Free programs that won’t cost the earth – it’s free!
It can often run far more than the cost of the computer to get all the software on it to be able to use it, so it is nice to find a few freeware programs that won’t cost an arm and a leg – in fact the following ten are completely free! These ten freeware programs will help any regular computer user better enjoy and protect their computer and have been selected to offer a range of types that most computer users will find useful. There are far more out there so the rule of thumb should always be to look for a free program when wanting to fill a particular need.
Global Alexa Rating: 117
There are a number of ways in which the important information on a computer can be backed up. There are even a number of freeware options out there, but Dropbox has one major advantage over many of them – it does not require your computer to have a second hard drive, external hard drive or even a DVD. Users are able to backup their important files to the cloud. They can even share the files and sync with other devices. There have been some concerns about their security from time to time, however, so it might just be prudent to only store files that are not of a confidential nature. Dropbox would be a great choice for photos, a recipe collection, videos and music files.
Global Alexa Rating: 141
Computers come out-of-the box with Internet Explorer for browsing but that doesn’t mean you have to use it. While it should be kept on the computer as it will be necessary for Windows updates and a handful of other tasks there are other options for browsing. Firefox by Mozilla is one such option and it has many benefits over IE. Browsing is much easier with their incredible bar which learns as you use it so over time it adapts to your preferences. It also has an awesome interface, easy to use tab system and plenty of unique functions. Enjoy the pop-up blocker, password manager, form complete, easy search and session restore functions for example. Once you use Firefox you’ll never go back to IE again
Global Alexa Rating: 176
CCleaner is a super easy to use and very efficient at cleaning and optimizing your computer. It performs a cleaning that removes any unnecessary files. Users should be attentive when installing because it will prompt on whether the user desires to also have Google Chrome installed and whether you want to preserve cookies used regularly. CCleaner is a great way to improve computer performance but just we watchful as it can also accidentally delete files and programs that you don’t want it to. Thankfully it is up to the user to confirm deletions so when in doubt, leave a file intact.
Global Alexa Rating: 864
Everyone knows the only way to keep their computer safe from harm is to have an effective antivirus in place. So many of those offered have annual fees with some of them costing hundreds of dollars. While that is a great idea for those that can handle the cost or have far too much to lose in the event of a virus, for those that just want a simple, easy to use free antivirus the answer just might be Avast! Avast has been around for over 25 years and they actively protect more than 200 million computers globally. The freeware version includes the same antivirus as their all-inclusive security software and premier software but doesn’t have some of the extra features. Take a look at the website and see if you need any of the added features and if you don’t then the free version is sufficient.
Global Alexa Rating: 2,044
The VLC player supports more video formats than any other video player out there. From the most familiar to the most rare video formats, it can run any type of video making it more useful than Real Media Player and Windows Media Player- the two other commonly used players. It plays most codecs with no codec packs needed and runs on all platforms. It is completely free with no spyware, no ads and no user tracking. The website has a full graph of the features and how they compare to other players. VideoLAN Organization is a non-profit organization so they do accept donations so users can support them if they wish.
Global Alexa Rating: 5,521
Antivirus software does not always catch another computer threat – malware. Malware, short for malicious software, invades a computer and can disrupt functions, gather private information and pretty much make life miserable. Because it differs from a regular virus, many antivirus systems will miss it but Malwarebytes will not. The company offers various versions including the free one. The Pro version includes additional tools such as anti-spyware, anti-phishing, anti-rootkit, anti-adware and anti-trojan. If these added features are desired it is just a one time lifetime license currently just $24.95 and users can run a free trial first to see if they like it. They also have business versions, a mobile version and other tools.
Global Alexa Rating: 6,618
LibreOffice is a free alternative to the rather pricey Microsoft Office suite of products. It is a comprehensive, professional-quality productivity suite that is absolutely free and includes a number of features. Writer is the word processor, Calc is for data analyzing, Impress is for multimedia presentations, Draw is for creating sketches and drawings, Base is the database tool and Math is a simple equation editor. It also comes configured with a PDF file creator.
Global Alexa Rating: 18,567
KeePass is a free, open source, light-weight and easy-to-use password manager. While we all know it is easiest to use one password for everything and never change it that is a very foolish practice, but keeping a record of dozens or more passwords and changing them regularly is such a pain. With this free program users keep all their passwords in one database which is locked with one master key or a key file. The database is encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).
Global Alexa Rating: 20,206
For many people privacy when surfing is important. With CyberGhost users can hide their IP address and surf completely anonymously. This makes it impossible for hackers, third parties or other organizations to track which protects private data. Another benefit is the ability to enter websites that are restricted or blocked due to location or some other reason. For those that travel it can be used to access sites that are restricted in the country one is located and it also keeps you anonymous and protected when connected to public Wi-fi.
Global Alexa Rating: 47,766
XnSoft has a number of free applications for reading, viewing and processing images. It is an alternative to Photoshop which is expensive. Photoshop has a huge suite of features but most users don’t really need all that. XnView might just be perfect then. It supports a ton of file formats and includes features you would not expect for free. They have applications for desktops and mobile devices – as well as one for developers. Definitely worth a look.
While some of these also offer more complete programs at a cost, the freeware will be fine for most users. It’s also not a bad idea to utilize the free one for a while and wait till the company offers a great discount which they will likely do eventually. Why pay for tons of features that you may never need when these ten freeware programs could be sufficient? Better to save those extra coins and upgrade the computer itself!