Best of the free…
What’s the best freeware for ___?
This list is being compiled on a gradual basis. Suggestions are welcome; feel free to leave a comment below.
- Free online tools
- Free WordPress plugins
Freeware: Best, by genre
Here is my list of preferred software; see below for the preferred online tools
AV Comparatives – Antivirus comparison site, technical
Rootkit detection, removal
HTML-Kit – HTML-Kit 292, the version before HTML-Kit Tools, is available for free with all of its original features. No ads. No nags. Find out why it has become a recognized application among web developers with millions of downloads and 200+ book mentions.
Notepad++ – Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Running in the MS Windows environment, its use is governed by GPL License… Based on the powerful editing component Scintilla, Notepad++ is written in C++ and uses pure Win32 API and STL which ensures a higher execution speed and smaller program size. By optimizing as many routines as possible without losing user friendliness, Notepad++ is trying to reduce the world carbon dioxide emissions. When using less CPU power, the PC can throttle down and reduce power consumption, resulting in a greener environment.
File compression, archiving
- 7-Zip – A file archiver with a high compression ratio; open source software; most of the source code is under the GNU LGPL license; the unRAR code is under a mixed license: GNU LGPL + unRAR restrictions [ 7-Zip page on Sourceforge ]
- WinRAR – A powerful archive manager; can backup your data and reduce the size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files downloaded from the Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format; try WinRAR before buying
File sharing hosts
Freeware (see Freeware resources, below)
GIMP – GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program, a freely distributed application designed for photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring; has many capabilities: it can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, and much more; expandable and extensible – designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything; advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted
Picnik – Picnik makes your photos fabulous with easy to use yet powerful editing tools; tweak to your heart’s content, then get creative with effects, fonts, shapes, and frames
For us, the first destination for all kinds of imagery is Google Images.
- 123-Wallpaper (Blogspot) — Large selection, HQ, free images from many categories (Nature, birds, horror…); I happened to find this excellent wallpaper site while searching for large horror movie images to edit into header graphics for the Supernatural Horror blog.
PDF Creator (NOTE: Some reviews indicate the installation is bundled with unwanted spyware)
Photos, digital: Organization
Picasa 3 – The best overall digital photo organizer freeware so far, as far as being able to add tags and such…
PicaJet – good; includes tagging feature
BatchBlitz – organizing your digital photos from a messy My Pictures folder; CNET: one of the best we’ve tried, simple process, flexible capabilities, useful extras, all free [ download BatchBlitz at CNET ]
Spyware & malware detectio, removal
Spybot Search and Destroy
Determine hardware, technical specs
Speccy (by Piriform) – Creates a highly detailed list of specs re: your computer – very useful
Video conversion freeware
Hamstersoft free video converter – haven’t needed it yet
Video downloading freeware
RealDownloader — I’ve come to depend on being able to download streaming video from virtually any site (especially free movie sites!) IDM is great but costs $30 after 30 days. Thanks to Kelly Stewart, I learned about RealDownloader. Excellent!
Internet Download Manager/IDM on CNET (Free 30-day trial) — A full-featured package that automatically sorts incoming files by file type and puts them in the appropriate folder; supercharges download speeds (it doubled ours); interface is clean and easy to understand; power users can use the command line interface…
Video player freeware
VLC media player – excellent for playing media
(Screenshot of video: To take a snapshot of the video displayed by VLC, you just need to press the pre-defined snapshot hotkey:
Windows / Linux / Unix: Ctrl+Alt+S
Mac OS X: Command+Alt+s
To change it, go to Preferences -> Interface -> Hotkeys settings, check Advanced options, and set Take video snapshot.
You can also take a snaphot via the menu Video -> Snapshot.
To change the snapshot format or directory, go to Preferences -> Video.
Source: VLC FAQ at http://www.videolan.org/support/faq.html
Video-making, editing, movie-making freeware
I was surprised to find that Microsoft’s own Windows Movie Maker, which comes with Windows, is among the most recommended movie-making freeware.
• Windows Movie Maker
• Avid FreeDV
• Cinefx (formerly known as Jahshaka)
Most Popular Windows Downloads – Shows number of total downloads, downloads last week
SourceForge Projects of the Month: Each month, a project is chosen from the many thousands on SourceForge.net to be our Project of the Month. If you are a power user or tech buff, this is a great site to browse — you’re sure to find lots of great freeware you’ve never even heard of!
Best freeware review sites
Notable links at Tech Support Alert
Best Free Microsoft Downloads – When people set out to look for freeware, a lot of times they specifically look for free alternatives to Microsoft products – free office suites, free alternatives to built-in programs like Paint, Notepad, Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer… even free alternatives to Windows itself. However, Microsoft does provide a collection of free software that is definitely worth checking out. This article is designed to provide an overview of the best free Microsoft programs, some of which are featured in other articles on this website.
Freeware database +
100 essential downloads for Windows – IT Management
FileHippo – Freeware categories
Free online tools: Our favorites
This is related to the list of preferred freeware (see above). Some are suggestions that I’ve read about but not yet tested.
Antivirus, spyware (free online scanning)
Punch list, to-do lists
Resources: Online tools
Preferred WordPress plugins: Free WordPress plugin standards
Caching plugin: WP Super Cache
Contact form plugin: Contact Form
Google Analytics plugin: Google Analytics for WordPress
Polling plugin: WP-Polls
Popular posts plugin: WordPress.com Popular Posts
Real-time visitors plugin: WassUp
Related posts plugin: Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARP)
SEO plugin: SEO Ultimate
Sharing plugin: AddToAny
Sitemap plugin: Google XML Sitemaps
Spam prevention plugin: Akismet