Site Suggestions and Feedback

Like our site?  Think it sucks?  Got an idea how it could be improved?

Whatever, we'd like to know so please leave a comment below

Gizmo

Some past comments from our site contact form:

I have only been looking at your site for about ten to fifteen minutes and felt compelled to send you a message to say "Thank you for not sucking". There's plenty of "Free Stuff" websites out there who simply spill out as much text as they can to maximize banner ad returns. It would appear that you are actually checking to see if this software is worth using in the real world. I have a certain appreciation of free software and often take note of authors [or utilities] I feel have done an exceptional job.

Thank you! Dave.

 

I just wanted to let you guys over there managing this site, my appreciation and thanks at a wonderful job and service that you are providing to the whole World. Thank you, and God bless.

Sincerely, Sam.

 

I've been a visitor to your website for a number of years with it becoming one of my main resources for freeware.  I just wanted to comment that the changes that have come about in the last year and the recent site redesign have turned this from an already great site to an awesome website.  Thanks for all of the effort that you all put into this.

Janet

 

Comments

by yyyy on 13. December 2014 - 21:39  (120099)

Hello, Thanks for all the hard work. But,... I'd like something more.
I like pages like this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_computer-aided_design_editors
I can make my own religion based on the features listed. I'd love to see more tables of that type when reading from Gizmo's. Sometimes, features that look important to the editor might be pointless to me, or the opposite.
It also would be nice to be able to fill in that type of table collaboratively.
Regards,
Y

by jprg24 on 5. December 2014 - 17:17  (119983)

Thanks a million to developers and reviewers for keeping this awesome site going! I have been using it for years since a friend told me about it and will continue to spread the word.

I would like to suggest a new review category: "Best Free CPU Benchmarking Utilities" or something to that effect.

As of now, I was only able to find one "Hot find" suggestion on this topic:
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/really-simple-pc-benchmarking-ut...

I also found Hard Disk Performance suggestions, but this is not the same as CPU:
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-hd-health-monitoring-and-diagn...

Anyway, I hope you guys have time to put something together for this category.

by alxchase on 30. November 2014 - 21:00  (119913)

PLEASE PLEASE don't list freeware when it's not. even the free trial versions or at the very least say at the beginning, that this is NOT FREE.

by MidnightCowboy on 30. November 2014 - 23:44  (119915)

We do only list freeware unless it happens to be part of a site or occasionally time limited offer.

Please provide links to any pages where products are causing confusion, or where a listed freeware might possibly have gone commercial without our knowledge. MC - Site Manager.

by rghorrell on 27. November 2014 - 10:13  (119869)

I have just been using your site to ascertain what is the best free i-pad apps and have noticed that your E-mail etc app finder brings up multimedia etc and Multimedia etc app finder brings up e-mail etc. This is not a complaint but just an observation to what is a very useful site.
Regards
R G Horrell

by Jojo Yee on 27. November 2014 - 12:51  (119873)

Many thanks Horrell for bringing this to our attention. The mismatched categories have now been fixed.

by need3 on 5. November 2014 - 6:31  (119480)

I consider this as the #1 resource on freeware, I also disabled AdBlockPlus on this domain to give more support by clicking ads. However, I noticed that often these ads lead to questionable websites involved in the distribution of potentially unwanted programs disguised as freeware, which is nothing illegal, but maybe it isn't the best choice since this website is about helping the users to find quality freeware.

by Anupam on 5. November 2014 - 6:41  (119481)

The site uses ads from Google, so as such there is no control on what ads will be shown.

by CrazyCatLady on 24. October 2014 - 14:13  (119306)

Love this site!
I notice when I try to "pin" an article to Pinterest it seldom grabs a photo unless there is a screen shot. I see a graphic that has the name of the article but it doesn't actually pin, it comes up saying "You need to upload an image or provide the 'image_url' parameter"
Since I'm sure others also don't know how to do this, I wonder if you could add a larger graphic to your heading that can be used to pin some of your wonderfully helpful and informative articles.
Thanks so much! CCL

by ichabod on 29. July 2014 - 6:18  (117643)

At my account page, I should be able to find links to all comments and forum posts that I made. Is that feature here and I just haven't found it?

by RetdNavy on 21. June 2014 - 13:40  (116860)

I appreciate your site very much. Thanks for all your work.

