Top Free Software Downloads

compiled by Bruce Gourley 

  

  Many free, excellent software programs are yet available on the Net.  Here's a compilation
of the best programs for ordinary computers users.
   

   

  Security Software
  Protecting your computer from viruses and unwanted, and sometimes dangerous, spyware software is a
  necessity.  Click here to see the current top five Spyware threats. The programs below are the best tools for
  protecting your PC from viruses and spyware.
  1.  SpyBot -- protect your computer from unwanted spyware, malware and adware; run at least once a month
  2.  Ad-aware -- protect your computer from unwanted adware, malware and spyware; run at least once a month
  3.  SpyWareBlaster -- prevents spyware, malware and adware from installing on your computer
  4.  SpyCatcher Express -- prevents and removes spyware and malware
  5.  Avast Anti-Virus -- the leading free anti-virus software, an excellent free alternative to Norton or McAfee
  6.  Privacy Eraser -- delete traces of info leftover from using the Internet, including files & cookies
  7.  Startup Monitor -- monitors attempts by software to begin on startup
  8.  KeyScrambler -- scrambles your web browser keystrokes, works quietly and behind the scenes
  9.  SPAMFighter -- a nice suite of security tools
  10.  Malwarebytes Anti-Malware -- use this alongside your anti-virus software
  11.  Hijack This -- extensive spyware removal tool; advanced users only!
  12. ZoneAlarm -- protect your computer with this excellent free firewall; advanced users only!
 
  Browser & Email Software
  Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) may be the most popular browser, but it is also by far the most dangerous
  browser, being riddled with holes that viruses and spyware can exploit. Listed below are several excellent add
  ons for MSIE, and the top browser alternatives for those who are ready to switch to a new platform.
  1.  Firefox -- a much better, safer browser than Microsoft Internet Explorer; try the add-ons; highly recommended
  2.  Thunderbird -- a much better, safer Email client than Outlook Express; highly recommended
  3.  Google Toolbar -- adds Google's search function and pop-up blocker to your MSIE browser
  4.  MaxThon -- adds an excellent tabbed browsing interface to your IE browser, plus other features
  5.  Google Chrome -- good, and popular, alternative to the MSIE browser
  6.  Opera -- another good alternative to MSIE; offers multiple windows, Google search, more
  7.  Mailwasher -- checks email for spam before downloading; a very useful utility
 
  Desktop Publishing / Graphics
  Desktop publishing and graphics manipulation does not have to be expensive.  Here is the best of the best.
  1.  FastStone Image Viewer -- a simple, yet powerful image viewer; includes ability to view & convert RAW files
  2.  IrfanView -- a simple and effective graphics viewer and editor, sufficient for most tasks
  3.  XnView -- an excellent, more powerful, graphics viewer and editor
  4.  Adobe Reader -- the popular pdf format reader
  5.  Open Office -- the most popular free Microsoft Office alternative; a very powerful suite
  6.  AbiWord -- simple Microsoft Word alternative
  7.  FXFoto -- an excellent graphics suite for managing, manipulating and enhancing photos
  8.  Picasa -- find, edit and share photographs with this simple yet powerful program from Google
  9.  NVU Web Designer -- a very nice, and powerful, WYSIWYG web design editor
 
  Utilities and Tools
  A variety of helpful Windows Utilities and Tools
  1.  Windows 7 Utilities -- "5 must-have free Windows 7 utilities"
  2.  Top Windows Utilities -- a collection of 45 apps
  3.  WnBrowse -- an excellent text file viewing utility
  4.  WS_FTP95LE -- excellent stand-alone ftp utility, oldie but goodie; non-commercial use only
  5.  System Spec -- a very simple yet powerful suite of system utilitys
 
  General Software
  Top rate free software which does not fit into any of the other categories.
  1.  Boinc -- use your computer for scientific research: help cure diseases, study global warming, and more
  2.  Seti@Home -- join the search for extraterrestrial intelligence
  3.  Google Earth -- explore planet earth