Audio & Video Software
WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe – Without a doubt the best video converter available. Sure, it costs money but sometimes you have to pay to get the very best.
4K Download.com – An excellent range of free video and music downloaders available from this developer, including 4K Video Downloader, 4K YouTube to MP3, and more. Portable versions available.
Any Video Converter Free – Excellent format support. Basic editing and effects. High quality output. Also converts videos hosted online.
VLC Media Player – A great free video and audio player. Supports most video formats without needing to download additional codecs. Brilliant range of features. Portable available.
Backup & Recovery Software
Acronis True Image Home – Do you value the data on your computer? Do you value your time? How much time will you spend recovering data and returning your computer to its original state after a hardware failure or software glitch? Acronis True Image is my #1 pick for backup software! True Image consistently creates backups 10-20% smaller than its competitors and doesn’t require Microsoft’s .Net framework to run like Norton. True Image creates backups to internal drives, external drives, network drives, and directly to CD/DVD. If you value your data you need this program! Read my backup strategy here.
Macrium Reflect – Create, save and restore entire disk images for free with Macrium Reflect. Features include; Excellent compression. Mountable images. Save to Network, USB, firewire drives and DVD. Linux based Rescue CD with Network access and full GUI.
Aomei Backupper – Easy to use free image-based backup solution. Full system backups. Scheduling. Cloning. Create bootable media, including disc and USB, for disaster recovery. Highly recommended!
FBackup – A free yet very simple and effective file backup program. Backup important files and folders to local, external (USB) or network drives. Backup to ZIP compressed file or exact copy. Includes scheduler, file filters, verification, password protection and more.
CrashPlan – Free automated backup to multiple locations. Use the Crashplan software to automatically encrypt your files and backup to external media, other computers on your network, or the computers of friends miles away. There is also a paid service available, which allows you to backup to Crashplan’s servers that starts at $1.50 per month if you choose to use it.
iPhone Data Recovery – Now with Primo iPhone Data Recovery, it’s super easy to retrieve your lost or deleted photos and videos from Camera Roll, Photo Stream, and Photo Library – no matter you have backup or not, and no matter how you lose the pictures (system upgrade, jailbreak, accidental deletion, etc.). It lets you preview the photos in thumbnails and get back them with original quality. Primo iPhone Data Recovery
CD & DVD Software
Ashampoo Burning Studio Free – A free full featured CD/DVD/Blu-Ray burning suite. Easy to use with intuitive interface. Includes direct (1:1) disc to disc copy.
WinX DVD Ripper Platinum – Fast and accurate DVD ripper (full DVD in just 5 minutes). Rips DVDs to all popular formats, including support for playback on mobile devices.
DVD Flick – Great simple interface and very easy to use free software. Convert and burn video files to DVD. Supports a multitude of video and audio formats. Add a menu, add your own subtitles. A complete all-in-one solution.
DVD Shrink – The best DVD copy freeware. Not supported any more but still works a treat with unencrypted disks.
ImgBurn – Highly developed advanced free burning software. Great range of features and options. More suited to advanced users.
Everything – Super fast and lightweight search tool.
Unlocker – Delete locked files; access denied, file is in use, etc.
Free PC Audit – Portable, lightweight system information viewer
SIV (System Information Viewer) – Portable comprehensive system information viewer
Internet & Email Software
Firefox – A secure and highly customizable browser, allowing you to surf the web without worrying about drive by downloads, spyware, and other nasties. There are literally thousands of extensions you can add to Firefox for free.
Google Chrome – Very fast browser with a simple uncomplicated interface and many extensions available.
Bitwarden – DCT’s best free password manager. Login credentials are saved in a secure online vault making it very easy to share across devices. Super secure and easy to use with extensions available for all popular browsers.
KeePass – Store passwords securely with this free program. Works great for websites! Saves a lot of time entering passwords, usernames, and sign-ins.
MailWasher – Excellent email/spam manager. Preview and/or delete emails on the server. Includes white list and blacklist, visual and audio notifications, automatic deletion. Never download unwanted emails to your computer again.
Sandboxie – Free, now open source, software which creates a virtual environment (sandbox) for safe surfing. When you delete the contents of the sandbox everything, including any malware, is erased. Everybody should have Sandboxie installed!
Thunderbird – A completely free full-featured email program from the authors of Firefox. Very popular and fully customizable with add-ins.
Privacy Badger – An add-on/extension developed by the EFF to enhance privacy and prevent online tracking. Available for all popular browsers.
WOT (Web Of Trust) – Excellent free site advisory service integrates with your browser to provide safety ratings for search results and individual sites. A must have!!
Malwarebytes Browser Guard: Free browser extension for the reputable security company Malwarebytes. Blocks access to potentially risky websites. Blocks ads, scams, and trackers.
Roboform – This program is the next best thing since sliced bread! This program integrates into Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox. It generates very secure passwords at the click of a button. How do I remember these complex passwords? Roboform allows you to save passwords and personal data in an encrypted format. A master password (yes only one password to remember!) allows access. Roboform in IE and Firefox works like a super powered bookmark. You click the site you want to go to and Roboform opens the site, enters your username and password for the site (if required) and – as if by magic – clicks the submit button and logs you in. If you shop online Roboform can enter your personal information and credit card information, which is also stored in a secure encrypted file, in one click. A real time saver with great security thrown in to boot! Free version is limited to 10 logins.
