Wednesday, February 20, 2008 – Best free software download site

Over the years, I have searched for and downloaded a lot of free software. Usually this involved Googling “free word processor” or whatever I might be looking for – and a lot of trial and error downloading, installing and trying different packages. The search results don't provide much feedback about the quality of a program, except in the form of advertisements. Over time though, there was one site that I kept returning to, Now I usually start my search for a good free software program there.

The biggest reason I like Snapfiles is the large, active community of end-users that provide reviews on the site. You can get quality, real-world information about a software package from people who have downloaded and tried it. And the folks at Snapfiles have done a great job in designing the site to support this review process. Another reason I like this site so much is that Snapfiles makes it easy to search for just free software. Many of the “free download” sites that you find in a web search lump shareware and freeware together, and you have to weed through programs in both categories to find free software.

When you arrive at the homepage for Snapfiles, there are convenient tabs at the top of the page for Shareware and Freeware. Clicking on the Freeware tab brings up a comprehensive list of categories and sub-categories, all on one page. Clicking on a category brings up a one page list of all the software available in that category. Each entry in the list contains a summary of the information available about that program. There is a star rating system, with 5 stars being the best rating. You can see the rating given by the Snapfiles editors, an overview of the program's features, and most importantly, the star rating given by users along with the number of reviews that the rating is based on. You can read all of the reviews for a software package by clicking on the rating link. You can also choose to download the program from this summary.

It's not unusual to find 50 or more reviews for a popular free software package on the Snapfiles site. Usually you can get a good “feel” for the program – whether or not it might meet your requirements – after reading just of few of these reviews. Clicking on Full Details in the summary box brings up a page with more information – the publisher, the version and filesize, which OS's the software is compatible with, and a link to screenshots. This is another thing I like about Snapfiles, most of the program descriptions have one or more screenshots available.

If you don't want to browse the site to find what you are looking for, there is a search bar on each page. Type in a keyword and press search, and you get a list of all the programs matching that keyword. This list will include both shareware and freeware, but at the top of the list there is a checkbox to “Only search for freeware” - check this box and press Find It and you get a filtered list of just the freeware programs that match your original search.

The Bottom Line...

I would definitely recommend starting your search for a good free software program at this site. The layout is fantastic, the pages load fast, the site is well-organized, and the reviews are great! You can visit here.

P.S. Snapfiles is my personal favorite out of the free software download sites that I am AWARE of – I would appreciate your comments on other sites that might be your personal favorites. I would like to conduct a poll on this topic, so if you would like to nominate a favorite site, please leave a comment. Thanks.


unugurn said...

Check this site also. Great download site and offers free services for both software publishers and members.

Blogger Templates by 2007