Saturday, October 29, 2011

Free softwares you MUST install on your Windows
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  • Windows, by itself, doesn't contain the enough set of softwares to satisfy its user. But thanks to the internet and sites like download.com, you are entitled to get a whole load of softwares for your Windows machine - much more than your computer can handle.

    So, in order to find the best softwares out there for your PC, I spent several hours of my time, intensely testing each and every program I am about to recommend here, so that you aren't hampered by anything.

    Here are the set of softwares that I recommend every Windows PC MUST have :

    Security :  We all definitely sure that Windows is not anywhere close to even 1% secure on the internet, without an antivirus or firewall software.For an anti-virus software, I would recommend you use Avast Anti-Virus [free version] (the best one - as of October 29, 2011) or if you would prefer a fast, non-buggy anti-virus, then your Microsoft's own Security Essentials (you would have to prove that your Windows PC is genuine before installing it). A Firewall is a must too, so you should either use Zone Alarm Firewall or better, Comodo Firewall (free version) which tries its best to filter both inward and outward traffic from your router.MalwareBytes Anti-Malware is also a recommended product if you want to remove that tough virus that just wont remove itself from your computer!

    (Note: Make sure you don't run more than one anti-virus, excluding firewall, to make sure that your computer doesn't run slow)

    Utility :   Apart from the default windows tools, you need some more extra tools to let you get that extra edge as an administrator. Some tools from Microsoft Sysinternals suite like Autoruns (which let you check which softwares starts on booting your computer), PsKill (killing processes made easier), etc are immensely helpful to the average layman. You can download the entire suite here.Though there are many softwares that promise to optimise your system, I would recommend you use CCleaner to remove all the junk from your computer and also clean up your registry. I would also recommend you use the free version of Revo Uninstaller whenever you are installing a program to make sure that every traces of the program is removed from your computer!

    Photos : If you own a digital camera, chances are the you have tons of photos on your computer that requires organizing and also requires editing. You cannot be a lover of photography unless you have IrrfanView installed in your computer. It supports all the formats known to mankind and offers a lot of functionality as well. For editing photos, you have no need to look any further than Paint.net, which is the one of the best editors out there, and also Gimp, which offers tools if you are serious about photography and want a professional tool like Photoshop. When it comes to uploading the pictures on the internet, Picasa and Windows Live Photo Gallery should do the job. Flickr, though, is an online web service.

    Audio & Video: Everyone loves music and videos, and if you do too, then you should also probably not be satisfied with the media player Windows offers you. VLC players is one the most well known media player, which plays almost every known music format. KLM player is also a good alternative in case VLC is just not for you. Incase you are looking for a simple solution to play video files, that doesnt gobble too much memory, then Media Player Classic is for you, which plays all formats awesomely.
    Coming back to the audio, all the above mentioned players work like a charm, but if you are really looking for a good music manager, try MediaMonkey. People interested in video editing can opt for VirtualDub (or the built-in Windows Movie Maker) and those interested in Audio editing need not look further then Audacity which offers great features to edit that audio clip.

    Messengers : An average internet user has multiple accounts in several chat programs. If you are looking for the ideal chat program, it should support all the chat providers. Though Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, etc are good programs, I didnt include them, because if you have multiple accounts, you would tend to download and install all of them, which will definitely slow down your computer. Pidgin is a wonderful piece of software that supports many chat operators. Trillian is yet another chat client, but with a beautiful interface. For people looking for extra connectivity with Facebook and twitter, try TweetDeck (Follow techcovered on twitter - http://twitter.com/techcoveredblog)

    And...  There are still many wonderful softwares out there that deserve a mention, but cannot be included in the above categories. Libre Office is the best substitute to Microsoft Office out there. Softwares like Thunderbird are one of the best email clients out there. Feeddemon is an award-winning RSS aggregation that should find yourself drooling over it soon. In case of burning CD's and DVDs, CD Burner XP is the best application, and even supports Windows Vista and 7. Softwares like Google Desktop Search and Copernic are also worthy replacements for the default Windows Search and gets the job done quickly too.

    I think I have covered all the best free programs out there. Did I miss anything out? Do comment!

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