Regular readers of this blog know how much I enjoy recommending the great free software tools that I use every day on my own computers and mobile devices.
One of the most amazing things about the Internet age is how we can download useful programs and apps to complete most any task we can imagine at absolutely no cost whatsoever.
I like to call it the era of ubiquitous freebies.
But the above being said, free downloads can often have a dark side…
Most websites offering free software downloads seem to be plastered with misleading ads, often in the form of fake “Download” buttons.
These misleading ads attempt to trick users into visiting completely irrelevant websites by placing a honking fake “Download” button on the ad itself.
Folks then click on the fake Download button thinking that’s the button they need to click in order to download the program they came for.
In my opinion this is very misleading, and perhaps even bordering on fraudulent. Anything to make a buck I suppose.
These unethical free download sites also use another trick to earn money while offering free downloads: They attach add-on programs to the program the user came to retrieve.
These add-on programs are usually completely unrelated to the program listed on the download page. They are “added on” to the requested program because the company behind them paid the download site’s owner a fee for doing it.
In addition to the irritation of finding out you just downloaded a program that you neither need or want, these add-on programs are often malware that hijack your web browser and/or refuse to be uninstalled from your system.
The vast majority of these add-on programs can be removed from the download procedure by unchecking a box on the download page, but that box is often placed in a location where it’s easy to miss by a casual observer.
Even worse, it’s sometimes placed on a different page and hidden behind an obscure link.
But the news about free downloads isn’t all bad…
There are a handful of reputable free download sites that offer clean, no add-on downloads on pages that don’t have misleading ads on them.
My favorite clean free download site is OlderGeeks.com, and it’s always the first place I look whenever I need to download a free program to solve whatever problem happens to pop up.
Owners Randy and Deanna built OlderGeeks from the ground up with the intention of offering clean free software downloads without all the negatives that come with using other similar websites.
Randy and Deanna made the decision early on to put the needs of their users ahead of profits. As I mentioned above, you won’t find any ads on the OlderGeeks website. And you definitely won’t find any unwanted programs being attached to the programs you download from the site.
Every penny that Randy and Deanna bring in from the operation of OlderGeeks comes in the form of donations. But while donations are warmly appreciated, they are never required in order to download great free software from OlderGeeks.
Everyone is welcome to take advantage of the no-ads and no add-on download experience at OlderGeeks at no charge whatsoever.
Bottom line: The next time you go looking for a free download to solve some problem or another, I strongly recommend that you check OlderGeeks.com first.
Chances are they’ll have exactly what you’re looking for, and you won’t have to worry about downloading any unwanted extras along with the actual download or being taken to a website that you had no intention of visiting.