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    Must Have/Useful Programs

    Asked Jan 21, 2005, 08:42 AM ó 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

    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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    Wendy225's Avatar
    Wendy225 Posts: 240, Reputation: 4
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    #2

    Jan 21, 2005, 01:10 PM
    More
    Some decent suggestions,

    Have you tried all of the ones you suggested, or if so, have you tried any others out there.

    Personally I think Norton and Mcafee miss too many Viruses and other problems that some better virus programs will catch.

    I have checked many Virus review websites and Norton and Mcafee no longer occupy the top 2 or 3 spots, there are other better Anti Virus Solutions around now, that outperform Norton and Mcafee, both of which ,take up much more space and resources on your computer than any other anti virus programs.

    Here is my complete list, all suggestions here are tried and tested by me, and taken from other top review sites as the best.

    I would never suggest Norton or Mcafee, and until you put those 2 up against the rest and actually test them out, you would understand why they fail to beat out some other newer programs.

    For Spy ware protection and general help cleaning up the computer and registry, Anti Virus protection and software download websites, old and new game downloads, CD & DVD Burning help,I recommend, the following files, as I have found 1 or even 2 is not always enough, as 1 may find something the others do not, so protect yourself with several programs, if may be a pain, but a necessary one.

    I have personally tested each program on this list and I had taken them from the top review sites around the net as ones already chosen as the top performers.

    Spyware
    Microsoft New SPyware program-Formerly Giant spyware, they bought it out.
    Spysweeper
    Spybot search and destroy
    Adware SE
    Aluria's Spyware Eliminator
    Spyhunter
    &
    Spyware Blaster, this one prevents certain items, before they are even installed, it does not clean
    Pest Patrol

    I would suggest at the very least 3 or more of the above programs.

    Registry and Fix and Repair programs
    Fix it Utilities 5 this one has an excellent Scandisk, better than the one with your OS
    Advanced System Optimizer
    Ace Utilities
    System Mechanic 5
    Registry First Aid
    Tuneup Utilities

    Any 2 or more of these.

    And download the Google toolbar with built in pop up stopper for your browser is good.

    And a good solid Anti Virus Program or 2, updated weekly.
    PC-Cillin
    AVG Anti Virus
    Bit defender
    Etrust EZ Anti virus

    Also free online Virus scans
    http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
    http://www.bitdefender.com/scan/licence.php
    http://www.thepcmanwebsite.com/virus_help.shtml
    http://www.pandasoftware.com/actives..._principal.htm
    http://www.ravantivirus.com/scan/
    http://www.kaspersky.com/scanforvirus
    http://www.thefreecountry.com/security/antivirus.shtml

    I would suggest using 2 of these.

    A good defragging Program or 2
    Diskeeper Lite or Even better the full Pro version
    Perfect Disk
    O&O Defrag V4 Professional Edition 4.0.508

    Also run from Start/run type in chkdsk then let that run then type in chkdsk /f to help fix WinXP errors.

    Also use the below website, that tests and reviews some of the best programs out for many

    Different things, they give you side by side comparisons and rate each one in many categories.
    http://www.toptenreviews.com/

    If you need computer parts try this website
    www.newegg.com they are the best and fastest retailer, I have ever dealt with on the net, great service, delivery and solid competitive pricing.

    PC Security Checks
    http://www.grc.com/

    Download sites for reviews and trying out new products
    http://www.Soft32.com
    http://www.tucows.com
    http://www.topshareware.com/
    http://downloads-zdnet.com.com/2001-...ml?legacy=cnet
    http://www.download.com/

    Old Games Downloads & Abandonware

    http://www.the-underdogs.org/ No cost, just get a password and join for free, itís loaded with older computer games and they rate them.

    http://www.freeoldies.com/ more of an old game search engine

    http://www.argosoft.com/games/dos.html strictly old Dos games

    Good Peer 2 Peer file sharing Programs
    These are all better and Safer than Kazaa Lite

    Ares Installs 1 file that Spyware may detect, but itís just the program file itself, so ignore it. Good solid file sharing progam.

    WinMX Sometimes slower than Ares, but neither install Spyware or Adware.

    Bearshare has tons of items and is fast, but it loads down your computer with Spyware, Adware and who knows what else, but for that 1 hard to find file, they may have it, but beware of all the problems.

    DVD & CD Burning review, Help and Download sites
    http://dvd-burning-software-reviews.com/ mainly reviews DVD software
    http://www.burnworld.com/ A very thorough and complete website on burning.
    http://www.cdfreaks.com/ Another huge Burning website
    Helpful (2)
    Wendy225's Avatar
    Wendy225 Posts: 240, Reputation: 4
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    #3

    Jan 21, 2005, 01:12 PM
    Email
    Also you suggested some email clients, what about Incredimail.

    It runs almost like a Eudora and Ms OUtlook clone, but has so many more options and things to use than those 2, it would be an excellent choice to suggest as an email program.

