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Best Free Windows 64-bit Software

 
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Windows-Internet-64bit-82-58.png 8. Best Free Windows 64-bit Internet and eMail
 

 

 

Best Free Windows 64-bit Browser

Now is a good time to try a 64-bit browser. Just don't get rid of your 32-bit browser until you are sure that you can do without it.

64-bit versions of Windows Vista, 7 and 8 include both the 32 and 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer, version 8 in the case of Windows 7, version 10 for Windows 8. The 32-bit versions of Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera also work without a hitch under both operating systems.

For a many months I have used all the browsers. I rate them similarly to the 32-bit versions (see Best Free Web Browser). Although my personal preference is for Firefox and its derivatives, your preference is likely to be determined by what you use in a 32-bit version. On my systems, the 64-bit versions seem smoother and faster than the 32-bit versions when running on 64-bit Windows but they are usually no faster than their 32-bit versions running on 32-bit Windows.

The issues are the same for all 64-bit versions, they use more memory and they may not be able to run your favourite 32-bit add-on or plug-in. However, the main roadblocks to using 64-bit browsers have been removed:

Pale Moon

Pale Moon is a fast version of Firefox optimized to run on newer hardware. Speed is increased by optimizing the compiled program through removing support for older processors, utilising the features of newer processors, and configuring some features differently. The main difference you will notice is that the user interface is slightly different retaining some of the older placements.

Compatibility is maintained by using only 'unmodified Firefox code' but removing some 'less useful' features which don't affect the ability to display web pages correctly. Useful features that are removed are: accessibility features - if you need them you won't want this browser; and parental controls - see Best Free Internet Safety Checkwhich describes how parental controls improve browsing safety. You will also lose crash support because Pale Moon does not have the same infrastructure as Firefox.

Pale Moon installation was easy but a separate utility has to be downloaded to migrate my Firefox settings. One benefit of 100% Firefox source code is that I can use Firefox Sync which synchronizes Firefox history, bookmarks, etc on different platforms. I'm using it to synchronize 32-bit Firefox, 64-bit Firefox and 64-bit Pale Moon so I don't lose any of my work while I'm evaluating them.

Waterfox

Waterfox, like Pale Moon, is an optimized 64-bit version of Firefox that doesn't remove major components. It appears to be faster than Pale Moon but has one annoying feature:"Waterfox uses the same profile that Firefox does. If you uninstall Waterfox make sure you don't have the remove personal data box ticked!".

Opera

Opera might well be my main browser if it wasn't so aggressive at making itself the default. With smaller market share, I guess that they try harder to overcome conservatism and inertia that keeps Opera off more desktops.

Internet Explorer

While Internet Explorer 64-bit is a very good browser, I don't using it much because I have had more problems with the websites I rely upon and work on. Even so, I enjoyed using it as it was also noticeably smoother and faster than the 32-bit version.

Google Chrome

Even with four 64-bit browsers to choose from, 32-bit Chrome Chrome is still a very attractive product with features that you might consider essential like multiple user profiles.

 

  Best Free Windows 64-bit Email

Microsoft offer no real 64-bit solution for the latest versions of Windows:

  • Windows 8 Mail is a Modern UI application but it is very limited. If you use it, you will have to complement it with webmail or another email program.
  • Windows 7 does not include an email client.
  • Windows Vista 64 has a 64-bit version of Windows Mail which makes it Microsoft's only competent 64-bit email client.

Earlybird

Thunderbirdis our recommended client for the 32-bit Windows desktop but Mozilla's only 64-bit version is the unsupported beta Earlybird. It is good enough to use but be warned that you may strike problems although I haven't ... yet.

Unfortunately, moving from your existing email client to 64-bit Thunderbird 3 can be quite a challenge. Users moving from Thunderbird 2 under Windows 7 and Vista 64 will need to use two third party freeware products, MozBackupand MailStore Home. Migration from Outlook is relatively simple under Vista 64 using the import function. This approach doesn't work under Windows 7 due to changes in the registration of MAPI entries which no one appears to want to acknowledge or address.

 

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Comments

by pom gili (not verified) on 4. December 2010 - 3:00  (62008)

- sir what is much better? windows 7 32-bit or windows 7 64-bit? tnx.

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 4:54  (65277)

'Better' in a PC sense is difficult to quantify. Personally, having switched to 64 bit Windows and Linux, I wouldn't move back.

