Name your favorite freeware!

Pay for software? That's crazy talk. Today's the day to name your freeware favorites--and learn what programs your fellow cheapskates love.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
Microsoft Security Essentials is one awesome freebie.
Microsoft Security Essentials is one awesome freebie. Screenshot by Rick Broida

Mind if we mix things up a bit today? After a considerable amount of searching, I failed to come up with one deal that really blew me away. Thus, I thought we could shift gears and talk about everybody's favorite topic: freebies.

Specifically, free software. There's so much good stuff out there nowadays, it's a wonder anybody buys software at all anymore. Indeed, a true cheapskate will always look for free alternatives to commercial apps.

Some of my freeware favorites include image editor IrfanView, start-up optimizer Soluto, cloud storage utility SugarSync Manager (which works in concert with my free 5GB SugarSync account), and for malware protection, Microsoft Security Essentials.

And don't forget old favorites like Microsoft Office substitute OpenOffice.org, Photoshop substitutes GIMP and Paint.NET, and system optimizer CCleaner.

So here's my question for you: what freeware rocks your world? What programs have you found that are just as good as their commercial counterparts--if not better? Hit the comments and talk up your favorites. I'll round up some of the top picks in a future post!

Also, I'm desperately seeking a good (and preferably free, natch) replacement for Outlook, which I can no longer stand. Ideally, it should be able to import my Outlook PST file. Any recommendations?

Bonus deal: Today only, and while supplies last, daily-deal site Laalo has the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit for $14.95, plus $4.99 for shipping. Apple charges $29, plus shipping and sales tax. The kit enables you to plug in an SD card or USB device for copying photos to your iPad.