Free software, specially open source, are usually much better than paid software. Following is a list of the gems that I’ve found to be very useful over the years, and why I’m using them:
This download enables you to play just about any video or audio file format. You’ll need no Real player or Quicktime players anymore. K-lite comes with a unique all-in-one player: Media player Classic. The only other player you need installed is: Windows media player, which is pre-installed in all Windows versions.
This compression, de-compression tool, free for personal use, is a better alternative for Winrar and other paid compression software, it can handle more file formats than other tools.
PDF e-book reader. Adobe Acrobat is becoming bulkier all the time (currently 27.7MB). Foxit reader is much smaller in file size (1.5MB), and much faster.
My favorite browser. And thanks to its 100’s of extensions, it can also be used to replace several software and tools:
this excellent ftp client can replace WS_FTP that I used to work with. It simply opens in a new browser tab, very convenient!
Excellent download manager. Can cut downloaded file into 10 parts, and download them all simultaneously. No need for any download manager software anymore. You can even use it to grab every file on a web page, or specific types, based on your filteration. It will download them all for you.
I used to download youtube videos with VideoDownloader until I found the one-click Ook! its much better, faster and easier. You just click its icon, and the video you’re watching gets downloaded automatically. No need to type the file extension like VD requires. For even more convenience, you can also set it up to download videos with DownThemAll!
This extension helps you save videos from sites like youtube and google video.
Did you break a hard disk drive before? If so, you must know the nightmare of losing all your data. This extension is a life saver, when it comes to your bookmarks. It saves a copy in their server for you to retrieve anytime in the future. It auto saves regularly, so there is nothing you have to do from your part. Just make sure you remember your username and password, to use when in another computer, or in a newly formatted one. In such case, you’ll that you need to start with this extension.
Very useful translation and info tool. Once installed, you can select any word, then right-click and select to view its meaning in the dictionary, in Engish or other languages, or read info about it in an encyclopedia. You can set it to use any of several online dictionaries and encyclopedias of your choice.
If English is not your mother tongue, you may find this extension useful. This extension helps people learning English. It can also help you learn words in French and other languages. Hover your mouse over any English word, and a popup gives you its meaning in French (or whatever language you set it to show). Amazing and simple to use.
*Translate an English word into French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Traditional or Simplified Chinese when mouse cursor hovers over it.
*With one click, remember all context of the word, such as URL of the page and the paragraph which the word belongs to.
*When you hover over any word, a little popup will show a speaker icon. Click to listen to its pronunciation.
*You can also write a note for the word.
*Search more explanation of the word with one click.