I do have a suggestion. Many people these days, like me, spend much more time using a cellphone or tablet than a computer. That being said, why not create an app for cellphones and tablets for your site? One that allows the page to conform to the window size of the unit being used, etc.

Just a thought. Thanks for your consideration. (Oh. It would be 'free,' right?) :)

by MidnightCowboy on 21. June 2014 - 14:07  (116862)

Thank you for the suggestion RetdNavy.

Currently the site is in the process of being converted to a later version of Drupal to include a mobile responsive theme. This is quite an undertaking however and will take a little while yet to complete. MC - Site Manager.

by RetdNavy on 21. June 2014 - 18:25  (116864)

Thank you for the RAPID reply! Anyone reading this, please note it took only 27 minutes to get a response! If you look up "customer service" in the dictionary you'll see "Gizmo's" for the answer.

by magicus on 12. June 2014 - 1:36  (116738)

Please add the category backup software.
There are different places all over your site where one can find some hints about backup sw but YOU NEED TO MAKE AN OWN CATEGORY!
PS. there is only the category "Best Free Hard Drive Backup Program"
but I am missing real backup programs, not for entire hard drives.
This should be in same Group: Disk & File Tools
Greetings and thanks for your site!
Daniel

by MidnightCowboy on 12. June 2014 - 5:14  (116739)
by magicus on 12. June 2014 - 6:19  (116740)

Hi Midnight Cowboy,
well, yeah file copy is nice but has not too much to do with backup, online backup is also nice for people who like to put everything into the cloud, which I personally dont like.
My personal favorite is bvckup which is mentioned on your site but anyhow there definitely needs to be a category for discussion of the diffenrent backup programs, thinking how extremly important proper backup for anyone is.
Remember also that Disk & file tools promises to contain "backup" software which it doesnt, apart from the online-backup-sites you mentioned.
Greetings
Magicus

by Jojo Yee on 12. June 2014 - 7:59  (116744)

This article "Best Free Hard Drive Backup Program" that you're referring to is actually "Best Free File-Based Backup Program". I've now renamed the article title. Please check back Magicus if it is the one you're looking for.

by RonMcc on 17. May 2014 - 21:42  (116258)

Your pages on restricting rights are excellent -

How to Surf More Securely
http://www.techsupportalert.com/safe-surfing.php

Easy Ways to Run Windows Programs with Restricted Rights
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/easy-ways-run-windows-programs-r...

At work they are setting me up with a Win 7 computer and I have asked them to run software that can access the internet with reduced rights. As I recall Drop My Rights won't run under Win 7, and we have tried using PSEXEC and Process Explorer command lines. We can get most software to run restricted. However we cannot get Firefox and IE to run restricted.

Could you get time to update the Easy Ways page to address this?

And here I thought Win 7 was supposed to be so much better in terms of security - and they are still blowing the first line of defense.

Thanks.

by MidnightCowboy on 18. May 2014 - 4:28  (116260)

There is more information about this at the link below.

If you need personal assistance, please post in our forum.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/general-computer-support/

Many people use Sandboxie to secure their browsers and other internet facing apps. MC - Site Manager.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2006/03/02/running-as...
http://www.sandboxie.com/

by bobsco60 on 12. May 2014 - 12:51  (116195)

Have had very good experiences on this site before, so was astounded last night when I began to download what you recommend as the best free MP3 tag scanner - TagScanner. I attemtped to download it from the site given :

http://www.xdlab.ru/en/download.htm

At the top of the download page was a large green rectangular banner which said
"download". Over to the right were some words "Codec Pack", which I did not pay any attention to. In very small print under these words is this "available to download on our website - advertisement". This I did not even see.

