• Applications
  • Security
  • Utilities
  • Cloud Tools
  • Hardware & Mod's

Below are some great (not to mention FREE app's you should try:

Internet/web:

Firefox Web Browser - The best web browser out there! Highly customizable with a multitude of add-ons.

Thunderbird Email Client - Open Office does not have an Outlook alternative, so here is one to try.

Stripmail - Clean up some of those emails you forward to your friends and maybe they will actually read them!!!

Productivity:

Open Office - If you don't want to spend the big bucks just to write a letter, give this office suite a try.

Jing - Capture your screen and share it instantly via many sharing options like email and IM, etc...

Nitro Reader - Print any document to a PDF.

Audio:

Audacity - This is an awesome free audio editor and recorder. Lots of effects and ways to manipulate audio.

Switch - Sound file converter for Windows or Mac. Convert audio from different file formats to mp3, wav or wma.

WavePad - Another audio editor from the same folks that make the Switch audio converter.

Audio Grabber - Rip audio CD's with ease using the LAME MP3 Encoder. Has freedb search for file naming.

Video:

VLC Player - If this media player will not play it, you probably shouldn't be trying to play it. Beats Windows Media Player hands down in the number of different file types it can handle.

Quick Media Converter - convert between several different formats of video files.

Real Alternative - If you must view Real media files, use this instead of installing the system hog Real Media Player.

Graphics:

Gimp - This is a good alternative to Photoshop if you don't want to (or can't) fork out the big bucks to Adobe.

Paint.net - Another Photoshop alternative.

Irfanview - Awesome little photo app. One of the easiest way's to view your pictures and do minor adjustments.

Photoperfect Express - PhotoPerfect Express is a professional quality, yet easy-to-use program for achieving your photos´greatest potential.

Photofunia - PhotoFunia is an online photo editing tool that gives you a fun filled experience. You upload any photo and just wait to see the magic. Automatically identifies the face in the photo and let's you add cool photo effects.

Sumo Paint - The easiest, fastest and most creative paint app on the internet (quoted from their site).

1001 Free Fonts - Good place to go to for some original free fonts. Also see daFont and Acid Fonts for more.

WhatTheFont - Upload a picture of a word or two of a font you are searching for and WhatTheFont may find it.

Other:

Distrowatch - Ready for something other than Windows? Find all the latest LINUX distributions here.

Antivirus, Firewall, Spyware and other software to keep your system safe.

Antivirus:

Avast - One of the best free AV programs out there for Windows.

Rising Antivirus - Also one of the best free AV programs out there for Windows.

Avira AntiVir - Seems to be pretty easy on the system resources and protects well. Seems feature lacking.

AVG - Grisoft's AVG protects well but to me it is VERY IRRITATING to use. I don't think you should know an antivirus is even on your system until you have virus issues. You WILL know AVG is there, but maybe that will reassure you.

Firewall:

Zone Alarm - Probably not the best solution out there anymore, but I use it because it is easy and seems to work.

Zone Alarm + Antivirus - All-in-one firewall and antivirus.

Sunbelt Personal Firewall - protects well even when it goes from the full version to the free version. The only issue is after you go free it nags you to buy the full version often enough to be irritating.

Comodo - This all-in-one internet security suite has become an irritating mess (just like Vista). It works well, but you will definitely know it is there! If you are lucky enough to have an older version with just the firewall, you have a gold nugget there. I used to recommend this, now I am just letting you know it's an option.

Some other freebies that I don't know enough about to advise you on include: Jetico. Outpost and Online-Armor. Of those Outpost and Online-Armor seem most promising. Once I test I will update you on them.

Spyware/Malware:

Malware Bytes - This anti-malware software is as good as it gets for a free malware scanner. it can't get them all, but I don't know any one software that can.

Spybot - Spybot Search and Destroy used to be great, now it is just average, but worth a try.

Adaware - Adaware is in the same category as Spybot, it used to be great, now average but worth trying.

Super Antispyware - One of the better antispyware products out there. The free version does not provide real-time protection. Good for an occasional scan though.

