I thought it would be nice to start a rolling list of the best free software we’ve found while surfing the web. Our combined experience should produce some useful results. I’ll start us off:
Open Office 2.0:
An excellent free Office replacement suite. I’ve been using it since March 05 and have been very pleased with it’s level of quality and the easy transition from Microsoft Office to Open Office.
It’s the best browser out there closely followed by Opera. There’s no reason to use internet explorer anymore people, it’s bug ridden and picks up malware as easily as I pickup my cell phone.
The email client counterpart to Firefox. If you use outlook now, switch to this and I promise you that you won’t look back. It has all the same features (Minus the planner which is available as an addon) is faster, smaller, uses less memory while running, more stable, and of course free.
Who uses MSN, Aim or ICQ clients? Do you hate the ads? Do you have to run AIM and MSN at the same time because you have friends on both? Then wipe those suckers off you drive, Trillian does everything they can. It connects to MSN, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, and IRC simultaneously while using the resources of a single MSN Messenger client. It’s skinable to boot so it can look however you like.
It’s old as the hills (In internet terms) but it’s still good. It’s a good full featured IRC client with regular updates. Pay for the full version to get rid of the occasional nag screen.
Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware
This is a great free anti virus program that get consistantly good ratings for it’s detection abilities. As a bonus it can detect many kinds of malware in addition to viruii.
Yet another good free anti virus program (Seriously who pays for North subscriptions with stuff like this available out there?).
Okay so I don’t believe they have a windows version but I had to mention this for those Linux users out there. It’s free, it has no GUI to speak of but hey it’s for Linux and we linux users are used to that!
Spybot Search and Destroy:
Does a good job of tracking down malware, has an easy update system. Has system settings protection and browser immuniztion against common malware. What more can I say?
Catches some things Spybot SD misses I always use this and Spybot to clean a dirty system to really scrub the system clean.
This is a required supplement to any anti-malware regimen. It locks down Internet Explorer (Who uses this still jeez?) and disables most of the wide open active-x controls that result in a good majority of malware infection. Simple installation, easy updates, they offer a paid version to enable auto updates but I’ve never bothered.
Small and free utiliy for drawing a diagram of your network complete with icons for switches, routers, VOIP phones, etc… It also is fairly decent for flowcharts. As a bonus its extremely lightweight. You can easily throw it on a USB thumbdrive as it doesn’t require any kind of installation to operate.
Great little utiliy to automatically rename and add ID3 tags to your mp3 files.
This is my new prefered FTP client. It’s free and full featured and works well. No nag screens, no malware, no ads.
I had to put this on here. Far and away the best SHH/Telnet client out there. I’ve been using this for years, it’s small fast and stable.
Good free registry repair and cleaner utility. Offers a paid version but free version is full featured.
Ultimate Windows Boot Disc and Ultimate Boot CD:
Okay so this is more than one piece of software. In fact it’s a whole package, and even better I’m talking about two full packages. The Ultimate Windows Boot Disc basically makes you a live Windows bootdisc full of great utilities for forensic recovery, backup, virus removal, malware cleaning, and just about anything else you’d want. It’s a great tool for those times when something goes wrong with Windows on your machine as you can repair/recover it from a cleanroom environment with this disk.
Now the Ultimate Boot Disc is great for those more basic system level diagnostics, burnins, drive test, memory tests etc. I use it to run memtest on all new machines I build as well as test harddrives and do any partitioning I might need before a fresh OS install.
As stated in wired this is the new skype killer. It has better voice quality and supports landline to Gizmo conferences (Well find this useful when we have Distro of the Month/SGB meetings when one of us is away from a computer). Did I mention they have a Windows, Linux and OsX client?
Of course it has to be on here. It’s still free and works reasonably well. I must commend them on having a Linux client for those of us who don’t live in Windows.
More to come I know I haven’t come close to covering everything…. Leave comments or suggestions for modifications/additions/replacements thanks. Okay so comments aren’t visible although I checked the box… Comment inside the writeup on the main page for now until it’s fixed.