While most realize that the browser “market” is chock full of free browser applications, most may not be aware of the plethora of excellent freeware applications available for the consumer and small business user for a variety of interesting and useful purposes. Most of the programs listed below have been reviewed by the CNET reviewers and are certified to be free of viruses. Further, most of the programs have received relatively high ratings.
Free Small Business & Personal Software Applications
The following are applications that are user friendly and safe (free from viruses) that any user may install. What is particularly helpful in the applications that are available is that many support both standard office software functions as well as those for personal usage. Many additional applications may be found at cnet.com:
Office Word Processing, Spreadsheet and Office Applications
There are two programs: Openoffice.org – Word processor, spreadsheet and full office suite software. The Openoffice suite gives a user everything that Microsoft offers. Also, the look and feel is very similar to the Microsoft suite. EssentialPIM Free for Organizing and managing daily tasks. All appointments, tasks, to do lists, notes, contacts and email messages are stored in a graphical and accessible form. Fully Netbook compatible. It also offers synchronization with Google Calendar and Contacts, Outlook and Windows mobile devices
Address Book and Contact Management Software
Easy Address Book 3.02 is an excellent address book for one’s computer. It can be used to store contacts and send messages from a one’s usual e-mail client with only a few clicks. It also has password protection to secure personal information.
E-Z Contact Book 1.1.2 E-Z Contact Book is a Windows program for storing and managing contact information. It can be a business directory, database of clients, or personal contact data base/phone book. All of the relevant phone numbers, emails, web pages, faxes, pager info, addresses, customer notes all can be saved in an organized format. One may send emails, open web pages, dial phone numbers, and print postal envelopes in a single click.
Personal Computer Anti virus, Firewall Protection & System Maintenance Software
Avg Avast is a full featured free antivirus software app (of course there are paid versions, as well) that offers the average user good protection for most home user’s needs.
ZoneAlarm Free Firewall is a tool for replacing the basic, adequate default Windows firewall with a strong option that includes decent outbound protection, antiphishing and ZoneAlarm’s “behavioral detection” network. Firewall protection is something that all users should install, especially on home based computers.
Advanced SystemCare Free is a freeware utility offering a one stop utility for cleansing a computer for better overall system operation. The interface is straight forward, featuring a few buttons and making it easy to get down to immediate cleaning. It has a “Maintain Windows” section focusing on four areas of maintenance: spyware remove, registry cleansing, a privacy sweep, and junk file deletion.
In this category there are two: Thunderbird (Mozilla.org). and Seamonkey (Mozilla.org. The two products are freeware developed by the “Mozilla Community” in much the same way as the openoffice.org community develops software. The difference between the two is that the Thunderbird product is only a e-mail client (if a browser is required, a user may download Firefox from the same site general site) while Seamonkey includes a fully featured browser with web authoring tools, as well. Both are well featured and easy to use products.
Web Authoring Tools
There are two: Seamonkey (Mozilla.org) and KompZer (Mozilla.org). The Seamonkey web authoring capability is quite rudimentary, but adequate and offers a web page upload (FTP) utility. KompZer is a fully featured dedicated HTML/web authoring tool with a PHP authoring capability, as well. Like Seamonkey, it also has a built in FTP capability.
In this category, there are two: PDF Printer 126.96.36.1993 – The PDF Printer works very much like a Microsoft Windows printer permitting a user to write a PDF document from almost any Microsoft Windows application.
Solid PDF Creator 6.0 -This is a simple utility for creating PDF documents from any Windows program. During the creation process, Solid PDF Creator lets a user optimize the PDF output for its intended use.
EasyCapture – Easy-to-use & free screen capture software. With this screen capture freeware, one can edit captured images and saved to bmp, jpg, gif, png, tiff image formats.
ScreenHunter Free 5.1.147 – This is a simple program for capturing a screen or an image on a screen which may then be modified with image editing software.
Zip File Converter
7-Zip 4.65 – This is a file-compression utility that unpacks a host of archive formats, including ZIP, TAR, GZ, and its own 7z format. It can create TAR and GZ archives, as well.
Easyzip 2000 – EasyZip 2000 is an archiving tool that features support for the ZIP, RAR, CAB, TAR and other formats and features complete integration with Windows.
Artistic, Photo Alteration and Storage Software
Picasa (from Google.com) is one of the easiest photo image modification and storage programs available today. Users receive 1GB of free hosting, and images can be uploaded and manipulated using the Picasa program.
Paint.NET – Paint.net is a quick image retouch open-source editor with basic essentials, including tools for cropping, rotation, and image resizing, color adjustment, etc. It supports the following image formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and others.
Miscellaneous Video, Multimedia and Audio Applications
Any Video Converter 3.07 – Any Video Converter is an all-in-one video conversion program converting most video formats including DivX, XviD, MOV, RM, RMVB, MPEG, VOB, DVD, WMV and AVI.
Winamp 5.581 – Winamp is a free media player/organizer application.
Koyote Free FLV Converter -Koyote Free is a YouTube video capture and format conversion program
FreeRip MP3 – FreeRip is a program for converting audio CD to MP3 formats.
Free Sound Recorder – is an easy-to-use program for recording anything from a computer’s sound card and saving the recording directly into MP3, WMA or WAV files.
Most of the above applications are easy to use and install and perform many of the functions offered by high priced software packages available within the industry. Many also come with the designation “lite”, however, for the small business or personal user this may be more than enough.