Computer Freeware Thread - Recommendations / Reviews!

Post here any freeware programs you currently use and would recommend.
Feel free to comment on other recommendations and leave your two cents.

Don’t post link to warez or discuss warez here, this aint the place!

My recommendations:

MS Security essentials:

I have switched from AVG to MS Security esentials because MS is free, lightweight (easy on the resources), and best of all no advertising. I personally think the best antivirus is common sense.

Comodo personal firewall:
zone alaram free firewall:

I’ve used both at the same time (on different laptops!) and while both can get the job done i found comodo to be the less invasive and more unobtrusive of the two.

System Utilities
Compression - 7zip:
I have replaced a bootleg of winrar with 7 zip a while back. 7 zip intergrates with the windows shell and does a pretty good job with handling compressed files.

Magic Jelly Bean Key Finder:
I’ve used this program for a while, all it does is simply extract your office and windows xp cd keys from your PC (good if you have lost them).

MS Desktops:
MS Desktops is a MS supported way to add virtual desktops to your windows machine. It’s extremely lightweight and gets the job done. Also works natively in windows 7.


Trillian is free, but for some reason started to bog down my system. I used trillian for years and actually paid for the pro version. It is still a nice program, but a bit more bloated now than before IMO.

Digsby is my current chat client. It’s lightweight and easy to use and customize.

I’m throwing uTorrent there because it’s a great free and light (hence the u for micro) torrent client. I used to use azerus back in the day but then they sold out and became bloated.


Open office:
Back when I didn’t want to have pirated office on my system i used open office. It got the job done, but then my school gave me a free copy of office 2007 enterprise.

The gimp is a fairly powerful and lightweight version of photoshop.

Thunderbird (email client):
I played around with thunderbird for a while and I was fairly impressed with it. It’s a lot more ‘slick’ looking than outlook 2007. I currently am using office outlook 2010 beta though which replaced thunderbird.


Media Player HC -
vlc player

I personally like the new media player with Windows 7 but i also use Media Player HC and VLC Player. Media Player is a lot lighter on the system than either WMP or VLC.

ffdshow is the only ‘codec pack’ i use and does a great job of decoding most file types including divx and h.264.

We use pretty much all of the same apps.

Paint.NET in place of GIMP. I also like IrfanView for quick image edits. I would go back to the GIMP if it didn’t depend on the GTK toolkit on Windows.

Comodo broke my heart by bloating their firewall into a full suite. I’ve been using Online Armor for the past few months in place of it.

Taskix to reorder the taskbar on Windows XP. It’s great for OCD folk like myself.

foobar2000 for music playback. It does far more than I use it for. I would use 1by1 but its playback is choppy on my system.

FileZilla as an FTP client. I’ve used it for years.

CDBurnerXP when someone needs a freeware alternative to Nero, or their bundled burning software sucks.

Foxit Reader for PDF. There are lighter apps but it seems to render everything fine.

Win32Pad is a tiny notepad replacement that has multiple undos and handles Unix formatted files.

Besirc as a tiny IRC client that will flash the taskbar when there are people talking in the channel. Good for our idle room.

Orbit Downloader is a good download manager if you do enough web downloading to justify it.

can’t believe i forgot filezille, i’ve been using that exclusively for a while, i got tired of ‘finding’ versions of bulletproof, flashfxp, cuteftp, etc to use.

I like IZarc better than 7-zip.
Programmer’s Notepad is awesome.
I really dig the Scientific Calculator in the Windows XP powertoys, but it doesn’t work on Windows 7:
And Cygwin has to be installed on any Windows PC I use. Dont bother unless you’re an old Unix geek like me :

Do tell why on IZarc. It will take more than KDE icons to convert me. :smile:

I had Cygwin installed ages ago for GCC and Dreamcast dev. God that’s been a long time.

I guess it mostly stems from the ‘right click’ options in windows explorer. 7-zip seems to try and want to default to .7z format, while Izarc defaults to .zip. I don’t remember the exact whys, its been a long time.

Point taken, that is annoying. I use .7z though when I need to send an executable via Gmail. It bypasses their scanner.

Is this for windows only? I got a mac and a computer with ubuntu on it lol. I could give some recommendations for them.

