You have just treated your PC to a fresh Windows installation, which means your hard drive is now a blank slate. With so much free software to choose from, it might be easy for you to overlook some of the less flashy solutions, or neglect some of the programs you never even knew existed.
That is why we have compiled this list of free Windows software that every user should have. Of course, you can do without any of these, but you would be missing out. Here is our top list of free PC software.
Mozilla Firefox/Google Chrome
Leading the pack when it comes to internet browsers is Mozilla Firefox. Internet Explorer is a great browser, and has come a long way since its early days, but if you prefer something different, Mozilla Firefox is an obvious solution. It does so many things right, and it’s easy to see why it is the most popular browser out there. Great speed, tabbed browsing, private browsing, and, another plus of it being the most popular, a whole slew of various add-ons and plug-ins which extend its basic arsenal, which is considerable even on its own.
But, we cannot mention Firefox without mentioning its biggest rival, Google Chrome. It offers pretty much the same stuff Firefox does: tabbed browsing, private browsing and a multitude of different extensions. If you use your Google account to log into Google Chrome, you will be able to sync browsing history, bookmarks and preferences, and have them on any device you are currently using. It’s a runner-up in this popularity contest, but as far as speed, stability and features are concerned, it’s a dead heat between these two giants.
VLC Media Player
VLC is not just a great piece of software, but an awesome one. We swear by it. If you want to play multimedia on your computer, but want to avoid the slow, clunky behemoth that is Windows Media Player, VLC Media Player is a must-have. We have to admit, when it first appeared years ago, we foolishly dismissed it, judging the book by its cover. But, we were proven wrong quickly. Whenever there was a multimedia file that couldn’t be read by any other player, VLC came to the rescue. Sometimes we joke it would be able to play our father’s old records, or audio cassettes. As far as specific formats go, you name it: MP3, FLAC, DivX, Xvid, H.264, MKV, WMA, WMV, Real Video, MOV, ALAC and whole bunch of others. We cannot praise it enough.
OK, so we’ve got you covered on media playback and surfing. But, over time, your computer will turn into a junkyard, much like your room when you were still living with your parents, and you’re going to need to clean that mess up. If you don’t want to re-install Windows all over again, CCleaner is a tool you must have in your toolbox.
CCleaner will help you get rid of unused software or malware that has managed to slip through the cracks of your anti-virus. It will also clean your Registry, free up some space on your hard drive, and a whole series of other stuff that will make your PC run as smoothly as it did after a fresh Windows installation.
These are just for starters – there are loads more to come, keep a look out for future posts!