Essential Software

Web Browser: Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is an alternative to Internet Explorer. Major advantages to Firefox include Tabbed Browsing (years before Internet Explorer 7), Spell Checking, Search Suggestions, integrated RSS feed reading, Phishing Protection, Secure password manager, and more. Even better is the ability to add over 2000 add-ons for the browser all free of charge. I will write an article about the best Firefox extensions soon.

Anti-virus: AVG / Anti-spy: Spybot

There are tons of Anti-THIS and Anti-THAT applications to choose from. Unfortunately, many of these “anti” programs are problematic themselves, bringing viruses, adware, spyware, and malware with them. Put your trust in AVG for Anti-Virus and Spybot for Adware and Spyware prevention: You will be pleased with the high level of security and your system performance utilizing these choices over Norton or McAffee.

Best Audio and Video: Winamp / Quiktime Alternative / Real Alternative

Winamp plays MP3s, streaming internet radio (, and various video formats (divx, wma, xvid, avi, more) with good quality and very little system resource. Quiktime Alternative is for those of us that do not own an iPod or Quik subscription service, or simply do not wish to have iTunes. It enables us to watch QuikTime files without installing the official cluttered QuikTime media player. Real alternative plays Real media files without the need for the official cluttered player with Real Media guide that makes the official program a poor performer..

Clean Windows: CCleaner

CCleaner will clean Windows of temporary files and other clutter, like traces of history and usage. It also comes with an integrated registry cleaner to fix problems that Windows may be having. Keeping Windows clean with CCleaner will help it run both better and faster.

Defrag: Diskeeper Lite

After many various versions of Windows, one thing has definitely been neglected for improvement: Windows Defrag. Defragging will make your hard drive live longer and read faster causing Windows to run better. Try Diskeeper to speed Windows up.

Acrobat Alternative: Cool PDF Reader

It is wise to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed just to read PDF files but it is terrible for system performance, security vulnerabilities, and upgrades. Cool PDF will read PDF files much quicker and just as well.

Microsoft Office alternative: OxygenOffice Professional

OxygenOffice is a great free alternative to the costly Microsoft Office suite (valued at $500). OOP will read and write Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and Powerpoint formats. Few of the extras you get with OxygenOffice Professional: Clip Art (currently more than 2,900 objects), Templates, Samples, and Fonts (more than 90 fonts).

More to Come 🙂



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