Now available to all: 9 Great Freeware Programs that should be on Every PC

Update: This article was updated on January 5 to include a direct download link for non-Facebook users. In the original article it was stated that the download link for non-Facebook users would not be available until the following week. This was changed as our non-Facebook users felt they were being discriminated against. This was certainly not my intention and I apologize to those who felt this way.  - Gizmo 


To celebrate the official launch of the Gizmo’s Freeware Facebook page we are giving away a free 42 page PDF report on the free programs we think should be installed on average users’ PCs. 

Most of these programs are well known to regular Gizmo’s Freeware fans but what’s different about this report is that it contains full installation and usage instructions for each product including dozens of screen shot and configuration tips.  This makes it ideal for average users who often struggle with installation options.

Furthermore the PDF report is offered with redistribution rights so you can give it away to your friends, feature it for download on your website, give it away to your customers or whatever, provided you redistribute it in its original form and don’t sell it

How Facebook users can get the report:

  1. Go to our new Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/GizmosReviews
  2. Click the “Like” button at the top of the page.  If you are not logged in to Facebook you will then need to login. If you don’t have a Facebook account you can create one for free.
  3. Once you have logged in you can then download the file.  If you can’t see where to download it then click on our Facebook page “Welcome” tab.

If you don't use Facebook:

Right click on one of the following links and select "Save as ..."   If you have trouble with one link try the other.

Download link 1:http://download.techsupportalert.com/9-great-freeware-programs.pdf   (694KB)

Download link 2: http://download.techsupportalert.com.s3.amazonaws.com/9-great-freeware-p... (694KB)

Given everyone is going to get the report anyway I ask you not to post Facebook hate comments below.  We are well aware that a solid percentage of our users vehemently dislike Facebook but we are equally aware that another large group love it.  We at Gizmo's don't see it in love/hate terms.  To us a Facebook page is like our RSS feed, user forum and Twitter; it is a service we offer to our users.Simple as that.

So what is the Gizmo’s Freeware Facebook page and why are we starting one?

Simple: it’s a way that we can stay closer in touch with our readers. In particular those readers who don't use our RSS feed or our forums  It does this two ways:

First if you “like” our Facebook page you’ll automatically get the posts to our Facebook Wall delivered to your Facebook account.  This means you’ll find out about our latest freeware finds and discoveries really quickly.   We have recently featured some really great freebies there - check out our Wall and you’ll see what I mean.

Second you can let us know what you think by posting to our Wall.  It’s a great spot to give us feedback on our new finds as well as your general comments about our website.

If you currently use our site RSS feed and forums you already get a lot of these benefits but many of our users are not geared to RSS and have no idea how to use a forum.  For these people our Facebook page is an easy solution.

So do drop over to our Facebook page and say hello.  Rhiannon and I will be hanging around there most of this week so it’s a great opportunity to meet the gang and let us know how Gizmo’s Freeware can provide a better service to you.

Gizmo

PS the fact that Gizmo's Freeware is on Facebook doesn't affect the operation of this website nor its RSS feeds and forum in any way.  The Facebook page is just an additional service to what we already offer.

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Comments

by Jake J. (not verified) on 8. February 2011 - 1:23  (66009)

Thank you for this great list. I had heard of some of these but not all. I currently use Microsoft Security Essentials and love it. I have the latest and greatest version, which as I write this is 2.0 . The other great thing about this list is that out of all these programs, each one that I've used is accessible at least with some screen readers.

by OmnibusIT (not verified) on 14. January 2011 - 10:35  (64519)

There is an error in your mention of CCleaner, it does indeed come in a 64-bit flavor, the only reason you don't notice it, is due to the fact you have not actually looked at the program run more closely in something such as Process Explorer. Once the setup executable runs, it detects the OS as being 64-bit and unpacks the correct files to run as a 64-bit process. This is most notable by the fact that the process in question does not run as 32-bit. Hell, the process even labels itself as CCleaner64.exe.

by Mike C on 10. January 2011 - 23:26  (64231)

This is probably off-topic from the bulk of what is being said here. I just wanted to comment on the suggestion of Editpad. Somehow, in my various perusing of this site I had missed that application. I was using Akelpad (and still have it as backup) but this Editpad is really cool. Thanks very much.

by MikeR (not verified) on 9. January 2011 - 17:46  (64187)

Now that the Facebook issue has been thoroughly ventilated. . .

