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    The Best Free Utilities for Your Computer

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    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
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    The Best Free Utilities for Your Computer

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:56 pm

    The very best and safest utilities I've been directed to (by either my computer guy or Scientific American magazine):

    Click on product name to take you to the appropriate thread
    Ad-aware
    AVG Anti-virus
    CCleaner
    HDD Health
    Malwarebytes
    Spybot Search and Destroy
    Spyware Doctor
    Zone Alarm
    Ad-Block Plus


    You don't necessarily need ALL of these, but a spyware program, anti-virus, CCleaner and HDDHealth are all good to have installed. Malwarebytes is especially useful - it's what my computer guy runs first when there's a problem with a computer that comes in to his shop.

    More good free programs:

    Icon Saver (got this from my mom ages ago, and it's GREAT!)
    Open Office


    Last edited by genkicoll on Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:11 pm; edited 3 times in total

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Ad-aware

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:00 pm

    Ad-aware FREE by Lavasoft

    "
    We have taken the security product millions of people know and trust
    one step further to give all users the power to protect themselves
    online. By combining Lavasoft's pioneer anti-spyware technology with
    traditional anti-virus protection, Ad-Aware Free now
    features complete malware protection, that won't slow your computer
    down!

    Ad-Aware Free Internet Security features real-time
    protection, advanced Genocode detection technology, rootkit protection,
    automatic updates, and much more — to ensure that you have the power to
    protect yourself online.
    "

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    AVG Free

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:04 pm

    AVG Free

    "Protection against viruses and spyware"

    AVG has daily updates to keep on top of the ever-growing threat of viruses on the web.

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    CCleaner

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:13 pm

    CCleaner

    "CCleaner is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure. Easy to use and a small, fast download."

    I love this program It doesn't take up a lot of resources, it keeps your computer optimized and running smoothly, and is easy to use.

    The buttons on the left are easy.

    Cleaner - Click on Analyze to see how much unneeded stuff there is on your computer, and on Run Cleaner to get rid of it! That easy! I don't even Analyze any more, I just click Run Cleaner, 'cause I know CCleaner knows what it's doing!

    The next button down is Registry - Click on this, then Scan for Issues to see what kind of registry errors you have. Did you know that our casual games always leaves behind something totally unneccessary in the registry? CCleaner gets rid of all of these "loose ends" for you - just click on Fix Selected Issues.

    The next button is Tools - Click on this to see a listing of all of the programs installed on your computer. It loads SO MUCH faster than the Add/Remove programs tab in the My Computer section that I always use these tools to remove my games and anything else that might need to be uninstalled.

    Then I pop into Registry and clean up the loose ends! Voilà~! Clean computer!


    Last edited by genkicoll on Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:54 am; edited 3 times in total

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    HDD Health

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:17 pm

    HDD Health

    "Advanced warning of impending hardware doom could one day save you
    tearing your hair out at losing all your important data.

    If you don't perform regular backups then I'd say it was essential
    that you use a tool like HDD Health. The program continually monitors
    your PC for tell tale signs that your hard drive is about to die due to
    corruption or plain and simple burn out. The program sits in your system
    tray and monitors the performance of your hard drive at regular
    intervals. It continually performs minor diagnostic tests to see if
    anything irregular is happening. The program utilises Self Monitoring
    and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) however and unless your hard drive
    supports this (which most modern ones do) this program won't be of much
    use to you. The program issues alerts in the manner of your choosing -
    which basically means via email, pop-up messages (which can get rather
    annoying), net messages or event logging. It's very light on resources
    although the fact that it is continually working on your hard drive
    means that occasionally you might expect some slow down of your PC's
    operations
    ."

    Another utility that I love I see that there's a disclaimer that it might slow down some of the PC's operations, but I've never had this experience. I've never had ANY trouble with HDD Health! It sits there quietly monitoring my computer, and when I think about it, I can hover my cursor over the icon in my task bar there on the bottom right and it will tell me both how hot my computer is running and the health of my hard drive. Excellent!

    DOES NOT WORK WITH WINDOWS 7, last time I checked.


    Last edited by genkicoll on Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:55 am; edited 2 times in total

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Re: The Best Free Utilities for Your Computer

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:20 pm

    Malwarebytes

    "Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free utilizes Malwarebytes powerful
    technology to detect and remove all traces of malware including worms,
    trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware and more.
    "

    This is an excellent program, and as mentioned in the first post, my computer guy's first stop when checking on computers that come into his shop. Two thumbs up

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Spyware Doctor

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:25 pm

    Spyware Doctor

    "
    PC Tools Spyware Doctor delivers powerfully simple protection against
    dangerous spyware. Integrating multiple layers of protection, it stops
    and blocks spyware, no matter how it tries to attack and infect your PC.
    Built on award-winning technology, yet made straightforward for
    everyday use, it’s the powerful, easy, and fast way to defend your
    important personal information against spyware
    "

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Zone Alarm

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:28 pm

    Zone Alarm

    "
    Millions of people around the world use ZoneAlarm Free Firewall. Our
    free software blocks hackers and prevents viruses & spyware from
    stealing your personal data and sending it out to the Internet. Also,
    works great with any antivirus software.
    "

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Ad-Block Plus

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:33 pm

    Ad-Block Plus <--Click here

    "


    • Block annoying ads automatically, no distractions
    • Browse faster and safer
    • Fully customizable — you are in control
    • Easy to contribute, report issues when you see them"

    I love this add-on Wub  It makes surfing the web so much safer and less aggravating.  It's very simple - it's an add-on to your browser, and it keeps pop-ups from ruining your web-browsing experience.

