Software is a subject that gives us a lot to talk about, especially on your brand new desktop or laptop computer. There are several decisions that you will need to make in order to configure your computer with the right software combination that best fits your needs.
In the past I have recommended a fairly large number of freeware programs and utilities. Over time, it has been increasingly difficult to find quality freeware applications that perform as advertised and do not contain malware or PUPS (potentially unwanted programs). Many of them today will also install unwanted toolbars in your internet browser of choice.
For these reasons I recommend only a limited number of freeware programs. If your operating system contains a utility that will do what is needed then you are better off to stick with the included software.
Now having said that, for those of you that feel the sense of adventure to go forth and seek freeware download sites I suggest that you think about this before you act. Lee’s Pad previously was primarily a free software download site. However, unencumbered freeware programs that did not contain malware, trojans, PUPS (potentially unwanted programs) that were bundled with it became harder and harder to find. There is only one site that I recommend from which to obtain freeware software that is tested for reliability, stability, and intrusion free problems. That site is SnapFiles. Click here to check it out.
Third-party applications not included in Windows 10 suggested for your productivity are as follows:
AntiVirus & Malware
- Emsisoft – Commercial – annual subscription – Recommended – In-depth protection, excellent tech support, timely updates, and much more.
- Windows Defender – Antivirus and malware utility included in Windows 10. Minimal utility support by Microsoft – Certainly better than no protection at all but not state-of-the-art by any means.
- LibreOffice 6.0 released with major improvements and new features (01/31/18)
- Libre Office – Freeware – Recommended – Contains word processor (Writer), spreadsheet (Calc), presentation manager (Impress), database (Base), Microsoft document compatible, and much more.
- Microsoft Office for Home & Student – Commercial – Excessive cost, locks you into one vendor, many features contained are unnecessary for the basic computer user.
Internet Web Browser – It is suggested that you install three browsers on your computer. Some web sites will respond nicely in one particular browser and will not appear the same in another. I recommend the following browsers in the order which they appear.
- Chrome web browser – Recommended – Offered free by Google – well supported by Google with periodic updates – fast rendering speed.
- Firefox web browser – Recommended – Offered free by Mozilla – well supported by Mozilla – a very popular browser.
- Opera web browser – Recommended – Offered free by www.opera.org – well supported – periodically updated.
- Microsoft Edge – Included in Windows 10 operating system – security issues are present in this new browser from Microsoft just as was it’s predecessor Internet Explorer.
- Gmail – Recommended – I suggest that you obtain a two Gmail account from Google. The first for your primary account which is for family and friends. The second for merchants when they ask for your e-mail address, give them your secondary Gmail address so that you will not have your primary e-mail account full of junk mail. Google will provide access to many features that you will enjoy, all cost free. Click here to find out how to get your Gmail account.
- ISP Provided E-mail Client – Not recommended – I previously suggested that your first choice for webmail be your ISP provided email client. I no longer recommend this course of action. Over the last few years there have been far too many major account hacks that resulted in millions of users personal data being revealed and sold on the internet. Additionally, if at some point you decide through choice or necessity to change your internet provider all your email that you wish to save will be gone.