Free software is convenient, but also unreliable. Freeware from a reputable provider does not pose a risk to your PC, but there is plenty of malware available. It could be spyware (gathering information without your consent) or adware (bombarding you with pop-ups) or even viruses (corrupting data in your PC).

Avoiding sites that host copyrighted or pirated software is among the best ways to stay away from being infected by these dangerous programs. You should also keep your anti-virus and anti-malware programs updated.

FileHippo: A hand-picked selection of the latest versions of popular games and apps, with guides for installation and opinion pieces. The site also has a archive of older versions of the apps.

PortableAppz: A collection of applications that you can run from either a cloud drive or from your desktop. The site has everything from games to photo editing and office software.

Cleanup: A good freeware that allows you to clean Windows and browser history, including third-party applications. It can help you empty the recycle bin, remove search history, clean URLs and erase the system log files.

Open-source software You can locate some of the most reliable open-source software on websites that are driven by community members like Github and SourceForge. The most popular examples include the Linux operating system and LibreOffice. This kind of software isn’t always free, but it’s often less expensive than proprietary software and permits you to make changes or enhancements to the code, if you want.

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