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FreewareBB _ Help, Hints, Tips & Tech Stuff _ Essential Freeware Christmas Downloads 2009

Posted by: marko Oct 21 2009, 12:24 PM

OK, it's that time again, time to ask for recommendations for freeware you consider important and worthy enough for everyone's new Christmas computer.

This year we're planning to package the recommendations into one easy-to-install file to make it even easier for those with new computers to simply download and click!. As always, only freeware from our site will be included in the short-list but if you want to see a title not listed on FreewareBB included, please let us know about it and we'll consider adding it to the site.

Please also remember the list is meant to be an "essential" list which represents freeware software most of us could consider a must, not necessarily a "wish list". This helps slim down the size of the package and keeps things nice and simple offering new computer owners a head start on security and functionality.

We're looking for recommendations from the following categories, and here's the shortlist so far ...


Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.1611 /








If you feel a particular category should be included please don't hesitate to recommend it and as long as it can be considered an essential and useful part of the package it may well be included.

Just a reminder also of last years shortlist:
ZoneAlarm Personal Firewall
avast! antivirus 4 Home Edition
Spybot - Search and Destroy anti-spyware
Opera web browser
Revo Uninstaller
K9 Web Protection
CDBurnerXP Pro
K-Lite Codec Pack Full

Look forward to your responses

Posted by: ablaze Oct 21 2009, 04:11 PM

For me it's:
PC Tools Firewall Plus -

PC Tools Antivirus -

PC Tools Threatfire -

Apple Safari -
(Did use Firefox for ages but felt Safari was much faster and more stable)

SSuite Office -
(Again, used OpenOffice for long enough but found myself drawn towards SSuite!)

Revo -

CD Burner Pro -

Klite Codec Full -

Posted by: sundaram Oct 22 2009, 02:19 PM

Happy Deepavali ( Some say it Diwali )
A great festival in India.

For Christmas software I suggest you can include
a free Photo Alubum maker to prepare and gift to friends and family.

Posted by: marko Oct 22 2009, 02:23 PM

Not a bad suggestion sundaram, lots of photos taken over the festival period I guess, if you can recommend one I'll have a look otherwise I'll get my thinking cap on and see what I can come up with :

Posted by: marko Oct 22 2009, 10:14 PM

OK, I'll put up as a suggestion for a photo album maker, tried it myself and very similar to a commercial version called "Memories On TV" but without the ability to add text to a slide but hey!. If anyone can suggest a better freeware title for the job please shout

Posted by: BobC Nov 18 2009, 06:18 AM

When it comes to freeware, nothing like Open Source. I recommend Ubuntu/Linux. For those who are not ready to give up Windows and periodic MS Window conversions, there is Wubi installer, which loads Ubuntu into a Windows directory and allows "dual booting" into Windows or Ubuntu. It has been reported that an Ubuntu install provides easy access to the largest repository of free Linux software (much of which has Windows counterparts) - via the Synaptic Package Manager or the Applications "Add/Remove" feature.

Posted by: marko Nov 18 2009, 09:07 AM

Bob, I couldn't agree more that an Open Source operating system is the way forward although I think this would be for another thread as to put this in an 'essential' download for a new PC would meet with a great deal of confusion, particularly from a novice point of view. If you have particular experience in Linux or Ubuntu maybe you would consider starting a new thread in our forum on how people can get the most from the Open Source system?.

Posted by: marko Nov 18 2009, 12:37 PM

A few contacts via our contact form have suggested Panda Cloud Antivirus Free Edition which is increasing in popularity therefore this is now in the shortlist!.

Posted by: James (Jim) Hillier Nov 28 2009, 12:47 AM

Hi Marko (and all) - I remain somewhat unconvinced about Panda Cloud AV's overall effectiveness. Test results range from poor to not bad (depending on the test criteria). Reviews are pretty good but most of those concentrate on the aesthetic aspects rather than efficiency. They pretty much all say it is easy to use with a nice intuitive UI and light on resources of course, but none really say how effective it is (or not).

Now I realise, ease of use, a nice straight forward GUI and being light on resources can be pretty important ingredients but none of that is much use if the product is ineffective! As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out on that one.

You know Marko, I am an avid Avast fan. We, as users, are very lucky to have access to such terrific free AV products as Avast and AntiVir (which are proven, effective freeware) but I do believe MS may have come up with a challenger. I have been reading and hearing very favourable comments re Microsoft Security Essentials and I do believe this product meets all the critera; it's free, it's easy to use, includes a very user friendly GUI and, if the reports are correct, is very effective too...oh, and did I mention it's free!

May I be so bold as to suggest MSE as a worthy contender for your excellent list?

Cheers now.....JIM

Posted by: marko Nov 28 2009, 07:19 AM

Excellent points as always Jim and indeed I will add MSE to the list, I agree it is a worthwhile contender

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