Links to free software - for any purpose.
* Post replies to this thread giving your suggestions and I will keep updating this sticky so that we end up with a fully comprehensive list of apps and software that everyone can make use of.
* All apps will be categorised - Operating Systems, Anti-virus, Image Editing, Games, Media Players etc.
Obviously this is for freeware, general public license (GPL) software only. NO WAREZ
The original list of programs. Includes some more specialised apps not listed here - but may be useful to some. Thanks to Moby-Dick for these!!!
Operating Systems / OS Emulator Software:
Virtual Box - Nice VM program that will allow you to run Linux/Others on your Windows setup, and vice versa
Antivirus / Firewall:
Avast - Free anti-virus
AVG Free Edition 8.0 - Free anti-virus
Comodo - Software firewall
Malware Removal / System Cleanup:
Ad-aware - Removal tool for all kinds of nasties
Spybot Search & Destroy - Removal tool for all kinds of nasties
Spyware Blaster - Removal tool for all kinds of nasties
Crap Cleaner (CCleaner) - Registry clean up
Malwarebytes Anti-malware - Removal tool for all kinds of nasties
Dr Web - Cure It - Re-download to update
F Secure Easy Clean
AVP Tool (Kaspersky) - Re-download to update
Mwav - Malware tool, uses Kaspersky engine. Built in auto-updater.
PC Building / Windows XP Customise:
Driver Cleaner - Removes old drivers
DriverGuide Toolkit - Backs up all drivers into one file
nLite - Can be used to take ISO (image) of your XP disk and edit it. Features can be removed, drivers can be pre-installed and the XP setup can be made unattended
HijackThis - Lets you simply remove things from your start up, great for keeping windows junk free and removal of malware.
Overclocking / Hardware Tools / Stability Testing:
CPU-Z - Identifies all your hardware components, revision numbers and speed settings
GPU-Z - Basically the same as CPU-Z, except for your video card: a lightweight utility designed to give you all information about your video card and GPU. Logs temps, can save GPU Bios.
CoreTemp - Monitor the temperatures of your CPU(s). Can create logs.
Furmark - Stress for graphics card, for stability testing
HD Tune - Benchmark your hard drives to find out access time, and read speeds
Prime 95 - Stress your CPU and/or RAM to ensure stability after an overclock, or when you've just purchased a new PC/CPU
Super Pi Mod - Quick stress testing utility. Will through up error on systems which would quickly become unstable. Good for a quick stability check. Good benchmark for PC speed.
Orthos - Long timespan CPU stressing app. People tend to run this for 24 hours to test for complete stability of a system.
Speedfan - Monitor system temperatures, perform SMART tests and other features
MemTest - Test your RAM is error free
RivaTuner - Advanced graphics card control - fan speeds, overclocking, and much much more. Highly recommended app. for overclockers.
ATI Tool - Another graphics card control app. - fan speeds, overclocking, and much much more. Highly recommended app. for overclockers. Used use this instead of Catalyst Control Centre.
Word Processing / Spreadsheets / General Office Applications:
Open Office - Free alternative to Microsoft Office
OpenProJ - Open source alternative to Microsoft Project
Internet Browsers / Downloading Tools:
Firefox - The king of internet browsers
Google Chrome - Webkit based browser from google. Inc. "porn" mode
Opera - An alternative to Firefox with much the same features such as: tabbed browsing, in built download manager
Opera portable - Speaking of Opera awesomeness - how about a portable version?
Free Download Manager - Resume broken downloads / Speed maximiser
uTorrent - The best torrent downloader, bar none.
Windows Live Essentials - Live Essentials in my opinion is arguably the best collection of free software out there. Not only is there an excellent IM client included but a multitude of other decent applications. One installer which sorts out the downloading and installing of all the apps
Trillian - Multi protocol supporting IM software, no need for multiple clients any more
Pidgin (formerly Gaim) - All instant messaging apps combined into one
SkypeMake phone calls over the internet for free
Messenger Plus+ - Add-on for Windows Live Messenger that adds tons of features. Make sure you untick the bundled software during install
Pixlr - Free browser based Photoshop style image editing app. - my personal favourite.
