Internet Software Programs
There's no shortage of free web browsers online. Most people are familiar with the most popular free Windows browsers, Windows Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. However, there are other free web browsers available that can help you to save time on browsing. Opera is a free web browser that can run considerably faster than Internet Explorer or Firefox in many instances. It's also a very lightweight browser, making it ideal for older versions of Windows running on older computers. Opera has a "Turbo" feature which compresses data for faster browsing on slow connections. Opera also includes many other features such as an email client, a pop-up blocker, tabbed browsing and fraud protection. Opera for Windows requires Windows 2000 or later.
Google Chrome is another very fast free web browser for Windows that outperforms other browsers. Google Chrome is designed to integrate with Gmail, Google's free email service. It has other useful features such as tabbed browsing, incognito mode which doesn't save your browsing history and an import settings feature which imports your bookmarks, browsing history and passwords from other browsers. To run Google Chrome, you must be running Windows XP SP 2, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.
You can also find many freeware programs to protect your Windows computer from malware threats. Avast! is an anti-virus software program for Windows that's free for personal use. It has real-time protection against viruses, spyware and rootkits. It also has an effective and thorough virus scanner. You can run Avast! on a computer with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows Vista or Windows 7. Another free anti-virus software program for Windows is AVG Anti-Virus. It provides resident protection against malware such as viruses and spyware and unsafe links. Both of these anti-virus software programs are light-weight and include automatic updates. AVG Free edition will run under Windows 2000, XP, XP Pro, Vista and 7.
If you want added protection from spyware and adware, there are several free software programs that stand out against the rest. Spybot Search and Destroy is one of the most popular free spyware scanners for Windows. This software program helps to detect adware and spyware that anti-virus programs tend to miss. It runs under Windows 95, 98, 2000, Tablet PC Edition, XP, NT, Me, 2003, Vista and 2008.
Another popular free anti-spyware program for Windows is Lavasoft's AdAware. It provides real-time protection against threats such as adware, spyware, trojans, rootkits and hijackers. AdAware supports Windows 2000 Pro, XP, Vista and 7.