10 Free and Useful Programs You Should Know About

One of the best things about computers is the ability to customize them to your needs. And there are a lot of useful programs that can make using a computer more enjoyable. Here is a list of some of my favorites!

VLC Player

This is the best media player I have ever used! It will simply play anything.

VLC Player

In the old days I used to have to try to find codec downloads to get windows media player to work. But now I install VLC player and it works with everything!

7-Zip

Not only can 7-Zip do better compression than the build-in zip app on Windows. But it also offers the option to password protect and encrypt the contents of the zip file.

7-Zip

7Zip is a program I install by default when I set up a new computer for myself.

KeePass

KeePass is a free password manager. There are many password managers out there but this is the one I like.

KeePass

The downside is it is not in the cloud so you can not easily access it from anywhere. But the good side is it is not in the cloud so other people can’t steal it from anywhere.

The KeePass data file is encrypted. So you could always download the portable version and keep the files in some kind of synced storage like google drive or dropbox.

Paint.net

Not as complicated as Adobe Photoshop. But a lot more powerful than Microsoft Paint. Pain.net is a good balance of power and ease of use. This is a tool I use quite often.

Paint.Net

I use Paint.net for work on this site and I use it at my day job for making quick images to put into e-mails or documentation.

TreeSize Free

Have you ever wondered where all your hard drive space went? I know I have. But there is no need to right-click a bunch of folders to find the source when you can use a useful program to do it for you.

TreeSizeFree

I probably use TreeSize Free every few weeks for my day job and it has served me well.

TeamViewer

If you are like me then you are probably the tech support for your family. And I am sure you know how hard it can be to help people over the phone.

TeamViewer

But with TeamViewer, they can allow me into their computer and I can see what is going on with my own eyes. It has made family tech support much easier!

I have also used it to remotely connect to my own computer when I needed a file.

GifCam

I love GifCam! Not only is it just cool but it is a very useful program! I have used it to make short videos of projects and games I am working on. It is also very useful when you just need a small video to show someone how to do something.

GifCam

GIF files are not as compressed as other types of video but for short stuff it is perfect!

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is like Microsoft office but it is free. I have fully switched over to LibreOffice at home and the only time I use Microsoft Office is when I am at work. So I am a good place to compare them.

LibreOffice

In my opinion, LibreOffice can do anything Microsoft Office can do. There may be a few advanced things that Microsoft has the edge in but for most people, LibreOffice will work fine.

VeraCrypt

If you need to protect some data then VeraCrypt is probably the best tool to do it. You can make a small encrypted container to put files in our you can encrypt your whole computer hard drive.

VeraCrypt

I have used VeraCrypt on many work laptop hard drives. I have lots of documentation on network systems and servers. So I felt safer knowing that if my laptop were stolen or lost the info inside would be safe.

Useful Programs as Portable Apps

This is not really just one program but a whole group of useful programs! Portableapps.com has tons of useful programs that you can run without installing.

I kind of hate having to install everything. I think it is much better to have a program self-contained inside its own folder. So I always check to see if there is a portable version of what I want.

All software should work this way! Then you can move it from computer to computer or put it on a USB drive to keep it with you. It also makes the software easier to backup.

What programs can you not live without?

I would love to hear about the programs you like. Maybe I can start using them myself! Drop a comment below and tell me all about them!


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