Posts Tagged 'shareware'

Where Can I Safely Download Free Software? FreeFile Review

FFR-WP-logoFWsites2014Downloading free software gets riskier everyday. Some sites intentional try to confuse people into downloading garbage by way of ads with large “Download” buttons. However, if you are careful, you can download the free programs that you want. This review is a comparison of the four best freeware download sites for Windows software, that I regularly visit. All four are quite similar, with only minor differences. Generally, these sites all have clean navigation (a minimum of ads with ‘Download’ buttons), are updated daily, offer a large catalog of software with reviews, ratings, and screenshots, and most importantly – a direct link to program that you want. Below are quick reviews of my four favorite sites.

SnapFiles is the best site for the occasional downloader. With very few ads and a clean lay-out, it is hard to go astray. Very good search function.

MajorGeeks has a clean, simple homepage, with the bulk of the page for the most recent software. The download pages for individual programs have ads with big green ‘Download Now’ buttons – so be careful. This site’s outstanding feature is mirror sites for downloads; frequently there are several sources for downloads. Use the links under “Download Locations”.

FileHorse, like MajorGeeks, junks up its download pages with ads. Use the green ‘Download Now’ button on the right side, labelled “(xx.xx MB) Safe & Secure”. Outstanding feature is old versions of most programs are available on the program’s download page.

Download Crew has the busiest, most ad-filled site. The download buttons are located directly under the program name on the download page. Best search function of the four sites.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

All four of these sites offer only direct links to downloads, feature many new programs every day, and are relatively easy to navigate, so all of them are excellent. SnapFiles is the winner, by a nose.

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

 

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My Opinion – The Future of Freeware

FFR-WP-logomy-op1No review this time. Today, I’m presenting my opinion on how to improve the Windows freeware industry. I’m not a developer, just a user. In short, I propose saving the freeware business by destroying it ; charge a small amount ($.99 or $1.99), rather than giving it away. This is a successful model for phone apps and I believe that it could work for Windows software.

Why is this necessary?  Users love free stuff, but freeware developers need to be paid. In recent years, these two opposing positions have been satisfied by loading more and more crap into otherwise decent software. Users must tiptoe through a virtual minefield of “special offers” and spyware toolbars to install a simple utility. It is now common to see 2 or 3 pieces of crapware in the typical installer.

My solution – Remove all the garbage from the installers, offer the software with a short trial period and then charge a small license fee. Another possible solution could be subscriptions. When developers feel their work is worth more than $.99, charging $.99 per year may work. When the application is worthy, users are willing to pay a reasonable amount annually. Developers wanting the income stream to continue, will continue to improve the software. Everyone wins. Users get better software and developers get paid.

Will this happen? I doubt it. But, I want the developers to consider getting paid by their users, not the crapware marketers and being able to continue development on quality applications. This makes sense to me, but toolbars are so much easier.

If you have an opinion on the matter, or just think I’m full of it, you can leave a comment below.

Dan Kostecki

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com


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