There are millions of free and open source projects available, many of them better than any commercially available product. Below is a short listing of what we think is the best out there, broken down into ten categories.
Antivirus and malware protection
Most PC users realize that they need protection on their computer or may have an installed antivirus program from their computer manufacturer. What most don’t realize is that there are free programs that are just as good and in some cases better than the commercial products.
There are dozens of free and commercially available backup programs for computers. Unfortunately, many of those backups are stored locally, meaning if your house were to catch fire, get robbed, or if you lost your backup discs all your data would be lost. This is why when dealing with important data we suggest users use online backup services.
Although Microsoft Internet Explorer comes pre-installed on Windows computers. There are several excellent free alternatives that everyone should try. These free alternatives can often be faster, have more options, and in many cases be more secure than Internet Explorer.
When downloading files on the Internet you’ll eventually encounter a .zip, .rar, or other compressed file. Dealing with these files can be easy with our below free file compression utility.
Disc ripper and creation utility
Creating an audio or data CD/DVD, ripping the data from an audio CD, or creating a CD from a .ISO file can also be done freely using our below free recommendation.
E-mail is yet another service that can be done freely. Most users today use online e-mail solutions.
FTP, SFTP, and SSH Utility
Users who maintain their own web page or need to upload or download files to or from a server have to use an FTP utility or an SSH client.
Image editor, paint program, and picture organizer
There are many great free solutions for editing, creating, and organizing your images on your computer. Many of the programs capable of doing these tasks can be several hundred dollars, but these days there are very good free ones.
There are dozens of different multimedia programs with different capabilities and limitations.