Last checked 6/20/2015
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- Shareware.com This is CNet's site.
- Download.net is another good site for freeware and shareware sponsored by the C|Net folks.
- PC World's Shareware
- Yahoo's index of software is a pretty thorough collection of links to software sites. Check out the freeware and shareware link sections.
- Super Shareware has lots of programs (some freeware), search engine, and ratings by users with comments.
- Shareware Junkies - lot of files, search engine.
- Top 20 Download Sites
- FileFlash gives you news about new file and driver releases with links to the files.
- Five Star
- ZDNet's Shareware
- Nerd's Heaven is a directory of software directories. Pretty good collection.
- NoNags is a pretty big, but well organized, shareware site. It focuses on shareware that has no time-outs or "nags" (like a "nag" screen that pops up when the program is started).
- PCWin Download Center is a collection of downloadable software.
- Reference Desk is a huge directory of sites which offer "free" stuff, mostly shareware.
- The File Dudes
- Winsite is an oldie but goldie FTP site full of shareware, drivers, fonts, etc. Not as easy to navigate as some newer sites but it's still full of useful stuff. This site has recently expanded into tips, advice, etc.
- WinApps List is a blog that discovers and discusses new shareware.
- Win Shareware is a blog about new shareware.
- AnalogX has a limited set of useful utilities.
- Mircosoft's Free Downloads has the latest versions of the IE browser, drivers, utilities, etc.
- Open Directory Project
- Major Geeks has a nice variety of shareware and freeware.
- ShellCity has programs that add-in to the desktop. Includes file managers, shells, emulators, etc. A lot of the programs are free.
- Oldversion.com - 'because new is not always better.' The site collects old software versions that are better than the newer versions. Includes a forum.
- Ninite This is one of the few sites that do not include malware, bloatware, adware, etc. in their downloads. It is also the easiest site to use to download and install groups of software which is useful when doing a clean-install of a lot of freeware apps.
- Best Freeware (2017) This is a great list of about 20 great freeware programs. My only complaint is that the list is presented in a "slideshow", one of the worst inventions associated with browsing since cookies.
- Best Windows Software as rated by MakeUseOf in this 2018 article. Most suggestions are freeware.
- Safest Windows Freeware Sites as rated by MakeUseOf in this 2018 article.
- Softpedia - news on freeware - shows a list of newly updated programs. Committed to being free of malware and deception.
- Major Geeks has a nice variety of shareware and freeware. Committed to being free of malware and deception.
- FileHippo has a nice variety of shareware and freeware. Committed to being free of malware and deception.
- FilePuma has a nice variety of shareware and freeware. Site is attractive and easy to scan. Committed to being free of malware and deception.
- FileHorse concentrates on a small number of clean and useful software and is committed to being free of malware and deception.
- Freeware Genius reviews freeware.
- Free Software Foundation is a global organization dedicated to making free software available to all.
- DonationCoder has a lot of freeware.
- DonationCoder's Best of the Month Archive - has a bunch of reviews of their 'best-of' Web sites. Always good stuff.
- Old Version has an archive of older versions of software.
- AppScout - reviews of mostly free software.
- Appaholic blog style - reviews of free software.
- DistroWatch - tracks the open source community, reports news, and reviews new software.
- Online Tech Tips Free Software - short reviews of free software in a blog style.
- BetaNews has the latest news on beta software (mostly freeware) with links to where you can get the stuff.
- Best PC Freeware 2017 according to PCMag.
- I Want a Freeware Utility ... free sofware utilities that solve 400+ specific problems. Thus, the 'I-Want...' title. Extremely excellent collection and presentation.
- Ask the eConsultant free sofware utilities that solve 400+ specific problems. This is open source software.
- Nirsoft has a lot of freeware utilities.
- Gizmo's Freeware has a nice collection of freeware, a forum, guides and tutorials, best free on line apps, best free portable apps, all with succinct reviews. Nice site.
- Last Freeware is a site that collects the last version of software that was free prior to the software going commercial. Get some older, cheaper, and sometimes better versions of programs.
- Windows Club Freeware has a list of freeware in various categories. Although descriptions are included, none are rated.
