Computing: Computer Basics

Computer Basics: Windows applications personal review.


This page is about common Microsoft Windows computer applications, that I use myself, mostly for years. It contains a description of the software, information where you can download it, as well as what you have to pay attention to, when installing and configuring it. All this, based on my personal experience, i.e. not reviews written by an IT professional, nor by a member of any software vendor, developer or distributor company, but the more or less subjective impressions of an every day computer user. The applications at the review pages are marked with colored stars, that have the following meaning:
Red star"Must have" software Application, that I consider as "simply the best" and that every computer user should have installed on their machine
Orange starGreat freeware application Great application, that is free of charge (and that you may use in replacement of similar build-in or commercial software)
Yellow starGreat freeware (limited) Great application, that is the limited functionality freeware version of commercial software
Blue starGood freeware application Freeware application, that I use myself, without wanting to say, that there aren't better free alternatives
Cyan starGood freeware (limited) Limited functionality freeware application, that I use myself, without wanting to say, that there aren't better free alternatives
Black starCommercial software Application, that you have to pay for, if you want to use it
1. System and security software.
 
7-Zip: 'Must have' software   7-Zip   File archiver with high compression ratio and opening more or less any existing archive format.
Avast Free Antivirus: Great freeware (limited)   Avast Free Antivirus   One of the best rated antivirus programs in all major software reviews; gives me protection for years.
Malwarebytes Free: 'Must have' software   Malwarebytes Free   Powerful virus removal tool, that you can use beside your real-time scanner, to stay protected from viruses and other malware.
Password Safe: Good freeware   Password Safe   An excellent, reliable, and easy to use password manager, created by leading security expert Bruce Schneier.
Q-Dir: Great freeware   Q-Dir   Quad-Directory-Explorer, allowing file management in a 4-tabs-window; lots more functionalities than Windows File Explorer.
ZoneAlarm Free Firewall: Great freeware (limited)   ZoneAlarm Free Firewall   One of the best rated firewall programs in all major software reviews; gives me protection for years.
2. Network and Internet software.
 
3. Home and office software.
 
Foxit Reader: Good freeware   Foxit Reader   Small, fast, and feature-rich PDF Reader, including document annotation and signing.
Freelang: Good freeware   Freelang   Offline dictionary application, with a multitude of word lists for from/to English, from/to French and from/to Spanish words translation.
LibreOffice: Great freeware   LibreOffice   Complete, full-featured freeware office suite, as replacement for Microsoft Office.
4. Multimedia.
 
AIMP: Good freeware   AIMP   A spiritual successor to the once famous WinAMP: Music player, tag editor and music converter.
GIMP: Great freeware   GIMP   Toolset for high quality image manipulation, as replacement for Adobe Photoshop.
IrfanView: Great freeware   IrfanView   One of the most popular graphic viewers worldwide, including really easy to use image editing features.
VLC player: 'Must have' software   VLC player   For me personally, the best video player ever.
5. Educational software.
 
6. Programming software.
 
7. Web-development software.
 
8. Gaming software.
 
9. Utilities.
 
Notepad++: 'Must have' software   Notepad++   The most complete text editor that you may find, including highlighting for some 90 programming languages or similar.