Computers are expensive. The software that makes them do what they do is
extortionate. And you're bound to pay a pretty penny for essentials like leather
office furniture, etc., when you're outfitting your office. So once in a while
it's nice to take advantage of the freebies that circulate on the web. The free
stuff is called shareware, and it'll do anything from upgrade your Word program,
to calculate complex accounting logarithms, to send a barking Mother's Day card
to your mom back on the homestead.
All you have to do is click the "download" button, and, in some cases, fill
in a registration form. You should also keep in mind that, while shareware is
free, it does take up space on your hard drive. Keep an eye on the size of the
files you're downloading, and your computer's capacity, to see that you don't
overload things. The more features you add to your PC, the slower it will
Here's a sampling of sites that offer free downloads and, more importantly,
reviews of shareware products on the internet.
This is the mother of shareware sites. It features a diverse selection of
free products, from MP3s to word processing upgrades to games to screensavers to
database software. Its real appeal, though, has to be its voting system. No need
to rely on possibly biased reviewers; each commentary is followed by a user-vote
function, plus messages posted by users who either liked or disliked what they'd
downloaded. So you can make up your own mind before clicking the
conveniently-placed "download" button.
Windows PC users who seek free internet software should visit the shareware
warehouse that is snapfiles.com. A huge range of products is reviewed in an
easy-to-read style -- although users don't get a chance to vote on the
performance of their downloads here. If you're looking to improve your PC's
e-mail, search capabilities, browser tools, download tools, multimedia and more,
this is the surest way to find out what your options are.
If you're going to download free stuff for your computer, why not make it fun
stuff? The internet is crammed with sites hocking free games, and functions as a nice directory to let
you know where to find those downloadable sites. It doesn't do much in the way
of reviewing the games; but who'd want to read a serious review of a game,
And For Mac Users.
Macintosh users should bookmark this site. It offers all-in-one news, reviews, discussions, as well as classifieds to lead you through the busy world of free Mac software.