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Once in a while, some of my friends ask me to format and reinstall their windows system. While reinstalling it is not a big deal, getting all necessary programs afterwards is major headache. So, I decided to dedicate this post to all-needed software tools for healthy and trouble free PC usage (i.e. antivirus, spyware removal, firewall, system maintenance tools, office software, media players, codecs and etc). I have compileda list of best free software tools available, and listed them based on the number of downloads and user reviews. The cool thing about this list is that most of these programs are the best available in their particular domain. You can actually have fully loaded legal system without spending a dime, of course not counting the cost of Windows itself. Here it goes…

Name
Description
Review / Download
Security
Antivir Personal Edition 6 Antivirus Program link (allmost 1 mil downloads withiin 5 month)
AVG Antivirus Free Edition 7 Antivirus Program link (over 11 mil downloads within 3 weeks)
ZoneAlarm 6 Firewall (protect your computer from hackers and prevent some programs connecting to the internet without your consent) link (over 40 mil downloads)
Spybot Search & Destroy 1.4 Spyware Removal Tool link (over 80 mil download)
Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition 1.06 Spyware Removal Tool link (over 220 mil downloads)
Maintenance
SyncBack 3.2 Files Backup Tool link (over 50.000 downloads within 4 month)
CCleaner System Optimization Tool / Registry Cleaner link (allmost 1.8 mil downloads in 2 weeks)
RAM Booster 2 RAM Recovery Tool(speedup your computer by recovering RAM) link (3.2 mil downloads in 11 month)
Free RAM XP Pro RAM Recovery Tool link (4.4 mil downloads in 7 month)
Office/Documents
OpenOffice 2.0.4 Microsoft Office Alternative link (over 500 .000 downloads in 4 month)
Adobe Reader 7.0.8 View and Print Adobe PDF files link (over 30 mil downloads in 4 month)
Media (Play any Movies)
VLC Media Player These 2 players in combination with codec pack below will play almost any video file you may have. I am a big movie buff and it always worked for me link (approx 3.5 mil downloads in 6 month)
DivX Player 6.2.2 link (over 50 mil downloads in 5 month)
Advanced DVD Player DVD player link (more then 400.000 downloads in 3 weeks)
Avant DVD Player DVD player link (more then 400.000 downloads in 3 weeks)
Klite Codec Pack No more hunting for codecs. link (one of the best codec packs available)
Browsers & Internet Related
Mozilla Firefox 2.0 All belowed web browser link (more then 2mill downloads in 2 weeks)
Internet Explorer 7 New version of Microsoft’s IE browser. Much better then previous releases. (IE7 vs. Firefox 2 by CNET) link (more then 8 mil downloads within 3 weeks)
Flash Player 9 Needed for viewing flash animations on the websites link (more then 8.5 mil downloads in 4 month)
QuickTime 7.1.3 Most popular player used for viewing videos integrated into websites (ex; video blogs, trailers) link (more then 16 mil downloads in 2 month)
Other
WinRAR RAR archiver link (more then 40 mil downloads in 2 month)

Once you have all fundamentals, you can tweak and dress up your system even more with some of the desktop applications we reviewed before. Enjoy!

  1. tf76
    December 7, 2007 at 11:30 pm
    • Aibek
      December 8, 2007 at 10:04 am

      Thanks, very good source.
      Good Job. ;-)

  2. Cliger4
    January 6, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    The only change I would make is in the media section
    AVS DVD Player has played every video file I've thrown at it so far. Can be downloaded here
    avsmedia.com/DVDPlayer/index.aspx
    By the way excellent site I'm going through the archives right now, and will be checking back regularly for updates

  3. Peter Ramone
    November 18, 2006 at 9:47 am

    @hendoc:
    these free programmes aren't written for linux you idiot.

  4. Aibek
    November 17, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    Catalin true windows isnt't free, i guess title seems to be little confusing for some as you are 2nd person telling this.

  5. catalin nicolescu
    November 17, 2006 at 3:50 pm

    Actualy it's not 0$ ... you still have to pay for Windows

  6. Kelly
    November 11, 2006 at 7:34 pm

    Xandros is not free

  7. Aibek
    November 10, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    yes winrar isn't a freeware program, however you can continuously use it without paying for it

  8. Godfrey Daniel
    November 10, 2006 at 8:39 am

    WinRAR in not freeware

  9. Aibek
    November 9, 2006 at 3:05 pm

    yeap, free operating system would make things even better. Haven't used linux for allmost 2 years now, I will check on Xandros.

  10. Kaj Kandler
    November 9, 2006 at 4:55 am

    May I invite you to a new kind of support site. Plan-B for OpenOffice.org - http://openoffice.screencast-tutorials.com/index

    Here you find help and support for the non technical user through short videos (screencasts) and smart search.

  11. hendoc
    November 9, 2006 at 4:20 am

    Now all you need is a free OS to go with your free tools. I suggest Xandros (Debian-based) Linux.

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