Seven essential, free apps for a new PC
3:10

Seven essential, free apps for a new PC

Operating Systems
Many of you are getting new PCs these days, either as a gift, or just because there's a shiny new operating system out there. But once you get it fired up and the operating system installed, it's time to populate it with good software. Don't just take all the dreck off your old machine people. Use this as an opportunity to start fresh. Let me give you the seven essential pieces of software for your new PC. First security. You need an antivirus app, and it's not something you need to pay for. CNET's Download.com gave AVG Free Antivirus edition five stars out of five. And if you're not a big company, it won't cost you a dime. Now that you're protected, it's time to browse the Internet. Don't just go with the Web browser that came with your OS. There's Opera, and Google Chrome, and Firefox, and so many other options. And you know what? I'm not going with any of them. I recommend Sea Monkey. Why? Because it has the Firefox Web browser but also bundles e-mail, an IRC client, and Web page editor as well. If IRC and Web editing doesn't matter to use, then maybe go with Firefox and Thunderbird for e-mail. However, to get the most bang for your byte, I say go Sea Monkey. Next you need to tell all your friends your experience on your new computer. So get an IM client. On Windows, I recommend Pidgin. For Mac use Adium. They both are free, open-source multiservice clients that work great. Next, it's time to save you a few hundred bucks. Don't go out and drop dough on Microsoft Office. Open Office from Openoffice.org is better than it's ever been. I use it daily for word processing: spreadsheet manipulation, presentations, and more. If you're an Excel superuser, you may have issues with it, but for the average Joe, then it's going to do everything you need--for free! Productivity is covered. Now for some entertainment. For that, you need VLC media player. It can handle almost anything you throw at it. DVD won't play in that piece of crap software that came with your PC? VLC will handle it. Music? Any format you can think of. And it's got that magic price you love. Two more and we're done. First you need a graphics editor. How else will you put your friends heads on celebrity bodies. For Windows there's nothing better than Paint.NET. It's free and powerful. For Mac? It's tough. I like Acorn which is free to download but $50 to keep. For free that stays free, try Seashore, which is based on the GIMP engine, or Skitch. Finally, one last security piece of software. Antispyware. You can go with a cocktail of Ad-Aware, Spybot Search and Destory, Windows Defender, and so on. That's not a bad idea, but if I was backed up against a wall and forced to pick just one, I'd pick Hijack This. Trend Micro has given us one of the most powerful malware removal tolls you can find, and it's freeware. Now there's certainly many other apps you need, such as registry cleaners, torrent downloaders, FTP clients, and so on, but they start to stray into niches that vary for different types of users. I can say without a doubt that these seven programs are essential for you to install on every PC, no matter who you are. That's it for this how-to. I'm Tom Merritt, CNET.com.

Up Next

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys
3keyboards

Up Next

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC
psstill

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account
phoneonorange

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit
dsc00641

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit

How to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2022
budgetlaptops-00-08-35-15-still001

How to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2022

Google Pay: How to Set Up and Use
googlepay-inhand

Google Pay: How to Set Up and Use

Clean Your AirPods and EarPods Without Damaging Them
yt-howto-clean-airpods-v3

Clean Your AirPods and EarPods Without Damaging Them

How to Control Your Computer With Your Feet
yt-learn-guitar-foot-controls-v2

How to Control Your Computer With Your Feet

How to Download YouTube Videos
yt-howto-download-yt-videos-v3

How to Download YouTube Videos

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

Tesla AI Day 2022 Rumors: Elon Musk's AI Plans, Tesla Bot and Driverless Cars
tesla-ai-day

Tesla AI Day 2022 Rumors: Elon Musk's AI Plans, Tesla Bot and Driverless Cars

What It's Like Playing VR Football: NFL Pro Era Hands-On
nfl-cut-5-with-vo-00-00-34-02-still009

What It's Like Playing VR Football: NFL Pro Era Hands-On

Where and When You Should Charge Your Electric Car
title-00-00-06-19-still001

Where and When You Should Charge Your Electric Car

iOS 16: Powerful Features You May Have Missed
thumb2

iOS 16: Powerful Features You May Have Missed

AirPods Pro 2 Review: Hard to Beat for Apple Users
airpodspro2-00-00-16-15-still010

AirPods Pro 2 Review: Hard to Beat for Apple Users

Apple Watch Ultra: Go Big, or Go Home
ultracnet

Apple Watch Ultra: Go Big, or Go Home

Most Popular All most popular

Apple Watch Ultra: Go Big, or Go Home
ultracnet

Apple Watch Ultra: Go Big, or Go Home

iOS 16: Powerful Features You May Have Missed
thumb2

iOS 16: Powerful Features You May Have Missed

Why Apple Uses eSIMs on the iPhone 14
yt-e-sim-explainer-v2

Why Apple Uses eSIMs on the iPhone 14

iPhone 14 is Missing These 5 Features
top5iphone14missing-00-00-00-00-still001

iPhone 14 is Missing These 5 Features

AirPods Pro 2 Review: Hard to Beat for Apple Users
airpodspro2-00-00-16-15-still010

AirPods Pro 2 Review: Hard to Beat for Apple Users

'Artificial Blowhole' Completes 1-Year Wave Energy Test
uniwave-2

'Artificial Blowhole' Completes 1-Year Wave Energy Test

Latest Products All latest products

GoPro Hero 11 Black Hands-on: Super-sized Sensor for All Your Socials
gopro1

GoPro Hero 11 Black Hands-on: Super-sized Sensor for All Your Socials

I Tried Out Sony's Upcoming VR Headset on the PlayStation 5
psvr2

I Tried Out Sony's Upcoming VR Headset on the PlayStation 5

Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE: First Look
watch8-sepic

Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE: First Look

Bose QuietComfort EarBuds 2: Better design, better performance
bose-quietcomforst-ii

Bose QuietComfort EarBuds 2: Better design, better performance

Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review: A Diminutive but Fun Upgrade
flip4

Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review: A Diminutive but Fun Upgrade

Hands-On With This Massive 17-Inch Folding OLED Screen PC From Asus
yt-asus-foldable-nda-v5

Hands-On With This Massive 17-Inch Folding OLED Screen PC From Asus

Latest How To All how to videos

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys
3keyboards

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC
psstill

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account
phoneonorange

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit
dsc00641

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit

How to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2022
budgetlaptops-00-08-35-15-still001

How to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2022

Google Pay: How to Set Up and Use
googlepay-inhand

Google Pay: How to Set Up and Use