Windows

Gallery: Free and essential Windows apps

102 comments
ctseck
ctseck

THAT IS WONDERFUL ALL THIS GOOD STAFF FOR FREE. THANK YOU SO MUCH

markdean
markdean

These are pretty good as well as some of the other ones others have suggested. On my list I always add at least the following: 1. Win32 ports of UNIX utilities 3. ViM text editor 4. Sysinternals suite of tools (including pstools.zip) 5. Windows Server resource kit tools 6. Cygwin (ssh server, X server, bash etc.) 7. WinSCP and PUTTY

djd_201
djd_201

Avast can't be beat IMO since it's runs a gosh darn good program with merely free registration required every year (they notify you to get a new registration key each year). It has options for boot scan and alot of extras other anti-virus programs don't! Alas, no firewall. However, Ashampoo's free firewall has saved my rear a bunch of times, has options for biginner or advanced user settings, easy to find program access monitoring, intranet, LAN and internet protection and pop-up alerts for programs trying to access. Add "Scotty" WinPatrol free and you have yourself a fairly adequate watchdog for monitoring services, active tasks and processes and any changes some malicious program may wish to make when you install a program. These companies that wish to charge you $35-$60 for combo packages that these three free program handle with ease, are foolish for thinking we're foolish. New users may get sucked into the gap, but with shared discussions like this, we can help alot of people save alot of money that companies like Microsoft and others wish to demand of you for simply getting a computer up and running, and being able to safely surf the Internet and experience the world out there. Thanks guys, for adding some programs to the list that may be useful and FREEEEEEEEE!

jmmk
jmmk

3 Must haves - IrfanView, Convert & PrintKey 2000 (may not be downloadable anymore bur works on 98 thru Vista)

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

VLC Player, Video Lan, is by far the very best and arguably most popular video player available today. It requries no codecs for anythign I've ever thrown at it, which is anythign from all over the world, including PAL video formats etc. It has a separate sub file open box so you can download subs online and they will work with your foreign films. It allows you to speed up or slow down playback, from 0.13X slow to 8X fast. easier to quicker shortcut control from the keyboard, space pauses and plays instead of ALT+P etc. VLC Rocks! Especially if you use UTorrent, what a score! http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Never thought I'd see UTorrent on here, I also didn't think the KLite mega codec pack would be here, but that's been thrown around here for a while now.

jdohern
jdohern

??? WHAT DO YOU ABOUT THE PROGRAM(McAFEE) THAT CAME WITH THE COMPUTER ?? DO YOU HAVE TO UN-INSTALL IT FIRST?

Professor-X
Professor-X

AVG is the only one I am not agree with. I'd suggest AVAST is way better and I am saying this after testing it on 2 different PCs.

karenc
karenc

OpenOffice - http://www.openoffice.org - full office suite The GIMP - http://www.gimp.org - graphic manipulation CutePDF - http://www.cutepdf.com - makes PDF's from any application that prints NVU - http://net2.com/nvu - web design tool IrfanView - http://www.irfanview.com - graphic viewer with many extra features FileZilla - http://sourceforge.net/projects/filezilla - GUI FTP program VIsual Studio Express - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/express/default.aspx - development package with no cost or license restrictions from Microsoft MySQL Community Server - http://www.mysql.com/ - free database PHP - http://www.php.net/ - web scripting language ActiveState Perl/Python/TCL - http://www.activestate.com/downloads/index.mhtml - Language distributions then there's the many flavours of unix but I've got to stop somewhere

usmann
usmann

Good List, My Suggestions for Free ones 1. SIW (All information about your computer) 2. PICNAME (right click rename utility) 3. Spybot 4. Qttbar (Have tabs in Windows Explorer) and much more 5. ISO Recorder(Right Click and save CD as ISO) 6. Microsoft Virtual CD room(Run ISO's) thats all I can think of at the moment. you can search them and find links

bud6642
bud6642

Best firewall I've used is COMODO PRO, and it's FREE! Don't like or use WinXP's version. Had purchased and used ZoneAlarm till it was taken over by another company and became problematic and bloated. Since using COMODO PRO, haven't had any problems with any Trojans, Worms, or Malware. Also have NOT experienced any BSOD! One of the BEST FREE utilities I've ever used. I highly recommend it!

makinen.hannu
makinen.hannu

Somebody has suggested adding IfranView on the list but today I prefer XnView because it has some capacity to do some photo correcting jobs, too.