Crucial Memory – The leading source of quality RAM memory. Great selection, good prices, excellent support, and a lifetime warranty! A real winner!
HP Computers – HP is currently my pick for both laptop and desktop computers. Great prices and performance. The design of their current laptop line is simply beautiful!
Newegg – My current pick for DIY computers and computer components such as hard drives, motherboards, cpu’s, sound cards, and video cards! Newegg has the best customer service and their prices can’t be beat! Great Products! Great Prices! Great Customer Service! A Trifecta for geeks.
PC Maintenance & Utility Software
Aomei Partition Manager Standard – Excellent comprehensive partition manager. Free for both home and commercial use.
MiniTool Partition Wizard Free – Comprehensive partition manager which includes all major functions.
EASEUS Partition Master Home Edition – Another excellent free and comprehensive hard disk partition manager; Resize, move, create/delete, hide/unhide, format, copy, merge, wipe, convert.
Rufus – Create bootable USB flash drives. Easy to use, free and portable. The best!
Ventoy – Create multi-boot USB flash drives for multiple ISO files. Free and portable, simple to use. Extremely effective.
Wise Disk Cleaner – Free and portable hard drive cleaner, very effective at cleaning useless junk files and safe to use.
PrivaZer – Excellent free cleaning and privacy tool. Deep cleans many areas. Securely erases all traces for enhanced privacy. Best in its class. Portable version available.
CCleaner – Very popular free privacy and cleaning tool. Removes temporary files, internet traces, and includes basic registry cleaner. Very safe and easy to use.
Recuva – Recuva is free software which helps recover accidentally deleted files from hard drive, camera card, MP3 Player or flash drive.
Hibit Uninstaller – Excellent free uninstaller, portable version available. Includes a nice range of additional tools; startup manager, junk file cleaner, file shredder, and more.
Revo Uninstaller – A free uninstaller that goes above and beyond the uninstaller built into Windows. Will search for and delete leftover files and registry items. Includes a couple of handy tools and has a portable version too.
Geek Uninstaller – Terrific free portable uninstaller. Fast scan and removal of leftovers. ‘Force Removal’ mode for broken or stubborn programs. Full support for both 32-bit and 64-bit applications.
HWiNFO – Free portable system information and diagnostics utility. Displays information relating to the system’s hardware. Real time monitoring, including core temps. Available in 32-bit and native 64-bit portable editions.
MooO System Monitor – The most comprehensive free system monitoring tool with more than 70 fields to choose from. Extensive, portable, and highly customizable.
TeamViewer – is remote control software that connects to any PC or server around the world within a few seconds. You can remote control your partner’s PC as if you were sitting right in front of it. This is a great tool to troubleshoot and fix computers without having the computer in front of you!
PeaZip – Free Zip files utility – Open RAR TAR 7Z ZIP ZIPX files, 150+ formats supported
Supported systems: Windows 9x, Windows NT/2K/XP, Windows Vista/7/8/8.1 (32 and 64 bit), ReactOS, Wine
7Zip – You can use 7-Zip on any computer, including a computer in a commercial organization. You don’t need to register or pay for 7-Zip. Supported formats: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM.
Photo & Image Software
PicPick Screen Capture – Best free screen capture tool. Built-in editor with superior range of editing and annotation tools. Portable version available.
FastStone Image Viewer – Excellent free image browser, editor and converter that supports all major graphic formats. Nice array of features such as image comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, color adjustments and musical slideshow.
IrfanView – Popular free image viewer, editor, optimizer. Heaps of features. One the the very best.
Paint.Net – A free well designed image editor with an attractive interface. A medium level editor with lots of options and tools comparable to commercial software.
AllMyNotes Organizer – A free combination sticky notes/personal information manager. Centrally store and organize all your: recipes, to do lists, shopping lists, correspondence, diary entries, blog articles, anything and everything. Very easy to use and includes a nice notes editor. All notes are searchable and can be password protected. A portable version is available.
LibreOffice – Has supplanted Open Office as the leading open source office suite. Full featured free suite for creating; text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, diagrams, and databases. Fully compatible with Microsoft Office formats.
Money Manager Ex – Easy to use free personal finance manager. Available in installable or portable versions. Includes all the basic features most users would want in a personal finance application yet manages to retain simplicity and ease of use.
PDF-XChange Viewer – Lightweight PDF reader which provides additional features over and above your ‘average’ PDF reader. Portable version available.
Sumatra PDF – Lightweight and portable. An excellent choice for basic PDF viewing. Rendering quality is very good but not on par with PDF-XChange.
WordWeb – Terrific free local dictionary/thesaurus. Simply select a word in any document and you’ll immediately get a popup with the word’s meaning and synonyms.
Avira Free Antivirus – Top notch protection for free. Used to suffer from persistent nag screen and additional toolbar but that’s all changed now with a clean install and only occasional popup. Highly recommended.
Panda Free Antivirus – Consistently excellent detection rates, lightweight and unobtrusive. Cloud based so always up-to-date.
Sophos Home – Sophos is relatively new to the home market, but it a well known player in the business AV market. Sophos Home is lightweight, unobtrusive, and effective, and uses the same commercial grade engine as Sophos’ Endpoint business class software.
Emsisoft Emergency Kit – Excellent free and portable malware scanner/remover. Updates definitions from within the program. NOTE: A large download.