Free Software Giveaway Sites Overview
So-called Software Giveaway Sites, or software freebies sites, offer one or more commercial programs for free each day to their visitors.
All you need to do to grab a free license is to grab the program on that specific day. These versions are often limited, for instance by not including update rights in the license. While that may be an issue for some programs, it does not really matter for others.
Free Software Giveaway Sites
If a site that you would recommend is not on the list, let us know in the comments and we check it out.
Note: Some promo sites copy giveaways from other sites and post them on their own without citing sources. Sites known for that are Giveaway Archives, Topsoft, Topsoft Bargains and Windows Deal.
Bitsdujour lists free deals right on the site's start page. It highlights the name of the program there, target operating system, and a short one liner that describes the program.
You need to sign in to an account before you can grab the free offer. If you don't have an account yet you may register one right away using Facebook or email. You may uncheck the newsletter signup at this stage if you are not interested.
Registration codes are sent by email, and the installer just delivers the program and does not use wrappers.
Download.hr offers two major types of giveaways: those that provide unlimited licenses, and those that provide limited licenses.
Unlimited license deals work by waiting 300 seconds on the site, or sharing the giveaway to gain access right away. The service displays registration information afterwards, and off you go.
The limited license deals require that you sign up for an account and add your name to the list of users who want to grab a license. If your name is drawn when the giveaway period expires, you get that license. The installer offered installs the software directly.
One issue with this site is that the deal terms are not listed all the time.
Giveaway Club lists active deals on the site's frontpage. Information provided includes the name of the application, system requirements, and a description of the program.
The site does not list the terms of the deal however which means that you don't get information about restrictions or limitations.
It is not required to register an account before you grab a free software offer on the site. Some can be installed right away after the download, others require that you open the attached activation instruction PDF document and follow the instructions provided.
Giveaway of the Day
Giveaway of the Day highlights multiple deals on its web page including deals for mobiles.Â The frontpage highlights the application name, a short description and the time left for that particular deal.
You need to share the deal on social media or supply an email address to get the download link. Installation is not as straightforward as on many of the other services.
Usually, it involves running the program's setup first, and then after the program is installed on the PC a file called activate.exe to activate the license on the computer.
Please note that the activation program may add Giveaway of the Day to the favorites in Internet Explorer if you just close the prompt without removing the checkmark from the option first. Also, closing the activation prompt will load the Giveaway of the Day website in the default system browser.
Shareware On Sale
Shareware on Sale lists several deals on its website. While it highlights one deal specifically on it, you will find quite a free free deals listed on it as well.
Please note that the site mixes free deals and deals that discount software or products.
You are required to provide the site with your email address and basic information before the download is provided. The serial number, if required, is listed on the download page as well so that you can activate the program right away during installation.
Shareware on Sale lists terms and conditions on each deal page.
Top Soft Bargains
Top Soft Bargains lists free and discounted offers on its startpage. New customers need to create an account to grab any of the free offers. You need to provide an email address during registration.
Installation and registration instructions for selected programs are listed on the checkout page. Please note that you are added to the newsletter automatically when you place an order on the site.
Licenses, if required, are provided on the download page most of the time. Sometimes, you need to click on an activation link during installation of the program to get it registered instead.
Topware Sale lists basic information about each deal on its website. It requires that you provide an email address before you can start grabbing free programs.
Each deal is listed with its expiration date and a short description. License terms are not provided apart from very basic information in the title (1 year free..). Licenses, if required, are listed after checkout.
Windows Deal lists several deals on its startpage. The service requires an email address before you can download any of the free software offers it provides.
Serial numbers and activation instructions are provided on the checkout page, as is the download of the actual program.
The site displays an overlay ad on any page you open on it
These sites offer regular giveaways as well (some only infrequently)
Software Giveaway Sites Comparison
|Giveaway of the Day||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Shareware On Sale||yes||no||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Top Soft Bargains||yes||no||yes||yes||yes||yes|
How these sites make money
Software giveaway sites are monetized in various ways. Some displays ads on their websites and earn revenue from that. Others may offer deals and discounts next to free offers, or offer to upgrade a program to a better version for a discounted price.
