Windows 64-bit Software Index
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This list of the best software for 64-bit Windows has 54 sub-categories with 81 products consisting of 64 native 64-bit applications and 17 compatible 32-bit applications.
The list will continue to grow as we add new categories and new products. Read more about 64-bit Windows by following the links in the related articles. Normally the products will have a review in the corresponding freeware categories so I will provide an excerpt from that review. Other comments will usually relate to 64-bit compatibility and operation.
The primary goal of this article is to find the best native 64-bit applications ( ) in each category. Where there is no 64-bit application in a category there will usually be a link to a review of 32-bit applications that includes some which are compatible with 64-bit Windows ( ). These 32-bit applications will usually run slower (due to emulation of the 32-bit environment) but are either the best in their class or have features that will be particularly useful to many 64-bit Windows users.
Although we do mention Windows XP Pro 64, all testing has been under 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, 7 or 8.
- 32-bit and 64-bit explained
- How Windows 64-bit supports 32-bit Applications
- How to make Vista run faster
- Windows 7 Resource Monitor: New & Improved
- Forum post with details of Vista 64-bit freeware not covered here
- Start64! Commercial applications and device drivers
- Microsoft Windows 7 Application Compatibility List
This software category is in need of an editor. If you would like to give something back to the freeware community by taking it over, check out this page for more details. You can then contact us from that page or by clicking here.
Multimedia applications are generally popular and interesting so it is no surprise that there are several excellent 64-bit products.
"As far as single track editing goes, there is very little that cannot be achieved with Audacity, and achieved easily and cleanly. As far as physical drive space goes, Audicity is a small installation, but an immensely powerful one. Really though, track editing is just the tip of the iceberg with this application: it's functionality for editing is balanced with it's equally powerful functionality for recording, and also applying effects and modifications to existing audio tracks." (Best Free Audio Editing Software)
Christian Kindahl's InfraRecorder is a GUI for CDRTools. It "supports all of the common features that a good burning application should have, and it works with all types of CDs and DVDs including dual layer discs" but "It does not support Blu-Ray discs or HD-DVDs." "It even includes full command line support like CDBurnerXP. With InfraRecorder, you can burn and create images with support for bootable discs, author rewritable discs, and create audio CDs and video DVDs. The interface is clean and simple without a lot of extras to make things confused." (Best Free CD-DVD Burner)
InfraRecorder does not have some advanced options.and is not as helpful as ImgBurn: it does not give much assistance, important information is in the manual, dialogs and warnings are often cryptic, and the interface is inconsistent. For example, sometimes the instruction to insert a particular disk is in its own pop-up window but other times it will be in the title of the current one.
If you read other users' comments you will see that they either love it because it works flawlessly or hate it because it converts their disks into coasters. It seems likely that CDRTools has problems working with some burners which would explain why I had consistent problems on my test system . Even so, I still recommend that you try it out because it is native 64-bit and will probably work for you.
Imgburn "is the most powerful free burning, as no other software comes close to its advanced features and options." However, "ImgBurn's advanced features may confuse you if you just want to do a basic burn. The welcome menu provides quick access to some common tasks, but other basic features such as erasing a re-writable disc are not immediately visible." Caution: ImgBurn is now bundled with the OpenCandywrapped installer. (Best Free CD-DVD Burner)
"MagicDisc, also known as MagicISO Virtual CD/DVD-ROM … allows you to run many types of CD/DVD images without burning them onto CDs or DVDs. It also allows you to create CD/DVD images from CDs/DVDs and save them into various formats including ISO, BIN/CUE, NRG, UIF.This program with a simple interface supports up to 15 virtual disk drives. Other features are available such as compress ISO, NRG, CUE, MDS and CCD formats into UIF format, or decompress UIF format into ISO format. The feature for burning images to disks is not supported." (Best Free CD-DVD Emulation Software)
HandBrake is rated best of class as a DVD Ripper. It "has a relatively small file size for all the features that it offers. Despite the slow speeds it transcodes … the transcoded video is surprisingly good quality for the amount of time it takes to rip. However, if you have a graphics driver installed that supports Open GL, it will take a rather small fraction of time to transcode the content. Handbrake produces an MPEG-4 file which is compatible with a wide range of media players. Note that you’ll need to have the right codecs installed for the type of file you wish to convert". For many of us the most useful feature is the "preconfigured profiles for Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple TV. It also provides numerous video and audio parameter settings for advanced users to alter the file size and video quality accordingly." (Best Free DVD Ripper)
Handbrake's main deficiency is that it does not convert copy-protected DVDs. So it can rip some but not all DVDs.
"Maintaining your media library is simple joy with XBMC. Point to a folder containing your files, indicate what type of files there are (Movies, TV Shows, etc.) and XBMC does the rest. It scans all subfolders and files and downloads all relevant information (text, thumbnails, sounds, etc) from the Internet." On the other hand, it has some idiosyncracies. "Most annoying for me still is that you cannot freely pick a position in your media file by clicking on the progress bar while it is playing. Instead you have to type in a time position via the keyboard. Don't ask me why the simplest media player can do that but most of the Media Center Software cannot." (Best Free Media Centre)
Daum PotPlayer is "feature packed, easy to use and provides awesome video and audio quality. Some may call it KMPlayerRedux with more stability and versatility. … PotPlayer truly stands out for supporting a wide variety of formats and having extensive configuration settings. It includes a long list of built-in audio and video codecs that enable you to play almost any media format you can dream about. PotPlayer has a simple and sleek interface though not mind-blowing and has high quality playback. The player is light on system resources and has a very fast startup." (Best Free Media Player)
MPC-HC, like its predecessor, Media Player Classic, "is an incredibly small program but has a vast feature set." … Under the hood, this program packs a lot of features, including codecs for viewing DVD discs, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG 4 and x.264 movie files, MP3 and Ogg files. It can also use the QuickTime and the RealPlayer architectures (if installed on the computer) to play their native files. To further extend its functionality while avoiding the installation of RealPlayer, WinAmp and Quicktime, you will have to download some codec packs.… MPC Home Cinema requires no installation on your PC. This means that it can be run from your USB flash drive as well as your hard drive. (Best Free Media Player)
For those who use Apple devices, iTunes has a 64-bit version.