Splash Up - Very similar to Pixlr but it also hooks up via the Flickr, Facebook, etc APIs so you can access your remote images if you have an account
Paint.net - Free Photoshop style image editing app.
Gimp - Free pixel/rastor image editing app.
Inkscape - Free vector based graphics editor - think Corel Draw / Illustrator. Tons of tutorials online, and basics are thoroughly covered in the Help > Tutorials menu. Very easy to pick up.
Picasa - Manage / organise / share / tweak your photos
Sumo Tool Online image editor - like an online freeware version of a stripped down Photoshop
Infranview - Image viewer / converter / batch rename / supports vast array of file types. Small compact app.
Color Cop - Universal 'eye-dropper' tool to select and match any colour on your screen
Bright (inc. readme instructions for use) - Command Line Professional colour reducing tool - reduce 16M colour to 256 with minimal loss of quality - much better results than photoshop/paint shop pro. Batch processing ability. Good for reducing file size / Web graphics. Typical command line to 256 colours, override files of the same name, convert all files that start with 'filename' (i.e filename001, filename002 etc.) Saves as .pcx format (then convert back to GIF/PNG).
Free Desktop Images:
InterfaceLIFT - Categoried, all resolutions available
Mandolux - Large selection of high quality wallpapers including multiple monitor setups
Video / Sound Editing Tools (Editers/Encoders/Decoders/Recorders):
Autorun.inf Maker - If you dont know what it does, you don't need it
Audacity - Nice audio editor and recorder
Handbrake - Awesome DVD ripping app. Alledgedly! *
Project X - Use ProjectX for demultiplexing .ts files from your PVR *
Cuttermaran - Digital video editor *
ImagoMPEG - To bring the images and sound back together ImagoMPEG-Muxer is also a great little app. *
Media Coder - Batch transcoder/converter program. Great for converting your videos for your devices
CD Ex - Rip CDs / Encode / Decode
VirtualDub - Excellent video encoding software
Avidemux - Another excellent video encoding app.
* = Great for video editing when used together for ripping from source (Handbrake/Project X), Editing (Cuttermaran) and bring video and audio back together (ImagoMPEG) - Thanks to forum user 'Time Bandit'
Media Players / Organisers
Media Player Classic - Home Cinema (apparently better than VLC and CCP according to SiM )
KM Player - The media player of choice for 'magneticman' and 'Aez' "better than MPC-HC they claim!
CCCP - It's got MPC HC and VLC you choose whichever you want to install, and it also installs all the other codecs needed to play all other media files
VLC Media Player
AIMP2 - Feature rich, and light resource footprint. Winamp alternative - definitely worth a look.
Winamp Media Player
Spotify - Stream music from the internet, from the crator of uTorrent, very simple interface (audio ad supported, legal)
Media Portal - Media Center / HTPC App
My Movies - Movie organiser
Last FM "Keep your Last.fm profile updated with what you’ve been listening to on your computer or iPod. Get personalised music and videos, find out about gigs, listen to your own personal radio stations, and much much more."
XM Play - Small music player with plugins to play alot of other formats
Zoom Player - Media player with dvd support and a seperate codec downloader keeping codecs up to date in one click
ORB - Media streaming software which allows playback of media across not only your local network but the web and also the transfer of files to and from your pc remotely all through a web browser. Supports steaming to xbox 360 + ps3!
Music Brainz Picard - Tag your music properly with information from MusicBrainz massive online database
Songbird - Excellent iTunes alternative. Basically a library for your music
Foobar2000 - Audio player/manager. Bit of a learning curve but if you're willing to put in a bit of effort it will reward you in spades, especially if you have a very large music library which needs licking into shape.
mp3tag - Mp3 tagger. Doh!
FFDShow - Codec pack for multiple file types inc. Xvid/Divx and many many more.
MKV Codec - Codec for the increasingly popular mkv (Matroska) codec usually found with HD content
Windows Vista Codec Pack - Free codec pack for Vista (based on ffdshow) - a 64-bit pack is also included on the website
G-Spot - Analyze a video or audio file to check what codecs and settings it's using