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MyPCHell.com

Resurrecting PCs One At A Time

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MyPCHells List of the Best Freeware
(0 - user rating)
Written by mypchell.com   
MyPCHells List of the Best Freeware has begun. Throughout the month of July (Note: this was originally posted in 2007), we will be adding additional items to this list. Each update will include a different category (for example: Media Players, Spyware Protection Software etc). at least 1 new Freeware (In the month of July, these will be posted daily) Unlike many Freeware Lists found on the web, this list will only feature solid, tested Freeware.


 
Note: Click on any image for a larger view of that particular image.
 


MyPCHell's List of the Best Freeware


AVG (Antivirus)

AVG Free Edition has spearheaded the company's growth. According to Grisoft, the makers of AVG, over 50 million users have AVG Anti-Virus protection; this includes both users of the Free Edition and the Paid Edition. (AVG Anti-Virus Professional is the paid version of the program),

The AVG Free Edition is similar to the Anti-Virus Professional product, but does not have all the features. It lacks the fine-grained control over how scans are conducted, and it receives lower priority (than the paid-for products) when downloading updates from Grisoft's servers. The language interface cannot be customized, and English is the only available language.

Technical Support is not available for the Free Edition, whereas support is available to users of the Professional, paid for products. Despite this, the AVG Free Edition is still a excellent program and definitely worth checking out.

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Avast! (Antivirus)

Avast is another free antivirus solution. The software is aimed at preventing several types of computer threats, including those that are not technically computer viruses such as spyware and even rogue anti-spyware, and can also make a virus Recovery DataBase which is used to recover files when they are infected (instead of just deleting them). The product can be downloaded with full text and voice translations to more than 25 different languages.

One of the really cool things about Avast, is that it allows you to change the look of the program with Skins.

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ArovaxShield (Antivirus)

Arovax Shield™ is a brand new type of personal security solution that is unlike to any firewall, anti-virus or spyware remover.

Rather than looking for spyware traces or tracking applications that secretly send or receive data over the Internet, Arovax Shield blocks any attempt by malicious software to add entries to the auto-start menu, change the registry, hijack or install itself into a browser or find any other way to stealthy get itself onto a PC.

Arovax Shield protects your PC with bulletproof security from both known and unknown threats before they even get on your Personal Computer

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Filezilla (FTP File Transfer Program)

FileZilla is a free, open source FTP client for Windows. It supports FTP (FTP is used to transfer files from computer to computer, mainly used when transferring files to a webserver), SFTP, and FTPS (FTP over SSL/TLS). The main features are the site manager, message log, file and folder view, and the transfer queue.

The site manager allows a user to create a list of FTP sites along with their connection data, such as the port number to use, the protocol to use, and whether to use anonymous or normal logon. For normal logon, the username is saved and optionally the password.

The message log is displayed along the top of the window. It displays the console-type output showing the commands sent by FileZilla and the remote server's responses.

The file and folder view, displayed under the message log, provides a graphical interface for FTP. Users can navigate folders and view and alter their contents on both the local and remote machines using an Explorer-style tree interface. Users can drag and drop files between the local and remote computers.

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SmartFTP (FTP File Transfer Program)

SmartFTP is an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client which allows you to transfer files between your local computer and a server on the Internet. With its many basic and advanced features SmartFTP also offers secure, reliable and efficient transfers that make it a powerful tool.

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7-zip (File Archiver/Compression)

7-Zip is an open source file archiver designed originally for the Microsoft Windows operating system, and later made available to other systems. In the form of p7zip, 7-Zip has been ported for use on Unix-like systems such as Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X. It is also compatible with DOS via either a DOS port, or by using the HX-DOS extender to run the Windows command-line version.

7-Zip supports many file types, including: GZ, TAR, ZIP, GZIP, RAR, Microsoft (CAB) files, CD/DVD Iso, Bzip2, ARJ, CPIO, LHA, RPM and DEB.

Prior to using 7-zip, multiple programs were needed to open the most popular file compression types (For RAR, WinRAR was needed, for ZIP, WinZip was needed, etc.)

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Ad-Aware (Spyware Scanner)

Ad-Aware is an anti-spyware program from Lavasoft that detects and removes software on a user's computer that is determined to be spyware or adware. It also detects dialers, trojans, malware, data-mining, aggressive advertising, parasites, browser hijackers, and tracking components.

The makers of Ad-Aware, Lavasoft, also offer a paid version of Ad-Aware. The main difference between the free version and the paid version is that the paid version offers real time scanning.

The newest version of Ad-Aware, while not as good as its successor (Ad-Aware 6.0 SE), is still a great program and worth installing.

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Arovax Antispyware (Spyware Protection)

Per Arovaxs website...

