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Where to get the Best PC Freeware

written by: KateG•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/6/2008

Getting quality freeware can be both fun and safe if you know where to look. This article will act as a guide to reliable download sites. It will also teach you how to find your own sites.

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    What is there not to like about freeware?

    You get a shiny new piece of software for work or play. Best of all, you get it without having to take even a dime out of your own pocket. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

    Oh, well yes, there is that one little snag in the works to deal with. I will not try to deny it since you brought it up. Finding a way to get yourself a reliable source for freeware can be tough. That is, finding free software that is generally stable and free of viruses can be a trick. To that end, today we will be looking at ways to identify a community that will work for you. We will also be looking at some of the best communities that I can recommend.

    How to spot a good freeware community

    There are a few ways to spot a solid online community that will give you quality downloads. In order to spot one, just keep an eye out for the following signs of a healthy community:

    • A volume of users. You can tell this by an abundance of downloads for many products or a lot of reviews/comments on downloads.
    • An abundance of things to download.
    • A strong categorization system for the downloads so that the readers can easily find things.
    • Read the comments and be sure that they are positive. If you see any comments about getting viruses from a site, then pass it on by.

    Now, you know what to look for when you are looking for your own community. Let's go to some of my recommended communities where you will be able to get your great and free downloads.

    These are all general download sites that house everything from your most serious of business productivity applications to games that you can enjoy with your friends. They all have strong systems for ranking and sorting the files. This means that you can enjoy real user reviews for the products.

    Now that you know where you can get what you want, go and have fun, but do not overload your system with too much software.

    One final word on safety

    Never use a less than reputable source for downloading your software. This is the worst possible thing that you can do to your system. After all, you do not want to end up with a virus. Also, no matter how careful you are with a downloading site, you can never be 100% so scan the files before using them.