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Old 15-12-2007, 06:34 PM   #1
Azzer
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Default Free and Essential Applications

(work-in-progress!)

This sticky is intended as a resource for those of us who like free software that other users have tested and would recommend. If you use a piece of software in your day to day use that you would consider essential to anybody with a computer, and it's free, then please post it here with details on what it does, why it's good, and on what operating system(s) it's available on.

Software Firewalls
Absolutely 100% essential to anybody that has internet access.

Comodo
Vista 64 Vista 32 Windows XP
Highly recommended, a powerful and configurable software firewall, topping online security leak tests.



Anti-Virus
Absolutely 100% essential to anybody that has internet access.

Avast Home Edition
Vista 64 Vista 32 Windows XP
The most capable and well updated/maintained free anti-virus out there. It does require "re-registering" after the first two months and every year thereafter, but this is free and takes about 20 seconds. I use this personally, as do many other users.



Web Browsers
Most operating systems these days will come with a web browser built in, but for Windows (all versions) users in particular, I'd really recommend the below over Internet Explorer. Don't be afraid to experiment with a little change - there are many reasons why the majority of computer geeks use Firefox instead of IE - if normal users followed the activities of us geeks more often, you'd all be a lot safer and in a better place!

Firefox
Vista 64 Vista 32 Windows XP Mac OS X Linux
The most customisable, reliable, stable and secure browser out there. As somebody who develops web-pages and has had to deal with browsers that do not follow official international web standards (Internet Explorer is a major culprit of this), and somebody who browses websites each and every day, this is the best, and in my opinion is essential to all.



Music Players
Again, most operating systems have some form of music player built in (eg Windows Media Player), but it might be worth trying the alternatives out. (Windows Media Player 11 is really decent though, so this is more down to personal preferences).

Winamp
Vista 64 Vista 32 Windows XP
The most well known of the music players, the latest version 5.5 has some marked improvements, most noticable the "about bloody time" built in support for album artwork. My personal favourite media player, highly customisable, all sorts of user made plugins and visualisations available, and pretty fast and sleek, too.

foobar2000
Vista 64 Vista 32 Windows XP
Definitely not very well known, foobar2000 is a very powerful media player, but importantly, is extremely fast and has an absolutely tiny memory footprint, giving it a big advantage over the mainstream players.



Movie Players
For those times when your built in media player just doesn't bode well.

VLC
Vista 64 Vista 32 Windows XP Mac OS X Linux
Extremely compact, simple, versions for many operating systems, very low memory footprint and a generally fantastic movie player.



Email Client
Those of you who have a "real" email address (sorry ) and have need for an email client. Note: Webmail (like Hotmail etc.) users need not apply!

Thunderbird
Vista 64 Vista 32 Windows XP Mac OS X Linux
From the creators of Firefox, come their partner application that does to email what Firefox does to web browsing. Thunderbird is simply great!
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Old 15-12-2007, 08:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Free and Essential Applications

I discovered a very nice music player a not so long time ago. It's called JetAudio and there's a free version to be downloaded from the official site here : http://www.cowonamerica.com/products/jetaudio/

Check it out if like me you're tired of your winamp crashing for nothing. You might be pleasantly surprised.