With its most recent update, Arovax AntiSpyware has become even more reliable and effective. Arovax AntiSpyware Spyware Database is completely updated to discover malicious software and to distinguish it from the legal software. All found malicious software are now automatically checked for removing, and those items which will be marked as unknown can be sent to the Arovax lab for the further research and analysis.

One of the most important features of the new update is the implemented regular Signature database update. Arovax AntiSpyware is now able to completely secure your system from the most latest viruses, trojans, spyware, etc

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SpyBot (Spyware Scanning/Protection)

Spybot can fix problems with tracking cookies, system internals (Registry), Winsock LSPs, ActiveX objects, browser hijackers and BHOs, and can to some extent protect a user's privacy by deleting usage tracks. Spybot also includes an "Immunize" feature to block the installation of spyware before it occurs. Another tool included in Spybot is a file shredder, for the secure deletion of files.

A Tea-Timer module can be optionally enabled, which provides a level of active, real-time protection from undesirable registry changes and such; it is unusual for such a feature to be offered as part of a free anti-spyware program.

Spybot has won numerous awards, including the PC World Best Buy and World Class 2003 Awards, the PC Magazine Editors Choice and PC User Top Buy #1

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Spyware Blaster (Spyware Protection)

Here is what Spyware Blaster does:

  • Prevent the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware, browser hijackers, dialers, and other potentially unwanted software.
  • Block spyware/tracking cookies in Internet Explorer and Mozilla/Firefox.
  • Restrict the actions of potentially unwanted sites in Internet Explorer.
  • Provides the aforementioned protection without running a process in the background

Spyware Blaster stands out from the crowd of antispyware solutions . It protects your system from spyware and it does this without having a process running in the background. That feature is huge, that means that you can actively protect your system from spyware and not take a performance loss for it.

Spyware Blaster is freeware that provides spyware protection without any consequence. It is a absolute must for anyone wanting to protect themselves from spyware. No performance loss plus Free; How can you possibly go wrong with that.

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HijackThis (Used to Identify Spyware/Virus’s System Scanner/Debugger)

Per a Review on Download.com [Source]

First, a sidenote, Please excuse the category that HijackThis was placed in. Technically HijackThis is not really an antispyware, however we really did not have a category for it and it absolutely had to be on this list of the “Best Freeware"

"If persistent spyware is bogging down your computer, you might need HijackThis. The tiny program examines vulnerable or suspect parts of your system, such as browser helper objects and certain types of Registry keys. Pressing the Scan button generates a log of dozens of items, most of which are just customizations. Don't check off an item and hit the Fix checked button unless you're sure it's malware. Clicking Info on selected item tells you why the entry was flagged as suspicious, but not whether it's actually malware. To find that out, search the Web for that item's name or go straight to a forum, such as SpywareInfo or Computer Cops. Saving the log creates a text document you can post to these forums.

The latest version adds powerful tools to the Config window. The process manager and hosts file editor help you excise virulent infections. The unique ADS Spy tool scans for alternate data streams, which some browser hijackers use to hide from spyware removers. The program still installs into whatever directory in which you unzip the file, which can make it hard to locate. HijackThis is a serious tool for any user who needs to root out a serious infestation, but wield it with caution."

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{mospagebreak}

Windows Live Mail (Microsoft's Free Email Program)

Having Windows Live Mail in this list is a little bit of a double edge sword for me. Currently the Operating System I use the most is Windows Vista. And Windows Vista includes a email program called Windows Mail which is not a good program at all.

And yes,the name of the email program included with Windows Vista is “Windows Mail”. And the name of the good email program is “Windows Live Mail”. Very similar dontcha think? To avoid confusion, I will refer to email program included with Windows Vista, as “the Vista Email program”.

The Vista Email program is garbage. It does not allow you to add Hotmail accounts. Hotmail is a Microsoft's Free web-based email (and Windows XP, included a email program, Outlook Express, which did allow Hotmail accounts). It makes no sense that Microsoft would bundle a email program that does not support their own products.

Windows Live Mail, is everything that the Vista Email Program is not. It allows Hotmail accounts to be added and it is a very friendly, easy to use email client.

Windows Live Mail is a free program that can be downloaded and installed on both Windows XP and Windows Vista. Windows Live Mail is a must if you have Windows Vista and even for Windows XP since it is a large improvement over Outlook Express, which is the default email program bundled with Windows XP. (Click Here to read the Windows Live Mail article posted on our sister site, FixMyVista.com)

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Thunderbird (Email)

Thunderbird is a great email program made by the same company that makes Firefox. Thunderbird along with the Webmail extension integrates web site based email accounts in to Mozllia Thunderbird, this allows Thunderbird to download and to send emails using web. This means that it supports all the popular email clients, like: Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, MSN Mail, MailDotCom, Gmail, Lycos, and AOL Mail.

