The Best Free Software for Windows

When buying a computer, the focus is often on hardware yet the vast majority of what makes a computer is the software. Paying for software is often the easiest choice, but to pay for everything you might want a computer to do is both expensive and unnecessary. This article covers many of the most important and often expensive programs that you might need and gives great free alternatives which in many cases do as much or more than their far more expensive cousins.

Security Programs

spybot search and destroy

The first software that anyone with a computer should download are security programs. Without good security software in place, any downloaded computer program can be dangerous, especially free windows software which is one of the most common ways for viruses to be spread. These are vital programs including antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spyware software, and a good firewall. These free security programs can protect both your computer and your wallet.

Backup Programs

At least as important as protecting your computer with security programs is the ability to protect your data with backup programs. Whether they are needed because your security programs missed something important, or because of hardware failure, you will be glad to have backed up your data. There are a lot of choices for backup programs, but for most people there is no reason to spend money when they can access any of these great programs for free.

Internet and Email

For many people the internet is the primary reason for owning a computer. Programs that can help improve the internet and email are always good to have. You can also find software to help you add content to your blog and even monitor your network. If the internet is the core of your computing needs then these programs will make your computer far more useful.

Photo Manipulation

Gimp

One of the most expensive programs that the average person has reason to buy is Adobe Photoshop. But, while many graphics and photo apps are very expensive, there are free alternatives for almost every photo manipulation program. More important is that many of them are just as good as the far more expensive versions.

Music

Listening to music and audio on the computer is generally free, but creating music is far more complicated. Being able to create music shouldn’t be limited to those who can afford expensive software. These free windows programs can help anyone to create great audio for free. If you are interested in music, speech or any other form of audio these programs should do well.

Video Editing Software

While far more people use photo editing software, finding video editing programs can be considerably more difficult. So whether it is creating special effects or simply editing the video, these programs have to be good to be worth downloading, because a buggy program can turn an otherwise simple video editing job into something far more difficult. A good program, on the other hand, can allow you to do things that were previously the sole venue of huge Hollywood studios.

Odds and Ends

Mind Map Software

Many of the best programs cannot be easily categorized because it is their originality that makes them so worthwhile. Whether they are for creating Blu-ray disks or speeding up your computer, these programs fill important niches. So if you're looking for something specific or just interested in some of the other things that you might not know you can do, these free programs are worth checking out.

References

  • Source, author's own experience
  • Images, screenshots from author's computer