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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Applications

Get 10 Windows utilities for free

The latest Wonderfox giveaway lets you pick and choose the programs you want -- no strings attached! Plus: a killer game deal and cool holiday outdoor projector.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!


wonderfox-halloween-2017-giveaway

Get all these for free, no strings attached.

WonderFox

Quick housekeeping note: Did you know I'm now writing a business-oriented deal blog called Business Bargain Hunter? I mention it because my most recent post was about a software bundle -- not a free one, but definitely worth checking out.

And today's Cheapskate deal is about a software bundle as well -- a totally free one, though not a bundle in the traditional sense.

It's the WonderFox 2017 Halloween Carnival, your chance to score 10 Windows utilities without spending a penny.

As with previous WonderFox giveaways, this allows you to pick and choose the programs you want. You don't have to jump through a bunch of hoops. You don't have to watch a video or sign up for any newsletters. OK, there's one hoop: If you want the 10th utility, you'll need to "like" WonderFox on Facebook. More on that below.

The installation and registration process varies a bit from product to product. For example, choose Wonderfox's own DVD Ripper Pro and you'll receive a zip file containing both the program and a Word file; the latter provides the license code needed to unlock the software.

For most of the others -- like, say, ad-blocker AdGuard (provided here with a 6-month license) -- you'll click the Get It button, which will produce a zipped Word document with a download link and installation instructions. (For that particular program, there's no license code required.) Each of these documents includes a lengthy Wonderfox ad up top; scroll down to get to the instructions for the program in question.

Other items available in the the giveaway:

  • DVD ripper DVD Ripper Pro
  • Anti-malware utility Heimdal Pro
  • Robust uninstaller Iobit Uninstaller Pro 7
  • Eyestrain-reducer Iris Pro
  • Webcam-enhancer Magic Camera
  • PDF manager Soda PDF
  • Password manager Sticky Password
  • Photo-watermark manager Watermark Software

The 10th program, Coolmuster Android Assistant (or iOS Assistant, if you prefer), gets unlocked when you "like" WonderFox on Facebook. For instructions, look to the blue banner on the right side of the promotion page.

The combined value of all this, according to Wonderfox, is $500. I don't think the numbers add up anywhere near that high, but does it matter? The only thing to really be aware of is that although most of the giveaways are for the current version, upgrades are not included. Likewise, tech support might be limited to online only, or not available at all. Such is the price of free.

Your thoughts?

Bethesda

Bonus deal: Game time! Do you like first-person shooters that involve taking down Nazis? How about zombies? Then have I got the game for you. For a limited time, Cdkeys has Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (PC) for $5.29. Price elsewhere: $20. That five bucks nets you a Steam key, so you'll need Steam to redeem and play the game.

Released in 2015, The Old Blood is an eight-chapter standalone prequel to the immensely popular Wolfenstein: The New Order. For anyone even moderately familiar with gaming, "Wolfenstein" is really all you need to know: Run and gun, slash and hack, detonate and destroy. Oh, and in this case: Kill zombie Nazis.

You can read GameSpot's review if you want to know more -- although frankly, I wouldn't because it spoils some of the surprises. But I think if you have even the slightest love for first-person shooters, this is five bucks extremely well spent. For what it's worth, 88 percent of the user reviews on Steam are "positive."

Oiosen

Bonus deal 2: A couple weeks back I shared a cool Halloween-themed decoration idea (still available, by the way, and still free). Want something a little bigger? For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the Oiosen Outdoor Laser Light Projector for $48.99 shipped. That's after applying promo code GFKT4TI9 at checkout. 

You've probably seen houses lit up with projectors like these. This one doesn't display a merely static image, however; its lens rotates, so the projection appears animated. It comes with 16 different slides: one for Halloween, one for Christmas, others for occasions like birthdays and New Year's.

You can also add blue or red laser "stars" to the background of any of the slides, which kind of amps up the cool factor. The projector is waterproof, and you can set it to run for 1, 2 or 4 hours. It can also auto-run for 6 hours, shut off for 18, then repeat.

By the way, if you check Fakespot for this product, you'll see it considers nearly all 16 reviews to be bogus. (ReviewMeta, for its part, threw out only half of them.) This is a good example of taking everything with a grain of salt: I tested the projector myself, and it works exactly as advertised. I'd give it four stars; the deduction is because the slides aren't labeled, which is a hassle. But all those fake reviews doesn't mean it's a bad product.

That said, there are tons of similar projectors -- many in the $50-60 range -- but few of them do the laser thing and come with 16 slides.