One of the best reasons to use Thunderbird is being able to customize it using the huge assortment of extensions and theme. There is a downside to Thunderbird, and that is that it does have a different interface and can take awhile to get used to and this might be a deal breaker for some.

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Fox It (PDF Reader)

Per Foxit's website...

Welcome to use Foxit Reader, your right choice to view and print PDF documents.

Foxit Reader 2.0 is a free PDF document viewer and printer. It launches very quickly (in about one second) and requires no installation -- you just need to run the executable files.

For regular PDF users, Foxit Reader is the absolute choice.

Foxit Reader 2.0 provides the significant features to empower PDF document user with Interactive form filler, multi-language UI support, on-demand download of add-ons, self upgrade, JavaScript support, improved printing speed, multi-languages UI, streamlined UI and much more.

Click Here to read the Fox It PDF Reader article posted on our sister site, FixMyVista.com

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EULAlyzer

EULAlyzer can analyze license agreements in seconds, and provide a detailed listing of potentially interesting words and phrases. Discover if the software you're about to install displays pop-up ads, transmits personally identifiable information, uses unique identifiers to track you, or much much more.

Plus with EULAlyzer you can save your license agreements. This program is awesome, it lets you know in seconds if the program you are about to install is shady. With EULAlyzer, whenever you install a program, you can be sure it is a sound program and best of all its freeware.

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Virtual PC 2007 (Microsoft's Free VM Program)

Use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 to run multiple operating systems at the same time on the same physical computer. Switch between virtual machines with the click of a button. Use virtual machines to run legacy applications, provide support, train users, safely test software, and enhance quality assurance.

How it works is, you install Virtual PC onto your system. After installed, you launch Virtual PC, and it opens a interface where you can add Virtual machines. You can add a virtual machine and then install an operating system onto it (note: installing a OS onto the virtual machine is done the same way, so you will need the disks and license key and it takes the same amount of time to install)

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Belarc Advisor (System Utility: PC System Info Tool)

Use Belarc Advisor whenever you need to know something about your computer (e.g. If you needed to update your drivers but did not know what company made your motherboard). Belarc even pulls out information like license keys for programs (Office, Windows etc.).

Per Belarc's Website...

The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, CIS (Center for Internet Security) benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.

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VLC (Media Player)

Per VLC's Website. . .

VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. VLC does support skins, which can be downloaded from VLC's website for free.

What makes VLC so great is its wide range of compatibility with OS's other than Windows (currently supports: Windows, Mac, Linux, Set Top Box, VLC for Familiar Linux).

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{mospagebreak}

GOM Player (Media Player)

I already reviewed GOM Player. Here is an excerpt from that review . . .

I stumbled across a media player that up until now, I had never even heard of. It was free so I downloaded and tried it out. It's called GOM Player, and I was shocked by how great this player was (and no, I am not affiliate with GOM Player in any way shape or form…)

GOM Player has built in CODECS, Filters and it plays videos flawlessly and it's free (I can't believe that it's free…).

Plus you can customize the player with skins, it comes with a few skins but you can download more for free. Excellent.

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The Core Media Player (Media Player)

The Core Media Player (TCMP for short) was designed from the ground up to be the ONLY audio and video media player you will ever need on your PC. Incorporating cutting-edge technologies along with backward support for things like winamp 2.x visualazations and DSP plug-ins.

Overall, TCMP is a pretty good player. It seems to handle audio better than other players and the video is above average. Comparing to the other Freeware Media Players mentioned, I would say that this ranks 3rd (1st is GOM Player, 2nd is Media Player Classic)

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Media Player Classic (Media Player)

Media Player Classic is a lightweight media player that looks similar to how Media Player 6.4 looked (this was before Microsoft redid the Windows Media Player look/interface)

Media Player Classic is primarily based on the DirectShow architecture, and therefore automatically uses installed DirectShow decoding filters. For instance, after installing the open source DirectShow decoding filter ffdshow, fast and high quality decoding and postprocessing of the DivX, Xvid and H.264 formats is available in MPC.

In addition to DirectShow, MPC can also use the QuickTime (to enable this, you must download Quicktime Alternative) and the RealPlayer (to enable this, you must download RealPlayer Alternative) architectures (if installed on the computer) to play their native files.

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Duplicate File Finder (System Utility: Looks for duplicate files)

Per Duplicate File Finder's Website. . .

Duplicate File Finder, affectionately known as 'DupFiles', is a utility that identifies duplicate files in one or more paths. Unlike other utilities that only check file names, Duplicate File Finder performs a binary comparison of file contents and can locate files that are alike regardless of names

Duplicate File Finder is very fast and is a great way to locate duplicate files. Please note that it is recommended that this utility is a dangerous tool to use if you do not know what you are doing, for that reason if you are a novice, do not use this tool. Randomly deleting files is not a good idea if you do not know what you are doing.

