List of Applications That Everyone Should Have on Their Computer

List of Applications Everyone Should Have On Their Computer

Andrew Saladino’s List of Must-Have Computer Applications

I haven’t made a blog post in quite some time but this list is something that I had to share with all of my amazing readers (all two of you). There was a post on reddit this week (see original post here) where a user asked, ‘What is something you think everyone should have installed on their computer or laptop?‘ and as usual, the reddit community delivered with some absolutely amazing application recommendations. I went through the comments and compiled this list of applications that you need to download ASAP:

Video:

  • VLC – Open source video player.
  • Media Player Classic – Home Cinema – Light-weight media player for Windows. I personally like MPC-HC much better than VLC. Supports more codecs/formats and video looks better.
  • Combined Community Codec Pack – A simple playback pack for Windows with the goal of supporting the majority of video formats in use today. Must have if you watch certain tv-shows or anime.

Audio:

  • Foobar 2000 – Extremely lightweight and customizable free audio player for Windows. Supports a wide array of different audio formats.
  • Audacity – Free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds.
  • Spotify – Listen to music for free.
  • Grooveshark – Listen to music and radio stations for free.

Browsers:

  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Waterfox – 64bit browser based upon the Mozilla Firefox source code.
  • Pale Moon – Open Source, full-featured, speed optimized browser based on the popular Firefox browser.

Extensions for browsers:

  • Reddit Enhancement Suite – Make surfing Reddit so much more enjoyable. Highly customizable and easy to set up.
  • Honey – Chrome extension that autoscans for working coupon codes during checkout.
  • Adblock Plus – Blocks annoying ads on webpages and in videos. Surf faster and safer.
  • Ghostery – Anti ad/tracking extension.
  • ProxTube – Circumvent blocked Youtube videos.
  • Speed Dial – Allows fast access to your most visited websites. Extremely useful if you visit or want to keep track off a lot of different websites.
  • NoScript – Open source add-on (for Firefox) which allows JavaScript, Java, Flash and other plugins to be executed only by trusted web sites of your choice.
  • ScriptNo – Similar to NoScript only for Chrome instead.
  • Search by Image for Google (Firefox) – Fast way to reverse search an image. Very handy if you’re looking for a source, more information or if anyone posts “original content“.
  • Search by Image for Google (Chrome)

Security:

  • Microsoft Security Essentials – Lightweight antivirus software.
  • Avast! Free Antivirus – Antivirus software.
  • Malwarebytes – Anti-malware software.
  • TrueCrypt – Free open-source disk encryption software for Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux.
  • Keepass – Free, open source, light-weight and easy-to-use password manager.
  • LastPass – Another password manager that makes web browsing easier and more secure.
  • Prey – Lets you keep track of your laptop, phone and tablet whenever stolen or missing. It’s lightweight, open source software that gives you full and remote control, 24/7.

System, cleaning and recovery:

  • CCleaner – A freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. For Windows and Mac.
  • Defraggler – Defragmentation software for Windows.
  • Recuva – File recovery software for Windows.
  • Speccy – Give you detailed statistics on every piece of hardware in your computer. For Windows.

Communications:

  • Skype – Call friends/family on their computers or phones. For Windows and Mac.
  • Pidgin – Open source chat client which is compatible with several different chat networks.
  • Trillian – A fully featured, stand-alone chat client that supports several different chat networks.
  • HexChat – IRC chat client for both Linux and Windows.

Documents, images and graphics:

  • Foxit Reader – Free PDF reader for Windows, Linux and smartphones.
  • Sumatra PDF – Free PDF reader for Windows.
  • Open Office – Open source personal productivity suite.
  • Libre Office – Open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • GIMP – Free image manipulation software.
  • Paint.net – A free image and photo editing software. For Windows.
  • IrfanView – The best freeware image/graphic viewer for Windows. Extremely lightweight and supports a wide arrange of different formats.

