About Gizmo’s Best

Gizmo’s Best is the successor of Gizmo’s Freeware, a non-commercial community website staffed entirely by volunteers. Run by morons for morons.

Our primary goal is to help you select the best freeware product for your particular needs. Secondarily, we love to share other beautiful, useful or extraordinary finds with you – whatever we run in to.

The best freeware programs are as good as or better than their commercial counterparts but finding the most appropriate program can be challenging.

Sure, there are dozens of freeware download sites on the web, but few of these actually help you select the best program for your needs.

That’s what we do here. No downloads, just honest advice and useful guidance.

It’s honest because this is a community-based site staffed by volunteers and we have no commercial affiliations.

The History of Gizmo’s Freeware

“The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities”

Until July 2008, Ian “Gizmo” Richards was the editor of “Support Alert”, a  highly regarded monthly technical newsletter that was distributed to over 150,000 subscribers. An website associated with the newsletter was started in October 2000. This site was the home of Gizmo’s highly popular list of the “46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities.” Over time that list grew well beyond 46 and reached the point where it could not be maintained by one person anymore.

“Gizmo’s Freeware”

In May 2008, Gizmo launched “Gizmo’s Freeware”, a community driven site about Freeware. It utilizes the contribution of dozens of volunteer editors who edited and moderated suggestions from thousands of site visitors. As a result the range of free software covered by this site was increasing fast and the quality of the reviews were constantly improving.

The quality of the site’s content and its lack of commercial affiliation have contributed to its skyrocketing popularity.  As of  October 2014 it was rated by Alexa in the top 4000 sites in English speaking countries and in the top 6000 worldwide with more than 80,000 people visiting the site every day. It was also the most bookmarked site under “freeware” at most of the web’s major bookmarking services.

In August 2010, PC Magazine included Gizmo’s Freeware in its “100 Top Websites of 2010.”

When the cost for hosting could not be covered privately anymore, the community agreed to put ads on the site. The advertisement revenue and donations kept the expenses covered.

In 2020, Gizmo announced that he decided to retire from his activities to spend time with more pleasant things that life has to offer. He transferred ownership and management of the site to George, Jojo, MC and Rhiannon and said his final good byes in December 2020.

“Gizmo’s Best”

Around March 2021, Google AdSense canceled their advertisement service for Gizmo’s Freeware for unexplained reasons. With that income breaking away, the cost for running the site could not be covered anymore. The site itself presented several technical challenges too, that could not be resolved in the existing environment. With a heavy heart, the management team had to announce the shut down of the site by mid of July 2021.

The site was taken down and a farewell page was posted instead. Many comments were made on that page, expressing how sad the shut down was and asking whether there was any way to keep the site alive.

Encouraged by these messages, the management team decided to regroup and come up with a new concept that will keep Gizmo’s legacy alive but that also marks a fresh start: Gizmo’s Best.

It is now managed by George “Sundance”, Jojo, Glyn “Midnight Cowboy” and Rhiannon. The four of them were part of Gizmo’s management team for many years.

Gizmo’s Best is all new and yet, continues with the best of Gizmo’s Freeware. A new site has been built on modern architecture bringing back popular content from Gizmo’s Freeware but also adding new stuff to serve our community.

Best regards,
Your Gizmo’s Best Team