Best Free Software to Speed Up Your Computer and More - Freeware for My PC
My computer, which celebrated its first birthday a few weeks ago, was lagging terribly. If possible, I try to not pay for my software. I play around with a lot of freeware registry cleaners, firewalls, anti-virus, and the like. It was time to fix the problem, so I searched around for what were the newest and best programs to get a computer running like new. This list is a compilation of what I installed, ran, and used. It successfully made my computer run like new. The programs on this list are made for the non-expert who just wants to install some programs, run them once in a while, and make their computer run better. I choose the simpler programs because I have to install them on my father-n-law's computer and he needs to be able to use them. All of these are free of charge for personal use. Just make sure you click on the right downloads on the respective download pages.
Here are my picks.
Best Free Anti-virus
Avira Anti-Virus - The problem with many anti-viruses is that they slow up your computer more than viruses do. Avira does not do that. The detection rate for Avira is top notch, and my computers run like new. The only drawback to the free version is that every time Avira downloads updates, a popup window appears trying to get you to buy the full version. A small price to pay for good, free anti-virus protection.
Best Free Trojan, Spyware, and Malware remover
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Emisoft Anti-Malware. I include two because some times these programs catch malware that the other program might not, and it is key to get this stuff off of your computer if you have been infected. Both programs are fast and easy to use. Malware is the catch-all term for all of the nasty problems that can infect your computer. The evil people out there trying to steal information from your computer have branched out into adware, trojans, dialers, worms, keyLoggers, hiJackers, and rootkits. Don't worry. You don't have to know what each of these are. Malwarebytes and Emisoft Anti-Malware do. Just download and run these programs.
An alternative online option is ESET Online Scanner. You have to download it unless you run it in Internet Explorer. If you are having problems, with your computer, I would run all three.
These programs are great to run once in a while, but they are essential to run when you suspect something is wrong. They will detect and remove malicious files from your computer. I cannot recommend them enough.
Best Disk Cleaner
360amigo System Cleanup is an all-in-one software program. Its strategy is to speed up your computer by deleting junk files, unnecessary registry entries, and defragmenting your hard drive. Its registry cleaner appears to be more thorough than the recommended Eusing Registry Cleaner below, but I will give it time to become my favored registry cleaner. Its defragmenter is frustrating to use, so I would stay away from it. 360amigo's premier feature is a disk cleaner that will allow you to delete junk files. This program cleans up a computer more thoroughly than CCleaner, the former king of disk cleaner software. The only tab that you will need to pay attention to in the program is the "system cleaner" tab. I wouldn't replace my defragmenter or registry cleaner recommendations below with 360amigo, but the system cleanup option is definitely worth the download.
Best Disk Defragmenter
Auslogics Disk Defrag - It's a fast defragmenter that you can set and forget. A defragmenter organizes the files on your hard drive so that they are more quickly accessible. Over time, the files fragment from use and this slows up one's machine. I have had instances where just running a defragmenter will greatly speed up a computer.
Best Registry Cleaner
Eusing Registry Cleaner - I love this puppy. It cleans my registry and keeps my computer running like new. Some registry cleaners get too aggressive and start deleting too much. I have never had a problem with this program removing too much from the registry (something you need to be careful of with registry cleaners). Although 360amigo has its own registry cleaner that is good, I did not remove this because this is a great, by itself registry cleaner.
Best Free Memory Optimizer
Clean Mem - Previously, I have not had a memory optimizer because they seem to slow up the computer just as much as they speed it up because they are always running. However, Clean Mem only opens itself up, runs, then closes itself down. It optimizes memory and then shuts itself off. Good stuff. I would only use this if you are having memory problems.
Below are some other freeware programs that I use that are not security or maintenance related, but are worth checking out.
Best Photo Program
Best WordPad Replacement
EditPad Lite - I use this on my computer whenever I would have used WordPad. It is a great program that provides a superior search function for text files.
Best PDF Printer
In my line of work, I have to send receipts to other people from orders that I have made online. The easiest way I have found to do this is to print a pdf and send that along. What it does is creates a printer option that is an output to pdf making it real easy to use. The winner in this category is PDF24 Creator. It works quick and doesn't have the hiccups that I have experienced with other pdf printers.
Best Office Suite
Libre Office - If you want to be free, legal, and legit, this is a free office software suite. It's like Microsoft Office but free. It is what I use on my computers that I have not purchased all of the Microsoft software. I just set the program to save the file in Word or Excel format so the files are quickly available to email to a teacher, friend, or anyone for that matter.
Best Bible Program
Bible Explorer - This is a commercial program that is now given away for free. Top quality for a great price. If you have never used a good digital Bible program, it pretty makes that thick concordance you have useless. Not only can you now search for words in the text, but you can also search for passages that contain two words. Great stuff. When downloaded, you get a bunch of translations for free; however, you would have to buy the NASB ($39.95), NIV ($29.95), or NRSV ($29.95). I have tried other free Bible programs. I did not like them all that much. Too clunky. Not fast or easy to use. This one has a leg up on them because it was commercially produced.
Although I found some of these freeware on my own, I must also give recognition to Gizmo's Tech Support Alert which highlighted some of the software I was not using. Gizmo provides a much more thorough list of freeware for almost every possible use.