"iTunes has become more prevalent on many PCs due to the almost universal reach of the iPod, but it also uses a lot of resources and is processor intensive." (Best Free Media Player, It also gets a dismissive mention in Best Free Music Player) I am less restrained when I say iTunes is a hog and a dog. Much of that bloat seems to arise from Apple's distrust of Windows which showed in the need to bring almost everything with iTunes except the kitchen sink.
On the positive side, if you are going to run 'bloatware' then you're much better off doing it on a 64-bit system. I happily admit to being a long-time user of iTunes. All my children use it and it works very well with the media player on my non-Apple cell phone. Over several years of use I've had no problems with it and I'm not exasperated by any of its much-maligned issues (e.g. I use Autoruns to stop the unneeded applications). This new version has improved slightly but you won't see it in the interface. First, it is 64-bit. Second, I no longer need QuickTime. Third, for the 32-bit version, the download and footprint are noticeably smaller.
"LMMS is a free open source MIDI sequencer/composer for Windows and Linux. … I initially found it a little bewildering … but it's worth taking the time because the rewards are great. … As a stand alone application, one would be hard pressed to find a more comprehensively full featured and versatile free music creator than this. There are so many instruments and effects to choose from … YOU NEED TO TRY THIS SOFTWARE!" (Best Free Music Creation Software)
"Avidemux is a free open-source program designed for multi-purpose video editing and processing … Avidemux lets you do just about everything under the sun. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs." Its main weakness may well be its dated interface. (Best Free Video Editor)
SillySol's Iconoid allows you to change the colour of text associated with your desktop icons. You can also save and restore the position of desktop icons and, optionally, hide and restore icons by clicking on the desktop.
In order to use Iconoid to change the colour of text you must first turn off drop shadows for icon text. This must be done via Control Panel, System, Advanced System Settings, and then click on the Settings button under Performance. Right clicking on Computer, and then choosing Properties, will only change settings until you logoff or the PC is rebooted.
IcoFX has become a commercial product but the free version remains available although it is unsupported.
IcoFX "has a wealth of tools and is equipped with more than 40 image effects. … The program allows you to create icons for your programs, setup files, or favicons for your website or blog. It also allows you to convert your favorite images to icons, or icons to images. Conversion between Macintosh and Windows icons are supported. Other features include supporting Vista icons with PNG compression, true color, transparency (alpha channel) and batch processing capability. IcoFX allows you to create icon libraries, extract and patch icons inside the executable files. However, on some executable files which I tried, the former seems work better than the latter." (Best Free Icon Editor and Replacer)
Resource Monitor provides access to a host of information about what is using your precious system resources. Resource usage information is available for the CPU(s), memory, disk and network. The level of detail that can be viewed means Resource Monitor is more closely related to the Process Explorer/Process Monitor tools from SysInternals than it is Task Manager. Unlike Process Explorer/Process Monitor, you don't have to be overwhelmed by detail, since you can view information in a way that suits you.
To try out Resource Monitor, click on Start, type resource monitor into the search box, and then click on the Resource Monitor entry that appears under Programs.
For an in depth look at Resource Monitor refer to our article Windows 7 Resource Monitor: New & Improved
Problem Steps Recorder
Problem Steps Recorder (PSR) allows the steps needed to reproduce a problem, or to implement a fix, to be recorded and saved to a file. If you've ever tried to help a friend or family member over the phone, or via email, with a PC problem I'm sure you know how difficult and frustrating it can be. PSR helps a lot.
To start PSR, click on Start, type psr.exe into the search box, and then either click on the psr.exe entry that appears under Programs, or right click and choose Run as a administrator. Note you need to choose Run as administrator if any of the screens you wish to capture are running with administrator privilege.
Once loaded you simply click on the red circular Start Record button to start capturing user activity. Comments can be added during the capture and to finish the session you simply click on the Stop Record button. Once recording has stopped you will be prompted to enter a filename and the whole session will be saved to a ZIP file. The maximum number of screen shots that can be recorded by default is 25. To change this, click on the downward arrow at the right hand end of the PSR dialog box and choose Settings.
The ZIP contains a MHT, mime encoded HTML, format document that includes the screen shots, any comments that were added, and a text based description of the actions that were carried out. This can be opened and edited in any version of Word from 2002 upwards. Alternatively, the file can be viewed using the free Word Viewer, Internet Explorer version 5 or higher, Firefox with the UnMHTextension installed and Opera version 9.0 or higher.
PSR is not a ground breaking application, but it will help me to assist others much more quickly and efficiently.
PowerShell is Microsoft's solution for automating system tasks. Version 1 was released with Windows Vista and version 2 with WIndows 7. It has two main parts, a command-line shell and a scripting language. PowerShell is the equivalent of the DOS commands and batch files used in early PCs. Naturally it is much more powerful because we now have GUI interfaces and other new features. It is fully integrated with the .NET framework so all PowerShell objects are .NET objects. This provides a powerful ability to interact with your system through: 'cmdlets', .NET programs compiled into a dynamic-link library and loaded by a PowerShell script; PowerShell scripts (.ps1), PowerShell functions; and executable programs.
To try out PowerShell, click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, Windows PowerShell, and select Windows PowerShell which will bring up the PowerShell command line interface. If you want to create scripts then see How to open Windows 7 PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE).
If you want to see how useful it is then run the script from Auditing 32-Bit and 64-Bit Applications with PowerShellwhich lists all installed applications and whether they are 32- or 64-bit.
Be aware that, by default, Powershell restricts execution of unsigned scripts. You can check if this is "restricted" with the command:
and you can change it with the command:
Piriform Recuva is very easy to use, has a simple user interface, and works quickly. "However, it only works great on straight forward recovery. I found that after formatting the disk deep scan could only locate and recover 19 files out of 106." (Free Data Recovery and File Un-delete Utility)
CCleaner is "a product that started off as pretty basic but has continued to improve to the point where it is now very close to the best in its class regardless of price. It's very effective in freeing up disk space by removing unused and temporary files, cookies, Recycle bin entries, Windows hot-fix files, history and cache files in many applications such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari and hundreds of others." (Best Free File Cleaner Utility)
CCleaner is the main tool I recommend to Windows users. Cleaning your disk or system can be scary if you don't know what you're doing. CCleaner helps because it is simple to use, has many options, is relatively conservative in its cleaning, is updated many times each year, and allows you to do much more than cleaning unnecessary files. It also cleans registry entries, wipe disks, manages startup applications, and uninstalls software.
