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Best Free Programs:

Discover the best programs you should download for your PC now.

Adedayo Adekunle
technologygist.com
Contents
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................ 5
SECURITY....................................................................................................................................................... 6
BROWSERS.................................................................................................................................................. 11
AUDIO & VIDEO .......................................................................................................................................... 18
PHOTOS AND IMAGES ................................................................................................................................ 23
FILE AND SYSTEM UTILITIES ....................................................................................................................... 26
PRODUCTIVITY............................................................................................................................................ 31
DEVELOPER TOOLS ..................................................................................................................................... 36
GAMES ........................................................................................................................................................ 39
WEB APPLICATIONS.................................................................................................................................... 40
MICROSOFT FREE SOFTWARE .................................................................................................................... 48
WINDOWS STORE APPS ............................................................................................................................. 52
PROGRAMS YOU NEED TO STOP USING .................................................................................................... 56
DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE SAFELY ............................................................................................................... 59
CONCLUSION .............................................................................................................................................. 62
INTRODUCTION
This guide is dedicated towards exploring free software and all that it encompasses, various
aspect of computing has been affected by freeware and the best tools in each category will be
examined as well as the tools you should avoid.
This book is divided into chapters containing different software categories. Click on any chapter
to go to it directly without scrolling through the whole book.
At the end of each category I list the software I recommend you should check out, this is just
my personal opinion you might prefer another program. I cannot guarantee that the programs I
recommend will remain reliable, they are only recommended as at the time of this review the
software landscape keeps changing and a program can go rogue at any time.
I also provide links to the website of the programs or a recommended third party site. All the
links were verified before the book was released but if any of the links is not working, a quick
Google search should provide the program details. I usually link to the specific page of the
program on the website but in some cases I only link to the website, in such cases you will have
to navigate to the product page on the site.
All the programs recommended in this guide are freeware. They are not shareware or trial
versions. In some cases a professional version is available for a fee but the free version is
usually adequate. All the programs are for Windows PCs but some programs are also available
for other operating systems such as Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
Free software is awesome but it has become very difficult to download the software and use it
without encountering any problems. A lot of websites put fake download buttons that cause
you to download a totally different program. While installing the software you will be prompted
to install all manner of junk that usually change your browser search engine, home page, install
needless toolbars and make other unauthorized changes to your system.
Sometimes they use trick questions to get you to install the extra software, questions such as
Do you want to meet single women? Some of this crap is also bundled in screen savers and
some trashy games. When you are installing software be cautious, dont just click on any box, a
lot of programs are bundled with needless additions and they are already ticked, if you
encounter such options dont tick them during installation, if you have already installed the
needless software you can uninstall it later
Also be wary of websites or tools that claim that your system has thousands of errors, they
usually trick you into running a free scan and it reports that your PC is running slow or it is full
of errors. It then recommends you to install their program to remove the errors, dont fall for
this scam, dont install the program. For more information on how to deal with these issues
check out the chapter on how to download software safely.
Since we spend a lot of time online, web based applications are also covered. These programs
do not need to be installed on your computer, you just to need to access them online.
SECURITY
The number of malicious software targeting Windows PCs are too numerous to mention. There
are viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, keyloggers, rootkits, ransom ware and a lot of other nasty
threats.
We use computers to browse the web, play games, create documents, share personal
information and conduct business transactions online. This means that computers play an
essential role in our lives.
About 80% of malicious programs enter your system via the internet so you need to be mindful
of the programs you install, websites you visit or ads you click on when browsing.
Malware does not only damage your system you might also lose your files, documents, credit
card information and so on. Irrespective of the program you use ensure it is regularly updated
and you should also perform scans regularly.
You can also install an additional program to serve as second line of defense, in case your main
antivirus misses a particular infection. In situations where a program can be used as a second
line of defense, I will inform you in the description. However you should not install two
antivirus programs on a system as it can slow down your system down drastically and cause
other conflicts.

Key Terms
Antivirus
Antivirus software detects threats and removes viruses, worms and trojans. Most antivirus
programs also provide spyware protection, it should update regularly and it should not slow
down the system. It should quickly identify potential threats and remove malware that is
already present in your system. It should also block malicious software from gaining access to
your system through e-mail, p2p file sharing, unauthorized network connections, mobile
devices, flash drives or websites.

Antispyware
Antispyware should remove malware, adware, scareware, keyloggers and other programs that
spy on your pc usage. Spyware needs to be removed to keep your PC secure.

Firewall
Firewall shields your computer or computer network from outside attempts by crackers to
control or gain access to it. It should also prevent unauthorized programs from accessing the
internet.

Password Manager
A password manager will store and organize your passwords. Password managers usually store
your password encrypted, you will need to create a master password which gives you access to
the entire password database.

Encryption
Encryption is a process used to enhance the security of a file or message by scrambling the
contents so that it can only be read by an authorized person who has the right encryption key
to unscramble it.

Security Software
Avast

Avast Antivirus detects and removes virus, trojans, malware and other potentially unwanted
programs (PUPs). It also includes tools for removing unwanted extensions, toolbars, outdated
software and it protects your from phishing attacks. It also includes an integrated password
manager which securely stores all your passwords.
The free version is very powerful but if you want to make use of the Firewall, VPN and Sandbox
features you will need to pay for the yearly subscription.

AVG
AVG Antivirus can prevent virus, trojans, spyware and malware from infecting your system. It
includes AVG Zen which protects all your devices from a single dashboard, you will need to
register to access AVG Zen. From the dashboard you can access various modules which allow to
test your system performance, privacy and identity settings and more. For more protection go
for AVG Internet Security which includes Firewall, Antispam and Shopping protection.

Avira
Avira protects you from viruses, malware, worms, spyware and other security threats. It
features a powerful browser tracking blocker which automatically bars harmful websites and
hidden applications which are found in most programs. The free version of Avira does not
include a firewall but it allows you to configure windows firewall from its interface.
Zone Alarm
ZoneAlarm established itself as a reputable firewall and it is one of the best programs you can
use as a replacement for Windows Firewall. The firewall is available for free, you can use it to
replace the built in Windows Firewall. You can also use it in conjunction with any of the free
antivirus tools that does not include a firewall.
If you intend to go for the premium versions you can choose between Pro Antivirus + Firewall,
Internet Security Suite and Extreme security.

MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes removes worms, spyware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) from your
system.
Malwarebytes is a good companion to your antivirus software but it should not be used as a
replacement for antivirus software, it reveals hidden malware that your antivirus might miss
and fixes them quickly.
Though the premium version adds more benefits like real time protection the free version is
powerful and would walk alongside your antivirus without causing any problems.

AdwCleaner
AdwCleaner removes adware, spyware and unwanted programs such as toolbars and browser
hijackers. It allows you to easily reset Winsock, Firewall, TCP/IP and other system settings from
the options menu. These options come in handy if your system has been messed up by adware
or other malicious programs that change these settings.
AdwCleaner is a portable app so you will have to update it manually.

SpywareBlaster
Spywareblaster is focused on preventing spyware, it does not remove spyware infections
rather it prevents the installation of spyware and other potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).
It tweaks your browser security settings, restricts access to some sites and you need to
manually update the program regularly. It is a good tool to have in your arsenal as it can
prevent the installation of spyware and adware. However since it does not scan for or remove
spyware it cannot serve as a complete spyware removal tool.

Keepass Password Safe

If you find it difficult to remember your passwords or you use the same passwords for all your
accounts, then you need to use keepass password safe. This program allows you to store and
manage hundreds of usernames and passwords.

Dashlane
Dashlane allows you to securely manage your passwords so you don't have to remember them
or rely on your browser to do so. It has support for two-factor authentication which provides an
additional layer of security.
You can also securely share passwords and notes with people you trust via its sharing center.
Advanced features such as the ability to sync across all devices are available in the premium
version however for basic needs the free version has got you covered.

