Free Programs and utilities

Below are a few free programs to help keep your PC virus free and full of functionality! If you enjoy these products we ask that you go ahead and pay for them; lets keep these guys in business!

Security

Malwarebytes’ primary feature is to scan your computer for the bad guys, and on that level it’s quite successful. It offers a quick scan, a full scan, and a flash scan to analyze memory and autorun objects. It comes with Malwarebytes’ proprietary Chameleon technology, which lets the program install on many infected computers even when the malware blocks other detection tools.

MBAM has built its reputation as one of the pre-eminent malware removers over the years on a nearly entirely word-of-mouth campaign. Extra features are lacking, historically. This is only marginally more than a one-function wonder, but it’s so good at what it does that it’s practically required for you to have it.

Read more: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – CNET 

This year’s Avast release has distinguished itself as not just a malware or antivirus solution, but also as a full-on security monitor for your machine. It comes with great design, displaying a lot of information yet maintaining a high usability factor for the core feature of virus removal and malware scanning. Avast has created value beyond the security scanner, and this version is a huge leap over last year’s Avast 8. We expect its protection scores to continue to increase as protection scores from third-party vendors get released.

Read more: Avast Free Antivirus 2014 – CNET

AVG’s Anti-Virus and Internet Security line follows on the heel of last year’s highly-ranked security suite by not merely incorporating some minor but key tweaks to both its front-end and back-end, but a stronger push toward personal data management and privacy utilities that help prevent uninvited access to your files. Though many threats still exist, security programs as they stand now start to encompass areas of privacy utilities. Whereas the majority of threats were once external viruses trying to force their way into your machines, nowadays malware focus more on tricking users to inadvertently open doors for hijacking.

Read more: AVG AntiVirus Free 2014 –  CNET

Utility

Apache OpenOffice is both an open-source product and a project. The product is a multiplatform office productivity suite. It includes desktop applications such as a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a presentation manager, and a drawing program, with a user interface and feature set similar to those of other office suites. Apache OpenOffice also works transparently with a variety of file formats, including those of Microsoft Office. Localizations of Apache OpenOffice are available in 27 languages, with more being constantly added by the community. Apache OpenOffice runs on Solaris, Linux (including PPC Linux), and Windows. Written in C++ and with documented APIs licensed under the LGPL and SISSL open-source protocols, Apache OpenOffice allows any knowledgeable developer to benefit from the source.

Read more: Apache OpenOffice – CNET

With WinRAR, both creating and unpacking archives is blazingly fast. And according to WinRAR’s developers, the most recent version of the program takes advantage of multicore processors to achieve even faster compressions rates, depending on your hardware profile. It is worth noting, however, that these speed boosts do use up a significant chunk of RAM (approximately 120 MB). Compression ratios vary depending on file type, but in general seem on par with or better than other archiving programs.

Read more: WinRAR (32-bit) –  CNET

Improved to give the best the Internet has to offer, Adobe Flash Player 11 shows a quantum leap in performance over previous versions. It has a number of new features designed to take full advantage of the newer 64-bit browsers and operating systems available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. This makes it a more effective tool for Web developers and anyone who enjoys media-rich applications or sites like YouTube. However, with the improvement come a few headaches that users of certain browsers may encounter.

Read more: Adobe Flash Player – CNET

Adobe developed the Portable Document Format to standardize electronic document handling. PDF, the file format that carries the business world on its back, is everywhere, from product manuals to legal documents. To open, view, and edit PDFs, you need a PDF reader — for example, Adobe’s free Reader. Despite competition from simpler tools, Reader remains the standard the others are judged against. We looked at the latest version of Reader, Adobe Reader X. With it you can view and annotate all PDF files, sign documents electronically, and access optional Adobe Online subscription services directly from inside its interface.

Read more: Adobe Reader XI  – CNET