Compression:

  • WinRAR – File archiver (You can still use the software after the trial period has run out).
  • 7-Zip – Open source file archiver.

File sharing:

  • uTorrent 2.2.1 – uTorrent became extremely bloated after they released version 3.0 and on. Version 2.2.1 has everything you need without using many resources or having any ads.
  • Transmission – Extremely lightweight BitTorrent client for Mac and Linux. There’s an unofficial Windows version which you can get here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/trqtw/[46]
  • Deluge – Lightweight, cross-platform BitTorrent client.
  • qBittorrent – Free, lightweight cross-platform BitTorrent client.
  • Trixati – Free BitTorrent client for Windows and Linux.

CD/DVD-tools:

Online Storage:

  • Dropbox – Cloud storage. For Windows, Mac, Linux and smartphones.
  • Google Drive – Google’s cloud storage solution similar to Dropbox.
  • Skydrive – Microsoft’s cloud storage solution. Now also available on Xbox360.

Live streaming/recording:

  • Open Broadcaster Software – Free and open source software for media streaming/recording.
  • FFsplit – A free front-end application that allows you to capture and record what is happening on your desktop. For Windows.
  • DXtory – Dxtory is a movie capture tool only for DirextX/OpenGL application. For Windows.

Other:

  • Steam – PC-game client for PC, Mac and Linux (Linux version is still in closed beta).
  • f.lux – Makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Must have if you have problems with going to sleep or have problems with eyes or headaches. For Windows.
  • RedShift – Just like f.lux but for Linux (there exists an experimental Windows build though).
  • Sublime Text 2 – A great text editor for code, markup and prose. For Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • Notepad++ – Free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. For Windows.
  • Rainlendar – A lightweight customizable calendar.
  • Hamachi – A hosted VPN service that lets you create LAN-like networks. Very useful if you want to play older pc-games with friends.
  • Tunngle – A p2p VPN tool somewhat similar to Hamachi.
  • Paint.Net – If MS Paint and Photoshop had a baby. It’s a free image and photo editing software for Windows and is a powerful yet simple image and photo editor tool.

There you have it — the complete list of software that you need on your computer to handle nearly every situation possible. I’m going to periodically be uploading this list so please leave a comment with your feedback or if there’s an application that you think I left out that belongs on this list.

4 Responses to List of Applications That Everyone Should Have on Their Computer
  1. Random Guy Reply

    Couldn’t DISagree more. Your list is compiled from the technophile mentality, for people who actually KNOW what a “browser extension” is, and who are actually INTERESTED in editing audio. If I told my grandfather “if you find a page that doesn’t work in FireFox, go to IE as the backup,” he’d have a heart attack- my job is to set his machine up ONCE to be transparent, and that means ONE browser that’s guaranteed to work for everything he does (hint: FireFox causes problems with some shopping carts, and Chrome still has documented issues with stuttering audio in YouTube, for example- yes, it’s an easy fix for us, but may as well be Klingon for someone who ISN’T a geek at heart), NO VLC or MPC-HC (I still endorse Media Player with FFDShow and a couple of Ogg/Matroska filters thrown on top, as long as I’m setting it up for him beforehand), and not a chance in hell is he getting a BitTorrent client. Same story with archives- yes, I love 7-Zip myself, but my grandfather wouldn’t understand how or when to use it… The Windows .zip native handling is sufficient for him. So no, this isn’t a list “everyone” should have- any more than saying “every person should have a ’67 Shelby in the garage.

    • Andrew Saladino Reply

      What does your grandfather do on his computer? Go to a few websites? Check his email perhaps? I’d make the case that your grandfather doesn’t belong on a computer and would be better using a tablet instead. Tablets provide a simple, straight forward environment that is visual and can probably handle 99% of what he wants to do. A computer might have been an overly complex choice for him.

  2. Al Reply

    nice list but you’re forgetting the greatest app of all time!

    OMNIGRAFFLE

    • Andrew Saladino Reply

      So expensive — no way buddy.

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