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AusLogics Disk Defrag (System Utility: Defragmenting Utility)

Per AusLogics site. . .

Disk fragmentation leads to system slowdowns, PC crashes, slow startup and shutdown and sometimes to system failures.

Auslogics Disk Defrag is designed for fast optimization of today's modern hard disks. Get the maximum performance out of your expensive hardware investments. And it's absolutely FREE.

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VirtualDub (Video/Audio Editing, Demuxing)

Per VirtualDub's website. . .

VirtualDub is a video capture/processing utility for 32-bit Windows platforms (95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP), licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It lacks the editing power of a general-purpose editor such as Adobe Premiere, but is streamlined for fast linear operations over video. It has batch-processing capabilities for processing large numbers of files and can be extended with third-party video filters.

With Virtual Dub, you can capture videos or clean up existing videos using filters. Note that, VirtualDub is mainly geared toward processing AVI files.

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{mospagebreak}

TMPGEnc (Video Editing/Converting)

TMPGEnc converts AVI files to MPEG1, the format which is used in VideoCDs. Using a variety of options in TMPGEnc, you can compress your video file in high quality.

TMPGEnc enables you to adjust bitrate, quantize matrix, GOP structure, interlacing and many other parameters so that you can create the most appropriate movie file depending on your needs.

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CCleaner (System Utility)

Per CCleaners website. . .

CCleaner removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less than a second to run).

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EyeRelief (System Utility)

EyeRelief is a small, simple and free Windows utility that provides improved legibility to high density LCDs, allowing larger font, icon, tool and taskbar sizes at native resolutions. Users with, e.g., SXGA+, UXGA and higher resolutions LCDs may find EyeRelief's desktop scaling a superior alternative to running at lower non-native resolutions.

EyeRelief allows you to change screen resolution on-the-fly. To change the resolution simply right-click on the eye located by the clock and select the percentage you want. Just as the name states, EyeRelief makes viewing things on your computer easier on your eyes.

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Seatools for Windows (System Utility: Hardware Tester)

Seagate offers SeaTools for Windows (and DOS) which allows you to test any Hard Drive to see if it is good or not. Bravo to Seagate for providing a Freeware tool that works for all Hard Drives.

Per Seagates Website. . .

SeaTools for Windows has replaced SeaTools Online and PowerMax. SeaTools for Windows is a comprehensive, easy-to-use diagnostic tool that helps you quickly determine the condition of the disc drive in your external hard drive, desktop or notebook computer. It includes several tests that will examine the physical media on your Seagate or Maxtor disc drive and any other non-Seagate disc drive.

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Audacity (Audio Convert/Editing Tool)

Per Audacitys website. . .

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:

  • Record live audio.
  • Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
  • Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, and WAV sound files.
  • Cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together.
  • Change the speed or pitch of a recording.

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Speed Fan (System Utility: Motherboard Temp/Fan Control)

Per SpeedFans website. . .

SpeedFan can access digital sensors available on your pc. By acessing available hardware monitor chips, SpeedFan can show temperatures, voltages and fan speeds. SpeedFan can show S.M.A.R.T. data from almost evey hard disk too. Temperature sensors from almost every manufacturer are automatically detected and accessed. Usually, the only action you need to take is to rename the readings that SpeedFan found. If your hardware allows it and you properly configured SpeedFan, you can change fan speeds depending on system temperatures, thus reducing overall noise.

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RivaTuner (System Utility: Great Tweaking Utility for Nvidia Video Cards)

Per Rivatuners website (Guru3d) . . .

RivaTuner is a complete powerful tweaking environment, providing you everything you may need to tune NVIDIA GPU based display adapters. The widest driver-level Direct3D / OpenGL and system tuning options, flexible profiling system allowing to make custom settings on per-application basis, both driver-level and low-level hardware access modes, unique diagnostic and realtime hardware monitoring features and exclusive power user oriented tools like built-in registry editor and patch script engine make RivaTuner's feature set absolutely unmatched.

RivaTuner supports all NVIDIA display adapters starting from Riva TNT family up to the latest GeForce 7 series and widest range of NVIDIA drivers starting from the oldest Detonator 2.08 up to the newest ForceWare drivers family.

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Revo Uninstaller

Per Revo Uninstallers website . . .

Revo Uninstaller helps you to remove any unwanted application installed on your computer.

With its advanced and fast algorithm to scan before and after uninstall of an application you can remove unnecessary files, folders and registry keys left over in your computer. Even if you have a broken installation Revo Uninstaller scans for application's data on your hard disk drives, Windows registry and shows all found files, folders and registry items so you can delete them.

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Nvu

Per Nvus website . . .

