Review (Tech Sites We Love Series)

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 19, 2017
Updated • May 22, 2018
55 is a download site first and foremost with a strong focus on free software for Microsoft's Windows operating system.

That does not mean that you won't find shareware or commercial software listed on the site, or the occasional program or application for a non-Windows operating system.

Download portals, most of them anyway, have a bad reputation on today's Internet. Some distribute potentially unwanted programs -- adware -- with downloads, and others make it difficult for users to distinguish downloads of the program they are seeking to download from advertisement.

Majorgeeks is one of the few download sites that is user friendly in this regard. Downloads are direct on the site, and not put into wrappers that serve you adware, and download links are easily identifiable due to the placement of ads on the site. Review

The Majorgeeks website looks a bit like it has been stuck in the past. While that is usually an issue, it is not in this case as the site layout puts software and important site functions front and center.

The homepage lists all new files sorted chronologically and in compact form. Each program is listed with its name, size, supported operating systems, and a one paragraph description.

It takes just two clicks from here to downloading the file to your system. The structure that Majorgeeks uses on its homepage is ideal for browsing new programs and updates in rapid succession.

You find several important functions on the page as well. The left side lists product categories that you may open to list programs by type rather than update date. The right lists the top downloads, and there is a search form at the very top -- powered by Google Custom Search -- that you may use to find programs that you are interested in quickly.

A core difference to most software portals out there is the review process on Majorgeeks. The guys who run the site published a video back in 2014 that demonstrated the software testing process on the site.

All programs are tested in virtual machines for viruses and other unwanted additions, and for functionality.

Majorgeeks Downloads

The software download pages on Majorgeeks are as clean as they get. While you do get ads on those pages, they are nowhere near the actual download links on the site.

The layout is always the same, with download links displayed prominently in the header area that describes the software program.

You find links to the author's or company's site on the page, which many software portals either hide, or do not display at all. You may follow it to check it out, and even download the file directly from the author's site instead if you prefer that.

All it takes is a click on one of the download locations to start the download. While that takes you to a new page if you select a server by Majorgeeks for the download, that page is as user friendly as download pages get these days.

software download majorgeeks

First, the download should start automatically when you are on the site. It is clean and direct, exactly how the author or company that created the product intended it to be. While you do get ads on the page, the ad nearest to the manual download link is clearly marked as such.

The direct download link from the author's site is another thing that sets Majorgeeks apart from the bulk of download sites out there.

Majorgeeks main features and benefits

  1. Downloads are direct, exactly as the author or company intended, and without third-party installers or download wrappers added by Majorgeeks.
  2. Downloads on the site are clearly marked as freeware, open source, or bundleware, so that you know what to expect. Bundleware for instance means that the software ships with offers that may install other programs on your device.
  3. Majorgeeks links to the author's website if it exists, and may also provide direct download links from the author's site. This gives you the choice to download from Majorgeeks, or directly from the author.
  4. All software that is listed on the site is taken through a thorough review process before it is listed.

What is not so good?

Not much, to be perfectly honest. The description of the programs is usually quite short, and longer reviews would offer more value.

Video reviews are done for some of the programs hosted on the site, and that is definitely a step in the right direction.

The focus on the top 1% of programs on Majorgeeks means that many programs are not hosted on the site at all.

Closing Words

Majorgeeks is one of the few trustworthy software portals out there. That does not mean that I won't scan downloaded files and make sure they are clean before I run them, but that is just common sense.

If I have to download software and cannot find the author's website, or downloads on the developer's site, Majorgeeks is one of the first -- and few -- destinations that I use. Also, I browse the software listing on the site regularly to discover new programs that I can review here on Ghacks.

Now You: What's your take on Majorgeeks?

Summary Review (Tech Sites We Love Series)
Article Name Review (Tech Sites We Love Series)
Description is a download site first and foremost with a strong focus on free software for Microsoft's Windows operating system.
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  1. Former majorgeeks fan said on February 22, 2019 at 12:09 am

    I used to like Majorgeeks. They were helpful. You cannot get help now except by being subservient.

    Another one bites the dust.

    If you know anyone there, particularly longtime staff, forward this to them, please. Thank you.

  2. ExSophus said on August 22, 2017 at 6:20 am

    An important issue to me is that quite a few software authors do NOT provide HASHes for their files.
    SOME do, and that’s terrific; however,
    there is no way to determine if the file is corrupted or compromised without a HASH.

