Welcome to TheFreeSite.com's Free Software section, a roundup of the Web's hottest, most essential freeware. The software we list here is all totally free, and (unlike shareware), has permanent full functionality. This software won't throw any annoying "nag" screens at you, asking you to register. And most importantly, it won't expire after 30 days! Shareware is good, but freeware is even better!

Note: In February 1998 a group moved to replace the term "Free Software" with "Open Source Software". This terminology debate reflects underlying philosophical differences, but the practical requirements placed on software licenses, and the discussion in the rest of this page, are essentially the same for both Free Software and Open Source Software.
FileHippo is a pretty solid repository of freeware and shareware apps to be found for Windows and Mac. On the Windows side, you can find updates to third-party utilites by running this utility, which replaces its old Update Checker. It compares what's available on FileHippo.com against what's installed on the PC and helps download the latest version (via FileHippo.com, of course).
This is the original call to the community to start using the term ‘open source‘ that I issued on 8 February 1998. The event referred to in the first paragraph is the 23 January announcement of the Mozilla source code release. Because this is a historic document, I have fixed some link drift but haven't re-styled it to match the rest of my site. Though it has been converted to XHTML rather than HTML classic, except for this gray box and the RCS date at the bottom it looks pretty much exactly as it did then. There are Spanish and Indonesian translations of this document.

With mobile apps and a Google Chrome browser extension—and that's it—Chrome Remote Desktop more than rivals even TeamViewer for providing plenty of remote access between systems (you can't use it to control a smartphone or tablet, however, only PCs). You can connect to all your computers and devices that are on the same Google account, or get a code from others for a true remote session. You don't even have to have the browser running to get access to the PC. What's lacking is file transfer between systems, but you can get around that using Google Drive.


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Fees are usually charged for distribution on compact discs and bootable USB drives, or for services of installing or maintaining the operation of free software. Development of large, commercially used free software is often funded by a combination of user donations, crowdfunding, corporate contributions, and tax money. The SELinux project at the United States National Security Agency is an example of a federally funded free software project.

The first formal definition of free software was published by FSF in February 1986.[21] That definition, written by Richard Stallman, is still maintained today and states that software is free software if people who receive a copy of the software have the following four freedoms.[22][23] The numbering begins with zero, not only as a spoof on the common usage of zero-based numbering in programming languages, but also because "Freedom 0" was not initially included in the list, but later added first in the list as it was considered very important.
Free software advocates strongly believe that this methodology is biased by counting more vulnerabilities for the free software systems, since their source code is accessible and their community is more forthcoming about what problems exist,[40] (This is called "Security Through Disclosure"[41]) and proprietary software systems can have undisclosed societal drawbacks, such as disenfranchising less fortunate would-be users of free programs. As users can analyse and trace the source code, many more people with no commercial constraints can inspect the code and find bugs and loopholes than a corporation would find practicable. According to Richard Stallman, user access to the source code makes deploying free software with undesirable hidden spyware functionality far more difficult than for proprietary software.[42]

Our favorite messaging service takes security seriously—it's Snowden-approved!—using its own open-source protocol to do end-to-end encryption, even on voice calls. It's not as much fun as some of the others, but still supports sending photos and video, plus group messaging. On Android, Signal can completely replace the SMS texting app; on iPhone you need to get other users to download Signal or you can't talk to them.

The Linux kernel, started by Linus Torvalds, was released as freely modifiable source code in 1991. The first licence was a proprietary software licence. However, with version 0.12 in February 1992, he relicensed the project under the GNU General Public License.[28] Much like Unix, Torvalds' kernel attracted the attention of volunteer programmers. FreeBSD and NetBSD (both derived from 386BSD) were released as free software when the USL v. BSDi lawsuit was settled out of court in 1993. OpenBSD forked from NetBSD in 1995. Also in 1995, The Apache HTTP Server, commonly referred to as Apache, was released under the Apache License 1.0.
Public domain software: the copyright has expired, the work was not copyrighted (released without copyright notice before 1988), or the author has released the software onto the public domain with a waiver statement (in countries where this is possible). Since public-domain software lacks copyright protection, it may be freely incorporated into any work, whether proprietary or free. The FSF recommends the CC0 public domain dedication for this purpose.[33]
What if there were a worldwide group of talented ethical programmers voluntarily committed to the idea of writing and sharing software with each other and with anyone else who agreed to share alike? What if anyone could be a part of and benefit from this community even without being a computer expert or knowing anything about programming? We wouldn’t have to worry about getting caught copying a useful program for our friends—because we wouldn’t be doing anything wrong.
Freeflys: Another strong contender in the freebies space, Freeflys has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, The Doctors, Fox News and a handful of other media outlets. Similar to most of these sites, Freeflys utilizes email alerts to tell users about free-sample offers as they happen. The site also allows you to search for a specific product with the handy search bar.
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