The tool chest offers you links to free software tools to help you keep your computer in top condition. We've listed some of our favorite tools as a starter, but if you know of any free software that you find useful, please let us know and we'll post the link. Some of the software listed below competes directly with Microsoft products. With the seemingly endless list of security vulnerabilities found in Microsoft software, you might want to give these alternatives a try. Please Note: The titles listed here are provided by third parties and while we may offer our opinions* on the software, we do not officially endorse any of the software listed here and we do not take responsibility for the software or its effect on your computer. Please contact the software publisher for any support issues.
Description: In our opinion*, AVAST is one of the best free anti-virus utilities on the net. The home version is offered free but you can upgrade to the pro version for a small fee. Includes protection for email, web surfing, instant messaging and lots more. When your Norton Anti-Virus or McAfee subscription runs out, consider using AVAST instead.
Description: We highly recommend that you use Firefox as your browser instead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, due to the many security flaws constantly surfacing in the Microsoft browser software. Firefox 1.5 has an intuitive interface and blocks viruses, spyware, and popup ads. It delivers Web pages faster than ever. And it's easy to install and import your favorites from Internet Explorer. Free!
Category: Email Client
Description: Mozilla Thunderbird delivers! Enjoy safe, fast, and easy email, with intelligent spam filters, quick message search, and customizable views. Brought to you by the makers of Firefox, Thunderbird makes email better. Use it to replace Microsoft Outlook when you get tired of all the security holes in Microsoft's software.
Description: This is a great alternative to the Microsoft Office suite. It includes software that can read and write most Microsoft Office documents including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It is a very mature open-source office suite. Better yet, it's FREE!
Category: Voice over IP, Video IP
Description: Very easy to use Voice Over IP software for Windows, Mac and Linux clients. Includes video, text messaging and file transfer functions. Make calls for free across the Internet to other Skype users. You'll need a microphone and headphone or speakers. Very easy to use and the call quality is higher than your normal phone line.
Category: Anti-Adware, Anti-Malware
Description: Spybot Search & Destroy is an excellent anti-adware, anti-malware program. It is available for free download although the author also asks for shareware donations. Easy to use and nails the bad stuff very effectively. It also offers inoculation for your computer against future infections. Removing Ad-Ware and Mal-Ware from your computer can significantly increase performance and greatly reduce your risk of identity theft.
Category: Internet Chat
Description: Trillian is a fully featured, stand-alone, skinnable chat client that supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and IRC. It provides capabilities not possible with original network clients, while supporting standard features such as audio chat, file transfers, group chats, chat rooms, buddy icons and tons more.
* All technicians and engineers are opinionated and will freely share their opinion about anything with anyone. Sometimes this results in valuable information, as is the case here. Other times, it's best to just run away.