Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #269 10/22/2014

Question: Where are places to download free software?


There are lots of places you can download free or trial software from. Some are sites of the people or companies that wrote the software, some are sites that are clean locations and some are sites that download lots of junk with the software.

The best place to download software from is the organization or person that wrote the software own web site. Although occasional they end up with malware mixes in they generally are clean and the software is fine. Even Microsoft at one point had some malware get in their software being downloaded, but generally these places check it before posting and occasionally.

There are a number of sites that do decent on giving you lots of choices of downloads available and keep software relatively clean. Download.com has been there since the 1990s. Majorgeeks.com and cnet.com are other ones that have been there many years. I liked both of these in past and the software still appears clean. My problem with both f these is they post may other links on the same page (paid ads generally) and they all have similar download buttons and it is hard to download what you want and you may accidentally download malware or a program that messes up one you already have. I think there should be one clear download button for program that was result of link or search results. Softonic.com is one I like currently. It is clear as I write this on what is item on page that you want to download and button to push. On the others when I was trying to tell someone how to download from them by phone, I got confused.

Lastly there are lots of places that will download questionable programs, illegal stuff (child porn for instance) and other stuff with programs. Be wary of places offering stuff you know has to be bought but they have free. If they have Microsoft Office or Adobe programs free for instance, then they are probably bad sites.

Anytime you are going to download programs always make sure your anti-virus and anti-malware is current and I suggest run full scans after the download done and installation done. Always watch in installation for it wanting to install extra stuff like toolbars, search providers and change home pages. Freeware, shareware and trial ware are great resources but be careful.

Thanks Tara for showing me softonic.com