Christmas Gift Guide

Application Reviews

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Tenebril SpyCatcher 2006

An easy-to-use interface and effective handling of spyware make either the free or paid version of Tenebril SpyCatcher an excellent addition to your PC's defense arsenal.

iWork '06

Overall, Apple iWork '06 is a compelling package, though mostly due to Keynote 3. Keynote 3 is a better tool than PowerPoint, and Pages 2 offers some intriguing new features, though professional users will still yearn for Adobe FrameMaker.

WordPerfect Office X3

Corel WordPerfect Office X3 is a very good productivity suite with enough enhancements to warrant an upgrade. Microsoft Office users, though, should wait for Microsoft Office 12.

Norton AntiVirus 2006

Norton AntiVirus 2006 improves its detection and removal of spyware and adware but lags behind the more proactive McAfee VirusScan 2006.

Macromedia Dreamweaver 8.0

Faster, easier to use, and more powerful than the previous version, Dreamweaver 8 is a worthy upgrade for professionals, but amateurs should stick with a less complicated app, such as HomeSite.

DtSearch Desktop 7.01

Most users are better off using free desktop search tools, but power users will appreciate the enormous control offered by DtSearch.

Macromedia Contribute 3.0

Macromedia Contribute 3.0 manages Web sites, especially those made by pros within a workgroup.

Ipswitch WS_FTP Professional 2006

WS_FTP is a powerful and capable file transfer client that is worth the expense if you have serious data transfer needs.

Apple Safari RSS

Apple Safari RSS, the default Mac OS X browser, beats Opera, Firefox, and Internet Explorer as the best Web browser for Mac users.

Spybot Search and Destroy

Spybot is both free and adaptable for both beginning and power users, but it left behind several known spyware apps.

System Mechanic Professional v. 5

No utility package is perfect, but Iolo System Mechanic 5.0 Professional is the current leader. If you're looking for one utility suite to fine-tune your hard drive and protect its contents, this is the one to get.

Editors' Choice

Adobe Photoshop CS2

If you're a professional or ambitious amateur digital artist, we highly recommend Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Opera 8

There's a ton of great technology in Opera, and it's free to compete with Mozilla Firefox.

Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2005

PC-cillin Internet Security 2005 delivers speedy virus scanning and a host of other Internet protection tools--all for the price of most antivirus-only programs alone.

Editors' Choice

Trillian Pro 2.012

Consolidate all of your chat buddies into Trillian Pro 2.012. Perfect for students and office workers alike.

ZoneAlarm with Antivirus

Bargain hunters, ZoneAlarm with Antivirus is the security deal for you.

InterVideo DVD Copy 2.0 Platinum

InterVideo DVD Copy 2.0's interface will please ambitious beginners, but its limited functionality may frustrate advanced users.

McAfee AntiSpyware 2005

McAfee AntiSpyware's automated spyware scanning makes this a sensible addition to any PC's security measures.