Nvu is the new Web editing environment based on the Mozilla platform and its Gecko layout engine. Primarily made for Linspire and other Linux flavors, its cross-platform architecture makes it available on a wide variety of other platforms.

Nvu binary test builds are now available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and FreeBSD.

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FixMyXPs List of the Best Freeware


AVG (Antivirus)

AVG Free Edition has spearheaded the company's growth. According to Grisoft, the makers of AVG, over 50 million users have AVG Anti-Virus protection; this includes both users of the Free Edition and the Paid Edition. (AVG Anti-Virus Professional is the paid version of the program),

The AVG Free Edition is similar to the Anti-Virus Professional product, but does not have all the features. It lacks the fine-grained control over how scans are conducted, and it receives lower priority (than the paid-for products) when downloading updates from Grisoft's servers. The language interface cannot be customized, and English is the only available language.

Technical Support is not available for the Free Edition, whereas support is available to users of the Professional, paid for products. Despite this, the AVG Free Edition is still a excellent program and definitely worth checking out.

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Avast! (Antivirus)

Avast is another free antivirus solution. The software is aimed at preventing several types of computer threats, including those that are not technically computer viruses such as spyware and even rogue anti-spyware, and can also make a virus Recovery DataBase which is used to recover files when they are infected (instead of just deleting them). The product can be downloaded with full text and voice translations to more than 25 different languages.

One of the really cool things about Avast, is that it allows you to change the look of the program with Skins.

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ArovaxShield (Antivirus)

Arovax Shield™ is a brand new type of personal security solution that is unlike to any firewall, anti-virus or spyware remover.

Rather than looking for spyware traces or tracking applications that secretly send or receive data over the Internet, Arovax Shield blocks any attempt by malicious software to add entries to the auto-start menu, change the registry, hijack or install itself into a browser or find any other way to stealthy get itself onto a PC.

Arovax Shield protects your PC with bulletproof security from both known and unknown threats before they even get on your Personal Computer

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Filezilla (FTP File Transfer Program)

FileZilla is a free, open source FTP client for Windows. It supports FTP (FTP is used to transfer files from computer to computer, mainly used when transferring files to a webserver), SFTP, and FTPS (FTP over SSL/TLS). The main features are the site manager, message log, file and folder view, and the transfer queue.

The site manager allows a user to create a list of FTP sites along with their connection data, such as the port number to use, the protocol to use, and whether to use anonymous or normal logon. For normal logon, the username is saved and optionally the password.

The message log is displayed along the top of the window. It displays the console-type output showing the commands sent by FileZilla and the remote server's responses.

The file and folder view, displayed under the message log, provides a graphical interface for FTP. Users can navigate folders and view and alter their contents on both the local and remote machines using an Explorer-style tree interface. Users can drag and drop files between the local and remote computers.

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SmartFTP (FTP File Transfer Program)

SmartFTP is an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client which allows you to transfer files between your local computer and a server on the Internet. With its many basic and advanced features SmartFTP also offers secure, reliable and efficient transfers that make it a powerful tool.

Screenshots:

        

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7-zip (File Archiver/Compression)

7-Zip is an open source file archiver designed originally for the Microsoft Windows operating system, and later made available to other systems. In the form of p7zip, 7-Zip has been ported for use on Unix-like systems such as Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X. It is also compatible with DOS via either a DOS port, or by using the HX-DOS extender to run the Windows command-line version.

7-Zip supports many file types, including: GZ, TAR, ZIP, GZIP, RAR, Microsoft (CAB) files, CD/DVD Iso, Bzip2, ARJ, CPIO, LHA, RPM and DEB.

Prior to using 7-zip, multiple programs were needed to open the most popular file compression types (For RAR, WinRAR was needed, for ZIP, WinZip was needed, etc.)

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Ad-Aware (Spyware Scanner)

Ad-Aware is an anti-spyware program from Lavasoft that detects and removes software on a user's computer that is determined to be spyware or adware. It also detects dialers, trojans, malware, data-mining, aggressive advertising, parasites, browser hijackers, and tracking components.

The makers of Ad-Aware, Lavasoft, also offer a paid version of Ad-Aware. The main difference between the free version and the paid version is that the paid version offers real time scanning.

The newest version of Ad-Aware, while not as good as its successor (Ad-Aware 6.0 SE), is still a great program and worth installing.

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Arovax Antispyware (Spyware Protection)

Per Arovaxs website...

With its most recent update, Arovax AntiSpyware has become even more reliable and effective. Arovax AntiSpyware Spyware Database is completely updated to discover malicious software and to distinguish it from the legal software. All found malicious software are now automatically checked for removing, and those items which will be marked as unknown can be sent to the Arovax lab for the further research and analysis.

