Below I have listed some of the great free software I use regularly.
Warning! Please be very careful when downloading free software as there is such a lot out there that comes bundled with Malware, trojans and / viruses. There are some dodgy free download sites on the internet so be careful where you download from. Even some previously reputable download sites are now wrapping their downloads in an installer that also bundles crapware. If at all possible download direct from the software authors own web site.
Free Office Utilities
- CutePDF – http://www.cutepdf.com/products/cutepdf/writer.asp
Creating PDFs is easy with the free CutePDF Writer.
- Open Office – http://www.openoffice.org/
Open Office is a free Office pruductivity suite that is compatible with Microsoft Office.
- Google Docs – http://docs.google.com/
Google Docs is a free online suite of office opplications. With nothing to install on your hard disk, Google Docs are perfect for devices with limited disk space.
- WorkFlowy – https://workflowy.com/
WorkFlowy is a useful tool for managing todo lists, note taking and generally keeping yourself organised.
Free Graphics Software
- Gimp – http://www.gimp.org/
Gimp, the GNU Image Manipulation Program is free image editing software with features to match Photoshop and Corel Photo Paint.
- Picasa – http://picasa.google.com/
Picasa is free photo editing software from Google with some nice features. It is great for browsing large collections of images and makes it easy to upload your images to your Picasa Web Albums account for sharing with friends. Use it to print a selection of photos at standard sizes with multiple photos per sheet, plus lots more.
- Microsoft Photosynth – http://photosynth.net/
Microsoft Photosynth is a brilliant tool that I use for stitching panoramic photos. There is also an app for creating panoramas on your phone and you can choose to publish your creations on the Photosynth web site if you wish.
Free Security Software
- Avira – http://www.avira.com/en/avira-free-antivirus
Free anti-virus software.
- AVG Antivirus – http://free.avg.com/gb-en/homepage
Free anti-virus software.
- Microsoft Security Essentials – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/products/security-essentials
Free anti-virus software from Microsoft.
- K9 Web Protection – http://www1.k9webprotection.com/
K9 is free Internet filter and parental control software.
- Malwarebytes – http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free
Malwarebytes is excellent at detecting and removing malware, spyware, trojans, rootkits and other nasties.
- Zonealarm Free Firewall – http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/zonealarm-pc-security-free-firewall.htm
Zonealam is a great free software firewall that protects your PC / laptop from hackers and spyware.
Free System Maintenance Software
- CCleaner or Crap Cleaner – http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner
CCleaner is great for freeing up hard disk space by removing all the left over temp files and lots of other crud that builds up on your hard drive over time. It also has a very good registry cleaning tool.
- WinLogOnView – http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/windows_log_on_times_view.html
Use freeware WinLonOnView to quickly find who has been logged on to a PC. I found this useful at work where a user was annoyed somebody appeared to be using his desktop PC without permission. He would leave it logged and locked but find somebody had rebooted it in order to use it, killing the programs he left running and loosing data.
Free Disk Tools
- Eraser – http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/
Eraser is a free tool for securely removing sensitive data from your hard disk. Securely delete files, securely wipe the free space or securely wipe the entire drive.
- Gparted – http://gparted.sourceforge.net/
GParted is an excellent free disk partition editor.
- Recuva – http://www.piriform.com/recuva
Recuva is free data recovery software for recoveing deleted files from your hard disk, usb drive or digital camera memory card.
- Rufus – https://rufus.akeo.ie/
Rufus is a utility that helps format and create bootable USB flash drives, such as USB keys/pendrives, memory sticks, etc.
- Virtual CloneDrive – https://www.elby.ch/en/products/vcd.html
Allows you to open .iso files as a virtual DVD drive in Windows 7. This functionality is built in to Windows 10.
- Ext2 Installable File System For Windows – http://www.fs-driver.org/index.html
Enables dual boot Windows / Linux users to access their Linux disks from within Windows.
Free Network Tools
- Xirrus Wifi Inspector – http://www.xirrus.com/Products/Network-Management-and-Software/Network-Management/Wi-Fi-Inspector
A very useful tool for scanning and inspecting wifi networks.