加拿大家园网


加拿大家园论坛 > IT数码 > 常用好软件收集(只讨论免费和正版的)

常用好软件收集(只讨论免费和正版的)
冰之守护者 2006-10-17 19:15

常用好软件收集(只讨论免费和正版的)

--------------------------------------------------------
最新更新:

很久没有更新了,这次不更新软件,而是采取个一劳永逸的办法,推荐介绍好软件的网站,究竟有多好,看了就知道(不要关注界面,要关注内容):wdb20:

善用佳软
http://xbeta.info/

小众软件
http://www.appinn.com/

--------------------------------------------------------

进入软件行业10多年了,曾经使用过很多软件,如今的软件品种可谓极大丰富,自己反而不再有猎奇的激情了,
自己用软件本着够用就好的心态,不太追求最新、最全、“功能最强“、”“排名第一”等等这些东西。
开此主题,准备陆续把自己认为不错的常用软件介绍一下,希望能对大家有所帮助。
我会为每个软件开一贴,尽量附上介绍和下载地址,在顶楼不断更新索引。
有个原则:本主题只限于介绍免费软件或比较容易承受价格的正版软件,也欢迎大家共同完善,
道听途说或自己只”玩“了很短时间的软件尽量不要,并希望嫌这些免费或正版软件”不过瘾“的大侠另寻途径发表。多谢!

免费软件:
1. 超级兔子魔法设置 个人版 (2楼)
2. 紫光拼音输入法 V5 (4楼)
3. google earth (5楼)
5. flash文件播放器(25楼)
6. 从谷歌(Google )输入法谈起 (重点推荐) (35楼)

共享软件:
4. 网文快捕 CyberArticle (重点推荐)(12楼)

冰之守护者 2006-10-17 19:17

1. 超级兔子魔法设置 个人版

身边经常有朋友或同事说:”快帮帮忙吧!电脑不知中了什么病毒,又慢,还老是弹出烦人的广告!用杀毒软件查了半天也没用!“
其实呢,这种情况也不一定是中了电脑病毒,多半是中了“流氓软件”。“流氓软件”根据其自身特性无法归入“病毒”类,
所以很多杀毒软件对之也无可奈何。怎么办呢?

推荐:超级兔子魔法设置 个人版(出色的流氓软件查杀工具)
http://www.pctutu.com/index.asp

这个软件在免费前可能不一定是我们最好的选择,但现在它不但承诺“完全免费,无需注册,
即可使用所有功能,提供免费在线升级,不捆绑任何其它软件”,而且效果好,更新很快,值得重点推荐。

当然,它还有其他很多优化系统的功能,也很不错的呢,不用太懂电脑也能用。

Genese 2006-10-17 19:28

俺现在在用,感觉好一些。

冰之守护者 2006-10-17 19:47

2. 紫光拼音输入法 V5

我是从事软件行业的,但我不会五笔字型(想当初上学时,机房,我们软件专业被分配用386练习编程,其他专业用486学五笔,昏啊)
所以我只用拼音输入法,在windows 3.1时代的“中文之星”真的很棒,直到现在,我对微软在windows里自带的输入法也无法忍受,
现在我的选择是“紫光拼音”,从它的3.0感觉找回了“中文之星”的畅快感觉,现在5.0了,有反映说它不够稳定,但对我真的够用了。
我也用过拼音加加,但还是喜欢紫光。

向和我一样:不会五笔、敲字不熟练的筒子强烈推荐,试试吧,看是不是打字快些了?
注意:紫光拼音输入法 V5原版强制捆绑了“因特网搜索”――我们可以把它归入“流氓软件”,怎么办?

下一个被净化过的版本吧:
http://www.inputsky.com/soft/3/616.html

冰之守护者 2006-10-17 20:10

3. google earth

想看看我们打算定居的新城市是什么样子吗?google 给了我们一个选择。

到这里下载一个google earth:
http://dl.google.com/earth/GE4/GoogleEarthWin.exe

把它装好,运行(机器此时需要能联上互联网),从Fly to里敲个地名,比如ottawa,稍等你就可以鸟瞰这个城市的样子了,
这个可不是通常的地图哦,是照片啊(不是实况,表太贪婪哦)鼠标放在右上角,还能拉远近、平移。。。
用过的可能觉得没什么,如果你是第一次用,肯定有惊喜,慢慢玩吧:)

特别提示,照片不是很新,不少都是几年前的情况,没办法,这个是有钱也买不来的哦,收费的版本在这一点也不会有不同。
除非。。。您是美国军方、CIA、FBI等等啥的,吼吼。

真有兴趣想好好玩玩的,这里推荐一个网站吧:
http://www.godeyes.cn/ge.asp
祝玩的开心!

Exocell 2006-10-17 23:50

引用:

作者: 冰之守护者 (帖子 1104530)
3. google earth

想看看我们打算定居的新城市是什么样子吗?google 给了我们一个选择。

到这里下载一个google earth:
http://dl.google.com/earth/GE4/GoogleEarthWin.exe

把它装好,运行(机器此时需要能联上互联网),从Fly to里敲个地名,比如ottawa,稍等你就可以鸟瞰这个城市的样子了,
这个可不是通常的地图哦,是照片啊(不是实况,表太贪婪哦)鼠标放在右上角,还能拉远近、平移。。。
用过的可能觉得没什么,如果你是第一次用,肯定有惊喜,慢慢玩吧:)

地图太老,当然,那不是楼主的错

annieyu 2006-10-18 12:24

好啊!尤其还为菜鸟们,像我这样的电脑盲人考虑,继续.

annieyu 2006-10-18 12:28

10.1时我从常州开车回唐山,想google一下最佳路线,没成功,还是从图书馆借了两本地图带着.但我觉得有点走了冤枉路,关于这方面有何指教?

冰之守护者 2006-10-18 22:35

引用:

作者: Exocell (帖子 1104920)
地图太老,当然,那不是楼主的错

呵呵,忘了说了,一会儿再修订一下,照片的确比较老,很多是几年前的,

不过我还是从上面找到了我在北京住的楼,还有未来某一段时间将在加拿大住的地方。

更多补充还是放在原帖吧。

冰之守护者 2006-10-18 22:39

引用:

作者: annieyu (帖子 1106302)
好啊!尤其还为菜鸟们,像我这样的电脑盲人考虑,继续.

感谢你给加的分分!:wdb6:

虽然免费和正版的要求给推荐范围带来不少限制,我一有时间还是会继续努力滴。

冰之守护者 2006-10-18 22:49

引用:

作者: annieyu (帖子 1106324)
10.1时我从常州开车回唐山,想google一下最佳路线,没成功,还是从图书馆借了两本地图带着.但我觉得有点走了冤枉路,关于这方面有何指教?

这,这个我还真没什么好办法。要是在北美,可能情况会好不少吧。

我五一从北京去青岛玩,就是从书店买张地图单车开过去的,虽说有高速,

天津段还是不好走。进青岛之前再买张青岛市区图开进去找到网上订好的宾馆。。。

后来有朋友开车过去,有GPS还是比我多走了冤枉路,:wdb23:

冰之守护者 2006-10-18 23:16

4. 网文快捕 CyberArticle (重点推荐)


不知大家平时上网,专门搜集资料也好,随便瞎逛也好,看见想保存的网页,会怎么办?

曾几何时,我们除了在浏览器里点“另存为”之外,别无他法,不但不好整理,有时还存不下来。

那么我推荐一款软件,保存、整理网页资料会变得非常轻松:
网文快捕 CyberArticle
http://www.wizissoft.com/cn/

下一个装上试试吧,装完后,把浏览器关了再打开,网页的右键菜单里就会多出“保存:完整网页”等选项。。。

这曾经是给我带来惊喜的软件,虽说它如今收费了(中文版25元人民币,英文版25美刀),我还是觉得它物有所值。我估计一个月的免试用会让多数人离不开它。

友情提示:想把这25块也省了的朋友,如果你不是很懂电脑,建议不要去找什么“免费”的版本,
很多你能找到的“免费”版并不好用,作者在这方面还是下了些功夫的;如果你很懂电脑,那么你应该明白这25块是值得花的,至少我这么认为。

emace_oliver 2006-10-27 18:39

up

yuqian 2006-11-01 11:10

谢谢!

wap3810 2006-11-02 13:18

支持。

annieyu 2006-11-02 15:58

引用:

作者: 冰之守护者 (帖子 1107538)
这,这个我还真没什么好办法。要是在北美,可能情况会好不少吧。

我五一从北京去青岛玩,就是从书店买张地图单车开过去的,虽说有高速,

天津段还是不好走。进青岛之前再买张青岛市区图开进去找到网上订好的宾馆。。。

后来有朋友开车过去,有GPS还是比我多走了冤枉路,:wdb23:

同感,我是北方人但对粗线条的管理还是无法接受.回来在天津段也是走了怨枉路.现在好了,我有了GPS了.

annieyu 2006-11-03 00:14

引用:

作者: 冰之守护者 (帖子 1107608)
4. 网文快捕 CyberArticle (重点推荐)


不知大家平时上网,专门搜集资料也好,随便瞎逛也好,看见想保存的网页,会怎么办?

曾几何时,我们除了在浏览器里点“另存为”之外,别无他法,不但不好整理,有时还存不下来。

那么我推荐一款软件,保存、整理网页资料会变得非常轻松:
网文快捕 CyberArticle
http://www.wizissoft.com/cn/

下一个装上试试吧,装完后,把浏览器关了再打开,网页的右键菜单里就会多出“保存:完整网页”等选项。。。

这曾经是给我带来惊喜的软件,虽说它如今收费了(中文版25元人民币,英文版25美刀),我还是觉得它物有所值。我估计一个月的免试用会让多数人离不开它。

友情提示:想把这25块也省了的朋友,如果你不是很懂电脑,建议不要去找什么“免费”的版本,
很多你能找到的“免费”版并不好用,作者在这方面还是下了些功夫的;如果你很懂电脑,那么你应该明白这25块是值得花的,至少我这么认为。

这个我小试一下,不错.谢谢.请继续!

annieyu 2006-11-03 00:17

引用:

作者: 冰之守护者 (帖子 1104530)
3. google earth

想看看我们打算定居的新城市是什么样子吗?google 给了我们一个选择。

到这里下载一个google earth:
http://dl.google.com/earth/GE4/GoogleEarthWin.exe

把它装好,运行(机器此时需要能联上互联网),从Fly to里敲个地名,比如ottawa,稍等你就可以鸟瞰这个城市的样子了,
这个可不是通常的地图哦,是照片啊(不是实况,表太贪婪哦)鼠标放在右上角,还能拉远近、平移。。。
用过的可能觉得没什么,如果你是第一次用,肯定有惊喜,慢慢玩吧:)

特别提示,照片不是很新,不少都是几年前的情况,没办法,这个是有钱也买不来的哦,收费的版本在这一点也不会有不同。
除非。。。您是美国军方、CIA、FBI等等啥的,吼吼。

真有兴趣想好好玩玩的,这里推荐一个网站吧:
http://www.godeyes.cn/ge.asp
祝玩的开心!

明天试这个

montmont 2006-11-04 09:18

搜狗拼音输入法对于拼音输入的筒子来说好象比其它拼音好用啊。时下新词一输就显示出来,连我用五笔的都有时用它。
用五笔的话,就是万能的好了,万一不会五笔换拼音,英语,打出来还是想要的字词。
下载免费五笔的前提是,最好你电脑安了杀毒软件防护墙,不然,以前我没安时下,可是下来不少病毒,怕。

annieyu 2006-11-06 13:50

请教一个问题,我用voip拨打电话时为什么对方听不到我的声音?苦恼......拨完真担心别人以为搔扰电话,请回复,多谢

hows123 2006-11-08 07:16

地图直接上google网站查也可一啊。

冰之守护者 2006-11-16 21:05

引用:

作者: annieyu (帖子 1150437)
请教一个问题,我用voip拨打电话时为什么对方听不到我的声音?苦恼......拨完真担心别人以为搔扰电话,请回复,多谢

抱歉,由于时间不充裕也不愿灌水,一直到现在才到50贴,也就才有了看自己发布的主题的功能,没能即使回复。

voip只是一种技术的名称,指用IP网络传输声音,我们现在一般买IP卡打长途电话以及用msn和skype在网上通话都是此类技术的应用,所以你得提供你用的产品更详细的情况才好分析原因。

冰之守护者 2006-11-16 21:10

引用:

作者: montmont (帖子 1146522)
搜狗拼音输入法对于拼音输入的筒子来说好象比其它拼音好用啊。时下新词一输就显示出来,连我用五笔的都有时用它。
用五笔的话,就是万能的好了,万一不会五笔换拼音,英语,打出来还是想要的字词。
下载免费五笔的前提是,最好你电脑安了杀毒软件防护墙,不然,以前我没安时下,可是下来不少病毒,怕。


搜狗拼音输入法,听名字直觉感到里面被捆绑了流氓软件哦,没用过不敢确定,你可以用超级兔子查查看,你系统里有流氓软件的可能性不小。

libin 2006-11-23 23:17

拼音加加(去百度吧版)……新浪下载

冰之守护者 2006-12-13 17:05

5. flash文件播放器

一般的flash文件都是用浏览器(安装flash插件后)打开看的,这里提供一个官方的flash文件播放器,版本9.0: 附件 43789 ,下载以后先解压,然后直接运行。

可以直接用它打开那些有意思的flash文件(.swf文件)看,支持全屏播放(Crtl+F),甚至可以用它把一个flash文件“改装”成可以自行播放的exe文件,
方法是,用菜单的"File - Create Projector...",在“Save as”对话框里选个路径,起个新名字就好。

再提供两个测试用的flash文件:水珠、时钟 附件 43790

湘西凤凰 2007-01-01 23:18

GE有Pro版的吗?

湘西凤凰 2007-01-01 23:19

我的意思是,GE由Pro版的下载吗?普通版的,精度太低了。

hull 2007-01-01 23:57

Google Maps 浏览器好用啊...我只对加拿大熟悉,里面的地图可以看卫星地图或普通地图,还可两者一起用.
好象地图也比较新...我以前生活的城市里06年上半年开工的建筑工地也能看到...
但国内只有卫星地图,没有普通地图.

xylanlan 2007-01-02 05:31

谢谢,很有用

carl_sun 2007-01-02 06:30

引用:

作者: 湘西凤凰 (帖子 1258920)
我的意思是,GE由Pro版的下载吗?普通版的,精度太低了。

GE Pro可以下载,不过不是免费的,跑题了。

交通QK 2007-01-12 14:51

迅雷下载很棒!!!!!

淑女1 2007-01-19 21:43

谢谢LZ分享.下载了EARTH,果然很好!字光是否过时了?我周围的人都用搜狗,不过我也怕流氓软件,所以还是用智能.

edgefree 2007-03-19 23:27

输入方法我还是选 ’搜狗‘!

saint-alex 2007-03-24 17:41

我推荐安全卫士360,还是很实用的清流氓软件,而且附赠半年的卡巴正版号码

冰之守护者 2007-04-24 12:47

6. 从谷歌(Google )输入法谈起

守着紫光输入法用了很久了,前些天偶然在一个技术站点看有人推荐谷歌输入法,一试,果然强过紫光,立刻转投谷歌阵营。
经过一段时间使用,选词准确率的提高就不多说了,个人感觉与以往输入法最大的不同,一是可以支持将自造词和个人输入习惯同步到网络上自己的Google 帐号中,个人词库随处可用。二是直接把搜索功能集成近了选词面板。巧妙的双赢啊!可能这才是Google 进军输入法领域的目的吧,小技术,大市场。

输入法以后的发展趋势是什么呢?今天的又一个小发现给了我新的启示:在线输入法。
下面是我找到的几个在线输入法的网址,即使使用未安装中文输入法的英文系统,也不用发愁中文输入的问题了。虽然这些输入法的选词技术较差,但我们可以想见,单机与在线输入同时享用网络账户中个人词库的大牌输入法,离我们还会很远吗?

可怜微软搞了那么多年的微软拼音和MSN,怎么就没想到把两者结合一下呢?创新,谁可与Google 比肩?

谷歌(Google )输入法下载地址:
http://tools.google.com/pinyin/

东方法眼在线拼音输入法:
http://www.dffy.com/tool/py.htm

东方法眼在线五笔输入法:
http://www.dffy.com/tool/wb.htm

Dict.CN在线拼音输入法:(IE下正常,Maxthon下使用失败)
http://dict.cn/ime.html

matsya 2007-04-24 15:39

1 记事本软件TreePad Lite:树状记事本软件,作笔记或Brain-Storm非常方便。免费,绿色软件(运行只要一个文件)。
2 浏览器FireFox:不用我多说了吧。
3 FireFox插件:IE Tab (在FireFox中使用IE内核浏览,可以彻底把笨重的IE7丢掉啦), ScrapBook(类似CyberArticle,不过是集成在FireFox中的,个人觉得也更好用), Google ToolBar。
4 虚拟光驱软件Daemon:把ISO等映象当成光驱用。个人用户免费。
5 虚拟机Virtual PC (其实VMWare更好用,不过不是免费的,呵呵):不用来回装机、格式化了。
6 ccrypt:开源的加密软件。可在Windows, Linux, MacOS, 商用Unix下使用。

lansia 2007-12-01 19:22

一直用智能ABC,尝试一下谷歌吧

zhud69 2008-01-31 16:18

紫光华宇V6.0
GreenBrowser...

个人意见...很好用

kpwjb 2008-03-24 02:05

好“软”,楼主努力、加油,一起进步!

糖心APPLE 2008-04-06 14:54

拜读啦,谢谢分享!:wdb17:

hnass 2008-04-23 22:04

引用:

作者: 冰之守护者 (帖子 1170677)
搜狗拼音输入法,听名字直觉感到里面被捆绑了流氓软件哦,没用过不敢确定,你可以用超级兔子查查看,你系统里有流氓软件的可能性不小。

这个是搜狐出的,没有流氓软件了,个人比较推荐,超过了google的

hainan 2008-04-24 17:32

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best..._utilities.htm

The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities

There are a lot of great freeware products out there. Many are as good as or better than their commercial alternatives. This list features our pick of the "best of the best."

Almost all the utilities in this list have featured in past issues of the free monthly newsletter "Support Alert" More freebies are published in each new issue. If you are interested in great utilities and freeware you really should consider subscribing. It's free.

This list is currently being upgraded to a community-based list with different sections of the list maintained and updated by volunteer editors. More details here

Listed below are 46 different freeware categories with our selections of the best products in each category. The list is ordered by program function rather than merit so you'll get the most out of it by browsing down this page at leisure. The pathologically impatient can consult the index below.

NEW! Get the 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities on CD. Click here for details

This page is updated regularly - most recent: 5 Apr, 08
Use Ctrl D to Bookmark Del.icio.us Digg it! Furl RSS Logo

1 Best Free Web Browser Sponsored links: 32 Best Free Search Toolbar
2 Best Free Anti-Virus Software Best Backup Program 33 Best Free Download Manager
3 Best Free Adware/Spyware/Scumware Remover Best Remote Access Software 34 Best Free Web Site Ripper
4 Best Free Browser Protection Utility Best Spam Blocker for Dummies 35 Best Free Download/Upload Meter
5 Best Free Firewall Best Drive Imaging Program 36 Best Free TCP Settings Tweaker
6 Best Free Trojan Scanner/Trojan Remover 19 Best Free Desktop Search Utility 37 Best Free File Cleaner
7 Best Free Rootkit Scanner/Remover 20 Best Free Digital Image Viewer 38 Best Free Resource Meter
8 Best Free Intrusion Detection Utility 21 Best Free Digital Editor 39 Best Free Sticky Notes Utility
9 Best Free Anonymous Surfing Service 22 Best Free Digital Photo Organizer 40 Best Free Secure Erase Utility
10 Best Free Software Suite 23 Best Free Notepad Replacement 41 Best Free Registry Editor
11 Best Free File Manager 24 Best File Archiver/Zip Utility 42 Best Free Process Viewer
12 Best Free Email Client 25 Best Free Hotkey / Macro Recorder Utility 43 Best Free System Information Utility
13 Best Free Web Mail Accessory 26 Best Free Registry Cleaner 44 Best Free Search and Replace Utility
14 Best Free Clipboard Replacement Utility 27 Best Free BitTorrent Client 45 Best Free Outliner
15 Best Free HTML Editor 28 Best Free FTP Client 46 Best Free Rename Utility
16 Best Free Spam Filter for the Average User 29 Best Free Bookmark Cleaner New: Gizmo's Guide to Securing your PC
17 Best Free Spam Filter for Experienced Users 30 Best Free Folder Synchronization Utility
18 Best Free Popup Stopper 31 Best Free Screen Capture Utility 47-118 latest additions to the list

NEW! Get the 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities on CD. Click here for details

Gold Award TrophyThe Best-ever Freeware List

1 Best Free Web Browser Updated January 30, 2008

Back in the early 1990's When the World Wide Web was young, there was only one web browser worth using: Netscape. Then Microsoft gave us Internet Explorer and subsequently started including it with their OS. Thus began the browser wars and IE eventually emerged as the clear winner.

