and lightweight, that I wrote some years ago. (and while it's as up to date as the version of IE that's installed on the system, it probably doesn't belong surfing the internet, any way)

This can affect you, even if you are not trying to open an .ace file, as the vulnerability can be exploited with a specially crafted .ace file, renamed to .rar. WinRAR's fix for the problem was to completely drop support for the ACE format, since they don't have access to the UNACEV2.DLL source code, to patch it.


If you are using an older version of WinRAR and don't want to pay for an upgrade to the latest beta version, just yet, you can fix the problem, removing the vulnerable code yourself, by deleting the UNACEV2.DLL file from the WinRAR program folder. WinRAR will still work just fine without it, but won't be able to extract .ace files.

WinRAR, a Windows file compression program with 500 million users worldwide, recently fixed a more than 14-year-old vulnerability that made it possible for attackers to execute malicious code when targets opened a booby-trapped file.

The vulnerability was the result of an absolute path traversal flaw that resided in UNACEV2.DLL, a third-party code library that hasn’t been updated since 2005. The traversal made it possible for archive files to extract to a folder of the archive creator’s choosing rather than the folder chosen by the person using the program. Because the third-party library doesn’t make use of exploit mitigations such as address space layout randomization, there was little preventing exploits.

Living Room / Re: Looking for smartphone
« on: February 28, 2019, 09:19 PM »
if he travels outside the EU, in this case a dual SIM phone comes in handy
That's one of the features of the Nokia 6.1 ... ;)

And the Moto G5(+), G5S(+), & G6(+) (EU/APAC versions) without sacrificing the microSD card.  ;)

And the G7 recently released in the US, so will probably hit the EU market soon. Might want to wait a bit, if possible, to see if there will be a G7+ with dual SIM. If not, there may be a G7 Power, with longer battery life.

Living Room / Re: Gadget WEEKENDS
« on: February 10, 2019, 05:53 AM »
I recently acquired some stuff, either as gifts or purchased myself...

Since I wore out the left click micro switch on my Logitech G700s, and I don't feel confident enough to replace the switch myself, I upgraded to a Logitech MX Master 2s.


The Flow software is an awesome experience, allowing you to use the same mouse, seamlessly between multiple computers (up to 3) and can copy & paste text, images, and files between them, providing they are all on the same network. It also can copy & paste between a Windows PC and a Mac. That one feature, alone, makes this mouse worth it.

It also has a side scroll wheel, which is great for spreadsheets.


I also now own a mechanical keyboard, a Corsair K95 RGB Platinum.  (Thanks, Dad!) 8)



Added Bluetooth support to my 11 year old Dell Vostro 410 with this little thing:



A pair of coffee grinders, for regular & decaf. (Thanks, Dad!) My daughter says I should have labeled them BZZZT and zzzzzz.  ;D

2019-01-07 10.08.16.jpg

 And 6 pairs of these shelves, which are the perfect size for the larger bulk size herbs & spices. I haven't installed them yet, but once I do, I will have the biggest spice rack on the planet.  :D



And a vintage can opener from the late '70's or early '80's (new in box), that has a built in knife sharpener. It's the grinding wheel type that's powered by the can opener's motor, which you don't see in newer can openers any more. Yes, it gets your knives plenty sharp. I had one just like it, years ago, and always regretted getting rid of it when I moved to an apartment with a much smaller kitchen, opting for one of those crappy space saving cordless ones with the wall mountable charger. Rather than spending the rest of my life regretting it, I finally went ahead and got another one.

s-l1600.jpg s-l1600 (1).jpg

That goat had impeccable timing!
You're kidding!
-cranioscopical (December 29, 2018, 04:42 AM)

He went rama-lamba-ding-dong.

ewe guys...

...are baaaaaad!

Thanks!  Very useful!  I'm surprised that USPS doesn't socialize that more!

A few of reasons:

1. Not available in all locations, yet.
2. There's a lot of FUD related controversy and confusion surrounding it.
  A. Too many people think that anyone can sign up to get alerts about your mail, not just you, by simply scraping info about you off the internet.
  B. Too many people think the USPS is opening up your mail and emailing you scans of your mail before it's delivered, thereby reading it and turning over copies of the scans to NSA.
  C. Too many people think it's a bad idea to give the government (and the NSA) more personally identifying info about yourself, tying together a name, street address, phone number, and e-mail address, along with the contents of your mail, such as bank and credit card account info, etc. (see B)

It's crazy what the tinfoil hat people think is going on, when the USPS is simply trying to thwart mail theft, which is becoming a much bigger problem in the digital age, with all the online shopping that is going on, and so many packages being delivered getting stolen, because they can't fit in a typical mailbox.

In any case, if you have a tracking number for a package, you can always sign up for alerts related to that specific delivery, even if Informed Delivery is not available in your area, yet.

I wonder if it's a new(ish) policy to just drop off the package and leave.

I get notifications on my phone from UPS, USPS, and Amazon, whenever a package is delivered. Amazon even sends me a photo of the package sitting in my hallway.

How did you get that set up?

UPS MyChoice
USPS Informed Delivery

And Amazon has their own contractors that deliver in my area. I also have Amazon Prime, and their app installed on my phone. Not sure if there is anything else that one has to do to get alerts when one of their contractors drops off a package.

I wonder if it's a new(ish) policy to just drop off the package and leave.

I get notifications on my phone from UPS, USPS, and Amazon, whenever a package is delivered. Amazon even sends me a photo of the package sitting in my hallway.

Living Room / Re: Gadget WEEKENDS
« on: November 20, 2018, 09:09 AM »
then sew a running stitch around the edge with a strong beading thread

That's where you lost me.  Not only is sewing a 'running stitch' something I'd probably do a terrible job at, I don't even know what a "beading thread" is.

This is beading thread:

And a running stitch is the most basic of all sewing stitches:


The whole process of stitching it up is exactly the same as making a "yoyo", which is explained in this video. All you have to do is stick it on your headphones as you pull it closed. Since t-shirts are a knitted fabric, they have stretch and will shape around your headphones better than a woven fabric.

Living Room / Re: Gadget WEEKENDS
« on: November 17, 2018, 01:23 PM »
It's not that difficult to make something like these from an old t-shirt, sweatshirt, or other stretchy material. You'd just cut a circle (or square), then sew a running stitch around the edge with a strong beading thread, to act as a drawstring. Then fit it onto your headphones, tighten the drawstring, tuck in the raw edges so it looks good, then knot the thread so it stays tight. When you want to remove it for washing or replacement, just cut the threads.

No, they wouldn't be good as a replacement for the ear pads, but they would prolong the life of an existing pair, even if they already are showing signs of wear, flaking, etc.

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