CNET – Free Software Downloads
Reputable and trustworthy sources to download software from, seems to be pretty hard to find these days. That’s why I’ve decided to tell you guys about a website called CNET.com. Well , CNET is a tech-focused website, specializing in technology reviews, news and also software downloads. The latest news and reviews are pretty well-organized into numerous categories , where you’ll find something on pretty much any technology related product/service out there. I use CNET mostly for software downloads that I need though.
CNET’s download page is really well-organized and you are able to make a selection based on what tech platform you are downloading to/for. The options to download for are: a) Windows , b) Mac , c) Mobile based or d) Web-based Applications. The “Web-based applications” category basically relates to applications that can be used irrespective of what operating system you use , i.e. Windows , Mac or Mobile. This section is more related to reviews though .The other 3 categories are pretty self-explanatory…
My PC is Windows-based and I would thus mostly select the “Windows” tab when doing a search for something I am looking for. The really cool thing is that CNET shows you the amount of downloads for the specific software you want to download – the total all-time downloads and the downloads from the previous week are shown. The “Total download” information indicates how popular the application is , whilst the weekly download info actually indicates to me whether the application is still current and whether it is still being downloaded by a decent amount of people.
After you’ve done a search you are able to sort your results even further , based on the license type you want. The license options are: 1) Purchase , 2) Free , 3) Free to try (trial period) or 4) Update of existing software. I mostly select the “Free ” option as it removes the software that you need to pay for from the search results. I haven’t actually used the “Update” option , as most software you download would normally let you know automatically when there is an update available anyways. So not to sure when one would really use the”update” option. (By the way – the narrowing down options appear on the left-hand side of the search results screen. )
CNET has a policy to not list any software that contain viruses , trojans or malware. CNET tests all software against pretty stringent criteria before it is accepted for publication on their website. Not contracting a computer virus is the I number one concern I have when downloading software from the internet! So this really strict policy makes me quite a bit more comfortable when downloading software online. In saying this I would like to enforce the fact that downloading software online will always have a certain amount of risk involved though….
The “Quick Specs” section of each product/item gives you a really neat summary of the specific product you’re looking at. The “Product Ranking” under the quick specs section shows how that product is ranked against other similar products. Similar products are ranked into various sections , that you can click on to further explore and use to compare different alternatives. I usually look at the Top 5 products if I’m not 100% sure as to which product to select.CNET also shows expert reviews and the reviews of other users. I normally use these user reviews when I have to decide between 2 or more pretty similar software packages.
CNET comes in really handy when I need to download software online. This makes different product comparisons really easy. Having other user reviews to read ,helps me make more informed decisions when choosing which software/product to download. The strict policy with regards to accepting products also makes a huge difference in making me feel more secure when downloading from the internet. All-in-all I’ve been really happy with the software that I’ve downloaded from CNET and will continue using them for online software downloads . Check out their official download site at download.cnet.com