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Commonly recommended software programs

All versions of Windows 7, 2008 and Vista including 32 bit and 64 bit

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Commonly recommended software programs

Postby teststrips » Fri May 07, 2004 1:37 am

In this post you'll find links to FREE software that I very highly recommended. I do not have anything to do with the development of these programs, but have used all of them personally, and feel they are very useful.

SPYWARE
Definition - Spyware (adware) is software that usually runs as a hidden program. It "listens" to the websites that you go to and reports that information to an advertising agency. It then bombards you with advertisements "directed towards you", usually in the form of pop-up windows.

More info - Spyware programs are not malicious and generally will not "hurt" your system. They will slow your machine down, and some poorly written spyware code has been known to cause security problems. Most Anti-virus programs do not remove spyware because it technically is not harmful to your machine.

Removal - There are many utilities to remove spyware, but I will specifically mention my favorite four. I've listed them in the order I would run them myself.


LavaSoft AdAware link - Searches hard drives, running programs, and the registry for traces of spyware, then asks which spyware programs you want to remove (I usually pick everything). There is a free version... it has less options than the fee version, but still works very well.

Spybot - Search and Destroy link - Similar to AdAware, same basic function. I find they compliment each other, each finding different types of spyware. I run both programs weekly.

HiJackThis link -"HiJackThis is a program that lists all installed browser add-on, buttons, and startup items. It allows YOU TO INSPECT, and optionally remove selected items. Intended for advanced users." HiJackThis is more of an infomation tool. It gives you a report of all installed browser add-ons, buttons, and startup items and lets you choose what to remove. Many of the things that HiJackThis finds are good programs that you want to run. If you do not understand the information HiJackThis gives you, please hit the SAVE LOG button, then copy and paste that information into a new topic here at PcTechForums

CWShredder link or link#2 - A removal program for one of the worst spyware programs CoolWebSearch (aka CoolWwwSearch, YouFindAll, White-Pages.ws and a dozen other names). CoolWebSearch is smart enough to prevent you from downloading or running AdAware and Spybot. If those programs won't run for you, or your browser closes every time you try to go to their website, download and use CWShredder first.

VIRUS
Definition - A virus is a computer program that was written to purposely damage computer systems.

More info - Your computer can get a virus from another computer, through modems, networks or disks. You can protect your computer from viruses by using virus protection software, and by only downloading programs from sources you trust. (definition and more information were direct quotes from http://www.tekmom.com/buzzwords/zdvirus.html)

Removal - There are many anti-virus programs, most of which are not free. The program I trust my PC to is one of those that fits into the "not free" category, Norton Antivirus. I've chosen to keep this post about free programs, and the following are the best free antivirus choices.


Avast - Home Edition link- "Avast! 4 Home Edition is a full-featured antivirus package designed exclusively for home users. Our company offers Home Edition free of charge, since in our opinion, it is possible to avoid global virus spreading by efficient prevention; however, many user are not able or do not want to pay for antivirus software." This program looks great, but is a little slow.

AVG Anti-Virus - Free Edition link - Another free antivirus program. Included with the Free edition
"AVG Resident Protection
AVG e-mail Scanner
AVG On-Demand Scanner
Basic Scheduled Tests
Free Virus Database Updates
Automatic Update feature
Easy-To-Use Interface
Automatic Healing of infected files
AVG Virus Vault for safe handling of infected files"

This program is not as pretty as Avast, but is faster, and takes up less CPU time/RAM.

Housecall Antivirus link Free web based scanner. Will run from inside of Internet Explorer. Use this if you do not want to install any software on your computer. You can also "check up" on your installed virus scanner to make sure it's doing a good job.

McAfee Stinger link - A few viruses were written to disable virus scanning from all of the major anti-virus programs. McAfee Stinger will search out and remove only those viruses. They are the most common, and some of the worst viruses out there. If you can't get an anti-virus program to run or install, try McAfee STINGER.

