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Thread: Best Freeware on the Web

  1. Thumbs Up Best Freeware on the Web

    I set up a new PC some months ago and I decided to ditch the Norton products I was using and see what else I could find. I also didn't want to transfer over Photoshop to the new computer, but I didn't want to totally rely on Fireworks for image editing.

    It turns out there is a lot of amazing software out there, and a lot of it is free. The true spirit of the Internet lives on, and you can find freeware to rival the best pay packages. Of course, part of the spirit of the Net is acknowledging another's hard work, so look through the list here, find what you like, and if there is a donation button or a PayPal address listed for the authors of the software you like and got for free, send a few dollars their way.

    If you know of an application that should be on this list, post the link and some comments below. I know there are people that swear by the Thunderbird e-mail client or Irfanviewer, but I haven't used them enough to comfortably recommend them, so any testimonials are welcome.

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    Security

    Ad-aware - Considered a must-have by many users, this program scans your computer's memory, registry, and disk drives for spyware, then takes care of the problem files. It's reliable, very customizable, and free, so you have no excuse for not looking into it.

    Spybot - Search & Destroy - Similar to Ad-aware, but I've had this find nasties that Ad-aware overlooked, so it's worth keeping both around and up-to-date.

    Kerio Personal Firewall - If your current firewall/anti-virus combo is slowing your PC to a crawl, maybe it's time for a change. Kerio takes a bit of configuring, but that's what support forums like "The Circuit Board" are for. Couple KPF with AVG or Kaspersky Anti-Virus for reliable protection, though I've found the firewall can be quirky when you change users in XP.

    AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition - A lot of people swear by this or the Professional Edition. Norton and McAfee are just so bloated and try to run too many things they shouldn't, so I definitely recommend you look for an alternative like this.

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    Benchmarking/System Information

    PC Wizard - This application will tell you some of the tiniest details about what's in your computer and what it can do. It's useful for diagnosing problems, identifying areas where your PC could be better, and just for general information about one of your best friends.

    3DMark - A powerful benchmarking utility that let's you know how much steam your video card and processor really have.

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    Image Editing

    The GIMP - A powerful open-source answer to Photoshop, the GIMP has a relatively steep learning curve, but it will save you some major money and impress your geek friends like few other applications can.

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    Local File Management

    A.F.5 Rename your files - Sometimes you want to change an extension, but you find it difficult to do in Windows. Or maybe you have fifty files you want to rename and number sequentially. Or perhaps you have file names in all capital letters that you wish to put in lowercase. If it has to do with renaming files, A.F.5 is your program. Definitely worth having around.

    ZipGenius - I use WinRAR, but I've heard some very good things about ZipGenius. It has Windows shell integration, PocketPC support, and all the other features you'd expect in a compression utility.

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    FTP

    Core FTP Lite - Easy to use and powerful, but only uploads one file at a time and queues up the rest. Other than slow uploads, though, this program is great. Editing files, creating new directories, and just about everything else is fast and simple.

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    Web Browsing

    Firefox - Okay, Internet Explorer has pretty much had it. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and move on. If IE is the boyfriend that takes you out on the town then mistreats you, Mozilla Firefox is the one that brings you breakfast in bed and let's you keep your stuff in his closet without complaining. The choice is yours.

    HTTrack Website Copier - Get this: HTTrack will copy an entire site to your hard drive. The mirrored site can even be updated
    without going through the hassle of downloading everything over again. A great archiving program.

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    Web Page Formats

    Adobe Reader - Useful mostly for reading certain Web pages, unless you're involved in a business where Adobe PDF files are used.

    Flash Player - Because you want to watch a thirty second presentation every time you go to a game's homepage. Oh, well, it's a necessary evil at worst and a pass into some beautifully designed sites at best.

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    Chat

    Trillian Basic - Instead of having multiple chat clients with ads flashing all over your screen, you can use Trillian and run AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, MSN, and IRC all in one. It's very customizable, logs chats, allows direct connection in AIM, and displays all your buddies in one list, broken down any way you want.

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    Children's Software

    Tux Paint - To get those kids ready for Photoshop, GIMP, or whatever the future image-editing apps will be, turn to Tux Paint. If you're babysitting and you want to get in a little bit of Grand Theft Auto, sit them in front of this.

