Essential Freeware for PC

Many people think ‘you get what you pay for’. Although sometimes it is true, overall it is 80% false. If 80% false, then the expression cannot be relied upon. It is not my purpose here to give evidence for this point.

I have discovered over the years that freeware very often is better than commercial products. Sometimes it is not and not every freeware program is wonderful. But there are ways of discovering reviews of freeware that others have tried and voted for or against.

What is freeware? Freeware consists of programs that one or more individuals build and give away for free. Sometimes they do this so that you can see how good it is and eventually they may recommend a better program they build with extra features for a small price. Nothing wrong with this. Programmers too have to eat. is a site devoted to reviewing freeware for almost any device.

But this time I found this list in Maximum PC!

First you need some SAFE freeware sites to look for freeware. Here is a list of some of them.

If you just search for freeware anywhere, you may end up at a site which is not so honourable and by accident download a toolbar that you cannot get rid of or malware which gives you grief. So until you have a better way of finding good freeware sites, please rely on these most common recommended by MaximPC.


FileHippo  This is currently our top recommendation as they offer a wide collection of clean software with fast download rates without requiring a proprietary downloader. A unique and useful feature is they offer a full version history of most products.

MajorGeeks This site carries only tech tools and utilities. Guidance is limited to brief reviews and user ratings.  However, if you are looking for tech tools this is THE place to go. One of our favorites.

SnapFiles  Offers a huge collection, great organization and a refreshingly clean presentation. Products are briefly reviewed and carry site ratings, user rating and user comments.

Softpedia  A huge commercial site with an excellent collection organized by platform. It features site and user star ratings for products and user comments. The search engine doesn’t display any  ratings and this limits its use when selecting. The real selling point for this site is its “100% clean” guarantee.  For many that is a winning feature but remember it easy to claim a 100% guarantee but much harder to achieve it!

FileForum-Betanews  Not the largest download collection, but if you’re looking for the very latest products you’ll find them here long before other download sites.  Good collection of software with user ratings and number of downloads listed. Quite a few ads scattered throughout.

I have not had a chance to describe what the following do but they came from May 2013 MaximumPC magazine. You could search for them at any of the sites above. As appropriate, I have added some of my own favorites that were not in the MaximumPC list.

System Information

  • cpu-z and gpu-z
  • hwmonitor
  • windirstat
  • intel turbo widget
  • speccy
  • gkrellm

File Management

  • Izarc or 7-zip [Personally I prefer Izarc because a right click brings you all the options. There is also a portable version called Izarc2go]
  • utorrent
  • dropbox
  • winmerge
  • teracopy
  • filezilla


  • ccleaner
  • revo uninstaller
  • slim drivers free
  • syncbackfree
  • filehippo


  • unigene heaven
  • catzilla
  • furmark
  • prime95
  • crystaldiskmark
  • sandra 2013
  • fraps

Best Free Games

  • team fortress 2
  • tribes: ascend
  • quake live
  • league of legends
  • blacklight retribution
  • dota 2
  • planetside 2
  • smite
  • dc universe online
  • daggerfall
  • middle manager of justice


Content Creation

  • gimp
  • andreamosaic
  • audacity
  • handbrake
  • rasterbator
  • blender
  • inkscape
  • camstudio
  • videopad
  • open broadcaster software


  • avast free v.7 –
  • malwarebytes anti-malware
  • truecrypt
  • keepass password safe



  • Softmaker Office [Textmaker]
  • Kingsoft Free Edition
  • sumatra PDF
  • notepad++
  • abiword
  • libreoffice

Free Mobile Apps Interact with PC

  • pc monitor
  • airdroid
  • unified remote
  • es file explorer
  • tonido


Media Handling

  • image resizer
  • vlcmedia player
  • aimp
  • plex
  • picasa 3


Look and Feel

  • classic shell
  • f.lux
  • displayfusion


With credit to MaximumPC magazine – May 2013

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