One of the most important features of the new update is the implemented regular Signature database update. Arovax AntiSpyware is now able to completely secure your system from the most latest viruses, trojans, spyware, etc

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SpyBot (Spyware Scanning/Protection)

Spybot can fix problems with tracking cookies, system internals (Registry), Winsock LSPs, ActiveX objects, browser hijackers and BHOs, and can to some extent protect a user's privacy by deleting usage tracks. Spybot also includes an "Immunize" feature to block the installation of spyware before it occurs. Another tool included in Spybot is a file shredder, for the secure deletion of files.

A Tea-Timer module can be optionally enabled, which provides a level of active, real-time protection from undesirable registry changes and such; it is unusual for such a feature to be offered as part of a free anti-spyware program.

Spybot has won numerous awards, including the PC World Best Buy and World Class 2003 Awards, the PC Magazine Editors Choice and PC User Top Buy #1

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Spyware Blaster (Spyware Protection)

Here is what Spyware Blaster does:

  • Prevent the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware, browser hijackers, dialers, and other potentially unwanted software.
  • Block spyware/tracking cookies in Internet Explorer and Mozilla/Firefox.
  • Restrict the actions of potentially unwanted sites in Internet Explorer.
  • Provides the aforementioned protection without running a process in the background

Spyware Blaster stands out from the crowd of antispyware solutions . It protects your system from spyware and it does this without having a process running in the background. That feature is huge, that means that you can actively protect your system from spyware and not take a performance loss for it.

Spyware Blaster is freeware that provides spyware protection without any consequence. It is a absolute must for anyone wanting to protect themselves from spyware. No performance loss plus Free; How can you possibly go wrong with that.

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HijackThis (Used to Identify Spyware/Virus’s System Scanner/Debugger)

Per a Review on Download.com [Source]

First, a sidenote, Please excuse the category that HijackThis was placed in. Technically HijackThis is not really an antispyware, however we really did not have a category for it and it absolutely had to be on this list of the “Best Freeware"

"If persistent spyware is bogging down your computer, you might need HijackThis. The tiny program examines vulnerable or suspect parts of your system, such as browser helper objects and certain types of Registry keys. Pressing the Scan button generates a log of dozens of items, most of which are just customizations. Don't check off an item and hit the Fix checked button unless you're sure it's malware. Clicking Info on selected item tells you why the entry was flagged as suspicious, but not whether it's actually malware. To find that out, search the Web for that item's name or go straight to a forum, such as SpywareInfo or Computer Cops. Saving the log creates a text document you can post to these forums.

The latest version adds powerful tools to the Config window. The process manager and hosts file editor help you excise virulent infections. The unique ADS Spy tool scans for alternate data streams, which some browser hijackers use to hide from spyware removers. The program still installs into whatever directory in which you unzip the file, which can make it hard to locate. HijackThis is a serious tool for any user who needs to root out a serious infestation, but wield it with caution."

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{mospagebreak}

Windows Live Mail (Microsoft's Free Email Program)

Having Windows Live Mail in this list is a little bit of a double edge sword for me. Currently the Operating System I use the most is Windows Vista. And Windows Vista includes a email program called Windows Mail which is not a good program at all.

And yes,the name of the email program included with Windows Vista is “Windows Mail”. And the name of the good email program is “Windows Live Mail”. Very similar dontcha think? To avoid confusion, I will refer to email program included with Windows Vista, as “the Vista Email program”.

The Vista Email program is garbage. It does not allow you to add Hotmail accounts. Hotmail is a Microsoft's Free web-based email (and Windows XP, included a email program, Outlook Express, which did allow Hotmail accounts). It makes no sense that Microsoft would bundle a email program that does not support their own products.

Windows Live Mail, is everything that the Vista Email Program is not. It allows Hotmail accounts to be added and it is a very friendly, easy to use email client.

Windows Live Mail is a free program that can be downloaded and installed on both Windows XP and Windows Vista. Windows Live Mail is a must if you have Windows Vista and even for Windows XP since it is a large improvement over Outlook Express, which is the default email program bundled with Windows XP. (Click Here to read the Windows Live Mail article posted on our sister site, FixMyVista.com)

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Thunderbird (Email)

Thunderbird is a great email program made by the same company that makes Firefox. Thunderbird along with the Webmail extension integrates web site based email accounts in to Mozllia Thunderbird, this allows Thunderbird to download and to send emails using web. This means that it supports all the popular email clients, like: Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, MSN Mail, MailDotCom, Gmail, Lycos, and AOL Mail.

One of the best reasons to use Thunderbird is being able to customize it using the huge assortment of extensions and theme. There is a downside to Thunderbird, and that is that it does have a different interface and can take awhile to get used to and this might be a deal breaker for some.

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Fox It (PDF Reader)

Per Foxit's website...