I did not notice these descriptions, and clicked the download arrow. The screens came very fast, and I was tired, and did not notice until it was too late that"Codec Packs" had been downloaded, without my awareness or consent. not TagScanner, and that Mysearchdial and other malware had been installed on my Win 7 Ultimate machine, hijacking my browser, etc.. I googled how to uninstall Codecs Pack and used AntiMalwarebytes to remove the rest of the junk that I could not uninstall using add/remove programs..

I think is it criminal for this malware to be so deceptively linked to your most highly recommended TagScanner. Please ask that the website remove the ad and download link for this garbage.

by MidnightCowboy on 12. May 2014 - 13:37  (116196)

Many websites and products offer additional components users may not want. This is common knowledge and it is necessary to take care with everything you may wish to install in your computer. Simple ad-blocking extensions will help you to avoid most of these. We published an article about this subject some time ago. MC - Site Manager.
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/what-else-have-you-just-download...

by dark matter on 8. May 2014 - 18:13  (116100)

The Best Free OCR article recommends FreeOCR. Be aware that users on ghacks.com are indicating that it now contains CONDUIT, V-Bates Toolbar and Remote Access, all of which are camouflaged within a very sneaky EULA and install process.

I can not verify this. I am unwilling to risk the infection and do not run a VM.

by MidnightCowboy on 8. May 2014 - 18:31  (116101)

According to multiple scanning engines there is no infection. MC - Site Manager.

https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/c59f2f5bb07eb274de9cb64da414e593c9935...

by dark matter on 12. May 2014 - 18:01  (116204)

The follow-on to my previous reply is this:

Having been emboldened by the lack of malware detection by MalwareBytes, SuperAnti, MSE, VirusTotal (both on-line and local) and Spybot, I decided to do a very careful install from a User account on my Win7 box. I read the EULA and ran it through Eulalyzer. No opt-in boxes were checked. No opt-out boxes were offered. When Win7 UAC threw a flag on v-bates.exe, I bailed on the installation. The escape appeared to be complete. Nothing had been accepted for installation. Nothing had been given UAC permission. As I previously noted, this was the FreeOCR v5.02 file acquired directly from paperfile.net, not a third-party repackager.

After posting my caution to you, I subsequently noticed a number of unusual processes in the Win process manager. It was immediately evident that something was not right by tracing their properties and target locations. On-demand scans of the system were then run with MalwareBytes and SuperAntiSpyware. Found were 2 Registry Keys, 18 Folders and 81 Files indicating SearchProtect.A (Conduit.A).

My previous caution must now turn more strident. This recommendation should be removed from Gizmo's. This is not optional adware. It is covert, subversive malware. There is no way to run the installer for this file without being infected by Conduit, a notoriously difficult to remove scheme and a gateway to much more severe infection.

It is puzzling why none of the usual gatekeepers flagged this installer file, even more so because the created Files and Folders were spotted and cleaned. Also distressing is that MSE, the resident AV on this box did not flag the dl or the unpacking of the installation. I have been considering going back to AVG or avast!. I guess this clinches it, although neither were reported by VirusTotal to have flagged the installer file.

by dark matter on 11. May 2014 - 20:52  (116171)

It is true that VirusTotal, MalwareBytes, SuperAntiSpyware and SpyBot S&D all report the installer file v5.02 on paperfile.net to be clean. It is also true that there are numerous reports on a variety of sites that the program is bundled within the installer with insidious adware, toolbars and hijackers. For example, Martin Brinkmann on ghacks.com writes: "Warning: The installer contains third-party offers. Make sure you decline those if you do not want to install them on your system. It offered Conduit Search Protect, the V-Bates Toolbar, and Remote Access to your Home or Office PC during installation."

The gist of the cautionary comments seems to be that the opt-out process is more devious and requires a greater degree of attention than usual. When Win7 UAC threw a flag on v-bates.exe, I bailed on the installation. This was the file acquired directly from paperfile.net, not a third-party repackager.