Axcrypt
Axcrypt keeps your files safe. It adds an encrypt or decrypt file option to the right-click context
menu. If you are a power user you will love its advanced options. You can encrypt a copy to
make a new encrypted file or encrypt a copy to .exe that others can't open without installing
Axcrypt. You can create key files that can be saved to USB drives and you can encrypt files or an
entire folder.
Ensure you decline any unwanted extras during installation.

EncryptThat
EncryptThat keeps files on your PC safe. It adds options to encrypt or decrypt files to the
windows right-click context menu. To use it, right-click the file you want to secure, select
encrypt file and answer a passphrase. The passphrase you enter is used to unlock the file, if
someone tries to access the file without using the decrypt option and typing the correct phrase
it will show as unknown or damaged.
RECOMMENDATIONS
The antivirus tools mentioned in this chapter perform their job admirably however Avast is
recommended it has a neat user interface, does not consume lots of system resources and
protects your system capably from malware.
The default Windows Firewall is a capable tool but if you prefer a third-party program you will
love Zone Alarm, however note that it prompts you regularly to allow or prevent network
access for programs.
For malware removal you cant go wrong with either Malwarebytes Anti-malware or
AdwCleaner each of these programs remove malware and other potentially unwanted
programs (PUPs) from your PC, however because AdwCleaner is a portable app you will need to
update it manually.
If you regularly store a lot of passwords you can use any of the password managers listed
above.
BROWSERS
The web browser is an essential tool for every computer user. Most people have their favourite
browser which is usually Google chrome or Mozilla firefox while others simply use the default
Internet Explorer or Edge in Windows 10.
However these are not the only browsers available there are alternative browsers which have
tools that are not available by default in the major browsers. You can use your main browser
and switch to the other browsers when you want to perform a specific task or you can switch
browsers completely.
Browser extensions are also listed. These programs let you add new features to your browser.
They can also enhance your browsing experience as there are various plugins and tools to
supercharge your browser. Each of the browser extensions on the list can be downloaded from
their respective browsers store. The links to the developers website are provided in case you
want to download other programs from the software developers.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is a fast web browser which features an excellent interface, privacy controls,
built-in spell checking, PDF viewer and the largest amount of extensions to enhance its
functionality. It also offers a video chat service called Firefox Hello which you can use to call
anyone with a Firefox, Chrome or Opera browser without any account or sign-in required.

Google Chrome
Chrome is fast, speedy and stable. It allows you to install extensions from the Chrome Web
Store to enhance its functionality. It gives you an option to open pages in incognito mode
where what you view would not be stored in your browsers history, cookie, or search history,
however it will save your downloaded files.
Signing into Google Chrome with a Google account provides you with the option to sync your
activity and preferences across multiple devices, however if you are concerned about privacy
you can ignore this although Google encourages you to sign in.
Internet Explorer
The arrival of Edge browser on Windows 10 renders Internet Explorer obsolete, inspite of this
development Internet Explorer still holds up well in comparison with its competitors.
It has a lean interface and is standards compliant. Excellent privacy and security features such
as anti-phishing modules and tracking protection which sends Do Not Track request to the
websites that try to get in touch with your browser are also included.
EDGE browser is only on Windows 10 it is not included due in this roundup to its unavailability
as a standalone downloadable web browser.

Opera

Opera is a speedy browser which has innovative features such as the speed dial which allows
for easy bookmarking and the stash which allows you to store pages for viewing later. For the
news junkie it offers a selection of news items that can be consumed easily. The turbo mode
allows you to improve save bandwidth by compressing data and images, it is useful in places
with poor connectivity.

Epic
If you dont want to be tracked online you should check out epic browser. Epic ensures your
privacy by blocking all trackers, third party cookies and ads, it redirects your search through a
proxy server so no one would know what you are looking for. However due to its major focus
on privacy you can only use a very limited amount of browser extensions, thus your favourite
chrome or firefox extension might not be supported.

Pale moon
This browser is based on firefox, Its interface is different from that of firefox as it does not use
the Australis interface. It offers a similar level of security. It supports most firefox features
except the parental control and accessibility features which are disabled.
Avant browser
Avant browser features the three main rendering engines used by Google Chrome, Internet
Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. It uses the same version of internet explorer that is present in your
system. It has a lot of built in themes, an ad blocker, a download accelerator and a video sniffer
for downloading web videos from the current page.
You can also view a page in the three different rendering engines in three different tabs, this is
useful for web developers who want to see how their pages look in different browsers without
installing multiple software on the system.

Wyzo browser
This browser is ideal for power downloaders. It accelerates downloads and allows you to easily
download torrents via its bittorrent integration. It is fast, secure and fully compatible with
firefox addons.

Qupzilla

Qupzilla is an interesting browser which has some unique features that distinguishes it from
other browsers. It features an integrated Ad-blocker, allows you to send the Do-Not-Track
header and it also allows you to browse in private mode. It also allows you to organize your
history, bookmarks and RSS reader in one window. However it does not support a lot of
extensions, if you dont really make use of extensions you should check out this browser.
BROWSER EXTENSIONS

uBlock Origin
Chrome/Firefox/Opera

uBlock Origin blocks ads on facebook, youtube, pop up ads and the web in general. It also
prevents websites from tracking your activity and a host of other features.

Project Naptha
Chrome

This add-on allows to copy text that appears on online images. Highlight the text in the image,
then copy using using Ctrl + C. Use the Right- click to access more options such as erasing words
and translate words to another language. This is useful for copying quotes in images, headlines
and other random bits of text that you might encounter while browsing.

History On/Off
Opera

Most browsers usually have a private mode to prevent details of site you visit from being
stored. With this add-on you can easily enable or disable history recording.

Tabwrangler
Chrome

Tabwrangler allows you to disable inactive tabs after a specified period of time. If you usually
have lots of idle tabs open and your browsing becomes slow, then you need to install
tabwrangler. You can also set it to warn you a few minutes before closing the tabs
Do Not Disturb
Chrome

Use this extension to block almost anything that distracts or irritates you. It can stop widgets,
pop-ups, ads and other intrusive elements. It works by default on all websites but you can
choose to disable it on some websites.

Readability
Chrome/Firefox

Readabilty allows you to remove the fancy formatting and ads on web pages. It renders
articles, blog posts and stories in a plain and organized manner by eliminating the distracting
elements.

StayFocusd
Chrome

StayFocusd is extremely useful for those who spend a lot of hours browsing aimlessly. You can
set a time allowance for particular sites such as social networks or feed readers. The extension
allows you to block access to everything except an approved list or block access to all websites.

Evernote Web Clipper


Chrome/Firefox/Opera/Internet explorer
Evernote Web Clipper allows you to quickly and easily save online content from your browser
straight into your Evernote notebooks. You can clip full articles or Web pages.
This extension allows you to take screenshots, mark up content, images and save as PDF.

Ghostery
Chrome/Firefox/Opera/Internet explorer

While surfing the web, Ad networks, social networks, analytical services, cookies and more are
tracking your moves. Ghostery identifies who is tracking you and allows you to stop it.
Firebug
Firefox
Firebug is an excellent web development tool for developers. You can edit, debug and monitor
CSS, Html, and Javascript on a webpage. It can be extended to make it more powerful.

Stylish
Chrome/Firefox/Opera

Stylish allows you to change the themes for the websites you choose and it includes a database
of thousands of themes to choose from. You can create stylish themes of your own and share it
on the userstyles.org site.

Awesome Screenshot
Chrome/Firefox

Some webpages are larger than what appears in the browser window but browsers dont easily
allow you to take a screenshot of an entire page. Awesome Screenshot allows you to take a
screenshot of an entire page even if some parts of the page are out of view.

