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Pinned thread Free Computer Software (Windows/Mac) **UPDATED 6-2-2020**

ssj4gogita4

Squidward Tortellini
Staff
Joined
Apr 7, 2004
Messages
23,858
Location
Planet Vegeta
I know some of these are ancient programs but could still be useful for today. Some of these are free and some might just be a trial then you have to pay to continue using it.

If you have your own list of programs to use, please post them but let's follow some guidelines...

  • Post what OS you have or what programs you are listing are for (Mac, Windows __, etc.)
  • Provide descriptions or explanations WHY you are suggesting the programs you are posting. DO NOT POST ANYTHING GENERIC (i.e. awesome program, i like this a lot, it's excellent, etc.) Be thorough and descriptive. If you want to post some notable programs that weren't worth mentioning but meant to download, go ahead and make a list at the bottom.
I want to make this one of the best help topics for technology, programs, etc.


Internet Browsers
  • Firefox - Fast, light and tidy open source web browser. Particularly popular with developers thanks to its open source development. Windows 7+ & Mac 10.9+ supported.
  • Chrome - Combines sophisticated technology with a simple UI, to create a faster, safer and easier browsing experience. Windows 7+ & Mac 10.10+ supported.
  • Safari - The world's fastest browser and has speed to burn. Why should you wait for pages to load? Mac 10.12+ supported for versions 12.1.1+.
  • Internet Explorer - Microsoft's web browser. Latest version is 11. Version 11 only supported.
  • Edge - The faster, safer browser designed for Windows 10.
  • Opera - Benefit from a built-in BitTorrent client and integrated IRC chat, and it's consistently rock solid and speedy.
Browser Add-Ons/Extensions
Protecting Your Performance
  • PatchMyPC - Keep your apps up-to-date with this free, easy-to-use software.
  • Ccleaner - Clean temporary files, optimize & speed up your computer.
  • Defraggler - Most defrag tools only allow you to defrag an entire drive. Defraggler lets you specify one or more files, folders, or the whole drive to defragment.
  • Auslogics Disk Defrag - One of the fastest defraggers in the world, Disk Defrag often takes less than 10 minutes to defragment an average-size hard drive.
  • Zone Alarm - More secure firewall than windows.
  • Trend Micro Housecall - Free Web-based solution designed to scan your PC for a wide range of internet security threads including viruses, worms, trojans, and spyware.
  • PC Pitstop - It checks your disk health, internet speed reports, general CPU reports, and provides tips and tricks on how to improve your PC's performance.
Antivirus/Antimalware Programs
Storage Services
  • DropBox - 2GB for free. 2TB for $9.99/month.
  • Google Drive - 15GB for free. 100GB for $1.99/month.
  • Microsoft OneDrive - 5GB for free. 50GB for $1.99/month.
  • Amazon Cloud - 5GB for free. Unlimited photo storage for Prime Members. 100 GB for $11.99/year.
Internet Applications
  • Speedbit - Boost data delivery speeds and effective bandwidth utilization.
  • SmartFTP - FTP program. ($70)
  • Filezilla - Free FTP program.
  • Cyberduck - A libre FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, S3, Backblaze B2, Azure & OpenStack Swift browser for Mac and Windows.
  • IP Reflector - Find out your real IP address from behind a firewall or router.
  • Trillian - Universal messenger program, supporting ICQ/YAHOO/IRC.
  • mIRC - An IRC chat client.
  • Skype - A messaging program. Merged with MSN/Windows Live.
  • Discord - All-in-one voice and text chat for gamers that's free, secure, and works on both your desktop and phone. (SBM's Official Discord Chatroom)
Windows Enhancement
  • RamBooster - Keeps track of RAM and cleans it... for those who have little memory and/or run many tasks at a time.
  • SpeedFan - Freeware program that monitors fan speeds, temperatures and voltages in computers with hardware monitoring chips" - at least some of the fans.
  • Tweak Windows 7 - A tweaking utility for Windows 7.
  • Tweak Windows 8 - A tweaking utility for Windows 8.
  • Tweak Windows 10 - A tweaking utility for Windows 10.
Graphics / Media Applications
  • Spotify - Digital music service that gives you access to millions of songs.
  • Pandora - Free, personalized radio that plays music you'll love.
  • iHeartRadio - Listen to thousands of free stations or create personalized custom stations from millions of songs.
  • iTunes - Play all your digital music and video. It syncs content to your iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV.
  • Winamp - Audio player with skins, visualizations and more.
  • BSplayer - A player that plays back all kinds of media files and specializes in video and divx playback.
  • VLC - Media player with basically every codec you need. Has powerful command line capabilities and many useful features.
  • MP3tag - A powerful and easy-to-use tool to edit metadata of audio files.
  • K-Lite Codec Pack - Free software bundle for high quality playback of all your music and video files.
  • PowerISO - Powerful CD / DVD / BD image file processing tool.
  • Gimp- A freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
  • Paint.Net - A free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows.
  • Autodesk SketchBook - A digital drawing app made for everyone who loves to draw. Located in the Mac App Store.
  • FireAlpaca - A free paint tool that is compatible with both Mac and Windows. Simple tools and controls let you draw an illustration easily.
  • MediBang Paint - A free lightweight digital painting and comic creation program that comes loaded with brushes, fonts, pre-made backgrounds, and other resources.
  • Pixlr Editor - A robust browser photo editor, for all your editing needs. Have full control over your images, including layers and effects.
  • Open Broadcasting Software (OBS) - A powerful video recording and live streaming program for recording high quality footage and making professional looking live streams.
Other Essential Applications
  • Open Office - A free compatible Microsoft Office replacement package.
  • Adobe Reader - Most of you have it, but if you don't, you probably should get it. If you have a .pdf file, this is the program to view it in.
  • Notepad++ - Free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages.
  • 7-Zip - Free file archiver with a high compression ratio.
  • Keka - Free file archiver. Located in the Mac App Store.
  • PrimoPDF - Create PDF files with the world's most popular free PDF creator.
  • NitroPDF - Securely sign, approve, collaborate, and manipulate your documents online and on your desktop.
  • Handbrake - Converts media files into other media files, such as .avi into .mp3 or .mp4. Easy to use.
  • Caffeine - Prevents your Mac or Windows from locking.
  • No Sleep - Prevents your Mac from going to sleep when you close your lid or waiting too long. Located in the Mac App Store.

