Whether you are in need of a new anti-virus scanner, photo editor or just want to play some games online, Drew shares his list of the best free downloads and games to keep you safe and smiling.
Document processing – Open Office
With more than 50 million downloads of the program world-wide, Open Office is the alternative choice to Microsoft document processing products. Open Office comes with similar products to those offered by the Microsoft Office Suite, at a very reasonable price – free! The best part is that you can save all your documents in Microsoft .doc, .xls and .ppt formats.
Open Office works on Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS systems.
To download Open Office visit //www.openoffice.org/product/
Photo editing – GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)
GIMP is a photo-editing software with many of the same features as Adobe Photoshop (the best pay-to-use product on the market), including corrective modes and a ‘channel mixer’ (an amazing tool which helps photos become sharper and clearer). It also has many other standard tools to help to turn average or good digital photographs into spectacular ones.
GIMP works on Microsoft Windows systems.
To download GIMP visit //www.gimp.org/downloads/
Photo editing – Paint.NET
A free and easy-to-use image and photo-editing program for computers which run Microsoft Windows. Paint.NET is a much simpler alternative program to GIMP with an intuitive and innovative user interface and support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, as well as a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
To download visit //www.getpaint.net/
Family history program – Legacy
A free family tree mapping program that not only allows you to input and map your family tree, but plot on interactive maps different locations and time periods of your family history. The program even allows you to view these plotted locations via satellite and bird’s-eye images.
To download visit www.legacyfamilytree.com/
File recovery software – Recuva
Have you ever accidentally deleted a file from your computer, a photo from your camera or even a song from your MP3 player, only to realise that you really need it?
Recuva can recover files deleted from your Windows computer, digital camera card, or MP3 player. And it’s free! When installing the program, avoid installing the Yahoo toolbar (you will have to unselect the box).
Recuva works on Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, XP and 2000 systems.
To download Recuva for free, visit //www.piriform.com/recuva
Remote access – TeamViewer
TeamViewer is a free and secure product which allows you to give a friend or family member access to your computer from the comfort of their home, anywhere in the world. This comes in very handy when you are looking for some help with your computer, as the person can take control of your computer and fix any problems which you may be having remotely. This is just the tip of the iceberg for this product. The product comes standard with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone conferencing and a cool smartphone application which lets you log into your computer while out and about.
TeamViewer works on Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS systems.
To download TeamViewer visit //www.teamviewer.com
Customised desktops – VirtuaWin
Do you love having all of your favourite icons on your desktop? But are you finding your desktop cluttered? VirtuaWin is a program which allows you to create and switch between up to nine separate “virtual windows” by simply tapping on an icon in your system tray. This allows you to customise different desktops for differences uses (work, personal, games, movies, etc).
VirtuaWin works on Microsoft Windows systems.
To download VirtuaWin visit virtuawin.sourceforge.net
Smart search – Everything
Appropriately named, Everything indexes your computer’s files and gives you a lightning-fast search of its contents. Great for those times when you lose documents or you’re just feeling lazy.
Everything works on Microsoft Windows systems.
To download Everything visit //voidtools.com
Password protection – KeePass Password Safe
Do you have several passwords, all of different lengths or conventions? If you’re struggling to remember which password is for which system, then KeePass may be the answer to your problem. KeePass uses complicated formulas to encrypt all of your passwords (and everything else) it holds for you. If you struggle to think of new passwords, it’ll generate strong passwords which you can use. It doesn’t integrate much with the browser, but if you use Firefox, the KeeFox plug-in takes care of that.
KeePass works on Microsoft Windows systems.
To download KeePass Password Safe visit //keepass.info/
Password protection – LastPass
Similar to the KeePass software, the key difference with LastPass is that it works on several different operating systems including Windows and Macs. I have been using LastPass for the last six months and have not had an issue to date with remembering a password or having an account compromised.
