A few weeks ago, I received my new laptop and had to install it from scratch. Although it’s a time consuming process, a new PC installation is a great opportunity for you to search the web for the best (and most reliable) apps for your PC. The good news is that you can grab most of those apps for free.
For your convenience, I prepared a list of my free software recommendations. The beautiful thing about these applications, is that they provide state-of-the-art performance, functionality and support for free. Thus, i recommend that you install them all on any PC you use. So let’s get started.
Here are my top 15 free apps for your PC:
- Foxit Reader: The PDF reading market is dominated by the extra annoying Adobe (Acrobat) Reader. The main drawback of Adobe are its frequent automatic updates. Those consume plenty of your system resources. Foxit Reader, a lightweight application that enables you to read your PDF files like a breeze, is my preferred PDF file viewing utility.
- CCleaner: a free system optimization and privacy tool. Removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. Additionally, CCleaner protects your privacy, by allowing to clear your browsing history as well as performs same basic Registry repairs.
- AVG Anti Virus Free Edition: Malware of any kind and specially PC viruses jeopardize your productivity and cause you valuable data loss. AVG Antivirus free edition, a free antivirus utility that not only features virus scan scheduling capabilities, but also scans your incoming and outgoing emails. AVG 9 is my preferred free antivirus utility.
- Audacity: Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Highly Recommended!
- VLC Media Player: A multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3) as well as DVDs and other streaming protocols. My preferred media player
- GIMP: except its unfortunate name (GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program…), GIMP is a powerful open-source bitmap editing program. Professionals will opt for Photopshop, but who needs Photoshop for editing a MySpace background image ?
- Ad Aware SE Personal: an easy-to-use utility that allows you to wipe out adware from your computer.
- Skype: The most popular free PC VOIP utility. Although it faced a major service outage lately, Skype has a huge subscriber base and it’s still my recommended too for free Voice over IP conversations.
- Treesize: A beautiful utility that maps your PC hard disk and then allows you to identify the most disk-space-consuming folders. Treesize can be used in conjunction with the aforementioned CCleaner in order to free up disk space.
- Google Reader: If you read RSS feeds, this is the tool you need. Allows you to read your preferred feeds when online and offline (in conjunction with Google Gears). Now features a new search box that allows you to easily find relevant threads.
- Tweak UI: Allows you to easily tweak many Windows XP user interface properties without hacking the registry. Very recommended for beginners.
- Filezilla: Another open source product, FileZilla is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface.
- Pidgin (previously named Gaim) : Got accounts with MSN messenger, AIM, YM, Google talk? Why not accessing them all using a single interface? Pidgin is a cool instant message unifier that will allow you to accomplish that.
- Firebug: A slick Firefox utility and a must for bloggers and web site owners, Firebug allows you to debug your web pages as well as peek into other web pages while looking for a new concept for your web site or blog design. More extra cool Firefox addins for website owners can be found over at this piece written by Kline.
- Zoho: currently the most powerful Office 2.0 suite in the market. What i like the most about Zoho, is that although it runs on the web, its set of features is rich, and would satisfy even the most enthusiastic MS Office user. It offers a Word processor , a Spreadsheet application (Excel like) ,a private beta of a new online mail application, and the extra slick Creator, and application that allows you to create a web form in seconds.
Ok, those were my top 15, although i easily could mention other 30 that could easily make to the list (Joost, Comodo Firewall, Notepad ++, Picasa to name a few..). Would you like to recommend other great applications to Connected Internet readers? Comments are welcome
Update: Read Part II Of The Best Free Software For Your Computer