NoScript
Firefox

Javascript provides multimedia rich functionality to websites however it could be a security


nightmare because criminals typically exploit holes in Javascript.
NoScript can disable Javascript on all webpages, it can also be set to allow Javascript to run on
trusted websites you specify.
RECOMMENDATIONS
For all round performance Chrome cant be beat, it features a minimalistic design which
maximizes productivity. It allows you to easily sync your data across all your devices through
your Gmail account.
Other browsers are not far behind if you are a power user who likes to tweak your browser and
install various extensions look no further than Firefox.
If you are a multimedia junkie then check out Avant browser.
Check the respective browser app stores for the extensions listed, most extensions have to be
installed directly from the browser app store before they will work.
AUDIO & VIDEO
If you are like most PC users you store a lot of audio and video files on your PC. The rise of
online video sharing sites and the massive hard drive space of modern PCs has made playing,
sharing and editing videos easy.
There are various programs that allow you to play, edit and organize your multimedia files.
Irrespective of your needs there is a program in this list that is appropriate for you.

Audacity

This is a powerful audio recording and editing program. It allows you to easily record live audio,
change the recording pitch, apply filter effects such as reverb, delay and cut, paste and phase
out audio easily. It supports Ogg vorbis, MP3, WAV, AIFF and other formats. It is a useful tool
for podcasters.

AIMP
AIMP is an easy to use audio player with support for a large number of formats and multiple
playlists. It allows creation of bookmarks, and it is expandable with various skins and plugins.
It allows you to convert AudioCD to MP3, Ogg, WAV or WMA, convert audio files and save
online radio.

Media Monkey
MediaMonkey is a feature packed music manager and jukebox for serious music collectors. It
scans your PC and imports playlists, it also supports plugins to extend its functionality. It
supports CDs, OGG, WMA, MPC, FLAC, APE, WAV and MP3 files.
It offers an intelligent tag editor which finds missing Album Art, it can also find song lyrics and
track information via Freedb and the web. It can manage your music, videos, podcasts,
audiobooks and more.

Foobar
Foobar is a light-weight easy to use audio player it provides support for all the major formats
such as MP3, WMA, FLAC, WAV, Ogg and more. You can rip audio CDs and convert audio files.

Music Bee
MusicBee is a featured packed program, it supports a variety of formats including MP3, AAC,
M4A, MPC, OGG, FLAC, WMA, WAV and more. It features a graphic equalizer which allows you
to arrange its sliders according to the genre of the track you are listening to or you can set it to
automatic.
You can easily add music, podcasts, audio books and radio. It can import libraries from ITunes
and Windows Media Player. It also syncs Android phones, USB drives, some iPods and other
portable music devices with your library. If you find the default skin unattractive you can
change it from the view menu.

iTunes

Apple ITunes has a gorgeous interface that makes browsing through your music collection a
blast. It includes features that are present in other music players such as CD-ripping, graphic
equalizer and the likes. If you own and Apple device such as the iPod, iPhone or iPad it makes
organizing your media collection seamless.
However it is needlessly bloated its download size is over 100MB, it complicates things
needlessly for example you need to log into the iTunes store to get album artwork. If you own
an Apple device you would need to get it however if you dont own any Apple device it is not
really necessary to download it.

VLC Media Player


VLC Media Player is one of the most popular media players around while the interface is plain,
its functionality make it one of the most essential programs you should install on your PC. It can
play almost any video or audio format out there such as DivX, MKV, H.264, Cinepak, Real Video,
MP3, WMA, FLAC, ALAC and many more besides, there is no need to download extra codecs, it
can also stream and record online radio.
With an array of settings to optimize playback, adjust sound quality, and set up multiple video
playlists, there is nothing it cannot handle.
PotPlayer
This is a lightweight feature packed media player, it can play almost all video formats, has a
fully skinnable user interface, supports multiple subtitles formats and it can also play
incomplete files.

K-Lite Media Player Classic


This codec pack supports most of the major video formats, and it has a lot of options to satisfy
power users. You can change the subtitles, tweak audio and video playback settings. It has a
basic interface and supports hardware acceleration which is great for older computers that
want to play HD video.

Gom Player
This fully featured video player supports nearly all audio and video format. It also supports
various skins to customize its interface. If it finds a file or format it cant play it allows you to
search for a missing codec, if the codec is found it will direct you to the download page.

Kodi

Kodi previously known as XBMC is a feature packed media center application it allows you to
play and organize your music, music, pictures as well as watch and record live TV games. You
can manage podcasts, radio stations and audio books from the dashboard. It integrates with
OneDrive so you can play videos directly from your account and it supports other add-ons.

Miro
Miro is an extremely capable feature packed alternative to ITunes. It enables you to manage
videos, music, podcasts and torrents all in a gorgeous interface. You can also download files
from your favourite multimedia sites straight to your library or buy Androids apps from Amazon
or Google right from the program and convert video files for playback on your devices.
Format Factory
A multifunctional audio and video converter, it supports mp4, flv, avi, wmv, rmvb, swf and lots
more. It can also convert images.

IceCream Media Converter

IceCream Media Converter simplifies the process of converting your audio and video files. Drag
the files you want to convert into its interface, select the target device you want to play the file
on such as PSP, Android, iPad and more or select the output format and your files will be
converted immediately. You can also download and convert online content such as Youtube
videos.

Jing
Jing allows you to capture anything you see on your computer screen, as an image or a short
video limited to a maximum of 5 minutes. It lets you save captured items on your PC or you can
share it online.
You need to create an account with Techsmith before you can start using Jing.

CAMSTUDIO
CamStudio is an excellent upgrade from Windows built in screen capture tool. It captures
screen and audio activity. It stores captured items in AVI format and it also features a built-in
Streaming Flash video converter in case you want to quickly upload your videos to YouTube.
This program is useful if you want to create a video tutorial, screencast or send a screenshot of
a problem you are experiencing to a computer engineer.

Movie to GIF
This program makes it easy to pull out a short section of a video and transform it to an
animated GIF. Choose the start and end points of your video, then save the video as a GIF.
RECOMMENDATIONS
For organizing your music selection MusicBee cant be beat, it allows you to view podcast,
audiobooks radio, rip CDs and search for music via SoundCloud without exiting the player.
For playing videos VLC media player supports multiple formats and you can also stream or
record online radio and video.
If you are interested in organising your multimedia collection or you need a capable media
center program Kodi fits the bill perfectly, it plays and organises music, videos and pictures all
within its stunning interface.
PHOTOS AND IMAGES
The massive adoption of smartphones and digital cameras has made taking and sharing pictures
easy. There are various programs that allow us to easily import, organize, display, edit and
share our photos.
There are also programs that perform specialized tasks such as creating slide shows, advanced
image editing, reducing image size, removing exif data, managing massive photo collections and
more.
Once you have finished editing your images you can share your creativity online for the world
to see.
Regardless of your needs there is a program for you in the list below.

Gimp
This is a powerful image manipulation program that allows you to retouch photos with a variety
of color corrections. It can perform complex photo editing tasks however its interface is a little
bit complicated.

XnView

This is a lightweight utility for viewing, processing, basic editing, batch processing and
converting your images with support for over 400 file formats.

IrfanView
This is a feature packed program that allows you to view and optimize images, create
slideshows, batch process and convert image files. It can also play audio and video files.

InkScape
For a budding graphic designer Inkscape is a vector based illustration program that offers
comparable features to Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. You can use it to create beautiful logos,
clip arts, web graphics and technical diagrams. It allows you to import JPEG, TIFF and PNG files,
while you can export files in PNG or other vector based formats
Paint.NET

If you find Gimp interface and functionality overwhelming then you will love Paint.net. It is
suitable for performing basic photo manipulations however it supports advanced features such
as layers, advanced selection tools, and full keyboard support which means that all actions can
be completed by pressing dedicated hotkeys. You need to have the latest version of .NET
framework installed on your computer or it will download it for you during installation.

