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    Must Have/Useful Programs

    Asked Jan 21, 2005, 08:42 AM 66 Answers
    I thought it would be a good idea to get a list of useful programs that we could keep here. If a mod comes across this - could you sticky it please. It would be quite helpful. I'm bound to have missed some programs, so if there is some that you think should be on this list - post here or PM me and I'll add them to the list.

    With all these programs, there is no right or wrong one to use. Many of these programs are free or at least will offer evaluation periods. Try a few of them and see which one you like the best.

    Virus Scanners

    If you don't have a virus scanner on your PC - get one and fast. New viruses are released every week and some scan spread all around the world in a matter of hours. The news nowadays is constantly filled with talks of new viruses trying to do this and that. The best way of putting a stop to them is to have a virus checker constantly running on your PC. Here are a few to select from:

    Norton Antivirus - One of the most popular virus scanners out there. My personal choice.
    McAfee VirusScan - Also another of the more popular virus scanners out there.
    Eset Nod32 Antivirus
    Kaspersky Antivirus
    Kaspersky Online virus checker - Kaspersky also offer a free, online virus check for those who don't want to buy a virus scanner (tisk tisk).
    AVG Antivirus


    Firewalls are another great way to stop many threats out there on the internet today. A firewall will only let programs send/receive if you say it can. This way you can make sure that your internet browser can access the internet, but any nasty spyware that sneaks in won't be able to. Windows XP comes with a built in firewall but if you don't have XP, or want more control, consider the following.

    ZoneAlarm - Very user friendly but still powerful. Comes in several version - including a free one
    McAfee Personal Firewall
    Norton Personal Firewall
    Sygate Personal Firewall - Free for personal use

    Spyware Removal Tools

    Do you keep getting annoying adverts popping up while surfing the internet? Does your browser keep setting your homepage to some rubbish? Well then you have some spyware on your PC my friend. Try downloading one of these bad boys to get rid of it,

    Adaware - Along with Spyware: S&D, a must have on your PC. Looks good, updated regularly.
    Spyware: Search & Destroy - Another great spyware removal tool.

    Combined with Adaware, your PC should be adware free.

    Also check out the sites for McAfee, Symantec (Norton) etc. for Spyware removal tools as well. You will have to pay for these ones I'm afraid though.

    Internet Browsers

    Firefox - Unless you have been hiding under a rock somewhere, you should have heard of Firefox. It's a free internet browser that is rapidly taking away market share from IE. It's faster, safer and has a number of nice extras like themes and extensions.
    Internet Explorer - Out of fairness I put this here. I think Firefox is much better but IE is still the most widely used.
    Opera - Another alternative to IE.
    Avant Browser - Before Firefox, this was my browser of choice. It is actually just a wrapper round IE adding some extra features to it like tabbed browsing.

    Email Clients

    Fed up with Outlook Express? Well why not try on one of these email clients for size.

    Mozilla Thunderbird - Firefox's sister program. Lovely email client with tonnes of features. Like Firefox you can download extra themes and extensions to make the app even more appealing,
    Pegasus Mail - Some nice features like allowing you to OK attachments before they are downloaded from your email server.

    I'll add some more useful programs on here later, but for now - this will do. Some linux programs may also follow I guess. Finally, sorry for being so bias towards Firefox/Thunderbird. As you can tell I'm not Microsoft's biggest fan.

    Last edited by RickJ; Jan 11, 2006 at 10:56 AM.
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    aung2bo's Avatar
    aung2bo Posts: 87, Reputation: 7
    Junior Member

    Aug 31, 2008, 09:41 PM
    RaccoonWorks - Download

    Network Speed Test software

    You can test your local area network Speed..

    mechanickid's Avatar
    mechanickid Posts: 248, Reputation: 5
    Full Member

    Aug 31, 2008, 11:52 PM
    Honestly I didn't read through all the previous posts,, but an amendment to orignial,

    Virus Scanner- AVAST Anti-Virus

    Internet browser- Safari

    I find avast to be a pretty low resource hoger :)
    Romaniukesan's Avatar
    Romaniukesan Posts: 17, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 26, 2008, 10:28 AM

    Data Recovery Tools - Recuva
    Handy Recovery
    I suggest Recuva because it shows more data and, and it seems to find more bits of deleted files than Handy Recuvery..
    chaosmaster1's Avatar
    chaosmaster1 Posts: 294, Reputation: 12
    Full Member

    Jan 13, 2009, 07:09 PM

    Avg antivirus is a good one along with malwarebytes antimalware

    For mozilla Firefox try flashgot it is dead useful when it comes to audio and video
    Nubzor16's Avatar
    Nubzor16 Posts: 62, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Mar 7, 2009, 08:39 PM

    A Good Security Setup. (Which is what I have + All Free)

    Antivirus = AVG Free 8.0

    AntiSpyware = Malwarebytes' Anti Malware, SUPERantispyware

    Firewall = Online Armor 3.0

    *for unsure apps I use run sandboxed with "sandboxie"
    Helljack6's Avatar
    Helljack6 Posts: 107, Reputation: 8
    Junior Member

    Mar 25, 2009, 03:31 PM

    My typical setup includes Auslogics Free Disk Defrag (open source, works on every platform, is fast and efficient) Malwarebytes v1.34, Spybot S&D 1.6.2 and a corporate edition of Symantec AV or McAfee or TrendMicro. And my personal favorite, XP Cleanup batch file that scans and removes anything and everything CCLeaner and those others can't / don't get rid of, download it here:

    Copy DELTREE to C:\Windows\System32 folder then edit the batch file as you see fit, double click to run, for full time cleaning, toss into the system startup folder and have it run every time the computer boots up.

    Also, my favorite cleaning tool, copy the following and create a new shortcut on your desktop:

    %SystemRoot%\System32\Cmd.exe /c Cleanmgr /sageset:35 & Cleanmgr /sagerun:35

    Run it and check ALL the available boxes and remove any removable drives and sit back and watch it clean!
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,442, Reputation: 1856
    Admin & Wine Expert

    Apr 30, 2009, 02:12 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Helljack6 View Post
    It's amazing that everything he stated to do, the geek squad will charge you $49.99 to do as an "optimization" on your computer. Half the crap he mentioned isn't even scratching the surface of optimization. Perhaps it's just best if he boxed his computer up and took it back to the store as he clearly doesn't know nearly as much as he thinks. I mean hell, steps a,b and c are all the same steps, just in a different location on his list, ?! You want a firewall, invest in a router. Want something that opens/decompresses Zip files, the feature's already built into windows! Come on! Stop installing more software that does what's already installed by default on the system! The man seriously has no clue!

    BUT! If you want to add additional software, then go to my website and follow the steps there and I can personally guarantee you'll get a screaming fast computer. My techniques are tried and true and the batch files available there are constantly being updated for maximum effectivness. But don't blame me if you can't follow directions.
    Most of this is already covered here:

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