It would be helpful if someone would run the install in a sandbox or VM and report the experience.

by markdoc on 7. May 2014 - 16:42  (116084)

I would like to ask if someone has ever reviewed the support that the Android authors provide. I have found that the quality of the app has no relationship to quality of the support. There is a multitude of companies/authors that write really nice apps but do not support them. It's time that these companies/authors be brought to light and encouraged to improve their ways.

by jlgg on 29. April 2014 - 7:42  (115946)

Please update your best free firewall list, some are discontinued, and some are completely changed. This is always the site I choose when searching for best freeware, and I am pretty desperate for reliable recommendations for a decent firewall and tired of testing them all myself ;)

by t i m on 3. May 2014 - 7:50  (116011)

Hello there, my name is Tim and I am the editor for the Best Free Firewall list as mentioned. Just wanted to let you know that I will be working on updating the category soon with revised / new content as necessary. Thanks for visiting and posting your comments!

by Carisbrooke on 5. March 2014 - 18:46  (114817)

I followed the link from Rob's post to the Microsoft site and discovered that support for Office 2003 is stopping at the same time as support for XP. I use Outlook for email and am wondering if the ending of support means I should be switching to Thunderbird and Firebird? Is there an article in this?

by Shasta76 on 3. March 2014 - 12:06  (114754)

Hi, I've been searching through your site and the vast amount of information you guys have worked hard to incorporate into it. So far, everything I have read is in English and very easy to read and understand. Even the most basic pc users can benefit from the information provided and greatly advance in their computer literacy and capabilities. This site is geared to all ability levels and it is even provided in different languages.

Overall this site is the most valuable comprehensive collaboration of computer information I have found thus far. All of the information is truly in the best interest of all-level computer users and there are no ulterior motives involved like you get on many sites I have seen. For these reasons, I have referred my children, many friends, family, co-workers, students, etc, to techsupportalert.com.

This is a fantastic site and all of your hard work and information provided is so much appreciated! Thank you for creating and continuing to provide an internet site that is invaluable to all of us pc users! Keep up the phenominal work!!

by RedSky on 23. February 2014 - 15:04  (114612)

I've been a follower of your site and email articles for several years but registered today. I value the leads and advice you provide -- well done. I have a request regarding Android applications. I try to carefully consider the access (permissions) granted each application and how it affects my privacy and security (as well as the privacy and security of those in my contact list). I find, however, that I am evaluating in an ignorant vacuum. It should be easy for a really knowledgeable writer to discuss the impact of each permission granted and the implications that follow. Why, for example, do applications that have nothing to do with telephony want access to my phone and identify those I call or who call me. I can only guess and my guesses are not comforting.

A similar Widows article might be of interest. My concern here is granting permission for, as an example, Microsoft to receive data helping them improve various programs.

Best regards, keep up the good work and Mahalo plenty

by Sickboy009 on 22. January 2014 - 18:59  (113899)

Hello All... I am a 50 year old full time worker and full time college student. I started college in 2009 with no computer experience and no idea I would need a computer for academic success. Now in my 5th year, I am able to accomplish all the things I need to for school. I have also learned to utilize my computer for many other things to make life easier. I have to let you know, your website has proven the most fair, most comprehensive and most usable I have encountered in these 5 years. I learned more in the first 20 minutes of reading on your site than from all other combined resources accessed during the same 5 years. I visit your site often, especially just before the start of new semesters. I always want to do everything I can to ensure that my computer will function as needed and is safe and secure, when computer reliance is at it's highest for me. Your site has helped me do just that for several semesters now. I recommend a visit to classmates, professors, and everyone I care about. I wish I had the time to do some reviewing for you. As a relatively novice user, I'm sure I could provide some worthwhile feedback, but work and my education must come first. There is very little you could change to improve your site, just keep doing what you're doing already. I love this website! Sincerely, Sickboy009.

by not recognized on 18. January 2014 - 8:02  (113686)

Could a new category be set up for e-book makers? I'd like to convert .docs to epub and whatever other formats might be available.