Today Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) is a competent browser with enough features to meet the needs of most users but is difficult to recommend due to on-going security concerns. In the past IE has been a focus for security attacks and there is little to suggest this will change with the release of IE7. Additionally, Microsoft has a poor track record for speedily fixing IE defects and this has left users open to drive-by attacks and other forms of zero-day exploits. This has opened up a new set of browsers that are feature rich, very secure, and super fast.

There are several excellent alternatives with the new Mozilla Firefox V2 [1] a solid first choice. It's safer than IE, so safe in fact that many users have reported no spyware infections since they started using the product. It also browses a tad faster than IE, is very stable and is more standards compliant. The program loads slower than IE but once running, it positively zips along. With tabbed browsing and over 2000 free extensions (add-ons) that allow you to customize your experience, it provides most users with a major surfing upgrade. Firefox is now my everyday browser though I still leave IE7 on my PC for the occasional web site that's designed around IE's non-standard features. If you need any further convincing then check out my IE to Firefox migration guide.

An equal first choice is Opera [2]. It's a speed demon; probably the fastest of all the common browsers. But it's much more than that; it's full featured, standards compliant and safe. Just as Firefox is extensible through add-ins, Opera can be enhanced using Widgets, though there are not nearly as many of these available as Firefox extensions. Then again, it doesn't need as many extensions as a lot of the features added by Firefox add-ins are already available built into the standard Opera browser. There's just so much to like about Opera V9 that you could easily create a case that it's better than Firefox. Indeed, if I could get an Opera replacement for some of my key Firefox add-ins, I'd probably switch.

Users who don't want to drift too far from the Microsoft stable can get some of the feature advantages of Firefox and Opera by using one of the many customized shells for Internet Explorer such as Maxthon [3] and Avant [4]. The main selling point for these products used to be tabbed browsing but now that this is available in IE7 it's hard to create a case for their general recommendation. Still if you need a specialized feature they are worth considering. On the downside these shells share most of the same security problems as IE as they utilize the IE engine.

Last but not least is K-Meleon [5], a slimmed down cousin of Firefox that's optimized for Windows. Of the four browsers I use on different PCs, K-Meleon is the quickest loading and along with Opera, the fastest for surfing. On the downside there are only a limited number of add-ons and plug-ins available so you are pretty well limited to the features available in the standard product. If you are the type of person who prefers performance to bells and whistles you should definitely try K-Meleon.

=>index

[1] Mozilla Firefox
Website: http://www.mozilla.org/
Download Link: http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/
Author: Mozilla Corp.
Current version: 2.0.0.11
Version date: 12/3/2007
License: Free - Mozilla Public License
Download File size: 5.75 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 98-Vista, OS-X, Various Linux Distros
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: Many; Available via downloadable language packs
Other relevant information:
Firefox Extensions: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:1
IE to Firefox Migration Guide: http://www.techsupportalert.com/firefox.htm
Changing the Language Pack: http://support.mozilla.com/kb/Changi...+language+pack

[2] Opera
Website: http://www.opera.com/
Download Link: http://www.opera.com/download/
Author: Opera Software
Current Version: 9.25
Version Date: 1/15/2008
License: Free
Download file size: 4.7 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95-Vista, Mac OS 7.5-OS X, Various Linux Distros, OS/2, QNX, Various Mobile Phones, and Palm OS 5
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages Supported: Many - Available via downloadable language files
Other relevant information:
Opera Language Files: http://www.opera.com/download/languagefiles/

[3] Maxthon
Website: http://www.maxthon.com/
Download Link: http://www.maxthon.com/download.htm
Author: Maxthon (Beijing) Ltd.
Current Version: 2.07
Version Date: 12/28/2007
License: Free
Download file size: 2.9 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 98-Vista
Additional Software Required: At least MS Internet Explorer 6
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English Languages Supported: Many - Available via downloadable language packs
Other Relevant Information: None

[4] Avant
Website: http://www.avantbrowser.com/
Download Link: http://www.download.com/Avant-Browse...-10150342.html
Author: Avant Force
Current Version: 11.5 build 21
Version Date: 9/30/2007
License: Free
Download file size: 1.85 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95-Vista
Additional Software Required: At least MS Internet Explorer 5.5
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: Yes - http://dl.filekicker.com/send/file/1...Z37W/avant.exe
Non-English Languages Supported: Many
Other Relevant Information: None

[5] KMeleon
Website: http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/
Download Link: http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/download.php
Author: amutch, boisso, kkohler, ron_aegis, ulferikson
Current Version: 1.1.3
Version Date: 11/26/2007
License: Free GNU General Public License
Download file size: 5.2 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95-Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English Languages Supported: German, French, Spanish, Russian
Other Relevant Information: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Joe Bennett. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact Joe at joe@techsupportalert.com

2 Best Free Anti-Virus Software Updated February 2, 2008

Antivirus tools are essential in protecting the host client from a multitude of viral, Trojan, and rootkit Internet threats. They also can also stop virus infestation from cross media file sharing. Antivirus is also essential as a secondary preventative Internet security solution beyond a firewall.

If you are looking for the best possible protection my top recommendation is Avira AntiVir Personal Edition Classic [1]. Although its detection rate is outstanding there are some reservations. Firstly, it lacks email scanning that is only available in the paid version. This means that AntiVir won't warn you about any infected emails before you open them. However, should you open an infected email, then AntiVir will still spring into action. The absence of its email scanner doesn't mean you are not protected from email based infections. My second reservation is that AntiVir is quite an intrusive product you will certainly be well aware of its presence. Finally, AntiVir Personal Edition Classic has a time limited license. It is renewable, but be aware you will have to periodically go through the hoops.
Recommended products:

If your not prepared to accept the drawbacks to AntiVir I would suggest either AVG Antivirus 7 Free Edition [2] or the Avast! scanner [3]. Neither is quite as effective in detection as AntiVir, however they are both more complete products and less intrusive in use.

AVG Free has been continuously refined since it was first released in 1991 and the latest version V7.5 makes further improvements to an already solid product. Additionally, it's relatively small, light on resources, has regular automatic updates, and handles email scanning. There is a free and a pro version; the only difference being that the free version has a few non critical features disabled and has no technical support other than a free user forum .

Equally effective is the free Avast scanner [3] although its funky media player style interface is not to everyone's taste. Avast also required periodic re registration while AVG does not. However, Avast does not seem to suffer the signature file update problems that plague some AVG users.

AVG and Avast are excellent free products that will meet the needs of most users, however, none
of these offer the best malware detection available. That title belongs to commercial products like NOD32, F Secure, the full versions of AntiVir, Kaspersky AV and others. They are however capable packages that offer the financially challenged a real alternative to the major anti virus suites.

However, if you use AVG or Avast in conjunction with a sandbox for surfing, (see section 4) and an anti spyware product, (see section 3) you can achieve a level of protection approaching that offered by the best commercial AV products.

Further improvement is possible running regular on demand scans with a different anti virus product.

On demand scans should be run regularly, at least weekly, to check for viruses and other malware that may have been missed by your main scanner.

A good option for on demand scanning is the free version of the commercial AV product BitDefender [4]. It's a first class product with excellent detection rates, but as the free version lacks an email scanner, and a resident virus guard, it's only really suited for use as an on demand scanner rather than your main AV product. There are some other limitations as well. Firstly, it has an annoying habit of detecting malware products that have been quarantined by other security products and you can't exclude these areas from subsequent scans. Secondly, it is only available on a one year non renewable license.
Product Specifications:

[1] AntiVir
Website:
http://www.free-av.com
Author: Avira
Date: 01/12/2008
Version: 7.06.00.268
Download File size: 20.3MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
64 Bit Capable: yes
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: yes
Additional Software Required: no

[2] AVG Anti Virus
Website: http://free.grisoft.com/
Author: Grisoft
Date: 12/20/2007
Version :7.5.516
Download File size:31.5MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
64 Bit Capable: no
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: no
Additional Software Required: no

[3] Avast
Website: http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html
Author: Alwil Software
Date: 01/12/2008
Version: 4.7
Download File size:18.0MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
64 Bit Capable: yes
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: yes
Additional Software Required: no

[4] BitDefender
Website: http://www.bitdefender.com/
Author: Softwin
Date: 8/23/2007
Version: 8.0
Download File size: 13.18B
License: Freeware with registration
Operating systems supported: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
64 Bit Capable: no
Portable version available: yes
Other languages supported: yes
Additional Software Required: no

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Jeffrey Brown. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact Jeffrey at jeffrey@techsupportalert.com

3 Best Free Adware/Spyware/Scumware Remover Updated February 10, 2008

A couple of years ago most folks relied on SpyBot Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware for spyware protection. Alas spyware has evolved so quickly that these once outstanding products are no longer up to the task of providing primary protection, though they remain useful as secondary, on-demand scanners.

The new generation of malware requires a new generation of defensive products. Such products need to provide stronger active protection and broader spectrum detection. The best anti-spyware programs, WebRoot SpySweeper, Spyware Doctor and CounterSpy are all commercial products, but, there are three capable and free products that I can recommend.

The first is a special cut-down version of Spyware Doctor that's available as part of Google Pack [1]; a bundle of free software offered by Google. Called "Spyware Doctor Starter Edition”, the cut down version lacks the full array of real time protection monitors possessed by its commercial big brother, but still offers some active protection along with full scan and remove capabilities, scheduled scans, and free signature file updates. And on the subject of signature files it should be noted that the signature files in Spyware Doctor Starter Edition are neither as large or as up-to-date as those in its commercial big brother.

Your second choice is Microsoft's Windows Defender program [2]. Defender is the latest re-incarnation of the excellent Giant Anti-Spyware product that Microsoft purchased late in 2004. Based on my tests, Windows Defender is not as effective as its immediate predecessor but still has solid protective capability. I tested it on several drive-by download sites. Its multiple, real time monitors provided a reasonable (though by no means watertight) defense. It appears to be a little vulnerable to polymorphic malware in particular and for this reason I suggest it should be used in combination with regular, on-demand scans from the free AVG Anti-Spyware. My other reservation about Windows Defender is that it consumes quite a lot of your processing power. If you have a modern PC this should not be a problem, however, older machines will definitely suffer a performance hit.

Note that you need a legal version of Windows XP SP2 to run this program. I've been told cracked versions of Defender will run on any XP SP2 PC and are currently circulating on the P2P networks, but I'd approach those with caution. The idea of a cracked security program must be considered an oxymoron.

A third choice is Spyware Terminator [3]. Unlike Spyware Doctor or Windows Defender it works with all versions of Windows, so it's the stand-out choice for Windows 9x users. It's no slouch either. Like Windows Defender, it has strong active protection. Indeed with it’s built in HIPS system that warns you of any unrecognized intruders, it has stronger protection against unknown threats than the Microsoft product. This was confirmed on some tests I ran on drive-by download sites where Spyware Terminator proved to be impregnable.

Spyware Terminator has its own spyware detection engine and gives you the option of using a second engine based on the Open Source ClamWin anti-virus program. ClamAV is not the most effective AV scanner on the market but it's certainly competent and the additional protection can only be a plus.

On the downside, Spyware Terminator is slow to scan and can slow down your PC a tad though nowhere as much as Windows Defender. I've also heard reports that support via the free forum is poor.

Choosing between Spyware Doctor Starter Edition, Windows Defender, and Spyware Terminator is not easy. The full commercial version of Spyware Doctor has outstanding detection but the reduced signature file size and weak active protection in the free starter edition is a concern. Defender is heavy on resources but has reasonable active protection. Its detection, however, is mediocre.

As of today, I think Spyware Terminator has the edge as the best balanced product of the three but it's difficult to see how free products like this can remain viable, particularly in a high support product class such as anti-spyware.

However, if you use an anti-virus product with good, active protection, such as the free version of AntiVir, you may well be tempted to go with Spyware Doctor. It's a product with reasonable detection and excellent removal capabilities backed by regular and reliable signature file updates. Note: Spyware Doctor Starter Edition can be obtained via the Google Pack, but, you can get it as a stand-alone download from here [4].

=>index

[1] Google Pack
Website: http://pack.google.com/intl/en/pack_...ml?hl=en&gl=us
Download link: http://pack.google.com/intl/en/pack_...ml?hl=en&gl=us
Author: Google
Current version: 2.2.940.34809
Version date: August 28, 2007
License: Freeware
Download File size: 845KB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows XP or Vista
Additional Software Required: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later or Mozilla Firefox 1.0 or later
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information: None

[2] Microsoft Windows Defender
Website: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...4-f7f14e605a0d
Download link: http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...wsDefender.msi
Author: Microsoft
Current version: 1593
Version date: May 23, 2007
License: Freeware
Download File size: 4.9MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows Server 2003 sp1 & sp2/Windows XP sp2
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: Yes
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information: Genuine Microsoft Windows Validation Required

[3] Spyware Terminator
Website: http://www.spywareterminator.com
Download link: http://www.spywareterminator.com/download/download.aspx
Author: Crawler, LLC
Current version: 2.0.1.224
Version date: September 27, 2007
License: Freeware
Download File size: 8.51MB
Operating Systems Supported: 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: Yes
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information: At least 10 MB of free hard drive space/ 2.1 beta released 1/12/2008

[4] Spyware Doctor Starter Edition
Website: http://www.pctools.com/spyware-doctor/google_pack/
Download link: http://www.download.com/Spyware-Doct...-10704508.html
Author: PC Tools
Current version: 5.1.0.273
Version date: November 12, 2007
License: Freeware
Download File size: 14.72MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 2000/2003/XP/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Matthew Evans. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at matthew@techsupportalert.com

4 Best Free Browser Protection Utility

There's a scumware plague at the moment. All it takes is a visit to a pushy web site or a "loaded" shareware install and next minute your Internet Explorer homepage has been changed, your default search setting altered, unwanted ads pop up on your screen and worse.

If you use Windows 2000 or later my top recommendation for safe browsing is a free program called Sandboxie [1] that creates a special contained "sandbox" environment on your PC. While browsing within the virtual sandbox provided by Sandboxie you are totally corralled off from other parts of your PC. So any files you download are isolated to the sandbox. Similarly, any programs that are executed only do so within the sandbox and have no access to your normal files, the Windows operating system or any other part of your PC.

Usage is remarkably simple. To start a sandboxed browsing session you just click the Sandboxie icon from the Quick Launch tray and this will launch your default browser in the sandbox. You can then use it in the normal way to browse to sites or download files.

If you download a file it will install normally but again will be corralled off from your real PC as any new processes running in your computer memory or entries in the Windows startup areas will be sandboxed.

After you have finished browsing you can right click the Sandboxie icon and delete all sandboxed files and processes and your PC will be returned to much the same state it was in before the browsing session. If you want retain particular downloaded files you can save them permanently before clearing the contents of the Sandbox.

The advantage is clear: any spyware, trojans, keyloggers or other malware products that infected your PC while browsing will be eliminated.

Sandboxie works fine with all browsers but requires Windows 2000 and later. It can cause problems on some PCs so backup before installing.

Users of earlier Windows versions may want to check out SpywareBlaster [2]. It's is not a sandbox but rather is a free program that changes some settings in your computer to help prevent an initial infection. It provides protection against thousands of malevolent products that use ActiveX based exploits, block hostile sites and discards unwanted cookies as well. SpywareBlaster is most effective with Internet Explorer but can be used with Firefox as well. though this may be overkill as Firefox doesn't need to be protected against ActiveX exploits. Once it has changed your settings SpywareBlaster doesn't really need to continuously run on your PC other than to provide updates. These can be initiated manually but the automatic update service costs $9.95 annually.

A companion program to SpywareBlaster is SpywareGuard [3] that provides active protection. It is a monitor that checks programs before they are run for malware behavior and also does some signature checking as well. However of late SpywareGuard seems to have been rather neglected with no new updates for more than a year so I can only give it a qualified recommendation.

An alternative to SpywareGuard is to use one of the free intrusion prevention and detection utilities listed here. These provide active protection against infection and work very effectively in concert with the passive protection provided by SpywareBlaster.

=>index

[1] http://www.sandboxie.com Free for personal use, Win2K and later, 310KB
[2] http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html Freeware, all Windows version, 2.5MB
[3] http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareguard.html Freeware, All Windows versions, 913KB

5 Best Free Firewall Updated February 10, 2008

No other single product class seems to cause as much angst to average users in their installation and day-to-day use as Firewalls.

For such users, Sunbelt-Kerio Personal Firewall [1] is my top recommendation as it seems to cause the fewest problems yet manages reasonable protection as well.

Kerio dropped the product in late 2005 but thankfully Sunbelt Software, the makers of the excellent CounterSpy anti-spyware scanner, picked it up and will continue making it available. Note that the free and paid versions of Sunbelt Kerio are the same. If you don't buy the product some advanced features are automatically turned off after 30 days. The product will also nag you every time you start it. For some this is a small price to pay for a great free firewall. For others it's a real turn-off.

If performance rather than ease-of-use is your criterion then the Comodo firewall [2] is the top contender. The firewall itself is very robust and the just released version 3 includes a well designed intrusion detection system and Vista compatibility as well. Comodo also supports internet connection sharing, while the free versions of Kerio and ZoneAlarm do not. On the minus side the IDS is initially rather talkative and this can unnecessarily alarm inexperienced users. There have also been reports that the new version 3 has some new version bugs so it may be better to wait a couple of months until the new version has stabilized before installing. Additionally Comodo has been known to conflict with some other security products. However for the technically initiated who can cope with these annoyances this is an outstanding free product and an easy first choice. Make sure though, you install it in the "Advanced" mode as the "Basic" installation has the HIPS and outbound protection disabled.

A recent contender is the free version of Online Armor Personal Firewall V2 [3] which has been getting praise for its outstanding leak-test performance and ease of use. I looked at the full commercial version a while back and was impressed but I have yet to test the cut down free version so I'm reluctant to make a recommendation. Certainly the feedback I've been getting from users has been very positive.

Also technically impressive is the Jetico Firewall [4]. It rates highest on the leak tests of all firewalls but personally I find it awkward to use. It may, however, be just your cup of tea.

Another tricky product is NetVeda Safety.Net firewall [5]. However, it's performance is quite outstanding and it offers application control and content filtering as well. This highly capable product deserves to be better known and experienced users should definitely put it on their short list.

I no longer recommend the free version of the ZoneAlarm firewall [6]. First, it is a very basic product compared to the commercial ZoneAlarm Pro version. The leak-test performance of the latest free version is extremely poor while the Pro version is excellent. The download also includes the large commercial ZoneAlarm suite so be careful not to install it. On the plus side ZA free does have the advantage of working with Vista.

