5 Star Personal Computer
This page includes links to download free software that I think are really great and would like to share with you.
Click on a category:
Important: Never have more than one firewall or anti-virus program running on your computer at the same time. They conflict with one another and your computer will run unpredictably. Be sure to uninstall your current firewall (in the case of Windows firewall, turn it off) before installing another firewall and do the same for your anti-virus program.
Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.
Microsoft Security Essentials is a free download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple.
Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times.
Note: Microsoft will not slow down older computers like Norton, McAfee, TrendMicro, and other Internet security suites do.
Please also note that MSE does not include a firewall. After installing Microsoft Security Essentials, make sure that your Windows firewall is turned on. Also note that MSE does not work with Windows 8. Windows 8 has a built-in security program called, Windows Defender which is based on MSE..
SuperAntiSpyware will remove all the spyware, not just the easy ones. Quick, complete and custom scanning of hard drives, removable drives, memory, registry, or individual folders. Includes trusting items, and excluding folders for complete customization of scanning. Detect and remove spyware, adware, malware, Trojans, dialers, worms, key loggers, hijackers, parasites, root kits and many other types of threats. Light on system resources and won't slow down your computer. Repair broken internet connections, desktops, registry editing. Real-time blocking of threats. Prevent potentially harmful software from installing or re-installing.
Have you ever considered what makes an anti-malware application effective? Malwarebytes has created an easy-to-use, simple, and effective anti-malware application. Whether you know it or not your computer is always at risk of becoming infected with viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, dialers, spyware, and malware that are constantly evolving and becoming harder to detect and remove. Only the most sophisticated anti-malware techniques can detect and remove these malicious programs from your computer.
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is considered to be the next step in the detection and removal of malware. In their product they have compiled a number of new technologies that are designed to quickly detect, destroy, and prevent malware. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware can detect and remove malware that even the most well known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to detect. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware monitors every process and stops malicious processes before they even start. The Realtime Protection Module (included only in the paid version) uses their advanced heuristic scanning technology which monitors your system to keep it safe and secure. In addition, they have implemented a threats center which will allow you to keep up to date with the latest malware threats.
Avast Free Antivirus Edition - Basic antivirus and antispyware protection for Windows rated very highly by Consumer Reports.
AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition - Basic antivirus and antispyware protection for Windows rated very highly by Consumer Reports.
Please note that the firewall that is included with Windows has been deemed very adequate especially the one that is included with Vista and more so with Windows 7. The windows firewall does not ask the computer user to allow or deny some programs from running unlike the firewall programs listed below. This makes the Windows firewall very user friendly. The programs below are excellent firewalls but, as I just mentioned, will ask the computer user from time to time to allow or deny programs to run. The problem with this is that most often it is difficult to know what program they are referring to.
PC Tools Firewall Plus is a powerful free personal firewall for Windows® that protects your computer by preventing unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer through the Internet or a network. By monitoring applications that connect to the network Firewall Plus can stop Trojans, backdoors, keyloggers and other malware from damaging your computer and stealing your private information.
PC Tools Firewall Plus is advanced technology designed especially for people, not just experts. Powerful prevention against attacks and known exploits is activated by default while experienced users can optionally create their own advanced packet filtering rules, including IPv6 support, to customize the network defenses. All you need to do is install it for immediate and automatic ongoing protection.
That's how PC Tools Firewall Plus provides world-leading protection, backed by regular Smart Updates, real-time protection and comprehensive network shielding to ensure your PC remains safe and hacker free. PC Tools products are trusted and used by millions of people every day to protect their home and business computers against online threats.
- Made by Zone Labs, will render your computer invisible to hackers. Hackers run
scanning programs over the Internet looking for computers with electronic
openings, called ports. A good firewall such as ZoneAlarm makes your computer
invisible to the scanners.
Outpost Free Firewall offers a basic protection solution for casual web surfers and low budget systems.
COMODO is a free Internet security program (Firewall plus Anti-Virus). It does not provide protection from spyware.
Have you ever received a document attached to your Email that you couldn't open up because you didn't have the program to do so? Or have you ever sent a document to a person that couldn't it? This is called a document exchange incompatibility, and there's a simple solution around it... convert it to a PDF file.
