Sunshine, laughter, the chuckle of a child, water, swimming, twinkling nature, mountains, rivers, a lover’s kiss and yes, even software. Comparing software to the free warmth of the sun and a cool refreshing breeze may jolt and jar but given that so many of us spend lots of time on computers it’s nice to know that there is the digital equivalent of mother natures’ bounty. Check this list of free software and you may not only be pleasantly surprised but you could also save money.
 

Free software is great, not only because it’s free but because a lot of it can do tasks that you might not be aware of. For instance, do you know that there is a free alternative to Microsoft Office (which usually costs about £100 - €140) called OpenOffice? It provides everything that Microsoft Office does including word, spreadsheets and power points.

 

Here’s a list of some of the most compelling free software tools: check them out, you’re sure to find something useful.
 

Browsers

Microsoft Internet Explorer comes pre-installed on Windows computers so when you buy a computer you’ll find it’s already on there. But there are are several excellent free alternatives that are often be faster, have more options, and are often more secure than Internet Explorer, which is notorious for its bugs. Check them out: Mozilla FirefoxGoogle Chrome
 

Office Suite

We’ve already mentioned that an Office suite such as Microsoft Office can be one of of the most expensive programs you install on your computer. Why pay for these when free ones are just as good and packed with the same tools too: OpenOffice
 

Compression utility

When you’re downloading files from the internet you'll sometimes encounter a .zip, .rar, files which is essentially a compressed file with lots of data in it, whether its images, movies or long and dense documents. Managing these files can be easy with free file compression utilities such as this one: File compression utility: 7-Zip
 

E-mail

If you haven’t already got onto the free email bandwagon you’re missing out. Flocks of people are using free email services such as those listed below but many are still using emails such as Microsoft Outlook. The great thing about free e-mail services is that you can create as many accounts as you want to, for instance, you could have an account for social media platforms, one for work and another for friends and family. If you haven’t already, check these out: Mozilla ThunderbirdGmail
 

Image editor, paint programme, and picture organizer

You can shell out a lot of money for software that edits, creates and organizes images on a computer. We’re talking several hundred pounds sterling. However, if you’re not a professional designer who absolutely needs the absolute best there are free programmes that do a fantastic job.

Image editor: GIMP

Paint program: Paint.net

Picture organizer: Google Picasa
 

CD Burner

Sometimes these tools come as part of a bigger software bundle. They you do not have one, and you want a CD burner that can create an audio or data CD/DVD, copy the data from an audio CD, or create a CD from a .ISO check the following:CDBurnerXP
 

BullGuard protects your devices from hackers and malware

TRY NOW FOR FREE - 90 DAYS
 

Multimedia

There are many different multimedia programs with different capabilities and varying limitations. However, there are some really top free versions for watching video files and recording audio.

Audio editing and creating tool: Audacity

Video and DVD Player: MPC-HC
 

Web site maintenance

If you’re maintaining your own web page or need to upload or download files to or from a server, you have to use an FTP utility or an SSH client. There are lots of commercial software enabling you to do this but there are also free versions too: Filezilla for FTP; MobaXterm for SSH
 

EVEN MORE FREE SOFTWARE

The above free programmes are for tasks that are commonplace and therefore quite popular. However, we’ve added a list of more tools which can be equally useful.
 

Cleaning up your PC

Many PCs are pre-installed with software by the vendor. Some are useful, but a lot are just junk that you’ll never use. You can scan your computer with free software that shows you what is running on your computer. But be careful when deleting software, you don’t want to delete something that is important.

PC Decrapifier

The programme below also cleans up unwanted cookies and unnecessary files as well as the browser history.

CCleaner
 

Recovering deleted files

It’s a nightmare most of us have probably experienced, accidently deleting a file and unable to recover. It’s made worse if it’s something you’ve created and have been working on. But help is at hand with software that can recover deleted file.

Recuva
 

From Word to PDF

Do you want to give your Word document a smooth makeover and a professional sheen? Look no further than free software that converts Word documents, or images, to PDF format : Cute PDF
 

Fed up with Adobe malware?

Adobe has become the de facto PDF reader and as a result its attracted malware like a magnet attracts iron. Why not try a much less well known PDF reader that is faster and safer?

Sumatra PDF
 

Software that won’t uninstall

Sometimes Windows refuses to uninstall some software. It’s frustrating especially if you’re trying to free up space on our computer. Thankfully there is free software that neutralizes active processes, leaving you free to kill all the programmes you don’t want.

Unlocker

A word of warning though, and the irony won’t escape you, but when installing Unlocker, it tries to install a lot of bloatware, so you’ll need to be on your guard – but if you’re not you can smite the bloatware with PC Decrapifier.
 

Password Managers

We know we need strong passwords. But we know we don’t have memories that will effortlessly recall dozens of alphanumeric codes. Try a free password manager to keep everything safe: DashlaneKeePass
 

Security software

Keep an eye on the BullGuard website for free trial-based software. It’s some of the best in the business and features innovative layered protection that keeps malware out - BullGuard


Good quality games

The internet is heavy with free games, some better than others. A game is a good way to unwind whether you like the single player thing or multi-player competitions. In terms of the range of games and quality, the following site is hard to beat: Steam