Rob Kuhn
Rob Kuhn

Torrent's, in general, are great but in a business environment it can eat up your available bandwidth if not policed and managed accordingly. You can block the basic ports used(though your better clients will use a wide range of ports to make it's way out and in including ports 80 and 443), enforce a computer usage policy, etc. Just be aware that if you allow Torrent clients into your enviroment be prepared to try and control and manage it!

afronrg
afronrg

what are you using that for? voip phone calls? there's cheaper software than that (any made by betamax.de) chats? there's better software on a market too.

airik26
airik26

What about personal firewall? I really like Comodo personally. http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/ Also, pretty much all the old sysinternals apps are great (you listed two already: autoruns and processexplorer). I would also highly recommend tcpview from a security perspective. It maps running processes to open ports and provides more functionality than the netstat/tasklist combo. http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/ -Erik

gar123
gar123

I highly recommend you check out Grc.com They offer small free programs that can be used to shutdown open ports on your computer. When you install Windows, ports are left open by default leaving you vulnerable to hackers. Go to http://www.grc.com/default.htm and check the software out.

dfweigel
dfweigel

PicaJet should be added to the list. Great application for handling and indexing photos

guth.attila
guth.attila

Please consider 7-zip (http://www.7-zip.org/), if you want to use a nice archiver app, it has also a command line version. If you are familiar with bzip2, you will like it.

jwlindsey
jwlindsey

A friend of mine swears by Windows Defender (free from Microsoft) as it removed some virus from his computer that he thought was a goner. I was impressed with his enthusiasm for the product but I have no experience with it.

gcjeffries
gcjeffries

Would be nice if it was really free. It's not. You can download the app and run a scan on your PC, but that's all. Unless you purchase the app (30 bucks), it will not fix the problems found. It may be a great app, but since I could not repair any of the issues, I was unable to evaluate if CCleaner would really do what it promised.

golncor
golncor

FoxIt reader is a great PDF reader that loads extremely fast. I stopped using the bloatware from Adobe a long time ago.

gar123
gar123

Will be trying this out. Anybody know if this will play audio mp3's?

aandruli
aandruli

uTorrent goes on my list of 10 apps to immediately uninstall on users desktops

douglusj
douglusj

We use Skype for our home long distance using Phillips dual use phones so land line and skype on same phone and it is $39 per year for unlimited long distance. Hmm no complaints here and computer use of it is free so.... Lets see Vonage match that it is $25 per month!

klotom
klotom

windows defender is junk it won't protect your computer even if it were shut off!

replytoaghar
replytoaghar

The CCleaner found at www.piriform.com is completely free. I think that's another software you are talking about. However, I've used this cleaner but it's as crapy as it's name. The moment I ran CCleaner it screwed my IE setting, made it slower and it can't revert back to the old situation cause no one seems to know what happened. A WORD OF CAUTION: ALL FREE SOFTWARE HAS CRAPY SUPPORT, "Excluding Spybot,'They are amazing'", & THE ONLY SUPPORT YOU ARE GOING TO GET IS FROM OTHER USERS. Don't install it, unless you are willing to take the risk.

webbnet1
webbnet1

I think we need to run a crap cleaner on your post because CCleaner is nothing but free. I've been using it for over a year now on 4 personal computers and recently installed it on my parent's computer. Works flawlessly. I recommend it to anyone and everyone who asks me for help on their computer.

lonewolftech
lonewolftech

There is another program with a similar name which is as you describe. I recommend Ccleaner to most of my clients and install it on any computer that I clean. I have had clients fall into the same trap that you did by searching for it on Google.

gwr
gwr

It is FREE and it DOES fix problems as well as cleaning the Registry.

bill
bill

You might want to add CutePDF to the list of essentials. It creates PDF's out of virtually any program that you can print from. I use this one daily. Another zip handler that works very well and has a simpler interface than most is Filzip. I'm not sure if Filzip works under Vista however.

amarpreet.singh
amarpreet.singh

In my experience with K-lite Mega, it has been able to play all types of media files kkown to mankind.

