Description: Firefox is an excellent Internet browser to use for portable surfing, with many built-in security measures and addons. Additionally, you can run it from your flash drive so that most of your tracks will be stored on the flash drive and not on the computer you use. Note that some addons may not be portable. Creates crash files by default in the user AppData folder. In order to make it fully portable, see here.
Portable Firefox is excellent for use in a flash drive since it's specially configured to reduce reads/writes to the disk and to run faster from a portable device. But note that you must run only the FirefoxPortable EXE file, otherwise it won't be portable anymore. PortableApps is currently working on a portable version that allows trace free updates with the internal Firefox updater (at current it now works but with writing to the user folder).
Also note that the portable version is about 40 MBs more resource intensive than an installed version, so for home browsing you might want to use an installer rather than a portable version.
PortableApps has an excellent and informative download site for their version of Portable Firefox (use the PortableApps Guide for installation tips). You can also get the winPenPack X-Firefox version, but it's much more difficult to setup unless you use their suite.
Other Download Sites: winPenPack's x-Firefox
Description: "It's a highly customizable email client with an intuitive user interface. Highly expandable through add-ons." I was surprised by how quickly it works and how easily it interacted with my online email provider (Gmail). It made a complete copy of my Gmail account and checked for any new messages regularly. The interface is very easy to navigate, considering it's just like Firefox (and that happens to be my main browser). That said, it's not a light application and some extensions may not be portable.
If you want a lightweight email client to run from the tray and just check your mail, then POP Peeper is an excellent option. See these steps to have POP Peeper store your data in its own folder. Another option is to set it to never store data to the disk, or manually enter its "data" folder path in the storage options.
Description: "For most users, I think Pidgin currently fits the bill best. It's easy-to-use, cleanly-designed, and very functional. Being non-commercial, open-source software makes it even easier to support. I can confidently recommend Pidgin as the first choice for a multi-protocol IM client." It aptly calls itself "the universal chat client." Check its home page for a long list of supported clients. Verified TruPortable.
Skype, on the other hand, allows free Skype-to-Skype phone calls with video, but it also has instant messaging and many other features (voicemail, SMS, forwarding). Also TruPortable.
Description: "Bittorrents are fast, equitable, and efficient download formats, and µTorrent is the most popular client for this format. Its positives are: Excellent performance on all test torrents. Small, lightest (tie) on system resources but has all the needed features. Excellent support. Always improving as a bittorrent client. Negatives: Several 'highly critical' security alerts (now patched) were issued in 2008 by Secunia." Follow these steps to force it to write settings to its own folder.
Description: "A good choice for its stability and support for various browsers. Supports IE, Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Safari. Other features include simultaneous multi-part downloads, flash video download, restart and recover, powerful scheduler, management of downloaded files, downloads from RapidShare, prioritized and partial torrent downloads, etc." Writes some non-user oriented settings to the registry.
Alternate Products: DownThemAll! (Firefox Extension)
Description: "FTP clients are programs that reside on a PC, enabling fast bulk file transfers between the PC and a server. They are very useful when you need to download or transfer more than a few files and are an essential tool for website management."
"With a robust feature set, ease of use, and browser integration, FireFTP should serve the needs of all (except perhaps the heaviest power users) and is quickly becoming one of my favorite FTP clients."
Alternate Products: FileZilla
Related Portable Apps
- HTML Editor: KompoZer Portable
- Website Ripper: HTTrack Portable
- Download/Upload Meter: MISPBO Network Monitor
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