Have a lot of Free Windows software download websites, but are they safe? Every time you download something, there’s a chance you’re downloading malware or virus. Sure, you already have the best anti-virus app, but there’s no reason to make it work that it shouldn’t.
In this article we will talk about how you can check if a download is safe and we will also mention some of our favorite websites to download free software for Windows. .
Are freeware download sites safe?
There are only two ways to know if a download site is safe. You can check its reputation and you can check its download yourself.
There are businesses that rate how secure websites are. One of the most popular sites for this is NOT ALLOWED or Web of trust. WOT ranks websites based on ratings, community reviews, and their own machine learning algorithms. There are WOT plugins for Chrome browser, Firefoxand Opera browsers. If you have the plugin installed, you can check the download site.
You can also check the website before visiting. Go Total number of viruses and enter the web address of the website. It will check with a bunch of other websites that monitor reputation and viruses and let you know if the site is safe or not.
That does not mean that what you download from the website is free of malware or viruses. There are several ways to test downloads.
- Use one sandbox web browser alike Sandboxie to download. In a sandbox web browser, go to Total number of viruses and submit a download for testing.
- Download the program inside a virtual machine and test it there.
Free and safe software download site for Windows
To compile this list, we researched websites on WOT, VirusTotal, Norton Web is safe, URLVoidand ScanURL. At the time of this writing, there are no download sites showing any issues on the site checker.
On the web since 2004 and rated 625 by Alexa, FileHippo is solid. FileHippo claims that they select the software by hand and check for malware and viruses. They also don’t allow software to bundle other software into it or browser toolbars. FileHippo currently has over 40,000 program versions listed.
Be careful if you do a web search for FileHippo. There are many websites with similar names and URLs.
Nirsoft is a freeware utility website created and currently run by someone named Nir Sofer. He single-handedly wrote all the software utilities you see on the web.
Each widget is completely free and usually very small in size. That’s because each gadget is designed to do a single task and a single task. For example, some of the most popular utilities on the web are password viewers, which will show you passwords stored on your computer, in your browser, etc.
More than just a free software download site, Ninite is also a package management system. Using it as a package management system, Ninite can be used to automatically install your favorite software and update it with a single click. This is possibly the safest site on the list.
The number of free apps is limited. However, it includes most of the software that you will install first on a new computer. Chrome browser, Firefox7-zip, iTunesVLC, Malwarebytes is one of the free downloads that Ninite can provide and manage.
Even older than FileHippo, Softpedia has been a major downloader since 2001. Softpedia hosts a lot of free downloads on their own physical servers. That means they have even more to gain from ensuring secure applications. That’s a lot of work when they have over 1.2 million apps, drivers and games.
Offering some of Windows’ most famous freeware in an easy-to-read, searchable website, Download Crew should be on your list. Download Crew has been around for over 10 years, boasts nearly 300,000 members and over 33 million downloads.
Its sister site is Download Crew Store, where you can get deeply discounted exclusive software. Between the two, you’ll get all you need for the cheapest possible price.
When it comes to freeware download sites, it’s hard to tell them apart. They all do the same thing. All offer downloads. What can make File Horses different is that they also store archives of previous versions of the software.
So if an update to your favorite app makes an unexpected change, you can download an older version here and rollback it. File Horse also manages a directory of free cloud application.
Don’t let the early 2000 design fool you. Major Geeks is a legitimate freeware download site. Founded in 2001, Major Geeks has built a reputation for being among the first to test all the software they have to offer.
They first check the reputation of the company and the software, then they scan it with several virus scanners, including VirusTotal. If it gets past that, Major Geeks actually install their own software VMware Workstation to test functionality. If it meets their standards, the software will be listed. This thoroughness warrants their military-style theme.
Part website and part application may already be on your computer, Microsoft Store there is a lot of good free software out there. As Microsoft, it’s got a reputation and you’d think they’re storing software securely.
Some of them come from the big names you already know, like Netflix, Apple, and of course, Microsoft. Some are done by smaller development teams but can be very useful. Not all apps are free. There are thousands of them and it’s easy to find them. Just search on ‘free’.
In addition, you should also check Sysinternals Tool used to be a separate website, but Microsoft bought it. The tools are still being updated, but geared more towards computer enthusiasts.
More Freeware Sites Better?
There are some better secure freeware sites out there, but if you can’t find what you need on the sites above, they won’t help much. Over time, you’ll know the sites you like have the software you need.
Remember to always check the downloaded file with your anti-virus application or through Virus Total. If possible, check the program settings in the virtual machine or sandbox environment.