Now You: Do you use any of the services listed here? Did we miss your favorite service? Let us know in the comments.
@Martin: Since there are promo sites with both genuine and fake promo, please add a column to sort them by “Includes Copy/fake promo”
Please do refer to the list of not-recommended fake promo giveaway sites listed by MalwareTips:
Other Non-recommended promo site include: SOS/SharewareOnSale similar to TopSoftBargains/TopwareSale/…
Don’t you think it is a bit harsh to say “not recommended” if the sites require that you create an account or supply an email address?
If a site pushes adware on your system, sells your data to third-parties, or does other invasive things, then I’d agree.
The reason is not because of account creation. It is due to the promo links/license codes copied from original giveaway source without giving credit[without permission/not mentioning source] to the giveaway code origin/sponsors.
This is called illegal and fake promo. Those sites should be listed as “not recommended”
Now that is serious. Can you provide more information on that?
Since reply button is disabled in your #comment-3947171, Sent reply using contact form.
Would be interesting to see what info Xi provided, if possible of course
I will update the overview today with new information, still need to do some research first.
Quoting the article,
“These versions are often limited, for instance by not including update rights in the license. While that may be an issue for some programs, it does not really matter for others.”
I agree. Most of the time I won’t consider these free versions when they apply to a renewable license software because I have in the past been confronted to such programs relying on updates to run efficiently and requiring a true license once the free period is over (one year in general).
Generally speaking I’m not fond of this practice but I have to admit that I’ve experienced it positively in given circumstances, for instance when I won the “Ghacks Christmas Giveaway Hitman Pro” in December 2013 which allowed me to discover a product I continued to subscribe to from there on, with a paid license after the one year term.
It’s a product specific approach here consequently. it all depends on several factors, but trusting (with good arguments) the provider or the go-between is essential.
I’ve downloaded a number of free programs from Giveawayoftheday, some of which have proved invaluable in my daily computer usage (ProcessLasso and PhraseExpander to name but two). I’m selective about which programs I choose, reading other people’s comments first.
I will sometimes download a program out to try it before uninstalling if it’s not useful, but overall my experience has been very positive. I probably download two programs a month, and keep one of those.
I use the method of having them send an e-mail to one of of my secondary e-mail accounts with a download link.
What if I said, “Argh!!!!” :D
Remember the mobile world/apps, Martin ;)
One is Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/b/ref=mas_ug_lrnmr1?ie=UTF8&node=11350978011
I know that it was a lot of work and effort for you before and during, but I miss your Christmas giveaways. :)
They were fun, exciting, and you gave away cool stuff that people wanted.
Thanks for a valuable article, Martin.
It’s an awesome comparison. I loved it. I use giveawayoftheday.com but you have given me a whole bunch of them.
“Giveaway Radar covers all major giveaway sites plus some other giveaways and promotions.”
The coverage includes most of the sites listed in Martin’s article, so you don’t have to visit each of them.
A couple you missed on are MajorGeeks.com, an excellent site with, free, demo and paid for programmes and for the French speakers amongst us (though Libre=Gratis=Free) is 01net.com. There are Filehippo.com, WindowsDeal.com and TopSoftBargains.com. All these except, MajorGeeks send out daily e-mails with the free programmes that are being offered.
It’s funny how hardly any of these have RSS feeds. And many don’t even have email subscriptions.
Martin, a suggestion/request for you – can you please compare website monitors – sites that monitor other websites and send notifications on updates? I used to use page2rss, but it’s gone now. :(
Check giveaways.megaleechers.com, they offer software giveaways for popular brands only!
Very nice roundup of services in this blog post, good work!
You should also check out http://softwaregiveaways.net they have the latest software giveaways from several sites, all on one page and also categorized by operating system.