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 XP/7 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. Mozilla Firefox - The best web browser out there keeps getting better. It runs on Linux, Max OS X, and even on Windows XP/Vista/7. My second favorite is now Google Chrome or its open source relative Chromium I cannot understand why anyone would choose Internet Explorer over Firefox. 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. Tectia Client - I'd like to say that putty is my favorite free SSH client, but I actually prefer the old client from It just looks and feels better to me.
  5. 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.
  6. ThreatFire - A nice add-on to any anti-virus package is Threatfire that further protects Windows systems from Spyware, trojans and other malware. PC-Tools also has its own PC-Tools Anti-Virus Free Edition available, but I prefer using Avast! as the main anti-virus software with Threatfile as its partner.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
Many of these can be found on my own freeware archives here
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