    It would be nice if majorgeeks could provide a commonly used HASH for the file majorgeeks tested, and if at all possible, the HASH result to expect when a file is downloadeded via majorgeeks…even when the author does not provide one. For example, is there some script that could be written that would download the current version(s) available from a given software title’s webpage, HASH it, and then insert that HASH in the top page information for the software…perhaps after the file length?

    That said, majorgeeks is the best download website by far. Testing by the owners/support is reliable and virtually all information provided about a given program has been quite accurate over the years.

  3. Frank said on August 3, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    I love it is a great site i check it out like everday i hope it stays up forever.Thankyou for being on the net and all the great software keep up the great work and the instructional videos.This site is priceless you cant put a Price tag on it it is too great.Thanks Majorgeeks

  4. Doug said on July 25, 2017 at 4:09 am

    I’m a Mac and Linux user. I stumbled upon this site and was surprised to see good bit of Mac software. I’m going to toy with the software a bit then will donate. Thanks in advance!

    Also, I’ve heard people here downing the old school looks of this site, among other things. Most tech ppl give little care to this if its functional. It did raise a thought. I am a web dev/IT specialist (ya lotta hats!) and I do these things everyday. My question is, perhaps MG’s could start a service-as-donation program. In the end, the service bit would cost well over what people would donate anyway. I don’t know, I love everything opensource; and you guys are busting your butt keeping it going perhaps this might spawn some ideas. Thanks for what you do!!!

  5. Terrence Dove said on May 8, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    All to often Major Geeks downloads the prior version of the program listed. This morning’s download page for FastStone Capture is an example. I do use Major Geeks site, but get annoyed that the version of every program downloaded must be checked.

  6. Pedro The Swift said on April 25, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Jim,, dont change a thing.. :)

    I also love the “way off base” stuff!

  7. Ricardo said on April 24, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Major Geeks has been around long enough to satisfy my freeware needs since Windows XP was new. I like the fact that the layout of the site is unchanged over the years, since a good thing needs no improving. Major Geeks is like Noctua, you know it by the colors, etc…

    I have oggled all the other download sites out there, with some being interesting while most are dangerous for reasons others will be all too eager to extol upon. At the end of the day, I can always count on Jim’s team to deliver the goods, both the software and the info about it.

    I give Major Geeks five stars. Highly recommended.

  8. Adam D said on April 24, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Best site for downloading utilities. It’s never let me down for trustworthiness and I’ve been using it for at least 10 years. its the first site I bookmark on a fresh install of windows and as long as PC repair and service is a business I’ll be using it and recommending it

  9. AhmedR said on April 24, 2017 at 12:12 am

    strange no one mentioned
    it’s also a good software download site, and I like that they have “whats new” for software when possible

  10. Fred said on April 23, 2017 at 5:05 am

    I also enjoy and use Majorgeeks almost daily to either find specific programs for download or to check and see what new programs are available. I find Tim does a very commendable job of offering good safe software for downloads (something few others can say). I also use an ad-blocker though as I am on a slow connection due to being overseas right now and I would highly recommend this site to anyone who needs good clean software. Also if you run an ad blocker as I do please contribute to the site to help keep things running smoothly. This site is a jewel in a pack of garbage out there for downloads.

  11. Jim said on April 22, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Jim here from MajorGeeks. I wanted to give a shout out to gHacks for this piece. I may be biased here but, I believe Martin has written the greatest article that has ever been posted on the Internet. If this doesn;t get a Pulitzer – I’m gonna riot! ;)

    Your opinion of us is humbling and warms my geeky little heart! Thank you, sir. Please know we take your trust in us seriously, every day.

    I would like to comment on one thing. We list 1% of the software out there for two reasons. 1) We feel we should sort through the crap so you don’t have to. 2) There is only 3 of us. If we tried to list all the crap then we would never keep up. Hence, we fell if we don’t have it – you don’t want it.

    But we aren’t perfect. if we missed something cool – 100% please write us and we will correct that issue at once.

    I am reading all the comments intently. They are great. I love the input. We are 100% looking for that sort of thing as we do some minor redesigns. If you like, feel free to email me directly for features or other things you would like us to see. (PS – could really use a decent designer. ;) )

    GHacks FTW!

