There’s a plethora of free software you can download and use on your computer. While the most technical are usually free, here is a list of free software that can actually get most of the important jobs done.
If you have just bought a new computer or Mac book, check out these open source (free) software you can download and install to get you started.
Free Web Browsers:
To navigate through the software download websites, you need a web browser. All operating systems have a default pre-installed browsers. Windows computers have internet explorer/Microsoft Edge, Mac OS has Safari while Ubuntu, being the most popular operating system, has Firefox pre-installed.
If you would like to change your browser, you can download from a wide range of free and powerful and faster browsers. Google Chrome leads the pack in this one. Chrome is available for all operating systems. Firefox is also another great browser available for all operating systems.
Simply go to the official download page. The website will detect your operating system and prepare for you the appropriate download.
Free Antivirus and Malware Protection Software:
Before you start using your computer and stuffing it with your important sensitive information, you need to guard it against malicious virus programs and malware. These come from the internet or from external media plugged into your computer.
There are a lot of paid antivirus programs in the market but there are also a ton of free ones. Good ones at that! Avast, AVG are good examples. There are also some paid antivirus programs with limited free versions. Bitdefender and Avira.
Free Backup Software:
For backup, we are looking for free software that allow us to easily do online backups. The best backup services in this day and age are cloud based. To get started, create a Dropbox or Google drive account. These are both excellent cloud storage services.
A computer is never complete until you can play music and watch movies and videos on it. Fortunately all the operating systems come with default media players. The best free multimedia software I can recommend is VLC Media player. It’s available for all the operating systems including Android and iOS.
Office suit is the software that contains a word, spreadsheet, presentations processor. For Windows computers, the best Office suit is Microsoft office but you have to pay for it. The best cross platform and free office suit is Libre Office. It was originally found in Linux operating systems but can now be downloaded on Windows and Mac computers.
Free Image Editing Software:
Every operating system comes with a light weight image manipulation program for doing small tasks. Windows has Paint feature that can crop and make minor changes to images. Photoshop is available for Windows and Mac but it’s too pricey unless you’re a professional.
GIMP is the solution for this. A free open source image editing program with most of the sophisticated features you will find in Adobe Photoshop.
Free File Compressor:
Most of these operating systems also have their own file compression utilities. If you still need to download one, 7zip is a good choice. PeaZIP and Hamster are other alternatives for this job. These software can also be used to extract compressed files and folders.
Free Video Editors:
Windows movie maker is a free video editing software found in Windows. If it’s not in your copy of Windows, you can download it from here. Open Shot is another free video editing tool available for all three platforms.
Free Disc Ripper and Burning Software:
Whether you want to rip a Disc to save music on your computer or you want to create a music CD, you need software to work with your optical dive. Nero and Ashampoo are all great for this but you’ll be required to pay at some point. CDBurner XP is a good tool for windows to get the job done. Mac users can download Express Burn Disc from the app store.