Keep your wallet in your pocket the next time you need a utility program for Windows.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983

Stop paying for Software:
Top 10 free utilities for Windows

July 12, 2009

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2009, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2009, The Post-Standard

   The best way to save money is to stop spending it. That's the idea behind my new series on the best free software for Windows and Macs. This week I'm recommending my top 10 free utilities for Windows. We'll cover the top utilities for Macs next week.
   Keep your wallet in your pocket the next time you need a utility program for Windows. You might find it in this Top 10 list. All of them are free.
   EASEUS Partition Manager, from www.partition-tool.com. This powerful tool lets you create, resize, move and delete disk partitions -- something you might have to do when you install the latest version of Windows, called Windows 7.
   CCleaner Windows cleanup utility, from www.ccleaner.com. I've raved about this before. See www.technofileonline.com/texts/tec053109.html for the details.
   Audacity audio recording and editing software, from www.audacity.sourceforge.net. I've praised this most recently in this column: www.technofileonline.com/texts/tec060709.html.
   CDBurnerXP, for CD and DVD burning, from http://cdburnerxp.se. Stop struggling with the "lite" CD and DVD burning software that came with your PC. This does the job nicely.
   Avira Antivirus, from www.free-av.com. Don't pay for the "crapware" antivirus software that came with your PC. Avira is what I use, and I recommend it highly.
   NoteTab Light, from www.notetab.com. If software had an all-star team like baseball does, the NoteTab Light text editor would be the pitcher. It delivers a fastball when speed is important, has a great changeup when you need to switch to an HTML editor, and knows how to follow directions from the manager (that's you). I've used this software for at least 12 years.
   Recuva deleted-file recovery software, from www.recuva.com. Download and install this program NOW. If you wait until you need it in an emergency, you'll be installing it during a crisis, and that means you might let your own nervousness get in the way.
   RegEditX Registry editor, from www.dcsoft.com/products/regeditx. If you ever have to edit the Windows Registry, you'll be glad you installed this small program. It keeps bookmarks of locations in the Registry and remembers its settings at all times.
   VLC audio and video player, from www.videolan.org/vlc. Can't play that video Aunt Martha sent you? Get VLC and you'll be able to view any video. And you'll be able to play any audio files, too.
   Skype conferencing software, from www.skype.com. Have a recent laptop? Then it almost surely has a built-in Web cam and microphone. Use Skype to make audio-and-video calls with others in the family. (It works fine with just a microphone, too.) Calls are free.