Top PC software programs worth considering 


There are lots of free or what are called 'Open Source' programs available on the Internet. Most open source software is used by companies to market commercial software products but free is free! While you need to be careful what you download and always virus scan any downloaded files before opening there are some applications we believe are worth your consideration.

1. Anti-virus
While we recommend that you purchase a good anti-virus program like Quickheal or Norton there are free downloaded programs available. If you cannot afford to buy protection we suggest you consider Avast or AVG. These programs provide a good level of protection and anything is better than none at all.

2. Office
Microsoft Office is one of the most widely used programs on the planet. The problem for some people it is also quite expensive. However, there is an alternative with OpenOffice. This program provides most of the features that its pricy counterpart does and files can be saved as Micrsoft Office files so you can send attachments to others.

3. Photoediting
Adobe Photoshop Elements is a great program but if you are short of cash the three options listed below will provide most of what you will need.

(a) Photoscape: An easy to use photo editing program while having a a lot of features. It is a popular choice. It has limitations being only able to work on one image at a time so montages and multiple image fades are not possible but it will do most of what the average person will want. We have not found spyware but the website does display a few text ads. Its one of the better freeware offers and worth a look.

Note: Be careful where you download it from as some charge and its supposed to be FREE! Use this link photoscape

(b) Paint.NET: Easy for most people to use. Limited functions but does feature some powerful tools. Far better than the Microsoft paint program and it continues to be updated and improved. To download Paint.NET

(c) GIMP: Probably the most powerful free photo editor. Often described as the "free photoshop" it has a steep learning curve to match. If you can't afford photoshop it is a quite good alternative but those that are familiar with adobe photoshop will find it a little off the pace. If you are willing to invest the time to learn how it works it is certainly worth a go. Download link.

4. Email
If you are still using  Microsoft Outlook that came free with your computer there are free options that provide more features. Try Mozilla Thunderbird or Gmail

5. Internet Browsers
Microsofts Internet Explorer comes standard with all PC's sold but there are some excellent alternatives that are worth your consideration. They are faster and provide more features. Look at Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

6. DVD/CD Burner
A good free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs is CDBurnerXP. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components.D/CD Burner

7. Media
There are heaps of multimedia programs to watch video and DVD's. Two pretty good ones are Audacity for audio editing and creating, and VLC for playing.

8. Compression Utility
If you are downloading files from the Internet many are compressed, .rar, or other types of compressed files. This allows large chunks of data to be downloaded quickly. However, you need to open it and rather buying the appropriate software an alternative is 7-zip.

Also WinRAR – This handy program makes compress and unload your files.

9. Back Up
The problems with hard drives is sometimes they crash and are not recoverable. Thousands of files, pictures, and music are lost forever. We strongly suggest you always back up your computer to an external hard drive but if your house burns down so does the backup. An alternative is online backup. A free service up to 2Gb is available from Mozy.

10. Itunes Alternative
This program allows you to transfer files onto your iPod . It is also a MP3 player, allows you to record CDS, create playlists, sync non-IPod MP3 players, and organize your music library. Try Media Monkey

11. CutePDF
PDF is the de facto standard for electronic documents and forms. If you are downloading files from the Internet at some stage you will come across a PDF file. To open it all you need is to simply download Adobe Reader FREE.

However, if you need to produce and send a PDF the Adobe software is expensive. An alternative is CutePDF. This free software produces quality professional PDF files from almost any printable document. Go to this link.

12. Comodo Backup
Losing your valuable files through accidental deletion, hard drive crashes or virus attacks can be devastating. Of course, making regular backup copies of your files is a good idea - you'd do it if you knew where to begin, right? What if we told you there's a free, simple to use program that allows you to create, schedule and run your own backups 5 minutes after you've downloaded it? Just pick your source and destination folders, pick the times you want it to run and you're set. From now on, if your data gets lost, damaged or deleted you can quickly recover it at the touch of a button.

Comodo BackUp is suitable for both beginners and experienced users alike and is completely free of charge. Features of free Backup Software include complete file and folder duplication to local, network and virtual drives, FTP servers, removable storage devices and even over the Internet onto Comodo's secure online storage space. Other features include backup synchronization; e-mail reporting; extensive history logs; advanced rule-based filtering; encryption and password protection; flexible scheduling of backups; space-saving archiving capabilities and more. Download Here

13. K-Lite Codec Pack (Watch movies, etc)
The K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of DirectShow filters, VFW/ACM codecs, and tools needed for encoding and decoding audio and video formats.  With the K-Lite Codec Pack you should be able to play all the popular audio and video formats and even several less common formats. Download Here

14. Teamviewer
Teamviewer allows you to access your home computer from aroundthe world in seconds.You can remote control another computer as if you were sitting right in front of it. Its fast simple and safe. Teamviewer charge for a commercail license. However, as long as you use the programme for personal use its free. Make sure when you download you indicate persoanl use when asked. Download Here