To download LastPass visit https://lastpass.com/
AVG Anti-Virus (PC)
AVG Anti-Virus is a trusted and free anti-virus scanner. It offers all the bare-necessities when it comes to computer security, and should be sufficient protection for those who know enough about basic computer safety (i.e. staying away from .biz sites, not opening emails which are suspect or simple titles such as “hello” from people who you do not recognise as a contact).
For more information visit //free.avg.com
Avast Anti-Virus (PC)
Avast Anti-Virus is a trusted anti-virus client, with proven results. Avast offers fantastic Spyware and virus protection for a free program. If you are after better protection however, and are a fan of the Avast program, they offer a free one-year trial of both Avast Pro and Avast internet security. After trying all three, choose the security which you feel best suits your needs.
For more information visit //avast.com
Avira Anti-Virus (PC)
Avira Anti-Virus is a solid program which comes highly recommended from trusted computer reviewers. Avira protects well against dangerous viruses, worms and Trojan horses. Also available in nine languages.
For more information visit //www.avira.com
CCleaner is a program which removes unused files to allow your operating system to run faster by freeing up hard disk space. CCleaner also cleans traces of your online activities (cookies).
To download CCleaner visit //piriform.com
The software is unobtrusive, and lets the Mac’s natural firewall and virus protection run its course, while providing a backup barrier for your computer. It provides protection from share files infected with Windows-based malware and other harmful files.
For more information visit //www.iantivirus.com
This Australian run antivirus and security suite is used by over 5 million people, targets and removes viruses, malware, spyware and adware. It works on desktops, tablets and smartphones and is compatible with PC, Mac, android and iPhones alike. The program was voted the best antivirus of 2018 by thetop10antivirus.com.
For more information visit: https://www.totalav.com/download-now
Despite the name this software also supports Mac and android products, and protects your personal information, device and network.
For more information visit: https://www.pcprotect.com/start/download
One of the first applications built to find and remove malware and spyware, Ad-Aware Free Internet Security features real-time protection, rootkit protection, automatic updates, and much more – to ensure that you have the power to protect yourself online.
For more information visit //www.lavasoft.com
Spybot – Search & Destroy
Spybot – Search & Destroy can detect and remove a multitude of adware files and modules from your computer. Spybot can also clean program and Web-usage tracks from your system, which is especially useful if you share your computer.
For more information visit //www.safer-networking.org
Malwarebytes has developed a variety of tools which can identify and remove malicious software from your computer. When your computer becomes infected, Malwarebytes can provide the needed assistance to remove the infection and restore the machine back to optimum performance.
For more information visit https://www.malwarebytes.org
Free Online Games Websites
There is a variety of free games websites on the internet, including our own. We have chosen six of our favourites which provide you with a variety of games to play when you have some down time!
One of the oldest and most popular online games websites on the internet, Miniclip will provide hours upon hours of entertainment with over 300 games to choose from.
Visit www.miniclip.com to play.
A fun website providing the latest puzzle games including Action Puzzles, Number Games (including Online Sudoku), Free Crossword Puzzles, Word Games, Online Trivia, Memory Games and many more from which to choose.
Free Online Games (FOG)
Operating since 1997, FOG has an extensive database of games available ranging from Mahjong to Frogger!
Visit www.freeonlinegames.com to play.
The most popular free online games website in the world, millions of people play games on Facebook each day. Bejeweled, Scrabble, Farmville are just some of the games you can play on Facebook. The most popular game is Farmville with almost 62 million active users. To play visit your Facebook profile, or create one and click on the games tab to get started!
Single player and multiplayer games. Visitors can win badges, beat challenges and also upload and share their own games.
Looking for something more challenging than a crossword puzzle or word search? Freeride games has over 1000 different games which will test your mind.
Words with friends
Over 20 million people have played Words with Friends, so a fair warning… it’d addictive. This spin on scrabble can be played independently or with friends, and can be an easy and fun way to keep in touch with phone-addicted grandkids! The App is free and can be downloaded from the App Store if you have an iPhone.
For more information visit: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/words-with-friends-word-game/id804379658?mt=8
Did we miss a program or game? Share your favourites in the comments box below.