The applications recommended in this category use the Windows API (Application Programming Interface) for defragmentation. This means that even if the program crashes Windows should be able to repair or recover from any problems.
If you utilize Windows built-in ReadyBoost and install a third-party defragmenter then don't be tempted to disable the disk defragmenter built into Windows Vista and 7. If you do, you will greatly reduce the effectiveness of ReadyBoost, the mechanism that monitors files accessed during the last 5 boots and creates a boot plan to reduce startup time. This boot plan is passed to the Windows disk defragmenter to allow the placement of files used during the boot process to be optimized.
Piriform's Defraggler, like all Piriform products, has a nice clean interface with easy-to-understand features. It "performs a very fast “quick defragmentation” with decent file reorganization but if you perform a complete defrag process, which takes longer, you obtain results that are worthwhile" although not highly optimized like MyDefrag (see below). "Defraggler also supports scheduling, low priority and boot defrag" but does not have a flexible scripting language. (Best Free Disk De-fragmenter)
MyDefrag is the advanced power option and is the top pick in Best Free Disk De-fragmenter. It is novel in two ways: it uses a defragmentation and file placement engine, JKDefrag; and all activities are carried out by scripts. MyDefrag is effectively the graphical user interface through which you run the scripts.
MyDefrag comes with standard scripts so select the option (including "fast defrag" and "optimize daily") that best suits you. The output from the scripts themselves is unimpressive as it is largely unchanged from JKDefrag. Compared with other products, it uses a more advanced algorithm to optimize the placement of files on the disk. It also has a simple scheduler and scripts can also be run from Windows or other programs,
Note that MyDefrag requires administrator privilege and, if running from the Task Scheduler under Windows Vista or 7 then it is recommended that the SYSTEM account is used.
I've listed these in order of ease of use if you are moving from Windows Explorer.
Q-Dir is simple and easy to use because it follows Windows Explorer conventions but with up to four panes, each of which can have multiple tabs and tree views. Full drag-and-drop is implemented making it more productive than Explorer. It supports a wide variety of functions and customisations although you really need to refer to the on-line FAQsto get the most out of it. It has a small footprint, and is not resource intensive but "lacks some of the more advanced features available in other offerings in this category. The configuration is mostly limited to window arrangement. The toolbars are appropriately compact, but cannot be customized." (Best Free File Manager)
MultiCommander by Mathias Svensson is a powerful dual-pane file manager with tree views but without tabs. MultiCommander has many features and supports plug-ins to provide even more. But it also tries to simplify the transition from Windows Explorer by providing "Quick Look'N'Feel Setup" where you can choose to retain Explorer's shortcuts and mousekeys. Just be aware that it doesn't work 100% so one of my favoured techniques didn't work.
Double Commander is a long-standing beta project based on the shareware Total Commander which means it also supports Total Commander plug-insto provide a bewildering array of additional functionality. Out of the box it is a powerful dual-pane file manager with tabs and many other built-in functions and options. The interface was is not very attractive but it is, of course, customizable. I had no significant problem with it even though it is called a beta version.
"7-Zip supports 7z, ZIP, CAB, RAR, ARJ, GZIP, BZIP2, Z, TAR, CPIO, RPM, and DEB. Even though it handles fewer archive types than some other programs, it is a fantastic program that will fulfill 99% of all your file archiving needs." (Best Free File Archiver/Zip Utility))
PeaZip is an open-source product "which is easy to use and very versatile. It is capable of extracting from archive types including ACE, ARJ, CAB, DMG, ISO, LHA, RAR, and UDF." (Best Free File Archiver/Zip Utility)
FreeFileSync has a "very clear and informative interface. The preview is very easy to understand, and file collisions and deletions are more readily recognizable than many other sync programs If you require a sync program that can copy files that are in use or locked, FreeFileSync has you covered there too! Unfortunately it only has very basic filters, no auto sync feature, and no direct support for FTP. My final complaint would be that its help file is a little sparse. Those few flaws aside, I found it to be well designed and easy to use." (Best Free Folder Synchronization Utility.) Caution! Installer is bundled with OpenCandy.
Microsoft SyncToy is a versatile utility that will satisfy all but the most demanding of users. It also runs very quickly despite being based on the .NET framework. The only major things it lacks are the ability to select files from a folder via a standard tree view, direct support for ftp, and a portable version.
Operations are carried out on local and/or remote pre-defined folder pairs. Remote folders can be specified by drive letter or UNC name. You define and name these pairs, files can be included or excluded based on wildcards and/or file attributes, and then when you want to perform a task, you recall one of these pairs and carry out the operation. Syncing can be in either direction and covers all options from complete sync to updating newer files only. SyncToy can also keep track of files you rename and rename those in the sync destination. Overwritten files in the destination can be saved in the recycle bin, in case you need the older version. SyncToy also allows you to preview a sync, that is, view what would happen if the sync operation was executed. This ensures the operation will do exactly what you want before you use it. In addition to the easy to use GUI, SyncToy can also be run from the command line to sync a chosen folder pair or, all folder pairs.
There are several types of products that you can use to tune-up and tweak your Windows 64-bit PC. Many tools in this category are covered in Best Free Vista Tweakswhich includes details of compatibility with Vista 64. With the exception of Vista Logon Studio all the applications that work under Vista 64 will also work under Windows 7. An alternative to Vista Logon Studio for Windows 7 users is given below.
SysInternals is now part of Microsoft and the tools remain free and are regularly updated. Most work correctly under Windows 7 and Vista 64. In particular, the three most widely used tools extract and run 64-bit code: Process Explorer, Process Monitor and Autoruns.
At present, Autologon doesn't work, but a suitable alternative can be found here.
Some sixteen different utilities are included, covering virtually every aspect of PC maintenance. Although none of the individual utilities can compare to standalone competition, you do have the advantage of having everything in one place.