    Also for spyware and such, if you used only the 2 you suggested, you would find yours system most likely infected with things those 2 don't find, I would suggest, 3 or 4 maybe of the top programs available. :cool:
    Helpful
    psi42's Avatar
    psi42 Posts: 599, Reputation: 13
    Senior Member
     
    #4

    Jan 21, 2005, 02:00 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by LTheobald
    If a mod comes across this - could you sticky it please.
    Done. :)


    First, I'm going to second Firefox and thunderbird :)


    A few other nice goodies:

    gaim: An IM client that talks AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and quite a few more.
    naim: Puts other IM clients to shame. I don't know if there is a windows port. The GUI is ncurses, and leave your mouse at the door. :)

    The GIMP image manipulation program. Very nice.
    OpenOffice.org office suite.

    TightVNC...

    bittorrent: The solution to massive file distribution. This program is _NOT_ illegal.

    The Open CD: A nice compilation...
    Helpful
    Nez's Avatar
    Nez Posts: 557, Reputation: 51
    Senior Member
     
    #5

    Jan 21, 2005, 02:15 PM
    Must have/useful programs
    I agree 100% with Wendy on Norton and McAfee.Symantics tech support $2.95 a minute for live info.And I'm in the UK! The software slows all but 3GHZ processors.Now you know why your latest PC goes awol after start-up.Old code dressed up like mutton.New for 2005? A firewall.But hey,at $50 why worry?
    And if you want it completely removed,you have to download a 'free' tool from Symantic to finish the job.

    McAfee Virus Scan 9.0? Firewall dropped,but for $40 you can get McAfee Firewall Plus.A snip at the price.But not to worry,I'm sure your PC can take the resource strain!
    :D

    All the above is my opinion only,and in no way reflects the thoughts and views of any other members of my family or friends.They all use other products anyway! ;)

    I have used the two on separate computers.One running Windows 98SE,which I use to dual-test products and apps,and the other on my slow? 2.4Ghz XP flavor.Both anti-virus product are not my cup of tea (or coffee).


    After a hard day surfing the net,tired,fed up and need to relax?
    Then visit the end page... http://www.mythologic.net/end
    Helpful (1)
    Wendy225's Avatar
    Wendy225 Posts: 240, Reputation: 4
    Full Member
     
    #6

    Jan 26, 2005, 10:04 AM
    Try this
    PC Cillin is an excellent Anti Virus Program, in tests I ran at the computer where I work and from reviews of it online, it found and fixed more Viruses and problems than the other top Anti Virus programs, they offer it in an Excellent Security Suite, that has many good solid programs with it, at a good price, its an easy to use program also.

    I also use AVG Anti Virus, which is free, it is nearly as good as PC Cillin, both outperformed NOrton and Mcafee in my tests and many other reviews I have found on the net, it seems these 2 previous top performers have dropped the ball slightly, also Panda which use to be a top program has slipped some.

    I also love Cyberlinks Bitdefender just as much as Cillin and AVG.

    ;)
    Helpful
    Khalvynnov's Avatar
    Khalvynnov Posts: 63, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member
     
    #7

    Jan 29, 2005, 04:43 PM
    Spyware Detecter
    So I was surfing on the net today, and I cam across an online spyware remover which works pretty good. The site has a few DL's that you can use to block some stuff apearently (not sure what though) and of couse a full user friendly program that you can buy.
    Have any of you used this one before?
    What do you all think of it? Is it good?

    Helpful
    Cossack's Avatar
    Cossack Posts: 21, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #8

    Feb 18, 2005, 04:22 PM
    Guys
    You know, guys, as a mail, gmail is the best out there. Just try it, when someone asks you if you want to get the invitation.
    Helpful
    thebriggsdude's Avatar
    thebriggsdude Posts: 1,096, Reputation: 53
    Ultra Member
     
    #9

    Feb 19, 2005, 10:26 AM
    Nother free and good AV would be clamwin, very powerful and free I might add clamwin checks every single folder, registry files etc. and its regularly updated oh and forgot, its also better then what you pay for, had a friend that ran norton and other av's, well clamwin picked them all up, they were all trojans. And I mean its powerful.
    www.clamwin.com, download it and update it then go for it and it'll find them if you have them.
    Helpful
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,930, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member
     
    #10

    Feb 20, 2005, 07:58 AM
    Must have, free
    Hi,
    Did anyone mention 2 free ones?

    The CWShredder below only applies to CoolWebSearch Spyware, but it does a great job with deleting it.
    http://www.intermute.com/products/cwshredder.html

    Also, CCleaner is a great free cleaner that will clean temp files, others, and some Registry entries no longer used:
    http://www.ccleaner.com/

    Best wishes,
    fredg
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    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,930, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member
     
    #11

    Feb 20, 2005, 08:01 AM
    Free antivirus
    Most seem to use AVG anti virus, if they use a free one.

    But, AVAST seems to be the choice of many that have used AVG and now switched.

    http://www.download.com/Avast-Home-E...ml?tag=lst-0-3

    fredg
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    LTheobald's Avatar
    LTheobald Posts: 1,051, Reputation: 127
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    #12

    Feb 20, 2005, 08:15 AM
    I must update that first post I did with all these programs when I stop being so lazy :P

    Another couple of good programs:

    WinPatrol - Useful little program from stopping spyware, IE hacks etc. Prompts you whenever a program tries something that could be spyware trying to change something.