Welcome to use Foxit Reader, your right choice to view and print PDF documents.

Foxit Reader 2.0 is a free PDF document viewer and printer. It launches very quickly (in about one second) and requires no installation -- you just need to run the executable files.

For regular PDF users, Foxit Reader is the absolute choice.

Foxit Reader 2.0 provides the significant features to empower PDF document user with Interactive form filler, multi-language UI support, on-demand download of add-ons, self upgrade, JavaScript support, improved printing speed, multi-languages UI, streamlined UI and much more.

Click Here to read the Fox It PDF Reader article posted on our sister site, FixMyVista.com

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EULAlyzer

EULAlyzer can analyze license agreements in seconds, and provide a detailed listing of potentially interesting words and phrases. Discover if the software you're about to install displays pop-up ads, transmits personally identifiable information, uses unique identifiers to track you, or much much more.

Plus with EULAlyzer you can save your license agreements. This program is awesome, it lets you know in seconds if the program you are about to install is shady. With EULAlyzer, whenever you install a program, you can be sure it is a sound program and best of all its freeware.

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Virtual PC 2007 (Microsoft's Free VM Program)

Use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 to run multiple operating systems at the same time on the same physical computer. Switch between virtual machines with the click of a button. Use virtual machines to run legacy applications, provide support, train users, safely test software, and enhance quality assurance.

How it works is, you install Virtual PC onto your system. After installed, you launch Virtual PC, and it opens a interface where you can add Virtual machines. You can add a virtual machine and then install an operating system onto it (note: installing a OS onto the virtual machine is done the same way, so you will need the disks and license key and it takes the same amount of time to install)

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Belarc Advisor (System Utility: PC System Info Tool)

Use Belarc Advisor whenever you need to know something about your computer (e.g. If you needed to update your drivers but did not know what company made your motherboard). Belarc even pulls out information like license keys for programs (Office, Windows etc.).

Per Belarc's Website...

The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, CIS (Center for Internet Security) benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.

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VLC (Media Player)

Per VLC's Website. . .

VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. VLC does support skins, which can be downloaded from VLC's website for free.

What makes VLC so great is its wide range of compatibility with OS's other than Windows (currently supports: Windows, Mac, Linux, Set Top Box, VLC for Familiar Linux).

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{mospagebreak}

GOM Player (Media Player)

I already reviewed GOM Player. Here is an excerpt from that review . . .

I stumbled across a media player that up until now, I had never even heard of. It was free so I downloaded and tried it out. It's called GOM Player, and I was shocked by how great this player was (and no, I am not affiliate with GOM Player in any way shape or form…)

GOM Player has built in CODECS, Filters and it plays videos flawlessly and it's free (I can't believe that it's free…).

Plus you can customize the player with skins, it comes with a few skins but you can download more for free. Excellent.

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The Core Media Player (Media Player)

The Core Media Player (TCMP for short) was designed from the ground up to be the ONLY audio and video media player you will ever need on your PC. Incorporating cutting-edge technologies along with backward support for things like winamp 2.x visualazations and DSP plug-ins.

Overall, TCMP is a pretty good player. It seems to handle audio better than other players and the video is above average. Comparing to the other Freeware Media Players mentioned, I would say that this ranks 3rd (1st is GOM Player, 2nd is Media Player Classic)

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Media Player Classic (Media Player)

Media Player Classic is a lightweight media player that looks similar to how Media Player 6.4 looked (this was before Microsoft redid the Windows Media Player look/interface)

Media Player Classic is primarily based on the DirectShow architecture, and therefore automatically uses installed DirectShow decoding filters. For instance, after installing the open source DirectShow decoding filter ffdshow, fast and high quality decoding and postprocessing of the DivX, Xvid and H.264 formats is available in MPC.

In addition to DirectShow, MPC can also use the QuickTime (to enable this, you must download Quicktime Alternative) and the RealPlayer (to enable this, you must download RealPlayer Alternative) architectures (if installed on the computer) to play their native files.

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Duplicate File Finder (System Utility: Looks for duplicate files)

Per Duplicate File Finder's Website. . .

Duplicate File Finder, affectionately known as 'DupFiles', is a utility that identifies duplicate files in one or more paths. Unlike other utilities that only check file names, Duplicate File Finder performs a binary comparison of file contents and can locate files that are alike regardless of names

Duplicate File Finder is very fast and is a great way to locate duplicate files. Please note that it is recommended that this utility is a dangerous tool to use if you do not know what you are doing, for that reason if you are a novice, do not use this tool. Randomly deleting files is not a good idea if you do not know what you are doing.

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AusLogics Disk Defrag (System Utility: Defragmenting Utility)

Per AusLogics site. . .