=>index

[1] Sunbelt-Kerio Personal Firewall
Website: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/Home...onal-Firewall/
Download link: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/Home...onal-Firewall/
Author: Sunbelt Software
Current version: 4.5.916
Version date: April 26, 2007
Download file size: 6.27MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 2000/XP
Additional software required: None
64 Bit capable: No
Portable version available: No
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information:

[2] Comodo firewall
Website: http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/
Download link: http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.c..._firewall.html
Author: Comodo Group
Current version: 3.0.15.277
Version date: January 11, 2008
Download file size: 9.08MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows Xp/Vista
Additional software required: No
64 Bit capable: Yes
Portable version available: No
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information: Version 2.4 is available for Windows 2000

[3] Online Armor Personal Firewall V2
Website: http://www.tallemu.com/product_overview.html
Download link: http://www.tallemu.com/downloads.html
Author: Tall Emu Pty Ltd
Current version: 2.1.0.31
Version date: November 16, 2007
Download file size: 14.9MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows NT/2000/XP
Additional software required: None
64 Bit capable: No
Portable version available: No
Non-English languages supported: No
Other relevant information: Free version doesn't include Mail Shield (spam filter) or automatic updates

[4] Jetico Firewall
Website: http://www.jetico.com/jpfirewall.htm
Download link: http://www.jetico.com/jpfirewall.htm
Author: Jetico, Inc.
Current version: 1.0.1.61
Version date: July 19, 2005
Download file size: 2.67MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP
Additional software required: None
64 Bit capable: Yes
Portable version available: No
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information:

[5] NetVeda Safety.Net firewall
Website: http://www.netveda.com/consumer/safetynet.htm
Download link: http://www.netveda.com/downloads/index.htm
Author: NetVeda
Current version: 3.8.1
Version date: October 7th, 2007
Download file size: 4.31MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP
Additional software required: None
64 Bit capable: No
Portable version available: No
Non-English languages supported: No
Other relevant information:

[6] ZoneAlarm free firewall
Website: http://www.zonealarm.com/store/conte...ku_list_za.jsp
Download link: http://www.zonealarm.com/store/conte...eeDownload.jsp
Author: Check Point Software
Current version: 7.0.462.000
Version date: December 14, 2007
Download file size: 205KB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Additional software required: None
64 Bit capable: No
Portable version available: No
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information:

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor "Kat". If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact her at kat@techsupportalert.com

6 Best Free Trojan Scanner/Trojan Remover

My top recommendation here is AVG Anti-Spyware [1], a product formerly formerly known as Ewido until it was acquired recently by GriSoft.

Ewido started life as an anti-trojan scanner but has been repositioned as an anti-spyware scanner by the new owners and the new name reflects that re-positioning. Whatever ever it is called it is an excellent anti-trojan and a fine anti-spyware program as well.

In my tests Ewido/AVG Anti-Spyware emerged as was one of the few products that could detect polymorphic and process injecting trojans that were totally missed by many anti-virus products. Unfortunately the free version of AVG Anti-Spyware doesn’t have a memory monitor and this omission significantly reduces the level of active protection provided. However the on-demand scanner is excellent.

I recommend that all average PC users who don't have an anti-trojan scanner download AVG Anti-Spyware and scan their PCs weekly. I suspect you may be surprised at what you will find. AVG Anti-Spyware is also pretty good at removing some spyware infections so bear that in mind next time you encounter a spyware product you can't remove with normal anti-spyware products like Ad-Aware.

Note that AVG Anti-Spyware only works with Windows 2000 and later so Win 9X users should consider the free version of a2 (a-squared) anti-trojan as an alternative. It's not quite as effective as AVG Anti-Spyware but is still an excellent product.

High risk PC users such as P2P file sharers and frequenters of hack sites, should however consider Trojan Hunter or the full version of AVG Anti-Spyware both of which offer the active protection they need.

Note: The free version of AVG Anti-Spyware is actually the same as the paid version but after 30 days the active protection (i.e. memory monitor) becomes non-functional, automatic updates are disabled and kernel level self protection is turned off.

=>index

[1] http://www.ewido.net/en/download/ (6.17MB)
[2] http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/free/ (13.2MB)

7 Best Free Rootkit Scanner/Remover Updated March 10, 2008

Rootkits are a special kind of software tool used to hide trojans, viruses and other malware from your anti virus scanner and other security products. Unfortunately, they are extremely effective which means that some of you reading this will be infected even though you believe your PC to be totally clean. Thankfully there is a new class of security product now available called rootkit detectors that use specialized techniques to detect these dangerous intruders.

Most of these detectors require quite a bit of technical skill to interpret the results but two of the simplest to use are also amongst the most effective. The first is called Panda Anti Rootkit [1]. It's my top recommendation for average users because it not only good at detecting rootkits it also quite effective at removing them. As a bonus it's small and doesn't require installation although you do have to register at the Panda website before you can download it. I suggest everyone download this product and scan their PC’s. The chances of you being infected are small, but for five minutes work it's not worth taking the risk.

Panda Anti Rootkit will detect most rootkits missed by AV scanners, but it can't provide perfect detection; no rootkit detector can. That's why I suggest you use more than one.
Recommended products:

If you are an experienced user you should check out Sysinternals RootkitRevealer [2]. It uses a totally different different technique than Panda Anti Rootkit and BlackLight and by using all three products together you'll be getting excellent overall detection. RootkitRevealer is more complex to use than BlackLight, and is a bit prone to false positives, so take care before deleting detected items.

For experienced users my top recommendation is GMER [3] though you will need to read the documentation carefully before using this one. I like this product a lot but it's not for everyone. So if you are the type that simply likes to press the "scan" button then stick with Panda Anti Rootkit ;>)

Currently two of the biggest guns in the rootkit detection war are the free Chinese products IceSword [4] and DarkSpy [5]. They are not really detectors like the other products rather they offer a set of tools that can help reveal the presence of a rootkit. These tools include a special process viewer, startup manager and port enumerator that are not fooled by rootkits. It's left to the user though, to interpret the results. In the hands of an skilled user, these are powerful tools but not much use to beginners. The Chinese download sites are slow so I've given local download links [4], [5].

The reality is that at the present time, full protection against rootkits may require the use of multiple products and complete removal may require a system rebuild. For more details see my introductory article on rootkits [6].
Product Specifications:

=>index

[1] Panda Anti Rootkit
Website: http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeuse.../en/rkc_en.htm
Download link: http://www.majorgeeks.com/Panda_Anti Rootkit_d5457.html
Author: Panda Security
Date: 04/27/2007
Version:1.07
Download File size: 304KB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows NT/2000/XP/2003
64 Bit Capable: no
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: no
Additional Software Required: no

[2] RootkitRevealer
Website: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb897445.aspx
Author: Bryce Cogswell and Mark Russinovich
Date: 11/1/2006
Version:1.71
Download File size:231KB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: All Windows versions
64 Bit Capable: no
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: no
Additional Software Required: no

[3] GMER
Website: http://www.gmer.net/index.php
Author: GMER
Date:01/12/2008
Version:1.0.14
Download File size: 679KB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista
64 Bit Capable: no
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: no
Additional Software Required: no

[4] IceSword
Website: http://antirootkit.com/software/IceSword.htm
Author: pjf_
Date:12/7/2007
Version:1.22
Download File size: 2.1MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 2000, XP, Vista (version 1.20)
64 Bit Capable: no
Portable version available: yes
Other languages supported: yes
Additional Software Required: no

[5] DarkSpy
Website: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Antivirus/DarkSpy Anti Rootkit.shtml
Author: DarkSpy Anti Rootkit
Date: 2/12/2007
Version:1.0.5
Download File size: 626KB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 2000, XP, 2003
64 Bit Capable: no
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: no
Additional Software Required :no

[6] Dealing with the Rootkit Threat
Website: http://www.techsupportalert.com/rootkits.htm

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Jeffrey Brown. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact Jeffrey at jeffrey@techsupportalert.com

8 Best Free Intrusion Prevention and Detection Utility for Home Use (HIPS) Updated February 2, 2008

These days all users face a real risk of malicious programs secretly installing themselves on their computers. Anti virus and anti spyware products dramatically reduce the chance of infection but are not perfect. In particular they are prone to miss new malware products not yet included in their signature databases. They can also fail to detect malware programs that are cleverly disguised to avoid detection.

To prevent these malevolent programs from slipping by your AV and anti spyware programs you need additional defenses such as a Host based Intrusion Prevention program (HIPS). These programs pick up intruders by their behavior rather than by their characteristic fingerprint. They are not limited to detecting specific malware products but can target a wide range of interlopers. For the most part HIPS programs all work in a similar manner; they stop any suspicious behavior and then ask the user whether they want to allow it. This, as we shall see, can be a mixed blessing.

Unfortunately most HIPS programs, including the popular free programs WinPatrol and Prevx, generate a lot of warning messages many of which are quite cryptic. These messages tend to alarm many less experienced users who feel there is something wrong and simply don't know how to respond. That's why these products are only suitable for the very experienced (and very patient).

Thankfully a new generation of HIPS programs has emerged that use white lists, black lists, policies and behavior analysis rules along with other techniques to reduce the number of messages and the load on the user.
Editor's Choice:

A prime example of this class of product is ThreatFire (formerly Cyberhawk) [1] from PCTools. It's available in a free and paid versions and I use the free version on one of my PC's. It only occasionally issues warnings but when it does the warnings are usually real and need to be taken seriously. In essence it provides a vital additional layer of protection to my AV and anti spyware scanners at little cost in terms of annoyance and no cost in terms of my wallet. It is the stand out free product in the HIPS category. Note: A number of readers have reported browsing performance problems after installing ThreatFire. I've not found that myself but be aware that this may be a problem on some PCs.

There are some solid other contenders. Blink Personal from eEye [2] is a HIPS with a firewall as opposed to products like Comodo and ZoneAlarm Pro that are firewalls with HIPS. It's a useful tool for advanced users though I found ThreatFire to be more effective and yet simpler to configure and use. Blink is also only free for non commercial use.
Product Specifications:

[1] ThreatFire
Website: http://www.threatfire.com/download/
Author: ThreatFire
Date: December 20, 2007
Version: 3.0.13
Download File size: 14MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista
64 Bit Capable: yes
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: no
Additional Software Required: no

[2] Blink
Website: http://www.eeye.com/html/consumer/pr...oad/index.html
Secondary download mirror: http://www.download.com/Blink-Person...html?tag=lst-1
Author: eEye Digital Security
Date: 09/18/2007
Version: 3.2
Download File size: 41.5MB
License: Free for personal or home use
Operating systems supported: Windows 2000, XP, 2003
64 Bit Capable: no
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: no
Additional Software Required: no

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Jeffrey Brown. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact Jeffrey at jeffrey@techsupportalert.com

9 Best Free Anonymous Surfing Service Updated February 16, 2008

There are lots of reasons folks have for wanting to surf anonymously, ranging from simple paranoia to possibly being murdered by a malevolent foreign government. Whatever the reasons, commercial services that offer anonymity are doing real well. However one of the best services JAP [1], is totally free. In fact JAP is perhaps a little too good. That's why the German Police insisted in 2004 that a backdoor be put into the product to allow interception of child pornographers. This was done but subsequently removed as a result of court action by JAP.

An alternative to JAP is a system called Tor [2]. It not only allows anonymous browsing but anonymous P2P, email, IM, and IRC chat as well. Given the US Navy origin of Tor, the suspicion arises that this system may indeed have a permanent backdoor. However the source code is now publicly available so that suspicion can perhaps be set aside. More worrying was a raid by German police in September 2006 involving the seizing of some Tor servers in that country. Again, pedophiles were the supposed target but who really knows.

Whatever, both JAP and Tor offer a level of secrecy that is better than many commercial systems though not watertight. Do expect your surfing to slow down as you'll be relayed through a chain of servers particularly with Tor which has been ground to a near standstill by BitTorrent users seeking to hide from the RIAA. Note: the latest V5 release of JAP now allows Tor users to use JAP as a software access point.

A recent development is the release of the XeroBank Browser [3], previously called TorPark, a special version of the Firefox browser that has been configured to work with the free Tor anonymizing service and run directly from a USB flash drive. It's a neat idea; just plug in your USB stick to any PC with a USB port and Firefox V2 is automatically launched, set up for secure and private surfing.

The most obvious application is internet cafes, public terminals or indeed any PC including your own where you don't want to leave any trace of your private surfing activities. However, what attracts me is not so much the privacy side as the security potential. That's because TorPark creates a secure encrypted connection between the PC you are using and the first Tor server. This allows you to safely transmit information without fear of local interception. This makes it ideal for surfing on open Wi-Fi networks. Previously, secure surfing on such networks required the use of private VPN networks, an option only available to corporates, the well-heeled and the technically savvy. Now, using XeroBank Browser, any surfer can reap the same security benefits for their browsing.

An alternative to XeroBank is OperaTor [4] which is a portable version of Opera with Tor built in. It's smaller and faster than XeroBank though Firefox users will feel more comfortable with XeroBank.

=>index

[1] JAP
Website: http://anon.inf.tu-dresden.de/index_en.html
Download Link: http://anon.inf.tu-dresden.de/download_en.html
Author: JAP is a software development within the Project Anonymity in the Internet sponsored by the German Research Foundation and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The Project works closely with the Independent Center for Data Privacy Schleswig-Holstein.
Current version: 00.09.010
Version date: -n/a-
License: Freeware
Download File size: 15,623,168 Bytes
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista,
Macintosh, Os/2, Linux/Unix
Additional Software Required: Java (downloadable from http://sun.java.com)
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: German
Other relevant information: None

[2] Tor
Website: http://tor.eff.org/
Download Link: http://www.torproject.org/download.html.en
Author: Tor Project
Current version: 0.1.2.19
Version date: -n/a-
License: BSD Freeware (information on website)
Download file size: 6.38 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista,
Mac OS, Linux/Unix
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

[3] XeroBank Browser
Website: http://www.xerobank.com/xB_browser.html
Download Link: http://update.xerobank.com/distro/Xe...ser_latest.exe
Author: XeroBank
Current version: 2.0.0.10a
Version date: -n/a-
License: Freeware
Download file size: 8.8 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows NT and Later
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

[4] OperaTor
Website: http://archetwist.com/opera/operator
Download Link: http://operator.pbwiki.com/f/OperaTor-2.4b.zip
Author: Arche Twist
Current version: 2.4b
Version date: -n/a-
License: Freeware
Download file size: 6.4 MB
Operating Systems Supported: All Windows
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor ­Abdul S. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at abdul@techsupportalert.com

10 Best Free Software Suite

The Open CD site [1] offers for free a wonderful collection of just about every application software product you need to run a PC including the latest version of OpenOffice. Many of these freebies substitute admirably for expensive commercial products. There is Abi Word as an alternative for MS Word, OpenOffice for MS Office XP, Thunderbird for Outlook, The Gimp for Adobe Photoshop, 7-zip for WinZip and many more. If you then add to this collection some of the other utilities from my "46 Best-ever Utilities" collection you will have all the software you'll ever need without spending a cent. Note: All of the Open CD utilities can be downloaded for free as a CD ISO image. If you have a slow connection you can purchase the CD for a as little as $1.99.

The Open CD project was a great idea but updates have been slow coming. OpenDisc is a follow-on project with a similar objective, but it aspires to be more up-to-date and responsive to user needs. The early signs look encouraging, with an impressive download package [2] and a reasonably active blog and forum [2]. This is an extraordinary collection of software containing everything you could want to fully set up your PC. Do note, though, that the ISO download [4] is 555MB.

The folks at Ubuntu Linux [5] are giving away free CDs containing most of the programs on the Open CD together with the latest version of Ubuntu. They will send you the full Ubuntu installation CDs plus a live CD where you can run Ubuntu directly from the CD. You can order as many CDs as you want and you don't even have to pay the mailing costs! When you get your CDs read this this simple introduction to Linux [6] before starting.

=>index

[1] http://theopencd.org
[2] http://theopendisc.com/programs/
[3] http://www.theopendisc.com/bbs/
[4] http://theopendisc.com/latest-version/
[5] https://shipit.ubuntu.com/
[6] http://www.paulstamatiou.com/2005/10...x-for-novices/


(Sponsored Links)

The Best Windows Backup Software
We are in the process of updating all the backup reviews at our site but I can tell you right now that the top product has blitzed the field for a second year in row. In fact, it's improved so much that it's now a one horse race for our "editor's choice." The updated review of the top product is now online. If you have been looking for a backup program, this is the one.
http://www.backup-software-reviews.com/

The Best Re mote Access Software
Our reviewer had given this product category away as "too slow, tool clumsy and too unreliable" but after reviewing this product he's changed his mind; "... at long last a remote access solution that actually works! Quite frankly we agree with him, it's an impressive product. Read the full review here:
http://www.pcsupportadvisor.com/best...s_software.htm

The Best Spam Blocker for Dummies
Most spam filters require you to be a computer expert. Our Editor has found two spam filters for average users that will remove the spam from your email and yet are simple to use.
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-antispam.htm

The Best Drive Imaging Program
In this race there are really only two runners worth considering. This review provides an in-depth comparison of the top contenders but in the end, one product is the clear winner.
http://techsupportalert.com/drive-imaging-reviews.htm

The Best Places to Buy Cheap Inkjet Cartridges
We looked at 47 websites offering compatible inkjet printer cartridges and found 11 that we were able to recommend. Two sites though, stood out from the rest for both price and service. http://techsupportalert.com/cheap_inket_cartridges.htm

11 Best Free File Manager

Windows Explorer is fine for simple file management activities but when you have some serious work to do, you need a multi-pane pane file manager. I use Directory Opus which is IMHO, the best product in this class but costs $59. A good free alternative is xplorer² Lite [1]. It offers a good part of the functionality of Directory Opus and is totally free. As a bonus, its user interface is very similar to Windows Explorer, so most users will find this tool easy to learn and use.

XYplorer is another strong contender. It uses a tabbed view rather than a two pane view which is better when working with multiple folders though not quite as efficient as the two pane approach when working with only two. XYplorer is packed with features included one of the best file-finders I've seen. It's one of those products that impresses more with use. In fact I suspect that if you use it for a month, you'll end up using it permanently. Until the 21st March 2006 it was freeware but has now morphed to shareware but a recent free version (V5.55) is available from the vendor's site [2].

Some folks just love Free Commander [3], a classic two pane Norton Commander style manager. It's certainly powerful but I find the interface a little dated. However it's free for both private and commercial use and that's a big plus.

=>index

[1] http://zabkat.com/x2lite.htm Free for private use, Win 95 and later, 1MBB
[2] http://www.xyplorer.com/free.php Free for private use, Win 98 and later, 836KB
[3] http://www.freecommander.com/ Freeware, Windows 95 and later, 1.61MB

12 Best Free Email Client Updated January 30, 2008

Email programs today are a much more sophisticated than they used to be. In addition to simply sending and receiving email, they now can manage your contacts and calendar, read news groups and RSS newsfeeds, and even integrate with various web-based mail systems like GMail and Hotmail.

Thunderbird [1] is a free open source POP and IMAP email client developed by Mozilla.org, the same folks who brought you Firefox. Feature-wise it sits somewhere between Outlook Express and Outlook which means that it offers an upgrade to Express users and a downgrade to those who use the more advanced PIM features of Outlook. Further features can be added through free extensions. Notable among these is Webmail (Download link below), an extension that allows POP3 access to webmail services operated by Yahoo, Hotmail, Lycos, MailDotCom, Gmail and Libero. Thunderbird email files can be indexed by the Google, Yahoo! and Copernic desktop search programs.

Outlook Express users should seriously consider switching. You’ll be rewarded with a more advanced product including built-in spam filtering, built-in RSS reader, message color coding, fast email search, anti-phishing measures, spell check as you type, inbox filters, Kerberos authentication, automatic updates and the ability to view your mail in conversational threads. On top of that, the product is more secure than Outlook Express and unlike the latter, is still being actively developed.

Switching is made easier by the fact that Thunderbird looks and works similar to Outlook Express. Tools within Thunderbird also allow you to easily import your Outlook Express account settings and stored email. If you need assistance there is an excellent guide from Mozilla available for download at the link below.

If you want an alternative to Thunderbird then try Foxmail [2]. Despite the name it is not related to Firefox, but comes out of China. It's an impressive product with features matching or exceeding Thunderbird and it's also really easy to use. My only real beef is the quality of the help files. Yes, they have been translated to English but rather poorly. So poorly that they are actually quite amusing. Don't let that deflect you though, Foxmail is a top product with eight million users world-wide and is a real alternative to Thunderbird. If you need help there's a good FAQ available in the "Product Specifications" Section.

Another good option that not many people are aware of is the email client built into the Opera Web Browser [3]. The folks at Opera call it their "M2 Mail Client". Though there is no calendar on this program like in Outlook but it is still quite powerful. This built-in e-mail client is a combined e-mail database, news reader, mailing list organizer and RSS newsfeed reader. My experience with it was quite pleasant. It was easy to set up, very intuitive to use and it easily looked up any contact I ever had an email correspondence with.