    Webroot Spy Sweeper - This spyware removal tool isn't free but they do provide a 30 day trial. When CNet did an "obstacle course" for the most popular spyware programs out there, this came first (Spybot S&D was second, Ad-Aware 4th).
    Helpful
    Khalvynnov's Avatar
    Khalvynnov Posts: 63, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member
     
    #13

    Feb 22, 2005, 09:47 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by LTheobald
    Webroot Spy Sweeper - This spyware removal tool isn't free but they do provide a 30 day trial. When CNet did an "obstacle course" for the most popular spyware programs out there, this came first (Spybot S&D was second, Ad-Aware 4th).
    I used webroot on my machines for that 30 day trial, spysweeper is a great program and worth the money... money I don't have so I can't get it lol
    But good none the less.
    Webroot also has window washer, pretty good too and an internet accelerator which is also a good program
    Helpful
    mateo_salta's Avatar
    mateo_salta Posts: 24, Reputation: 2
    New Member
     
    #14

    Feb 24, 2005, 10:07 AM
    Have you ever tried...

    DVD shrink-can get rid of the previews on your dvds
    DvD decrypter
    Dameon tools
    Litestep- alternate shell for windows Xp and 98
    Helpful
    ladyandjan's Avatar
    ladyandjan Posts: 188, Reputation: 4
    Junior Member
     
    #15

    Feb 24, 2005, 09:44 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by LTheobald
    I must update that first post I did with all these programs when I stop being so lazy :P

    Another couple of good programs:

    WinPatrol - Useful little program from stopping spyware, IE hacks etc. Prompts you whenever a program tries something that could be spyware trying to change something.

    Webroot Spy Sweeper - This spyware removal tool isn't free but they do provide a 30 day trial. When CNet did an "obstacle course" for the most popular spyware programs out there, this came first (Spybot S&D was second, Ad-Aware 4th).
    Have used winpatrol for 2 yrs. And great program from stopping your home page from being hijacked in the first place as it lets you know something is trying to change your home page and asks you if its OK. Never had a problem w/my home page yet. Would not be on the net without it, ever.
    Helpful
    phr0ze's Avatar
    phr0ze Posts: 106, Reputation: 3
    Junior Member
     
    #16

    Feb 28, 2005, 02:42 AM
    I could name a million things... ehhh well not quite. But I'm tired so I'm going to list these two freebees.

    Hijack This - Sorry if someone mentioned it already. It's a free spyware remover.

    And

    Free utilities (undelete,etc)

    Ohh I'll throw in a site too.

    www.techbargains.com

    Later
    Helpful
    TechProNow's Avatar
    TechProNow Posts: 29, Reputation: 2
    New Member
     
    #17

    Mar 27, 2005, 02:59 AM
    KazzaLite 2.02 (no spyware / no adverts)

    AOL SPEED (Quickens Your AOL) (recommendation - If you are using AOL, try something else)

    McAfee Advert Stinger

    Rnav2003 Norton Remover

    Trend Microsystem Cleaner (anti-virus)

    Second Copy 2000 - Backup Software

    Google Toolbar

    Slim Browser - Like Internet Explorer without all the junk


    I've been collecting freeware software, and I have made this list.
    These programs do not require registration or $$.
    They are freeware, and I have used all of them, and they are good.

    There is no warranty (as with all freeware) use at your own risk.
    Helpful
    psi42's Avatar
    psi42 Posts: 599, Reputation: 13
    Senior Member
     
    #18

    Mar 27, 2005, 10:34 AM
    http://sourceforge.net/
    http://freshmeat.net/
    Helpful
    Wendy225's Avatar
    Wendy225 Posts: 240, Reputation: 4
    Full Member
     
    #19

    Mar 28, 2005, 12:45 AM
    More
    I don't care what version of Kazaa you use, the files you down load from it, will eventually ruin your system and you will reformat at some point, you will regret using it, it's a great progam for files, but too many bad ones.

    I use ARes, mainly for Mp3s.

    Copernic desktop search is an awesome free program and you mentioned many people are switching from aVG anti virus to Avast, why switch, I found out over the years, that it takes a minimum of at least 2 Anti virus programs to protect you completely, I use both and many times one finds and catches things the other does not, so use both, also, Anti Vir is just as good, use all 3, I use it also, with no problems,

    Spybot and Adware se of course.

    And you can get most anything free with whatever bit torrent sites are left open.

    :D
    Helpful
    TechProNow's Avatar
    TechProNow Posts: 29, Reputation: 2
    New Member
     
    #20

    Mar 28, 2005, 12:53 AM
    True, you must be careful with Kazaa files. But I haven't contracted a harmful virus for 2 years. Nimda is all thus far.

    I use AVG 7 Free Edition and Zone Alarm.

    I never use spyware protection/removal, or ad blockers.. Too much overhead, and very un-necessary if you are wise about how you surf.
    Helpful

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