As this is a 32-bit program, you will notice that one or two of the modules are not fully working, the Uninstall Manager, for example, doesn't recognise 64-bit applications, and therefore cannot uninstall them.
This is one of the categories where a 32-bit application that is 64-bit compatible is unlikely to be satisfactory. Unless you change your registry settings, a 32-bit application cannot see the 64-bit registry. For this reason I'm only reviewing 64-bit applications. Unfortunately, although the paid version of Best Free Program UninstallerRevo Uninstaller is a native 64-bit application the 64-bit features are not available in the free version.
Comodo Programs Manager (CPM) is a simple to use uninstaller which is largely a replacement for Windows Uninstaller. You can uninstall either programs, drivers and services, Windows features, or Windows updates. Even incomplete installs or uninstalls can be removed as CPM accesses a database of products to determine the settings for programs that need to be uninstalled.
If you choose to opt into their Application Contribute Programme then CPM will send Comodo information about programs you install. If you don't opt into the programme then you will not be provided with access to Comodo's database information and you won't see the files and registry keys installed. If you work with the programme then you might be annoyed by the background process to update CPM's database Comodo - it runs far too often in the background and cannot be scheduled.
The Best-Free Registry Cleaner category is to be updated soon so I expect more products to be recommended.
The previous editor explains why you need to be careful with Registry Tools:
"It's absolutely essential that you backup your registry before using a registry cleaner. For most users the easiest way to do this is to create a system checkpoint. An even better way is to use a drive-imaging program to create a snapshot of Windows, which you can use for system recovery if needed. As an added layer of protection, that may actually be more effective than System Restore, consider using the excellent ERUNT utility.
This ever-present risk of problems is why the "best" registry cleaner is the one that causes the fewest problems, rather than the one that finds the greatest number of registry errors.
Thus it is evident, a registry cleaner is - if at all - a tool reserved for the experienced user. The inexperienced may be assured that since the introduction of Windows XP, registry cleaning is no longer a crucial issue for the stability, security and performance of your system. Don't mess around with it!"
I add the following:
You are almost always better off using a disk cleaner to improve the performance of your system.
Another reason why registry cleaning is best reserved for proficient users, the documentation for these programs does not provide enough information about the specific issues they find or the impacts of 'fixing' them.
I will not recommend a registry cleaner that doesn't backup and restore either the entire registry or the changed entries.
32-bit applications are unlikely to be completely satisfactory for 64-bit Windows because they do not have access to the 64-bit portions of the registry.
CCleaner provides a quick and simple registry cleaner that is very conservative but accesses the 64-bit sections of the registry.
Wises Registry Cleaner is very comprehensive but, as expected, did not find the 64-bit application issues that CCleaner did. It is easy to scan and remove issues. Firstly, it allows you to backup the Registry before you start and there is also a restore option. Secondly, by default, it doesn't check Class Security Identifiers (CLSIDs) or other areas where most Registry tricks are played, although these can be included if required. Finally it divides redundant/invalid entries into two groups: 1) a green tick for those you can remove safely; and 2) an orange exclamation mark for the rest which require closer examination before removing.
Adding and removing entries from the Registry means that the registry files can become fragmented and the databases they contain become less efficient to use. You can run a registry defragmenter to remove these problems. Caution is advised however as you can make your system unbootable by using this type of tool. Our recommendation is to always take a system image first so you can restore your system in the event of failure.
Before defragmenting your registry keys, Quicksys RegDefrag automatically creates a system restore point but this in itself might not be enough to rescue a broken system.
Windows has a registry editor called Regedit but you will be much better off with a product from this category. Again, I advise that you need to know what you are doing which includes creating a Restore Point before you start.
"To start with, it works reliably - a great feature for any registry editor. The user interface is simple, the functionality is excellent, and it has a really fast search." (Best Free Registry Editor)
"If you ever need to use a registry editor this is definitely the tool to use." "It includes a host of advanced features such as registry backup, multi-level undo, a lightning fast search, plus lots of information about what particular registry entries actually mean." (previous editor)
"Eraser allows you to easily add tasks to securely erase selected files and folders, unused disk space (aka free space), cluster tips (aka slack space), and the recycling bin. Eraser can overwrite the data area with your choice of a variety of random data patterns (14 default patterns and a custom pattern creator). It comes with a very detailed built-in help file. And the forum seems quite responsive to questions and problems. It works with any drive (including IDE, SCSI, and RAID), and with FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS partitions. … In the negative, it was fairly heavy in memory use." (Best Free Secure Erase Utility)
"CCleaner is a unique and useful file shredder because it cleans a number of places where data can secretly lurk. It will help you scrub data left behind by web browsers and other applications (windows explorer, system temporary files, and excess files created by applications/utilities/windows). These are difficult to find and erase on your own, so CCleaner has advantages over other file shredders." I suggest that you read further in Best Free Secure Erase Utilityif you want to know how to get CCleaner to wipe various objects.
Personally, I prefer PC Wizard for hardware configuration and SIW for software configuration..
Gabriel Topala's SIW is portable software that "displays detailed specs for motherboard, BIOS, CPU, devices, memory, video, disk drives, ports, printers, operating system, installed programs, processes, services, serial numbers (CD keys), users, open files, system uptime, network, network shares, as well as real-time monitors for CPU, memory, page file usage and network traffic. It also displays currently active network connections, passwords hidden behind asterisks, installed codecs, and more." (Best Free System Information Utility)
ADVISORY: SIW installs with OpenCandy, a controversial advertising program.
CPUID's PC WIzard "is a system information utility that is strong in workstation description and benchmarking. It's a well implemented program with a nice multi-panel display with different analysis functions easily selectable using sidebar buttons. Overall it provides a little less system information that SIW but the benchmarking feature makes up for it. Benchmarks can be run on individual parameters such as processor performance, memory and cache speed, video performance and hard drive speed or can be run be for all functions with the single press of a button. In the latter case an overall numeric system performance index is also calculated. Overall PC Wizard is an impressive system utility well suited to those who want to get a better understanding of their PC's configuration and performance. "(Best Free System Information Utility)
The built-in Windows calculator is pretty good but Microsoft Mathematics is much better. It "has the most features for a scientific calculator. … Many features will help basic users particularly unit conversions, comprehesive help, worksheets that explain the steps to the solution, export to to Microsoft Word, and if you're really keen there is an add-on that allows you to work directly in Word and Onenote." There are "many more cool features like one-click 2D and 3D graphs, the option of pen, touch or mouse input, nerdy stuff like differential calculus, complex numbers and matrices, and some interesting skins for the calculator." (Editor, Best Free Calculator)
"Scribus is the real thing; a professional quality page layout program capable of producing "press-ready" output. The feature list is impressive, basically everything you want is there including: CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation. Graphics manipulation is handled via an interface to the Gimp, another open source program. Scribus can also import from and export to programs in the Open Office suite.