Disk fragmentation leads to system slowdowns, PC crashes, slow startup and shutdown and sometimes to system failures.

Auslogics Disk Defrag is designed for fast optimization of today's modern hard disks. Get the maximum performance out of your expensive hardware investments. And it's absolutely FREE.

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VirtualDub (Video/Audio Editing, Demuxing)

Per VirtualDub's website. . .

VirtualDub is a video capture/processing utility for 32-bit Windows platforms (95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP), licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It lacks the editing power of a general-purpose editor such as Adobe Premiere, but is streamlined for fast linear operations over video. It has batch-processing capabilities for processing large numbers of files and can be extended with third-party video filters.

With Virtual Dub, you can capture videos or clean up existing videos using filters. Note that, VirtualDub is mainly geared toward processing AVI files.

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{mospagebreak}

TMPGEnc (Video Editing/Converting)

TMPGEnc converts AVI files to MPEG1, the format which is used in VideoCDs. Using a variety of options in TMPGEnc, you can compress your video file in high quality.

TMPGEnc enables you to adjust bitrate, quantize matrix, GOP structure, interlacing and many other parameters so that you can create the most appropriate movie file depending on your needs.

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CCleaner (System Utility)

Per CCleaners website. . .

CCleaner removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less than a second to run).

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EyeRelief (System Utility)

EyeRelief is a small, simple and free Windows utility that provides improved legibility to high density LCDs, allowing larger font, icon, tool and taskbar sizes at native resolutions. Users with, e.g., SXGA+, UXGA and higher resolutions LCDs may find EyeRelief's desktop scaling a superior alternative to running at lower non-native resolutions.

EyeRelief allows you to change screen resolution on-the-fly. To change the resolution simply right-click on the eye located by the clock and select the percentage you want. Just as the name states, EyeRelief makes viewing things on your computer easier on your eyes.

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Seatools for Windows (System Utility: Hardware Tester)

Seagate offers SeaTools for Windows (and DOS) which allows you to test any Hard Drive to see if it is good or not. Bravo to Seagate for providing a Freeware tool that works for all Hard Drives.

Per Seagates Website. . .

SeaTools for Windows has replaced SeaTools Online and PowerMax. SeaTools for Windows is a comprehensive, easy-to-use diagnostic tool that helps you quickly determine the condition of the disc drive in your external hard drive, desktop or notebook computer. It includes several tests that will examine the physical media on your Seagate or Maxtor disc drive and any other non-Seagate disc drive.

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Audacity (Audio Convert/Editing Tool)

Per Audacitys website. . .

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:

  • Record live audio.
  • Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
  • Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, and WAV sound files.
  • Cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together.
  • Change the speed or pitch of a recording.

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Speed Fan (System Utility: Motherboard Temp/Fan Control)

Per SpeedFans website. . .

SpeedFan can access digital sensors available on your pc. By acessing available hardware monitor chips, SpeedFan can show temperatures, voltages and fan speeds. SpeedFan can show S.M.A.R.T. data from almost evey hard disk too. Temperature sensors from almost every manufacturer are automatically detected and accessed. Usually, the only action you need to take is to rename the readings that SpeedFan found. If your hardware allows it and you properly configured SpeedFan, you can change fan speeds depending on system temperatures, thus reducing overall noise.

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RivaTuner (System Utility: Great Tweaking Utility for Nvidia Video Cards)

Per Rivatuners website (Guru3d) . . .

RivaTuner is a complete powerful tweaking environment, providing you everything you may need to tune NVIDIA GPU based display adapters. The widest driver-level Direct3D / OpenGL and system tuning options, flexible profiling system allowing to make custom settings on per-application basis, both driver-level and low-level hardware access modes, unique diagnostic and realtime hardware monitoring features and exclusive power user oriented tools like built-in registry editor and patch script engine make RivaTuner's feature set absolutely unmatched.

RivaTuner supports all NVIDIA display adapters starting from Riva TNT family up to the latest GeForce 7 series and widest range of NVIDIA drivers starting from the oldest Detonator 2.08 up to the newest ForceWare drivers family.

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Revo Uninstaller

Per Revo Uninstallers website . . .

Revo Uninstaller helps you to remove any unwanted application installed on your computer.

With its advanced and fast algorithm to scan before and after uninstall of an application you can remove unnecessary files, folders and registry keys left over in your computer. Even if you have a broken installation Revo Uninstaller scans for application's data on your hard disk drives, Windows registry and shows all found files, folders and registry items so you can delete them.

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Nvu

Per Nvus website . . .

Nvu is the new Web editing environment based on the Mozilla platform and its Gecko layout engine. Primarily made for Linspire and other Linux flavors, its cross-platform architecture makes it available on a wide variety of other platforms.

Nvu binary test builds are now available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and FreeBSD.

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