Here's a list of the best F*r*e*e Stuff you can get for your desktop or laptop computer.
Most of the F*r*e*e software below is of special interest to owners of retail stores and restaurants. The selections are geared to less technical computer owners as opposed to computer geeks.
I currently rate Evernote as the Best F*r*e*e Software available.
Evernote is an organizer that helps you remember anything. You can type in notes directly or capture notes and grab screens or photos from web sites.
Evernote can help you organize your entire life and quickly find anything within your Evernote files.
Let's say you have a customer named Alice Smith who enters your business. Alice is looking for a specific type of kitchen table that she wants to purchase for her house.
You can place this information on a piece of paper that you will inevitably lose. Or you can use Evernote to help you organize this specific task.
Make a note called Alice Smith. Under this note, you can add Alice's contact information and more information related to her needs. Later, when you are home and have more time, you can go back to this note and surf catalogs or the Internet for photos and prices of tables that may satisfy Alice's needs. You can add photos, Internet links, and an infinite amount of quick notes related to your project. When Alice enters your store next week, you can access the project (or Alice's Note Area), and you have all the information at your fingertips including links and photos.
Evernote can take care and organize all of your notes. You can add documents, photos, and other information to your notes. You can format your notes in a manner that you can eventually cut and paste into another document. You can import and export all sorts of files.
Now here is what makes Evernote so great.
All of your notes are stored in the Cloud. You can access your notes at home, at your office, at a hotel, or anywhere else with access to a computer. All you need is your user name and password.
You don't need Internet Access to use Evernote. You can optionally add a small program to your computer. This program let's you use Evernote without any access to the Internet. Once you have Internet access, Evernote will automatically synchronize your computer with the files that Evernote stores in the Cloud.
All of your computers are always synchronized. If you add some notes at your business, those notes are synchronized with your Evernote account in the Cloud. When you turn on your computer at home, those notes automatically get synchronized with the information in the Cloud.
In other words, no matter where you are, you can use Evernote and your files are automatically transferred to your work computer, home computer, laptop, or any other computer.
It gets better. Do you use an iPad? Any other tablet device? A Blackberry? Other types of cell phones?
Evernote works with and sync's with almost any type of device (computer, laptop, iPad, phones, tablets).
I haven't even begun to tell you about all of Evernote's features. You need to try it.
Evernotewon't cost you a penny for storing up to 60 MB's of information in the Cloud. The premium version will cost you $45 per year and will give you a full GB of information transfers per month plus some additional features. I'm happy with my no cost version and don't believe I'll ever have to update to the premium version. However, I'd gladly pay $45 per year for what I am getting at no cost (but don't tell the Evernote people).
Evernotehas become my favorite f*r*e*e program. It is great for every retailer, anyone who works, anyone who doesn't work, and can really help students to organize their tasks and studying.
Here's a little advice to new Evernote users. It does an awful lot of things. Start by using it for notes. The more you use it, the more you will find it to be indispensable. Lots of online help is available to learn all of its features. Take your time digesting all of the features. Just start by taking and organizing some notes.
To read a more extensive independent review of Evernote go to:
I have a new favorite F*R*E*E Antivirus/Antispyware program.
The most popular F*R*E*E Antivirus program is AVG 2012.
I have stopped recommending AVG because it is starting to get bloated. Because the size of the program is growing, it tends to slow down computers.
My new favorite is Avast! F*r*e*e version. I have found it to work much more efficiently and is unobtrusive. It doesn't ask you lots of questions. It just works.
For those of you who don't want to pay, I highly recommend Avast.
Better yet, I use and recommend Norton Internet Security on all of my computers. You can find it online or on sale at local stores for prices as low as $15 per year per station.
One warning. If you are using AVG or Avast! within your business, you are supposed to pay for it. Neither one is available for commercial use. You can install it within your business. However, you will not be abiding by the small print that accompanies the software.