Pixelitor
Pixelitor is an image editor which features over 70 photo filters and color adjustments. The
software also includes functions for adjusting color balance, brightness, contrast and layers.

Perfect Photo Show


Perfect Photo Show simplifies the process of creating slideshows. It allows you to spice up your
slides with animation effects, music, audio tracks and various transitions. You can save the
slideshow as an AVI file or share it on YouTube.

ImageResizer
Image Resizer allows to resize an image by right-clicking on the image file. It offers multiple
resize options and allows you to resize multiple images at once. This is a useful tool for resizing
pictures taken with your smartphone or digital camera. It allows you to select a custom resize
option if the available resize options dont meet your needs.

JPEG & PNG Stripper


JPEG & PNG Stripper is a useful program that removes the EXIF data from images. This is
typically used to store the information of the date and location the picture was taken as well as
the camera that was used to take the picture. You can add this program to windows explorer
for easy access.
RECOMMENDATIONS
If you want a program that can rival the power of Photoshop for free then you will love Gimp,
however for light editing tasks you should check out Paint.net.
JPEG & PNG stripper allows you to remove EXIF information from your pictures, if you dont
want people to know the date, location or camera that was used to take a picture you should
use these tool.
FILE AND SYSTEM UTILITIES
For your computer to run smoothly you need to regularly maintain it. If you fail to maintain
your computer it will become slow and unresponsive. I am sure you have probably come across
systems that take ages to load. There are essential operations that need to be performed to
ensure your computer runs smoothly, you need to clean up temporary files created by windows
and other applications, disable needless startup programs, recover mistakenly deleted files,
backup your system, update programs, drivers and more.
In this chapter we will examine some of the tools that can be used to get rid of excess junk files,
get information about your system and ensure your system performance is top-notch.

Recuva

This program is an excellent data recovery software. Recuva can recover files from hard drives,
external drives (USB drives, memory cards), mobile devices and more.
It is better to have this program installed on your system before you need it, because if you
have deleted a file and the file has been overwritten, it will be extremely difficult to recover. It
is recommended that you run this program immediately you mistakenly delete a file.
A portable version of this program is available

Puran File Recovery


This lightweight application is a very capable file recovery application with a simple interface.
It can recover documents, images, music, videos and other accidentally deleted files. On the
webpage this link takes you to there are 2 options to download if you only want to download
Puran File Recovery then select the Download this utility option otherwise select the Download
Puran Utilities option which will download the entire suite.

CCLEANER
Cleaning up your system is one of the best ways to improve your systems performance.
When you launch the program you will see two buttons, analyze and run cleaner. When you
click on analyze it will give you the approximate amount of space it can free up if you are
satisfied with the results you just need to click on run cleaner.
It not only cleans up windows but it can also clean up files from various applications such as
Chrome, Microsoft Office, Vlc, Firefox, Adobe Flash, Skype, McAfee, GIMP and other
applications. It also contains additional tools such as a startup manager, an uninstaller and a
secure drive erasing tool.

CCENHANCER
While this program is not officially approved by Piriform it works excellently in conjunction with
CCleaner without any issues. It adds more options and applications to CCleaner to make it
remove more junk files and thoroughly clean your system.

CleanMaster

This popular Android program is also available on PC. It features a gorgeous interface and sort
the junk files it discovers into different categories so you can easily choose which junk file you
want to remove.

Simple Run Blocker


Simple Run Blocker lets you select programs you want to prevent from running. Just drag the
executable file (.exe) of any program you want to block into its menu and it will prevent users
from launching the program.
You can remove programs from the list and disable blocking at any time. The software can also
be set to run only pre-approved programs and block everything else, this can serve as a way to
severely limit access to your system especially if you have very important files that you don't
want other people to view or have access to. It also allows you to hide or lock drives.

Advanced Uninstaller Pro


This is an easy to use program that features a startup manager, uninstaller, duplicate file finder,
and other tools to remove your temporary files, browser plugins, securely delete files and a lot
of other features. Some of its features are available in Windows but Advanced Uninstaller
makes it easy for you to access because you don't have to hunt different tools it is all accessible
from its feature packed interface.
FileASSASSIN

If you can't delete a file or folder or you are getting a disturbing error message that it is in use
by another program even when no other program is accessing it, all you need to do is download
FileASSASIN to delete it.

BleachBit
BleachBit can help you to free up space in your system by removing junk files. It can also
securely shred files to prevent file recovery. It cleans up various applications such as Internet
Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Adobe flash and a host of other applications

Paragon Rescue kit 14 Free Edition


Paragon Rescue Kit is a bootable toolkit that solves common boot problems. It rescues deleted
partitions and retrieves data. It has various tools such as a boot corrector, undelete partition,
file transfer wizard and more. It also allows you to recover an entire disk, separate partitions or
specific files.

EASEUS Partition Master


This tool allows you to create, resize, split, copy, restore and merge partitions all via an
extremely sleek interface.

WinDirStat
This is a useful program to install the moment your hard drive space is low. It provides a visual
representation of your drives contents, usually showing you the files that are consuming lots of
space.
Speccy

This system information tool created by the same developers that make CCleaner allows you to
view your system information in an easy to read interface. It provides a detailed list of all the
components in your PC such as CPU, Hard Disks, Motherboard, Graphics Cards, RAM, Optical
Drives and more.

CPU-Z
A simple tool for viewing information on your system devices such as the CPU, mainboard and
memory. It is useful for performance enthusiasts who want to get more performance from their
system through overclocking or other optimizations.

GPU-Z
This tool provides detailed information about your video card including manufacturer info,
memory type and speed, software revisions and temperatures. It supports NVIDIA, ATI and Intel
devices and is a useful tool for geeks who love to overclock their video cards.

Flexera Personal Software Inspector


A free utility that scans through your applications for outdated programs in need of updates
RECOMMENDATIONS
Recuva helps you to easily recover deleted files from your system. If you need detailed
information about your systems components you can check out Speccy or CPU-Z.
For optimizing your systems performance, you cant go wrong with CCleaner and use Flexera
Personal Software Inspector to ensure that all your programs are regularly updated.
PRODUCTIVITY
Creating and viewing documents is a common task most PC users perform daily at work or at
home. From creating and viewing pdfs, writing short notes, creating slides and editing
documents, there is a tool that can perform them the task with minimum stress.

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a spin-off from OpenOffice, it is a fully featured desktop based office suite. It
features tools for formatting text, adjusting alignment, creating tables and list.
It contains various programs such as calc spreadsheet, impress presentation and base database
which are equivalents to Microsoft Excel, Access and Powerpoint this means that it is more than
just a document creation tool.
Its page layout tools are impressive, you can move text and graphic elements and there is a web
layout mode that shows how your document will look when converted to HTML web pages.
You can export your documents to PDF, doc, odt, html and other formats

WPS Office Suite Free


This office suite offers a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation tool. It is compatible
with Microsoft Office documents, offers two skins: a ribbon-like UI and a classic drop down
menu based interface. It features tabs to allow you to easily switch between documents and
offers a host of enhanced features. If you are familiar with Microsoft Office you will love WPS
Office Suite Free.

FreeOffice
FreeOffice is a feature rich office suite. It provides TextMaker, PlanMaker and Presentations
which are capable alternatives to Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel respectively. It
provides tools for creating PDF documents, tracking document changes and spell checking your
copy.
Its performance is snappy and it features a streamlined interface that simplifies the process of
working on your documents.
Sumatra PDF
This is a preferable alternative to Adobe Reader. It is lightweight, fast, features less bloat and it
would not nag you with constant security updates. Add support for mobi and epub ebooks as
well as CBR and CBZ archives and you have an extremely capable software.
It also has a portable version that you can install on your flash drive.