  12. Raheel said on April 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I usually download Windows 10 software from
    It’s small but most of my routine software are found.It is safe so far.. Don’t know if it’s good or bad.

  13. John said on April 20, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Easily the best site for viewing & downloading new versions of software released daily

  14. James Kelly said on April 20, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Majorgeeks is one of the first places I check out when looking for a programme and haven’t been disappointed so far. It might look dated but it so easy to navigatemso why change something that just works and works well. Plus check out the huourous stories in Way Off base section.

  15. Owl said on April 20, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Good article. You can always check out the software via the links. Its a good site for those running XP or Vista if they want to find software that is compatible, (often only available on their servers). Tom H: If your system is that locked down why worry if occasionally something like in your post happens? If you are on Windows, it is a good source of sofware.

  16. Saadi@com said on April 20, 2017 at 8:33 am

    MajorGeeks is one of my chooses.

  17. Curtis K said on April 20, 2017 at 5:35 am

    I use the company/program official site not the download portals no seriously.

  18. nealis said on April 20, 2017 at 2:30 am

    Not sure if you ever used Chocolatey, I did a quick search on Ghacks and didn’t find a mention of it. However it is the best way to install free software without worrying about bundled crap that typically come with free software.

    Use sites like Majorgeeks to find your software, then use Chocolatey to install without worry.

  19. Kulm said on April 19, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    The major is meh… But for freeware I use;

    PS; Adware, the little that is there, is always clearly marked.

  20. Paul(us) said on April 19, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Sometimes (Almost never) Majorgeeks make a (small) mistake with a download item. Think not yet available or wrong download address but Majorgeeks is already for many years the place to go, for all your trustworthy downloads for commercial – or non commercial software.
    Sure they can make the layout even more user friendly but it’s not really disturbing.
    They are others like betanews but Majorgeeks is a class of his one.

  21. Chris said on April 19, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Majorgeeks is my go to site for IT programs and IT information; the site and the people behind it have helped me out more than once when working on a computer and was stuck, safe site and they check the programs for b.s. like addon’s and post a warning if there are any and then there is the handy informational videos on various programs that are a bonus for the geeks.

  22. Tom said on April 19, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    You forgot to mention their daily files RSS feed, very useful for getting news about software updates.

  23. Clairvaux said on April 19, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Glad to learn about that. I thought all those sites had gone rogue, more or less. Although the notion of “bundleware” is new to me. At least they advertise the bundling instead of doing it sneakily. Of course the aesthetics suck. But if it’s clean…

  24. P said on April 19, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Nothin beats Majorgeeks, been using them since the early oughts, wish they would https up though. Their website does not need an upgrade, looks fine, a classic.

  25. jasray said on April 19, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Maybe best to install Privacy Badger from EFF and see how many trackers are being blocked at any download site of one’s choosing.

    Then note the number of trackers being blocked on this site.

    What I don’t understand is why a Linux distro, such as Mint, along with all of the programs installed, is so easy to update with zero dollars and cents in the equation.

  26. Frenzy91 said on April 19, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    I’ve been using for a long time. It is not a very fancy site but well organized. The site has been on the market for many years and provides credible reviews plus warns about 3rd party installations. Never had a bad experience. Just simple and effective.

    1. Tom Hawack said on April 19, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      Snapfiles is nice, I agree. I already regularly visited the site with its previous denomination, Webattack …
      Moreover it’s maybe the best when it comes to searching an app, well organized. Nice place indeed.

  27. Andy said on April 19, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    MajorGeeks is the only download site i use and trust.

  28. Name said on April 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm
    Reply is my go to download site.

    1. said on April 20, 2017 at 6:03 am

      If we’re talking about the cnet site, that one is filled with adware.

      1. kalmly said on April 20, 2017 at 2:52 pm

        And every page runs that damn video.

  29. Howard A Pearce said on April 19, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    MajorGeeks is a dependable site usually a day ahead of other sites in providing new updates/installs for major products

    I use it in conjunction with sites like Softpedia for a more complete listing

    1. Tom Hawack said on April 19, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Sometimes a mistake ahead as well when downloading the previous version of an updated one.

      But the most bothering is when you notice that downloading, i.e. ‘Smart Defrag’ (for testing, I don’t use that application) leads to …

      We have one freeware application here with its download calling avangate, then iobit and finally the file on Majorgeeks server… with a nice suite of alpha-numerical references : how sweet!

