It seems downloading software has never been easier than now. With hundreds of catalogs available, the choice is bigger than ever. However, things are not that easy. The issue is, as software development catalogs continue to grow their popularity, hackers and data traders want to take the niche as well.
The wide selection of available platforms here is rather an obstacle than an advantage. Criminals can go undetected for years, changing platforms and jumping from one software category to another. Users cannot track their habits or figure out a steady pattern – it simply doesn’t exist.
Still, even if there is no such thing as 100% security, there is reputation and credibility. If the software download platform carefully tracks each new upload and update, checking security and closely monitoring user reviews, the likelihood of downloading a malicious tool quickly decreases.
Best Websites For Free Software Download
We’ve reviewed more than 35 software download websites, monitored their online reviews, and analyzed the selection of available tools. After this thorough evaluation, we picked the best option to our top list – here is the result.
We open the list with not the most popular catalog but that’s not the main ranking criteria here. Unlike the majority of popular repositories, this one pays attention to the credibility of its reviews and ranking.
The website is almost completely ad-free – no annoying pop-ups or unsolicited push-notifications. Filepuma has all common tools like Skype or Dropbox but also, provides some rare titles for advanced PC users.
You can browse for software directly from FilePuma’s lists and rankings or use a product search with flexible filters. The most popular tools are displayed on the main page – so you don’t waste time looking too far.
Finally, all the software is grouped into categories and has detailed descriptions for each tool, along with custom screenshots. The platform’s interface is nice and clean.
RocketFiles – Free Software is newly created software repository with reviewed content only. All tools are repeatedly tested and evaluated. RocketFiles’ users can rate and comment on each program – and moderators actually pay attention to these reviews. If the tool starts getting a negative reaction, it is immediately removed for the list.
Software vendors have no possibility to influence the products’ rankings or the contents of the comments. Most importantly, the service does not require registration – you can leave comments from your Google account.
Last but not least, the website keeps its users up-to-date with the latest security trends and software development innovations. Overall, it’s a perfect solution for beginning users. For one thing, the platform collects only reputable tools (perfect for inexperienced users – not a chance to encounter scam) but also, its step-by-step guides are designed to quickly boost your computer knowledge.
Starting from 2012, this one has acquired a reputation of one of the most turbulent download services. Initially, the platforms were actually one of the least reliable ones, but in 2016, things have changed for the best. At some point, the website published several unreliable tools, especially well-known DevShare malware that penetrated the PC quite deeply and was quite hard to delete.
However, after the website was acquired by BizX in 2016, the situation not only changed for the best but also, generally became one of the most decent download sources. The website had a drastic interface renovation, new categories, and extended functionality. The moderation became a lot stricter – now website administrators review each new upload and update.
Download.com is the starting point for all software repositories. During 14 years, the website was the leader of download websites, setting trends and standards. Owned by CNet, ones of the most popular IT-focused platforms online, the website is nicely financed which results in great technical support.
The platform has 100 000 software tools for PC and mobile devices, as well as for Mac and Linux. Also, you can find reviews on web-based services and apps. Each title is rated by users, some are evaluated directly by the editor. Either way, the evaluation system is pretty transparent – although beginners will do better to start with editor-picked tools.
ZDNet directly is perhaps the largest out there, and never mind its size and popularity, the moderators do quite a good job of keeping new uploads in check. The website categories cover Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.
The software platform covers business and gaming software but most importantly, it has a unique large collection of software for developers and PC maintenance. This technical software is aimed at IT professionals and advanced users, still, beginners can find some simple tools as well.
The software has rich shareware and freeware catalogs and it recently got some amazing interface updates. Now a product search feature includes flexible categories, the platform’s blog got some new categories, and now you can subscribe to detailed newsletters.
All the websites that we described above are maintained by big teams and adopt a business approach to their platforms. This one, however, is created and edited by several geeks – literally. So, if you want to install rare tools and get a professional opinion, this website is the best destination.
The biggest advantage of using the platform, created by geeks like us, is its transparency and cool vibes. These guys keep their content conversational, informative, and to the point. It’s more of a passion project than a business, and editors generally add tools that they themselves find interesting. The upside of this is that the chances of getting malware are very slim. The downside, however, is the smaller selection of instruments, compared to bigger problems.
To be maximally sure of the safety of your downloads, start by sticking to more popular tools first. After you’ve explored the popular tools and now can name yourself an experienced user, you can start looking into rare instruments.
On the websites, described above, pay attention to ratings, reviews, and editor picks. Even if the platform itself is safe, hit-or-miss tools often happen. After all, your PC safety is your responsibility and doing a thorough research is the surest way to protect your personal data.