In this guest post, Amy shares ten freeware programs you should definitely check out. Find out more about Amy at the end of this post.
It seems like the internet is consistently becoming more regulated, and also more expensive. No matter how bombarded you are with ads for anti-virus software, video and audio tools, photo editors, and more, you might be surprised how many free tools are still available to cover all your online needs – even perform tasks you didn’t know were possible. Here are just a few of the best ways to maximize your PC without even touching your bank account.
1. AVG Anti-Virus
There are many different decent freeware programs to protect you from spyware and malware, but AVG is consistently rated highest when it comes to providing complete virus protection comparable to the kind you’d normally purchase at an expensive rate. AVG is known for its fast scanning capabilities, virus detection and quarantine, and disabling nearly all malware infections. It’s the first stop for protecting your PC without spending money.
BitTorrent may be the most popular site for torrent sharing and downloading various types of files, including software and media. The interface lets you control what you’re downloading as well as monitor how much bandwidth you’re using to download at any given time. You can also create your own torrents to upload files and share with other users.
The most proficient musicians use their Audacity download to record, mix, and edit sound. It’s the most powerful tool available for creating your own soundscapes using a wide array of different effects and tools. You can mix and edit tracks together using a variety of supported file formats. Audacity is a popular must-have tool for sound engineers and those who are just beginning.
A relatively new method of video editing, Jahshaka has been earning rave reviews for its professional interface and long list of abilities including editing in HD and film, 3d compositing, and flash animation. It also comes with its own media player which can handle virtually all file formats in video and audio. Considering the high price tag of most video editing software, this could be a welcome alternative for many different uses.
As an alternative to purchasing the full Microsoft Office software, there is no better download out there than OpenOffice. It comes with Word, Excel, and Power Point-comparable programs, and for web designers, it also contains an html editor and an export to html option. You can save as a PDF, connect to outside email sources, and perform a number of tasks quickly and efficiently.
GIMP is an image editor – it stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. If you need a tool to adjust colors and contrast on your photos as well as crop and edit, it might be worth it to learn the ins and outs of GIMP’s interface rather than spend hundreds of dollars on the usual image editor alternatives.
Boxee is a rare find – a free program that allows you to watch web video and web content on your HDTV. Boxee doesn’t restrict where your content comes from, either – it covers media you have saved on your PC as well as content from a long list of sites and video podcasts. You can also share with other Boxee users and recommend videos.
CCleaner is a simple, fast way to free up disk space on your PC and optimize performance. It gets rid of unused files and internet history in a matter of seconds. You can also use it to select which cookies you’d like to keep, and it works across a number of different programs and downloads, keeping everything on your system clean.
9. TV 3.0
A highly impressive desktop device that connects you to television stations worldwide. TV is divided among categories – music, education, shopping, news, and others – as well as language, and all you have to do is select a channel to find it streaming free.
10. VLC Media Player
Among the many free video players available online. VLC is one of the best due to its decoding abilities and support for many different kinds of subtitles. The picture quality is arguably superior, as well.
The number of freeware sites available for desktop management, cleaning, and functionality as well as audio, video, and image storage and editing are endless. Before you download anything, you might want to search reviews and verify the safety and reputation of your freeware. But you may come to find that the internet has many more reliable resources than you think.
Amy Nielson is an avid blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @Nielson_Amy.