PDF-XChange Editor
PDF-XChange Editor is an excellent pdf reader, it allows you to work with multiple PDFs via its
tabbed interface and you can also take snapshots of specific areas you are interested in. It
features optical character recognition (OCR) which allows you to turn image based PDFs into
files with selectable text which comes in handy if you want to copy text from a scanned
document.

NitroReader
Nitro is loaded with some unique features, it not only reads your PDF files but allows you to
extract images and text from your PDF.

FoxIt Reader

This is a fast alternative to Adobe Reader. It features tabs so you can easily switch between
multiple pdf files, allows you to annotate, create and print PDF documents. Its annotation tools
allows you to attach notes to any section of a PDF or use the mark-up tools to indicate where
text should be inserted, replaced or deleted.

UniPDF
This tool allows you to easily convert pdf files to docs, images, html, plain text and other
formats.

doPDF
doPDf allows you to combine documents and pictures to pdf files from any windows program. It
allows you to create pdf files from printable documents.
PDFill PDF Tools
This is a comprehensive collection of pdf tools that allows you to merge, split, reorder, delete,
rotate, crop and reformat PDF pages For instance if you have three different PDF files you can
easily merge all of them into a single PDF file.
It can also encrypt and decrypt pdf files, add header and footer information, convert pdf to
images and so much more.

PDF Eraser
PDF Eraser allows you to delete and erase text, images, logos and all unwanted objects from
PDF files. You can use the program to add text and images to a page. If you have scanned a lot
of documents you can easily rotate the pages properly.
This software comes in handy when you want to share a PDF file with someone but deny the
person access to sensitive information

Free Opener
This program makes it easy to open over 80 files types. Supported formats include doc, pdf, jpg,
mp3, avi, png, mp4 and lots more. Decline the unwanted extras during installation if you dont
need them.

Calibre

This free open source e-book management software allows you to read your e-books. It creates
a library where you can search for and store your books. It is also allows you to convert files to
various e-book formats suitable for viewing on different devices.
If you are an avid e-book reader you can't go wrong with this software. A portable version of
this application is available.

Simple Sticky Notes


Simple Sticky Notes allows you to easily write notes and format notes appropriately, you can
add line spacing, insert date and time and other tweaks to your note. You can also view all the
existing notes you have created easily.
7 Sticky Notes

7 Sticky Notes allows you to easily create notes you can also separate the notes into various
categories with multiple desktops. It includes various fonts and formatting options, allows you
to add hyperlinks to notes, attach to your notes as well as share them.

Visual Understanding Environment


This is a free mind map application that makes it easy to structure, present and share
information.
RECOMMENDATIONS
If you are looking for a suite that offers a broad range of tools and can rival the power of
Microsoft office in an easy to use package then go for LibreOffice.
Sumatra PDF allows you to easily read your ebooks, comics and PDF files while Calibre allows
you to easily manage your E-book library. If you need advanced features such as annotations
download Foxit Reader.
DEVELOPER TOOLS
If you are interested in creating programs either for the Web, PC or Mobile devices there are a
lot of tools that can simplify the process. From text editors to website creation tools there is a
tool out there that can satisfy your needs.
Developers use various tools to complete various tasks such as creation of source code, fixing
bugs and deployment of applications.
In these chapter we will explore some tools used for software and web development.

Notepad++
Notepad++ is a source code editor. It is a capable Notepad replacement which offers tabbed
editing and a powerful suite of features for displaying plain text. If you are a programmer you
will appreciate Notepad++ support for syntax highlighting, syntax folding, auto-completion,
extensions and various programming languages.

Bluefish
This text editor is ideal for programmers and web developers. It supports many programming
and markup languages such as Html, CSS, Javascript, Java, Perl, ColdFusion, Python and more.
It supports features such as syntax highlighting, search and replace, multiple document support
and more.

Brackets

This is a text editor created by Adobe for web designers and front end developers. It simplifies
the process of entering Html, CSS and Javascript, using its live preview function you can edit
code in the browser without having to reload the page.
The Extract tool can get design information from a Photoshop (PSD) file turning colours, fonts,
and measurement information into a CSS file.

Microsoft WebMatrix
Microsofts WebMatrix allows you to design and deploy HTML5, PHP, ASP.NET and Node.js
applications easily. This is an ideal program for web developers irrespective of their skill level as
it simplifies the process of creating websites.
It combines server, database and programming frameworks using Microsoft technologies into a
single tool. It allows you to build sites using open source technologies like WordPress, Drupal,
Joomla and more, this makes it a great tool for trying these services out without having to sign
up for a hosting package.
You can create websites from scratch or via the included templates and wizards. Websites can
be published either to Microsoft Azure or via FTP. It integrates with CodePlex, Team Foundation
and GitHub to simplify project management.

Visual Studio Community

This is an excellent software that will appeal to developers. It provides all the tools you need to
build apps and desktop programs for free. You can develop applications for: Web for web-
based apps and services, Windows for Windows 10 Store apps, and Desktop for those wishing
to build traditional desktop apps based on C#, Visual BASIC and C++, you can also use it to
develop apps for Android and iOS devices.

CodeLite
CodeLite allows you to develop C, C++, PHP, Javascript and Node.js applications, it features an
extensive collection of themes and plugins however its interface is not intuitive which makes
using it complicated.
RECOMMENDATIONS
Notepad++ allows you to easily run code directly from the editor, it features syntax colouring
and support for macros, debugger and plugins.
Visual Studio allows you to easily develop, debug and deploy Windows and web applications
using a single development dashboard. Microsoft also provides awesome resources on Visual
Studio website to help you in your programming journey.
GAMES
Games are an interesting activity you can partake in when you want to relax whether you are
solving puzzles, shooting imaginary monsters or rescuing your friends there are awesome
games you need to check out.

Super Crate Box

In Super Crate Box you pick crates which gives you access to one of 14 weapons selected at
random, use this weapons to kill the enemies. Attaining a high number of crates unlicks new
weapons, game modes, and character skins, contact with the enemy results in death.

Thomas Was Alone

You play as Thomas, a curious rectangle who wants to discover the mysteries of his existence in
a minimalistic strange world. Features over 100 gameplay and excellent narration.

VVVVVV

You play as Captain Viridian who must save a dimension on the brink of collapse, and also find
your ships crew all of whose names begin with the letter V.
WEB APPLICATIONS
Web applications are also referred to as online applications, webware or cloud based apps.
With the wide availability of broadband internet access there has been a rise in the transition to
using web applications regularly.
There are various web applications available it is often difficult to know which application to
use and sometimes when you have started working with one program it might be quite
stressful or difficult to switch to another program.
The best web applications solve a common problem you regularly encounter, work with your PC
or mobile device and are easy to use. With web applications you dont need to install the
program locally on your computer, they also provide easy access to your files because they are
stored in the cloud (online).

You dont need to keep updating software versions as new updates, features and bug fixes are
available as soon as they are released.
Web applications are extremely useful as they allow you to easily synchronize and access your
files across multiple devices without connecting to them locally.
However some web based apps are trying to ensure that you store all your data in the cloud
(online), they make it very difficult to store your files offline.

It is recommended that you have offline versions of your files; while online services are usually
reliable they have also experienced crashes at various times.
Also you have to realize that if you store your data in the cloud you no longer have exclusive
access to your data they are in the hands of Google, Microsoft, Evernote and the likes so if you
are concerned about privacy take note. In recent times various online services have also been
hacked so think carefully before storing sensitive information in the cloud.
This guide covers a wide variety of categories such as business, entertainment, education,
security and more.

OFFICE AND PRODUCTIVITY


Zoho Docs
Zoho Docs is an office suite which includes writer, sheet and show for creating documents,
storing data and creating presentations. It includes support for most file types with 5GB of free
storage. It features tabs for easy access to multiple documents and features a range of
collaborative options.