Here's a word of thanks for the actual document!

Cogent and comprehensive, it's a real treat -- so well done, Gizmo: the effort that went into its compilation is appreciated.

What I especially like is the way I can refer newbie friends of mine to techsupportalert for this pdf -- I'll not be saving and copying it for anyone else's use, rather I'd hope that if a newbie is directed to just this one document alone, they'll realise what a wealth of information is to be harvested here, and will do so happy in the knowledge that no, they don't have to be an "expert" to benefit.

I have most of the apps in the list already installed, but have never heard of some of the others. I'm just about to use the text stripper now, because I'm fed up of forgetting to opt for 'Paste Special' when importing Web text into Word.

For that heads-up alone then, many, many thanks!

by ianjrichards (not verified) on 11. January 2011 - 20:42  (64302)

Thanks for the kind words Mike. It is an irony that in all the discussion over Facebook only you and one other person commented on the report itself.

The report was written with average users in mind. It flags the key freeware programs they need to be aware of, tells them why they need them and gives detailed installation and usage instructions. It also documents where they can get help should they need it.

The report was designed as a document that more experienced users could give to less experienced users to help and guide them without having to spend a lot of time with the user walking them through the installation process. I've given it to three of my relatives and have received glowing thank-you emails from two. More importantly I've had no phone calls asking for help :)

I do like your idea of referring users to this site rather than just giving them the report. I'll add a special page on the site just for that and then let everyone know the URL.

Gizmo

by rover3500 on 8. January 2011 - 16:25  (64148)

Wow man,I don't use or like facebook,but i can see why certain types of people would.
I can see where people that donate r coming from,but all a bit petty,if u wanted to find out that badly i'm sure it wouldn't have been that hard,even without a facebook account.U can't really seperate the donators out without major hassle,and is supposed to be free to all anyway.
I've used site for ages,one of the best without a doubt of it's type,and we all know how many 'copies' r out there.
I would't have minded waiting a week as alot of people would'nt.I certainly don't think u did anything wrong.
Is hard to get anything for free these days,people should be more appreciative.
Gr8 work as usual gizmos,thanx and have a good new year,along with everyone else

by Lovejoy Peacemaker (not verified) on 8. January 2011 - 13:19  (64139)

Children, Children Children

Get a grip of yourselves people! What in good heavens name are you all getting so hoity toity and shirty about.

There are billions of people on this planet and they all stand, sit or laydown in a different place to everyone else, so that means they all see things from a different perspective and that makes them all unique and individual with unique and individual opinions likes and dislikes.

Are you all trying to trigger World War III: what would more than "Like-ly" be called the Facebook Wars:

"It began as a collection of people using a social networking site and then it became the "Likes" against the "Dislikes".

Before too many years had gone by it had rolled out from the virtual online world into the "real" world with people physically attacking other people just because of a single opinion of whether or not they used a particular online social gathering site or not.

People couldn't go to internet cafes and bistros anymore for fear of being approached and attacked by the "Likers" and "Dislikers" alike and many millions were forced to stay home to prevent reprisals.

And the worst thing was in the schools where the children were copying and re-paste-ing their parents opinions on virtual walls everywhere.....etcetera.. etcetera.....!?!?"

Is this the kind of headlines you want to see written around the world?

Well if you are all so truly "Enlightened" with your wonderfull opinions stop, Stop, STOP adding any comments anywhere whether on this site or any other that sets one group of people against another and find ways of "Uniting" everyone under One!

I like this site, but that is my personal opinion, I like people, that is my personal opinion and if I use this site I come into Gizmo Richards virtual HOME and world and as long as I do, I use it accepting his ettiquette and guidelines in the same way I and all of you would expect anyone coming into our 'homes' to do so too!

