"freeware" news, interviews, and features

News about freeware

  • Get Clicking: Free Downloads That Are Worth a Donation

    People often think of software as either commercial (including shareware), or free (including open-source offerings). But somewhere in between lies another large category of software: donationware. The creators of such programs give the software away for free, in the hope that appreciative users will donate to support the application or a cause the developer wishes to promote. In this article I cover lesser-known gems.

  • Email This! Firefox Add-on

    Nifty, free <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,23160/description.html">Firefox</a> add-on Email this! is great for anyone who wants to share Web page URLs with others via email software. When you're on a Web page whose URL you want to share with someone, click a button, and the add-in launches your default email client--whether it's a desktop mail client, such as Microsoft Outlook, or Web-based one, such as Gmail--creates a new mail message, and inserts the URL into the body of the message, and the title of the page into the subject line. At that point all you need to do is fill in the recipient's address, type in any message you want, and send off your email.

  • WebFilter Chrome extension

    WebFilter is a free Chrome extension designed to block access to objectionable or dangerous sites, including those that are pornographic, harbor malware, show drug use, or are heavy bandwidth users. It's a generally useful tool, although it is somewhat marred by its surprising inability to block at least one very obvious problematic site.

  • TrackMeNot add-on keeps search engine profilers confused

    The free TrackMeNot Firefox add-on takes a unique and creative approach to protecting your privacy from search engines that can create profiles of you based on terms you search for. Rather than hiding your searches from them in some way, it takes the exact opposite tack: It inundates search engines with a blizzard of background searches from you, so that no practical profile can be built because there are too many random searches. It generates those search terms from a group of RSS feeds from sites including the New York Times, CNN, and others.

  • IN PICTURES: Still awesome after all these years - eight excellent free downloads

    Wine gets better with age. Men get more distinguished-looking. And some programs are like perennials, returning each year with fresh blooms and stronger stems. Indeed, think of some of the world's best productivity tools and system utilities, and I'll wager that some were "planted" at least five years ago--decades in computer years. Take a look at eight of these blossoming apps, all of which are more awesome than ever, and all of which are, amazingly, free.

  • Opera browser: Can it sing the big boys off the stage?

    Coke or Pepsi? Kirk or Picard? Betty or Veronica? The great battles of the marketplace tend to be duels, and few people gripe if you leave out RC, Sisko, or Cheryl Blossom. The "Browser Wars" are no different, with "IE vs. Firefox" having replaced "Netscape vs. IE" long ago, and other options are often forgotten. Opera has been one of the strongest alternate browsers for a long time, and it was my browser of choice prior to Firefox. Opera 11 (free) continues the Opera tradition of doing something different instead of a minor reskin of someone else's codebase, and delivers a plethora of features that are actually designed to be usable, not to pad out a checklist.

  • 10 must-have downloads for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter

    Your favorite social network--whether it's Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or something else--is probably pretty capable on its own. After all, you likely spend plenty of time there already. But with the right app or add-on, your go-to social networks can become even better. Here are several apps, both desktop- and cloud-based, that will allow you to get more out of Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. They'll help you save time, share more content, and connect with new people in new ways.

  • TestDisk, PhotoRec fix disks, recover files

    If you're a fan of character-based interfaces -- such as DOS -- and free data recovery, you're going to love TestDisk and its companion utility, PhotoRec (a brother program included in the TestDisk download). Both free programs run in a DOS box or from a command line and test, report on, fix common disk boot problems, and recover files from damaged hard drives. All this is done at low level, below the operating system.

  • 10 Must-Have Free Downloads

    Some downloadable software is so good that you just have to grab it. Unfortunately, often you have to pay for it after you try it out. But every once in a while, a must-have program is totally free. Such indispensable, no-cost programs are the hardest kind to find.

  • 10 utilities to secure your data

    Very few people (certainly not the smart, savvy, people who read PCWorld articles) run their computers without up-to-date firewall and antivirus software. Most users know better than to click a message from "Bank of Amerika" that tells them "Your account is much suspect of risk, please input number for verify." Regardless, there's always a new security hole, exploit, or social-engineering trick that can catch even the intelligent and cautious in a moment of weakness. Another threat is the possibility that someone might gain physical access to your computer -- whether it's a laptop thief, a sneaky coworker with dubious intent, or an aggressive lawyer for the RIAA. This feature discusses several ways to keep your digital valuables safe, even if someone is prowling around your house.

  • Latest VoxOx Beta

    It's no secret that managing your contacts and communications has become a full-time job in itself. But the latest version of VoxOx, a free service that works in conjunction with a free application, certainly can make the job easier. VoxOx unifies most of your contacts and your communications services, allowing you to stay in touch with (almost) everyone, almost all of the time.

  • 10 must-have Google Chrome extensions

    With every passing month, Google Chrome is becoming increasingly popular. Fans laud its lean, stripped-down interface, and its fast browsing. They also appreciate the free extensions that give Chrome the ability to do all kinds of nifty things.