Hand curated lists of where to get just about anything for free.

Free Software

The major criteria for a good freeware download site is accuracy and safety.

  • Reliable sites don’t require you to install adware to install a program.

They don’t bundle another developer’s freeware into their own adware wrapper. There are other, better ways to monetize your site than to take advantage of and exploit developers and/or your visitors’ trust.

Don’t use download sites run by people with no integrity.

  • Reliable sites investigate and remove malware from their listings, when it is reported to them.

They will also ban a developer if there are too many malware complaints about multiple apps.

Don’t use download sites that don’t care if their listings are known to cause harm.

  • Reliable sites describe programs accurately, including if a program is an adware, trial, or demo version.

They don’t need to lie about the applications they list, just to make it seem as if they have more freeware to offer, or perhaps to make people think they have an exclusive, special free version of something people normally would have to pay for, except it’s the same demo or shareware you can download from just about anywhere else.

Don’t use download sites run by liars.

The following sites are considered reliable, at least at the time they were last evaluated, and offer freeware downloads and/or reviews for a wide range of different types of applications. We do periodically re-evaluate the sites on this list and will remove dead sites and those whose ethics may have changed.

If a site on this list violates one of the above rules, please let us know by leaving a comment, below. We’ll investigate it and remove the site from this list, if necessary.

And of course, if I have missed any sites that you feel should be on this list, please leave a comment and let me know.

NOTE: All listings on this page contain a screenshot of the website, with a black border and a drop shadow, and a last evaluated date. There may be ads inserted between the listings. The ads typically do not contain a black border or a drop shadow. They will also state that they are ads, if you look on the upper left corner of the image associated with it. Ads also do not contain a last evaluated date.

Donation Coder (last evaluated: April 16, 2021)

Donation Coder prides itself on providing free and clean software in exchange for optional, voluntary donations. And if you need a tool for a specific purpose, and can’t find any freeware that will do the job, you can request custom made freeware, on the Coding Snacks section of their forum. Their members are software fanatics and will either provide you with a link to where you can get a freeware application that will do the job, or one of their developers may volunteer to build it for you, then offer it to the public, free of charge. (Disclosure: I have been a member and developer there, since 2006)

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