Download.com is the most popular software download site on the web for good reason. Finding the software you need is extremely simple and the selection is phenomenal. The site can be navigated through a variety of different options. You can check out the editors' picks, look through the top products and even search for freeware and trialware. Another innovative feature is the download software finder box. This tool will guide you through the software selection and assist you in finding the applications you need for your phone and computer. Download.com is the TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award winner because of the fantastic selection and tremendous organization of the thousands of safe downloads.

Software Categories
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Download.com has nearly all the different types of software and applications available on the market, including:

  • Windows Software
  • Mac Software
  • iPad Apps
  • BlackBerry Apps
  • Android Apps

However, the site does not list, review or provide downloads for Linux software. There is no way to list or number exactly how many different applications are available on the software download website because more are being added daily.

This software download site has compiled its enormous list of software downloads through user submission. Software developers submit their programs to Upload.com, also owned by the owners of download.com. Developers can submit software available for trial, free or purchase. The site also lists applications for smartphones and links to the iTunes store or BlackBerry App World where the application can be downloaded. Many of these mobile apps are ranked and reviewed by an editor.

After software is submitted and tested for viruses and other malware, it will be listed on the software download site. There is no charge for original submission. However, Upload.com offers a variety of packages that can be purchased that will allow the software submission to be sped up and put the product in more prominent locations on the site. Also, the software developers must purchase one of the listing packages to have a “Buy Now” link appear on the site.

Download.com is owned and managed by one of the largest technology news and product reviewing websites, CNET.com. This lends credibility to the reviews of all the products. Also, you can rest assured that if the editor reviews don’t get the review done correctly, the user rankings and reviews will provide insightful information.

Site Organization
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This site is impeccably organized. Somehow, the software download site manages to have a huge variety of different search options, while staying uncluttered. The main search bar is a fantastic tool that returns great results, especially when searching for exact software. If you are looking for a type of software (for example, antivirus software) you can search by the category.

The site organization is where this software download site really stands out from its competition. The assortment of search options is massive, but somehow the site is still simple to navigate and use. Just a small portion of some of the available search options are:

  • Most Popular
  • New Releases
  • Editors' Picks
  • User Favorites
  • Top Freeware
  • Security Software
  • Drivers
  • Games

However, this list is only a small sample of the software search options available here. We were able to quickly find all different types of drivers and applications for our smartphones and for our computers.

Download.com reviews only a small portion of the software submitted. The top 100 applications and downloads of Windows software and the top 50 of Mac software will receive editor reviews. Other software reviews are done at the editor’s discretion. When a new application enters these top categories, the review is completed and will appear on the software download site even if it is later bumped out of the top-categories. Reviews are not purchased or written by the software developers. This software download site does a wonderful job at providing objective reviews and information.

While only a select few products have editor reviews, all the applications can be ranked and reviewed by users. These user reviews appear at the bottom of the page and are ranked out of five stars. The average user ranking appears on each review. The user reviews can also be flagged as useful or not useful. This will allow you to wade through the non-informative user reviews and rankings to find the most useful information. For example, when we were browsing some of the user reviews, we saw one of the users found a feature in an application not mentioned in the editor review. In order to keep the information as instructive as possible, you must register with CNET to post on the boards. Also, all user reviews and comments are monitored. This helps keep the spam and offensive posts in check.

Many of the top- iPhone and BlackBerry apps have reviews and links for applications. These downloads are usually done through iTunes and BlackBerry App World. However, the editor and user reviews can help you find the best and most reliable app for your needs. We loved the selection of app reviews and listings on this software download site.

An original feature offered by the software download site is the ability to narrow a wide search. You can select multiple categories. This will allow you to zero in on the best and fastest results that fit your needs.

Security
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This is one of the most reliable software download sites on the web. Before software is posted online it is scanned and tested for any possible threats. Some other similar software download sites are not nearly as trustworthy, and all kinds of spyware and malware could be secretly installed on your computer, even if you have anti-virus software. You can feel comfortable installing any software from Download.com.

Help & Support
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For those that are simply using the software download site to find applications, the customer service options are limited. Upload.com has a few different customer support lines that can be utilized for developers who purchase the listing packages.

For the average user, this site offers only a few customer service options. You can send an email or leave a comment on the software download site. However, when we sent an email asking a few detailed questions, we received a response within a few days.

Download Summary:
9.5/10

Download.com is the best software download site. The selection is gigantic, the website is uncluttered and simple to maneuver and the software is safe and secure. Whether you are looking for an app for your iPhone or trying to decide which anti-virus software to purchase, Download.com will have all the reviews and rankings you’ll need to make an informed decision.

 

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TopTenREVIEWS no longer updates this category and keeps it here for archiving purposes only. It was last updated in March 2012.