      Sorry for the link and if my comment gets blocked I’ll accept it with a smile :)

  30. Reader said on April 19, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    The biggest drawback is that they don’t have full site https support.

    I don’t really feel comfortable running applications and executing them with admin privileges knowing they were downloaded over plain http, free for anyone en-route to modify.

    1. Kit said on April 21, 2017 at 12:00 am

      Why is it always the trolls like you Claire that accuse others of trolling?

      I’ve told you exactly why I don’t like http sites and avoid them wherever possible. I don’t like my ISP and others knowing what news I read, what software I download, or anything else. When did protecting my privacy become a crime that needs to be explained to a troll?

      If you can download the same piece of software from a reputable https site, why would you download it from MajorGeeks instead?

      Instead of trolling. why don’t you tell us why you don’t like https sites? And what business is it of yours in any event?

      Go away, troll, instead of trying to have the last word.

      1. Anonymous said on April 24, 2017 at 12:56 pm

        While I use Major Geeks almost exclusively, I agree with your position being entirely reasonable. It has nothing to do with “something to hide”, which is a specious argument by those who just don’t comprehend the meaning of privacy. Insisting someone prove a negative doesn’t make your argument a positive, Clairvaux. It simply means you you don’t have a valid argument.

      2. Jim said on April 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        I’m loving this thread. Great input.

        I can argue for days as to why MG is better than most whether they use https or not… But you all are hitting on a topic that I’m currently working on and was wondering which way to roll with it – so maybe you could help me. Most download sites, that I know of, do not put it as a priority or even support it. I just checked 5 or 6 of them.

        I personally come down on the side of Clairvaux. Majorgeeks is 100% legit, editor-tested, virus tested and legal software. Who in their right mind – besides you – would care what you got from us? Secure downloads from us are exactly that. But I recognize that people are more security conscious.

        Would you be happy if the file servers themselves were https? or are you concerned with the whole of the site, not https? From where I am sitting that’s a pretty big issue. I can get into why offline sometime if anyone cares. :)

        Thanks for taking your time. Jim

      3. Martin Brinkmann said on April 22, 2017 at 8:01 pm

        You will have to move to HTTPS eventually, as browsers will highlight http as insecure more and more. I know what a big undertaking this is, we switched last Monday to full HTTPS and I cannot really say where this takes us search visibility wise. Right now, all looks good but one never really knows.

        Since you serve something to users, I’d suggest you move to full HTTPS. If you enable things like HTTP2 and HSTS, you may even see a speed boost.

      4. Anonymous said on August 19, 2018 at 6:07 pm

        I don’t mind downloading via plain HTTP if the site provides a way to verify the integrity of downloaded file (SHA/MD5 checksums). As far as I know, majorgeeks don’t offer the checksums to their downloads.

        Regarding your ISP knowing what files you download, I think they’ll usually know that anyway. I’ve read somewhere that the size of the encrypted content usually tells them what file it was, especially when the content comes from a file hosting website like majorgeeks.

      5. Clairvaux said on April 21, 2017 at 12:46 pm

        Now that’s some troll we have here, Kit. You go insulting people point blank on a technical forum and you pretend you’re not a troll. What age are you ? Five ? Who raised you ? Didn’t your mother tell you it was rude to belittle people because of their names ?

        You’re so full of yourself you don’t even get the point as far as the technical issue is concerned. Where did you see I did not like https sites ? I only browse under https. It’s highly likely I’m far more concerned with privacy than you are. You don’t have the slightest idea of the way I protect my privacy on the Web — and that’s part of the setup.

        And yes, of course, what you’re writing here is everybody’s business. If it’s not, why do you choose to share it with others ? Are you just venting, or are you trying to share technical knowledge and help people ? This is not Twitter. This is a serious place.

        You said you did not like your ISP to know what software you downloaded. That strikes me as irrational and unwarranted. I don’t give a hoot about your personal motives. You’re perfectly entitled to do the stupidest things as far as I’m concerned. It’s your undisputed human right. What interested me was whether you had a rational, technical motive based on a well thought-out threat model for such a weird move. Something that might benefit others, you know. Not that I’m asking. At that point, your credibility to provide sound technical advice to others is seriously strained.

    2. kit said on April 20, 2017 at 1:01 am

      Agreed. And I don’t like my ISP knowing what software I’m downloading. This is what caused me to stop using MajorGeeks.

