Downloads! Free and Legal Sites...

By Will from Holland

Algemeen Dagblad, a newspaper in the Netherlands, gave us permission to use their online article as a source to write this article about downloading. Will from Holland did the translating, rewriting and editing.

Are you looking for software? There's loads on the World Wide Web. But it's a mess out there. If you've ever been to a download site, you know what can happen:

  • You type in the name of one of the programs in your search engine and get hundreds of worthless links.
  • Your search turns up sites where a program is only being discussed. No download is available.
  • You get inundated with pop-up ads that would make anybody queasy. And the pop-ups keep coming.
  • You reach a site that downloads a "crack" version of a program rather than a legal version. The result? Your system crashes or the software manufacturer comes knocking on your door.

Does this happen to you a lot? Want a better way?

Lucky for you, there are reliable sites out there where you can download free software or trial versions without a lot of hassle. If you'll spend some time right here, we'll show you dozens of the better download sites and programs out there.

Also, if you want to download cool free and legal Warez, click here.

It's been around a long time. ZDNet gives you a list with the most downloaded software and a list with the most popular software to help you on your way. The site is divided into common categories like "Audio & Video," "Drivers" or "Design Tools". ZDNet also allows you to search keywords. ZDNet tells you by thumbs up or down whether previous users like or dislike the software. They also tell you whether the software is free or if it's a trial version you'll have to pay for after a set period of time.

CNET and ZDNet are sites provided by the same company. Therefore they look a lot alike and offer the same kind of downloads and programs. Not only will you find similar lists and categories on this site compared to ZDNet, they both provide a list of most popular downloads. Difference is, CNET provides a list with their favorite freeware.

Both sites are very user friendly and provide good and reliable software for your computer. Definitely worth a recommendation.

At Tucows you first select the platform you're looking for, like Windows, Macintosh or Linux. You then get a summary of software available. Tucows judges the software by 1 to 5 cows (5 being best). After you decide to download some software, you will be redirected to a mirror site. Software from Tucows is generally safe, reliable and without viruses. Do note that we can never assure your computer of being safe from getting hit with viruses, worms or so on.

Version Tracker
This software site was originally meant for Mac-users, but has added a whole Windows software department. The latest programs are available on their home page and they also got loads of older software, which might still be interesting to you. If you want to use the VersionTracker's search tool, you need to subscribe.

This site is better known as WebAttack. There's a Top100 downloads feature, as well as a Top20. Snapfiles also gives you an excellent search engine and separate freeware or shareware tabs. This way you can easily see whether you have to pay for the software or you can download and use it for free. Downloadable software is rated from 1 to 5 stars. Nice feature: The site has a "missing files-section" (at the top of navigation) where users can check ‘error messages' received on program installation. Developers sometimes assume that everyone has the support files the program needs; however, you may need an additional file here and there particularly if you don't download software very often.

Tabs on top of the page tell you which directory/category you are in and where you can search for programs. Their navigation is excellent and will easily guide you through the site, almost immediately to the software you're looking for. Superfiles offers mostly freeware and adware. They generally give very good summaries of downloads.

1 2 3