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Return of the free $390 Windows software bundle

From the Cheapskate: Come one, come all, and take one or take all of these utilities. Plus: Get a waterproof shower speaker for $10.99 and the cheapest DJI Phantom 3 to date!

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
3 min read

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. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.

Hi, cheeps! Quick housekeeping note: As you're probably aware, the Internet went "bonk" last Friday, meaning some of you missed out on the chance to get 1TB of cloud storage for life for $35. Fortunately, the deal has been extended, so in your face, hackers!

Second item: If you love giveaways -- and I know you do -- check out Roadshow's Jump Start Giveaway. You could win one of three PowerAll portable jump-starters. While you're at it, bookmark CNET's new giveaway collection page, which lists all the chances you have to win stuff.

Today, everyone's a winner, because Wonderfox is once again giving away a big bundle of Windows utilities.

Like last time, this really isn't a bundle in the traditional sense; it's a collection of freebies, and you can pick and choose the ones you want. You don't have to jump through a bunch of hoops. You don't have to "like" anything on Facebook (though you can do some social-media sharing as part of a contest entry for even more software) or watch a video or sign up for three newsletters.

That said, the installation and registration process varies a bit from product to product. For example, let's say you decide to grab Ashampoo Backup 2016. You'll click the Get it free 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.)

Choose Wonderfox's own DVD Ripper Pro, however, and the zip file will contain both the program itself and a Word file containing the license code. In other words, different products have different redemption methods, but they're all pretty innocuous.

Other items available in the the giveaway: Wisecare 365 Pro, Reg Organizer, iCare Data Recovery Pro, Iobit Uninstaller 6 Pro, Superlauncher, Reallusion Crazytalk Animator and Whatsapp Recovery.

Combined value, according to Wonderfox: $390. That's probably a little artificially high (iCare Data Recovery Pro is listed at $69.99 on the developer's site, not $89.99), but who cares? The only thing to really be aware of is that 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?

Bonus deal: Back in May, I shared the Mpow Buckler shower speaker for $14.99. If you grabbed one at the time, look away -- nothing to see here. If you didn't, check it out: Amazon has the Mpow Buckler shower speaker for $10.99 when you apply promo code Q498N2AN. This little round speaker is shockproof, dustproof and splashproof, so you can use it just about anywhere. And the code will work with either the black or blue model.

Bonus deal No. 2: Holy smokes, high-end quadcopters are getting cheap. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Newegg has the refurbished DJI Phantom 3 Standard for $369 shipped. It sells new for $499, but the good news is DJI backs refurbs with the same one-year warranty. The Phantom 3 Standard includes a 3-axis gimbal and 2.7K built-in camera.

Really a spectacular deal, though I have to say I find DJI's app -- required to fly the drone -- borderline user-hostile. Basic flight is a breeze, but if you want to venture into modes like follow-me, be prepared for a steep learning curve.