by MidnightCowboy on 18. January 2014 - 8:53  (113688)

Please post details of what it is you are looking for here in our forum. MC - Site Manager.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/i-want-freeware-program-t...

by rpro on 10. January 2014 - 1:55  (113502)

I'm a first time user of your site. I looks very helpful, but in my first trial of a highly reviewed product I was once again duped. I downloaded the SearchMyFiles software by Nirsoft. Step one is to select the files to scan. I selected a few that I knew had duplicates. The next step was to act on the files, but not before receiving a pop-up for a mandatory purchase before being allowed to move forward. So much for free; although, not a bad price. Perhaps you might mention this little detail, and tell us which ones are really free, or even show a comparison chart.
I just need to move both feet foreword.

by MidnightCowboy on 10. January 2014 - 4:56  (113505)

Nir Sofer does not develop commercial apps.

"NirSoft Web site provides more than 100 freeware utilities for Windows without requiring the users to pay any fee, even when other companies sell similar tools for dozens of $".

If you received a payment popup this must have come from another source. I just ran this utility on my own system and it works as described. MC Site Manager.

by artandy on 7. January 2014 - 16:54  (113449)

I officially registered today and now have a problem which I hope you can solve. I did not realize that my username would be shown when I post, so I supplied my real name as my username. I wish to change that but after a frustrating search concluded that the only way to do that was to delete my account and then register once more. Is there an easier way?

by MidnightCowboy on 7. January 2014 - 20:40  (113456)

I can sort this for you if hopefully our system still allows you to log in after the change. If you don't like what I've already changed it too, let me have another choice and I'll change it again. Please check you can login OK first though. MC - Site Manager.

by richardlatu on 28. October 2013 - 5:41  (111821)

Greetings to the team:

Thank you so much for keeping this website up to date for the benefit. Knowing how time wasting it can be to surf online looking for the right tool to use on your computer, Gizmos has indeed become a life-safer. I can't thank you enough for the effort you have put through into creating this marvellous website. This site is more like a real online reference for software and free apps. I own three computers with three different OS, ie Mac, Windows, and Linux Ubuntu. I also own an Android and iphone device. It is always an effort for me having to keep all the apps in my devces up to date as long as they are free. You guys simply draw the map for us and point us to the right direction - all for free. It's a simple click away and Gizmos will do the rest.

Thank you thank you thank you.

Best of regards
Richard
- Your loyal Gizmos' user

by MidnightCowboy on 28. October 2013 - 6:23  (111823)

Thank you for your kind words Richard. If you ever feel like contributing to Gizmo's as part of our editing team, please have a look here. MC - Site Manager.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/become-a-reviewer.htm

by Misty27 on 29. September 2013 - 15:44  (111092)

Wondering why, as a long time member, with same acct, same user name - I'm being asked to solve a captcha for posts? Even for the same session, if post more than one reply, it still forces me to solve captchas.

Is this really necessary for long time members - assuming they've never "behaved badly" on the review site?

by Misty27 on 29. September 2013 - 15:39  (111091)

How could the reviewing process be improved:
For most reviews, very little detailed info is supplied for how the testing was actually done. What type of computer / OS was used for testing; the exact criteria for rating one product better than another. Many of the ratings seem subjective.

Sure, reviews often say, ABC took X minutes to perform a task, while XYZ took Y minutes.

Maybe details of the testing, computer specs, what specific criteria were used & how each product fared on each of the criteria could be on separate pages from the main article.

I find many descriptions of products don't seem to match their scores. Descriptions may be very negative, but ratings are still a 4 or 5, or vice versa. Some descriptions are SO SHORT or contain such little useful info, I wonder if the reviewer tested the product at all. Yet, those products may get a very high or low score - based on what?

I'm not talking about very long, extremely complicated reports. Just what was used to judge the products in a category & quantitatively how each one performed on each criterion. Then users can decide how important performance on each criterion is to them.

