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Software Recommendations

Programs and tools recommendations for Windows users

  • OpenSSH Secure Shell Suite

    Free Windows/Mac implementations of the SSH protocol suite. SSH encrypts all traffic (including passwords) thus keeping your information private and eliminating eavesdropping, connection hijacking, and other network-level attacks.

    The OpenSSH suite includes the ssh program which replaces telnet, and scp and sftp which replace ftp.

    Must have utilities

  • SpyBot Search&Destroy Spyware Removal Utility

    Free multi-spyware removal utility that scans memory, registry and hard drives for known spyware components and lets you remove them safely.

    Highly recommended.

    What is spyware? While advertising/sponsoring is a common way to publish and promote a product for free, some software advertising systems do more then just showing static banners. They make secretly use of your internet connection, for example to retrieve new banner ads from a third parties server or send various information about you. Some of these systems are installed with a (often popular) host application, some attach themself to your browser, some are completely invisible.

  • SpywareBlaster

    SpywareBlaster doesn't scan and clean for spyware - it prevents it from ever being installed. It blocks spyware/tracking cookies in Mozilla/Firefox and Internet Explorer.

    Highly recommended.

  • Virtual Computing

    Free set of software tools which allows you to view a computing 'desktop' environment not only on the machine where it is running, but from anywhere on the Internet and from a wide variety of machine architectures.

    Developed by AT&T Laboratories Cambridge, presently maintained by RealVNC.

  • GIMP - GNU Image Manipulation Program

    The GIMP is a freely distributed piece of software suitable for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

  • Ghostscript: Postscript Viewer & Interpreter

    Free set of software tools which allows you to view, print, and convert Postscript files.

  • MiKTeX

    MiKTeX (pronounced mick-tech) is an up-to-date implementation of TEX and related programs for Windows (all current variants) on x86 systems.

  • OpenOffice

    OpenOffice is a free office productivity software suite: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, and Math. It is available for Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac.

    OpenOffice features:
    • All the packages have a similar "look and feel" making them very easy to use.
    • All the packages share a common configuration file, spell-checker, etc.
    • Information can be transferred easily between all packages.
    • All packages import and save data in a number of standard (OpenDocument) and industry-standard formats (including Microsoft ones).

  • Mozilla Firefox

    Firefox is a free open-source web browser, designed for standards compliance, performance and portability.

    Highly recommended.

  • Secunia Personal Software Inspector

    Secunia PSI scans Windows computer for insecure and end-of-life applications and provides direct and easy access to security patches.

    Must have utility.

  • Eraser

    Eraser is an advanced security tool (for Windows), which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns.

    The method behind the program is based on Peter Gutmann's paper "Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory".

    Highly recommended.

  • CCleaner Crap Cleaner utility

    CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as a browser history.

    Highly recommended.

  • TrueCrypt

    TrueCrypt is free open-source on-the-fly disk encryption software for Windows XP/2000/2003 and Linux. "On-the-fly encryption" means that data are automatically encrypted or decrypted right before they are loaded or saved, without any user intervention.

  • Process Explorer

    Lists all currently active processes including the names of their owning accounts and gives you the ability to kill any process you select. Also includes a search capability that will show you which processes have particular handles opened or DLLs loaded.

  • TCPView

    Shows the detailed listings of all open ports on your system, including the remote address and state of TCP connections.