Computer Software: Is Free Software a Good Idea?

There are a lot of companies that offer free computer software. They do this for a variety of reasons but usually it is part of their marketing plan. Free software can be a great way to save money but it is often not the best option, you may find that the paid version meets your needs better.

The obvious advantage of using free software is that it is free, most people like the idea of being able to save money so this makes using the free software an appealing proposition. There are however some downsides that you have to keep in mind if you are thinking about using free software. In a lot of cases you may well find that these downsides actually make it preferable to just spend the money and purchase the software that you need.

The biggest downside of free computer software is that it is usually not actually free. A lot of times it is offered for free for a short period of time as a trial or it is offered for free with limited functionality. The software that is offered for free on a trial basis is often very good and well worth giving a try but you do have to keep in mind that you will eventually have to pay for it if you decide to keep using it.

The software that is offered with limited functionality is more of a problem. Companies offer this in the hopes that you will decide that you need the extra features and start paying for it. It has become a bit of trend these days to make the functionality so limited that the software is basically useless unless you use the paid version.

The other thing that you really have to watch for if you are going to use free software is to make sure that you know where it is coming from. There are a lot of unethical people who will offer free software that contains a virus or malware, obviously you want to avoid downloading this. It is important that you make sure that you only download software from a trusted site.

The decision on whether free software is a good idea or not is largely going to come down to your needs. Software with limited functionality may work fine to meet your needs for example. In most cases you will find that the paid versions are better but if your budget does not allow for this then the free versions can be a good alternative.

A Word of Warning About Free Software and Add-Ons

Expertek advises on a number of different topics for our customers and one that we’ve been asked about a lot regards Free Software. Free Software sounds like a good deal but we think you’ll find that it’s worth what you pay for it. Free Software frequently includes add-ons and things that help the author of the “free software” pay their bills. They do this by including advertising-laden toolbars, disabled malware-scanners, extortion-ware, trojans, and other junk that you didn’t realize was buried in (“included with”) their installer.

When installing most programs, free or not, you’ll be presented with the ‘Next’ button. Delay the urge to click it! Read the information on the screen before clicking ‘Next’. When you get to the screen that offers a choice of ‘Custom’ or ‘Typical’, it almost always defaults to ‘Typical’ not showing you the things that it’s going to add to your PC. Other software packages will present check box(es) to disable the add-on(s) that they’ve included with their software. The concept here is that honest software companies put it out front of you to see and deselect, while less reputable software companies hide their intention behind the screen of ‘typical’ and ‘custom’ selection. A good basic rule of thumb then is to (A) Never just click ‘Next’, ‘Next’, ‘Next’, AND (B) Question the honesty of the author, as soon as you see the ‘typical’ choice selected as default.

When presented with the typical or custom screen we advise you to select ‘Custom’ because then, when you click ‘Next’, you will be presented with a list of the optional items that you can deselect, thereby saving you time and frustration in the future in having to remove them or repair whatever damage they cause. Deselect any toolbar or add-on you don’t want. Our advice: If it’s not related to the original game or freebie that you downloaded, you probably don’t want it, and should turn off, disable or otherwise deny the installation of those add-ons.

If you open your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox or Netscape, whichever you use regularly) and there are more than 2-3 toolbars installed, it may already be too late. Each installed toolbar takes not only CPU cycles and RAM to run, but also a little display space for web pages, and we’ve seen some browsers where the pages is barely visible. These systems were also incredibly slow, and invariably infected with malware!

Keep in mind: IF you choose ‘Typical’, you’re going to get whatever THEY want to put on your system. If you choose ‘Custom’, you will have the ability to deselect Add-On Junk that you don’t want installed on your computer.

OUR FINAL WARNING: WE FIND THAT MOST MALWARE INFECTIONS BEGIN WITH UNDESIRED PROGRAMS BEING INSTALLED BY FOLKS WHO ARE “IN A HURRY” TO PLAY THEIR FREE GAME, UNWITTINGLY ALLOWING JUNK TO INSTALL AND SLOW THEIR SYSTEM DOWN OR WORSE, INFECT THEIR COMPUTER WITH MALWARE AND TROJANS.

Free Software is readily available from many websites on the web and some programs are written better than others. The best place to download free software is a site that reviews and rates the software and provide some way for users to rate as well. CNET’s download.com is an example of one of these type of sites.

Top 10 Websites To Download Free Softwares

Everyday thousand of softwares are released, purchased and used by people for different tasks. These softwares make our work easy, comfortable and help us in doing everything more quickly and easily. Mostly, we have to pay for a pro version in order to have their proper functionality. But some softwares have free versions which function just like pro versions. So basically, there is no need to buy software because free versions serve quite well and fill our needs.

There are hundreds of thousands of software downloading websites. Most of these websites are nothing more than garbage websites. These websites always force you to install their downloader first, sign up and then allow to download. Actually, there is no need to do that. You can download any kind of program just by a single click on authority websites.

Today I have created a list of top 10 best websites for free software downloading. These websites are best quality and authority sites. Thousands of softwares are available on these websites to fill your needs.

So top 10 best website for free software downloading are:

1. CNet Download

Cnet Download is the world’s best website for free software downloading. The website is updated on regular basis to keep softwares up-to-date. Daily millions of people visit this website and download softwares for free. Reviews and ratings of each software is available so that you can choose best software.

2. Softpedia

Like Wikipedia, Softpedia is encyclopedia of softwares. It is one of the biggest resources of softwares. It was launched in 2001 and now, has more than 500000 programs for Windows, Linux, Mac and Mobile Phones.

3. Brothersoft

Brothersoft is one of the leading software download sites providing a huge collection of shareware and freeware for download. It was named world’s second best software website of 2012 by TopTenReviews.

4. Softonic

Millions of people visit softonic daily to download free softwares. It offers programs on security, utility, multimedia, browsing, photo editing, office, developing and networking. It has enormous selection of free downloadable softwares.

5. Filehippo

Filehippo is my favourite website for software downloads. It is surely one of the best website for free software downloads. Although Filehippo is a not a fancy website like CNet or Brothersoft but still it is a prominent website in software industry. According to Quantcast, it receives more than five million visitors each month which makes it one the most visited websites.

6. Download3K

Download3K is another popular software website. Users can easily find any softwares they want with its search box. Its employees publish honest review and give rating to software depending on its quality and functionality.

7. Tucows

Tucows is one of the oldest websites in software industry. It has a huge resource of useful softwares, programs and apps. It has software on almost every category. Softwares for different platforms are also available.

8. Soft32

Soft32 is also one of the most popular software downloading website. It provides very useful softwares for windows, mac and mobile.

9. Download3000

Download3000 has downloads for Windows, Mac and mobile operating system. It has a large selection of categories for all the different operating system. Thousands of free softwares are available to cater your needs.

10. FreewareFiles

FreewareFiles has ranked 10th in my list of top 10 best software downloading websites. It has a huge library of useful freeware downloads. It has softwares on security, design, graphic, editing, audio & video, antivirus, internet and utilities.