=>index

[1] Mozilla Thunderbird
Website: http://www.mozilla.org/
Download Link: http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird/
Author: Mozilla Corp.
Current Version: 2.0.0.9
Version date: 12/3/2007
License: Freeware - Mozilla Public License
Download file size: 6.4 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 98-Vista, Mac OS-X, Various Linux Distros
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English Languages Supported: Many: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird/all.html
Other relevant information:
Thunderbird Extensions: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird
Webmail Plugin: http://webmail.mozdev.org/index.html
Guide for Migrating from Outlook to Thunderbird: http://opensourcearticles.com/introd...to_thunderbird

[2] Foxmail
Website: http://fox.foxmail.com.cn/
Download Link: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Interne.../Foxmail.shtml
Author: Foxmail
Current Version: 6.10.201.20
Version Date: 9/25/2007
License: Freeware
Download file size: 5.44 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95-Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English Languages Supported: Chinese
Other Relevant Information:
FoxMail English FAQ: http://www.hazeleger.net/psjs_faqs/index.html
Note: If after installing, the program comes up in Chinese, all you have to do is delete the file chinese.lgb in the installation folder. Developer's website is in Chinese.

[3] Opera (M2 Mail Client)
Website: http://www.opera.com/
Download Link: http://www.opera.com/download/
Author: Opera Software
Current Version: 9.25
Version Date: 1/15/2008
License: Free
Download file size: 4.7 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95-Vista, Mac OS 7.5-OS X, Various Linux Distros, OS/2, QNX, Various Mobile Phones, and Palm OS 5
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages Supported: Many - Available via downloadable language files
Other relevant information:
Opera Language Files: http://www.opera.com/download/languagefiles/
Note: Runs as part of the Opera Web Browser

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Joe Bennett. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact Joe at joe@techsupportalert.com

13 Best Free Web Mail Accessory

It's a real plus to be able to collect your Hotmail, Yahoo! or other Webmail using your POP3 email client. It used to be simple but these days most Webmail services only provide POP3 access for premium paid accounts. However it's still possible to do it though by using a special utility designed for the job.

If you use Yahoo! mail then head straight for YPOPs! [1] that allows you to download your Yahoo webmail from within your POP3 email client such as Outlook, Thunderbird or Eudora. It's free, easy top set up using the instructions on the web site and is simple to use. I use it on multiple Yahoo accounts and it works wonderfully.

The second suggestion is a free utility called FreePOPs [2]. It's a much more flexible product than YPOPs! and will download mail from HotMail, AOL, Yahoo!, Juno, Libero and a myriad of other webmail services as well. It's power and flexibility can confuse new users but thankfully there is a clearly written tutorial for beginners [3] . FreePOPS is for receiving email only and has no sending capabilities.

A third possibility is the Open Source program MrPostman [4] which offers similar functionality to FreePOPs and allows access to email accounts on MS Exchange 5.5 as well. It needs a bit of fiddling to work correctly but you'll find a couple of links below [5], [6} that will help you. My only reservation is that product development seems to have ceased. Note that MrPostman requires the Java Runtime Environment to be installed on your PC.

Another webmail accessory you might useful is POP Peeper, a free utility that lets you know when new mail arrived in your Webmail account. It installs a little tray icon that alerts you to new mail in your Hotmail, MSN, Yahoo, Mail.com, MyWay, Excite, Lycos.com, or RediffMail accounts. It's particularly useful for users who have multiple webmail webmail services. It won't though, download your mail to your POP3 email client. To do that you need one of the products above. It does however, allow you to read and even respond to your mail within the product without opening your email program. This makes it very attractive to Webmail users who don't use a regular email client such as Outlook or Thunderbird.

=>index

[1] http://www.ypopsemail.com/ Free GPL license, Win95 and later, 1.48MB
[2] http://www.freepops.org Freeware, Windows 98 and later, 813KB
[3] http://www.freepops.org/en/tutorial/index.shtml
[4] http://mrpostman.sourceforge.net/ Free Open Source, 1.5MB
[5] http://2mod2.com/mohot/ <= Installing Mr Postman
[6] http://sourceforge.net/bbs/?group_id=68124 <= MrPostman forum
[7] http://www.poppeeper.com/ Freeware, Windows 95 and later, 818KB

14 Best Free Clipboard Replacement Utility Updated February 27, 2008

There are many clipboard managers out there but only a few that do what I want, the way I want.

Clipx [1] and Clipomatic [2] are excellent. They are both fast, lightweight, easy to use and use few system resources. When you press a programmable hot key they launch a pop-up menu of clips to select. The clip selection can be made via mouse or keyboard shortcut thus enabling completion of the entire copy/select/paste process to be made by keyboard alone. They have options to record and display a variable number of clips, as well as to store permanent clips such as text snippets. Both use less than 1MB memory so any system can afford to have them running continuously.
Clipomatic is a bit slicker to use and has more robust permanent item functionality but its real limitation is that it is text only. ClipX will do everything Clipomatic will (although you need to add a plug-in to enable the permanent clip function, available from the same site as ClipX plus copy images.

The only reason I've stopped using those two is because they only keep a limited number of clips. They can hold 30+ but everything they hold is displayed on the hot key popup and if you set them high the popup gets pretty big and cluttered. If you keep the popup slim and small, you only get to keep a limited clip history.

There are other clip utilities that record full histories but most of them fail in simplicity of use. Clip Magic [3] and Yankee Clipper III [4] are two decent ones that record, sort, and archive huge histories and both do it well. But they are overkill; more like clipboard Personal Information Managers than utilities. And the cost of this overkill is the loss of simplicity of operation. Yankee Clipper is now shareware but the last free version is available from the link shown below.

ArsClip [5] is a product that offers a perfect balance between functionality and ease of use. It has the fast and light features of Clipomatic and ClipX but also records a long history of clips. Intelligently, the popup only displays a limited number of clips but the rest of the history is just one click further away. The history is also searchable. ArsClip has permanent items, but expands the basic ability and lets you create several different groups of permanent clips (like forum responses, email addresses, signatures, etc.), each displayed as separate cascading menus on the popup. ArsClip also allows easy one-click editing of clips. To top it all off, ArsClip requires no installation and can be run from a portable drive so you can easily tote all your clips with you.

For those with undemanding clip management needs, ClipX and Clipomatic are both fine choices. They are efficient tiny utilities that, while simple, still enormously increase the functionality of the Windows clipboard. Clip Magic and YCIII are more like full-blown clip management applications rather than utilities, but do offer excellent sorting and archiving if you're a digital pack rat ArsClip is my favorite, offering speed and effortless functionality while hanging on to a wealth of data.

All of these tools offer great advantages over the standard Windows Clipboard. So pick what's right for your needs knowing that whatever you chose you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

=>index

[1] ClipX
Website: http://bluemars.org/clipx/
Download Link:: Latest stable version: ClipX 1.0.3.8 (Nov. 30th, 2005)
Latest beta version: ClipX 1.0.3.9 beta 3 (Feb. 6th, 2008)
Author: Francis Gastellu
Current Version: 1.0.3.8
Version Date: November 30, 2005
License: Freeware
Download File Size: 108KB
Operating Systems Supported: Not Clear ? presumably through Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

[2] Clipomatic
Website: http://www.mlin.net/Clipomatic.shtml
Download Link:: http://www.mlin.net/Clipomatic.shtml
Author: Unknown
Current Version: 2.01
Version Date: Unknown
License: Freeware
Download File Size: 96KB
Operating Systems Supported: Not Clear ? presumably through XP
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: Zip File

[3] Clip Magic
Website: http://www.clipmagic.com/
Download Link: http://www.clipmagic.com
Latest stable version: 3..2.3
Author: MJT Net Ltd
Current Version: 3.2.3
Version Date: Unknown
License: Freeware
Download File Size: 1.83MB
Operating Systems Supported: Not Clear ? presumably through XP
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

[4] Yankee Clipper III
Website: http://www.intelexual.com/products/index.aspx
Download Link for last free version: http://www.brothersoft.com/yankee-clipper-iii-3552.html
Latest stable version: 1.0.1.0
Author: InteleXual Software, LLC
Current Version: 1.0.1.0
Version Date: September 20, 2005
License: Trialware (90 days)
Download File Size: 4.27MB
Operating Systems Supported: Not Clear ? presumably through XP
Additional Software Required: No
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: Must register after 90-day trial

[5] ArsClip
Website: http://www.joejoesoft.com/cms/showpage.php?cid=97
Download Link: http://www.joejoesoft.com
Latest stable version: 3.0.3
Author: arsware.org
Current Version: 3.0.3
Version Date: June 12, 2007
License: Freeware
Download File Size: 613KB
Operating Systems Supported: At least through '98 S.E.
Additional Software Required:
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: Runs from executable

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Oers Kelemen. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at oers@techsupportalert.com

15 Best Free HTML Editor Updated February 18, 2008

Many professional designers and web developers use Adobe software such as DreamWeaver, but quite a few just use a simple text editor and take a certain pride in doing so.

Text editors are fine for programmers or those who really want to learn how to code raw html but most users have no interest in this. They just want an editor that allows them to produce web pages quickly in a WYSIWYG environment.

Ideally such an editor should also be able to validate that the html is standards-compliant, include a FTP client, preview the page in different browsers, support meta-tags and provide basic image editing, while still being free.

That's a big ask. Possibly the free product that goes closest is KompoZer [3], and this is our top recommendation for newbies. It's a full featured WYSIWYG editor based on the Open Source Nvu editor. It fixes a number of problems in Nvu though it still has some stability issues itself.

The problem with this kind of software is that it needs continuous updating, because of the arrival of new browsers and browser versions, new versions of XHTML or CSS, Ajax etc. Unfortunately little is happening with KompoZer - the last release was in July 2006 while Nvu, the product on which KompoZer is based, is now discontinued.

This is a real problem: Evrsoft First Page 2006 [1] is another fine editor, but as its name indicates it's out of date while the last update to Selida [5] was in 2005.

That's why my top choice for experienced users goes to HTML-Kit 292 [2]. HTML-Kit is not a WYSIWYG editor nor is it just a text editor. It's a specialized html editor with so many plugins that it is best considered as a development environment. Its last release date was February 2008. Furthermore it has a big community so that it is continually being developed and updated. The website is full of video tutorials and resources like plugins. It's the only freebie one that is compatible with Vista, and is also portable. It is a great choice for serious coders.

There three more free HTML editors worth mentioning.

First, Amaya [4]. It is a project from the The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and as might be expected, Amaya shines in the area of standards compliance and accessibility. In other areas it is less impressive.

Composer [6] forms part of the SeaMonkey suite that also includes a browser, IRC Chat, Mail and Newsgroup software in the one package. Like Kompozer and Nvu, SeaMonkey Composer is based on the old Netscape editor of the same name but at least the product is still being developed. If you want a WYSIWYG editor and you are finding KompoZer too buggy then you should check this out.

Finally for advanced users there is PSPad [7]. It is a general purpose programming editor with html syntax highlighting. Saying you use PSPad for your html coding scores you immediate points for technical machismo :>)

=>index

[1] Evrsoft First Page 2006:
Website: http://www.evrsoft.com
Download Link: http://www.evrsoft.com/download.shtml
Author: Evrsoft
Current Version: FINAL 3.00
Version Date: Unknown
License: Free (
Download File size: 9.1 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows Me-XP
Additional Software Required: At least MS Internet Explorer 3.02
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English Languages Supported: None
Other Relevant Information: There is a premium edition ($89.95) that
includes web templates.

[2] HTML-Kit 292
Website: http://www.htmlkit.com/
Download Link: http://www.htmlkit.com/download/
Author: HTML-Kit.com
Current Version: 20080209
Version Date: 02/09/2008
License: Free
Download File size: 2.8 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95-Vista
Additional Software Required: At least MS Internet Explorer 3.02
64 Bit Capable: Yes
Portable Version Available: Yes
Non-English Languages Supported: Yes (Dutch, Spanish, German)
Other Relevant Information: Great community and plugins.

[3] Kompozer:
Website: http://kompozer.net/
Download Link: http://kompozer.net/download.php
Author: Fabien Cazenave aka Kazé
Current Version: 0.7.10
Version Date: 2007-08-30
License: Free
Download file size: 7.6 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Linux, Microsoft Windows and Apple
Macintosh users.
Additional Software Required: At least MS Internet Explorer 3.02
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English Languages Supported: Yes (cs, da, de, es, fr, hu, it,ja,
nl, pl, pt, ru, zh)
Other Relevant Information: None.

[4] Amaya:
Website: http://www.w3.org/Amaya/
Download Link: http://www.w3.org/Amaya/User/BinDist.html
Author: The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
Current Version: 10.0-pre2
Version Date: 07/10/2007
License: Free
Download file size: 7.1 MB
Operating Systems Supported: PC Linux, Windows (NT, XP, 2000, 98) and
Mac OS X
Additional Software Required: At least MS Internet Explorer 3.02
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English Languages Supported: Yes (Polish, German)
Other Relevant Information: None.

[5] Selida:
Website: http://selida.camelon.nl/
Download Link: http://selida.camelon.nl/downloadyes.html
Author: Amaryllis Software
Current Version: Selida 3 Beta
Version Date: 04.03.2005
License: Free
Download file size: 3 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows
Additional Software Required: At least MS Internet Explorer 3.02
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English Languages Supported: No
Other Relevant Information: None.

[6] SeaMonkey:
Website: http://www.seamonkey-project.org/
Download Link: http://www.seamonkey-project.org/releases/
Author: Mozilla Foundation
Current Version: 1.1.8
Version Date: 02.07.2008
License: Free
Download File size: 13 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows
Millennium Edition, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Mac OS X
(10.1 or later preferred), Red Hat Linux 7.0 or later; Debian 3.0 or
later; SuSE 7.2 or later;or a version of Linux with kernel 2.2.14 or later and the
following library versions (or compatible):
* glibc 2.2,
* GTK 1.2.x (1.2.5 preferred),
* XFree86 3.3.x,
* Libstdc++ 2.9.0
Additional Software Required: At least MS Internet Explorer 3.02
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English Languages Supported: Yes (Spanish, Swedish, French,
German, Greek, Italian, Japanese and many more)
Other Relevant Information: It is a suite.

[7] PSPad:
Website: http://www.pspad.com/
Download Link: http://www.pspad.com/en/download.php
Author: Jan Fiala
Current Version: 4.5.3 (2298)
Version Date: 25 November 2007
License: Free
Download file size: 3.43 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows
Additional Software Required: At least MS Internet Explorer 3.02
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English Languages Supported: Yes ( Česky, Slovensky, English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Russian, Español)
Other Relevant Information: It doesn't require installation.

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Cristian Eslava. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at cristian@techsupportalert.com

16 Best Free Spam Filter for the Average User Updated April 5 2008

This is a difficult category as ordinary users need products that are easy to use and frankly, most free spam filters are way too complex to set up and use. The best products in this class are in fact, shareware and not free. That said, MailWasher [1] is for most folks, the best free option.

MailWasher is an email preview utility that allows you to check your email on your mail server before you download it to your PC. The advantage of this approach is that you can kill unwanted messages including spam, viruses and large attachments before they get anywhere near your computer. MailWasher flags for you any messages containing possible spam and viruses for you to quickly check. It's a simple idea but quite effective and one which average users find easy to understand.

At the Mailwasher site you can download a free or "Pro" commercial version. The former lacks quite a few of the features of its commercial cousin. the most limiting of which is the ability to a access multiple accounts. However the last free version of MailWasher before it went commercial is still floating around the web [2] and it will handle multiple accounts. It too lacks many of the advanced spam detection features of the current commercial version but is still very effective. Alternatively, try XTerminator [3] which works much the same way as MailWasher and is totally free. I must say though, I prefer MailWasher's user interface.

If you use Outlook or Outlook Express for your email you have another choice, an excellent one actually, if you are prepared to have a small advertisement appended to the end of your outbound email. SPAMfighter [4] is a network based spam filtering system that uses the opinions of over two million users worldwide to help classify spam and what's not.

Like all network based spam filters it requires no training: it's ready to go the minute you install it. Each email is checked after it is received. If the email has been classified as spam by a lot of other users on the network then it deleted from your in-box and placed in a spam mail folder.

It works like a charm and is a commanding choice or Outlook users. If you can't tolerate the ads in your email you can have them removed for $19.95 a year.

=>index

[1] Mailwasher Free (Feature reduced)
Website: http://www.mailwasher.net
Author: Nick Bolton
Version: 6.1.0
Date: January 9, 2008
Download File size: 7.20 MB
License: Feature limited Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported:
Additional Software Required: No
Other relevant information:

[2] Mailwasher (Last free Pro version)
Website: http://www.321download.com/LastFreew...tml#Mailwasher
Author: Nick Bolton
Version: 1.33
Date: May 16, 2002
Download File size: 1.53 MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported:
Additional Software Required: No
Other relevant information:

[3] xTerminator
Website: http://www.artplus.hr/adapps/eng/xterminator.htm
Author: Art Plus
Version: 5.0
Date: December 17, 2007
Download file size: 1.61 MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported:
Additional Software Required: No
Other relevant information: Can be used from USB key or memory card.

[4] SPAMfighter
Website: http://www.spamfighter.com
Author: SPAMfighter
Version: 6.2.5
Date: December 17, 2007
Download file size: 11.8 MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported: English, German, Spanish, Chinese, French, Italian, Greek, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Suomi, Japanese, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Russian and Danish.
Additional Software Required: Requires Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express
Other relevant information: The free version will tag the bottom of each of your outgoing e-mails with a "Protected by SpamFighter" footer.

[5] Spam Blockers Reviewed
Description: A brief review of the best paid spam blockers on Tech Support Alert.
Website: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-antispam.htm
Author: Ian Richards
Date: July 2005

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Denis S. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at denis@techsupportalert.com

17 Best Free Spam Filter for Experienced Users April 5, 2008

There are many spam filters available employing lots of different techniques. In my experience "learning" spam filters that use the Bayesian statistical approach out-perform most other types of filters I've tried. Not only are they better at detecting spam they are also less liable to classify your real mail as spam.

This effectiveness takes a little time to develop as the filter has to be trained to recognize your spam from your normal mail. It takes a week or so before results start becoming accurate and best results may take a month or more.
POPFile [1], a free, open source spam filter, was one of the first Bayesian filters and is still one of the best. It works as a proxy mail server so that means that it can be used with any POP email client. Setup is reasonably straightforward for experienced users but beginners may be better of with Mailwasher.

Spamato [2], is a promising, free open source spam filter with a difference. Rather than rely on one Bayesian spam filter to classify spam, Spamato uses a “multifaceted spam filter system that combines a variety of anti-spam techniques”. Like POPFile, it can work with any email client but additional plugins are available to integrate Spamato into Outlook, Thunderbird and the Mozilla Mail Client.

Other excellent free Bayesian spam filters available include SpamBayes [3] and K9 [4]. Both are simple to install though, like all statistical filters, they need to go through a training phase before they reach full effectiveness. A newer addition to this list is Spam Terrier [5] from Agnitum. If you are new to Bayesian spam filters and use Outlook, you will find this program is a tad easier to install and use than SpamBayes or K9.

=>index

[1] POPFile
Website: http://popfile.sourceforge.net/
Author: POPFile
Version: 1.0
Date: December 21, 2007
Download File size: 4.6 MB
License: Free Open Source
Operating systems supported: Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Mac OS, Linux, Unix
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, English (UK), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portugese (Iberian), Portugese (Brazilian), Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian
Additional Software Required: Requires Perl and Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express
Other relevant information: Supports the following protocols: POP3, SSL POP3, IMAP, HTTP (MSN, Yahoo, AOL), Exchange (with Outclass extension).

