13 of the Most Popular Free Programs for the PC

My hard drive is getting pretty full and I was taking a look at the programs that could be uninstalled, especially ones that cost money on a regular basis. I noticed that most of the software used on a daily basis is actually free.

Free software has come a long way, with the open source community and advertising revenue models financing an endless stream of high quality, well developed applications than cost nothing to own.

Here are the 13 programs that its impossible to function without. All are used on a daily basis, some for many years. Try them today and say goodby to the expensive bloatware that is damaging your health.

1. AVG Free

AVG is a powerful and free Anti Virus Checker made by the folks over at Grisoft. Combining real time protection with email and on demand scanning it does exactly what you expect from a virus scanner.

2. Notepad++

Notepad++ is a very powerful text editor. It comes with default color code highlighting support for 34 languages including HTML, PHP, C++, Java and more. You can also print from notepad++ retaining the color coding to allow easier offline code revisions.

3. Smart FTP

SmartFTP is a fully featured FTP client that is free for non-commercial use. With over 20 languages, IPv6 and on the fly compression it provides all the features of its paid equivalent for free.

4. Free Download Manager http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/

Another program I can not live without is free download manager. It is a multi threading download accelerator that offers so much more. The latest versions offer support for bit torrent, an html spider and even a flash video download tool that works with YouTube.

5. Winamp

The original and still the best. Thousands of skins, hundreds of plugins makes Winamp the obvious free choice for your music needs.

6. Ccleaner

A tool that I can not live without. Cleans temporary files, browser history, and form history – infact all the junk that accumulates on your hard drive. Add to that a very useful registry tool and you have a program that is better than every paid tool I have tried.

7. Open Office http://www.openoffice.org/

Open office is a little bit sluggish compared to its Microsoft counterpart, but its free! You get all the same stuff that office provides such as a word processor, spreadsheet and a database program. You also get a rather decent drawing program included as well.

8. Google Earth

Google earth is a fun tool to play with, but the really useful thing about it is the map and directions tool. If you travel by road then you cant live without this.

9. DivX Player

A high quality video player that will play pretty much anything. There are tons of free codecs available for download and its modern sleek design is pretty pleasing on the eye.

10. Skype

If you collaborate on projects, or have more than one friend you need to get Skype. The most used feature for me is the brilliant conference call facility, something that MSN and Gtalk dont do.

11. Firefox

I was unsure whether to include this until I realized some of the uninitiated might still be using IE. Seriously get Firefox. Its fast, sleek, stable and there are thousands of really useful plugins available to download free of charge.

12. DVD Shrink http://www.dvdshrink.org/

If you have a large movie collection and want to back it up to prevent damage, DVD-Shrink is the tool you need. Most commercial DVDs hold more data than the off the shelf consumer discs. DVD shrink lets you remove un-needed files such as the extras or additional languages so you can back up with ease

13. TeamViewer http://www.teamviewer.com/

If you need to do some collaborative work remotely TeamViewer is your best friend. Connects without having to set up IPs and runs fairly fast.

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