Web2PDF
Web2pdf allows you to convert a webpage into a PDF document. Once the PDF file has been
created you can save it to your computer. Just paste the URL of the website and it will create a
PDF for you.
Google Docs

Google Docs provides tools for creating documents, presentation, spreadsheet, forms and
drawings. It allows users to easily create, edit and share files online. You have access to 15 GB
of free storage through Google drive.

Evernote
This is similar to a store, it allows you to manage notes and information. You can store almost
everything here receipts, web clippings, meeting notes and more. Numerous features are
available including sharing, file attachments and reminders.

Gmail
Webmail services are very popular because they can be accessed on any computer. Gmail
integrates easily with other Google services such as calendar, tasks and drives. It features great
search tools, excellent spam filters and a tabbed system which splits messages into primary,
social, promotions, updates and forums so you can go straight to the email that you are most
interested in. It offers 15GB of storage for free.

Yahoo Mail
The latest incarnation of yahoo mail features a gorgeous interface and it is quite easy to
understand as it is not as feature packed as Gmail. It offers 1TB of storage for free. However its
animated ad panel is distracting, its sponsored ads can also be easily mistaken for real
messages.

Zoho Mail
Zoho mail is part of Zoho suite of office applications. It offers up to 5GB of storage and 25MB
limit on attachments for the free service.

Privnote
Privnote allows you to create a note that will self-destruct immediately it has been read.
PrintFriendly
This tool makes it easy to read articles online. You can delete any part of a webpage in the
print-friendly view until you are ready to print, email or you can save the article in PDF format.
A Chrome extension is also available.

Smallpdf.com

Smallpdf compresses the size of your large PDF files to smaller file sizes so that you can easily
send them via email or upload them to the web.

WeTransfer
WeTransfer is an online file transfer platform. You can use it to send large files of up to 2GB in
the free version. The plus version gives you access to more features and removes the ads.

PRESENTATION
Zoho Show
Zoho suite of tools is a web based alternative to Microsoft Office. Zoho show is part of the free
suite which offers 5GB of space for free. It features PPT import/export, a rich set of tools for
slide creation, photo editing, and various transition effects.

IMAGES AND PHOTOS

Pixlr-o-matic
This application allows you to select an image on your PC. You can choose a color filter, a
lighting effect and save or share the edited image. It is also available as a downloadable
application.
IconFinder
Iconfinder provides graphic designers, developers, illustrators and other creative professionals
a large collection of over 390,000 icons for your projects. Over 100,000 free icons are available
in the free icons category.

SumoPaint
SumoPaint is an online image editor. You can open images from the web or your PC for editing.
You can save your edited images on your PC or in the cloud.

AnyMaking Photo Editor


This application allows you to easily edit an image. There are various settings that allow you to
resize, crop, rotate, add filters, drop shadow, reflections and more effects to your images.

PicMonkey
PicMonkey features a wide array of features. It allows you to crop, rotate, sharpen photos, add
text and symbols to your images and more. You can easily use it to create fun graphics for
sharing or blog posts.

FunPhotoBox
This application allows you to generate funny pictures and effects from your images.

CoolText

CoolText allows you to easily create text logos or buttons. Choose a style, add text, adjust the
settings, click the render button and save the result.

Kleki
Kleki allows you to create paintings and sketches using various brushes.
FixPicture
FixPicture allows you to convert most image file formats and camera raw formats to jpg, png,
gif, tiff, bmp or pdf.

Flickr
This popular service owned by Yahoo allows users to upload their photos, edit and organize
their collections and share them. You can use it to get images for your website or blog however
you need to check the terms of the license. It offers 1 TB of free storage.

AUDIO AND VIDEO


TuneIn Radio
TuneIn provides access to more than 100,000 live radio stations and millions of podcasts from
across the world. You can listen to your favourite programme instantly via TuneIn Radio.

Streema
Streema offers an easy way to search radio stations by station name and country, once you
have found the station you can listen to the programme immediately.

YouTube
YouTube allows anyone to upload videos and share it with the world. You can embed videos on
a blog or website; you can also store your videos privately if you want to limit access to your
videos.

Vimeo

Vimeo is a video sharing site similar to YouTube. While there are lot of time wasting videos on
youtube, videos on vimeo tend to lean more on creative and business activities. The site is well
designed and free film making lessons are available at www.vimeo.com/videoschool

FullRip.net
FullRip allows you to download audio and video from YouTube. It can convert video to mp3 at
up to 256 kbs bit rate and it supports 3GP, MP4, WebM and FLV video formats.
ONLINE BACKUP
Dropbox

Dropbox offers an impressive range of tools for backing up and storing documents. It offers 2
GB of storage for free and you can easily synchronize your files with your mobile device. It
allows you to easily share your files.

Google Drive
This web app keeps your documents synched between the cloud and your PC. The free service
provides 15GB for free.

OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive supports a wide range of devices including Xbox, it allows you to easily
sync your files and it offers 5GB of storage for free.

GAMES

The Republia Times

This game follows the story of a newspaper editor-in-chief in a totalitarian state. Each day you
must choose which stories to run and how much space to give them. This will affect your
paper's popularity in the eyes of the government or the opposition forces.
There are of twists and turns and you will have to make major decisions that will determine
who you ally with.

One chance

This game is set in an imaginary future where life will end in 6 days, who you spend time with,
and what you decide to do is in your hands.

Canabalt

Canabalt popularized the endless runner genre. You have to be extremely precise to jump over
the obstacles at the right time. It has a unique atmosphere and an amazing soundtrack that
matches the intensity of the onscreen action.

SECURITY AND PRIVACY

Online Link Scan

This application scan links for harmful threats such as viruses, spyware, Trojans or other
malware. It shows you the host IP, any threat name and the overall result if the site is secure.
Virustotal
Virustotal analyses files so as to detect viruses, worms and other malicious infections by
applying scans from multiple antivirus engines. Detailed results from each engine are listed
after the uploaded file has been scanned. You are limited to a maximum file size of 128MB.

Norton Safe Web


Norton Safe Web analyzes websites to see how they affect you and your PC. It provides you
with reports on computer threats, identity threats and annoyance factors for the website.

EDUCATION
BookBoon

Download free ebooks and textbooks in various disciplines such as accounting, engineering,
economics, marketing and sales, personal development, career management and so on.

EDX
A list of free courses from most of the top universities in the world; you are usually given a time
frame to complete the course as well as assignments and projects. A certificate is given upon
completion of some courses.

Code Academy
Learn to code interactively for free. Various programming languages are available and you work
on real world exercises.

Academic Earth
Carefully curated list of free online classes and learning tools from the best schools in the
world.
MICROSOFT FREE SOFTWARE
Windows OS and Microsoft Office are Microsoft most popular programs the problem is they
cost a lot of money. We usually search for freeware that can replace built in windows programs
such as Internet Explorer, Paint, Windows Media player, Notepad, Task manager, Wordpad and
so much more. However most people don't realize that Microsoft develops a lot of free
software.
There is a free program for almost every aspect of PC use ranging from programming, game
creation, web development, cloud storage, security, education and so much more.
Click on the program name to go to the download page.
Check out the tools that excite you.

Microsoft Office Online


This suite provides access to the core features of Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote
for free through your browser.
All you need to do is log in with your Windows Live ID to create new documents or upload
existing ones from your computer to your OneDrive account, then edit them in your browser
window.

Visual Studio Community

This is an excellent software that will appeal to developers. It provides all the tools you need to
build apps and desktop programs for free. You can develop applications for: Web for web-
based apps and services, Windows for Windows 10 Store apps, and Desktop for those wishing
to build traditional desktop apps based on C#, Visual BASIC and C++, you can also use it to
develop apps for Android and iOS devices.

