After the computer is bought and up and running, the never ending need for one more program never seems to end. I never stop looking for freeware options to accomplish the needed tasks. Many people use shareware programs. However, shareware programs are only for trial purposes. Legally, you are expected to pay for the program if you decide to use it past a certain trial period. Shareware often also has limited functionality unless it is purchased. Freeware programs, on the other hand, are designed to be distributed completely free of charge, with full functionality. I've found a lot of freeware programs that are extremely useful. The following are my favorite utility freeware programs.
1. Mozilla Firefox
Firefox is a wonderful and free alternative to Internet Explorer. Firefox featured tabbed browsing long before IE did, and also features Add-on extensions, which enable you to customize and add additional features to your browser. I recommend Adblock Plus; Download Status Bar; Last Tab; Nuke Anything Enhanced; and Print Preview. Firefox 3 is coming soon, and the current edition can always be downloaded from the Firefox website, here.
2. AVG Anti-Virus
AVG Anti-virus is freeware for home users, in its most basic edition. The free edition automatically updates itself and automatically scans for viruses daily. It is the second most popular download from Download.com. It can be downloaded from Grisoft here.
3. Ad-Aware 2007
This program is one of the best at removing spyware. I've found it to be unbeatable at cleaining up a spyware filled computer. It's the most popular download from Download.com. It can be downloaded here.
4. Zip Genius
Windows XP and Vista have built in capabilities of unzipping (uncompressing) archived files in the zip format. Zip Genius adds to these capabilities. It adds right-clicking (context menu) options to zip (compress) files. Additionally, self-unzipping files can be made with advanced options for distribution. It truly is a powerful program that adds a multitude of options to compressed files. I have found no better compression program, and this one is free! Available here.
I use two computers regularly, and like to keep my files synchronized between the two computers. Unfortunately I have found that Windows Briefcase is not up to the task. I have frequently had the sad misfortune of Briefcase mistakenly deleting files. So I began looking for an alternative. SyncEXP is not quite as user friendly, but is more powerful and gets the job done. I have also been a little disappointed with its speed - it seems to transfer files more slowly than a normal copy. All in all though, I can trust it to make the proper transfers. It can be downloaded from here.
Well, those are my favorite utility freeware programs. Look for future posts about my favorite Audio, Video, and Graphics freeware programs! A wonderful freeware program is a diamond in the rough, but they're worth looking for!