14th Sep 2017

How to search for safe, free software

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free software
Ben Hocking

The web is full of choices, but how do you know what is safe and what isn’t?

First, we will start with what to avoid. If you receive any unsolicited offers for free software to download, you can start by ignoring these. This can include any pop-up advertising, or anything you receive via email. Most of the times, these programs are full of worms and viruses or they could be spyware or scams.

If you want new software, you will have to actively look for it and you should not be tempted to act on impulse.

When you are starting to look around, keep an eye out for established software companies. If you are looking for reviews of well-known software creators, av-test.org is a good place to start.

Often companies will offer free basic versions of their more complete programs, which is a good place to start looking for free software.

If you are looking at antivirus software, for example, AvastAVGBitdefenderSophos and ZoneAlarm all offer free versions of their antivirus programs. They will at times recommend upgrading to the paid version of their products, but this is not necessary.

When browsing for software, make sure you are actually getting a copy of the company’s free product – and not just the free trial version of a more comprehensive paid program.

Depending on the program, you may be asked to share user data for research or see ads and upgrade offers within the free software.

Another important tip when it comes to free software is to only download desktop software directly from the maker of the software.

Related articles:
Top three free antivirus programs
Five ways to reduce computing costs
Is free antivirus software worthwhile





COMMENTS

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jamesthepiper
21st Sep 2017
10:35am
If you're after free software that is safe, the Source Forge site is good. Source Forge is a collection of developers who design and supply free software using open source environments. It is normally checked and verified to ensure it is safe. You can find a lot of various types of software on there, and it's simply a case of searching for what you want. The website is https://sourceforge.net/ . If you're after free office software, i.e. word processing, spreadsheet, etc, the best alternative to MS-Office is Open Office which is available from https://www.openoffice.org/
Travelling Man
21st Sep 2017
12:06pm
Thank you Jimbo!
ray from Bondi
21st Sep 2017
1:00pm
yes I agree 100%, there is so much supposedly free software that comes at best with a with a hook.
Jolly
21st Sep 2017
5:59pm
Yes, sourceforge is an excellent company and also supplies many products to businesses. They have a free password saver called Keepass.
A. N. Onymous
21st Sep 2017
6:35pm
http://www.techsupportalert.com
52-KID
21st Sep 2017
7:31pm
I always go to http://download.cnet.com/windows/ when I want software. It has free, free to try and paid software. I always limit my search to the free stuff and you'll be amazed what you can find.
Strummer
22nd Sep 2017
7:38am
A computer tech recommended Windows Defender to me. His argument was that Microsoft have a vested interest in making their systems safe.


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