    Occasionally you will NEED something to pop up (signing in to someplace, maybe), and the program will give you a very non-invasive reminder that you can allow it if you wish.

    Great! Two thumbs up


    Last edited by genkicoll on Tue May 27, 2014 8:33 pm; edited 2 times in total

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Icon Saver

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:38 pm

    Icon Saver

    "IconSaver is a small Windows utility that saves and restores icons' positions on the Desktop window. It has been tested on the Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP. IconSaver is shareware. Feel free to evaluate it for 30 days. After that period if you want to continue to use IconSaver, you must register it. Register fee is only $5. If you register, you are entitled to all future upgrades free of charge.

    Main features:

    • Icons' positions are saved for each desktop resolution
    • Automatic icon restoration on desktop resolution change
    • Built-in editor for icons' positions manipulation
    • Desktop shell extension context menu
    • System-wide hotkeys"

    Awesome little program! Run it and it will look like nothing happened. That's because it's in your toolbar at the bottom right. Right-click on the Icon Saver icon (once it's running) and choose what you want to do: Save Icons (save the position of all of your icons on the desktop) or Restore Icons (to the positions they were before something made them move around).

    VERY helpful!


    Last edited by genkicoll on Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:14 pm; edited 2 times in total

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Open Office

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:42 pm

    Open Office

    "
    OpenOffice.org 3 is the result of over twenty years' software engineering. Designed from the start as a single piece of software, it has a consistency other products cannot match. A completely open
    development process means that anyone can report bugs, request new features, or enhance the software.

    The result: OpenOffice.org 3 does everything you want your office software to do, the way you want it to.
    "

    Basically, it does everything that MS Word does, but it's free (and easy to use, too)

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Spybot

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:15 pm

    Spybot

    "
    Spybot - Search & Destroy detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications. Spyware silently tracks your surfing behaviour to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies. If you see new toolbars in
    your Internet Explorer that you haven't intentionally installed, if your browser crashes inexplicably, or if your home page has been "hijacked" (or changed without your knowledge), your computer is most probably infected with spyware. Even if you don't see the symptoms, your computer may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging.
    Spybot-S&D is free, so there's no harm giving it a try to see if something has invaded your computer.
    "


    Last edited by genkicoll on Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:13 pm; edited 2 times in total

    Eddy

    Posts : 15
    Join date : 2012-01-13
    Age : 44
    Location : State College, PA

    Re: The Best Free Utilities for Your Computer

    Post by Eddy on Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:12 am

    I agree with most of these, but for the anti-virus there are two that I feel are better.

    Avast! - a freeware program that is lighter on resources than AVG

    MSE - Microsoft Security Essentials - free from MS.

    Varley

    Posts : 8
    Join date : 2011-12-30
    Location : Stone Mountain, GA

    Re: The Best Free Utilities for Your Computer

    Post by Varley on Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:54 pm

    I have used CCleaner almost from the first day it was released - where the C meant something. Big smile It is SO great.

    I've also got AVG and ZoneAlarm. AVG has gotten top heavy though and I've tried out other applications including Avast which seems to be just fine. AVG no longer gives you a way to suspend it for more than 15 minutes. Probably a good thing for a casual user.

    No firewall will ever top BlackIce - but it was never upgraded beyond Win98. So sad.

    I've used Ad Aware but replaced it with Spybot.

    I also like FREE Microsoft Process Explorer - but it's very technical. Gives you WAY too much detail on what's running on your computer. Fascinating.

    I have MS Office, but when it's no longer supported or have to upgrade, I'm off to use Open Office. I've heard really good things about it.

    I use Mozilla Firefox and I like the Add Ons that are also free. (Tools, Add Ons, Get Add ons) There's one I didn't load that saves pages for you to read later, but it looked great. One I did, though, Fireshot, is nice. Similar to SnagIt (though that's not free any more) it will capture a given area of a web page. So you can save just a picture or just text or whatever you need. You have to be careful with add ons though. Some people advertize their add ons as free, but they're really only demos and they start hounding you for money or stop working after a certain time. The ones on Firefox have reviews though, so it should be easy to find good ones. If there's anything you wish your browser would do - there's an add on for that!

    If you can find any old downloads of SnagIt, you can capture any part of your display in the form of a bmp. It would scroll too, but doesn't work with tabs. Cry

    I can't think of any more right now. I like to use free stuff and then, if it's any good and I know I will use it, I'll send a few bucks to the author. I think that's really nice - for people to offer help. I suspect they end up making more money that way, too. :-)

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Re: The Best Free Utilities for Your Computer

    Post by genkicoll on Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:12 pm

    Bumping this up for the newer members~ Sunny


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