Hopefully that will be the end of all this and we can all go back to enjoying our lives the way we each personally and individually "LIKE" them to be including this website!

Let's share the good, uplift the best and praise the admirable.

Focus on what's positive and therefore create more of it!

Thank you Gizmo for all your great and wonderfull ideas you have shared with all of us!

And all the very best for the future to everyone

Keep hold those dreams so sparkling bright,
Feed them, nurture them, make them right,
And at Day's End, when comes Good Night,
Share them with the comforting quiet.

Once again when comes Good Morn,
Share them with the spreading Dawn,
Should others scoff, be not forlorn,
For from tiny seed ideas are great lives born!

So have faith in yourself, and reach for the sky,
Aim for the stars, no matter how high.
Just follow your dreams, they're waiting for you,
And you're the one who makes them come true.

SunLight Dreamweaver

(FreeRight to copy, but NOT for sale or profit)

by garth on 8. January 2011 - 14:02  (64141)

@Lovejoy Peacemaker

"Before too many years had gone by it had rolled out from the virtual online world into the "real" world with people physically attacking other people just because of a single opinion of whether or not they used a particular online social gathering site or not."

We already have this, but people choose to call it politics or religion. Thanks for the poem though:)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sneetches_and_Other_Stories

garth

by Fool4UAnyway (not verified) on 8. January 2011 - 14:34  (64143)

Yes, indeed, what's new?

by lady de (not verified) on 7. January 2011 - 17:39  (64085)

My Dearest Gizmo and Rhiannon,
Thanks to the both of you for providing one with some interesting, and very useful bits and pieces over the last year. I would also like to wish you all the best for the forthcoming year. I am a trifle saddened by the " facebook thing" I find it all rather petty. Infact Facebook for me would be as awful as having Jeremy Kyle on my TV. You may be on facebook dear but you hold your head up, where there is muck there's brass!!! Good luck

by Panzer (not verified) on 7. January 2011 - 8:36  (64052)

I think 2 more progs should be on the list:

Trust-no-exe:
http://www.beyondlogic.org/solutions/trust-no-exe/trust-no-exe.htm

Script Sentry:

http://www.jasons-toolbox.com/programs.asp?Program=Script%20Sentry

by MidnightCowboy on 7. January 2011 - 9:39  (64056)

To my knowledge neither Trust-No-Exe or Script Sentry have been updated for around five years and there are several reports of Script Sentry either not working or causing system problems. Trust-No-Exe is only supported up to and including XP.

For this type of security software we prefer to recommend only those programs which support the current operating system, in this case Windows 7.

by bas12 on 7. January 2011 - 7:16  (64047)

If you get invoved in Facebook, you should warn people of their notorious privacy and security dangers.

That's completely in line with your emphasis on security, as demonstrated in for example your security wizard.

by afan (not verified) on 7. January 2011 - 5:48  (64038)

gizmo
being a self taught, 59 year old computer user, i want you to know you have been a very valuable source of information for me, and i am sure many others
we all screw up, your reply satisfied me, you are ok
happy new year, and may you always have enough
grateful user
steve

by Cheeky (not verified) on 7. January 2011 - 3:29  (64027)

Thanks very much for taking the time to make this list available. Sorry for all the haters, I am not one of them. Much appreciation for all your hard work!

by cheongyei on 7. January 2011 - 4:09  (64030)

I am not a Facebook fan; since I have contributed cash to support techsupportalert in the past, and plan to again, I was kind of amazed at the lack of sensitivity that your Facebook fandom showed concerning non-fans.
If you have neither a love nor hate for Facebook as you claim, why would you even dream of offering support to Facebookers ahead of loyal Gizmo supporters? That struck me as way, way, waaaaay out there. Many of us have learned to stay in touch with email over the past twelve or so years, and have no desire to lay bare our lives to be part of some lame social media. To create arbitrary friends, followers and all the rest in a meaningless network is just not something many folks have any interest in. Zero, none, nada.
Why is that hard to wrap one's head around??

