Safe and free software download sites for windows

Emphasis on safe

Friday, February 4, 2022 by DrJBHL | Discussion: Personal Computing

Everyone loves free software, and there are plenty of places on the web to download desired proggies legally. I've summarized the linked article for you, but please do take a gander at the source. Hits count, after all.

Most important is downloading software safely. Here's a URL to check the safety of a website: https://www.urlvoid.com/ . It works on the same principle as virus signatures in an antivirus program...so, you can quickly realize that it isn't perfect, as you won't get a warning until a site is reported. Still, it's better than nothing, and it's free!   

Generally, the best place is the program creator's website, but, some of those sites can bundle the desired software with unwanted stuff. 

Ninite is safe, but limited in number of programs and features.

Softpedia is safe and has tons of curated programs kept up to date by frequency of downloads.

Major Geeks has been one my fave sites since forever.

File Hippo Tons of choices by category and safe. Also has older versions of programs.

Download Crew A very useful site as on each app page, there are descriptions with pluses and minuses by users.

FileHorse Has the most useful and best apps per category, alternatives, screenies, compatibilities, and changelogs.

FilePuma  has a basic, simple interface and categories.

SnapFiles Similar to the other sites, but has unique features worth looking at. There's also a portable apps category.

The Microsoft Store not the best nor the greatest, but has some solid apps and is safe.

"Using Store apps also has some benefits compared to their traditional counterparts. Store apps update automatically update themselves. And more importantly, they are sandboxed, so they can't intrude on other areas of your system. Have a look to see if your favorite apps are on the Microsoft Store and you might be pleasantly surprised with what else you dig up." - MakeUseOf

More important stuff:

1. No download site is 100% guaranteed safe.

2. Use common sense: If it looks dodgy, best leave it be.

3. If a site offers a "faster download manager" don't, and use the original software site to download your desired program.

4. Think twice about whether you really need the program, and how much you'll be using it.

 

And have a great weekend, folks!

 

 

 

JanOscar
Reply #1 Friday, February 4, 2022 9:07 AM

4. Think twice about whether you really need the program, and how much you'll be using it.
Use extra caution if you're downloading screensavers. They may seem harmless and safe, but there are large amount of infested ones with trojans and viruses out there, so try to stick with safe ones like Deskscapes.

DrJBHL
Reply #2 Friday, February 4, 2022 10:04 AM

JanOscar


4. Think twice about whether you really need the program, and how much you'll be using it.

Use extra caution if you're downloading screensavers. They may seem harmless and safe, but there are large amount of infested ones with trojans and viruses out there, so try to stick with safe ones like Deskscapes.

Indeed. Thanks for adding, Jan. 👍

naroon1
Reply #3 Saturday, February 5, 2022 10:06 AM

Major Geeks and File Hippo are two solid sites i have used for years, good list.

teddybearcholla
Reply #4 Saturday, February 5, 2022 10:38 AM

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