PC Users
I'll start out by saying that you really don't need any antivirus programs if you know what you are doing and don't surf any malicious sites that you don't know about. However, I will list the programs I feel that are a need for any PC user.
  • PatchMyPC - Keeps your 3rd-party apps up-to-date. Easy to update and silently, too!
  • Malwarebytes - The BEST virus/malware program out there. This is really the only program you need for searching for those pesky viruses. 9 times out of 10 it has found something that other anti-virus programs would not. Every once in awhile I will use Avast or Avira for a virus search just to double-check everything.
  • Google Docs - Free to use and the best alternative to Microsoft Office. Easy streaming from Google and saving in the Drive. Other alternatives include OpenOffice.org.
  • 7-Zip - This is a program to help you unzip those pesky zip files that you might come in a download.
  • ClassicShell.net - If you don't like the way Windows 8, 8.1, or 10 have the Start Menu...you should download this immediately. It will give you back the classic Start Menu look you've come to know and like.
Mac Users (OSX 10.X +)
Not sure how many users will have Mac/OSX but I'll try my best on here.
  • Apple's Office Alternative Apps Pages (Word compatibility) Keynote (PowerPoint compatibility) and Numbers (Excel compatibility). Cost is $19.95 each app unless you go to icloud.com to use them for free. If you cannot afford those, you can use OpenOffice.org, Google Docs, or LibeOffice.org.
  • Paintbrush - I believe this is Apple's alternative to Paint.net or Windows Paint. Works just as great as the others.
  • AppCleaner - Holy crap, this thing saves your life! Whenever you want to delete an app, instead of just deleting the app, open AppCleaner. It will remove the app's junk along with deleting the app itself, making it a REALLY handy app!
  • Parallels ($80) - Allows you to run Windows while you're on your Mac, seamlessly, without restarting! It's surprisingly lag free as well. It costs a lot of money to set up, as you'll need a legal copy of Windows and a purchase of Parallels. If you're a college student, you can get Windows Server 2018 (equivalent to Windows 10) for free through Microsoft DreamSpark, and you can purchase Parallels for $40.
  • Malwarebytes - Even though Macs are more known to be virus/spyware free, this program can come in handy from time to time to use if you ever want to scan for threats.
 
Last edited:

abney317

Abney=last name
Staff
Joined
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Messages
10,954
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here
Here's some stuff that's not listed
All freeware

Browsers
Chrome
Safari
Opera

Computer Graphics
Blender - A powerful 3D modeling program with animation capabilities.
SketchUp - 3D modeling program
IrfanView - Image manipulation. Great for making bulk changes to images. Also has command line.

Text Editors
Notepad++ - Source code editor that supports a lot of different languages.

Video
VLC - Media player with basically every codec you need. Has powerful command line capabilities and many useful features.
WinFF - GUI for ffmpeg. Video/audio convertor.

