What free software do I like to see on a Windows computer (2 of 2)?
Following on from last week, here is the second half of the list of my favourite free Windows Utilities
I think that the main reason that Dropbox has made such huge inroads into the market for providing “cloud” storage is that their approach makes it easy to grasp what is going on and how to use it. When you install Dropbox, a folder is created (called, not un-unaturally, “Dropbox). You treat this folder just like any other folder except that anything in this folder is copied to “the cloud” and back to the Dropbox folder of any computer that is signed into the same Dropbox account. It works between Windows PCs, Macs, Android devices, and IOS devices, so data can be shared across all those “platforms”.
Licensing: Free for 2gb of storage space (which you can increase by doing things like referring Dropbox to others), or go for a paid plan if you need much more space.
Faststone Image Viewer
Although the interface is beginning to look a bit old, this is still the easiest and most intuitive way that I have found of organising and viewing images on a Windows computer. It’s also got its own image editor. If you hate the way that the likes of Picasa take over your photos, try this free program.
Source: Faststone Image Viewer
To my mind, this is still the best web browser. There are loads of add-ons available, thanks to the fact that the browser is “open source” (so anyone can write add-ons for it). This can be a double-edge sword, of course. I have got some add-on in my Firefox that has stopped my Barclays online banking from working for ages. One day I might track it down but, in the meantime, I just find it easier to do online banking via a different browser (Chrome). As I have said before, it is a good idea to have at least two browsers on your computer (probably Microsoft’s Internet Explorer plus one other) so that you can try using the other browser if a particular website mis-behaves using your normal one.
Source: Mozilla Firefox
I’m not as happy with this product as I used to be as it has started to become somewhat intrusive (I can’t find a way to stop it popping up every time I re-boot or awaken my computer, for instance). Nevertheless, it’s still a great utility for capturing part of a screen, the whole screen, or a specific window.
My favourite malware finder and eliminator. If this one leaves something behind, then I install AdAware or Spybot (qv).
I use this program to make files on disk that can be opened just as if they were CDs or DVDs. This is very useful for having many CDs and DVDs close to hand as they can be permanently stored on a hard drive. This program will also copy and burn CDs and DVDs without any of the nerdiness needed to use Nero Burning (for example).
Licensing: These days it is a paid program, but you can try before you buy. Lucky people (like me) have an older free copy.
If all of the best antimalware programs (Malwarebytes, AdAware, and Spybot) can find 90-95% of malware, then running all three should find about 99% (unless, of course, there are some particularly clever malware programs that can avoid all such programs). I think Spybot has probably been around for the longest time of all such programs.
Licensing: I have only ever used the free version
Why has Microsoft never included this type of utility as part of Windows? Great for knowing where all your hard drive space has gone as it shows just how big every folder and sub-folder is.
Source: Treesize Free