PDF files were invented by Adobe. It is considered the universal format for exchanging documents. Anything that can be printed can be converted to a PDF file. All you need is the FREE Adobe Reader program to open them up.
I've come across what I think is a great free PDF file creator called PrimoPDF and it's so simple to use.
When you install PrimoPDF a new "printer" is created named PrimoPDF. To create a PDF file, you just open up the document you which to convert using the appropriate program, then click on File, Print... Then instead of printing it to your normal printer, select the PrimoPDF "printer" and click OK. Soon, another window will appear where you can make other choices and even password protect it so that only people you give permission to can view it.
With Nitro PDF Reader is more than a PDF reader. With it, you can created PDF files, comment and review, save PDF forms, extract text and images, type text directly onto the page, and more.
PDF files are a handy tool for sharing documents. They display information exactly as you want. And they can be viewed on almost any computer. Unfortunately, making PDF files can be tricky. The full-featured programs are expensive. And the free options aren't very powerful.
Nitro PDF Reader changes that. It's a full-featured PDF reader and creator that is completely free. You can create and edit PDF files in the program. Plus, it has better security than Adobe Reader.
You can create PDFs from several file formats, including Office documents. Just drag a file into the Nitro PDF program window. There are also PDF annotation tools and a signature feature.
A Platform - so you can extend the Foxit Reader by creating your own value added capabilities for internal use or for resale.
The Foxit Reader is a small, fast, and feature rich PDF viewer which allows you to open, view, and print any PDF file. Unlike other free PDF readers, Foxit Reader also includes easy to use collaboration features like the ability to add annotations to PDF, fill out PDF forms, and share information with social networks. Foxit Reader provides integration to DocuSign®, allowing users to easily send, sign and save PDF documents using the industry's most widely used eSignature solution. Foxit Reader also integrates into Microsoft® SharePoint® and Active Directory® Rights Management Services. Foxit Reader has a small footprint that starts up instantly, renders PDF files quickly and uses very little memory. The Foxit Reader is packed full of convenient and easy to use viewing, commenting and printing features that make document collaboration simple. Foxit Reader's PDF secure platform insures worry free operation against malicious virus and provides a secure and reliable digital signature verification platform for PDF documents without putting the user at risk from falsified documents.
Sumatra PDF is a open-source PDF viewer for Windows. Sumatra has a minimalistic design. Simplicity has a higher priority than a lot of features. It's small and starts up very fast. You can read PDF, eBook (ePub, Mobi), XPS, DjVu, CHM, and comic books.
Have you ever downloaded a ZIP file or have had someone send you one in an E-mail and you couldn't open it because you didn't have and unzipping program like WinZip? I found a program called CAM UnZip. I've used it a few times without any problems. Not only does CAM UnZip unzip files, it will also ZIP them.
For those of you who don't know what I mean by Zipping and Unzipping... when a file is zipped, it's compressed into a smaller file size. Also, many files can be zipped into one zipped file. This makes zipped files more suitable for downloads. Zipped files make better Email attachments too, because of their smaller size.
In order to gain access to what's inside a zipped file, a program is needed to unzip it. Once the file is unzipped, you will see one or more other files. These new, unzipped files, are now ready to be used.
Find and enjoy the pictures on your computer in seconds.
Picasa is software that helps you instantly find, edit and share all the pictures on your PC. Every time you open Picasa, it automatically locates all your pictures (even ones you forgot you had) and sorts them into visual albums organized by date with folder names you will recognize. You can drag and drop to arrange your albums and make labels to create new groups. Picasa makes sure your pictures are always organized.
Picasa2 also makes advanced editing simple by putting one-click fixes and powerful effects at your fingertips. And Picasa makes it a snap to share your pictures – you can email, print photos home, make gift CDs, instantly share via Hello™, and even post pictures on your own blog.
is a very fast, small, compact and innovative FREEWARE (for non-commercial use)
graphic viewer for Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP.
It is simple for beginners and
powerful for professionals.
Please note that Microsoft Photo Story 3 is only available for Windows XP.
Bring your digital photos to life with Photo Story 3 for Windows. Experience your photos in amazing new ways.
Capture memories - Create slide shows using your digital photos. With a single click, you can touchup crop, or rotate pictures. It's that easy!
