It’s always refreshing to see a nice, free program or service. Here is a quick list of my absolute favorites that I couldn’t go without.
WeTransfer – Send Files Up To 10GB For Free
WeTransfer has been a long-time favorite of mine for transferring large files, and will save you when you’re limited by your email file size capacity. Simply upload the file you’re sending, type in the recipient’s email address, and send it away. Your recipient then receives an email and has 30 days to download. With no registration or download required, I highly recommend bookmarking their site for later use.
VLC Media Player – The Most Versatile Media Option
If you aren’t using VLC as your default media player drop everything and download it. It’s incredibly fast, easy, and plays almost anything (no more downloading different codecs, yay). VLC is incredibly easy to use for the less tech savvy, and offers optional customization for advanced users. Audiophiles and video enthusiast alike will enjoy the endless customization available through it’s preferences. Once I started with VLC I never stopped.
Everything Search Engine – Upgrade Your PC’s Local Search
The everything search engine does not search the web, but is rather a local search (only used for files in your computer). Why would someone need this? Simple: it’s a massive improvement over the default windows search. I can’t tell you how many times I have known the file name I need, but the default search couldn’t find it (after 5 minutes of waiting). This program is lightning fast, easy to use, and takes up minimal resources.
F.lux – Color/Time-Adapting Monitor Display
F.lux is a very interesting program that’s designed to ease eye-strain when sitting at your computer. It automatically adjusts your screen brightness and hue based on what time of the day it is. At night, when you don’t need as much brightness, your screen dims for a more relaxing picture. The only downside is that web-designers and photography experts need to remember to turn it off, otherwise your edits will look completely different the next day when the screen is back to full power!
GIMP – Image Editing Software
For those that can’t afford photoshop, GIMP is a great alternative. It’s not as powerful as a full blown image editor, but it has all the tools needed for most computer users.
CC Cleaner – Optimize Your PC For Speed
CC Cleaner is a great little program that cleans up confusing files hidden within your PC. It’s main function to clean up messy files to optimize speed and security.
WinRAR – Best Compression Software
A long-standing alternative to winzip, WinRAR is easier to use and is much more versatile (supports more file types). This is the first program installed on every one of my new PC’s.
Ninite – Set Up A New PC With Ease
Ninite has many uses, but it’s main function is to help set up a new PC (or multiple PC’s) with ease. It’s a program used to install other programs (insert witty inception reference here). While it sounds a bit strange at first, it’s incredibly useful once you understand it! Let’s say you know you want steam, chrome, VLC, hulu, and winRAR on your PC. Rather than downloading and installing each program at once, simply select those programs from the available list Ninite offers and it will install each program, refuse toolbar addons that come with them, and automatically update them when available. It’s especially useful if if you’re a SysAdmin.
Audacity – Open Source Music Software For Recording/Editing Sounds
While Audacity offers less than a usual DAW (digital audio workstation), it’s free. It’s a great program for simple recording/editing, and is probably the best option for making your own ringtones.
Google Chrome – Streamlined Web Browser
While firefox is quickly gaining ground, Chrome is still the best browser option of the big 3. Chrome’s main advantages are simplicity and speed. Extensions (user-generated add on programs) are also worth mentioning.
HoverFree Chrome Extension – Full Sized Images By Hovering Your Mouse
Hoverfree is a neat extension that simply enlarges an image when you hover over it with your mouse. Exclusively available for Chrome, it comes in handy when you want to expand an image to see it’s full resolution. While it sounds a bit pointless, once you start using it you will fall in love with it!
PowerIso – Image File Processing Tool
PowerIso makes it incredibly easy to burn, copy, extract CD’s or DVD’s, and much more with a simple right-click. Whether you’re looking to rip a favorite audio CD for computer playback, or copy it to make a backup, PowerISO is the absolute best option from my experience.
NotePad ++ – A must for coders
NotePad ++ is exactly like notepad, except it interprets and automates computer code. Whether it’s html, css, php, or hex values this program makes it easy to adjust and edit on the fly. This program has saved me countless hours.
CPU-Z – PC Performance Checking
This program lets you quickly and easily view how beefy your PC’s performance is within a few seconds. It gives detailed statistics on your CPU, Mainboard, Memory, and a few other things. While it doesn’t have included tools for over-clocking, it’s a great way to benchmark whether your PC is performing up to specs.
DisplayFusion – Dual Monitor Precision
This program gives you full control over both of your monitors. While it’s most userful function is putting unique taskbars on each monitor, it comes with many more flavorful adjustments to suit your style.
With thousands of options available, I would love to hear of any free programs you think people should know more about! Drop a comment or send us a quick email and we would love to check it out!