Rather than always look at an individual app for my Phone, Tablet, Desktop or even my Chromebook I thought that I would take a moment to look to some of the amazing places that Free Software lives its life just waiting to be found. As an Ode to the Past I will start with the places I have been going for years to satisfy my “cheapness” and then work my way forward to some amazing new(er) sites that I have recently found.
In the early days of the Interwebz I used to get my free software fix from a couple of sources. One was Tucows. Around since 1994, “The Ultimate Collection Of Winsock Software” has long been a go to for me when I am looking to fill a void in my needs for a free solution that could be resolved by a multi hundred dollar solution. For a time, it was also one of my primary sources to find Linux Distros as well but I have since moved on to bigger and better sources for that.
A mixture of Free and Shareware files, the download section of Tucows.com is a treasure trove of both amazing programs and complete duds but as in the dating world…you can’t make an omlet without breaking a few eggs. The Download of the Day feature has always been one of my Favorite things. Currently the site offers Windows, Mac, Linux and a special area for just FREEWARE which is always fun!
Another long time favorite for me has been Download.com but lately I find that the amount of odd adware that is added in when being forced to use their installer for some software has had me steering clear of the site. One of the core advantages of the site is the sheer size of the repository of available software. With more than 100,000 files to choose from all broken down into compatibility, file type (free, pay, share or trial) it is not hard to find what you are looking for to itch the scratch that has you up at night.
Being part of CNet there is also a deep connection to the world of software reviews so there are great connections to Editor Favorites and more when it comes to Download.com.
Not nearly as well known as the first two, this site is probably best known for its connection to the all in one Windows Cleaning App CCleaner which in my days of Tech Support was a life saver but its deep connection to the world of Free software goes back to 2004 and there is a wealth of great software available for your MS Windows machine.
Lately though, I have been finding that my need to venture outside of the browser for my software needs is not nearly as important anymore. Whether it is on my phone or tablet or on my Chromebook or Desktop, I rarely leave my connection to Google and the Chrome browser.
Chrome Web Store
If you are living life in Google Chrome like me, the Chrome Web Store has a plethora of Apps, Extensions and Themes to make your Web Browser of choice not only purr, but act almost like an Operating System within what ever OS you are using. This is actually the premise of the ChromeOS that has become popular on Chromebooks like my Acer that I got earlier this year. I have Offline Apps to assist with nearly every function that I do and the great thing is that once installed, the apps I have chosen follow me across all of my devices so that I don’t have to reinstall or even think about what I need to do. I can switch from Windows, to Linux to ChromeOS and the apps that I use are just there for me. Life is good when you don’t have to think, you just do!
So, I have barely touched the surface when it comes to the world of Free Apps and where you get them from. Where do you get your Free Fix?