As computer users we need different software to meet different needs all the time. Over the years various software companies and a lot of talented developers and programmers have created some awesome programs which are available for download online.
It’s not always easy to find the perfect software that we really need and which would get the job done for us. This is where the software download websites come in handy.
They not only host the software on their own servers, so that its available for download 24/7 but also categorize them properly so that its easy for us to explore and find the software we are looking for.
The other important aspect about these sites is that they scan all the programs on their sites to make sure they are free of spyware and viruses. Almost all the mentioned sites have an active user community, who review the software and give feedback, so you can make an informed decision before you download and files. Lets look at a few sites which have made their mark on the internet with their huge collection of software and easy navigation options.
Download.com is the mother of all software download websites. It’s the oldest of its type and was established about 14 years ago. This site is owned by CNet, one of the biggest names in Technology News and Products reviews on the Internet.
It has huge repository of computer software for all platforms like Windows, Mac and Linux as well as Mobile applications. They also cover web-based applications and services. The Software section includes over 100,000 freeware, shareware, and try-first downloads.
Downloads are often rated and reviewed by editors and contain a summary of the file from the software publisher. Registered users may also write reviews and rate the product.
FileHippo is one my favorite freeware download website. It offers freeware as well as shareware.
It also offers the FileHippo Update Checker, a small program that scans your computer for installed software from the FileHippo site and suggests available updates for it. Keeping computer software updated is an important step in keeping your computer secure. The FileHippo update checker helps you helps you do that with ease.
3) ZDNet Download
ZDNet’s Software Directory is the Web’s largest library of software downloads. Covering software for Windows, Mac, and Mobile systems, ZDNet’s Software Directory is the best source for technical software. They list both Freeware and Shareware downloads.
Softpedia is a Romanian website that indexes information and provides downloads for software. The site also indexes major technology, science, health, and entertainment news.
Software categories are arranged hierarchically and are modeled after Windows filesystem paths, such as “C: > Mobile Phone > Tools > Nokia.” Users can sort by criteria such as the date of the last update, the number of downloads, or the rating. There are three viewing modes, normal, freeware, or shareware, which allows users to screen out certain types of software.
Tucows (originally an acronym for The Ultimate Collection Of Winsock Software, a name which has long since been dropped) . It has a popular website directory of shareware, freeware, and demo software packages available to download.
A system of mirror sites are maintained to allow the traffic to the site to be distributed among several world-wide server locations. Tucows has software for many major computer platforms including Windows, Linux and Macintosh, and also older versions of Windows (most notably the Windows 3.x series). They also cover web-based Apps and Services.
FreewareFiles, as the name indicates a website dedicated to Freeware software and have a number of Open Sources programs listed. They have over 15800 freeware programs available for download on their website. The programs are arranged in categories and it’s quite easy to navigate and find the ones you are looking for.
MajorGeeks is here to help you get the most out of your computer mainly by offering tools to the beginner or advanced user. It was previously known as TweakFiles in 1997, but since have been renamed. This site is run and maintained by 2 friends Jim and Tim, and their excellent sense of humor gives this site a more personal touch.
Many of the files found here give you a nice interface and even explain things for you in simple terms. Many do not even make modifications until you apply them.
The files provided for download are checked for quality before they are posted. This simply means every program is checked to be sure it basically does what it promises and is spyware and virus free. MajorGeeks has an excellent user community who help new users with computer issues as well as keep a tab on irregularities in software.
SnapFiles is another veteran download website. Established in 1997 it has a huge software collection and was previously known as WebAttack, but they have now rebranded as SnapFiles. Good move, since WebAttack sounds more like a hackers website(just kidding). You can still access Snapfiles from webattack.com.
FileCluster is one of the newer download websites. It’s established in 2006 and has since provided visitors with the latest and updated software. The site provides both Freeware and Shareware programs. They also list WordPress Themes and Latest News about Software Companies.
GearDownload is another new site on the block with a decent software collection. They might not be the biggest website in this niche, but have carved out a name for themselves because of regular updates.
Geardownload also checks all uploaded files for Malware and only clean files are approved for download.
Soft32 was established in 2003 and since has updated its software directory regularly. It covers freeware and shareware software for Windows, Mac and Linux along with Mobile/PDA and has a special iPhone apps section.
It has a repository of 87587 programs, and features a Windows forum for getting help with Windows OS issues.
Softonic was established in 1997 and is Europe’s leading software download site with more than 105,000 freeware, shareware and trial version software titles available with reviews written in Spanish, German, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese and Polish.The English language portal was launched in November 2005.
Softonic International is committed to offering the latest software for all users, on all platforms, with reviews in the world’s most popular languages. One of the cool features of Softonic is a unique software comparison tool that allows you to evaluate multiple programs side-by-side.
Freewarehome is a download site dedicated to freeware downloads only. No Shareware programs are listed. It has an old school design with navigation menu in the left frame and the details in the right frame.
The programs are listed in categories and the navigation is easy to understand.
Update – It seems this site has been infected by malware after a hacking attempt. We have removed the link to this website, until we receive a confirmation that the website is safe to visit. I’d advice you to be cautious while downloading any software from this site.
Freedownloadcenter was established in 2001 and is another site with an old school design. It has over 30000 software titles to download. They list both Freeware and Shareware downloads, which are neatly categorized which makes it easy for visitors to find and download the required software.
All the sites that we have listed before this focus mainly on Windows software. Open Source Mac is a simple list of the best free and open source software for Mac OS X. The site isn’t trying to be a comprehensive listing of every open-source mac app, instead they try to showcase the best, most important, and easiest to use.
We have listed the best software download sites which we use frequently or once in a while. Different people have different tastes, so I’m sure this list would help you find the best site suited to your interests. If we have missed any website, please do let us know in the comments section below.
If you like to discover new software, check out our Software category for new and useful software and Security category for the best Security software information.