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Last post Author Topic: Best reliable freeware download sites?  (Read 6084 times)

app103

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Best reliable freeware download sites?
« on: July 24, 2019, 09:26 PM »
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.  ;)

BGM

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2019, 10:01 PM »
My favourites go-to's are:

Snapfiles
FileHippo
PortableFreeware
MajorGeeks
DonationCoder

I don't really look anywhere else when I need something unless I can't find what I want in those places.  A few of them even host downloads for my own software.

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.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 10:10 PM by BGM »

app103

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2019, 12:32 AM »
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.

ConstanceJill

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2019, 02:14 AM »
Do sites in languages other than english qualify?

anandcoral

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2019, 04:40 AM »
Do sites in languages other than english qualify?
-ConstanceJill (July 25, 2019, 02:14 AM)
By all means, yes.

Language do not separate us. We can translate :)

Regards,

Anand

ConstanceJill

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2019, 05:02 AM »
Alright then, if French language isn't an issue, there's http://gratilog.net

anandcoral

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2019, 06:34 AM »
Alright then, if French language isn't an issue, there's http://gratilog.net
-ConstanceJill (July 25, 2019, 05:02 AM)
Thanks for the link.
Though the page is in French, the listed freewares are in English, mostly.

And yes I can read it, after translation :)

Gratilog.net, nothing but freewares

Passionate about the Web and computing, I have selected for you more than 2000 freewares for personal use (and sometimes even professional to check in the license). I based the classification of these free software on the language (French / English) because I want to simplify the lives of those who do not speak English. English is still too often a brake on the use of computers by the general public. I myself have translated some software and I specify it in this case.

I want this site to prove that one can have a fully functional and protected Windows computer without buying expensive software. We find almost everything in free software. In this way, IT can become a tool or pleasure for everyone. And since the purpose of this site is only to share my discoveries and help others, no ads appear on this site. My only reward is your emails of encouragement.

In case of problems, read the FAQ or ask your questions on the forum . The forum is also the perfect place to talk about the freewares you like. New free software is regularly presented in addition to those presented in the database of the site. Have a good visit on Gratilog.net, the free software catalog. These software are only for Windows.

I sincerely thank the authors of all these free programs for all the time they have spent developing these software and giving us these great gifts.


And it also mentions my app, Overlap Wallpaper :)
http://www.gratilog.net/xoops/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?cid=114&lid=2635

Regards,

Anand

Steven Avery

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2019, 08:01 AM »
The list and page is excellent.

Freeware Home (which I did not know) seems to have stopped putting out additional material in early 2018.

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.

We have had some earlier threads., as have others. I will mention a couple that you may have not included for specific reasons.

Donationcoder
Beware of download sites
https://www.donation...x.php?topic=40001.25

There is another one or two I did not find yet.

======================

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

FilePuma
FileHorse
DownloadCrew
Ninite
Sourceforge
FOSShub

=====================

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

YouTube with some pics of sites
https://www.youtube..../watch?v=S-gwKsmX0RQ

MakeUseOf
https://www.makeuseo...ee-software-windows/
Comments discussion

Medium.com (2018)
https://medium.com/@...g-links-e0d52668325b
 
Top 7 Cleanest And Safest Websites To Download Free Softwares For Windows
http://wikimonks.com...ftwares-for-windows/

Top 20+ Websites For Downloading Windows Software For Free 2018
https://steemit.com/...ws-software-for-free
 
Top 20+ Websites For Downloading Windows Software For Free 2018
https://reel-insight...tware-for-free-2018/

chashnniel

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2019, 09:09 AM »
Since you guys mentioned so many popular freesoft website.
I just want to add this one:
kubadownload

app103

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2019, 03:02 PM »
Since you guys mentioned so many popular freesoft website.
I just want to add this one:
kubadownload

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.

FilePuma
FileHorse
DownloadCrew
Ninite
Sourceforge
FOSShub

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 http://gratilog.net
-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.  :)

Target

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2019, 05:23 PM »
portablefreeware.com - its my goto when I'm looking for something I can't get here. 

I monitor a handful of sites but if something catches my attention I always try and find the devs page rather than download from wherever I found it mentioned

ewemoa

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2019, 06:42 PM »
On a side note, is there an intent to record something like "when an assessment for a particular site was made" per site?

ewemoa

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2019, 06:56 PM »
portablefreeware.com - its my goto when I'm looking for something I can't get here. 

+1 (may be?)

Haven't used this recently, but this was one of my favorites for years -- some of the info like "How to extract" was really handy on occasion.

app103

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2019, 06:58 PM »
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)
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 11:24 PM by app103 »

ewemoa

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2019, 04:44 AM »
Thanks!

anandcoral

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2019, 11:47 AM »
Since you guys mentioned so many popular freesoft website.
I just want to add this one:
kubadownload

Thanks for the site. Found some useful free stuff there.

Regards,

Anand

Akertyna

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2019, 04:27 AM »
In my opinion, Download.com 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. 

wraith808

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2019, 12:11 PM »
In my opinion, Download.com 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 Download.com 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.

app103

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2019, 06:35 PM »
In my opinion, Download.com 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 Download.com 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.

Target

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2019, 02:06 AM »
another one that might be worth consideration, though probably not strictly a freeware site

Alternative To offers alternative solutions to a lot of mainstream apps

rjbull

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2019, 03:52 PM »
Would Last Freeware Version count?

I see it's "powered by" FREEWARE GUIDE, which I have not investigated.

BGM

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2019, 07:27 PM »
Alternative To offers alternative solutions to a lot of mainstream apps
The problem with this site is that the data is often stale, and the alternatives are usually not available anymore or the links are dead.  Sometimes the "alternatives" aren't matched so well.  That's my opinion, anyway.  I've not had great success with it.

BGM

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2019, 07:28 PM »
One thing that places a black eye on Download.com in my regard is the practice of wrapping installers in their own installer.
Yeah, I really hate wrappers like this, and I immediately abandon all such sites.

BGM

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2019, 07:33 PM »
What about FileHippo?  You can bang it with DuckDuckGo: 
Code: Text [Select]
  1. !fh whateverappyoulike

I use this site quite often to download full-installers for mainstream programs so I don't have to go find their dumb download links.  It's the easiest way, IMHO to get Firefox or any M$ application.  You can also choose what version you want!  You do have to use an ad-blocker on it, however, or it's really annoying.

Here's the page to download different versions of Vivaldi.

Steven Avery

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Re: Best reliable freeware download sites?
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2019, 05:20 AM »
Our last thread touching on these questions:

MakeUseOf: 9 Cleanest & Safest Websites to Download Free Software for Windows
Nov, 2016 - UPDATED 2019
https://www.donation...ndex.php?topic=42621

MakeUseOf included Donationcoder, as did this 2018 list:

7 Website to Download Risk Free Software [100% Working Links]
Aug, 2018
https://medium.com/@...g-links-e0d52668325b

8 Safe Websites for Downloading Windows Software
May, 2019
https://www.maketech...ad-windows-software/
Good comments section, however sans Donationcoder so far
 

===========================

Freeware Files
https://www.freewarefiles.com/ - may be worthy, but does it really care about shamware?

===========================

Filehippo is mentioned at times for archiving old versions, which leads to old version sites like:

Last Freeware Version
http://www.321download.com/LastFreeware/

Old Version
http://www.oldversion.com/

However, we may be going back too many years, and it is a specialty need.

==============================
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 05:32 AM by Steven Avery »