- 70 Coolest Free Applications
- List of Freeware from Neowin is a long, long list of freeware in all kinds of categories submitted by the public.
- Best Open Source Freeware - very short list of quality software available free for Windows.
- Snapfiles Freeware has a very nice collection of freeware that is categorized, described, and rated.
- A+ Freeware
- Codeplex is a site that freeware programmers use to distribute their work. Lots of excellent stuff here (they call their programs "projects"). This site does not add crapware, bloatware, nor malware as does some other distribution sites.
- Best Freeware from PCMagazine annual surveys.
- Best Freeware of 2008 from PCMagazine
- Best Freeware of 2009 from PCMagazine
- Best Freeware of 2011 from PCMagazine
- Best Freeware of 2012 from PCMagazine
- Best Freeware of 2015 from PCMagazine
- FreeWare Files is well organized with a lot of utility programs.
- Freeware Home
- No Nags Freeware
- Microsoft Free Programs MS has a few freebies.
- Freeware Asylum has nothing but absolutely free software.
- AlternativeTo provides freeware to replace commerical software.
- Portable Freeware is freeware that you don't have to 'install'. That is, it is usually just an executable file that can be freely copied from disk to disk or onto a floppy (remember those?) or USB key.
- Best Portable Apps as reviewed by Ned Wolf.
- Portable Apps is a site dedicated to only portable software.
- Portable Software for USB Keys from the MakeUseOf folks.
- Portable Apps Sites - sites with a bunch of apps that you can run from a USB drive.
- winPenPack is a collection of freeware that needs no installation and can be run directly off of USB memory.
- 12 Handy Tools to Keep On a USB Stick
- Snapfile's USB Software is software that you can install on removable media like a USB memory key. These are all programs that do not require installation to run. Just click on the EXE file.
- ZeuApp is software that you load on your PC and then use it to pick and choose freeware to be downloaded all at once. Good for restoring software after a new install.
- 101 Free Games that you can download.
- Freeware Web has a great deal of software available but it is very difficult to navigate since it only displays a few programs at a time.
- Beyond the Black Stump Freeware has a list of the 50 or so best free utilities with links to the software.
- The Free Site has free software, fonts, e-cards, etc.
- Only Freeware is nice to browse but its organization is not friendly.
- FreeGames has a bunch of free software games with brief reviews and ratings.
- Free Center has free software that is rated.
- Completely Free Software
- XTCAbandonWare - abandonware games.
- Best Old Games has abandonware
- Pricelessware - links to best of 2004 freeware as identified by the participants of the "alt.comp.freeware" newsgroup.
- Top 5 Freeware in a bunch of categories.
- Open Directory Project
- Download Free Games has free games.
- Answers That Work Downloads - Useful downloads from Answers That Work - has not been updated since 2012.
- Free Replacements for Windows Explorer are included in this comparison of a dozen free and not-free replacements.
- AlternativeTo lists commercial software and associated good alternatives, most free, some not.
- Free Microsoft software Microsoft has a lot of different projects going at one time and you can get a lot of neat software on their site if you know where to look. This guy knew where to look and has collected the links.
- DonationCoder Newsletters - from the DonationCoder folks. Check the archives. There is some great stuff here.
- Open Source Alternatives to commercial software. Free.
- InfraRecorder is an open source CD recorder.
- Mohawke's Best of the Best free and open source software collection.
- UltraVNC - free VNC software.
- Pirillo's Picks for 10 Freebies to Load on a New Computer
- Drupal is free software that allows you to create a shared Web site. Content management stuff.
- Reinstall Windows and Outfit Your System with All Freeware Programs
- Digital Enhancer is a free digital picture enhancer that reduces noise.
- Give Away of the Day - a different program is offered for free each day. Full functioning applications.
- Best of Appaholic 2007
- Online Tech Tips Free Software - short reviews of free software in a blog style.
- CNN Download Blog has daily reviews of free downloads.
- Free Graphics Software is a nice collection of all sorts of free graphics programs including icon editors and drawing software.
- 50 Tools to Speed Up Your PC - mostly freeware.
- Windows Enhancements - Part II There is also a Part I. Each has 43 free enhancements to Windows.