Spyware Blaster - I still have not used this one, but it is supposed to do a decent job of keeping spyware off your computer. Not to be used if you are trying to get rid of something, only to keep net nasties off your system.

Other:

If you decide not to use antivirus software (not a good idea by the way) at least run one of these free online scans occasionally. They could possibly even be a backup to your current antivirus software:

Panda, McAfee, Trend Micro, Bit Defender, Kapersky, Authentium, Computer Associates, CyberTechHelp, PC Pitstop, McAfee Stinger (portable virus scan), Emsisoft a Squared.

If you know you have been infected with a trojan, use the free trial of Trojan Hunter to kill it then run CCleaner to get rid of the remaining traces of the junk left.

Here are some of the better free utilities you will find on the net:

System:

CCleaner - I recommend this great little freebie that will clean your system of all the crap that's collected on your computer. It will clean your temp files, fix your registry and even find some nasties. Helps optimize your system.

EZBack-it-up - Simple, effective backup software that doesn't use compression or proprietary file formats.

Advanced System Care Free - Uses a one-click approach to helping protect, repair, clean, and optimize your PC.

Gparted - This is a great free partition editor. Linux based but works on any PC that will boot from CD/DVD/USB.

Whisper FTP Surfer - Use this program to initiate FTP sessions on the internet. I use it to down/upload to this site!

Renamer - Good little utility for batch file renaming. Works great!

7-Zip - File archiver and compressor. Decompresses many different zip files.

Darik's Boot & Nuke - Wipe your old hard drives of data before selling, giving or throwing away. A format just won't do a complete job of removing the data.

Active@ Kill Disk - Does the same thing as above, but does it without having to create a boot disk.

Autoruns - Pinpoint exactly what is starting up when you boot Windows. Helpful in tracking down rogues.

PC Decrapifier - Great to run on a new PC to get rid of all the crap you don't need.

X-RayPC - Takes the idea of the Hijackthis utility and provides a little more information as to the good, bad and the ugly processes that run on your computer.

SpyCar - Test to see how well your computer is protected from spyware and other nasties.

The Software Patch - Patch your Windows based PC without worrying about installing WGA by accident.

Online Software Scanner and Personal Software Inspector do the same type thing as The Software Patch does.

aSquared HiJackFree - A detailed system analysis tool which helps advanced users to detect and remove all types of HiJackers, Spyware, Adware, Trojans and Worms.

Recuva - A utility to restore files that have been deleted from your computer. Including files emptied from the Recycle bin and other files that have been deleted by user error from digital camera memory cards or MP3 players.

DVD/CD/CODEC:

XP Codec Pack - Tired of getting videos that won't play? There is a good chance the correct codec is in this pack.

DVD Flick - DVD Flick is a simple yet powerful DVD Authoring tool. It can take video files turn them into a DVD. You can add additional custom audio tracks, subtitles as well as a menu for easier navigation.

Handbrake - HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multi platform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.

ImgBurn - Free disc image burning software that supports a wide range of image file formats. Even burns audio.

File Sharing/Storage:

Dropbox - Good little online file storage site.

 

 

Join.Me - Free remote computer control and share program.

What is my IP - Find what your IP address is in a jiffy.

PDF Online - convert almost any document to PDF for free (for now).

Zamar - Free online file conversion.

Panda Cloud Antivirus - The first antivirus on the cloud.

ZoHo - Work. Online.

Piknik - Photo editing made fun.

Digital Dutch - Unit converter.

Oanda - Currency converter.

Free OCR - Free online OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool.

Pixlr - Online photo editor.

Gizmo's Freeware - The site I got most of the links on this tab from!

Here are a few sites for Hardware related items:

Bit-Tech - Mods for your PC.

LED Calculator - Calculate the required resistance for your LED project.

Xoxide - This site has lots of items to help you mod your computer.

Frozen CPU - World's largest selection of PC modification supplies...at least that is what the banner says!

Envador - Some really unique computer case mod's.