Internet Explorer
The arrival of Edge browser on Windows 10 renders Internet Explorer obsolete, inspite of this
development Internet Explorer still holds up well in comparison with its competitors.
It has a lean interface and is standards compliant. Excellent privacy and security features such
as anti-phishing modules and tracking protection which sends Do Not Track request to the
websites that try to get in touch with your browser are also included.
Free Microsoft Office Templates

If you are looking for some templates to spice up your Office document, then visit the
templates section of the Office website where you would find a huge number of useful options.
They are available in diverse categories, and they are available for all the major Office
applications.

Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack


This tool enables users of Office 2000 and 2003 to open, edit and save documents in the new
2007 formats in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Ribbon Hero 2
Ribbon Hero 2 is an addictive game that teaches you how to use Microsoft Office effectively by
exploring the new features in Office 2007 and 2010.
You are given various challenges and the challenge takes you into Word, PowerPoint, Excel or
OneNote to complete a task. You discover new Office features by actually using them and you
can use the hint button if you get stuck while solving a challenge.

Microsoft WebMatrix
Microsofts WebMatrix allows you to design and deploy HTML5, PHP, ASP.NET and Node.js
applications easily. This is an ideal program for web developers irrespective of their skill level as
it simplifies the process of creating websites.
It combines server, database and programming frameworks using Microsoft technologies into a
single tool. It allows you to build sites using open source technologies like WordPress, Drupal,
Joomla and more, this makes it a great tool for trying these services out without having to sign
up for a hosting package.
You can create websites from scratch or via the included templates and wizards. Websites can
be published either to Microsoft Azure or via FTP. It integrates with CodePlex, Team Foundation
and GitHub to simplify project management.
Microsoft Baseline Security Analyser
This useful program helps small and medium sized businesses to determine their security state
in accordance with Microsoft security recommendations. It discovers security misconfigurations
and missing security updates on your computer system and it suggests remedies to the
problems it discovers.

Malicious Software Removal Tool


This program helps to detect and remove a wide range of specific infections from your
computer. When it completes a scan, it creates a report describing the outcome, indicating
which infection was detected and removed. It is recommended that you run this program
together with an antivirus software.

Sysinternals Suite
This suite features a variety of system utilities and troubleshooting tools, ranging from system
monitors to disk tools and maintenance tools. Over 50 tools are included in the suite, thus it is
highly recommended for power users.

Process Explorer
Process Explorer is a recommended tool for power users, it can be downloaded separately or as
a part of the Sysinternals suite. It lists all running processes and it allows you to suspend, restart
or kill processes. It also displays CPU and memory usage. It can be configured to replace task
manager.

AutoRuns

Startup programs reduce windows performance by increasing the time it takes to load
windows; they also give your computer less resources to work with when it is running.
Autoruns provides comprehensive details of programs that are configured to run during system
bootup, this is useful because most programs configure themselves to run at startup for no
specific reason or benefit.
Autoruns is easier to understand and more powerful than msconfig.
You can disable or delete anything non-essential to make your PC run faster however you
should not disable useful items like your antivirus tool that needs to run constantly in the
background.

ClearType Tuner Power Toy


This tool enables you to calibrate your display to make text sharper, clearer and more legible.
Windows 7 and 8 feature calibration tools so there is no need to download this tool for them.
Windows XP users should use this online tool to calibrate their displays.

Skype
Skype still remains the most popular VOIP application. It can check your facebook account to
give access to your facebook friends as well as Skype and Microsoft contacts. It can help you to
reduce your phone bills as it allows you to make free voice and video calls to other skype users.
It also allows you to dial regular phone numbers for a small monthly fee.

Windows Live Movie Maker


Windows Movie Maker is available in Windows XP, but it lacks some features present in
Windows Live Movie Maker. Movie maker makes it easy for you to edit your videos, add
transitions, burn your videos to DVD or share it online via Youtube. You need to log in as an
administrator before you can download it from Microsoft site.

Kodu Game Lab

Kodu game lab is aimed at children but anyone can use it to make games that are fun to play. It
employs a point and click interface and it has some helpful tutorials to get you started.

OneDrive for Windows


OneDrive is heavily integrated into Windows 8.1 and 10, however if you are running an earlier
version of Windows, you will need to download the OneDrive desktop tool. It allows to keep
your files backed up and synced across your PCs and it give you access to your files from a
smartphone, tablet or any web browser. OneDrive comes with 5GB of free storage.
WINDOWS STORE APPS
Desktop apps which are typically obtained directly from the developers website or a third party
download site were covered in the previous section.
Windows 8 introduced the Windows Store.
Windows Store apps are downloaded directly from the Windows Store. You would require a
Windows 8+ device ( a PC, tablet or phone) to access this apps. So if you are using Windows 7
or an older operating system you are out of luck.
Just search the Windows store for any of the apps you are interested in.

OFFICE AND PRODUCTIVITY


Adobe Reader Touch

This is an excellent app that allows you to view PDF documents. It is specifically designed for
Windows 8.
Evernote
This program allows you to take notes and ideas. It allows you to easily search and share notes
Sway
This is an excellent storytelling app from Microsoft. It allows you to create and share interactive
presentations and personal stories. It also syncs with your OneDrive account.

Advanced English Dictionary


A comprehensive English dictionary with over 200,000 entries.

IMAGES AND PHOTOS


Photo Fast Viewer
This app allows you to view photos directly from a folder or external storage device without
importing them in the picture library first.
Adobe Photoshop Express
You can edit your photos easily with cropping, rotation, resizing, and other effects. It also
features red eye removal and auto fix which is a one-touch adjustment for exposure, brightness
and shadows however some of its advanced features require a fee.
Fhotoroom
This photo editing app comes with a wide range of options packed into its simple interface. The
basic edit has tools to crop, rotate and resize images. It features a broad selection of filters.
Autodesk Pixlr

Pixlr features a diverse range of tools and filters to make your images stand out. You can easily
crop, straighten, merge and resize your photos. The Stylize brush allows you to transform your
photos into beautiful artwork.

PhotoFunia
This apps features a wide range of effects that you can add to your photos.
You can select a scene from various choices such as magazines, billboards, galleries then you
simply pick a picture from your camera to create a wonderful effect.
Fresh Paint
This app simulates the experience of painting on canvas. You can paint in one color and brush
over the same area with a different colour to create something unique. It features a wide range
of tools such as brushes, crayons, a blender, a pencil, eraser and so much more.
Freshpaint also allows you to transform your photos into paintings.

AUDIO AND VIDEO


PressPlay Video
This app features an advanced file explorer to browse media files in your libraries, external
storage and media server. It supports various file formats
PrimeTube
This app allows you to easily search and watch YouTube videos. It allows you to easily select
amongst various video quality options, manage your subscriptions, videos and playlists, record
and upload videos to YouTube and save videos.

MUSIC CREATION

Music Maker Jam


This app allows you to easily create your own music by playing with different sliders and effects.
It features premade dubstep, tech house, jazz and rock loops. You select the instruments and
vocals that appear on your tracks, adjust the key and tempo, create your own loops and record
your mixes in mp3 format for sharing.

Piano time
Piano time is a multitouch piano with 36 visible keys and 4 selectable octaves. You can learn to
play the piano or practice your skills; It supports multi-touch screen, keyboard, and mouse
input. You can also save and share recordings. However the free version is ad-supported.

EDUCATION
Khan Academy

With these app you can view over 3,800 videos covering a massive number of topics such as
math, science, history, finance and economics, humanities and more. It also features a section
for talks. You can download videos to watch offline at your own pace.