[2] Spamato
Website: http://www,spamato.net
Author: Keno Albrecht
Version: 0.99.9
Date: August 1, 2007
Download File size: 4.97 MB
License: Free Open Source
Operating systems supported: Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Mac OS, Linux
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported:
Additional Software Required: Java 5 (JRE) Environment or higher, .NET Framework 1.1 or higher (if using Outlook plugin in Windows)
Other relevant information: Supports the following protocols: POP3, IMAP

[3] SpamBayes
Website: http://spambayes.sourceforge.net/
Author: SpamBayes
Version: 1.0.4
Date: March 22, 2005
Download File size: 2.88 MB
License: Free Open Source
Operating systems supported: Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Mac OS, Linux, Unix
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, English (UK), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portugese (Iberian), Portugese (Brazilian), Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian
Additional Software Required: None
Other relevant information: Supports the following protocols: POP3, IMAP

[4] K9
Website: http://www.keir.net/k9.html
Author: Robin Keir
Version: 1.2.8
Date: April 18, 2004
Download File size: 113 KB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported: Dutch, English, French
Additional Software Required: No
Other relevant information: Supports the following protocols: POP3

[5] Spam Terrier
Website: http://www.agnitum.com/products/spam-terrier/index.php
Author: Agnitum
Version: 1.0.75
Date: January 25, 2007
Download File size: 1.58 MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, 2003 Server
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported:
Additional Software Required: Requires Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express
Other relevant information: Supports the following protocols: POP3, SSL POP3, IMAP, HTTP (MSN, Yahoo, AOL), Exchange.

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Denis S. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at denis@techsupportalert.com


18 Best Free Popup Stopper Updated February 9, 2008

The need for popup stopper utilities has fallen away in recent months as many browsers such as Firefox and IE6 now have this function built in.

If you need a separate popup stopper and have good PC skills I suggest you try The Proxomitron. [1] It operates by filtering and transforming all your Web pages on the fly. As a result you can not only stop pop-ups but pop-unders, ads, flash animations, status bar scrollers and just about anything else. Besides, the next time you are asked what pop-up stopper you use, you can answer; "Why, I use The Proxomitron," and how cool is that ;>)

The product's author, Scott R. Lemmon, unfortunately has passed away but support for The Proxomitron continues through its large enthusiast following. This is evident from the main download site which offers several versions of the product including the last version Scott released before his death. The site also has setup instructions, resource links and lists of sites where you can test whether the product is working.

If you are a novice PC user I suggest you try the Google toolbar [2] rather than The Proxomitron. It's free as well, and has an excellent popup filter built in. It's nowhere near as flexible as The Proxomitron, but it requires no setup. As a bonus it also makes Google searches easier.

=>index

[1] The Proxomitron
Website: http://proxomitron.info/
Download Link: http://www.proxomitron.info/files/index.html
Author: Scott R. Lemmon
Current version: Naoko 4.5
Version date: June 2003
License: Free.
Download File size: 1,380 KB
Operating Systems Supported: All Windows except Vista (Not tested on Vista so far).
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No installation needed so is completely portable.
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information:
http://accs-net.com/smallfish/prox.htm
http://www.sankey.ws/proxomitron.html

[2] Google Toolbar.
Download Link: http://toolbar.google.com/
Current Version:
Version Date:
License: Free for private use.
Download file size: 2.88kb
Operating Systems Supported: Windows XP/2000 SP3+ Mac OS X 10.2+, or Linux.
Portability: Needs installation. (Takes only seconds).
Additional Software Required: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Jim Campbell. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact Jim at jim@techsupportalert.com

19 Best Free Desktop Search Utility

A couple of years back there were no contenders for this title. Today we have a wealth of choices. In a close race I would have to say X1 Enterprise Client [1] comes out in front because of the clear way it presents search results. It used to be a $99 product but you can now get X1 for free by downloading the 30 day version. After the 30 day trials expires some advanced features are disabled but you can continue to use the product forever. X1 is fast, reliable and can index the contents of 370 different file types including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, Outlook, Outlook Express, HTML, text, ZIP and Adobe PhotoShop It also indexes files for most of the popular e-mail clients such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Netscape, Eudora and Lotus Notes.

X1 can index html files but can't index your web browsing history. If the later is important to you, you may want to look at Google desktop search [2]. It not only will search your web history but offers an Outlook toolbar, integrated Gmail search and a novel desktop sidebar that allows personalized search, news, weather, photos and more. The Sidebar also includes a quite effective application launcher. Some folks love the Sidebar but others, me included, find it intrusive.

Exalead [3] is a little known but highly impressive desktop search program from France. It's great strength is the highly customizable nature of its search, probably the best of any product. It can also do fuzzy searches as well. If you need to make highly specified searches then do try Exalead, you wont be disappointed. Versions are available for English and French speakers.

All the products I've mentioned require Windows 2000 or later. If you are stuck with an earlier version of Windows then try the free Copernic Desktop Search [4]. Just because I'm mentioning it last don't think it's inferior to the others - it's a very competent and balanced product and one of the few freebies that supports network shares. Indeed many experienced users think that overall, it's the best available. If the email search results were as effectively presented as X1 I'd be inclined to agree.

=>index

[1] http://www.x1.com X1 Enterprise Client, Free for personal use, Windows XP, 12.9MB.
[2] http://desktop.google.com Freeware, Windows 2000 SP3 or later, 2MB
[3] http://corporate.exalead.com/enterpr...op_screenshots Freeware, Windows 2000 or later, 8.7MB
[4] http://www.copernic.com/en/products/...rch/index.html Freeware, Windows 98 and later. 3MB

20 Best Free Digital Image Viewer Updated March 10, 2008

There are three good choices here, first there's the classic IrfanView. Irfan [1] is a first class product but one for which I have mixed feelings. That's why it's been in and out of my "46 Best Freeware" list several times. It's an amazingly capable product but it just doesn't work the way I want it to. Other users though, just love it.

A product I feel more comfortable with is XNView [2]. Like Irfan it is very versatile; it can read and display nearly 400 types of graphic files and convert any of these to over 50 formats. It displays pictures very quickly and these may be viewed full screen, as slideshows or thumbnails. It's quite capable at processing images, too; you can adjust brightness, color, apply filters or effects, crop photos, re-size, convert format and more. These operations can also be carried out from a batch file, which makes it ideal for converting large digital photos to smaller sizes for the web or emailing. It supports drop and drag, has many plug-ins, is available in 44 languages and has full cross-platform support including Mac. XNView has a lot of similarities with IrfanView, so many in fact, that it comes perilously close to plagiarism. Put positively, one may say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, however the developer of IrfanView must feel more than a little miffed. XNView is free for non-commercial use, all Windows versions plus many other platforms. The standard version for Windows is 3.3MB but I suggest you download the complete version with all plug-ins which weighs in at 6.8MB.

My third choice and personal favorite is FastStone Image Viewer [3]. This is a speed demon with a zippiness in displaying images that's reminiscent of the old ACDSee before it suffered feature bloat. It supports all major graphic formats and popular digital camera RAW formats as well. It also has good, basic image editing facilities, a great slide show and a very cute interface. Much to like here. Free for personal use, Windows 98 and later.

=>index

[1] IrfanView
Website: http://www.irfanview.com/
Download link: http://www.irfanview.com/
Author: Irfan Skiljan
Current version: 4.10
Version date: November 21, 2007
License: Freeware for private use
Download File size: 1.10MB
Operating Systems Supported: 98/NT/2k/Me/XP/95/2003/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: Yes
Non-English languages supported: Multi language support
Other relevant information: Extensive plugins available
Layers are not supported

[2] XNView
Website: http://www.xnview.com/
Download link: http://pagesperso-orange.fr/pierre.g...loadwin32.html
Author: Pierre-e Gougelet
Current version: 1.92
Version date: December 19, 2007
License: Freeware for private use
Download File size: 3.5MB, Complete with plugins 6.8MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95/98/NT/2000/ME/XP/Vista
Windows 3.x, Mac OS X, Linux x86/Linux ppc, FreeBSD x86, OpenBSD x86, NetBSD x86, Irix mips, Solaris sparc, Solaris x86, HP-UX, AIX,
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None
Non-English languages supported: French, German
Other relevant information: Multi-language with D/L of additional language pack

[3] FastStone Image Viewer
Website: http://www.faststone.org/
Download link: http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDownload.htm
Author: FastStone Soft
Current version: 3.4
Version date: January 15, 2008
License: Freeware for private use
Download File size: 4.0MB
Operating Systems Supported: 98/NT/2 /Me/XP/95/2003/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: Yes
Non-English languages supported: Multi language support
Chinese(Simp & Trad), Danish, Dutch, French, German,
Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese,
Russian and Spanish
Other relevant information: Supports dual-monitor configurations
Tutorial available: 3.7MB

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor "L. Dahl." If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact her at ldahl@techsupportalert.com

21 Best Free Digital Editor Updated February 18, 2008

I use to recommend The Gimp [1] but after dozens of letters from newbies who couldn't manage to install it or work out the idiosyncratic user interface, I've decided to confine that recommendation to more experienced users. If that's you and you patient enough to learn the product's sometimes quaint ways then you may not need to consider anything else. If you are used to Photoshop you might like to look at GIMPShop [2] , which changes the user interface of GIMP to something more familiar though frankly, I prefer the original.

For other less experienced users there is Paint.net [2], an amazingly sophisticated piece of work from computer science students at Washington State University. It's not quite as powerful as The Gimp but a lot easier to use and install. It's also getting better; the new V3 beta continues this product's impressive development record. However V2.x is only for Windows 2000 while V3 requires XP SP2. You will also need Microsoft's bulky .NET framework installed on your PC.

Another possibility is PhotoPlus 6.0 [3] from a company called Serif . It's an impressive piece of work; again it installs easily and it's loaded with features including layer support. In fact, it looks and feels like a "lite" and slightly clunky version of Adobe PhotoShop. Note: You need to register with your email address to get PhotoPlus and you may receive promotional material as a result.

Recently I've had a lot of positive reader feedback about a French product called PhotoFiltre [4]. It's available in a number of languages including English and ( for a digital editor) is a tiny 1.6MB download. Like PhotoPlus it looks and works like an old version of PhotoShop. It can read and save files to JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, PNG, RLE, comes with an impressive range of tools, brushes and filters. However it can't handle layers. That said, it offers a lot of functionality for a small program.

=>index

[1] The GIMP
Website: http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/
Author:
Date: 02/18/2008
Version: 2.4.4
Download File size: 15MB
License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE Version 2, June 1991 Operating systems supported: Windows 2k,XP,2003,Vista 64 Bit Capable: n/a
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: yes
Additional Software Required: no

[2] Paint.net
Website: http://www.getpaint.net/
Author:
Date: 02/18/2008
Version: 3.22
Download File size: 1.6MB
License:.Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License
Operating systems supported: Windows 2003/XP/Vista
64 Bit Capable: yes
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: no Additional Software Required: .NET Framework 2.0

[3] PhotoPlus
Website: http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/sof...us/default.asp
Author:
Date: 02/18/2008
Version: 6
Download File size: 19.5MB
License: Requires registration
Operating systems supported: Windows 2000/2003/XP
64 Bit Capable: n/a
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: no
Additional Software Required: no

[4] PhotoFiltre
Website: http://photofiltre.free.fr/
Author:
Date: 02/18/2008
Version: 6.3.1
Download File size: 1.6MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
64 Bit Capable: n/a
Portable version available: no
Other languages supported: no
Additional Software Required: no

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Mike Norris. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at mike@techsupportalert.com

22 Best Free Digital Photo Organizer Updated February 8, 2008

In this category there is only one outstanding winner and that is Picasa2 [1] and in my efforts to assess other photo organizers I have used this as my benchmark. The three main contenders that came the closest are DigiBookShelf light [2], Studio Line PhotoBasic3 [3] and finally as it was a joy to use was Album Burger [4]. These were all different in the way they represented and organized your photos.

When you first run Picasa 2 it offers to scan your whole hard drive (or designated locations) for photos and videos. Scanning is surprisingly quick and when finished you'll have all your shots neatly organized into folders on a time line basis. Now you can view your shots one at a time, in slideshow or traversing the time line.

The editing features are limited compared to professional image editors yet they provide you with every function amateur photographers need including one click red eye reduction. Similarly adding labels to photos is a cinch while a simple but effective star rating system allows you to flag favorite snaps. Individual folders can also be password protected. Facilities are provided to import your images from your camera in multiple formats including RAW. You can send photos to your choice of web printing services, cut a CD, print to a local printer or share with others via your own blog or instant messaging. It is also worth noting that you can create web albums with free online storage, backup, and automatic resizing when exporting or email etc. Simply sensational.

DigiBookShelf has been around since 2004 and it appears it has been left that way. This is no in-detriment to the software as it is in a class of its own and I enjoyed the virtual library. You do have to register to use all of the facilities, this is free. The surround of the bookshelf seems stark and cold, but don't let that put you off as you can download new skins and new books ends. Tutorials are available on the website.

Not only can you catalog your photos, you can edit them manually or automatically, resize, reformat (although limited) and download pictures from your camera straight into an album. Editing is quite comprehensive and there are filters for you to work with and if you wish you can add links to your photographic editor anyway. There are options to email, transfer to disk and print, but not just print the photo as you can make cards (very limited, but if the photo speaks volumes then you only need that picture) and create calendars. Still not enough? Well okay, you can save your albums as an executive file which is handy when creating your disks or pen drive and add text or sound to your pictures or album. You can even create a slide show or a webpage. Being a bookaholic I just love the way I can view each album on a book shelf, sad I know, but its creative and wonderful to use.

Studio Line PhotoBasic3 has many features that the other two have and don't have, but it is a large download if you have a 56k modem as it is a 56.6MB download. This 'free' version is for personal use only and you do have to register. PhotoBasic3 does everything you want and ask for in a photo-organizer, it displays the albums as you would see them in Windows Explorer and then the real fun starts as you won't need a photo editor at all with this. If you do want to use a photo editor then there is a link that enables you to do this. When opened you will see three main panels, left hand side is the Album files and boxes of editing and web galleries links, the middle is the photo display and information below (the information can be adapted to your own requirements) and the left is the information bar. Note in this 'free' version - Timeline - Image Archive Filter - Print Project Pages are not available.

The software can add descriptions to your images, send photos per email in just the right size, print, display slide-shows, publish web-galleries, safe-keep your images on CD or DVD. Download your photos from your camera and organize them into files and back up your images. The image edit facility has all that you would require to ensure that the photo is edited to your demands with the added bonus of some excellent effects.

Album Burger was a joy to work with, the inane smile of the burger icon with its tongue hanging out didn't put me off. To engage this software you have to create your first album, it will ask for a title and any other information you find important. If there is not a category then select your photos, select the frame for each picture and background color, when done then select your page design layout. Simple, as you can have different designs on each page. Whilst it collates the photos you will notice a window 'Album Explorer' that enables you to manage the files and open them. When you move your mouse over each photo, transparent icons will appear at the top enabling you to seek the exif information, edit the photo, magnify, define actual size of image and print. By right clicking this gives you the same information and more. You can cut paste insert extra pictures, make CD/DVD and slide shows as well as create your own web gallery and upload to the web.

There is one more I should mention, but I am not considering it as an organizer, more of a wonderful presentation of your special photographs and is well worth downloading. Have a look anyway, http://www.scrapbookflair.com/

=>index

[1] Picasa2
Website: http://picasa.google.com/
License: Freeware
Download file size:5.93 MB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista
System Requirements: 300MHz Pentium with 128MB memory or better

[2] DigiBook® 2005 Light- version 11
Website: http://www.digibook.com/en/index.html
Download: http://www.snapfiles.com/get/digibook.html
License: Freeware
Download file size:13.9MB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: 98(SE only)/Me/NT/2000/XP/(Vista unknown)
System Requirements: - Intel Pentium-class processor or equivalent, (PIII 500 or above recommended) 28MB of RAM - 30MB of available HD space

[3] Studio Line PhotoBasic3
Website: http://www.studioline.biz/EN/downloa...ic/default.htm
License: Freeware (for personal use only)
Download size: 56.6MB
Windows operating systems supported: Vista* / XP / 2000 / ME
System requirements: Pentium III or 4 or compatible processor, with a minimum of 800 MHz, higher recommended - RAM: 256 MB, more recommended - 150 MB disk space for programs (allow extra space for data) - 24 bit graphics adapter with monitor resolution of 1024 x 786 pixels

[4] Album Burger
Website: http://www.albumburger.com/en/index.asp
License: Freeware
Download size: 9.39MB
Windows operating systems supported: 98/ME/2000/XP (Vista not assessed yet)
System requirements: none stated

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Tony Bennett. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at tony@techsupportalert.com

23 Best Free Text Editor Updated February 10, 2008

There are lots of text editors. Some of these aspire to be Notepad replacements while others are full-on programming editors.

My top choice in the first category is EditPad Lite [1]. It has a Notepad-like interface combined with tabbed document windows, the ability to open as many documents as you like, no file size limitations and unlimited un-do capability. It's main downside is that it's for personal use only.

If you need a free Notepad replacement that you can use commercially I suggest NotePad2 [2]. It's small and fast, but unfortunately lacks the tabbed Windows that are so handy in EditPad. NoteTab Lite [3] is another possibility but personally I find it a tad slow and the single-level undo a severe limitation.

If, however, you are looking for a text editor that can serve both as a Notepad replacement and a source editor you might like to check out Notepad++ [4]. It performs impressively in both roles. It's loaded with features to make your programming more productive including syntax and brace highlighting for many languages, search and replace using regular expressions, macro recording and more. It is also highly configurable through plug-ins, has a wide range of themes and offers multi-language support.

More specifically geared to programming is PSPad [5]. It supports syntax high-lighting for most popular languages, has an inbuilt spell checker, hex editor, macro recorder, FTP client and more.

Other source code editors worthy of evaluation are ConTEXT [6] and my personal favorite, Crimson [7].

Choosing the "best" programming editor is too controversial a topic even for me so I suggest you try all these and see what works best for you.

=>index

[1] EditPad Lite
Website: http://www.editpadpro.com/editpadlite.html
Download link: http://www.editpadpro.com/editpadlite.html
Author: Just Great Software
Current version: 6.3.1
Version date: August 16, 2007
Download file size: 3.1MB
License: Free for non-commercial use
Operating systems supported: Windows NT4/98/2000/ME/XP/Vista
Additional software required: None
64 Bit version available: No
Portable version available: Yes
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information:

[2] NotePad2
Website: http://www.flos-freeware.ch/notepad2.html
Download link: http://www.flos-freeware.ch/notepad2.html
Author: Florian Balmer
Current version: 2.0.18
Version date: July 26, 2007
Download file size: 247KB
License: BSD
Operating systems supported: NT-based versions of Windows
Additional software required: None
64 Bit version available: No
Portable version available: Yes
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information:

[3] NoteTab Lite
Website: http://www.notetab.com/ntl.php
Download link: http://www.notetab.com/ntl.php
Author: Fookes Software
Current version: 5.6
Version date: January, 2008
Download file size: 2.08MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95/98/2000/2003/NT4/ME/XP/XP64/Vista
Additional software required: None
64 Bit version available: Yes
Portable version available: Yes
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: Many free resources for NoteTab Lite are available on the website.

[4] Notepad++
Website: http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm
Download link: http://sourceforge.net/project/showf...kage_id=102072
Author: SourceForge
Current version: 4.7.5
Version date: January 14, 2008
Download file size: 1.99MB
License: GNU General Public License
Operating systems supported: Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/2003/XP and some versions of Ubuntu Linux
Additional software required: No
64 Bit version available: None
Portable version available: Yes
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information: A lot of plug-ins are available on the website

[5] PSPad
Website: http://www.pspad.com/
Download link: http://www.pspad.com/en/download.php
Author: Jan Fiala
Current version: 4.5.3 (Build 2298)
Version date: November 25, 2007
Download file size: 3.43MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 98/2000/ME/NT/XP/Vista
Additional software required: None
64 Bit version available: No
Portable version available: Yes
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information: 3 pages of editor extensions are available on the website

[6] ConTEXT
Website: http://www.context.cx/
Download link: http://www.context.cx/downloads.html
Author: ConTEXT Project Ltd
Current version: 0.98.5
Version date: December 3, 2006
Download file size: 1.6MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista
Additional software required: None
64 Bit version available: No
Portable version available: No
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information:

[7] Crimson
Website: http://www.crimsoneditor.com/
Download link: http://www.crimsoneditor.com/
Author: Ingyu Kang
Current version: 3.70
Version date: September 22, 2004
Download file size: 1.19MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP
Additional software required: None
64 Bit version available: No
Portable version available: No
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information: Crimson Editor became an open source project in December 2006. It is being rewritten under the name Emerald Editor. There is Beta version 3.72 information on their website http://www.emeraldeditor.com/

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor "Kat". If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact her at kat@techsupportalert.com

24 The Best File Archiver/Zip Utility Updated February 10, 2008

I checked out six utilities: QuickZip, ICEOWS, IZArc, TUGZip, ZipGenius and 7-Zip.

