At Genbeta we are constantly recommending all kinds of applications that are usually so good that sometimes it is hard to believe that they are completely free. Now, the ideal and safest thing to do when downloading these programs is to do it from their official websites, or from stores like Microsoft’s in the case of Windows, for example, but these are not always available there.
When it comes to downloading free programs, there are a few websites that work as excellent alternatives, either because they offer more facilities to download apps in bulk, or because they have a library with the most popular and relevant applications, or because they offer an experience free from potential threats such as adware and other types of malware.
This is my favorite of all the ones that I am going to recommend. Winstall is something like the unofficial repository of Windows applications that can be installed with Winget, the new Windows package manager.
Winget is a package manager to use in the command console, and Winstall is basically the graphical interface that can complement it. All you have to do is browse the app library in Winstall, select all the apps you want to install on your PC, generate a code and then paste it into the Windows terminal.
You can save a lot of time with this method instead of going from web to web of each program. The process is automated and it is also completely safe because they are only apps that have been reviewed by the MS itself.
Before Winget existed, there was already an unofficial and quite famous package manager for Windows: Chocolatey. Is another great way to automate software installation in Windows with thousands of available programs.
Now, Chocolatey has another advantage and that is also has a graphical user interface that you can use to install programs from a huge list, all in a couple of clicks. If you want to learn how to use Chocolatey you can read our in-depth guide on the tool.
FossHub is a website where you not only get free software but open source. In Genbeta we have talked a couple of times about it, and how it is currently one of the best options to download apps safely that are also open source.
FossHub is relatively young and less well known than other software download sites, but many Popular projects like Audacity, qBittorrent, or GIMP, to name a few, have started using it as a mirror official
where to host your front-end applications.
Ninite is another popular alternative when it comes to downloading free software in bulk easily and safely. Unlike options like Winstall and Chocolatey, this is not a repository with thousands of programs, but a tool to facilitate batch installation of some of the most popular apps for Windows.
The main advantage of Ninite is that its list of apps can be enough for many people and its installer saves the time and energy that must be invested in searching for each app from its official site, which is where you download Ninite for you.
SourceForge is one of the best-known software download sites on the web, but one that has been trying for a few years now to clean up its reputation after including unwanted and potentially harmful software in bundles that the user had to download with all the apps.
In 2016 SourceForge changed owners and they immediately ended the program through which these bundles were included, so the software offered on the web started to be safe again. SourceForge is still not our first recommendation, but there is a lot of software that is still hosted there, and it is possible that more than once the same official websites of programs that you use will redirect you to a download in SourceForge.