Izarc - Best data compressing/uncompressing (zip, rar, all that junk).
Miranda - Best chat program. So deep and so customizable.
Avast! - Best 100% free, constantly updating, has never failed me for 5 years anti virus.
Opera - My favorite internet browser because it has so many good features but it has such a small memory footprint. You would need 10+ plugins in firefox to have all the same features as opera and it would take 10x the amount of memory on your computer. Opera is the best but with flash based video its sluggish.
utorrent - Best torrent client, and small memory footprint.
CD burner XP - Best burning software for windows. Gets the job done and is quick and easy… not to mention free!

I will try out the IZarc.
Thank you Toodles.
Thank you Canto.

Thank you Kyle.
I’ll try out Taskix too.
Don’t know what for though.

Launchy - Keystroke Program Launcher

Rainmeter - ‘Look at me’ resource meters

Advanced System Care - All around registry cleaner, spyware scanner, spyware protector, bunch of useful extras, ect.

SpywareBlaster - Good Security Patchup Utility

Spybot Search and Destroy - Good utility for patching security holes and scanning

SuperAntiSpyware - Good Spyware Scanner, Good at Rootkit Detection

Combofix - Good program to stop viruses interfering with scanners

HiJackThis - Good Spyware Detection Utility if you know how to use it

Daemon Tools - Optical Disk Emulation

PowerISO - Good ISO Packager and Unpacker

Vidalia Bundle - Good Anonymity Program

Notepad ++ - Notepad Replacement/IDE

CCleaner - Windows Cleanup Utility

SRWare Iron - Google Chrome without the google

Inkscape - Vector Program

IfranView - Picture Manager Replacement

EASUS Partition Master - Free Partition Magic

Foxit Reader - PDF Reader

Hexago Freenet - ipv6 emulator

SabNZBD - Binary Newsreader

WinDirStat - Hard Drive Visualizer

Sorry for the lack of organization, hope this helps someone! I love my freeware

At work I like my taskbar ordered as Firefox, Outlook, RDP App, etc etc. I’m so used to having it in that order that I get pissed off otherwise. It’s probably because I have 10+ apps open at any given time.

Edit: Gah, sorry for the double post.

I don’t run a lot of ‘cleanup/keep Windows happy applications’ but…

Good one. I rarely need this and I want to say I download an old version of it when I do.

I use UltraISO which is similar to this. It’s slick in that you can edit and resave the image without rebuilding it. It isn’t free though and I don’t do this often. Otherwise 7zip can extra ISOs.

I gave this a shot when I found out Chrome had extensions. It failed when I tried to load some of the extensions that were compatible with the dev version of Chrome. It’s going to take a hell of a lot to get me off of Firefox.

Sounds cool. Can this resize a NTFS partition? That’s all I use Partition Magic for. Some of the guys at the office use GParted from a boot CD.

What if you open Programs in the order that you want them?
Because I open my Programs in certain order.

you just got super cool points for cygwin.

I do that too, but what happens when Firefox crashes? It’s stuck at the end of the list. Do you close and reopen every application? :rofl:

That has happened before.
Good point Kyle! :sweat:

Thats one thing I like about Win 7, you can drag everything around the way you like.
And thanks for bringing up Irfanview, I used to use it all the time, but forgot about it when I formatted my pc a couple of years ago, never picked it up again.

alot of stuff i use has been mentioned, so i’ll add what hasn’t already been added.

file recovery is a simple stand alone program that recovers deleted files. it has saved me before when i was aggressively shift+deleting.

hjsplit is a pretty useful splitting/joining program that i’ve used to email large files or store 4gb+ images on a fat32 drive.

open office is a good replacement for MS office and worth looking at as a free alternative.

portableapps lets you take a good selection of other free software anywhere on a thumbdrive and use it on a pc without having to install it.

Yeah, SRWare Iron isn’t a perfect copy but what’s important about it is that it lacks the google tracking software, especially the mysterious non-optional RLZ identifier which sends god knows what back to google every 24hrs and when you google something. But for extensions, I have to agree with you, I’m sticking with Firefox.

And yes, I believe EASUS can. It’s really a DIRECT copy of Partition Magic, UI and everything.

Avira antivirus free edition is also a pretty good AV.