Other
7-Zip - File archive/compression
 

NastyPatty2002

Dead Inspector
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,976
Location
N/A
Definitely a good topic for tech geeks like me :p :coolio: First of all, if you want to skip my dumb list (:p), this site (CNET.com) is much recommended for downloads and software for your computer, includes freeware and software that costs money. http://download.cnet.com/windows/?tag=hdr;brandnav

Video
WinAmp also recommended as a video/media player
DivX is another media player, used for wide variety of file types not supported by other media players

Torrent
uTorrent for if you're a torrent guy. :p (I don't encourage this as it sorta is illegal :p)
BitTorrent once again, not encouraging it :p :p

Antivirus (although some may require money, it is mostly a must have for computers to protect from viruses, most listed here are popular and trusted)
avast! I have this on my Dell Inspiron 530 desktop, and it works fine and does automated updates and checks to ensure safety ;)
McAfee another recommended virus software, my school laptop has this (yes, everyone at our school has some antivirus system or another)
fun fact: McAfee's creator John McAfee is a suspect of a shooting ;(
Norton probably my favorite and most recommended, works fine, have it on all the remaining computers I haven't named, and, well, yeah.

GIS/Mapping/Satellite
Google Earth :p like, most of you I'm guessing have it, and it is pretty much the standard of mapping software today

Other:
Ubuntu this is an operating system, FREE :O haven't tried it yet, however from the images it follows (KINDA) the Metro design that sort of emulates the display of a smartphone. Sleek and modern.


More probably will be provided soon, once I gather them :p
 

ssj4gogita4

Squidward Tortellini
Staff
Joined
Apr 7, 2004
Messages
23,858
Location
Planet Vegeta
I've worked with McAfee and Norton in the past with work and at home. Both are bloatware and slow down your computer at least 25%. But that was several years ago and even today I still see people using them and it hasn't improved very much. Free antivirus programs are great. I don't think you should ever have to buy a full version of any of them just because the free one will get done what you need to get done.

As far as free downloads & software, I love filehippo.com. It's so much easier to get around than download.com for me. I used to use download.com for everything but when I found filehippo.com a few years ago...oh my goodness. Heaven.
 

abney317

Abney=last name
Staff
Joined
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Messages
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"The code has also been employed by BitTorrent, Inc. as the basis for version 6.0 and above of the BitTorrent client, a re-branded version of µTorrent."

It's just a clone now.
But I mean... it exists lol.. and it has the bittorrent browser speed up junk in it (DNA?)
But yeah I suppose they are basically identical programs.. I haven't used bittorrent in a few years

µTorrent 2.2.1 ftw anyways.
 

Mavaxis Starburner

I love SBM
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
1,925
Antivirus:

ZoneAlarm: used this since 2010 and it's protected my computer very well
AVG: Not the best because sometimes it'll mess up, and bug you to restart your computer every day, even after you do restart it. Only way to get rid of it when it does this is delete all files possible (some protected)
avast!: One of the most advanced anti-viruses I've ever used. The free version is best used in conjunction with ZoneAlarm's firewall, as the free version does not include the firewall.

System performance:

Razer Game Booster: Helps reduce lag for things like gaming (of course). Also comes with a built-in screen sharing module and computer update/control module. Best part is, it's completely free.
Defraggler: Best defragging program you can pick. Again, helps reduce lag and gets rid of bad files like old registries.

Other:

WinRAR: Simple unzipping program, but is payware. Beats 7-zip as it allows you to do things like install Minecraft mods (7-zip cannot open .jar files).
Dev-C++: A source coding program that helps code programs in C/C++ language. I used this to develop an FPS game with one of my friends on Live one time.
Fraps: A screen capture and FPS benchmarking program that is optimized for use in gaming (it is designed to only work with OpenGL and DirectX to center in gaming). I use this for most of my screen capturing.
 

PhilipB

Sussudio Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 3, 2005
Messages
5,872
Location
Britain
I think it's important to put here that you don't really need extra protection software if you are using Windows 8, as that comes with Microsoft Security Essentials built in.
 

sbl

totally active
Joined
Apr 2, 2013
Messages
630
Location
Toronto
Antivirus Software
Kaspersky Antivirus

Advanced Photo/Video Editing Software
Adobe Premiere Pro CS6
Adobe Photoshop CS6

Video Recording Software
Hypercam
Camtasia Studio
Screencast-o-Matic.com (web edition)
Screencast-o-Matic (program edition)

Ok we are starting to get a little off topic, some of this software is not free.

Flash Animating Software
Adobe Flash Professional CS6
Pivot Stickfigure Animator

Things to Enhance Windows 8
Start8

Gaming Clients
Steam
Origin

Internet Browsers
Netscape
AOL Desktop
AOL 9.0 (I think that's the version it's on.)

Other
Dropbox

Other Games
Wizard101
League of Legends
Minecraft (WOOOOOOOOOOOO)

Things to Make Windows Look Like Mac
Objectdock
Rocketdock (I don't know if this is discontinued.)
 
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