Why should you purchase Norton Internet Security or other competitive products instead of using the F*R*E*E stuff? In general, the pay stuff works better. In the past, I used to say that the F*R*E*E alternatives were about 90% as good as paid versions. I now believe that these alternatives are probably 95% as good as the pay stuff.
If you are using Windows 7, your odds of getting any malware is less than the odds of getting malware on previous versions of Windows.
Here's my final advice. I always recommend Norton Internet Security. None of my computers nor any of the businesses that I consult with have been subjected to Malware since installing any of the latest versions of Norton Internet Security (2010, 2011 or 2012).
Likewise, both AVG and Avast! have been flawless on all computers of acquaintances that I have recommended using it.
If you don't want to pay for it, Avast! is your next best solution.
(Warning...Many computer users use more than one program for Anti-Virus. This is not good! It will slow down your computer. Should you decide to upgrade your Anti-Virus software, make sure that you uninstall any previous Anti-Virus solutions that may be running on your computer.)
You can download and learn more about Avast at:
Avast has received exceptional reviews from CNET and pcMagazine. You can read what others have to say about Avast at:
Two of the best f*r*e*e antivirus/antispyware sofware programs are f*r*e*e to home users, but not f*r*e*e for business users. I am well aware that many business owners have installed AVG and Avast! on their computers without paying the required license fee. Read the small print in your license agreement. It is not f*r*e*e for business users.
If you don't want to pay for security software, and you wish to comply with the small print in the license agreement that you click on, Microsoft Security Essentials may be a good choice.
If you don't want to spend a penny and you own a business, Microsoft Security Essentials is a good alternative choice to Avast! and AVG, but perhaps not quite as safe as the alternatives. If you need a guess, I would say it is 97% as good as the competition.
You can get a copy of Microsoft Security Essentials on the Microsoft site at:
Read what pcMagazine had to say about Microsoft Security Essentials at:
Microsoft Security Essentials Review (pcMagazine)
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is the best program around for removing spyware and pop-ups that may be inundating your computer. It doesn't use up any memory on your machine unless you are actively using it to remove problems. Even if your computer is well-protected, running Malwarebytes monthly will give you peace of mind.
For more information and to download Malwarebytes go to:
2.1 is a F*R*E*E backup program from Microsoft. It is outstanding. SyncToy
can back up your data every time you run the program. Or using the
Scheduler that comes with your computer, you can have SyncToy
automatically back up your files at scheduled periods of time (for
example, 3 AM every morning). Unfortunately, although SyncToy is F*R*E*E
and pretty easy to use, you may need a more experienced computer user to
set it up for you. SyncToy can backup or synchronize all of your
important music, spreadsheets, photos, business and other data with an
external USB hard drive, flash drive, or other computers on your
is one great F*R*E*E utility for cleaning up your registry and removing
unnecessary files from your hard-drive. It's safe to use and has
outstanding reviews by the computer experts as well as users. CCleaner
is a nonintrusive program. You run it and exit the program. It doesn't
run in the background and slow down your computer. It can clean out and
compact your registry. It deletes unnecessary files on your computer. It
cleans out your recycle bin and removes unwanted cookies. It deletes
files that Uninstall does not remove. It can clean out and scrub your
computer of file remnants that although deleted, still remain on your
computer until they are overwritten. Like Malwarebytes, I run CCleaner
LastPass is a great program and it won't cost you a penny. LastPass stores all of your passwords on your local computer and in the Cloud (on external server computers owned by LastPass that you can access from any Internet connection).
I know your first question. Is it safe to store your passwords in the Cloud? It's probably as safe as keeping your money in the bank, having money invested in your company pension fund, or investing in stocks and bonds using companies such as Charles Schwab (for example).
It's possible that your local government will go bankrupt (even Providence Rhode Island may go bankrupt). It's possible that someone will hack into your Charles Schwab account (or other type of bank or investment account) and steal all your money. It's possible that someone will bankrupt your company pension fund. It's possible that someone may take all the money stored under your pillow.