- Sysinternals Suite is a collection of famous utilities bundled into a single, free download.
- 150 Best Windows Applications of 2011 as identified by the editors of Addictive Tips.
- 30 Best Freeware from Freeware Genius - last updated in 2011.
- Best Freeware of 2011 from Ghacks.
- Best Freeware of Ghacks
- Best Freeware for Encrypting USB Memory Sticks
- Best Freeware for Backup
- Best Freeware From Microsoft - yes, Microsoft gives away a lot of free and useful software.
- AppScout Mobile Software has reviews and news related to all kinds of mobile apps.
- AppCrawlr has a nice search function with a lot of useful filters to help you find the app that you need.
- AppShopper has reviews and news related to all kinds of mobile apps. Also has a listing of apps that are noteable either because they are new or cheap or have had price reductions.
- iPad Board Games
- App Lists are lists of apps associated with a particular theme.
- iPhone Application List has reviews of iPhone apps.
- AppSafari has extensive reviews and news of iPhone apps.
- Best iPad Apps - from MakeUseOf – very nice list.
- 100 Best iPhone Apps - some are free and some are not (April 2014).
- 50 Must-Have iPad Apps from a Time Magazine article of 2013.
- Best 50 Free iPhone Apps of 2015 from PC Magazine
- 30 Best iPhone Games from PC Magazine
- Best iPad Games - from CNet - most are not freeware but they tend to be cheap.
- Apps for Your Car
This program replaces the Windows date and time in the tray with a much
better clock. You can customize the colors as well as the format of the
display. Click on the time and up pops a monthly calendar that you can
scroll through a year or month at a time. You can also set it up to
show the CPU and RAM usage.
Another replacement for the Windows time app. This one is an analog representation that floats on the desktop.
This little gem lets you synchronize your computer time with a publicly
available atomic clock. It can even be set up to do this automatically
every time you boot up.
You can tweak all kinds of Windows settings like mouse and desktop features, Add/Remove list, boot features, etc.
This compression/decompression program is compatible with Zip files. Open source.
If you are a programmer, you'll love this little utility. It compares two
files and reports on the lines that are different. Very nice and complete comparison.
This is a limited version of the WS_FTP program that allows you to FTP files
directly to servers. It is free for government employees, noncommercial
home users, and members of educational institutions.
This is another FTP program that rivals WS_FTP. Open source.
This is a pretty powerful graphic viewer. It's quick and easy to use.
Faststone Image Viewer
This is a pretty powerful graphic viewer and editor. Nice thumbnails. 5 stars.
Best free email client.
These are full office suites that are compatible with MS Office.
Best free replacements for Windows Explorer.
This is a nifty program that emulates stick-on notes. You click on the program icon and type in your note. You can set an alarm reminder on a note.
This is a free program that will search your system for any 'spyware' that
may be keeping track of your browsing. It alerts you to the presence of
these programs and then will delete them, if you decide to do so.
This program is a small, no-frills, but totally free and totally useful CD player.
This is a great, free audio editing and recording program. You can use it to rip CD's.
is a free media player. Excellent.
This free program will display the names of the fonts that are used in the
documents on your system. It will display a sample of all of the fonts
installed on your system. It will help you delete the fonts that you
If you really only want to use Internet Explorer as your browser, this is
a great add-on. Gives you multi-tabbed windows, built in Google search,
The best alternative browser to Firefox, in my humble opinion (IMHO).
This is the updated Netscape browser and email client that still includes a great HTML editor (Composer). Open source.
Best of breed.
A free program that controls which programs start when you boot up.
is a free alternative to the Notepad that comes with Windows.
This is a screen capture program that allows you to add notes and audio. Output formats include Flash and PDF. Great for small demos.
is a presentation application.
are free PDF creators.
is a free pdf reader. Much smaller footprint than the Adobe reader.
cleans out the accumulated crap and browser debris on your PC and also cleans up the registry.
This is a nice little freebie that gives you some more options for customizing your cursor. Includes animations and cursor control options.
Extended Task Manager
A useful program when you're trying to figure what the hell is slowing down your computer.