Essential Freeware That Every PC Needs

If you search the myriad of freeware listing sites most would have you believe that you need to install one thousand and one pieces of software to be running a clean PC. From experience i've found this not to be the case at all. On this page I will keep a list of the software that I think all PC users need. This is the software I use to fix friends computer 'problems' and is all software that I have running right now. Most importantly though, everything featured here will be free!

Best Anti-Spam Freeware

I have tried many solutions of various types but the one I consider to be essential and use on a daily basis is Spamihilator from... Spamihilator acts as a proxy in that you set up your mail client to point at Spamihilator and in turn Spamihilator to point at you mail servers. It uses an intelligent learning filter to pick up on key words as you train it. Whilst not the most efficient solution to start of with after several hundred training messages the filter starts to work very well with very few false positives. It is easy to use, reliable and well written, everything freeware should be!

Best Spyware, Adware Removal

In keeping your computer running well this is the most important thing to install. If you only want to install 1 package then make sure it's Lavasoft's Ad-Aware. If I could only install one piece of maintenance software on my computer this would be it. Easy to use, extremely well supported and you shouldn't be running an internet enabled PC without it. However, there are a couple of things that Ad-Aware may miss so I would recommend running it alongside Spybot Search and Destroy. Not nearly as polished as Lavasofts effort but combining the two really does help to ensure that you're not being spied on, have no ad components installed and generally that your PC is only running what you want it to run!

Best Software Firewall

For personal use you can't go wrong with the Zone Alarm personal edition. As a free version of a professional package it is easy to install, configuration is simple and it works very well. Essential if you are using any sort of internet connection without a hardware firewall. I have used it for many years with absolutely no problems!

Best Anti-Virus Freeware

I know it's a bit of a cheat really but i've tried several freeware solutions and in my opinion none can compete with the commercial offerings from Mcafee and Symantec. With the amount of virus activity out there at the moment this is one area of computing that even I pay for! My personal favourite is Mcafee but if you asked 100 people i'm sure you'd get 100 different opinions.

Not a huge list I'm sure you'll agree but those are the things that I consider essential to running a healthy PC. Everything else is optional and i'm sure i'll be adding some more lists at some point in the future. In the mean time I hope you try the truly excellent free software packages listed.

Essential Software Links

The best freeware anti-spam product out there.

Quite simply the most important freeware product available, a must have to keep you PC running smooth.

Spybot - Search and Destroy
Not as polished as Ad-Aware I would recommend running the two of them together.

Zone Alarm
The best software firewall available.