MetalFR0
MetalFR0

I've tried using MPC as a Quicktime alternative, and have had NO luck. The codec pack is great, however. I try to use VLC Media Player for formats that WinAMP & WMP won't handle.

crazymacguy
crazymacguy

That little beast of a Codec pack will play anything i've thrown at it so far, including Real Player files, which is wonderful 'cause I despise that program. Give it a shot, I doubt you will regret it.

rblanc
rblanc

I thought of using Skype too over Vonage, but there is no call in support/customer service, no contact us for any matters concerning your account. At least I could not find it. With the economy in a downturn, we try to find every way to downsize re-occurring expenses. I never had a phone service where you could not speak to a real person. Vonage has a month to month contract and you can do call transfers like centrix. So for a virtual office, Vonage seems to have been the best choice. I am open to any recommendations.

jwlindsey
jwlindsey

Nothing would protect my computer if it were shut off.

UKedd
UKedd

When doing a first or a large clean please carefully examine the results before deleting. Some programs, believe it or not, store files on install in 'temp' locations which can really confound your day when deleted. ccleaner has never dented (or damaged) my registry. Cheers

AKHandyman
AKHandyman

I encourage all of my customers to use CCleaner on a regular basis. It's easy and it does the job right! Oh and to guy who thought he had to pay for it ... it's FREE! He must have been on a "scamming" site ...

rayaz
rayaz

How about 7zip, i find it light and its multithreading performance is good. Has a 64-bit version too.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

now I use VLC as my primary player, better aspect ratio control, fewer file read errors, better audio/video sync etc. WMP has become my backup for when files just want to open with it, other than that its VLC all the way, great program!

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Klite is not a player per se, but it adds the codecs to other players you have, such as the fantastic VLC media player which will play ANYTHING and allows WAY better control of files that WMP, which I rarely use anymore.

gar123
gar123

Tried it. Works great. Thanks for the tip.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

malware sites are now using them as a way to install trojans. Including on a Mac.

gar123
gar123

Sounds like a winner. Will try it out today.

lowet3
lowet3

I've used Skype successfully until my email address got changed twice by my previous service supplier. Each time I had approx ?7 remaining in my account/s - now lost! Tried desperately to contact Skype; not possible, well I did email but never even got a reply. Multiply this by all the other luckless punters like myself and they must be sitting on a fortune. No wonder it seemed cheap to start with. Try an alternative? Don't know. Trev, Romford, Essex

drumbeat
drumbeat

Actually, if my computer is turned off, it doesn't need protecting, other than from electrical surge, which isn't covered by software.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

People who despise anything MS produces, the same people that simply love to hate for the sake of hating without just cause, will obviously downplay Defender. I run Defender, part of Vista, and also AVg, sometimes, CC Cleaner, sometimes I use Avast etc. One thing about being a negative critic, it takes ZERO skill, requires no knowledge or training at all, you just have to have an opinion, and you know what they say about opinions. These malware protectors are all pretty much the same though, one will find what another will not. However, Defender is the only one that has found issues and stopped them for me before they are in the system. Others will remove threats once they are in the system and scanned, but defender has actually caught several and denied them before they are written. But it's probably easier for me to just say, Fk Microsoft and Defender, it wouldn't protect you if your computer was shut off. ;)

MeadowsPV
MeadowsPV

Toni Arts EasyCleaner has not been updated to be fully VISTA compatable. On XP PC I actually use both CCleaner and EasyCleaner, due to some features in each.

daytech
daytech

Download and install KLite consisting of a very comprehensive bundle of TESTED and SECURE codecs from a known source. If you come across a website requiring you to install a codec which is not already included in KLite then get the heck out of that site!

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

being that Kazaa/Sharman networks didn't actually release the pack, the add-ins and weaknesses are fewer. It was actually compiled from a grop of known, tested codecs by a Linux group many years ago, when everyone used to download P2P from Kazaa. I have always used it and installed it as one of my essential programs too, never had issue with it yet.