[dropcap2]O[/dropcap2]ver the last couple of years there have been countless articles about which apps for iPhones or iPads are must-haves. We’re not complaining; we’ve read quite a few of them, written one or two ourselves, and discovered some great apps that we still use every day. But why hasn’t there been any love for PCs? We use them everyday too; so why shouldn’t great programs that make our PCs better get the same attention? Without further ado, we say go get these seven programs for your computer. All of them have a free version so there really is no excuse not to.
Microsoft Security Essentials:
Are you paying for anti-virus software? You don’t need to anymore. Though they will never admit it, Microsoft built their own anti-virus in response to all the Mac ads touting their lack of viruses (it’s just a matter of time, Mac users. Don’t get complacent). And it works superbly. MSE is geared towards consumer use, so if you are looking to protect a network, this might not be the best solution. Otherwise, drop your current anti-virus and download this one right now!
C Cleaner cleans out all the stuff on your computer that you don’t know is there and have never used. It clears out temporary files, your old browsing history and gives you the opportunity to remove the unused files in any software program of your choosing. If you’re familiar and comfortable with the process, you can also clean out your Windows registry, but beware because if you’re not careful you could create some serious problems.
LogMeIn is a program that lets you access your computer remotely. LMI uses SSL certificates to safely and securely use your PC on your phone, tablet or any other device you want to. If you are running to and from meetings all the time and constantly run the risk of forgetting to transfer a particular file, LMI is a life-saver. LMI can also be set-up for our technicians to diagnose your PC remotely if you’re experiencing any problematic issues on your computer. This program changes they way you work, period.
This handy little search engine bypasses Windows search as the best way to find anything on your computer. It’s faster, more efficient, quite stable and doesn’t need much computing power. The search starts in real time as you type, the same way Google does. Unless you are meticulous about organizing your computer’s files, this program can save you a lot of time and headaches. Search Everything reminds us of Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World” ads. We don’t always search for files on our computer, but when we do, we prefer Search Everything. If you use currently use Windows search, it’s time to stop and use this instead.
Sumatra is an open sourced, no-frills PDF reader. It’s about 1/40 the size of Adobe Reader and uploads much more quickly. It’s extremely well-designed with the only down side being its slow process when it comes to printing pdfs. If you have ever waited impatiently for Adobe Reader to open, get Sumatra now.
This program does what you think it does: burns CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays. In our opinion, it’s the best one out there. It’s reliable, easy-to-use and capable of burning discs of practically every type you would need. While we encourage everyone to have remote back-ups on a cloud, it certainly doesn’t hurt to go old-school and have hard copy versions.
Last but not least, the program we use incessantly. It’s a cloud storage system that has a surprising amount of space for free. It works well across all devices, portable, Macs and PCs and is amazingly easy to use. If you collaborate on projects, Dropbox is a must-have. It makes business and life in general easier.
Well, there you have it. We’re happy to help you install any and all of these and make sure you are comfortable using them before you go on your way.