by Rob (not verified) on 7. January 2011 - 1:40  (64014)

There are a lot of us who REFUSE to get all in a twitter about Facebook

by freddyc (not verified) on 7. January 2011 - 0:51  (64010)

Glad I still have IE around, that was the only way I could download the file. Firefox didn't have save as option and if I tried to open it, I got an invalid menu handle message at the end and no file to look at.

by Jorjab on 6. January 2011 - 22:52  (64006)

everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to link to facebook and twitter frankly, i find it annoying and am glad you changed your mind. Why should I have to link to facebook instead of just looking where I wish to look on the web.

Thank You for changing your mind.

by oldbilbobaggins on 6. January 2011 - 22:48  (64005)

I'm grateful, and wish to record my thanks to 'Gizmo' for making this and other stuff readily available.

It's offered with the best of intentions, there's no 'agenda', and an appropriate degree of courtesy is due to the guy.

We all make minor errors of judgment, learn something from those, and move forward thinking "I'll do that a bit different next time". That's a very human process, and to be celebrated, not derided.

It is wholly wrong for some of us users to make this guy feel bad about doing something good.

Hold your head high, Gizmo!

by Cheeky (not verified) on 7. January 2011 - 3:31  (64028)

Ditto! Well said.

by MikeR (not verified) on 6. January 2011 - 20:09  (63988)

Like Psy I too was appalled at the reaction of some ingrates on here.

The original post was quite specific: the pdf guide was to be issued on Facebook to launch techsupport's Facebook page.

What was so wrong with that?

Me, I don't have a Facebook account, don't want / or need any of the 'social networking' blather in a virtual world. I want a chat, I go to the pub. Meet *real* people who think only budgerigars tweet.

But if techsupport wishes to have a presence on Facebook to tap into a wider audience, then techsupport should go for it.

Sadly, the biggest regret I have right now is that Gizmo *appears* to have given in to a pre-pubertal minority whose slogan is:

'What do we want? Everything for free! When do we want it? NOW!!!'

I'd hazard a guess that that bunch *never* provide a constructive comment nor helpful advice to, er, anyone.

techsupport is a resource that has been nourished and developed by a selfless few, and now in its maturity deserves the support of users who are similarly mature.

The whining self-interest of the immature doesn't deserve to be taken into account -- at all.

It really would've been better to stick to the original decision.

by cheongyei on 7. January 2011 - 4:20  (64032)

You seem to be the whiner, Mikey lad.

Past supporters of Gizmo's efforts who are not networked had every right to feel left out, and to voice their concerns.
You expect us to have gratitude? Fine, I am grateful.
But I would think that Gizmo should show gratitude to long-term fans and supporters, as he finally did do, as well.
Relationships are TWO-way streets.
To ignore those outside the Facebook clan for an extra week would have worked for me, but it would also have made me think twice before my next purchase or donation.
Every link that requires membership via Facebook is offensive to many of us.

by grimbles on 8. January 2011 - 0:18  (64101)

EXACTLY!!

Mike, your comments are a perfect example of how NOT to respond and only serve to exemplify the point.

What's with the insults and name calling? It is totally unnecessary, disrespectful and downright rude.

If you disagree with something or someone then sure, go ahead and say so but how about we do that politely and cogently! Attaching unsavoury labels to everyone who dares express a different point of view to your own is immature and counter productive.

Come on guys.....civility costs nothing!!

"Be patient, be polite and always treat others with respect. Life is much less complicated that way"
Jim Hillier - 2011 :)

by ianjrichards (not verified) on 6. January 2011 - 21:45  (63998)

Thanks for that Mike.

I have a slightly different take. When a large group of your users disagree with you it is not your users who are wrong; it is you.

