In creating this list of freeware applications I reviewed
almost a thousand different programs. I started by creating
a list of the common computing tasks I perform regularly and
from there located and tested freeware applications which could
best perform the task.
I was a bit surprised to find that I
could summarize my computing needs with so few categories,
but at the same time I realized that I simply don't perform several
hundred different computing tasks every day.
Tasks in each category are listed in order of frequency of use, i.e.,
most used tasks are at the top. This isn't something I measure, just
an estimate of how I think I spend my time.
Multiple Entries Per Category
In a few categories you'll see that I've recommended more than one application. Usually, the
first recommendation is a simpler application (fewer options, easier to learn and use).
The second is typically more capable and requires more effort to use. My personal
tastes lean towards the simpler programs, but many users like the all-in-one variety.
- Folder Comparison: Comparator, Files Comparer
Comparator has a much simpler interface. Files Comparer
incorporates the ability to view/edit content of text files.
For simple folder synchronization between PC and laptop I'd
go with Comparator. For more detailed work, particuarly with
text files then Files Comparer gets the nod.
- Keyboard Controller: CapsLockOff, KeyTweak
CapsLockOff simply disables the #1 enemy on the keyboard. KeyTweak
lets you adjust the computer response to any key on the keyboard.
- HTML Editor: Notepad, NoteTab Light, 1st Page 2000
I'm a fast typer and pretty much have the HTML code memorized, so using Notepad
meets my needs. I use it for about 80% of my HTML editing. I've begun to
use NoteTab Light because it opens multiple files at once, plus has syntax highlighting.
1st Page 2000 is a complete HTML development tool.
- FTP Client: SendtoFTP, FileZilla
FileZilla is a full featured FTP client. But for simple file transfers
just right mouse click on a file to reach SendtoFTP. It's very simple
to use. I use SendtoFTP for about 90% of my file transfers.
- Email Checker: Poppy, ePrompter
Poppy is a simple version of an email checker whereas ePrompter is almost
a full email client in the system tray.
- Spyware: Spybot, Ad-aware
Both are excellent. Simply because detection of spyware is so important
I recommend using both.
- Link Checker: LinkProver, Xenu Link Sleuth
Xenu is the best around. LinkProver works on files located on your hard drive
(convenient that I don't have to upload before testing).