Software Download Sites

Everyone loves to download free software.  If you do some searching you can often find programs that are either free or very inexpensive and perform as good as or better than some of the commercial stuff you have to pay big bucks for.  Here are some definitions you should be familiar with:
  • Freeware  Software that can be copied, distributed, and given away without payment or legal restricions (authors do retain the copyright on the program) of any kind.  Freeware authors are a noble breed, and make their software available for the good of the community.
  • Shareware  A method of software distribution that lets you freely copy and try the program without payment.  If you use the program regularly, you must pay for it.  Usually payment is inexpensive and will also get you additional documentation and upgrades when available.  Shareware authors make a living writing shareware so please send them their fee so they can keep writing more programs.
  • Demo or Trial  The program generally has some features disabled or there is a time limit on usage built into the program.  This allows you to check out the program, but if you want full, unlimited use you will have to pay for the program.
  • Postcardware  This software generally falls under freeware, but the author would like a postcard to know that the program is being used.
1SmartSite  Lots of good programs to download.  Become a member of 1SmartSite and you can also test Beta and New programs and give feedback to the authors.

Albert's Ambry  Their search engine indexes over 100,000 packages on a choice of platforms.

Clicked Shareware Gallery  This site features only the best products selected through a rigorous testing process.  Also includes 350+ games you can download for free.

Completely Free Software  Lists the best software which is completely free and legal for non-commercial use.  Programs are rated for useability and other facters.  Freeware is also available on CD sor a slight fee.  Also has a weekly newsletter to keep you up to date on the newest offerings.  You'll find a wide mix of information about shareware and demonstration files on this CNET site.  Use the online search engine to find a file or browse through categories.  Other areas on this site compare programs in head-to-head reviews.  This page is for PC users; a link above the categories leads to Linux, Macintosh, PalmPilot, and Windows CE downloads.

Channel 1 Filelibrary  Offers a 100 Gigabyte collection of downloadable Shareware and Freeware.

The Freesite  Free Software Section  A nicely-organized, information-packed site which offers lots of free software.  There's also a good selection of Net tools, utilities, programming files, Windows libraries and drivers, as well as free online Java games.

FreewareWeb  Lots of freeware in many categories.

  Collects the best freeware titles in an attractive and easily navigable interface.

  Recently updated to include easier navigation, user ratings and reviews, and more.

Happy Puppy  Here you will find game demos and shareware for various platforms, including Nintendo, Playstation, Macintosh, and Windows.  Happy Puppy offers an extensive hints and cheats section.  Sign up for one of their newsletters and read the games business section for job postings and material relating to the gaming industry itself.

Jumbo  With more than 300,000 programs, Jumbo is a great source for a wide range of software, from music to business to developer tools.  And the site is easy to navigate, which makes it an ideal starting place for newcomers.

Nonags  Every program here has been tested to make sure it doesn't nag you or enforce time limits in order to encourage you to buy.  This makes evaluating software a lot more pleasant.

Pass The Shareware  Nicely arranged site with lots of goodies.

PCworld  Excellent software site.  I download a lot of stuff from here.

Radfiles  Lots of shareware and freeware categorized so you can easily find what you want.

This Web site, updated daily, offers a comprehensive archive of shareware, freeware, commercial demos and ad-enabled software.  Visitors can read subjective software reviews, in-depth features, and the latest technology news.  This is literally an archive of downloadable screen savers.  Many are available for free, but some are available only to members.  Users can also download tools to build their own screen savers.

Simtel.Net  A worldwide distribution network for Shareware, Freeware, and Public Domain software.

Lots of software and tech news in an easy to use format.  A massive resource for software which offers loads of freeware, shareware, demos, and more.  Be sure to check out their new tracking service, which alerts you when the latest version of your favorite software is released.

TuCows  One of the most popular download sites on the Web, TuCows is a cute, very cow-themed site which gives you access to a ton of programs.  You can find Windows, Linux, Macintosh, Java, and Personal Data Assistant (PDA) applications and utilities.  You'll find lots of themes, along with game demos, patches, and reviews.

TuDogs  These guys have searched the Web for the very best free software.  Less than 5% of the software they test makes it to their pages.