Favorite Free Software Programs
• Pricewatch - Price comparison search engine
• Prime95 - See if your CPU can run stably at 100% power. For more info along these lines, see the Radified guide to PC Stability Testing.
• Ranish Partition Manager - Partitions hard drives & Boot manager [like Partition Magic]. You might also be interested in Doc's FDISK guide or my Rad Partitioning Strategies.
• Quicktime - Play movies, very popular
• RazorLAME - Front end for LAME MP3 encoder, popular
• Sandra - Benchmarking, popular
• Serv-U - FTP server, automatically reverts to the free version after 30 days, very popular. I use it and like it.
• Shareaza - P2P file sharing [like Napster]
• SmartFTP - FTP client [like CuteFTP], I use this program to upload this web page
• Snadboy's Revelation - Allows you to see passwords hidden behind stars
• Solaris - The Unix-based operating system from Sun Microsystems
• Spamihilator - Anti-spam
• Soulseek - File sharing [like Napster]
• Spybot Search & Destroy - Spyware detection & removal. Best when installed to a new system, *before* you connect to the Internet. Once the little spyware criters get in, they can be difficult to eradicate. I discuss this in my guide to installing Windows XP.
• SuperGravity - Newsreader
• Sygate Personal Firewall - I've been getting mail that says Sygate is no longer free. But it says HERE and HERE that it's free for personal use. If you install one firewall, such as either Sygate or ZoneAlarm, I would stick with that one. I would'n't uninstall one and install another. It shouldn't matter, but that seems to court problems.
• TMPGEnc - MPEG encoder [like Ligos or Panasonic], generally regarded as the world's best
• Trillian - Integrate all your chat & IRC clients into one program, popular
• Ultimate Zip - [like WinZip]
• Virtual Dub - Video capture, video editing [like Adobe Premiere or Ulead VideStudio]
• VNC - Virtual Network Computing [like PCAnywhere]. This program is now called "RealVNC" and is being developed as an Open Source version of the original VNC.
• WarFTP Server - Also called "War FTP Daemon" [like Serv-U or Bulletproof FTP Server], very powerful. Industrial-strength software.
• WCPUID - Detailed information about your CPU
• Winamp - Play music, extremely popular. Note that many people feel the best version to use is v2.81, which I have posted on my Downloads page here.
• WinMX - File sharing [like Napster]
• Wordweb - Dictionary/Thesaurus. I use it almost everyday. You can put a handy little icon in your system tray. Can also incorporate a macro into Microsoft Word.
• Deleted WS_FTP LE, as it seems Ipswitch is no longer offering a free version.
• Xnview - View and convert graphic files [like ACDSee]
• YaBB - Yet another Bulletin Board: the one Radified uses.
• Ziplip - Secure email service. I use this for my secure needs.
• X-Setup - TweakUI on steroids
• Xxcopy - Duplicate your entire system drive
• Zone Alarm - Firewall protection, widely used
• See what others are downloading: Top downloads at SourceForge [like Most Popular at Download.com or Tucows Toppicks]
• Let me know if there are any programs I should add to this list.
If you don't find what you need here, check out a more comprehensive list at Pricelessware.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in to add their favorite freeware to the list.
• MD5 Hash - Does the same thing as WinMD5 without the drag-n-drop feature.
• Mozilla - A suit of programs for web browsing (Like Internet Explorer), email (like Outlook Express), HTML editing, IRC chat and more. This program has come a long way since it was part of Nutscrape. Now developed by an Open Source team. Very nice.