Best regards,

Rik

by Biren D Palani (not verified) on 30. November 2010 - 17:20  (61832)

Good review... thanks it help us a lot in understnding the Win7 x 64

by HERRY (not verified) on 27. November 2010 - 11:32  (61697)

Those of you who are "computer experts" and tried to remove it manually by deleting all the traces it leaves in the system (files, registry, DLLs, etc.) and failed don't feel too bad, you are not alone, it is known that removing it is a very hard task, since in that aspect it does a great job in preventing an easy uninstall.

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 5:11  (65283)

Generally removing software using Windows features is the best approach as you point out. Sometimes this doesn't work so knowing your 'way around' the system is a valuable skill.

Rik

by Thamza (not verified) on 24. November 2010 - 11:38  (61610)

This is a great list. As for me, I will be getting a Computer running a 64 bit OS and so this information prepares me for the unseen and unknown. Thanks a million!

by Dmanil (not verified) on 20. November 2010 - 9:46  (61420)

Have you tried Foxit reader (pdf-reader)?

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 4:55  (65278)

Sorry for the delay in replying I have been unwell.

I have tried Foxit and found a serious bug which is still with the developers.

Rik

by MachineGhost (not verified) on 18. February 2011 - 6:40  (66657)

What serious bug in FoxIt Reader? I've been using it for years without problems. PDFXChange is not much of an alternative to the bloated Adobe PDF Reader. For example, PDFXChange uses a whopping 96MB of memory (91MB above baseline) just to display a 696KB PDF file compared to FoxIt at only 11MB (3MB above baseline).

Eusing Free Registry Cleaner is also as safe as CCleaner but removes far more junk over that of unsafe-to-use commercial registry cleaners. I run CCleaner, Eusing and PowerTools Lite (in that order, from weakest to strongest).

by Alan C. (not verified) on 14. November 2010 - 2:07  (61168)

File Splitters / Joiners

As of 11/11 Version 3 of HJSplit is available, and it now plays nice with Win7/64:

freebyte.com/hjsplit/

I prefer IgorWare's File Joiner for joining, and there is a 64 bit version:

igorware.com/file-joiner

Both are fully portable (no installer).

Regards,
Alan

by Bubba (not verified) on 11. November 2010 - 2:21  (61012)

Great stuff...except cmon, registry fix it / speed it up tools?

They only benefit two groups of people. Those that sell them and techs that get to fix systems they have been run on.

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 4:57  (65279)

You can do a better job manually although it requires considerable effort and technical knowledge. It is something I only do every 3 months or so.

Rik

by MidnightCowboy on 11. November 2010 - 9:29  (61029)

Very true. Brings back lots of happy memories of the money made servicing computers completely trashed by these things. RegSeeker was favourite at the time I was doing this. Even better, a lot of folks would be back inside a month with the same problem :D It seems that the only good advice is that which you choose to take.

by michael clyde (not verified) on 19. November 2010 - 20:04  (61401)

you guys should not laugh at the less fortunate who still believe in the tooth fair... i mean registry optimizers. kind of reminds me of snake-oil salesmen.

by rik on 27. January 2011 - 4:59  (65280)

Sorry for being away, hospital is great fun :)

Frankly I never use them. I don't really trust such apps and can do a better job myself, sad as that might seem!

Rik

by felixnoir (not verified) on 4. November 2010 - 8:56  (60757)

No browser can match the functionality of Opera which works perfectly under 64 bit Windows and always has. There are a very few sites that don't work with it, but this is getting much rarer since Opera is now the most common browser on handhelds and tablets. For these sites, IE is the backup.

I use 7-zip which is perfect. The Everything Search Engine is a must, but is more annoying in Win 7 than in prev Windows - everytime you use it it asks if you want to install. Comodo Security worked very well until the latest updates, which clash with all sorts of stuff - burning software, ISO mounting software, you name it's a nightmare. COMODO is unfortunately too restrictive to be practical. I've pulled it. And I'm quite a geek, so it would drive average users mad.

by rik on 28. January 2011 - 4:19  (65348)

Opera is out of its league when compared to Firefox or IE although I appreciate that choosing a browser is a very personal thing.

Comodo works fine on all the PCs I have installed it on so you might want to look at other possible causes for the problems you have.

Rik

by rik on 28. January 2011 - 4:01  (65347)

Choosing a browser is a very personal thing. I do use Opera for testing purposes. It is a solid, well designed, and well written application.

Many thanks for the feedback.