The user interface though highly functional, is not quite as slick as its commercial cousins but it can be skinned to fit in with the look of whatever operating system you are using. The documentation is excellent and there is lots of support from Scribus's enthusiastic user community." (Editor, Best Free Desktop Publishing Program)
Calibre is an "open source eBook library management application" with "extensive file conversions, the ability to convert over thirteen document formats into EPUB, PDF and MOBI formats for use on popular eBook-readers …. You can also set up Calibre to fetch news from websites and RSS feeds and convert it into a compatible format …. There's even a built-in web server so you can access your eBook collection remotely" … and "a cover-flow browsing feature …. However, it tries to sort all your books in its own preferred folder structure, so if you're a person who uses your own folder-hierarchy use this carefully." (Editor, Best Free Electronic Book Reader)
Font Runner by Crux Technologies "tries to simplify the interface, has a preview list rather than selecting one font at a time, displays Unicode, has user-defined group by favorite folders or projects, and allows drag'n'drop of files and folders even from Windows Explorer. You can search by font name, by similarity to the selected font, or for characters in other fonts that match the selected character. The latter is useful for finding Unicode fonts with similar character blocks. A few features initially frustrated me but aren't big problems. For example, you have to specify the default folder for Font Runner to display when it opens - most programs default to the system font folder. Also, Font Runner does not allow you to select the Unicode character block to view." (Editor, Best Free Font Manager)
"I liked that I could easily navigate or filter by people or name list, family, relationship, ancestry, events, places, sources, repositories, media, and notes. An undo function allows easy correction of the most recent entries. …
I felt the place entry especially outstanding. … Alternate locations can be entered for each place … Sources, notes, multimedia, and internet links can be linked to each place …
I loved the date support. Dates can be based on several different calendars …
"The installation can be intimidating. There are several required programs which must be installed in a specific order. I highly recommend using the all in one installation or the portable version on the Portable Apps website for Windows installers.." (Editor, Best Free Genealogy or Family Tree Software)
We haven't found a suitable 64-bit program. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions. There are compatible 32-bit programs in Best Free Notes Organizer.
It is disappointing to be unable to offer a free 64-bit office suite for Windows.
WPS is the original name for this software. It is an acronym for Writer, Presentation, Spreadsheet. It also has versions for Linux, Android, and iOS.
"For a freeware equivalent to Microsoft Office and for those who liked the simpler old style 2003 interface then Kingsoft Office Suite Free is the application. There isn't a single feature I found that isn't IDENTICAL to the Microsoft Office 2003 equivalent. The similarities even go far into the styles of WordArt." (Editor, Best Free Office Suite)
We haven't found a suitable 64-bit program. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions. There are compatible 32-bit programs in Best Free Outliner.
PDF-XChange Viewer "was able to quickly open and accurately render all of the files in my test set of PDF files" except for an Adobe 3D file. It can zoom and rotate pages, search text, allow side-by-side comparisons through tiling windows, and it can save to many bitmap image file types but not to vector graphic file types nor metafile formats that mix the two. It has many editing features including "an extensive suite of tools for form annotating and bookmarking documents"; an "extensive commenting capability that includes many drawing tools" plus the ability to hide, export or import comments, "the option to add a grid for precision"; and "encrypt documents as well as managing document security and properties".
Some downsides are "a dated interface" and the lack of "digital or electronic signatures". (Editor, Best Free Non-Adobe PDF Reader.
There are several online tools in Best Free PDF Tools as well as the following 64-bit applications.
Its interface is not straightforward to use, for example "its merge, split and reorder functions are available under the ‘input’ tab, and a new filename has to be entered in the ‘output’ tab." But it does have a full toolbox as it "allows you to rotate, watermark and format multiple pages", "change page numbers and chapter bookmarks", use "encryption functions", "add attachments", and "set viewer preferences and document properties, including title, author, subject and keywords." (Editor, Best Free PDF Tools)
Reorganize PDF pages
"… well worth trying if you need to visually re-order or recompose multiple pages of PDF files. You can mix, merge or extract, split and rotate pages by specifying the page numbers. However, PDFsam also lets you re-organize PDF pages in a thumbnail view. In this mode, you can easily work with thumbnails to merge, delete, rotate or re-order PDF pages and save the results as another PDF file. Since PDFsam is a Java application, it will run on any operating system that supports Java. The basic version of PDFsam is free for use. The installer is bundled with an advertising program OpenCandy but you can get … a standalone zip file with no such bundle." (Best Free PDF Tools)
Convert images to PDF
"It works even better than the tool "Convert Images to PDF" included in PDFill PDF Tools. Download and unzip i2pdf and run the executable directly (no installation required). This program is portable and user friendly—just drag and drop the images on the program window, click the "Build PDF" button and it's done. When setting the page output, "paperless" format is a helpful option if you'd like to convert portrait or landscape images to the PDF file and view them on the screen without blank paper margins." (Editor, Best Free PDF Tools)
We haven't found a 64-bit PDF writer but there is a good selection of 32-bit readers in Best Free PDF Writer.
PDF writers normally create PDF files by printing to a pseudo printer which is also called a virtual printer that means you need to be able to open the original file to be converted. If you can't then there are some website converters that can open many types of file.
"Money Manager Ex is an excellent full-featured budget program that enables users to create multiple accounts, transactions, categories, and reports. The program is fairly easy to use, with a medium-level learning curve, and has an extensive help file to assist users on how to navigate the various features and options.… In general, it is a good program for novices and experts, but is sorely lacking in real-time automatic fiscal tracking and download capabilities. Also, it does not support password encryption" (Editor, Best Free Personal Finance Software)
You put your life into a PIM so the absence of a native 64-bit PIM will frustrate many. Check out the Best Free Personal Information Manager Software for 32-bit applications will have to do in the interim. I found them useful but none of them exceptional. Evolution was another option, an Outlook replacement ported from Linux, but it crashed under Windows 7 64-bit.
