112 Best Free Downloads, Sites, and Services: The Full List

Here's our entire collection of the best free downloads, sites, and services available today, sorted by category.

By Adam Pash and Rick Broida, PC World |  Software, free downloads, Freeware

Want to correct Windows problems, make your PC or mobile phone more capable, and get things done faster online--all without opening your wallet? Check out these 112 incredibly useful, incredibly free downloads, sites, and services.

This year, we divided our picks for the Best Free Stuff into 17 categories, listed below. If you can't decide where to start, take a look at the greatest hits--some of the classics we've spotlighted over our 15 years of picking free apps, services, and sites. Or try a few of our favorite social networking and video assistants, programs and services we couldn't have even imagined that long ago.

Of course, we also have selections in popular categories such as PC customization, security, and productivity, as well as photo and system utilities, lifestyle enhancers, timesavers, and more.

For a more detailed look at our Fantastic Freebies, see the stories listed in the box to the right.

All-Time Greats

Antivirus Utilities (Tested By PCWorld)

Audio Apps and Services

Backup Utilities

Browser Add-Ons, Apps, and Utilities

  • CeeVee: Online résumés with custom sharing
  • Lazarus: Recover info typed into Firefox
  • MailBrowser: Manage Gmail contacts, attachments, and more
  • MyBrainshark: Add narration to a presentation by speaking over the phone
  • PDF to Word: Turns PDFs into edit-ready docs

Collaboration Services

  • LogMeIn Express: Secure screen sharing (great for troubleshooting your dad's PC)
  • MiNeeds: Connect with and receive bids online from local contractors
  • Tinychat: Disposable chatrooms
  • Yammer: Facebook-like communications features for businesses
  • Zoho Discussions: Add a feature-rich discussion forum to any online destination

Desktop Customization

  • BumpTop: 3D desktop that allows you to pin up notes and photos
  • DeskHedron: Create up to nine 3D desktops that you can flip through
  • Fences: Organize desktop icons and make them disappear when you want them to
  • InterfaceLift: PC wallpaper library
  • Krento: Rotating 3D circle for app launching
  • Rainmeter: Attractive, seamlessly embedded desktop overhaul
  • StandaloneStack 2: Animated shortcuts for easy access to folder contents
  • T3Desk: Minimizes programs to the PC desktop

Mobile Apps and Services

  • BlueRetriever: Helps recover lost gadgets
  • Connectify: Turn your laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Instapaper: Bookmark Web pages; strip them to text-only for easy mobile reading
  • OverMyMinutes: Helps you stay within your cell-phone plan allotment
  • Xpenser: Track expenses via the Web

Photo Utilities

Productivity Tools

  • DoPDF Free PDF Converter: Fast and simple PDF conversion
  • Drop.io for Outlook: Share large files in Outlook
  • Ecofont: Special design allows this font to consume less ink
  • Everything: Thorough indexing and fast search of your desktop
  • FlockDraw: A Web-based "cocktail napkin" for shared ideas
  • Fonolo: Gives you access to phone menus for customer service numbers
  • iCurrent: Free news site with personalization
  • Liaise: Outlook add-in keeps tabs on all of your important action items
  • MakeSomeTime: Keeps tabs on invoices, projects, and billable hours
  • ScreenToaster: Create and e-mail or upload a video of a screen that explains something
  • Tom's Planner: Easy Gantt charts

Security Utilities

  • KeePass: Organizes and protects all of your important passwords with just one password
  • OpenDNS: Protects kids from online violence, pornography, and other unsavory Web material
  • SuperAntiSpyware: A robust malware fighter
  • Web of Trust: Vets the links you click in your browers for security issues

Self-Improvement Assistants

  • BudgetSketch: Track where your money will go before you spend it
  • DailyBurn: Presents charts and graphs to track your fitness program
  • Habitforge: Train yourself in new habits with the help of daily reminders
  • Learn10: Ten new foreign-language words daily
  • RunKeeper Free: Use your iPhone to keep track of your jogging sessions
  • YouTube EDU: Videos of Ivy League lecturers

Social Networking Tools

System Utilities

Timesavers

  • Belvedere: Automated file manager works with the rules you set
  • Cache My Work: Autoreloads the apps running when you restart your PC
  • Ninite: Installs your all favorite free apps in the background, after a Windows reinstall or anytime
  • PhraseExpress: Monitors your typing for shorthand text and expands it to larger snippets
  • Read It Later: Mark material for later enjoyment in Firefox or on your smartphone
  • Rescue Time: Monitors your apps and sites and provides graphs on how you spent your day

Video Tools and Services

  • Boxee Beta: Plays back PC and Web-based media on your HDTV
  • Classic Cinema Online: Watch classic films
  • Clicker: Aggregates Internet videos
  • DoubleTwist: A great iTunes alternative for media
  • Hulu Desktop: Desktop app for Hulu's video
  • Jinni: Select movies and videos to watch based on keywords such as plot or mood
  • Libox: Private network to share large media files
  • ShowMeWhatsWrong: Lets people record and share screencasts of what's ailing their PC

Windows 7-Style Features for Older PCs

About the authors: Adam Pash is the editor of Lifehacker. Rick Broida writes PCWorld's Hassle-Free PC blog.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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