By Bob Rankin
“I just got a new laptop, and I want to do two things. First is to remove all the non-essential programs that came preloaded. Next, I want to load the best freeware for everday computing. I’d love to know what free software you recommend and use on your own computer.”
The Best Free Software
It’s true… when you get a new computer, it usually comes loaded with a bunch of software you don’t want or need. Most of them are free trials or crippled versions, designed to get you to upgrade to a paid version. In my article How to Clean Up Your Hard Drive, you’ll find some tips for cleaning out this computer clogging “crapware” and reclaiming that space on your hard drive.
As to your second question, I’m happy to talk about freeware. There are thousands of free programs available online. But there are only a handful that I consider essential, and I download them to every new computer. From security to web browsing, to graphics, productivity, and troubleshooting, here are seven of the most popular and useful free downloads.
#1. Mozilla Firefox: the second most widely used Web browser, after Internet Explorer. Unlike its Microsoft competitor, Firefox is available for multiple operating systems, including a mobile version for Android. Other competitors include Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Opera. Firefox is competitive in speed, features, and security with other leading browsers. Its main appeal is virtually limitless customizability and an enormous selection of free add-ons and extensions. On the downside, Firefox has long been known as a memory hog.
#2. NoteTab is a text and HTML editor for Windows. At its most basic, NoteTab makes a good upgrade from the Windows NotePad text editor. But NoteTab can also handle complex Web projects with its ability to create templates, extensive formatting features, exhaustive search/replace, and vast capacity for multiple large files. NoteTab also competes with third-party editors such as UltraEdit, Crimson Editor, and EditPlus. NoteTab comes in three versions. The Lite version is free, even for commercial use. The Standard and Pro versions add additional features and must be purchased after a 30-day trial. The Standard version costs $19.95 while Pro is $29.95.
This excerpt is shared with permission from Bob Rankin.
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