And I was wrong. I made an error of judgment, one which frankly, I should not have made. I even gave myself a talking to. Here's what I said:

"Gizmo you are an idiot. For years you have operated this site on the basis that all content is available to everybody. No premium or paid content, no articles limited to a few. And now out of the blue, you come along and promote a juicy new report that is only available to Facebook users. Are you crazy? Of course people are going to be upset. Stop looking inwards and thinking about your Facebook launch. Look outwards and into the minds of your users."

So I was wrong. And when something is wrong you had better fix it.

Gizmo

by Fool4UAnyway (not verified) on 6. January 2011 - 23:18  (64007)

I'll add my comments here, so they are more likely to be read and hopefully, understood.

First of all, thank you for treating us all the same after this head start to Facebook likers.

I'll try to stick to the subject, comment on what actually was happening and actual writings.

Unfortunately, there have been a lot of complaints about things that, in my opinion, do not even touch what is the problem. I just mention the donaters debate ("those who do not donate, complain") and the liking or not of FaceBook.

I myself do not use FaceBook and I hardly know it. I am not a fan of those so called social media. They have their disadvantages, too. As I see members of the parliament being busy with sending Twitter messages, instead of actually doing their work (which they ARE being paid for), then I think: what is the use and what are the actual benefits as opposed to the drawbacks. These members might as well go to a Karaoke bar and "discuss political matters" there, if they find time when not doing things they like (more).

"In my view it was not unreasonable to ask people to wait for a week but it was clear that most people didn't want to.

...

The lesson here is that in an age of instant gratification you can not expect people to show the patience they did a decade ago. Lamentable that may be but it is a fact we have to work with. What I believe ought to be the case is simple not relevant." (Gizmo)

I think this statement is unfair, because this only applies to "some" of the fans here: those, that are explicitly unable to do something that others explicitly are allowed to do. That is just the discriminating part of it, that in my opinion is the source of all trouble here. I think no-one would have a problem if you had only _announced_ that you would make the .PDF available in a week and it would not be immediately available. One might question why an anouncement would be made then, but it would just be clear that _anyone_ would have to wait.

"A confounding factor here was that people's frustration in not getting the report immediately got mixed up with their hostility to Facebook and I took the flack. This was truly unfortunate and also truly unwarranted. But that is the way it is." (Gizmo)

Although these complaints about "the need for" FaceBook may seem unfair, it is understandable that they were expressed...

"So what is the Gizmo’s Freeware Facebook page and why are we starting one?

Simple: it’s a way that we can stay closer in touch with our readers. In particular those readers who don't use our RSS feed or our forums

...

If you currently use our site RSS feed and forums you already get a lot of these benefits but many of our users are not geared to RSS and have no idea how to use a forum. For these people our Facebook page is an easy solution." (Introduction above)

I have a problem with the word "closer" here. I do not think this is really an advantage of being on FaceBook. Or is it? I think it is just _an other way_ of getting in touch with or to users, or simply a solution to reach _more_ of them, as the last paragraph implies.

"So do drop over to our Facebook page and say hello. Rhiannon and I will be hanging around there most of this week so it’s a great opportunity to meet the gang and let us know how Gizmo’s Freeware can provide a better service to you." (Introduction above)

Won't you after this week? (You may ignore this if you don't think that's funny.)

"So what is the Gizmo’s Freeware Facebook page and why are we starting one?

"How Facebook users can get the report:

1. Go to our new Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/GizmosReviews

2. Click the “Like” button at the top of the page. If you are not logged in to Facebook you will then need to login. If you don’t have a Facebook account you can create one for free." (Introduction above)

It seems to me that step 2 is an extra step to take, instead of being able to download the .PDF from the page immediately. It looks like you are "asking something from us" to get something that you normally, or in this case later will, give us for free (anyway). So it seems that this FaceBook promotion is "used" to get something back.

"First if you “like” our Facebook page you’ll automatically get the posts to our Facebook Wall delivered to your Facebook account. This means you’ll find out about our latest freeware finds and discoveries really quickly. We have recently featured some really great freebies there - check out our Wall and you’ll see what I mean." (Introduction above)

This seems to be an advantage of liking the FaceBook page (when actually expressing that). You could just have mentioned this, instead of requiring this to get the .PDF.

