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The Best And Most Important Freeware To Get Your New PC Going

Updated on September 1, 2012

Windows is installed on your new PC and you are eager to check your email, to scan a document, to browse the Internet, to play a game, etc. But there is something more left to complete in order to be able to do all that what you wish on your new computer.

We are going to present a collection of some of the greatest and most important freeware to get your new PC going: Web browsers; E-mail clients; Office Applications; Image editors; Music jukeboxes; Video jukeboxes and playback; File compression; Chat Software.

Web browsers

This most necessary of software categories has seen incredible growth in the past years. It is recommended to choose Mozilla Firefox or Chrome.

Mozilla Firefox is the easiest browser on the market to adapt; the huge user-developed plug-in database makes it supremely powerful. Mozilla Firefox gives a full-featured, safe browsing experience with a nearly unlimited level of customization.

Google Chrome has become a serious competitor in the browser space with the introduction of extensions, giving Chrome similar functionality to that of Firefox, while still being a clean and fast browser experience.

E-mail clients

Mozilla Thunderbird is a freeware e-mail client that combines neat browsing with intelligent innovations aimed at both Web-mail clients and industry standards like Microsoft Outlook (if your PC comes with Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail, you can you them without problems). Mozilla Thunderbird basics like junk-mail filters, HTML support, numerous identities, and POP, IMAP, and Microsoft Exchange server support load fast and are bolstered by S/MMIE, digital signing, message encryption, and a phishing detector.

Mozilla Thunderbird main characteristic is secure e-mailing.

Girl using a laptop
Girl using a laptop

Web browsers

Office  Applications Microsoft Office you can be replaced by other must –have productivity apps alternatives. We want to introduce here a credible competitor to MS Office - It includes different great applications for making text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, diagrams, databases, as well, HTML and XML documents. It handles complex equations and multipart documents as easily as simple letters and faxes. It lets you equally import and save documents in formats as various as MS Office formats, PDF, HTML, WordPerfect, XML, and others.

AbiWord is another great apps alternative. It can suits your needs if you are looking for just the word processor. It is compatible with both MS Word 2007 and 3.

Nitro PDF Reader is a new free fast PDF reader. It takes the key features that you want in a PDF reader, a user friendly interface, and smooth functionality that combines them into a very usable program that help you with your documents. Nitro PDF Reader main characteristics are: tabbed PDF reading; PDF editing including highlight tools for commenting and sticky notes for free-form comments; adding text to PDFs via the free-form text tool or the form-filling helper; a signature stamp for digitally adding your imprimatur to documents; and PDF creation using drag-and-drop or the in-program PDF creating tool.

Image editors

GIMP is a polished, user-friendly, and open-source image editor. It is comparable to Photoshop. GIMP main  features include channels, layers and masks, filters and effects, tabbed palettes, editable text tools, color operations such as levels, scalable brushes, revised selection tools, full-screen editing, printing, red eye removal, perspective clone, lens distortion, and more.

Paint.NET is an open-source editor with all the essentials, including:  tools to crop, rotate, resize images, adjust colors, and create collages. It supports common image formats but not high-resolution raw files.

Gadwin PrintScreen is a user-friendly program that allows users to decide default settings for shortcut key associations, capture preferences, and output. It works impeccably with both The GIMP and Paint.NET for quality screen-to-edit transitions.

Music jukeboxes

MediaMonkey performs the functions of iTunes with more customization and better stability. It has an excellent library management tools that keep even the largest digital-music collections well organized.

Video jukeboxes and playback

Miro helps you to watch your saved videos. When the app is launched, a left sidebar hosts a folder tree for organization of all your videos. The central pane does double duty for viewing videos and searching for new ones. The bottom hosts a search box for searching through YouTube and other video sites, a video control panel, and volume control.

KMPlayer is still one of the most trustworthy freeware video players we have ever known. It includes a vast array of video- and audio-capturing options, skins, an additional of playback controls and tweaks, and broad DVD support.

VLC Player supports playback of every major and most minor file types, and can stream media. Since it is an open-source foundation, it evolves fast, with new features considerably improved.

File compression

7-Zip is easy to use and self-explanatory app that allows you to unpack most archive formats (ZIP, TAR, GZ, RAR, its own 7z format). Advanced options contain the capability to create solid and self-extracting archives, to adjust the compression level and password protection.

Chat Software

1. ICQ

2. mIRC

3. Pidgin

4. Skype

5. Trillian Astra

6. Windows Live Messenger

7. Yahoo Messenger

Read more about chat software in the next hub The Most Popular Chat Software.


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    • nikipa profile image

      nikipa 6 years ago from Eastern Europe

      Thank you Deblipp! Happy you found it useful!

    • deblipp profile image

      deblipp 6 years ago

      Excellent recommendations, I use OpenOffice all the time.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 6 years ago from Australia

      Great list for anyone with a new computer. A new one for me is MediaMonkey I am going to check that out as soon as I can, can you tell me if it is available as an add-on for Firefox? :-)

    • nikipa profile image

      nikipa 7 years ago from Eastern Europe

      Hi OpinionDuck! Great to see you back!

      Concerning your question: I tried both, but would prefer Kasperski, it is more reliable and more user friendly. Just my opinion...

      How about you?

    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago


      Thanks for the reply.

      What is your experience or knowledge of Kaspersky or NOD32?

    • nikipa profile image

      nikipa 7 years ago from Eastern Europe

      Oh, OpinionDuck, sorry you had to face such problems.

      I agree, no one is perfect, even the the paid ones.

      But Avast still works ok for me, no problems. Besides, I have installed Online Armor, and it protects my pc as well.

      Thank you for sharing your opinion! I do appreciate that!

      Wish you and your PC health and prosperity! :)

    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago


      Great job on presenting these programs.

      As for those free antivirus, they don't work that well.

      None of the three that you mentioned was able to get rid of the B-amital32 problem that redirects search engines like google. They will let you select your search and let it list those search hits, but when you go to select your choice this virus redirects you to wherever it wants to.

      Avast could detect the virus but it couldn't remove it.

      It was easy to work around by using dogpile or other search engines that it didn't redirect but it was annoying.

      Thanks, I voted this hub up and useful.

    • nikipa profile image

      nikipa 7 years ago from Eastern Europe

      Saddlerider, thank you for your comment and your presence here!

      I usually use 3 web browsers, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer. But Chrome is the best.

      And, yes, I forgot to add antivirus programs like AVG, Avira and Avast. All are free, user-friendly and efficient.



    • profile image

      Tracy 7 years ago

      Add Irfanview + plugins for simple, easy photo viewing/editing/batch conversion/resizing.

      Also like Copernic Search 2.30 (still free), Skype, Google Earth, Celestia, CDBurnerXP (not just for XP), Auslogics Disk Defrag...

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing all these exciting offerings. There is so much to learn and great software to add. I use Firefox and am very happy with it. I love great email programs and GMail is my favorite. Anti Virus software like AVG does wonders as well.