We haven't found a suitable 64-bit program for the desktop so leave us a comment below if you have any suggestions. There are compatible 32-bit programs in Best Free Project Manager but your best options could be web-based. Here are a couple of examples.
dotProject is a web-based service that is well established. It requires an account but no software on your computer.
web2project is a web server application that you host yourself and install to a compatible web host that you have an account with. It works best for workgroups that collaborate on projects and want to share a calendar. It also has a migration path from dotProject
We haven't found a suitable 64-bit program. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions. There are compatible 32-bit programs in Best Free Reminder and To-Do Program.
We haven't found a suitable 64-bit program. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions. There are compatible 32-bit programs in Best Free Unit and Currency Conversion Program.
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. You may find that you rely upon a 32-bit add-on, plug-in, or extension which has no 64-bit replacement. Here's the main ones that do:
- Adobe's Flash Player
- Sun's Java Runtime Environmentfor Firefox and Internet Explorer
- Microsoft Silverlight 5 RC Developer Runtime (x64) for Windows
The advantages of 64-bit browsers outweigh the disadvantages. 64-bit programs typically use more memory because 64-bit data is bigger than 32-bit data. But most of us would rather have access to more memory; faster operations particularly for decoding or encoding; and advanced 64-bit security features such as more robust ALSR (address space layout randomization) than that available in 32-bit Windows. And you get all this without having to learn anything new because the 64-bit versions use the same interface.
The 64-bit version of Chrome has been a long time coming but it is well worth the wait. It is first in this list because it is new and many people will want to use it. I have been using both 32-bit and 64-bit versions and often had to check which version I was using because they are so similar. Regarding add-ons, you will loose 32-bit add-on support but Google is changing the add-on framework so all the current 32-bit add-ons will have to change at some point as well. Crhome also has its own Flash player built-in.
Waterfox is my preferred browser and the defacto 64-bit replacement for Firefox because it is now a Mozilla project. It is an optimized 64-bit version of Firefox that doesn't remove major components unlike another alternative Pale Moon. Waterfox is so close to Firefox "that it uses the same profile that Firefox does. If you uninstall Waterfox make sure you don't have the remove personal data box ticked!". The advantage of this is that you can synchronize all your settings between 32-bit Firefox, 64-bit Waterfox, and 64-bit Palemoon.
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.
Opera has slipped badly with the latest upgrade to a blink-based engine. It is currently missing print preview, the ability to print web-page backgrounds as there is no page setup dialog, the ability to import bookmarks or even a bookmark manager (there is an add-in which you will need to use input bookmarks from other browsers), some HTML entity/character support, and the ability to customize search providers. It also has problems with plug-ins and rendering. Apart from these major issues it ran smoothly and was easy to use.
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.
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.
Overall, the only 64-bit FTP client I found fails to match the top 32-bit selections in our review Best Free FTP Client. Unless you feel that a 64-bit FTP client is essential I suggest that you look there for the solution best suited to your needs.
Vision Works Null FTP is a cut down version of the paid product. It has the typical local and remote files panes which support drag and drop, and status and log windows which provide details of the current connections and file transfers. It also has two limitations which are likely to affect your decision to use it: only three concurrent transfers and only three FTP servers are able to be defined for quick connection.
Blender is not a traditional CAD drawing program as, for example, it has no dimensioning tool. Instead it is "the complete software package for 3D modeling, texturing, rendering, animation and physics. It has a complex but merciful user interface, and the entire repertoire of its capabilities are made available through a scripting language, so the creation of 3D games beckons. The software can import from and export to more than 20 different file formats. There is a large and growing community of Blender users who've already contributed numerous add-on scripts that can make your going easier. You'll find a generous number of fine tutorials to guide you up the steep learning curve of this monumental program, plus an active and helpful online user forum." (Editor, Best Free CAD Computer-Aided Design Program)
yWorks develops Web-centric applications such as yEd Graphic Editor which is a Java Swing application. It runs as a native 64-bit application if you have the 64-bit Java Runtime Environment (JRE). I recommend yEd for its powerful automation features which are well presented in yWork's Flash video "yEd in 90 seconds". If you watched the video, then you've seen yEd's magical ability to import Excel data and automatically generate a diagram. It can use any of several layout types to arrange a complex flow chart or network diagram. If you need this then you won't be so concerned that other products are easier to use for basic editing and basic diagrams.
However, yEd is not as powerful as it appears in the video. All the example diagrams are not convoluted so they were able to be arranged flat without overlapping lines, something that never happens with my diagrams. If you are a serious diagrammer then you will also want to augment yEd's limited range of node types. yEd has symbols for Entity Relationship Models (ERM), Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN), Unified Modeling Language (UML) and the good old flow charts (but without sort, merge, logical AND and OR). Symbol sets are also provided for swim lanes and grouping. You can create custom symbols by importing bit-maps (PNG, JPG), vector graphics (SVG) and some Visio Shapes but within yEd they have few if any customizations. For example, they usually won't be able to change colour. Development is continuing so I expect to see future improvements in this area.
Luminance HDR did create good results with default settings as well as options to fine tune the image making a suitable choice for amateur and serious amateur photographers. ... One advantage to Luminance is the thumbnails it creates using the different algorithms available. It makes it easy for a user to pick a thumbnail that they like and then make small adjustments. However the interface is cryptic and lacking description and documentation that I found was wanting." (Editor, Best Free High Dynamic Range (HDR) Software)
Basic image editor
I haven't yet found a good 64-bit image editor for basic users.
