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Here are some links to "free" software utilities that can increase the performance of your computer system and help make you more productive. Most of these programs are free for private, home use. Please read and understand the licensing agreements before you download and install the software.
 

Anti-Virus/Virus Removal Tools
Performance/Spyware Removal/Security Tools
Multimedia
Business & Productivity Software


Anti-Virus/Virus Removal Tools

Avast!« - Free Edition - Let's face the facts...every anti-virus software program will slow down your computer system, but the slower performance is well worth the protection. If you've paid for anti-virus protection, let it expire and try this free, cut-down version of a good protection package. Every once in awhile, the company will try to convince you to upgrade (at a price), but if you like it, buy the upgraded version. (When you first start your computer, the software will automatically download and update itself...in my opinion, it's a small inconvenience for the updated protection for your system)...Free for Home use...Please read and accept the license agreement.

Performance/Spyware Removal/Security Tools

Advanced System Care - Free Edition - Even this "free" version of the program seems to do everything possible to remove unnecessary files and improve your system performance. Run the program once a month for a good level of protection and tuning your computer system. Free for Home use...Please read and accept the license agreement.

SpyBot Search & Destroy (PepiMK Software) - This program requires a little reading and tweaking to scan your system for spyware, categorizes the results, and allows you to select which entries to remove. Be careful, because of it's thorough findings, you can delete entries necessary for some of your "non-spyware" programs. It includes a preventative program called, "Tea Timer" that will run in the background and notify you of any changes to the system registry.

Multimedia

PicasaTM (Google) - This photo organization program has matured over the past years to become a necessary addition to your system if you do anything with photos or videos. Simple and easy to use...

Fast Stone Photo ResizerTM is much more than a batch photo resizing program. It is very flexible and allows you to convert, rename, resize, crop, rotate, change color depth, add text and watermark images in a quick and easy batch mode.

Paint.Net - This photo software provides you with multiple effects, with more free effects available for download.

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a versatile graphics manipulation package. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc. This program requires a lot of instruction reading, but the possible effects are worth the reading and experimenting.

Business & Productivity Software

Apache OpenOffice.orgTM is a complete MS Office Suite equivalent. It includes a word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentation, drawing and math calculations programs. You can open, modify, and save most MS Office files with this package.

Replicator (Karenware) is a very useful backup solution to streamline saving your valuable data to floppy drive, hard disk drive, CDRW, etc. It includes a scheduler and filters to customize to your backup needs.

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Last updated 08/01/13