One of the main problems with holding on to a favorite operating system is locating suitable freeware, especially when it comes to anything just a little out of the ordinary. Fortunately there are resources available which cater for just such circumstances.
FileHippo is probably one source you’ll be familiar with, it’s a download site but one with a unique difference. FileHippo is actually more akin to a time-machine for software, offering older versions for most popular titles all neatly sorted into categories. Locate the required software, click on the link, and all available versions (more often than not going all the way back to day one) will be listed on the right hand side of the page. Simply click on the desired version to download. This is also very handy for when updated software doesn’t live up to expectations and you’d like to be able to go back to an older version.
Last Freeware Version is not as well known but is an excellent source for older freeware. As the name suggests, these freeware versions are no longer under development and latest versions are now mostly only available as shareware. The indexing system is not quite as well organized as FileHippo, there isn’t any real categorization but a full list of titles in alphabetical order is available via a link on the front page.
Last Freeware Version provides downloads for a wide variety of quality products, including such popular titles as; jv16 PowerTools, FastStone Capture, Everest, Aida, AceMoney and CamStudio. Supported operating systems are also itemized in each listing – and as you will see, they do go way back.
Abandonia Reloaded provides a very similar service for games. The vast majority of games listed here are remakes of old favorites and many support older Windows operating systems (there are quite a few cross-platform games available too). Games are separated into genres and listed alphabetically within each category. A full review for each game is easily accessible by clicking on the game’s title. There are no actual direct download links provided but the expanded information also includes a link to the game’s home page from which downloads are then accessible. There are some great games here and although it may take a little while to sort through and locate those suited to a particular OS, it is well worth the effort.
Caiman is an excellent source for free games which run on older operating systems.There are hundreds of free games available here, all sorted into categories and, again, expanded information is available after clicking on a title – including, in most cases, supported operating systems.
Caiman does provide direct download links – many of which include portable versions. Caiman is one of my all time favorite game sites; a huge variety to choose from, excellent details, and portable versions to boot.
MyRealGames is new to me, I only came across this free games site recently. The site offers a good number and variety of both downloadable (148) and online games (143), all free. New games are being added all the time so the numbers are growing. A full page of information is dedicated to each downloadable game, including the all important system requirements. The vast majority of games here support XP and many offer support as far back as Windows 98 and 2000.
The site itself is rated Green (safe) by all the leading site advisory services. I downloaded a couple of games and scanned the executables through Avast and MBAM, both came up perfectly clean. Just a minor word of warning; installation included the ubiquitous Ask Toolbar, but it is totally transparent with options to decline. There are some nice games here so well worth a look.
Do you have a favorite source for freeware and/or games which support older operating systems, please share the knowledge and let us know in the comments.
Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.