Open Office - Price: Free
The free alternative to microsoft office - we highly recommend you try it out before you consider buying microsoft's office suite.
What does it do? Openoffice is able to save and open files in MS office format. It has all the features most people need, a word processor and spreadsheets application, database and presentations application (capable of opening and saving in power point format). Once installed if you plan to use files in MS office format you need to change a few options so that openoffice always saves to the microsoft compatible file formats and that's it.
If you have used MS office it wont take you long to swap to openoffice and its FREE.
download openoffice here
Firefox - Price: Free
An excellent internet browser, many people are moving to this browser in preference to Internet Explorer.
What does it do? It is similar to Microsoft Internet Explorer in that it is also a Web Browser. At the time of this page's publication Firefox is reported to be more secure than IE and is often much faster at displaying pages. There are many useful add-ons’ that can be downloaded to make the browser even more friendly and flexible.
see our firefox page or download firefox here - click here for examples of the add-on's
Skype - Price: Free
If you use windows 2000, windows XP or vista (latest versions also seem to run on must windows 98 systems) you can turn your PC (with the use of speakers and a microphone) into a phone and video phone.
Why would you want to do this? You can contact other skype users for free (inc video calls), anywhere in the world. Alternatively you can buy credit (a bit like pay as you go mobiles) and phone a normal phone anywhere in the world at great savings.
Click here for the download page - click here for skype.com
Onspeed - Price: £24 for a years use
If you are not able to get broadband or just want to continue using a modem to connect to the internet, you may like to try this service out.
What does it do? It uses special compression techniques to improve the speed of your connection. It works for normal web page viewing and also for email. Very useful to help reduce phone bills as downloads take less time.
Please note that as yet you will not get much or a speed improvement for downloading large files or using MP3 sharing software (P2P software). This service really does work well and could give you similar speed to the slower broadband services available.
Click here to visit the onspeed site
AVG - Price: Free
Good Anti-virus packages, maybe not as good at removing infections as some others but extremely good if you don’t want to spend much.
What does it do? This software will check your PC for virus infection and protect you from viruses sent in emails. You can use this to scan your PC at set times and it will also sit in the background to give you protection while you use your PC. It can also update the virus definitions automatically if you use the internet regularly.
Please note as with any other anti-virus software, the protection is only as good as the last update, it is important to update your anti-virus software as often as you can, most companies release new updates each week.
Click here for the download page - click here for the main grisoft website
Zone Alarm - Price: Free
A good basic software firewall - if you don't have a firewall installed yet, install this while you check out the options.
What does it do? This software helps protect your PC from attacks and prevents malicious programs getting access to the internet.
Please note it is important to always setup firewall software correctly and always read any messages displayed by the program before clicking on an answer to the questions.
Click here for the download page - click here for the main site
Core FTP LE - Price Free
A good FTP program.
What does it do? It allows you to transfer files from you PC to your website space, or download files from an FTP server.
Click here to download from a UK based server - click here for the download page
Ad-Aware SE - Price: Free
Free adware scanner and remover program.
What does it do? It scans your pc for possible adware (programs that display adverts and pop up windows) "....data-mining, advertising, and tracking components, Ad-aware SE easily can clean your system, allowing you to maintain a higher degree of privacy while you surf the Web."
Click here to download from download.com
Picasa from Google - Price: Free
A great photo management program made by the people at Google.
What does it do? This program will search your PC for photos then display easy to find thumbnails of them, you can then do many handy image-editing functions very quickly. Make up a slide show, create a backup CD plus many more.
Click here for the official website and download
Paint.NET - Price: Free
A great photo editing program that is FREE.
What does it do? Allows you to make or edit photos and images.
NOTE you first need to ensure you have MS .NET 2 installed - download .net here
Click here for the official website and download
Art Rage Starter Edition - Price: Free
A great photo editing program that is FREE. Allows life like mixing of paints etc
What does it do? Allows you to make art work on your pc..
Click here for the official website and download click on the starter edition link for the free version
- direct download
Free Serif Software - Price: Free (registration required in most cases)
A great site.....get older versions of serifs software for free - need a full photo-editing program? then serif has one on the site plus many other types of software.
What does it do? This site allows you to download older versions of serifs product range.
Click here for the website