Dropbox – internet file sync and storage

Website: dropbox.com
License: freeware
Difficulty: Easy

Dropbox offers 2GB (or more) of free online storage, but it is the free desktop application that makes this service so useful.  When you install the application, it allows you to pick a location for the Dropbox folder.  Any files or folder you put in this folder are synchronized to the online storage (up to your space limit).  You can access these files from anywhere through dropbox.com, or using the app on Linux, Mac, and PC, an Android device, or an Apple device.  Installing Dropbox on multiple computers makes it easy to share files from work to home, or desktop to laptop. You can also share files with regular web links.

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Ninite – Easily install and update software

Ninite - Install or Update Multiple Apps at OnceWebsite: ninite.com
License: freeware
Difficulty: Easy

Ninite is a very useful site for managing your free software.   They maintain a huge list of free and open source software that can be downloaded and installed using their site.  Simply browse through the list of software and check off the software you wish to install or update.  When you are done, click the ‘Get Installer’ button at the bottom and download the custom Ninite installer.  Once you get the installer running, it will not prompt you at all, it installs all the programs to their default location with optimal settings, skipping any unneeded addons or toolbars often included in installers.  There is no need to bother clicking next next next, or worrying about installing something you do not need.  For more on why you should or should not use Ninite, and a brief overview of the software available through it, read on. Continue reading Ninite – Easily install and update software


FreeCommander1Website: freecommander.com
License: freeware
Difficulty: Easy

FreeCommander lets you do everything that Windows Explorer or ‘My Computer’ let you do, and a whole lot more. My favorite feature is the dual pane view, allowing you to browse two locations at once, and easily drag and drop files between them. It also supports multiple tabs in each pane, allowing multi-taskers like me to keep many folder at hand in one handy window. You can view these panes side by side or on top of each other. I t includes an ftp browser, file viewer, compressed file support,folder comparison and sync,  calculating folder size and so much more, with a relatively uncluttered interface and its pretty fast too! If your still not sure why you should use FreeCommander read on.

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7-ZipWebsite: 7-zip.org
License: Open source
Difficulty: Easy

Modern versions of Windows allow you to open zip archives pretty easily,  If you need advanced archive options, 7-zip does everything that Winzip or Winrar does, plus has its own high compression format .7z, that is up to 70% more compressed than a zip file.  Even a zip made with 7-zip is up to 10% smaller than an archive made with Winzip .  7-zip supports strong encryption and creating self extracting archives.  It’s reliable and open source. It integrates with windows right click menu. Save yourself a shareware nag screen (and some disk space) by getting 7-zip now.  Read on for a little more on how to use 7-zip,

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Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Website: malwarebytes.org/mbam.php
License: Freeware
Difficulty: Easy

This program is highly effective at removing all sorts of virus, trojans, and other malware. The free version has to be run manually. If your computer is hooked up to the internet , I recommend updating this program and scanning your computer with it once every month or two, or any time you think you might have something bad on your computer.

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Website: foobar2000.org
License: Freeware
Difficulty: Easy

There are so many options when it comes to media players its ridiculous.  Foobar is a small and fast audio player with a clean and simple interface.  Importantly to me, Foobar’s library supports showing folders as Albums as easily as sorting your music by the sometimes messed up id3 information stored inside it. It also supports CD ripping and encoding, gapless playback, ReplayGain, and supports useful addons to extend functionality (if you can find something it doesn’t already do). I should also mention it uses a tiny amount of computer resources, it’s only a 3 MB download, and it has excellent audio quality. Read on for my overview of some other popular audio players and why i use foobar over them.

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K-lite Codec Pack

Website: codecguide.com
License: Freeware
Difficulty: It looks harder than it is

Video and audio files come in many different formats.  Most should work out of the box, but sometimes you will need a codec to make that format play correctly.  Codec packs contain many codecs for different formats, but are notorious for causing all sorts of problems.  You should definitely be careful when dealing with codec packs.  After trying many  different packs(some of them really screwed up my pc),  i found K-Lite Codec Pack.  I have been using it for years with little problem.  The Klite codec pack makes almost any file type play in your favorite media player, and even includes an excellent  player called Media Player Classic. Read on for tips on keeping your codecs in working order, and notes about installing the codec pack.

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