Bring photos to life - Add stunning special effects, soundtracks, and your own voice narration to your photo stories. Then, personalize them with titles and captions.
Share your stories - Small file sizes make it easy to send your photo stories in an e-mail. Watch them on your TV, a computer, or a Windows Mobile–based portable device.
Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plug-ins. Version 3.36 includes unspecified updates.
If all you want is a quick image retouch, Photoshop is overkill. Paint.NET, on the other hand, is an open-source freeware editor with all the essentials, including tools to crop, rotate, resize images, adjust colors, and create collages.
Paint.NET supports common image formats--JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and others--but not high-resolution RAW files. There are enough basic and intermediate effects and features to keep image-tweakers happy, though the red-eye removal tool is notably weak; those images may require manual attention.
Unlike most free image editors, Paint.NET supports layers and has an actions manager. The pleasing interface boasts semitransparent windows for ease of use.
Version 3 fixes many old quibbles, including a convenient thumbnail manager for handling multiple image editing, and improved program graphics. Paint.NET is far more advanced than Microsoft Paint, and given its free price, it's a must-have for anyone needing to fix images.
Audacity is a free, cross-platform, open source program for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems.
iDump will allow you transfer your songs off your iPod to a PC.
does have an installer program. You simply drop the .exe in the root directory
on your iPod and run it from there.
the songs you want to transfer then pick a destination directory and how you
would like your songs to be named then sit back and transfer all the selected
songs to the PC.
This program can be used to share music with others illegally. That’s wrong. You should only use this program to recover music you own.
OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages like Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access). It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.
LibreOffice is the power-packed free, libre and open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base. Support and documentation is free from our large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers.
LibreOffice also comes configured with a PDF file creator, meaning you can distribute documents that you're sure can be opened and read by users of almost any computing device or operating system.
Like OpenOffice above, LibreOffice can read and write Microsoft Office files as well.
What does LibreOffice give you?
Writer is the word processor inside LibreOffice. Use it for everything, from dashing off a quick letter to producing an entire book with tables of contents, embedded illustrations, bibliographies and diagrams. The while-you-type auto-completion, auto-formatting and automatic spelling checking make difficult tasks easy (but are easy to disable if you prefer). Writer is powerful enough to tackle desktop publishing tasks such as creating multi-column newsletters and brochures. The only limit is your imagination. Writer is comparable to Microsoft Word.
Calc tames your numbers and helps with difficult decisions when you're weighing the alternatives. Analyze your data with Calc and then use it to present your final output. Charts and analysis tools help bring transparency to your conclusions. A fully-integrated help system makes easier work of entering complex formulas. Add data from external databases such as SQL or Oracle, then sort and filter them to produce statistical analyses. Use the graphing functions to display large number of 2D and 3D graphics from 13 categories, including line, area, bar, pie, X-Y, and net – with the dozens of variations available, you're sure to find one that suits your project. Calc is comparable to Microsoft Excel.
Impress is the fastest and easiest way to create effective multimedia presentations. Stunning animation and sensational special effects help you convince your audience. Create presentations that look even more professional than the standard presentations you commonly see at work. Get your collegues' and bosses' attention by creating something a little bit different. Impress is comparable to Microsoft PowerPoint.
Draw lets you build diagrams and sketches from scratch. A picture is worth a thousand words, so why not try something simple with box and line diagrams? Or else go further and easily build dynamic 3D illustrations and special effects. It's as simple or as powerful as you want it to be.
Base is the database front-end of the LibreOffice suite. With Base, you can seamlessly integrate your existing database structures into the other components of LibreOffice, or create an interface to use and administer your data as a stand-alone application. You can use imported and linked tables and queries from MySQL, PostgreSQL or Microsoft Access and many other data sources, or design your own with Base, to build powerful front-ends with sophisticated forms, reports and views. Support is built-in or easily addable for a very wide range of database products, notably the standardly-provided HSQL, MySQL, Adabas D, Microsoft Access and PostgreSQL.
Math is a simple equation editor that lets you lay-out and display your mathematical, chemical, electrical or scientific equations quickly in standard written notation. Even the most-complex calculations can be understandable when displayed correctly. E=mc2.