So you’ve got yourself a new computer and now it’s time to go through the process of installing the programs that you need. Thanks to the various types of software including open source, freeware, and many others. Loading your new machine doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Whether you have a desktop or laptop computer I will let you know the 10 free programs I’d recommend when setting up your new PC.
One of the most important pieces of software on your computer is your internet browser. for example, when you get Windows 10 the stock browser is Edge and on Apple, you get Safari both are very good but if you want the best browser for your PC right now it’s nearly a toss-up for the best overall browser. In one corner you have Google Chrome with its large assortment of extension and cross-platform support and cross-device syncing and in the other corner is Mozilla Firefox with most of the same features as Chrome which has improved quite a bit over the last year making it a great alternative to Chrome. Oher popular alternative to consider include Opera, another browser with unique features is Vivaldi privacy focus to break browser and many others.
Link – Google Chrome | Mozilla Firefox
A must-have for any computer is an office suite like Microsoft Office. but if you need a completely free office suite LibreOffice is hard to beat. It’s open source and includes alternatives to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. LibreOffice has also improved over the years with their compatibility with Microsoft Office. If you want even better compatibility there is WPS Office free but unfortunately, it’s ad-supported.
Link – LibreOffice | WPS Office
To play the media files stored locally on your PC you will need a media player. The VLC media player will play just about any audio or video file that you throw at it even those weird formats you’ve never heard of. Quite simply VLC gets the job done most of the time without any hassles. Other media player to consider are Pop Player and Media player classic home cinema.
Link – VLC Media Player
If you have the photo that needs to be retouched, Where you want to create a new image there are several free programs that are similar to Photoshop for you to choose from. GIMP leads the pack as the best image editor that you can get with many of the same features as Photoshop including a ton of photo enhancement tools and the ability to work with layers. If for some reason GIMP doesn’t float your boat Paint.NET is another solid alternative.
Link – GIMP | Paint.NET
If you’re a PC Gamer on of the first programs you install is Steam. It contains most of the games you would ever play on your computer. They’re known for having awesome sales and it’s super easy to use to keep your games library organized. Certain games and franchises not found on Steam can be found on competing services including Ubisoft’s Uplay and Origin by Electronic Art.
Link – Steam
Even with a brand new computer, it’s a good idea to use a PC cleanup tool to remove unneeded files from your system that helps to keep your drives in good health. My personal favorite is BleachBit. It’s open source, lightweight and simple to use. Another PC cleaner I like using is Glary utilities and there’s the ever-popular CCleaner which suffered a massive malware attack by hackers late last year. And with more recent issues I’d recommend not using this software.
Link – BleachBit | Glary Utilities
Torrents have a bad reputation due to illegal file sharing but do have many legitimate uses including sharing free software and being able to download files that you already own. qBittorrent is the free torrent client that I use. It’s open source, fast and reliable. It comes with a search engine and media player built-in. If you’ve used other torrent clients you will also like that it’s ad-free.
Link – qBittorrent
If you’re in the need for security software Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition does a great job of protecting your pc from viruses and malware. As an added layer of security. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free is good to keep around as a good backup for those time you need to run an additional scan. They initially will offer a 14 day free trial of the premium version. After the trial ends It reverts back to the free edition. Others to consider include Avast, Sethos home, and Windows Defender offers decent protection for the average users. If you’re prone to risky behavior online or you’re running an unsupported operating system like Windows XP for example. You might be better served by getting a premium security program.
Link – Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition | Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
For my fellow coders and developers, one of my favorite text editors is Sublime Text. Sublime Text which has a lot more features than the built-in notepad program for Windows. Speaking of notepad, Notepad++ has been around a while and is worth checking out. Visual Studio code and brackets are two more worth considering.
Link – Sublime Text
If you want to simplify the process when installing new software on your PC. One of my favorites is Ninite. It’s an automated installer that includes many popular programs. You just pick the ones you want and select get your Ninite. Once the file is run it will install the programs you selected without any toolbar, ads or any other crap. Ninite is completely free for home use.
Link – Ninite