So, the answer is, LastPass is probably as safe as crossing the street. If you check out their website, the management team looks real honest. In my opinion, LastPass is as safe as anything else you may do on the Internet.
Here's how LastPass works. You pick ONE single MASTER PASSWORD to access your account. This will log you into your LastPass account which will give you access to all your Internet passwords. It can also save you time by automatically filling in shopping and other sites requiring you to insert your name, address, and other information.
Let's say that you subscribe to The Wall Street Journal, for example. Just click on the appropriate link and LastPass will bring you directly to your desired site and automatically log you in. Similarly, you can automatically log into your banking sites and any other sites requiring a user name and/or password.
The only thing you need to remember is your MASTER PASSWORD.
Using LastPass, you can access your passwords from any computer anywhere. The premium version ($1 per month) let's you access your passwords on most mobile devices (iPads, Androids, and smart phones).
LastPass has a secure note feature which I find to be very valuable. I keep my credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other personal information in this area. I also keep other important information like the type of battery used in my garage door opener and my cat's maiden name. Why? Lots of times when calling certain companies you are asked for certain information that you may not necessarily remember or forgothow to spell. What is the name of your first girl friend? By keeping all this information in the secure note area of LastPass, you will never forget the information that you need to remember and it will always be with you.
LastPass received top ratings by CNET and pcMagazine. Like EverNote, it's a program that everyone should be using and it's F*R*E*E.
According to pcMagazine, LastPass is "One of the few pieces of perfect software tested by PCMag- we gave it a rating of five (out of five)."
To read the CNET review (also five out of five) go to:
To get a copy of LastPass, read about all its features, see screen shots and tutorials go to:
Chrome may be the best browser. About 54% of computer owners use
Internet Explorer (which comes preinstalled on all Windows computers) to
browse the internet. 7% of computer owners use Safari. 22% are using
Firefox. 13% of users are now using Google's Chrome Browser.
Reflect will make a disk image of your hard drive on an external USB,
network, or other hard drive.
Macrium Reflect (Image Software)
DD Poker is an outstanding F*R*E*E poker game. It used to sell for $49.95 and is still available at that price in many stores. It's a really nice poker game and tutorial. It's great for learning to play Texas Hold'em. It used to be sold by a major poker pro and sold through all the major computer stores and electronic outlets. The author has updated the software and offers it for f*r*e*e. This is not shareware type software. It is an excellent professional package.
If you have any interest in Poker (especially Texas Hold'em) or wish to pass the game on to your customers or friends, go to:
is a F*R*E*E PC tune-up utility that can optimize your computer performance.
comparable to similar utilities that can be purchased for $29 and up.
Jing is a screen capturing software program that takes a picture or makes a video of what you see on your monitor.
Getting a computer error? Use Jing to capture the
error appearing on your screen and forward it to your favorite computer
Jing is F*R*E*E and made by TechSmith. TechSmith is
the same company that owns Camtasia ($299) and Snagit ($49.95). I guess
you can call Jing a F*R*E*E (including online storage) and junior version
of these products.
Jing gets a 5 Star Rating from both CNET and Softpedia. I should warn you that Jing may not be for novice computer users. It's an excellent program, but you will have a learning curve that you may need to overcome.
To read the Jing review on CNET go to:
To read another Jing review on Softpedia go to:
Mailinator.com F*R*E*E 24 Hour Email Address let's you use a F*R*E*E untraceable email address instantly. Here's how it works. Let's say you go to a website that requires your email address. You don't want to give away your primary email address. With Mailinator, you can instantly make up a new email address that you can use or anyone else can access for 24 hours. Thus, the website that you visited will have a valid email address that you or anyone else can access for that period of time.
You can access and obtain your F*R*E*E 24 hour email address at:
One Blue Hill Plaza
Pearl River NY 10965
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