The product that impressed me the most was the Open Source program 7-Zip [1]. It was the only product in the group that could unpack a multi-part RAR volume embedded in a ZIP archive and the only product to give a meaningful error message when an attempt was made to unpack a 256bit encrypted WinZip archive. My only reservation is that it handles fewer archive types than some of the other products; it only supports 7z, ZIP, CAB, RAR, ARJ, GZIP, BZIP2, Z, TAR, CPIO, RPM and DEB.

If that's really important to you then I'd recommend IZArc [2]. It can read nearly 50 archive types including media formats like ISO, BIN and IMG and can write (and convert) to 12. Furthermore it can handle multi-part zip files while 7-Zip can't. You couldn't go wrong with either product. 7-Zip is a little more robust while IZArc is a little more flexible. If you already use WinZip you'll find either 7-Zip or IZArc make excellent companion products. They can can read just about all the major archive formats WinZip can't, including the widely used RAR.

=>index

[1] 7-Zip
Website: http://www.7-zip.org/
Download link: http://www.7-zip.org/
Author: Igor Pavlov
Current version: 4.57
Version date: December 6, 2007
Download file size: .exe 840KB, .msi 1103KB
License: 7z.dll: GNU LGPL and unRAR restriction, all other files: GNU LGPL
Operating systems supported: Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista. There is a port of the command line version to Linux/Unix.
Additional software required: None
64 Bit capable: Yes
Portable version available: Yes, on http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/7-zip_portable
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information:

[2] IZArc
Website: http://www.izarc.org/
Download link: http://www.izarc.org/download.html
Author: Ivan Zahariev
Current version: 3.81
Version date: June 14, 2007
Download file size: 3.55MB
License: Freeware
Operating systems supported: Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP
Additional software required: None
64 Bit capable: Beta version (113KB)
Portable version available: Yes (IZArc2Go on the download page)
Non-English languages supported: Yes
Other relevant information: You can encrypt files using Rijandael - AES (256-bits) encryption

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor "Kat". If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact her at kat@techsupportalert.com

25 Best Free Hotkey / Macro Recorder Utility Updated January 30, 2008

Do you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again? Do you open the same program, then start another utility to help with that program, time after time, day after day? Are you visiting the same websites, or checking your email so many times a day that you lose count? Do you type the same text information so often that you could do it in your sleep? For those of you who answer “Yes” to any of those questions, there are programs that make those tasks fast, simple, and easy to perform called Hotkey and Macro Recorder utilities. Real time-savers, and let’s face it, who has enough time to do everything we want nowadays? With the right utility and a small amount of effort to learn and set up the program to suit your needs, you can enjoy your computing experience in a much more pleasant and productive way, and never be bored with those repetitive tasks again!

For macho macro power you can't beat AutoHotkey [1]. This extremely versatile program can automate most anything by capturing keystrokes, mouse clicks and even joystick movements and linking them to virtually any action you want including application launching, surfing to a particular website, and even inserting text or code snippets. Combine these features with a powerful scripting language and you have a product of awesome capability. Indeed, calling this product a mere "hotkey" utility is like calling Westminster Cathedral a chapel. However, all this power does come at a cost; AutoHotkey is no product for beginners. That being said, there are many ready-made AutoIt v2 scripts available on the Internet that do just about anything you can think of, ready to download and put to good use. It’s the product I use and an easy first choice for the technically literate.

For average users a good choice is PS Hot Launch VVL [2]. This is a free utility that allows you to define your own hotkeys so that a single key press can launch an application, insert commonly used text, change your audio volume, or just about anything else. The program requires Win95/98/ME or WinNT/2000/XP, and is an excellent performer even on slow machines. PS Hot Launch is the perfect alternative to the Start menu and the Quick Launch panel.

A second option for average users is Qliner's Hotkeys, a free Open Source utility [3]. It's strength is ease of use, wide support for international keyboard layouts, plus a handy reminder key that flashes up your current hotkey assignments. Just hold the Windows key for three seconds and up pops an on-screen keyboard display with icons on the keys that are configured. You can use this not only to remind you of hotkey combinations, but also for Drag and Drop configuration. On the minus side, it's not quite as flexible as PS Hot Launch. It runs under Windows 2003, Windows XP, and Windows Vista, but requires that Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 be installed.

Still another choice, which is not really a hotkey utility at all but achieves the same result by using "magic words", is SlickRun [4]. This program places a tiny text box on your screen and when you type specially assigned words into the box, it will launch a program, go to a web site, or whatever. For example if you type "mail" it can launch your mail reader. Type in "46" and it can take you to the web page of the "46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities." Of course, it's up to you to define these “magic words” and you can have as many as you want. It all works very neatly with some really nice touches like auto-complete for your “magic words”, which means you only have to type in two or three letters and SlickRun will complete the rest. Another great feature is an eyedropper tool that allows you to identify a program you want to "hotkey" just by clicking in its application window. There's also a built-in note jotter and calendar date display.

Hotkey utilities overlap with another class of programs: Program Launchers. For details of this category see item #90 on the extended list

=>index

[1] AutoHotKey
Website: http://www.autohotkey.com/
License: Freeware
Download File size: 1969KB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None


[2] PS Hot Launch VVL
Website: http://www.pssoftlab.com/pshl_info.phtml
License: Freeware
Download File size: 711KB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

[3] Qliner's Hotkeys
Website: http://qliner.com/hotkeys/overview.htm
License: Freeware
Download File size: 3.50MB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0

[4] SlickRun
Website: http://www.bayden.com/SlickRun/
License: Freeware
Download File size: 175KB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor John Potter. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at john@techsupportalert.com

26 Best Free Registry Cleaner Updated February 18, 2008

To people who are unfamiliar with what a registry is, don't read any further, playing with the computer's registry can be dangerous and result in a catastrophic failure of your computer. The registry is what keeps your computer running, it tells the computer what to do when certain events happen. However, during use, a lot of unwanted rubbish makes it into the registry through uninstalled programs, viruses, hackers and other forms of computer attacks. Cleaning the registry is a process that can make your computer run faster and more efficiently, but you must be extremely careful.

BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY REGISTRY CLEAN, ENSURE THE REGISTRY IS BACKED UP AND THAT THE FILE IS SAVED IN AT LEAST TWO DIFFERENT SPOTS ON YOUR COMPUTER!

EasyCleaner [1] is my main recommendation. I personally use it once every week to clean all the junk out of the registry. It has a good history of not creating problems and has a list of registry values that must not be cleaned under any circumstance. It will also detect and delete duplicate files and clean up all your temporary files to clean up more disk space.

Eusing Free Registry Cleaner [2], is also a good program but doesn't have the features that EasyCleaner has. However, I only know of a couple of problems with this product cleaning the registry.

Another option is a program called RegSeeker, but it has caused many problems to many people and I will not place any link to it as it is a very disappointing product

[1] EasyCleaner
Website: http://personal.inet.fi/business/toniarts/ecleane.htm
Download Link: http://personal.inet.fi/business/toniarts/ecleane.htm
Author: Toni Helenius
Current Version: 2.0.8.306
Download File Size: 2.81 MB
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 95-Vista
Additional Software Required: Windows 95 Only - Winsock 2 Update from microsoft.com
Other Languages: Many, see website for details
Other Information: None

[2] Eusing Free Registry Cleaner
Website: http://www.eusing.com/free_registry_...ry_cleaner.htm
Download Link: 5 Download Sites accessible from Website.
Author: Eusing Software
Current Version: 1.6
Download File Size: 890.8 KB
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 95-Vista
Additional Software Required: None
Other Languages: Many, see website for details
Other Information: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Xavier Dannock. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at xavier@techsupportalert.com

27 Best Free BitTorrent Client

It's amazing how quickly BitTorrent has become one of the major download formats. With good reason too: it's fast, equitable and efficient. If you haven't yet installed a BitTorrent client on your PC, you should as there are some great free clients available. I recommend the Open Source program Azureus [1]. It's beautifully implemented, well supported and, being Java based, is available for multiple platforms. It's very feature rich and supports embedded tracker so you can host your own torrents, UPnP, a distributed decentralized database for decentralized torrents and DHT (Distributed Hash Table) which distributes indexing responsibility across multiple clients rather than relying on a single web-based tracker plus many other features too numerous to mention. There are also a lot of plug-ins available for Azureus including a competent RSS feed scanner. One downside with Azureus is that the Java code will eat up your CPU cycles so you need a reasonably fast PC.

A good alternative is uTorrent [2] which comes in at a tiny 170KB. Small it may be but it's very fast and will show Azureus a clean pair of heels of most downloads. It's also lean on resources, easy to use and requires no installation. It formidable feature list includes trackerless downloads, multiple simultaneous downloads, multi-scrape, UPnP and has an inbuilt RSS reader which is an impressive achievement for such a tiny package .One downside is that uTorrent has recently been acquired by BitTorrent.com, a company that many torrent users feel is uncomfortably close to digital copyright owners and their RIAA enforcers.

A new arrival on the scene is BitTyrant, a hot-rodded version of Azureus.

The modification is fiendishly clever. While most clients only consider the number of peers available for downloading, BitTyrant also considers the capacity of each peer and the data rate required to ensure reciprocation. It then utilizes this information using a dynamic algorithm to send only to the highest capacity peers data at the minimum rate for them to reciprocate.

In plain English this translates to your downloads running faster, much faster; around 65% on my tests.

Now, the standard Azureus client may be one of the most full featured clients available but it's certainly not the fastest kid on the block. With the BitTyrant mods, though, it's a speed demon. In fact, it's the fastest client I've tried.

But there's a downside and a serious one at that. This mod breaks down the fairness characteristics of the BitTorrent protocol. That means if you use BitTyrant the performance of other users will suffer to some degree. Now I'm not comfortable with that but it's not up to me to tell you what you should feel.

=>index

[1] http://azureus.sourceforge.net/ Open source, any PC that supports Java, 8.6MB
[2] http://www.utorrent.com/ Freeware, all Windows versions, 170KB
[3] http://bittyrant.cs.washington.edu/ Freeware, any PC that supports Java, 8.1MB

28 The Best Free FTP Client Updated January 31, 2008

I used WS_FTP Pro as my principal FTP client for years. What started out as a simple but effective product, gradually, with each new version, became more feature-loaded and less effective for my rather simple needs. With the release of Version 9 it was clear to me that the product was no longer suited to my requirements so I started looking for an alternative. After trying seven different FTP clients, I decided that the best for me was the Open Source utility FileZilla [1].

FileZilla uses a simple layout based on a two-pane interface that looks a bit like the early versions of WS_FTP. But this simplicity is deceptive, it is actually quite a powerful product. There's a full-featured site manager, firewall and proxy support, SFTP, SSL and Kerberos GSS security, restart, drag 'n drop and a lot more. The only significant feature that's missing is site-to-site transfer, but that's of no importance to me. What is of importance is that FileZilla is fast, totally reliable, secure and and very easy to use. There's also a free FileZilla FTP server which I haven't used but I hear that it's just as good as the client.

The new V3 of FileZilla adds support for Linux, Mac OS X and FreeBSD but feature wise offers no advantage over V2. In fact I prefer V2 as it includes better file editing.

If you want a SCP (secure copy) client for Windows that uses SSH and offers a rich feature set there's WinSCP [2]. It features a built-in terminal, it can launch Putty directly, allows remote file editing, direct transfer and transfer queuing, and the ability to limit download speed rates.

For true heavyweight lifting you might like to consider the lite LE edition of the commercial product CoreFTP [3]. It's the program of choice for many Net-savvy users who have found their way to it as it's skinny enough to be fast yet feature-rich enough to be a heavyweight. It's especially good at doing fast, everyday transfers that need a better-than-average FTP client.

CoreFTP has four particular strengths:

1. It has the best tricky-site access ability of any FTP client I've used.
2. It has an excellent GUI that makes it outstandingly easy to use.
3. It has a massive feature set that somehow doesn't slow it down.
4. It has good on-screen real-time logging.

There are sites - especially those with extra security, where it takes about 8 seconds to connect - that cause some FTP clients insurmountable problems; CoreFTP will get you in. I couldn't log on to one site at all with WS_FTP and some of the others, but this one did the trick. The neat on-screen log display also lets you know what's happening if you have problems. You can force-view invisible files, like htaccess. The chmod feature is useful, you can set your directory and file permissions with a very clear interface; ditto the clear and fast site manager. There's a nice one-click reconnect to the last site in use.

Here is a feature list: HIPAA compliance, SFTP/ SSH, SSL/ TLS, FTP/ HTTP/ SOCKS proxy, IDN, drag 'n drop, site manager, session manager, queue manager, custom screens, bandwidth control, caching, auto-transfer, retry/resume, auto-reconnect options, auto S/key, remote file-searching, advanced directory listings, start/stop/resume of transfers, full recursive chmod, browser integration, site to site transfers, file viewing and editing, firewall support, custom commands, FTP URL parsing, command line transfers, filters. This should be enough for most people. If not, upgrade to the $25 Pro version that that has custom sounds, two-way encryption, ping and traceroute, and more.

=>index

[1] FileZilla
Website: http://filezilla-project.org/index.php
Download link: http://filezilla-project.org/download.php?type=client
Author: Various
Current version: 3.0.5.2
File Size: 2.9MB
License: Free, GNU General Public License
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Linux, BSD, OSX, and others.
64 bit capable: No
Any special system requirements: No
Portable version available: No
Additional software required : None

[3] WinSCP
Website: http://coreftp.com/download.html
Download link: http://winscp.net/eng/download.php
Author: Martin Prikryl
Current version: 4.0.6
File Size: 2.3MB
License: Free, GNU General Public License
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, 2003 Server, Vista
64 bit capable: No
Any special system requirements: No
Portable version available: No
Additional software required : None

[3] CoreFTP LE
Website: http://coreftp.com/download.html
Download link: http://coreftp.com/download.html
Author: Core FTP
Current version: 2.0
File Size: 3.3MB
License: Free for personal or educational use
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, 2003 Server, Vista
64 bit capable: No
Any special system requirements: No
Portable version available: No
Additional software required : None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Chris Price. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at chris@techsupportalert.com

29 Best Free Bookmark Cleaner Updated March 10, 2008

AM-DeadLink [1] scans your browser bookmark file for dead links or duplicate links. When I tried it on my huge favorites file I discovered 17% of my links were dead. I've now got a much leaner set of favorites and the comfort of knowing that the links actually work. Additionally you can download FavIcons for all your Favorites and Bookmarks.

=>index

[1] AM-DeadLink
Website: http://aignes.com/deadlink.htm
Download link: http://aignes.com/deadlink.htm
Author: Aignesberger Software GmbH
Current version: 3.2
Version date: February 27, 2008
License: Freeware
Download Filesize: 1.1 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Win9x/Me/NT4/2000/2003/XP/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: arabic, basque, catalan, chinese_big5, chinese_gb, czech, danish, dutch, estonian, finnish, french, galego, german, greek, hebrew, hungarian, italian, japanese, korean, latvian, norway, polish, portuguese-br, portuguese, russian, serbian, slovak, spanish, swedish, taiwan, turkish
Other relevant information: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Jason. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at jason@techsupportalert.com

30 Best Free Folder Synchronization Utility Updated March 10, 2008

File synchronization utilities are designed to help you keep updated copies of files or folders in two or more different locations, such as different computers, network drives, USB drives, online storage, etc. While a file sync utility could be used as a simple backup tool (called one-way syncing), its real power lies in keeping two sets of identical working files, such as keeping current versions of the same data files on both your home computer and office computer (two-way syncing). File sync utilities keep track of which files you create or change, or even delete in one location, and can create, change and even delete those same files in the other location.

I believe there are two easy first choices here. The first is SyncToy for Windows XP SP2 or Vista [1] This program is more than a syncing program; it can copy, move, rename, and delete files between any number of folders and even computers. The program operates on the principal of pre-defined folder pairs. You define and name these pairs and then when you want to perform a task, you recall one of these pairs and carry out the operation. Syncing can be in either direction and covers all options from complete sync to updating newer files only. SyncToy can also keep track of files you rename and rename those in the sync destination. Overwritten files in the destination can be saved in the recycle bin, in case you need the older version. It is a well rounded utility, with almost every feature you could ever want in a sync utility. In my opinion the only major things that it lacks, is direct support for ftp, and a portable version. (Note: SyncToy requires V2.0 of Microsoft's .NET framework.)

If you need a synchronization solution that also works for older Windows versions, has support for ftp, or includes a portable version, I recommend Allway Sync [2] It is a very capable program with a great selection of features. It is very easy to use “right out of the box” with a clear-cut and simple interface, yet it will allow for fine tuning of your synchronization jobs through, sync rules, inclusion and exclusion filters, versioning policies and more. One nice feature is its ability to detect and begin sync jobs the moment a removable device is connected. When it comes to certain aspects of file tracking, SyncToy probably has the edge, but Allway Sync’s ability to upload files to online storage through ftp, and the existence of two different portable versions, including one that supports U3 technology, makes it first-rate option as well. The free version of Allway Sync has a limitation that restricts it to synchronizing no more that 20,000 files in a 30 day period, but this is probably more than enough for the average user.

Another highly recommended program is 2brightspark's SyncBack Freeware [3]. It works for Windows 98 through XP (only partial Vista support) and has a number of features that SyncToy lacks. One very nice feature is its ability to sync to a remote FTP server. It also supports using zip compression so the files take up less space on removable media. 2brightspark also has a commercial version of the program, SyncBackSE, which has many additional features, and full Vista compatibility. However for many average users the freeware version will prove sufficient.

=>index

[1] SyncToy
Website: http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/do...s/synctoy.aspx
Author: Microsoft
Current version: 1.4 (2.0 Beta)
Version date: October 30th 2006
License: Freeware
Download File Size: 971 KB
Operating Systems Supported: XP/Vista
Additional Software Required: Microsoft .NET Framework v2.0
64 Bit Capable: For 64-bit support use version 2.0 Beta (Download Link)
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

[2] Allway Sync
Website: http://allwaysync.com
Download link: http://allwaysync.com/download.html
Current version: 7.1.2
Version date: February 29th 2008
License: Freeware for use in a non-commercial environment
Download File Size: 3.7MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/2003/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: Yes
Portable Version Available: Yes
Non-English languages supported: Multiple
Other relevant information: 20,000 file sync limit per month.

[3] SyncBack
Website: www.2brightsparks.com
Download link: http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html
Current version: v3.2.14
Version date: October 30th 2006
License: Freeware
Download File Size: 1.63MB
Operating Systems Supported: 32-bit MS Windows 98/NT/2000/XP/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: In commercial version.
Portable Version Available: U3 (In commercial version only)
Non-English languages supported: Multiple
Other relevant information: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Paul Lawrence. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at paul2@techsupportalert.com

31 Best Free Screen Capture Utility Updated February 8, 2008

Three recommendations here: The first is PrintScreen [1]. It's a prime example of the KISS principle. It does exactly what I want, in the way I want while avoiding the trap of providing lots of useless and confusing features. It's the little things that count like making the hot key PrtSc so I don't have to remember it, and automatically sequentially naming the output files for multiple screen shots.

A second recommendation is Screen Hunter [2]. It's a commercial product but the "lite" free version is excellent, offering more features than Gadwin at the cost of a little added complexity. It can save in .jpg, .bmp or .gif formats.

