Great Free Software for Common Tasks



APL - Oficina Gimp

Image by Massa Coletiva via Flickr

Some of the most popular computer software can be pricey, but it’s still possible to get free software that can accomplish just as much without the high price tag. For those who are bargain hunting or just need to accomplish a certain task without spending a fortune, there are some great programs just waiting to be downloaded.

For document creation and processing, the free software of choice is Open Office. Open Office features an assortment of products that look, feel and function similarly to Microsoft Office. The best feature of Open Office is that is works interchangeably with Microsoft products, meaning you can open and work on MS Office documents, and Microsoft users can open yours.

For the new graphic artist, GIMP (or Gnu Image Manipulation Program) is an extremely powerful free image editor. Of all the free graphics software packages, GIMP probably has the most advanced features of Photoshop. Although the software is user-friendly, it is designed for users who are comfortable using these advanced features. For simple editing, adjusting and effects, try the also free Lunapic or Pixlr. Both operate online only with no download required.

It’s absolutely critical to have virus protection on your computer. A great free anti-virus program is Avast, which has been the leader in no-cost, real time anti-virus protection for years. AdAware and MalwareBytes are also both excellent and reliable anti-malware programs that can detect and destroy viruses, spyware and adware. Unlike Avast, these two only provide protection when you run the program and do not block malware automatically in real time. However, all three are legitimate programs that provide strong protection at no cost, especially when used together.

Antivirus Software Options

Computer viruses and other degrading material are on the rise.  As more users surf the web and gain access to pertinent information, computers can become infected and eventually stop working altogether.  To protect the computer, owners should install a protection program that guards against malware, spyware, and other viruses.  Here are several of the most popular anti-virus products on the market today:

Freeware, or antivirus software that can be downloaded free of charge, is readily available and can protect computers decently well.  Shield Pro 2006 is one piece of helpful software that includes online help and chat options for those having trouble with their PC.  Viruses are scanned automatically and users can typically expect a remedy for any new virus within five hours.

BitDefender 10 Standard, another protection software item, has been rated highly among users.  It guards against email spam, spyware, and other viruses in addition to providing complete email security.  It comes with one year of free updates and has been repeatedly tested and approved by agencies such as West Coast Labs and Virus Bulletin Checkmark.  Customer assistance is available twenty-four hours a day and technicians can answer anyone’s questions about the product.  Many buyers enjoy the support of these people and feel they can count on them at a moment’s notice.

PC-Cillin my Trend Micro is another form of internet security.  Personal firewalls can be customized to block especially dangerous trojans, worms, and hackers.  This software has the capability of removing phishing scams as well as spyware.  Spyware is destructive to the user because it allows outsiders to gain information about which websites the user has visited.  By blocking this type of virus, users can feel more comfortable about surfing the web and keeping information confidential.

AVG Antivirus has a free downloadable version and is one of the most popular devices today.  It does not offer technical support, but many have found it to be a reliable form of protection.