In ANY kind of "scientific" testing, criteria must be established & specific results recorded for each test parameter. Otherwise, it becomes partly / largely subjective.

by MidnightCowboy on 29. September 2013 - 16:02  (111094)

Maybe you will consider joining our editing team because we always welcome those with the time and ability to help improve our reviews. Please see the link below for details. MC - Site Manager.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/become-a-reviewer.htm

by Misty27 on 29. September 2013 - 17:08  (111095)

I would if I could.

One person would be a spit in the ocean. I'm saying that for a site devoted to reviews & where most reviewers are not "professionals," it'd benefit the site, readers & would help the reviewers, if certain reasonable guidelines & standards were established for how reviews are done.

* General * guidelines on how testing should be done & how data should be reported (even if more detailed info is listed on other pages). Eliminate some subjectivity & allow readers to see the actual data behind reviews, so they can decide which data is more / less important to them.

by Remah on 3. October 2013 - 12:48  (111198)

Misty27, this is my personal response as one reviewer of many.

First, I encourage you to become a reviewer here and do what you are asking for. Generally, a major change requires someone to be the champion and prove it. That could be you. :-)

You'd also see the broad range of "reasonable guidelines and standards" we work under already. Many of us reviewers are IT "professionals" or have professional expertise in the software we are reviewing. But we are all volunteers and many of us are in "I would if I could" circumstances with very limited time. That's why we need more people putting in "spit".

What you are asking for takes more time than many of us have available. It also will be difficult to apply to reviewers who are less quantitative. I am more technically minded so I do have criteria and scores for all the categories I review but most of our visitors are satisfied with short easy to read reviews with key information in the Quick Selection Guide. My own experiences, the user feedback and the page statistics support this view. More detailed information is sought by no more than 1 in 8 of our readers.

My conclusion is that all the extra work I have done has much less return than I expected. Ironically, it is often the case that the recommended product so clearly leads the other products that the matter of quantitative scoring is irrelevant. That is the case with my first attempt at a more detailed article, Best Free Internet Safety Check.

All this means that we get a much better return on our efforts from working on categories with no current editor or those needing updates - at the moment this includes all of mine, sigh. :-/ That's why I say you should give it a go and pick an article that needs more objectivity. You could also choose to work with another editor by doing part of the job: testing, analysis or writing.

by MidnightCowboy on 3. October 2013 - 13:14  (111200)

Remah makes some very good points.

We are always looking to improve both the quality of our content and how it is presented but as a volunteer group we are ultimately governed by the amount of resources we can generate.

Where we will always stand out though is in our independence. No one here is influenced by vendors (although they try :D) or the need to generate advertising revenue from commercial products while pretending to write impartial reviews.

Thank you for your feedback which is appreciated. MC - Site Manager.

by Misty27 on 3. October 2013 - 16:44  (111208)

I appreciate the time limit of volunteers. My suggestions were just that - suggestions.
Use none, all or some, in any fashion.

My inference that, even for volunteers, certain reviews need more supporting data / info, still stands.

If the site disagrees, that's fine. Consider the discussion closed.

Best regards,

by cpedley on 8. September 2013 - 11:26  (110593)

First of all, I love your site and only wish I could help review freeware but time does not allow.

Second: This site is getting a mite too geeky.

For example it used to be easy to simply type into the search something like "Best Free Online Web Builder" and actually get a list of a few. But it seems very difficult to do that now.

One gets discussions about CMS or Wordpress or SMF forums but where are the recommendations regarding sites like Weebly.com, Webnode, Wix etc.?

I cannot find them any more. And I have been on the web since the 90's.

Probably happens because "expert geeks" are helping who do not know how to use the KISS principle (Keep it Simple Stupid).

Just saying.

-Charles

by linsulted on 6. September 2013 - 8:35  (110555)

This is far too complicated, and I still cannot find the genre link you said you posted! Like many people, I want certain genre at certain times, and this is impossible to sort out.

by MidnightCowboy on 6. September 2013 - 8:41  (110556)

What exactly are you referring to and from which page of our site? Then maybe we can help you. MC - Site Manager.

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