So, an alternative way to have handled this without (the risk of) getting these complaints, in my opinion, would have been:

- Make no distinction between the FaceBook page (visitors or only) likers and non-FaceBook likers and/or visitors. Just treat anyone the same, no matter how they get to to you.

- Perhaps you should not add this "liking" requirement to get the benefits on FaceBook at all. I do not know if that is possible. I do not use or know FaceBook that well.

- If you want to promote your FaceBook page, do so independently of other actions (like making something available in this case). I just get these Gizmo Freeware Top Selections by email. You might just have sent another one separately _only_ dealing with the FaceBook addition and "advantages".

- There may have been no problems (at all or at first) if you would have presented the .PDF on the FaceBook channel _only_ (at first). If you would have presented it here a week later, no-one might have been disappointed in the first place because of ignorance. I myself do think you should not do things like this and should not want to do it this way, but in this case it might have saved us all a lot of time and frustration.

I believe this covers what I wanted to say (for now...). Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion here (again).

by garth on 8. January 2011 - 0:52  (64105)

@Fool4UAnyway

You wrote "I am not a fan of those so called social media."

Out of interest, how would you describe a site where people exchange views and information, a place where user interaction using web based tech allows people to get themselves published and exposed to an audience that was accessible only to the privileged few before the internet? I would describe this very site as one of these so called social media.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media

I am a volunteer (like everyone else) on this site and i would have had to wait for the report because i don't have a Facebook account. I thought "how very cool, a gift from Gizmo, something to look forward to in a few days"

"It looks like you are "asking something from us" to get something that you normally, or in this case later will, give us for free (anyway). So it seems that this FaceBook promotion is "used" to get something back."

What would that something be exactly? Why would you be so against giving something back to somebody who has given so much to others, including yourself? There is nothing in this for anybody on this site except more work and the pleasure of helping others.

"but in this case it might have saved us all a lot of time and frustration."

Have a word with yourself.

Thank you for allowing me to respond to your opinion:)

by MidnightCowboy on 8. January 2011 - 20:11  (64158)

We were having friends to lunch tomorrow (Sunday) but they had to cancel due to illness. Never mind says I to my wife, we can drink the wine tonight instead. Having met with a negative response I showed her this thread in full expectation of a retreat. The reply? The wine was, and is, for Sunday lunch. If you wanted to drink it earlier you should have married Gizmo :D

by Fool4UAnyway (not verified) on 8. January 2011 - 14:53  (64144)

"What would that something be exactly? Why would you be so against giving something back to somebody who has given so much to others, including yourself?"

If there is "nothing in it", then I absolutely do not know why this distinction between FaceBook likers and non-FaceBook likers or users was made in the first place.

I have no problem with the usual way of giving the gifts here, but suddenly, in order to get things the same way as before, you are required to do something or simply told you have to wait. I haven't seen any justification for that distinction up till now. That is my problem. Also Gizmo's reply about typical commercial sites doesn't feel like he actually tries to answer thát question.

About social media: the feeling I have with this word is, indeed, that people want to expose > theirself <. Anyone contributing here by adding comments, in my opinion, is not, or at least not in the first place, exposing themselves, but trying to add something to the discussion and hopefully helping in making this site (a) better (place to be). And I would call a site by itself a "social medium". I see this more as a source of information with shortcuts to actually using the tools etc. that are spoken about.

I have a lot of words with myself. Be glad I am not exposing them here!

by garth on 8. January 2011 - 17:59  (64154)

"About social media: the feeling I have with this word is, indeed, that people want to expose > theirself <. Anyone contributing here by adding comments, in my opinion, is not, or at least not in the first place, exposing themselves, but trying to add something to the discussion and hopefully helping in making this site (a) better (place to be)."

I have no argument with that. Thanks for clarifying.

"I have a lot of words with myself. Be glad I am not exposing them here!"

Not really a concern since i am obliged to delete any inappropriate content. You don't strike me as the type who would post such content :)

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