Not everything available online is quite as advertised. Some programs come with malware attached. So we're providing you with a safe place to find many of the things you may want. We've tested these; often use them ourselves.
Oh, and if you need something that isn't here and you're not sure if it's safe, just give us a call; we can help!
Random hint: If you're installing something you get from the web, read before you click "Next." There are sometimes checkboxes with other "offers" that you don't want. Just refuse the extras ... you really don't want it.
One other hint: if a website with software downloads has a specialty installer (e.g. CNET), don't use the installer unless you have to -- look for a direct link to the software you want. That installer will sometimes have a variety of toolbars and other malware.
- LibreOffice: get the most needed features of Microsoft Office for free!
- Adobe Acrobat Reader: to view PDF documents (Preferred to the PDF viewer built into Windows 8 & 10)
- Cobian Backup: a great backup program that can be set up on a regular schedule or manual; full backup or incremental, etc.
Web Browsers & Internet Tools:
We are finding an increase in fake websites, pretending to be the place to download popular web browsers but install malicious software. Use the following links to get to the real website.
- Firefox : our recommended browser
- Chrome: the most widely used browser
- Opera: looking to be a maverick? Give this browser a try
- Internet Explorer - you already have it if you have a Windows computer. Use your Windows updates to update the browser. If you have Windows 10, you still have it, but you have to search for it.
- Microsoft Edge - this browser is part of Windows 10, replacing Internet Explorer. It will be updated through regular Windows updates.
- Chromium-based Microsoft Edge - Edge is being changed over to a new system. If you have Windows 10, you'll get it eventually, but here's a link to get it now.
- FileZilla: NOTE: While this is an excellent free FTP program, getting it from the developer's site may carry serious malware. Use our link here to install it and then do the updates.
- CDex: converts audio CDs to MP3, as well as converting to different audio formats.
- Audacity: an excellent audio editor/recorder with many professional features
- GIMP: full feature image editing program with the ability to import and edit PhotoShop files (PSDs)
- Paint.NET: excellent photo program!
- IrfanView: graphics viewer and converter
- K-Lite Codecs: enables you to play all kinds of different video formats
- VLC Media Player: DVD player for Windows-based computers that don't come with one.
- DaVinci Resolve: Professional-quality video editing for free (scroll to the bottom of the page)