Rik

by michael clyde (not verified) on 19. November 2010 - 19:57  (61400)

to felixnoir,
search everything does not do that to me (thankfully) se7en x64 pro. as for comodo, until i learned how to finesse the settings it use to give me the blues big time. i use imageburn and ultra-iso, and of course 7-zip for manipulating .iso files and comodo hasn't bothered them ...yet
i also use nero essentials that came with all my burners and no problems. it's a shame about search everything and comodo for that matter. i actually have these on se7en x32 & x64 enterprise as well. maybe it's something on your end.

good luck

by Alan C. (not verified) on 30. October 2010 - 8:15  (60462)

There is 64 bit versions of CCleaner at last (version 3):
http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

Go to the builds page to get portable / U3 versions:
http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/builds

It is running fine on my machine, though I'm not sure what 64 bit brings to the party. No doubt Rik does :)

Regards,
Alan

by rik on 31. October 2010 - 19:17  (60533)

Alan,

At the moment I can't claim to know what it brings to the party either! I'll look into it and post back.

Rik

by BK (not verified) on 29. October 2010 - 19:45  (60441)

I desperately need a DVD player program for W7-64. The MS WMP doesn't consistently play my rented DVDs. It complains that I need to re-size my screen resolution. I would like an alternative. What do you recommend?

Thanks,

BK

by David P. (not verified) on 30. November 2010 - 8:29  (61812)

I also have windows 7/64 bit and I have been using the VLC media player for 6 months now. I love it. No complaints, and it runs just about any type of video file I have thrown at it. It plays rented dvds. It plays mp4, flv, wmv, and more. I have no complaints with it. It's free to download, and very user friendly.

Just google "vlc media player" and you should be able to easily find the web address where you can download it.

Good luck!

by michael clyde (not verified) on 19. November 2010 - 20:16  (61402)

hey bk,
on se7en x64 pro i use "the kmplayer" and (mpclassic) media player classic-home cinema x64, as it will decode or recode, whatever you call it, on the fly if you have enough processor. both work on dvd's for me. i only have wmp on my system because of needed functionality it lends to another program i wanted to keep when i vlited my os before installation.

hope this helps

by malc_b (not verified) on 28. October 2010 - 18:17  (60373)

Synctoy link is broken. It is now at 2.1 I think. Link is http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=C26EFA36-98E0-4EE9-A7C5-98D0592D8C52

by Karine (not verified) on 25. October 2010 - 14:04  (60141)

Hi everyone,

I have a 64-bit operating system and I urgently need a compatible program for language reading so that the program basically converts text to speech and "reads" the text to me.
The language must be German.
Is there anyone who can help me? Thanks

by ston7fish (not verified) on 24. October 2010 - 12:04  (60070)

I have used "Foxit" as a PDF reader for several years now and it's biggest attraction is space. It is a compact program consisting of only 7.2mb in total compared with other top PDF programs that, on average, require anything from 35mb upwards (eg. adobe is approx. 85.6mb). It works equally well on both 32bit and 64bit systems and has a stand alone edition that can be run from USB. If you are short of disk space then this is ideal for use. It is at least worth one of your reviews, you won't use anything else....
Ston7fish

by MDLeonard (not verified) on 5. November 2010 - 15:35  (60801)

I use and love Foxit PDF Reader.

by SSC73 (not verified) on 14. January 2011 - 9:46  (64511)

The absolute best free PDF Reader is Nitro Free Version. You and extract images from it, drap and drop any other file on to the icon and it converts them into PDF's. It's light on resources, and for a free feature set, can't be beat. Who in their right mind uses Adobe Bloatware anymore? The only necessary adobe anything is flash unfortunately. Hopefully it goes away soon.

For more basic viewing, it doesn't get any better than Sutmatra PDF.

SMPlayer is great, VLC too.

Synctoy that someone mentioned being broken? The prefect backup solution for me.

[edit] Commercial product promotion removed

by Gravy (not verified) on 23. October 2010 - 17:08  (60011)

This is a very good list. I have not used all of the software but my favs are on here

Avast
Superantispyware
Ccleaner

I have recently been test driving a program called Threatfire for realtime surfing prtection from malware. It seems to be a good program but it uses 50% of my cpu while it is running, in about two months I have used it, it has only found and removed one instance of malware. I have disabled it and will be uninstalling it due to its use of so much of my resources. I wonder if it has a memory leak of some sort.

thanks for your hard work you do here helping others