Paint.NET is easy to use. "makes a very good mid-level photo retouching choice. It has a nice set of photo correction tools including curves, and levels. It has a very nice implementation of layers complete with blending modes, and adjustable opacity/transparency levels. It has a fairly full pallet of selection, painting, and shape drawing tools. It is completed with a selection of filters for adding special effects to your images. All in all, it offers a lot for a free image retouching software." (Editor, Best Free Digital Image Editor)
Advanced image editor
GIMP is "an advanced image editor." That results in "a steeper learning curve than" other image editors because it is so feature rich. ... "If you are inexperienced at using image editing programs GIMP will likely be too overwhelming to start learning on, so I would suggest beginning with one of the basic, or mid-level editors." (Editor, Best Free Digital Image Editor)
Microsoft ICE has "four modes of camera motion to stitch your sequence of images, three fixed and one that you can adjust the distortion and that the 'Rotation motion'. When in this mode just click the 3D icon on the top taskbar, where you can tilt, zoom in and out. When you are happy with your construction then you can leave the cropping to another imaging software or auto crop. The finished panoramic image is exported into JPG, BMP, TIFF, PNG, HD Photo image, Adobe Photoshop, HD View Tileset and Deep Zoom Tileset." (Editor, Best Free Personal Digital Image Stitcher.)
Nomacs - Image Lounge has "a few inconveniences" but "is really special because of a few other things that are uncommon for programs in this category. For example, it can change the opacity of the interface, open very large images with surprising ease, show them in a frameless view on your desktop, rotate RAW files permanently, build a mosaic based on a target image composed by any number of other images, or pause animated GIF files and save their individual frames. These are all outstanding features, but something I had never seen before is that multiple instances of the program can be connected to work together on the same computer or even synchronize them across a LAN to perform several specific functions on different machines at the same time." (Editor, Best Free Digital Image Viewer)
Picturenaut "is the best choice for the novice photographer." It "the easiest to use of the group. The interface is straight forward and easy to use and yielded decent results using default settings." However, "Picturenaut had problems with the alignment of the handheld images" and it "does not offer as many different algorithms to chose from." (Editor, Best Free High Dynamic Range (HDR) Software)
The best 64-bit paint program is also GIMP but you might find the following programs useful:
Krita "is an open source painting and drawing program, previously a part of KOffice bundle now available as a separate program." It can open raw photo image files but it is weak in photo editing - just try straightening a photo to see what I mean. Its power is in painting because "it is packed with rich tools like artistic text, calligraphy, fill and gradient, various shapes, outline, fill, zoom pan, layer management, channel management, undo, scripts etc. It supports various filters such as kaleidoscope, stereographic projection, phong bumpmap, sobel, edge detection, sectorize, roundify, hipno, tunnel, random pick, HSV adjustment, etc." It also supports many image file formats. (Editor, Best Free Digital Paint Program)
MyPaint is a lot more limited but it "is a fast and easy graphics application for digital painters. ... It comes with a large brush collection including charcoal and ink to emulate natural painting. If you want to look deeper, MyPaint is built around a highly configurable brush engine. This allows you to experiment with your own brushes and with not-quite-so-natural painting." (Editor, Best Free Digital Paint Program)
We haven't found a suitable 64-bit photo organizer. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions. There are some excellent compatible 32-bit programs in Best Free Digital Photo Organizer.
Inkscape has always suffered from the priority placed on the Linux version which has had all the advantages of a 64-bit version. Now, thanks to Partha Bagchi we have a 64-bit version for us Windows users. Partha is not the developer but he's had a lot of experience with 64-bit GIMP and its add-ons. His timing is good because 32-bit Inkscape is far more stable on Windows that it has been in earlier versions. The 64-bit versions gives us the ability to create larger more complex designs.
Inkscape has "sufficient features to realistically compete with fuller-featured paid products like Illustrator, Freehand and CorelDraw. Plus it avoids many of their quirks and frustrations. Its features include shapes, paths, text, markers, clones, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, patterns, grouping, editing Creative Commons meta-data, editing nodes, layers, complex path operations, bitmap tracing, text-on-path, flowed text, direct XML editing, opening the vector file formats of SVG, SVGZ (gzipped SVG), PDF, and Adobe Illustrator (.AI), saving to the same formats except for .AI (as Illustrator opens .SVG), and importing most raster formats (JPEG, PNG, TIFF, etc.) but only exports PNG bitmaps." (Editor, Best Free Vector Graphics Editor)
Color Cop "impressed me with its combination of simplicity and effectiveness. It comes with a compact and powerful user interface which takes up very little screen space. A color grabber is provided to drag and drop at any pixel of the screen, and RGB and Hex codes are presented instantly. The front interface provides a built-in magnifier and an active color palette. If you want to adjust a picked color, you can click the ‘custom’ button and call up Windows’ default color mixer. When you right click on the interface a menu pops up with extra features. In this way, the interface is cleverly made small but powerful." (Best Free Color Picker)
Notepad++ "is a popular and widely-used editor loaded with features to make the users' programming more productive, including syntax and brace highlighting for many languages, search and replace using regular expressions, macro recording, and playback. It is also highly configurable through plug-ins, has a wide range of themes and offers multi-language support. Other features include color source code printing, auto-completion, multi-document and multi-view, drag and drop, syntax folding, bookmark, ASCII art display and more." (Best Free Programming Editor)
Bluefish "is a lightweight yet powerful editor running … designed for experienced programmers and web designers, and works as a general-purpose editor as well with the IDE. This program provides options to write websites, scripts and programming codes in many programming and markup languages. Its user interface is complete with toolbars, dialogs and user-customized menus to facilitate insertion of markups and codes. … Other useful features include cold folding, customizable syntax highlighting, advanced search and replace, multiple projects support, integration with external programs to handle advanced text processing or error detection, auto tag closing and matched code highlights for HTML and XML documents, in-line spell checker which is programing language aware and so on." (Best Free Programming Editor)
Remember that you should never run two or more firewall products side-by-side. If you plan to switch to one of the products below, ensure that you disable Windows Firewall and any other firewall you have installed first.
Windows Firewall "is a common choice since it passes all inbound tests (both stealth and open port) and doesn't have many popup alerts. It doesn't require installation, so it's not likely to conflict with your other programs. And many average users wouldn't reliably handle the popup alerts of the best firewalls on the market (especially at their max settings)." (Best Free Firewall)
Access has to be defined for each application using one of four modes; out only, in only, enable all, or disable all. I suspect for many this will not offer a fine enough degree of control.