      1. Clairvaux said on April 20, 2017 at 7:25 pm

        @ Kit

        Trolling, hey ? Why don’t you stop being cute for a minute, and tell us instead why it might be that dangerous to let your ISP see what you’re downloading ? If you have a rational explanation, that is…

      2. Tom Hawack said on April 20, 2017 at 7:12 pm

        MajorGeeks cannot be accessed with https : Error code: SSL_ERROR_RX_RECORD_TOO_LONG

        I’d love to know one’s ciphers that allows https access to Majorgeeks :)

      3. Kit said on April 20, 2017 at 6:31 pm

        Well, then, I guess you’re not very clairvoyant, are you, Clair?

        Plenty of other download sites have https. This site has it as well. And every site that cares about your privacy should have it.

      4. Clairvaux said on April 20, 2017 at 12:33 pm

        You mean your ISP will chastise you for using 7zip instead of WinRAR ? Apart from torrenting software, and even then, I really don’t see how your ISP would give a hoot about what programs you download…

  31. Emilio said on April 19, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    I prefer filehippo

    1. said on April 20, 2017 at 5:59 am

      Ditto that for filehippo

      I also use Ninite for regular software updates as well.

  32. Tom Hawack said on April 19, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    When downloading a software with Majorgeeks’s servers I occasionally encounter the download blocked because it is downloaded via ‘secure dot avangate dot com’ and that this address is blocked by my hosts file. Is avangate worth being blocked? I have pertinent & reliable sources for my hosts file and I encounter no issues not to mention that I don’t have the time to review some 80,000 entries included in the hosts file (managed by HostsMan by the way).

    The Major is OK otherwise, but nothing extraordinary. The site requires several lines of css (even after the uBlockO blocked/removed the worst) to get it aesthetically acceptable. An old place living on its reputation, no more than that IMO.

    1. I.M. Pistoff said on April 25, 2017 at 8:32 am

      I’d rather have functionality than all the aesthetics in the world. Simple, and it works.

    2. Jim said on April 22, 2017 at 6:38 pm

      Avangate is a software cart checkout system. There is never a reason to block it.

      The reason you will see that is because one of the ways we make money is by referring a sale to a company. This is called affiliate sales. Much of the internet goes by this sort of marketing but unfortunately, it is dominated by cookies to track whether or not a sale came from MajorGeeks or something else. So that is what you are seeing. When you block things like that, you are really hurting the sites that you are visiting. Don;t get me wrong, I understand the other side of that argument — Just speaking the truth.

      As for being old – yes I am. As for living of our rep.. Well, I suppose it is good to have a rep to live off of. So thanks! ;)

  33. kalmly said on April 19, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    PRO: For all the reasons mentioned above, I trust MajorGeeks. It is one of the sites, like this one, that I check out every day. I go there first when looking for something specific. I am so fond of the site, that my ad blocker isn’t on while I’m there.

    CON: Having said that, I must also say this: I have to go elsewhere for honest reviews of applications, and comments by users of said apps. When I’ve posted comments that are not complimentary to the software in question, they are removed. I don’t take it personally, as everyone’s negative remarks disappear. They are there one day and gone the next. They even deny they’ve removed a post. Try mentioning a problem you’ve had with one of their favorites: See how long your post lasts. Therefore, it is impossible to learn about problems experienced by other users who have tried the software you are interested in without searching the internet for more information.

    1. Jim said on April 22, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Thanks for the input. We do not typically remove any negative comments just for the sake of removing them. We do remove insulting stuff of no value. That said, we have a love-hate relationship with our current comment system which is from a paid provider. Posts I have left myself have suddenly gone missing. It’s annoying. So we are looking now into other options.. stay tuned and I hope you like the new way better. :)

      Jim of MajorGeeks.

  34. Vrai said on April 19, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    I like and use but I don’t like ads and use an ad-blocker……
    So I gave them a donation to cover the revenue lost ……. and so the don’t ‘off’ the bunny.

    1. Nick T said on April 23, 2017 at 2:24 am

      I’m a member of MajorGeeks Support Forums and the way I found myself joining the forums is because I was looking for a safe, honest and reliable download site, and I found MajorGeeks and have never looked back. They are the only way I get my downloads. It’s MajorGeeks all the way.

    2. Jim said on April 22, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Thank you — Just so you know, we spent it on coffee and booze. The bunny is alive and well. ;)

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