Also highly recommended is FastStone's Screen Capture [3] It doesn't require installation and yet has more features than you could ever want including the ability to capture scrolling screen shots across more than one screen page. It can also save in BMP, JPEG, JPEG2000, PNG, GIF, TIFF and TGA formats. In many ways it's like the full commercial version of ScreenHunter except that it's free for personal use. NOTE: Since version 5.4 Screen capture has become commercial shareware. You can however get the last free version from here [4]

[1] Gadwin PrintScreen
Website: http://www.gadwin.com/products.htm
Download link: http://www.gadwin.com/download/
Author: Gadwin Systems
Current version: 4.3
Version date: August 20, 2007
License: Freeware
Download File size: 2826KB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 98/Me/2000/2003/XP/Vista, Windows NT 4.0SP6
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

[2] Screen Hunter Free
Website: http://www.wisdom-soft.com/products/screenhunter.htm
Download link: http://www.wisdom-soft.com/downloads/downloadfiles.htm
Author: Wisdom Software
Current version: 5.0.125
Version date: November 21, 2007
License: Freeware
Download file size: 3.3MB
Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

[3] Fastone Screen Capture
Website: http://www.faststone.org/
Download link: http://www.faststone.org/FSCapturerDownload.htm
Author: FastStone Soft
Current version: 5.9
Version date: November 26, 2007
License: Shareware
Download file size: 1.4MB
Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: Yes
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

[4] Fastone Screen Capture (last free version)
Website: http://www.faststone.org/
Download link: http://www.aplusfreeware.com/categor...neCapture.html
Author: FastStone Soft
Current version: 5.3
Version date: February 12, 2007
License: Free for home users
Download file size: 1380KB
Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor "L. Dahl." If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact her at ldahl@techsupportalert.com

32 Best Free Search Toolbar

Search toolbars allow users to do web searches without having to go first to the home page of a search engine. This really saves a lot of time. In the last year search toolbars have become a hotly competed product class and as result, users now have an excellent choice. The "best" in terms of features is probably Yahoo's Toolbar whose features include anti-spyware capabilities as well as popup blocking. It's for Internet Explorer but they are currently offering a beta version for Firefox. My only beef with the Yahoo product is that I prefer to use Google for my web searches rather than Yahoo and that's why I use the Google Toolbar which also offers popup blocking though no anti-spyware features. On the other hand it includes a useful web form spell-checker and a few other goodies not found in the Yahoo product. Google also offers a full Firefox version as well as the standard IE version.

Some folks still like Dave’s Quick Search Bar because it gives access to multiple search engines. Another advantage is that it resides in your task bar rather than your browser so it's easily accessible from any application. Other Dave's features include a dictionary, thesaurus, calculator and a lot of customizability.

=>index

http://toolbar.yahoo.com/ie (3MB)
http://www.dqsd.net/ (327KB)
http://toolbar.google.com/deskbar/ (447KB)

33 Best Free Download Manager Updated February 18, 2008

There will come a time where you are downloading a very large file and the download stops part of the way through. If you are using the Windows download applet there is nothing you can do about it; you will have just have to start the download again. A good download manager will allow you to resume the download, picking up where it left off.

Good download managers will also allow you to start several concurrent download sessions for the one download file. This works by splitting the file into parts with each part downloaded at the same time. At the end the file is then re-assembled. Depending on your ISP this can result in dramatic improvements in download speed.

Free Download Manager [1], is the clear winner of the products we have reviewed. It's fast, stable and integrates well into both Internet Explorer, Opera and Firefox though the later works best with the free FlashGot extension installed.

"Free Download Manager" offers simultaneous multi-part downloads, easy restarting and recovery, a powerful scheduler, downloading from mirrors and just about everything else you need in a download utility. Additionally, there is no embedded adware or nag screen.

I've had some reports that the author's site shows up red on McAfee site Advisor but I've recently double checked the download file and it is 100% clean. However the cautious may want to download it from the Softpedia link who also rate it as "spyware free."

If you are looking for another option the commercial FlashGet [2] program is now available for free. It's certainly full featured and nicely integrated but I find it overly complex to use. The product has a bit of a history of bundling in other products with the install but when I tried V1.72, it was totally clean.

=>index

[1] Free Download Manager
Website: http://www.freedownloadmanager.org
Download Link: http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/download.htm
Alternative Download Link: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Interne...-Manager.shtml
Author: freedownloadmanager.org
Current Version: 2.5 build 745
Download File Size: 1.59 MB
License: Unrestricted Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 95-Vista
Additional Software Required: None
Other Languages: Spanish
Other Information: None

[2] FlashGet
Website: http://www.flashget.com/index_en.htm
Download Link: http://www.flashget.com/index_en.htm
Author: fg.com
Current Version: 1.7
Download File Size: 1.43 MB
License: Unrestricted Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 95-Vista
Additional Software Required: None
Other Languages: Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese
Other Information: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Xavier Dannock. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at xavier@techsupportalert.com

34 Best Free Web Site Ripper Updated February 15, 2008

HTTrack [1] is one impressive product: it's easy to use, has an excellent user interface, offers every feature you could want, while being blindingly fast and free of any adware. If you like to download web sites so that you can "browse them offline", this is the product to get. HTTrack is compatible with all windows versions, and is GPL licensed freeware. WinHTTrack is the Windows release of HTTrack, and WebHTTrack is the Linux release. There are no official binaries supplied for the Mac OS, but the FAQ list details on how they can be compiled from the original source files.

Alternatively, there is the free edition of PageNest [2], which allows you to download and categorize websites, as well as browse them within the programs own viewer. PageNest can also show what new or updated content has added to an archived website. The Pro version of PageNest, among other things, adds the ability to schedule auto-updates to archived sites.

The third program in this category, Local Website Archive (Lite Edition) [3], only allows you to download web pages and other documents on the web. However, it as good integration with Opera, Firefox and Internet Explorer, allowing you to capture a web pages URL directly from the browser. Unlike HTTrack or PageNest, this program has a built in search facility, which identifies the pages that a word or phrase appears in, and highlights the words in the document. It also has the useful ability to zip up a stored page, so it can be emailed.

=>index

[1] HTTrack
Website: http://www.httrack.com/
Download Link: http://www.httrack.com/page/2/en/index.html
Author: Xavier Roche & other contributors
Current version: 3.42
Version date: 16th November, 2007
License: Free - GPL Open Source
Download File size: 3.38MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95 ? Vista, Mac, and various Linux distributions
64 Bit Capable: Untested
Portable Version Available: No, but zip file version available
Non-English languages supported: Many; Available via downloadable language packs

[2] PageNest
Website: http://www.pagenest.com/
Download Link: http://www.pagenest.com/download.html
Author: Mike Sutton
Current version: 3.04
Version date: December 2008
License: Free ? For personal use only
Download File size: 1.74MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 98 - Vista
64 Bit Capable: Untested
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: Commercial version available

[3] Local Website Archive
Website: http://www.aignes.com
Download Link: http://www.aignes.com/download.htm
Author: Aignesberger Software GmbH
Current version: 2.0.3
Version date: Unknown (visited 3-JAN-2008)
License: Free ? for personal use
Download File size: 1.44 MB
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95 - Vista
64 Bit Capable: Untested
Portable Version Available: Yes, installer has USB option
Non-English languages supported: Possibly Russian
Other relevant information: Commercial version available

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Peter Feerick. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at peterf@techsupportalert.com

35 Best Free Download/Upload Meter Updated January 31, 2008

NetMeter [1] is a simple bandwidth meter, quick to install and does the job: you get a good real-time graph of the action, and totals if you need them - perhaps for an ISP's monthly DSL bandwidth allocation check. The system tray icon can substitute for the graph, if you don't want to sacrifice screen real estate.

A good alternative, if you have the Microsoft .NET package V1.1 already installed, is BitMeter II from Codebox Software [2]. It's a little more feature rich than NetMeter but uses a tad more of your PCs resources to deliver those features.

A third candidate is NET Traffic Meter [3]. Feature wise this is closer to BitMeter II than NetMeter and like BitMeter requires the .NET framework, though in this case V2.0 rather than 1.1. From the web site it appears development has ceased but the product is still available from numerous download sites including this one [4].

=>index

[1] NetMeter
Website:http://www.metal-machine.de/readerror/
Download link: http://www.metal-machine.de/readerro...pmod;dl=item14
Author: ReadError (Sic)
Current version: 1.1.3
File Size: 616KB
License: Freeware, donations encouraged.
Operating Systems Supported: All 32 bit Windows versions .
64 bit capable: No
Any special system requirements: No
Portable version available: No
Additional software required : None

[2] BitMeter II
Website: http://codebox.no-ip.net/controller?page=bitmeter2
Download link: http://codebox.no-ip.net/controller?page=bitmeter2
Author: Codebox software
Current version: 3.5.3
File Size: 1.0MB
License: Freeware
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 2000, XP
64 bit capable: No
Any special system requirements: No
Portable version available: No
Additional software required : .NET 1.1 Framework

[3] NET Traffic Meter
Website: http://www.trafficmeter.be (not currently online)
Download link: http://www.snapfiles.com/get/nettrafficmeter.html
Author: Kevin Chabot
Current version: 2.1
File Size: 834MB
License: Freeware
Operating Systems Supported: Windows NT, 2000, XP
64 bit capable: No
Any special system requirements: No
Portable version available: No
Additional software required : NET 2.0 Framework

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Chris Price. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at chris@techsupportalert.com

36 Best Free TCP Settings Tweaker Updated February 10, 2008

Whether you use a modem or broadband, you'll get a faster connection if you tweak your connection's TCP parameters.

Among the most important of these is MaxMTU which, in simple terms, needs to be set to the largest value possible without your data being broken up into smaller chunks en-route. Most techies determine MaxMTU by trial and error, pinging, or using different packet sizes but it's a tedious procedure and definitely not for beginners. TCPOptimizer [1] from SpeedGuide.net is a free utility that will do the job for you automatically. Furthermore, it will use this value to advise you on your other TCP settings and then apply these values at the press of a button.

There are commercial programs that will do much the same thing but TCPOptimizer does it just as well and is totally free. The only minus is the lack of in-program help, however, you'll find a useful FAQ at the SpeedGuide website.

=>index

[1] TCPOptimizer
Website: http://www.speedguide.net/
Download link: http://www.speedguide.net/downloads.php
Author: SpeedGuide.net
Current version: 2.0.3
Version date: January 06, 2006
License: Freeware
Download File size: 596KB
Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: Yes
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Matthew Evans. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at matthew@techsupportalert.com

37 Best Free File Cleaner Updated March 10, 2008

My first choice here is CCleaner [1], a product that started off as pretty basic but has continued to improve to the point where it is now very close to the best in its class regardless of price. It's very effective in freeing up disk space by removing unused and temporary files, cookies, Recycle bin entries, Windows hot-fix files, old prefetch data, history and cache files in many applications such as Internet Explorer and Firefox and much more. Additionally it will check the Windows Registry for invalid entries.

There are some minuses: first the installation settings are quite aggressive so do check them carefully. Second the product installation, by default, includes the installation of the Yahoo Toolbar so if you don't want it, make sure you uncheck that option. Finally I wouldn't trust this product to do your Registry cleaning; that's a job for a specialist utility. Similarly if your aim is to remove all your surfing traces rather than just to clean up your disk I'd be inclined to use a specialist cache cleaner.

However if simply freeing up disk space is your objective the CCleaner is hard to beat.

A good companion to CCleaner is Empty Temp Folders [2]. It's not as complete a product as CCleaner and it's been a while since it was last updated however I find it always manages to clean more temporary file than CCleaner. That's why I suggest you use both.

Another cleaner with a solid following is Steven Gould's CleanUP! [3]. It's a compact, well designed and very well maintained and is a real alternative to CCleaner. I've had a couple of instances of it causing problems on my test PC but this may be specific to my setup. Certainly the feedback I get from users has been uniformly excellent.

In a related category is "PC Decrapifier" [4]. Its job is to remove unwanted trial versions of programs and services that come preinstalled on new PCs. You can remove all this stuff manually but PC Decrapifier does this automatically. It can't remove every bit of junk from every computer but the list of products [5] it will remove is quite impressive.

=>index

[1] CCleaner
Website: http://www.ccleaner.com/
Download link: http://www.ccleaner.com/download
Author: Piriform Ltd.
Current version: 2.0.5.555
Version date: February 21, 2008
License: Freeware
Download Filesize: 2.61MB
Operating Systems Supported: Win9x/Me/NT4/2000/2003/XP/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: Yes
Non-English languages supported: Albanian, Arabic, Bosanski, Bulgarian, Català, Cesky, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Dansk, Deutsch, Español, Français, Galego, Greek, Hebrew, Italiano, Japanese, Korean, Lietuviu, Macedonian, Magyar, Nederlands, Norwegian, Polski, Português, Português (do Brasil), Romana, Russian, Serbian Cyrillic, Serbian Latin, Slovensky, Suomi, Svenska, Türkçe
Other relevant information: None

[2] Empty Temp Folders
Website: http://www.danish-shareware.dk/soft/emptemp/ (Currently Offline.)
Download link: http://www.majorgeeks.com/download1575.html
Author: Finn Ekberg Christiansen
Current version: 2.8.3
Version date: August 2001
License: Freeware
Download Filesize: 651KB
Operating Systems Supported: Win9x/Me/NT4/2000/2003/XP/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None.
Other relevant information: None

[3] CleanUp!
Website: http://cleanup.stevengould.org/
Download link: http://www.stevengould.org/software/.../download.html
Author: Steven R. Gould
Current version: 4.5.2
Version date: June 26, 2006
License: Freeware
Download Filesize: 332KB
Operating Systems Supported: Win9x/Me/NT4/2000/2003/XP/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

[4] PCDecrapifier
Website: http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/home
Download link: http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/download
Author: Jason York
Current version: 1.8.8
Version date: January 19, 2008
License: Free for Personal use. Commercial License available.
Download Filesize: 520KB
Operating Systems Supported: XP/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information:

[5] http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/apps

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Jason. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at jason@techsupportalert.com

38 Best Free Resource Meter Updated January 31, 2008

Resource meters tell you what's happening, where, on your computer. It's the sort of thing engineers have to be able to see, all the time, or they get withdrawal shakes; and everyone should have that info too. For instance, you'll see poorly-coded web pages lugging your whole system down with an 80% CPU load; trojans showing up, with that characteristic 7-second intermittent activity pulse as they pop up looking for a Net connection; unacceptable hard drive temperatures that show your fan settings are wrong; and so forth. If I had my way, PC and laptop manufacturers would be forced to install machine-specific utilities of this type by law, under stiff penalties including being hung, drawn, and quartered if they didn't. But then I'm an engineer.

TinyResMeter [1] is an itsy-bitsy system monitor. Unlike many other monitors, it doesn't consume a lot of CPU utilization in order to tell you your CPU utilization. In addition to CPU usage, you can optionally monitor cache, RAM, page file and swap file usage, running processes and threads, disk space utilization and a number of other parameters as well. Also built-in, is a screen grabber that saves the current screen to disk when you press PrintScreen. How the author fits all this into 54KB beats me. A new version is on the way offering even more functionality.

TinyResMeter will do the trick if you need basic system info, plus a few extra widgets. There are other system resource meters that do more, at the cost of more overhead, and more screen space consumed. An example of such a product is StatBar [2]. It's got a lot more features than TinyResMeter but at the cost of a higher resource overhead needed to run the program. Nice product though and easy to try out as the program doesn't require installation.

Lavalys Everest is the commercial Big Daddy in this field with 100 pages of info, it's probably overkill except for PC manufacturers and modders but their old free edition (Everest Home Edition 2.20), though now unsupported, is still available from some sources [4].

However, if you have a popular make of PC or laptop, you should perhaps search for a manufacturer-specific resource meter first - there are free ones out there such as i8kfanGUI for Dell laptops. These will often do more, as they can be targeted to the specific make and model of machine - fan speed control being one aspect.

=>index

[1] TinyResMeter
Website: http://perso.accelance.net/~pesoft/trm/us_trm.html
Download link: http://perso.accelance.net/~pesoft/trm/us_trm.html
Author: PESoft
Current version: 0.96a, a later version 0.97 is available to PESoft newsletter subscribers
File Size: 54KB
License: Freeware
Operating Systems Supported: All 32 Windows versions
64 bit capable: No
Any special system requirements: No
Portable version available: This version is portable
Additional software required : None

3] StatBar
Website: http://www.statbar.nl/
Download link: http://www.statbar.nl/download.php
Author: Mr B
Current version: 2.406
File Size: 1.65MB
License: Freeware
Operating Systems Supported: All 32 bit Windows versions
64 bit capable: No
Any special system requirements: No
Portable version available: No
Additional software required : None

[3] Lavalys Everest
Website: http://www.lavalys.com/
Download link: http://www.filehippo.com/download_everest_home/
Author: Lavalys Consulting Group
Last Free version: 2.2 Current commercial version 4.2
File Size: 4MB
License: Freeware
Operating Systems Supported: All 32 bit Windows versions
64 bit capable: No
Any special system requirements: No
Portable version available: No
Additional software required : None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Chris Price. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at chris@techsupportalert.com

39 Best Free Sticky Notes Utility Updated January 30, 2008

Some people hate these programs while others swear they can't work effectively without them. I used to be in the first category but with so many things on my plate these days, I'm slowly being converted. The function that I find really useful is the reminder that pops up at a designated time and date. I use it for simple things like "Put up the latest issue on the web site."

ATNotes [1] is a neat implementation that features configurable alarms, resizable windows, variable fonts and a host of other useful features. The product is remarkably similar to the class-leading commercial sticky notes utility called, TurboNotes, a case perhaps of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. NOTE: As of the 30th of May 2005, development work has ceased and the author's site pulled down. However someone has built a mirror of the author's site [1] where you can read about ATnotes and download the final version. You can also download ATNotes from a number of other sites including the second link shown under [1] below.

If you want an alternative that is still being developed try StickyPad [2. Some folks actually prefer it to ATnotes and I must admit the interface is very slick but I find the alarm function to be rather inflexible. It cannot, for example, handle recurring events such as birthdays.

If you want that functionality you are better off with another sticky note program called "Stickies" [2] from Zhorn Software. It's not quite as svelte as the other two programs I've mentioned but it's very effective in operation. It has a particularly nice feature allowing the notes to be attached to any window so when you reopen that window the note will popup. This means you can add notes to things like webpages. Next time you visit that page the note reappears automatically.

If you like the idea of notes that attach themselves to webpages then you should also look at the free Firefox extension
called Internote [4].

=>index

[1] ATNotes
Website: http://atnotes.free.fr/news.html
Alternate download site: http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/fil...d,17660,00.asp
License: Freeware
Download File size: 756KB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

[2 StickyPad
Website: http://www.greeneclipsesoftware.com/stickypad.html
License: Freeware
Download File size: 47KB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/Server2003/XP/Vista
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

[3 Stickies
Website: http://www.zhornsoftware.co.uk/stickies/
License: Freeware
Download File size: 953KB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

[4 Internote
Website: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2011
License: Freeware
Download File size: 118KB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: Mozilla Firefox

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Andrew Seward. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at andrews@techsupportalert.com

40 Best Free Secure Erase Utility

Eraser [1] is a free, GNU license utility that will securely erase files, folders or even whole disks from any Windows or DOS PC. Eraser overwrites data area with selectable random data patterns and also wipes data in the paging file, Internet cache, temporary files, Internet cookies, unused disk space and a number of other places where data can secretly lurk. It handles FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS partitions as well. Erasing files with high security will always be a difficult and time consuming task and can never offer absolute 100% safety. However Eraser makes the task about as easy as it be, with a security level beyond most conceivable requirements. The author's site is sometimes unavailable but you can find Eraser at numerous download sites including MajorGeeks [2].

If Eraser is overkill for your needs try UltraShredder[3]. It's not as comprehensive a solution to secure deletion as Eraser but it's much easier to use. It's also small and will work from a USB flash drive.

Another rather different alternative is Darik's Boot and Nuke [4]. Its an Open Source program that's used to construct a floppy disk or CD that will automatically wipe the all hard drives of any PC booted from the disk. It's great for bulk disk cleaning of PCs and is useful too as an emergency tool for quickly removing sensitive information. However this power makes it a dangerous tool in the hands of beginners.

=>index

[1] http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/ Free GNU license, all Windows versions, 2.4MB
[2] http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4221.html
[3] http://www.xtort.net/xtort-software/ultrashredder/ Freeware, Windows 98 and later, 245KB
[4] http://dban.sourceforge.net/ Free Open Source, All Windows versions, 1.99MB

41 Best Free Registry Editor Updated February 10, 2008

I've used the full version of Resplendent Registry Editor for years and have never had any reason to look for an alternative. Recently a subscriber asked me what was the best free registry editor and that made me realize, I've never looked at that particular product category.

