Essential free apps for new laptop and desktop PCs

A new laptop or PC is a blank slate to start fresh and load only the essential applications that you'll really need to use. Here are a baker's dozen of our recommendations, and better still, they're free.

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ay posted a comment   

Jimmy, he didn't say "must" have 2 browsers..either Firefox or Chrome..pick one..and nobody said anything about 3 anti-virus programs either..hes giving you "choices"
Anyway..perfect list, should include:
7-zip (its free and better than Winzip imo) it's not "Essential", but you will need it at some point..
But a firewall is a must, disable windows firewall(AFTER you have downloaded a new one) and install either a stand alone version if you already have an anti-virus or a "security suite" eg. "Comodo Internet Security" is good and also free..
Also, make sure you update your OS and update drivers etc. this should be done pretty much right away as well..i use a program called 'WSUS Offline Update', you run it on your old/another computer or before you reformat and it downloads all MS Windows updates (from MS)so you can install them on a fresh machine BEFORE connecting to the internet, it basically patches your system before you let it into the wild where the un-patched holes would of been exploited..which is a no brainer,
Firewalls and anti-virus programs should be downloaded/installed the same way, this ensures you never leave your PC completely opinion anyway

Any thing else is not "essential" eg burning programs, image editing/viewing etc..


Spencer posted a comment   

Yes Jimmy, I tend to agree with Anonymous on this point.
Face it Jimmy, in recent memory Winamp has excelled at being an exceptional piece of pooh.


jifmoli posted a comment   

Right on Jimmy and anonymous. But how about CCleaner? Or keeping your new computer free of rubbish is not important anymore? A tool just to burn ISOs? Please...use Burnaware free - does everything most people need and is small as well. No photo software? How about FastStone? None of the "watch-folders" nonsense but your HD computer tree, one-click full-screen (unlike Picasa), RAW support, and plenty editing. Video conversion (including newer digital formats): Freemake Video convertor. Can rip DVDs in chapters as well, and with presets for many devices. Knockoed my paid IMToo out..


Jimmy posted a comment   

Essential free apps, so you must have 2 web browsers and 3 anti-virus programs? riiiight

how can you not have Winamp on that list?


Anonymous posted a reply   

It may have something to do with the fact that Winamp became crap after AOL took over.

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