My Top 5 freeware programs for Windows

desktop with a little helping of Rainmeter and Rocketdock

I’m all about free stuff, and there’s a lot of free stuff out there to be had in terms of software. The problem is, as they say, nothing is free. A lot of the freeware out there can nag you with messages to upgrade to full versions, install advertising packages or be so crippled that it’s not worth installing. But there are some real finds out there in the freeware world. Here’s some of my favorites:

  1. Malwarebytes: This anti-malware program is fantastic at finding all kinds of shady adware, toolbars, and other baddies that antivirus programs often miss. Malwarebytes Pro offers more features including extra utilities and realtime proactive protection, but the free version is fully capable of cleaning up the junk.
  2. AVG Antivirus: Antivirus programs are an absolute necessity, but they can also be on the expensive side. Free versions of AV software abound, but programs like Avast! nag me more than I like. AVG is very effective on its own, and even better when paired with a program like Malwarebytes. Plus it doesn’t nag you to death to upgrade. Be sure to do a custom install to only install the components and features you need and not those you don’t.
  3. Revo Uninstaller: Windows’ program uninstaller typically just runs the program’s own uninstaller, which can leave folders, files and registry settings behind. Revo Uninstaller cleans much more thoroughly the first time. For weasely programs that are hard to uninstall, Revo is a lifesaver. Once again, the Pro version offers extended features such as real-time monitoring of programs being installed, but the free version is fully capable. Just be sure to make sure to select the free version when downloading.
  4. Rocketdock & Rainmeter: Rocketdock is a simple program launching toolbar for your desktop that can mimic the OSX menu bar in many ways, and I absolutely love it. Granted, I think some of the skins are downright garish, but when you find the one you like you’ll never look back. There are also high quality icons and docklets available on their site. It’s a bit old but still good. Rainmeter is a desktop skinning program that is downright amazing in terms of its creative capabilities with a prolific community behind it. It’s a bit tricky to master, but well worth it. Put them together for an awesome desktop experience.
  5. Glary Utilities: I used CCleaner for years to clean up my registry and clean out junk files. But after trying Glary Utilities I have to say that it is better. No only did it find more registry errors than CCleaner could on my system, but it offers other tools such as system information and driver backup all in one package.

Posted on August 6, 2013, in Microsoft Windows and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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