Hugh's Favorite Freeware List

As much as I dislike so many things about Windows, the bottom line is that I still must use Windows 7 or 10 a large portion of the time. The best thing about the platform must be the many excellent applications developed for Windows, many of which are completely free to use. Here is a list of my favorites.
  1. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox - The best two web browsers out there keeps getting better. They both run on Linux, Max OS X, and even on Windows XP/Vista/7/10. Chrome is cleaner and more pared down, Firefox has a billion cool add-ons that can make it do just about anything. I like to use both browsers all the time for different reasons. I cannot understand why anyone would choose Edge or Internet Explorer over Firefox or Chrome. And there are even some people still running IE6! Yikes, some people like to live dangerously...
  2. Filezilla - My favorite FTP/SFTP client. It is now multi-platform (Linux, Mac, Win32) and works well on all platforms.
  3. VLC Media Player - Another cross platform gem that plays just about any music or video file you can throw at it, and also uses little resources. It's simple but it does the job wonderfully.
  4. AVAST! Home Edition - I've tried several free anti-virus packages and Avast! remains my favorite. It is light on resources, yet provides good protection including some trojans and spyware. My second favorite is Avira Antivir, which might have topped Avast if it did not keep popping up those annoying ads. The Symantec Endpoint Protextion 11 we run at the university is fairly powerful and comprehensive, but it brings our older systems (P4 systems w/ <1GB RAM) to a deathly crawl. I run Avast! or Antivir on those systems instead.
  5. WinDirStat - Where are df and du for Windows when you need them? Instead, to track disk usage on Windows systems I love to use WinDirStat. Plus its display is just so cool looking!
  6. Tera Term - Sometimes you just wish you had an old DEC VT100 or VT220 lying around so you don't have to use Window's lame HyperTerminal. Instead I use Tera Term which does a much nicer job of terminal emulation. It can even act as an SSH terminal as well.
  7. Audacity - If you like to record, edit and modify music files, you have to use Audacity. My son was even able to use it for a Science Fair project, and he won a blue ribbon! Make sure to install LAME so you can write MP3 files.
  8. CCleaner - If there is one thing that Windows excels at doing, it would be leaving temporary files all over your hard drive. That is why you need CCleaner to get rid of all that extra junk. It also has a very nice software uninstaller, a tool for removing unneeded or rogue startup programs, and a registry cleaner as well.
  9. MobaXterm - The Linux and Mac worlds both have a real shell terminal where you can SSH to other machines. Now Windows has a great client that makes a nice SSH terminal and also launches an X server and acts as an SFTP client too. MobaXterm does it all!
  10. YTD - YouTube Downloader. I think we all know what this does.
Many of these can be found on my own freeware archives here
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