We have published this page to provide valuable information on free software programs that will help you be more effective. Click on the logos below to download the latest stable version of these applications.
Our Favorite Open Source (Free) Software
If you use the Internet in any capacity then you must protect yourself from viruses, spyware, and malware. AVG is the best software on the market to counteract these threats. They offer a free version of their anti-virus software as well as trials of their other products which provide unparalleled protection and security for your PC.
Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware helps keep you protected from viruses, worms, Trojans, rootkits, dialers, spyware and malicious web content. They have a free version and a commercial version that includes additional features.
Your computer is just like a car in that it requires routine maintenance to keep it running at peak efficiency. Even the most high-end computer, if neglected, will eventually grind to a screeching halt over time. CCleaner is an incredible PC-tuning and diagnostic tool that helps keep your computer running like new.
Glary Utilities is like a software Swiss army knife; it has a little bit of everything to help keep you computer tuned up and running in top shape. Specific features include a registry cleaner that fixes invalid or incorrect registry entries, a shortcuts fixer, a startup manager that cleans up dangerous startup entries, a temporary files cleaner and spyware remover.
KeePass is a digital vault that stores all of your passwords in a database encrypted with the highest level of security available. You enter all of your passwords into it, and set a “master key” to lock it down. Then, when you want to open it you just type the master key in and all of your passwords are available. It also has a password-generator feature that is completely customizable so you don’t have to come up with high-quality passwords yourself. Multiple flavors of the software are available including a standard version for the PC as well as a portable version for thumb drives and even one for smartphones and tablets. This program is a must-have for anyone who uses lots of passwords and values security.
Most people are familiar with Microsoft Office because it is the main office productivity software suite on the market. If your machine doesn’t come with Microsoft Office, however, then you must purchase it. Depending on which combination of programs you need, this can be expensive. There is a free alternative! OpenOffice includes all the same components without the price tag: word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, drawing and database capabilities. It is also capable of producing and opening Microsoft Office files and it works great!
Thunderbird is a great program for reading email and newsgroups that’s very intuitive, and easy to customize. Created by the Mozilla Software Foundation (the makers of the popular Mozilla Firefox web browser) this program also includes a robust electronic address book which can be used to manage all your contacts. For people who want a great email program without all the bells and whistles or expense of Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird is a great option.
Portable Document Format (PDF) is the de facto standard for the secure and reliable distribution and exchange of electronic documents and forms around the world. When exchanging documents with vendors/suppliers, business associates and clients they may expect or require that you use the PDF format. This software allows you to create PDF documents from any other file format quickly and easily for free. After installing it CutePDF creates a printer driver on your computer. When you’re ready to create a PDF just print your document and select CutePDF from the printer drop-down and follow the on-screen prompts.
The ZIP file format is a data compression and archival format. A ZIP file contains one or more files that have been compressed and packaged into one file to reduce the overall size of every file in the package. People use this format in order to share multiple files easily, and it comes in especially handy with e-mail attachments. If you want to e-mail a friend 12 family photos, for example, you can zip them all into a single file and send that instead of having to attach a dozen separate images individually. There are several different programs capable of creating ZIP archives, including WinRAR and WinZip, but they aren’t free, while 7-Zip is!
FileZilla is a fast and reliable cross-platform* program to transfer files via FTP, FTPS and SFTP. I has lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface. This is the best and most secure way to send us your content, and because it is open source it is 100% free!
* This means that it will run on almost every operating system, including Windows, Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X and more
If you’re going to maintain the content of your website and add photos to its pages you will need a graphics program. Many of the tools available are either very expensive, overly complicated or difficult to use. There is a better alternative… PhotoScape! It comes with a whole suite of tools that will allow you to do about everything you could possibly want with your photo collection. Specific features include photo editing (resizing, adjusting brightness/contrast/color, backlight correction, cropping, filters, red eye removal), format conversions, file renaming and much more.
Great Commercial Software to Boost Productivity and Sales
Every company needs good tools to help its employees manage every aspect of their professional lives. Insightly is an amazing, web-based software program that consolidates multiple functions into one intuitive, customizable system. Specific features include a powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) suite; project and task management tools; sales opportunity tracking; and contacts, schedule and calendar administration. Insightly can even be synchronized with your Google account to ease the burden of data entry. Insightly also integrates seamlessly with the latest version of Microsoft Office, and it has a mobile app that can help keep your people organized when they’re away from the office. We converted from a different program a while back and can’t imagine running a business without it.
If your business provides ongoing customer support then a good help desk system is a must. Zendesk is a full-featured electronic help desk system that allows you to provide the very best support to your customers at an extremely affordable price. There are several different pricing options available for companies of every size.