Please feel free to mention other programs you feel should be added to this list. I prefer to keep this about freeware programs only. Also, let me know if I messed up grammar or spelling, or a link is dead. Send me a private message
Last edited by teststrips on Fri May 07, 2004 1:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Geekgirl » Fri May 07, 2004 1:46 am

MAIL WASHER
MailWasher is a powerful email checker with effective spam elimination.
Bounce back unwanted e-mails so it looks as if your email address is not valid.
Delete unwanted e-mails before you download them.
Analyse
MailWasher analyses each email as it arrives and warns you if it is suspected junk mail or a virus by heuristic checking and filtering.
Blacklist
Any e-mails you bounce back get their senders details put on the blacklist for easy removal if they come back.

Many more features and its FREE

http://www.mailwasher.net/
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Postby Jazzman » Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:27 pm

Agent Ransack - the most incredible computer scanner program. Scans your system a thousand times quicker than the irritating XP built-in one, and offers far more in the way of search options. Utterly reliable and instant startup.

http://download.com.com/Agent%20Ransack ... ag=lst-0-1

Thanks to 'CNET Downloads' (www.downloads.com) for providing that link

Good Luck All! :P
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Postby teststrips » Fri Jun 11, 2004 1:59 pm

I just read the post for Agent Ransack, which is actually a program I used to use. I then found Ava Find, which I like even better.

http://www.think-less-do-more.com/avafind/
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Postby Quantum » Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:24 pm

Thanks for these links. I have been looking for a free anti-viruse program.
:)
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Postby Restek » Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:28 pm

Not really used local search tools much, so thanks for the links. Anyone tried the google desktop search yet?
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Postby brad » Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:53 pm

You all might be interested in this Spyware Info Article about the Google Desktop......interesting.
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Postby teststrips » Thu Dec 16, 2004 3:02 am

I have checked out, and actually am using the google desktop search tool. I am also still running adaware. The google destop search tool is excellent for searching inside of files, and email. If i wanted to find info on a order I made 2 years ago, and stored away somewhere in e-mail, it's exellent. Also, if i need to find a report I wrote, but can't seem to find on my disk, a few key words will find it based on the written text, not just the filename.

the google tool, however currently does not find specific file names. IE if I search for MsVideo.dll, even though the file exists in the /windows/system directory the google tool reports nothing. It will find .jpg files, and seemingly random .exe files. I've had the program installed for many weeks, and i've re-cached my drives a couple of times.

If I am going to search for filenames, i go with avafind, for those harder searches, google is wonderful, especially for searching e-mails.
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Postby Limp » Fri Dec 17, 2004 3:40 am

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Postby Shindig » Tue May 24, 2005 7:39 pm

I have been using spywareblaster for ages... and spyware has become a thing of the past..

http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html
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Re: Commonly recommended software programs

Postby lakeswimmer » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:34 am

Wow.. Great List you got there dude.. Keep on posting on your recommended software. I have used some of those software listed above.
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Re: Commonly recommended software programs

Postby Dave_Lethal » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:17 am

CCleaner

http://www.ccleaner.com

Used to clean out temp files, clean up registry, etc. I use it religiously.
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Re: Commonly recommended software programs

Postby Psymon » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:52 pm

Since this thread doesn't specify we have to post security focused software, I'll throw up a few free software I'm using.

The Gimp
Like Adobe Photoshop but completely free.

Goldwave
Not completely free but you can access all features for up to 500 actions per session.
Useful for converting music files to other formats or other tiding and editing.

JKDefrag
Superior to the defrag that comes with windoze.
Doesn't even require install, just an exe you run when you want.

VLC media player
Free media player. Can do almost anything.
Not sure about Blu-ray playback...

Deep Burner
There's a free version of their disk burning software. It can burn to disks, erase disks, make bootable disks, and make images of disks... what more could you want :P
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Re: Commonly recommended software programs

Postby venney » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:29 am

The good thing about VLC player is that it has all the codecs built in. So it will play almsot anything (including .iso format dvds via drag and drop).

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Sting like a bee.
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Re: Commonly recommended software programs

Postby Commatt » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:03 am

I use diskrescue and ccleaner. :banana:
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