Stanford University
This app similar to the Khan Academy allows you to watch webinars, seminars and lectures. The
topics available includes computer science and security, innovation, project management,
engineering and technology, leadership and risk management.
GAMES
Cut The Rope 2

This popular game is also available on Windows Store. Cut the ropes by swiping across them
and feeding candy to Om Nom. It features realistic physics with precise controls and challenging
levels.

Shuriken Ninja
Ricochet ninja stars off the walls to hit targets. Shuriken ninja features multiple game modes,
hundreds of levels and even a level creator. It is easy to play and extremely addictive.

Jetpack Joyride
In this game you control Barry around a secret lab. You avoid obstacles such as lasers,
electrified zappers and incoming missiles, while he pick up vehicles to drive along the path
faster and collect coins to upgrade. It is easy to play, features responsive controls, and it is quite
challenging.

Armed
This awesome turned based game featured gorgeous graphics, excellent controls with a
touchscreen tablet or a mouse, Armed requires you to build a base, harvest resources, defend
against attack and explore new territories. It features single and multiplayer gameplay.
PROGRAMS YOU NEED TO STOP USING
The programs that were highlighted previously help you to be more productive with your
computer, however there are some programs you need to stop using.
Some of these programs are popular while some of them are obscure but if you have any of
these programs installed on your Computer you need to uninstall them immediately.
They are either slow, perform poorly, riddled with junk or prone to security threats.
For each program highlighted in the list a safer alternative is suggested for you to download
immediately.

uTorrent
uTorrent is a popular bittorrent client that provides all the features you need for uploading and
downloading torrents. In recent versions the software has been riddled with adverts and
crapware right in the programs interface. A bitcoin miner called Epicscale was once discovered
in uTorrent and it displays fraudulent warnings of viruses and malware when you want to
download torrents.
Use: qBittorrent

qBittorrent is a feature packed bittorrent client that makes it easy for you to download and
create torrents. It features a bandwidth scheduler that allows you to start download at
convenient times and download multiple files at once.

Windows Defender
This antivirus tool is included on your PC by default in Windows 8 and 10 however it fails to
prevent your system from malware as well as comparable tools.
Use: Avast
Avast Free Antivirus 2016 provides better protection from malware than Windows Defender. It
scans your system for malware, ensures your software is up to date and features a password
manager to help you organize and access your passwords securely

Adobe Reader
Adobe Reader is slow, bloated and has been known to have a lot of security flaws. For most
users a faster, minimal and secure PDF reader is recommended.
Use: Sumatra PDF
Sumatra features a tabbed interface that supports epubs, mobi, CBZ and CBR formats for
reading your ebooks and comics it can also read your PDF files.

SUMo
Software Update Monitor (SUMo) helps you to update your programs however its bundled with
malware that attempts to mess up your system while you can decline this during installation it
is easy to miss.
Use: Flexera Software Personal Inspector
Flexera Software Personal Inspector allows you to easily update all your programs.

Windows Live Movie Maker


Windows Live Movie Maker is outdated and it lacks the tools offered in similar programs, its
editing tools are basic and you have little control over the results. It is only available as part of
the Windows Live Essentials bundle which means you have to install a lot of programs you dont
need.
Use: VSDC Free Video Editor

This is a feature packed video editor that features a broad range of video and audio effects
which you can use to spice up your movies. It is updated regularly and its interface simplifies
the process of creating videos.
EaseUs Data Recovery Wizard
EaseUs Data Rescovery Wizard allows you to restore deleted files however you are limited to a
maximum size of 2GB which you can recover in the free version this limits its usefulness as you
might want to recover videos or large folders that exceeds 2GB.
Use: Recuva
Recuva features a simple wizard that allows you to easily recover your missing files without
restrictions.

Freemake Video Converter


Freemake Video Converter allows you to easily convert files but it is riddled with annoyances
apart from the installer trying to bundle in junk during installation, it adds a logo to videos that
are longer than 5 minutes.
Use: IceCream Media Converter

This media converter allows you to easily convert audio and video files, it can also download
and convert YouTube videos.
DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE SAFELY

If you regularly download software on your PC you are aware of the risks that could occur if you
download a malware ridden program. Most software try to push additional unwanted programs
to you at all cost because it fetches them money when you install these malicious programs.
If you miss a checkbox during the setup or you download a malicious version of a legitimate
program you will have to scan for malware, remove malicious extensions, toolbars, search
engines and change your homepage to the original setting your browser came with.
These can be very stressful and time consuming so it would be preferable if the malware was
not present on your computer at all.
The following tips will ensure that you download software safely but as always you need to be
vigilant and scan for viruses and malware regularly.

Do not click on fake download buttons

A lot of adverts online resemble download buttons. These adverts are present in the homepage
of most programs such as ImgBurn (image above), they are also present on websites such as
CNET, Softpedia and other download sites.
These adverts download a different program compared to the one you requested for and they
come bundled with extras that usually change your homepage, browser settings, install
unwanted extensions and malware.
When downloading programs hover your mouse over the download button, if the URL that
appears at the bottom of your browser begins with googleads.g.doubleclick.net,
googleadservices or something similar dont click it.
Some of these adverts are becoming sophisticated and they could even deceive a relatively
savvy user because they resemble real download buttons.
You can also install an adblocker such as uBlock Origin this tool help to filter adverts and it also
block fake Download buttons.
Dont install unwanted extensions
When you install some programs and you click Accept rather than Decline on the offers page
the installer will load the software along with needless extensions in the background. These will
often add different extensions for Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. If you are
downloading a program from CNET and underneath the download button it is tagged installer
enabled then you should get the program from another website, try as much as possible to
avoid downloading programs from CNET.
If you mistakenly run unwanted extensions in Chrome you can type chrome://extensions/ into
the address bar or use Chrome Cleanup Tool to remove them.
For firefox type about:addons in the address bar and disable or remove the extensions you
dont need.

Use Unchecky to avoid unwanted extras

Download Unchecky from unchecky.com and run the program, it will display an icon in the
system tray and run continuously in the background alerting you when it declines unwanted
extras.
Open the program window by double-clicking on the Unchecky icon, you can see if the
unchecky service is running and how many checkboxes it has declined. The Activity log will
show you the program that contains the declined offer.
You can use the settings button to suspend the service and disable software updates but you
should only change these settings if you are an advanced user.
You will still need to be vigilant when installing software because unchecky might allow some
extras to sneak through if the program is not available in its database or it does not know the
installed program.
Regardless of its shortcoming, Unchecky still remains a valuable tool to include in your security
arsenal.

Use Ninite to install software


If you often forget to decline unwanted extras during installation, then it is recommended that
you download a clean version of the installer. You can do this using Ninite, this website allows
you to choose the programs you want from more than 100 options on its website, it then
creates a single clean installer for all the programs while does not contain any unwanted extras.
Ninite is one of the safest places to download freeware online.

Direct downloads are preferable


When downloading from a download site such as major geeks, softpedia and the likes, use the
direct download option, this will allow you to download directly from the developers website
instead of using a custom installer which might be bundled with adware.
While this is recommended it is not always reliable as some developers intentionally bundle
crap in their product so be careful while downloading software as some options are already
preloaded on the download page or when you are ready to install the software so make sure
you untick them.

Be vigilant
Some popular programs bundled with crap ware include uTorrent, foxit reader, freemake video
downloader and download accelerator plus.
Most free programs come loaded with junk so be vigilant while installing them so that you
would not install something that messes up your browser or your PC.
Even if your favourite program is not bundled with crap presently, try to be vigilant when
installing programs because the developer might change its policy and start bundling crap into
its product.
CONCLUSION

Thanks for reading this freeware guide, I believe you have found some awesome programs you
would love to check out.
If you think I forgot to include your favourite freeware or you think any of the freeware
mentioned should not be on the list for some reason you can visit technologygist.com and leave
a comment or mail me at (adedayo@technologygist.com).

Some of my other books are