The first product I checked out was Registrar Lite [1], the free version of Resplendent Registry Editor, and I'd have to say it's an impressive freebie. To start with, it works totally reliably - an essential feature for any registry editor. On top of that, the user interface is simple, the functionality is excellent, and, perhaps most importantly, it has a really fast search. I did, however, miss the "search and delete" option which is, unfortunately, only available on the full product. That said, it leaves Regedit for dead. If you know a better free registry editor, drop me an email.

NOTE: Finding the Lite version on the Resplendent site is tricky. Go to the download page [1] and locate the heading "Registry Tools." On the right hand side in faint gray letters there is a link called "Download Free Lite Version." You can also get it from various download sites, including, MajorGeeks [2].

=>index

[1] Registrar Lite
Website: http://www.resplendence.com
Download link: http://www.resplendence.com/downloads
Author: Resplendence Sp
Current version: 5.5.6
Version date: December 28, 2007
License: Freeware
Download File size: 2.58MB
Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: Yes
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: NA
Other relevant information: None

[2] Registrar Lite - alternate download link:
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download469.html

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Matthew Evans. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at matthew@techsupportalert.com

42 Best Free Process Viewer Updated February 14, 2008

All Windows versions since Win95 have included the Task Manager utility. Easily evoked by the Ctrl Alt Del keyboard combination it allows users to see the programs that their computer is running along with some information about each task. However the information offered is minimal and the control options provided are few.

This is the reason why many third-party alternatives to Windows Task Manager have emerged. Typically such products show all the running process and services not just some and provide more information about each along with better control.

From years the power user choice has been Process Explorer [1] from Mark Russinovich at SysInternals. With the recent acquisition of the SysInternals by Microsoft, Process Explorer has been further enhanced yet remains free to all users.

Process Explorer uses two vertical panes. The top contains all active processes while the second shows either all the handles opened by a selected process and, optionally, a list of DLLs and memory mapped files for each process in the lower pane. A very handy search feature allows you to work backwards from named DLLs or handles to the owning process. The feature list is almost endless though only a few will ever be used but average users. From the V10 release adds even more features including a faster refresh rate. The current version 11.04 is an astonishing product and a freeware gem.

The only problem with Process Explorer is that it provides too much information. While welcomed by technical users the sheer volume of data and display options can easily overwhelm average users.

Average users are better served by another product called What's Running [2]. Although a little slow to start-up it has some attractive features:

First, processes are shown in a tree rather than a list, a representation that makes the parent and child relationship crystal clear.

Second, What's Running doesn't only show processes; it also displays, in separate tabs, running services, dlls, drivers, IP connections, startup programs and system information. The startup tabs and IP tabs are of particular interest as they are of sufficient quality that you don't need separate dedicated applications to provide this information.

For many users What's Running will provides all they need from a task manager. The inclusion of a startup program manager and internet connection viewer within the same package makes What's Running a most attractive option.

[1] Process Explorer
Website: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb896653.aspx
Download link: http://download.sysinternals.com/Fil...ssExplorer.zip
Auhtor: Microsoft
Current version: 11.04
Version date: November 5, 2007
Download file size: 1.6MB
License: Freeware Microsoft EULA
Operating systems supported: Windows 9x/ME, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit version available: yes, for x64 and IA64 processors
Portable version available: stand alone executable
Non-English Languages supported: None
Other relevant information:

[2] What's Running
Website: http://www.whatsrunning.net/whatsrunning/main.aspx
Download link: http://www.whatsrunning.net/whatsrunning/download.aspx
Auhtor: Christer Fahlgren
Current version: 2.2
Version date: April 16, 2006
Download file size: 1.1MB
License: Free for non-commercial use
Operating systems supported: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit version available: No
Portable version available: No
Non-English Languages supported: None
Other relevant information: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Fabrizio Lodi. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at fabrizio@techsupportalert.com

43 Best Free System Information Utility Updated March 10, 2008

The freeware utility AIDA32 was for a long time the best system information / inventorying tool ever, regardless of price. It documented just about every aspect of your hardware and software configuration as well as checking networks and providing memory benchmarks. However the developer announced in March 2004 that the free product had been frozen and development work shifted to another organization where AIDA32 was re-launched as a commercial product called Everest. You can however still find the old AIDA32 at the second link below [1] and the non-discontinued free version of Everest called Everest Home here [2]. The old AIDA32 works better across networks while Everest Home covers more modern hardware than AIDA32.

Another inventory utility for networks is Spiceworks [3]. It's a browser based inventory program that allows LAN managers to quickly discover and document the hardware, software and patch status of their network PCs.

That rather bland description seriously under-sells the usefulness of this product. It's got a terrific filter system that allows you to target your inventory request plus a highly customizable reporting system. On top of that it has a great interface, is easy to use, can handle Linux and Mac OS X workstations and uses standard network protocols. It's free but is discreetly advertising supported.

If you only need to inventory a single PC then you should also check out Belarc Advisor [4]. It's free for non commercial use and while not quite as thorough as AIDA32, it has the advantage of being actively developed.

My current favorite for home use is the SIW utility [5] written by Gabriel Topala. It "displays detailed specs for motherboard, BIOS, CPU, devices, memory, video, disk drives, ports, printers, operating system, installed programs, processes, services, serial numbers (CD keys), users, open files, system uptime, network, network shares, as well as real-time monitors for CPU, memory, page file usage and network traffic. It also displays currently active network connections, passwords hidden behind asterisks, installed codecs, and more." That's impressive enough for a freebie but my favorite feature is SIW does not need installing; all you need to do is run the executable. This means one less installed program on your PC as well the fact that you can run the program directly from a USB flash drive.

PC Wizard 2008 [6], is a system information utility that is strong in workstation description and benchmarking. It's a well implemented program with a nice multi-panel display with different analysis functions easily selectable using sidebar buttons. Overall it provides a little less system information that SIW but the benchmarking feature makes up for it. Benchmarks can be run on individual parameters such as processor performance, memory and cache speed, video performance and hard drive speed or can be run be for all functions with the single press of a button. In the latter case an overall numeric system performance index is also calculated. Overall PC Wizard 2008 is an impressive system utility well suited to those who want to get a better understanding of their PC's configuration and performance. The fact that it is regularly updated adds further to its appeal.

=>index

[1] AIDA32 - Personal System Information
Website: http://www.majorgeeks.com/download181.html
Download link: http://www.pssoftlab.com/download.phtml
Author: Tamas Miklos
Current version: 3.93
Version date: Feb 23 2004
License: Freeware
Download File size: 2.9MB
Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None
Non-English languages supported: Albanian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Gallegan, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Traditional Chinese, Ukrainian, Estonian, Icelandic
Other relevant information: The product is discontinued and unsupported.

[2] Everest Home
Website: http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4181.html
Download link: http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4181.html
Author: Lavalys
Current version: 2.20
Version date: Aug 18 2005
License: Freeware
Download File size: 4MB
Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information: The product is discontinued and unsupported.

[3] SpiceWorks
Website: http://www.spiceworks.com/
Download link: http://spiceworks.com/signup/
Author: Spiceworks
Current version: Version 2.1.18955
Version date: Feb 2008
License: Freeware
Download Filesize: 7,917KB
Operating Systems Supported: XP Pro SP2/2003/Vista
Additional Software Required: Firefox 1.5 - 2.0, Internet Explorer 6.0-7.0
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information:

[4] Belarc Advisor
Website: http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html
Download http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html
Author: Belarc
Current version: 7.2v
Version date: Nov 29 2007
License: Freeware
Download Filesize: 1626 KB
Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT4/2000/XP/2003/Vista
Additional Software Required: Requires IE 3 or Netscape 3, and higher versions. Also runs on Opera, Mozilla, and Firefox.
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None
Non-English languages supported: None
Other relevant information:

[5] System Information for Windows (SI) - Freeware Version
Website: http://www3.sympatico.ca/gtopala/about_siw.html
Download link: http://www.gtopala.com/siw-download.html
Author: Gabriel Topala.
Current version: 1.73 Build 638
Version date: December 20, 2007
License: Freeware (non commercial use)
Download Filesize: 1.32MB Eng - 1.92MB Multi+Installer
Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Non-English languages supported: Catalan, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese - Traditional, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, Greek, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese Brazilian, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Ukrainian
Other relevant information: None

[6] PC Wizard 2008
Website: http://www.cpuid.com/pcwizard.php
Download link: http://www.cpuid.com/pcwizard.php
Author: Laurent KUTIL & Franck DELATTRE
Current version: 2008.1.84
Version date: 24 Feb 2008
License: Freeware
Download Filesize: 2706 KB
Operating Systems Supported: 95/98/98SE/Me/NT SP4/2000/XP Home/Professional/XP SP1/XP SP2/Vista.
Additional Software Required: None
64 Bit Capable: 64-bit (x86-64, IA-64) : Windows XP/2003, Server 2003,Server 2003R2, Vista.
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None
Non-English languages supported: French, German, Serbian, Slovak, Russian, Greek
Other relevant information: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Jason. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at jason@techsupportalert.com

44 Best Free Search and Replace Utility Updated February 1, 2008

Many programs have a search and replace function that allows you to replace text in the file you are currently editing. However, search and replace utilities allow you to replace text across multiple files or folders. The most powerful free program in this class is BK ReplaceEm [1]. It will carry out replacements in individual files, in a group of selected files, in a set of files determined by a file mask, or indeed every file in a folder. Replacement can be by text string or by using regular expressions. You can even replace text within a nominated range such as html tags. The interface is both logical and powerful, but it does take a little getting used to, so read the Help file before using. Power users need look no further than this product.

A little less powerful, but a tad easier for normal users is A.F.9 from Fauland [2]. It allows multiple search and replace operations in the one pass, can save search and replace operations for later re-use, and has full drag and drop support.

Note that these programs are designed for use on text based files such as .txt and .html and must not be used on binary files or proprietary formats such as Microsoft Word. If you want to search and replace these kind of files then check out InfoRapid Search and Replace [3]. It's not as powerful as the best binary editors, but with suitable add-ins it can handle certain Microsoft Office file types plus .rtf and .pdf

=>index

[1] BK Replacem
Website: http://www.orbit.org/replace/
License: Freeware
Download File size: 572 KB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: all Windows versions
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

[2] A.F.9
Website: http://www.fauland.com/af9.htm
License: Freeware
Download File size: 992 KB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: Windows 9x/Me/NT4/XP
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

[3] InfoRapid Search and Replace
Website: http://www.inforapid.de/html/searchreplace.htm
License: Free for private use
Download file size: 1.03 MB
Windows Operating Systems Supported:
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Glenn Lehmann. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at glenn@techsupportalert.com

45 Best Free Outliner Updated February 5, 2008

Outliners occupy a unique niche among computer users. Many people see no benefit from them whi;le others consider them an essential piece of software. If you are among the group that loves them, then you should check out Keynote, a freeware program with a dedicated band of followers. While most software designers like to use the term user friendly, in this case it really applies. This is one of the few software programs that you can install and start using right away.

What do you do with KeyNote? Well to quote the web site “KeyNote is used by screenwriters to draft screenplays, by medical doctors to keep patient databases, by developers to store source code snippets - and to everyone it serves as a place to put all the random pieces of information that have no particular structure or relationship to other data, and do not fit easily in task-specific applications such as word-processors, databases or spreadsheets.” Unfortunately the program is no longer being developed but remains popular in its current release.

If it is a problem for you that it is no longer under development then you might want to consider NeoMem [2] as an alternative. It's not really a dedicated outliner but is rather more of a general purpose note taking program that can be used as an outliner. It's a kind of hybrid of a database and word processor that's designed to allow you to organize, store, hyperlink and search information. That bland description totally under-sells the product. It's one of those programs that you really need to use in order to understand its full potential. It works with all Windows versions so try it.

Another possibility is FreeMind [3]. It's an Open Source "mind mapping" program written in Java that can serve as an outliner as well. Functionally it's closer to Keynote than NeoMem. It's slower than Keynote but is more powerful for mapping complex relationships.

ZuluPad [4] is another program that is not really an outliner but rather a cross between a note-taking program and a wiki. Its strong card is the ease with which you can create a set of linked and cross linked documents. In its current release it is lacking in features when compared to other products but this is more than compensated by its high level of usability

=>index

[1] KeyNote
Website: http://www.tranglos.com/free/index.html
Author: Tranglos Software
Date: Last update Nov 12, 2003
Version Number: 1.6.5
Download file size: 1.7 MB
License: Mozilla Public License (Free)
Operating Systems Supported: Windows 98 and later
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported: None
Additional Software Required: Windows 98 users may need to install version 4.01 of Microsoft common controls
Portable: No
Other Relevant Information:

[2] NeoMem
Website: http://www.neomem.org/
Author: Neomem
Date: Last update Mar 1, 2006
Version Number: 1.2b
Download Size: 680 KB
License: Free MIT X11 License
Operating Systems Supported: all Windows versions
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported: None
Additional Software Required: None
Portable: No
Other Relevant Information: None

[3] FreeMind
Website: http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki....php/Main_Page
Author: Sourceforge Project
Date:
Version Number: 0.8.0
Download file size: 3 MB basic version, 8 MB complete version
License: Free, Open Source
Operating Systems Supported: Windows, Linux, Mac OSX and any system with Java installed
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported: None
Additional Software Required: Java
Portable: No
Other Relevant Information:

[4] Zulupad
Website: http://www.gersic.com/zulupad/
Author: Gersic
Date:
Version Number: 0.42
Download Size: 1.6 MB
License: Free, Open Source
Operating Systems Supported: Windows ME ? 2003, Mac OS X
64 Bit Capable: No
Other languages supported:
Additional Software Required:
Portable:
Other Relevant Information: You can upgrade to 1.0 with additional features for $15

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Harold. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at harold@techsupportalert.com

46 Best Free Rename Utility Updated February 1, 2008

If you want industrial strength file renaming there are several great choices: First, there's Lupas Rename 2000 [1]. This is a small utility for Win 95 and later that globally renames all the files in a directory and its subdirectories. It can convert names to upper/lower case, change the case of the first letter, add text, left crop, right crop and just about anything else you can think of. And, unlike DOS based utilities, it will work on hidden files as well. Add in a nice GUI interface, an undo feature, full preview of changes, MP3 tag renaming, support for regular expressions, and the fact that it's free and you have an outstanding product. It is a single .EXE (848 KB) file which needs no external libraries, so it can be run as a portable product.

The second and equally attractive option is Flexible Renamer [2]. It's quite similar to Lupas and choosing between them is not easy. Lupas seems to me to be easier to use for simply renaming files while Flexible Renamer has the edge with MP3 tags. Flexible Renamer can also bulk change file attributes while Lupas can't. It also runs without installation, a definite plus.

A third choice is Bulk Rename [3]. It's a bit like Lupas Rename and Flexible Renamer rolled into one product. That means more power but at the cost of greater complexity and a steeper learning curve. Indeed the option-laden opening screen would scare the pants off average users. However it is the bulk re-namer product I like most and many power users would I suspect, agree. However if you only need a re-namer for re-labeling digital photos and MP3 files you might like instead to looked at a program [4] called "THE Rename" (sic). that's better suited to these tasks. It's freeware and works on all versions of Windows though usage is not very intuitive.


[1] Lupas Rename 2000
Website: http://www.azheavymetal.com/~lupasre...upasrename.php
License: Freeware
Download file size: 535 KB zip 734 KB setup.exe
Windows Operating Systems Supported: Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000 and XP
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: Yes, normal version is portable
Additional Software Required: None

[2] Flexible Renamer
Website: http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA014...lish/FlexRena/
License: Freeware
Download file size: 648 KB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: all Windows versions
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

[3] Bulk Rename Utility
Website: http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/Main_Intro.php
License: Freeware
Download file size: 622 KB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: Windows 98SE and later
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

[4] "THE Rename"
Website: http://www.herve-thouzard.com/module...hp?articleid=1
License: Freeware
Download file size: 2.98 MB
Windows Operating Systems Supported: all Windows versions
Non-Windows Operating Systems Supported: None
64 Bit Capable: No
Portable Version Available: No
Additional Software Required: None

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Glenn Lehmann. If you have any suggestions for alterations or additions to this item then you can contact him at glenn@techsupportalert.com

There's more: Click here for the next page - best freeware utilities numbers 47-118

hnass 2008-04-25 17:53

介绍一下我的常用软件
我基本上是用ylmf的ghost装系统,下载地址 http://ghost.ylmf.com
上边自带搜狗输入法,让他自动升级好了,用过前几版的google输入法感觉资源占用大于搜狗,特别是抄袭搜狗的词库让人反感。
然后下载avast和安全卫士360作为杀毒和防火墙,avast因为注册简单而且对个人用户完全免费,防火墙分7个部分,可以酌情关闭几个减小系统占用,总体感觉资源占用小于卡巴而且病毒库更新很快,特别是有些恶意软件对流行的杀毒软件会有针对性的手段,而avast很少遭遇这种待遇,安全卫士主要是为了方便监视启动项是否被加载恶意软件,然后免疫部分恶意插件,特别是4.1之后可以通过安全卫士的保险箱对360本身和一些常用软件和网银进行保护防止。
上网我用的是世界之窗浏览器,本来也是用遨游,但是感觉越做越大,功能却没有大的提升,世界之窗不到1m可是功能和界面都很流畅,网页静音,安全浏览都很体贴。对于一些看着就不安全,又想尝试的网站,我会用opera去尝试,非ie核心还是最安全。
播放器我用的kmplayer,好处是装在d盘,装系统不用重装了,而且可以打开包括flash和手机媒体在内的基本所有音频和视频格式。
图片浏览推荐google的picasa2,简单的图片处理功能已经具备了,而且通过它向网上相册和博客传图片非常方便。
字典推荐lingoes,不过最好下去广告的版本。

暂时就想到这么多,以后有了再补充。

hnass 2008-04-25 18:00

楼上的贴的太长了,担心自己码了这么多字没人看见,新开了个贴。欢迎指正

lizhcm 2008-11-17 14:39

引用:

作者: 冰之守护者 (帖子 1104506)
2. 紫光拼音输入法 V5

我是从事软件行业的,但我不会五笔字型(想当初上学时,机房,我们软件专业被分配用386练习编程,其他专业用486学五笔,昏啊)
所以我只用拼音输入法,在windows 3.1时代的“中文之星”真的很棒,直到现在,我对微软在windows里自带的输入法也无法忍受,
现在我的选择是“紫光拼音”,从它的3.0感觉找回了“中文之星”的畅快感觉,现在5.0了,有反映说它不够稳定,但对我真的够用了。
我也用过拼音加加,但还是喜欢紫光。

向和我一样:不会五笔、敲字不熟练的筒子强烈推荐,试试吧,看是不是打字快些了?
注意:紫光拼音输入法 V5原版强制捆绑了“因特网搜索”――我们可以把它归入“流氓软件”,怎么办?

下一个被净化过的版本吧:
http://www.inputsky.com/soft/3/616.html

搜狗的也比较好呢!!!还可以不断更新!!!

Yongpo_ma 2008-11-17 14:45

引用:

作者: 冰之守护者 (帖子 1104530)
3. google earth

想看看我们打算定居的新城市是什么样子吗?google 给了我们一个选择。

到这里下载一个google earth:
http://dl.google.com/earth/GE4/GoogleEarthWin.exe

把它装好,运行(机器此时需要能联上互联网),从Fly to里敲个地名,比如ottawa,稍等你就可以鸟瞰这个城市的样子了,
这个可不是通常的地图哦,是照片啊(不是实况,表太贪婪哦)鼠标放在右上角,还能拉远近、平移。。。
用过的可能觉得没什么,如果你是第一次用,肯定有惊喜,慢慢玩吧:)

特别提示,照片不是很新,不少都是几年前的情况,没办法,这个是有钱也买不来的哦,收费的版本在这一点也不会有不同。
除非。。。您是美国军方、CIA、FBI等等啥的,吼吼。

真有兴趣想好好玩玩的,这里推荐一个网站吧:
http://www.godeyes.cn/ge.asp
祝玩的开心!

Thank you for shareness!:wdb11:
I am looking forward to receiving your new update frequently!

冰之守护者 2008-12-12 05:14

终极更新,顶一下!

flychange 2009-01-15 16:00

360安全卫士挺不错的.
里面有软件推荐. 基本上推荐的都是中文软件各领域最popular的款了.