Comodo Firewall "is the best choice for users seeking a full featured security suite. This latest release is suitable for both lightly-skilled users (still must have knowledge of installed programs) and technically advanced users. Its robust and active HIPS (or application monitoring feature), called "Defense+", matches or exceeds the security performance of pay products. Comodo allows for much control and customization for the curious or the paranoid." (Best Free Firewall)
I recommend that you read our guide, How to Install Comodo, before you install it. Comodo Firewall is one half of Comodo Internet Security which is what you are actually installing. It also includes the other half, the anti-virus component which provides Defense+ (HIPS) and Sandboxing. But you can opt of of installing Geek Buddy (22 MB) by selecting the "Customize Installer" option.
The boundaries have blurred between security products so I have chosen to include all products in this category except for those that focus on removing malware which are in the next category.
Many of the applications are hybrid 64-bit applications where only the low level kernel mode drivers that interface with operating system are written in 64-bit code.
You can have more than one product installed, but you can have problems if you have more than one product enabled for real-time scanning. The same applies to email scanning.
MSSE or MSE has "great detection rates, particularly for rootkits. Even more impressive is that Microsoft Security Essentials has very few false positives, is light on resources and is good at removal of existing malware.MSE is a great choice for average users because of the minimal user interaction required. It automatically updates and removes threats. … The main downsides are the slow scan speeds and the lengthy amount of time it takes to quarantine malware, though in my opinion these are rather trivial concerns". (Best Free Antivirus Software)
Avira Antivir was formerly the Top Pick in its category. "AntiVir is still a top notch antivirus scanner with outstanding detection rates of malware, higher than almost every other antivirus according to tests. AntiVir is still a good choice for a free antivirus scanner, particularly for high risk users. However, there are some minor reservations. First, AntiVir does not include web or e-mail scanning capabilities … it just means that AntiVir won't warn you of infected emails before you open them. … Also, AntiVir contains a rather intrusive advertisement every time it updates." (Best Free Antivirus Software)
Avast! Free Antivirus "has steadily been improving its detection rates over the past few years and now ranks with the some of the best.Avast has the most features of all the free antivirus with full real-time capabilities including web, e-mail, IM, P2P and network shields, boot-time scanning, and a behavioural blocker … an internet site ratings plugin, script malware protection and a limited (non-configurable) sandboxing feature. …Lastly Avast is also light on resources." (Best Free Antivirus Software)
Many of the protection mechanisms used by Avast rely on interactive Windows services. Support in Windows 7 and Vista 64 for interactive services is intended for use by legacy applications. This places restrictions on the information that can be sent to the user.
SUPERAntiSpyware (SAS) free version "does not support real-time blocking, scheduled scanning and some other features." but it is a very good on-demand scanner which won't conflict with real-time protection. "In addition to its focus on detecting and removing spyware infections, this program deals with trojans and other types of threats such as diallers, keyloggers, worms, rootkits, etc." (Best Free Trojan Scanner and Remover; also Best Free Adware-Spyware-Scumware Remover),
"The interface is simple, updates are speedy but it still installs a start-up item which doesn't actually do anything at all. The scan speed is twice to thrice that of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and the detection is less than half of it. The removal also left a lot to be desired". (Best Free Adware/Spyware/Scumware Remover)
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) "is an on-demand scanner which can be used to find and remove trojans, along with other malware such as viruses, worms, rootkits, diallers and spyware. While it will never win any prizes for its user interface, the program is intuitive and simple to use. … Other features include: multiple-drive scanning; quick scanning; ignore list; quarantine, to hold threats prior to deletion or restoration; along with various settings to enhance performance of the program. FileASSASSIN is also included to enable deletion of locked files. Another plus point is MBAM rarely causes any conflicts with other anti-malware utilities. (Best Free Trojan Scanner and Remover)
"The interface is very simple, … The scans are very fast and detection is first class." (Best Free Adware/Spyware/Scumware Remover)
I have separated specialist on-demand scanners from the other products which all provide on-demand scans as well. The free products listed here are more likely to be portable scanners. Portable so they can be used in a hurry and run from a disk or USB stick to check an infected system. Free so you can detect a problem but not free to remove it. Although they usually have an option to trial the removal component before having to buy the full-version.
The scanners listed here use a range of scanning technologies which can improve your detection rates if you use all of them: cloud-based (usually require a broadband internet connection to be useful), behavioural, and signature-based.
Hitman Pro uses a cloud-based scanner that has free detection. The removal option is only free for 30 days but that 30-day period doesn't start with the first scan, it starts when you first repair your system. You can install it or leave it portable. When installed, it can be configured it to run a daily scan. The scan runs very fast. Hitman Pro identifies files that need to be checked then uploads them to Cloud Scan where five scanners are used from IKARUS, PrevX, G Data, Emsisoft and Dr. Web. On my system it only uploaded a few files for scanning. Later scans were even faster because no new files were identified. Hitman Pro can also identify tracking cookies for deletion. ('gets a quick mention' in Best Free Anti-virus Software)
Emsisoft Anti-Malware free version provides a 30-day free trial of the full version which then downgrades to a freeware scanner and 'does not provide other features such as file guard, behavior blocker and surf protection'. The scanner is signature-based so when it runs it will download the latest signatures. There are four scan types: Quick (it is), Smart (much slower as it scans all programs), Deep (very slow scanning all files) and Custom. (Top Pick in Best Free Trojan Scanner and Removeralso 'gets a quick mention' in Best Free Antivirus Software)
A portable version of SUPERAntiSpyware which is reviewed above. It has four scan types: Quick, Critical Point, Complete, and Custom. The Custom scan appears to be the most flexible of any of these products. The Rescue Scan feature allows SAS to 'rescue' CPU cycles from malware hogging the processor.
Trend Micro HouseCall is an installer that doesn't openly install its malware scanner - it stores it in your user appdata\local\temp folder. So it may look portable but it isn't. It has three scan types: Quick, Full and Custom. Because it is so slow I would choose a faster scanner to initially detect suspected infections. There are positive reports of HouseCall having excellent detection. On the other hand there are reports of malware halting HouseCall's download and I've experienced the old problem with the scan stopping while "listing processes". As Trend Micro do not openly support their software this is a significant negative.