I encounter a lot of different applications along my travels within the wonderful world of technology. I get to try out and test the very best (and worst!) utilities, tools, services, and products out there.
Here are some of the better products for a given category that I have found. I hope you find this list useful. If you have an opinion on something that is here (or not here), please feel free to send an e-mail or comment below.
General Maintenance & Cleanup -
- Glary Utilities - All-in-one way to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC.
- Revo Uninstaller - This unisntaller makes sure files, folders, and registry entries are removed.
CD/DVD Tools -
- CDBurnerXP - Burn CD/DVD’s; convert ISO/BIN/NRG files - User Guide
- DAA to ISO Converter - Use this to convert a DAA file to ISO format for burning or mounting - updated
- DVD Shrink 3.2 - Backup and reduce the size of DVD's
- SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive - Mount/view/copy the contents of *.ISO files. User Guide
- VLC Media Player - highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats
Disk / File / Folder Tools -
- 7-Zip - Create and extract .zip, .rar, and more.
- AusLogics Disk Defrag - Graphical defrag for servers, XP, Vista, and Windows 7
- DBAN - Wipe data to DoD specs
- BartPE - System boot/recovery
- GParted - Disk Partition Editor
- AlwaySync - File / Folder sync
- TrueCrypt - Easy and secure data encryption
- WinDirStat - Visual and very organized way to view the data taking up room on your storage devices
- WinSCP - Windows secure FTP file copy
Hardware Management -
- Synergy - Share one Keyboard/Mouse with all your PC’s - Review
- Edison - Power consumption tracking utility
Media Management/Players -
- iTunes - Primarily used for dealing with iPod's, iTunes is an acceptable media player/manager.
- Windows Media Player - The free media player/manager included with Windows.
Security Suites & Products
Personal Firewall -
- Comodo Firewall + AntiVirus for Windows - Defends both inbound and outbound connections
AntiVirus Solutions -
- Comodo Firewall + AntiVirus for Windows - Free, robust AV client.
- ClamWin - Free AV utility that works on MS Windows Servers - Scheduled scans only, no RTP.
- AVG Free - Free protection for Windows desktop OS's. - Review
AntiSpyware Solutions -
- LeakTest - A Simple tool to test the effectiveness of your firewall
- Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) - Scans your systems applications and reports when updates and new releases are available.
- VMware ESXi - Free, bare-metal hypervisor - Install this on a dedicated system and then create your virtual machines. Entry level version of ESX 3.x.
- VMware Server - Free application that you install on either a Windows or Linux host OS. Create, configure, and run virtual machines on an existing machine.
- VMWare Player - Free application that will allow you to launch/run an existing virtual machine. You cannot create or modify with this tool.
- VMware Workstation - Paid product that adds some additional capabilities to VMware Server.
- Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 - Microsoft's free virtualization product that allows you to create, configure, and run multiple virtual machine OS's on an existing Windows platform.
- 10 free virtualization products - Find more products here.
- FireFox 3 - Mozilla's game-changing browser!
- Internet Explorer 8 - Microsoft's classic browser updated to keep up with the competition.
- Google Chrome - Google's light-weight newcomer to the browser party.
- Gmail - Google Mail. Free, efficient interface, and lots of options make this a winner.
- Microsoft Live! - Microsoft's free mail and news product. Outlook style interface.
- Yahoo - Yahoo Mail. (Adavanced features require a subscription fee.)
- Windows Live! Mail - My choice for a free desktop client to handle multiple accounts.
- Thunderbird - Mozilla's mail and news client. -Not recommended-
Audio/Video Conferencing -
- Skype - Free, tested, and approved, application for PC>PC audio, video and IM communications. Free calling to toll-free numbers. - Review / Version 4 info
- GMail Voice & Video chat - Add voice and video to your Google chats!
Instant Messaging -
- Trillion - Use one IM client for all major IM providers
Online File Sharing & Storage -
- drop.io - file storage/sharing and much more
Web 2.0 Productivity Sites -
- 280Slides - Create Online Presentations
- GIMP - Just like Photoshop, but free!
- Picassa - My favorite photo manager. Easily create web albums to share.
- Windows Photo Gallery - Free photo manager from Microsoft.
- Windows 7 Beta - Free trial through August 2009
- Windows Server 2008 - The latest Enterprise class NOS
- Windows Vista - The current home OS
- Windows Server 2003 - Stable and proven server NOS
- Windows XP - Stable and proven home OS
- UBUNTU - One of the easier and more mainstream versions of Linux.
- CentOS - A solid choice for business.
- Fedora- Another solid choice.