As open source software, freeware and independent developers continue to increase in popularity, a large number of websites supporting their efforts have established themselves as an integral part of the online community. These 10 sites are among the most popular and well respected of all the download sites:
- 1. Download.com (Cnet) – One of the most easily recognizable names in software hosting, Cnet boasts the largest selection of software—both paid and free—of any other. The filtering options and search feature are among the best on the web, making Cnet a go-to site for people in search of software.
- 2. ZDNet – In addition to the staggering selection of software available, ZDNet has a rating system powered by site administrators and users to let downloaders know what to expect from a program before they install it.
- 3. Tucows – The massive collection of files at Tucows is supported by a number of worldwide mirrors, which makes it easy to download larger programs more quickly than is possible with other sites. The Tucow ratings are accurate and reliable, allowing users to choose the best program based on sound reviews.
- 4. Simtel – This company has been providing software downloads since 1993. The editor reviews and top picks provide users with a trusted comparison of some of the most downloaded products.
- 5. MajorGeeks.com – Programs are clearly listed freeware, shareware or otherwise at MajorGeeks. It offers an excellent filter tool and a large selection of files. Only utilities and tech tools are provided, so most users possess more technical skill than average.
- 6. SnapFiles.com – The clear, uncluttered presentation of SnapFiles’ website lends itself well to organization, making it easy for users to find exactly what they’re looking for. Reviews include user ratings and comments, along with site ratings.
- 7. SourceForge – The go-to destination for developers of freeware and open source software looking to distribute their programs, SourceForge offers a large selection. There’s a program to suit almost any need or desire.
- 8. WinSite – This download site provides freeware, trialware and shareware programs for the Windows operating system. WinSite has been in operation since 1995 and has established itself as a trusted and reputable source for free software.
- 9. Software Vault – Despite the conspicuous lack of search features, filtering options or even navigational buttons, the wide variety of quality programs offered in more than 100 categories make Software Vault a resource for downloads. Finding the ideal program, however, can be time-consuming.
- 10. Softpedia – Offerings at Softpedia are organized by platform and backed by a “100% clean” guarantee, with both site and user ratings for each product. One of the larger commercial sites on the Web, the selection of freeware and shareware is impressive by any standards.
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