  2. Great thread, but I recommend Filezilla for FTP. Its an open source project, so no silly restrictions, and from what I can see its as powerful and easy to use as CuteFTP or that Bullet one.

    http://filezilla.sourceforge.net/


  3. I recommend SmartFTP. Its free, user friendly, you can upload multiple files at one time, fast uploads, and you can store multiple FTP sites with username and password. Pretty much will suit your needs.

    http://smartftp.com/

  4. #5
    LOL Guest
    SpywareBlaster

    This installs itself into your browsers so it stops spyware downloads before it even starts. Since I've installed this a month ago, Ad-Aware and Spybot have found zero spyware on my machine, instead of the usual two or three that somehow creep in.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by omfgninjas
    SpywareBlaster

    This installs itself into your browsers so it stops spyware downloads before it even starts. Since I've installed this a month ago, Ad-Aware and Spybot have found zero spyware on my machine, instead of the usual two or three that somehow creep in.
    Wow, that seems like it would help me out a lot.

    Thanks.


  6. Quote Originally Posted by omfgninjas
    SpywareBlaster

    This installs itself into your browsers so it stops spyware downloads before it even starts. Since I've installed this a month ago, Ad-Aware and Spybot have found zero spyware on my machine, instead of the usual two or three that somehow creep in.
    Hmmm..I'll have to check this out. Thanks.

  7. Miranda IM -- Functions more like ICQ than Trillian does, but supports MSN, AIM, and ICQ. Unfortunately, it still doesn't support sending files over AIM (it does for ICQ and MSN), and is a bit more difficult to set up than Trillian, but the more ICQ-like functionality and keyboard shortcuts that work make it worth it for me.

    KCeasy -- An excellent alternative to Kazaa's crappy program (even better than Kazaalite). Unforunately, newer releases don't have the plugin necessary to connect to Kazaa's network, though if you can find a version .10 or earlier you'll get the plugin and be able to update the program without giving it up.

    CDex -- Best MP3 ripping program I've used, by far. It's small, loads quickly, and is super flexible in all the places it needs to be. Takes some time to set up, but once you've got it configured ripping CDs is fast as hell--put CD in, wait a sec for CDDB info to be grabbed, and hit one button to rip.

    Winamp 5 -- Few people haven't already used or heard of Winamp, but the new Winamp 5 is bloody awesome. Global hotkeys alone make this an absolute must upgrade. Even people clinging to Winamp 2.x should check out 5 and toy with its new features.

    Housecall Virus Scan -- Free virus scan without any software installation. Just visit the website and choose to scan. Does a pretty good job, though it's mostly for maintenance--if you've got a hardcore virus program, other things are probably better.
    Last edited by MarkRyan; 09 Aug 2004 at 12:01 AM.

  8. Bulk Rename Utility - Allows you to easily rename files and directories, based upon flexible criteria. Add date-stamps, replace numbers, insert strings, convert case, add auto-numbers....plus loads more! - Good for renaming a ton of files.

    HarddiskOgg - HarddiskOgg takes a wave input stream from any Windows 95/98/2000/XP compatible sampling device (including microphone input and line in) and converts it to an Ogg Vorbis/Wave/Monkey's Audio/MP3 (optional) stream. This happens in realtime, so basically it is a harddisk recorder in Ogg Vorbis. - Good for recording live audio from games and what not.

    JoyToKey This software is a keyboard emulator for joysticks. It converts joystick input into keyboard input (and mouse input). Use it when you want to control an application with joysticks that doesn't support joystick input. If you wish, you can control even Word, Excel, etc. with joysticks! - Good for playing emulators using a PS2 to USB converter.

    Zone Alarm - Easy-to-use firewall blocks hackers and other unknown threats. Stealth mode automatically makes your PC invisible to anyone on the Internet. - Good for stopping bad things from getting in or out of your PC.

    Virtualdub - VirtualDub is a video capture/processing utility for 32-bit Windows platforms (95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP), licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It lacks the editing power of a general-purpose editor such as Adobe Premiere, but is streamlined for fast linear operations over video. It has batch-processing capabilities for processing large numbers of files and can be extended with third-party video filters. VirtualDub is mainly geared toward processing AVI files, although it can read (not write) MPEG-1 and also handle sets of BMP images. - Good for editing, compressing, and fixing screwed up video files.

    The ultimate freeware god like program:
    UrlToys - Now lets say you view a simple web page that is really just there to house a bunch of links. Maybe a download page, or a list of images to view. Perhaps you know a web page that has a list of pages that have a list of links to some images you want. This is where URLToys comes in. - Good for spidering through thousands of websites in order to download files. For example, if you find a site that has a thousand pictures on it, and you want to get each file, you can use this program to download them all, no fuss no muss. It doesn't stop at pictures, it can get mp3s and videos as well. Best program ever. It may be intimidating at first, but it is so worth the effort.

  9. Possibly one of the best threads in TNL history. Thank you.
    Currently playing - KOFXI

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