5 must-have free pieces of software for your PC

Great software doesn't need to cost a penny. Here's the evidence.

You don't need to spend a bundle if you want great software for your PC -- in fact, you won't need to spend a penny. Here are five of my favorite free must-haves that any PC owner needs.


Plenty of software promises to clean out your PC's junk -- and they'll typically charge you for it. Well, forget about paying, because the free CCleaner does it for free. I've used this program for years on multiple PCs running many versions of Windows, and it's always done the trick. It cleans out gunk, unused files, data that can be used to snoop on you, and more. And it also includes a Registry cleaner to clean your Registry as well.


If you want the best graphics file viewer out there, you won't have to spend a penny for it -- and it does lot more than just let you view files. Irfanview is a fast viewer for any graphic file you'll come across, and also does a lot more, including converting between file formats, playing videos, optmizing graphics, resizing and cropping them, and lots more. This is another one I've used for years, and continue to use on a daily basis.


If you're a gamer, you need Steam. In fact, even if you're not a gamer you need Steam. It's a gaming platform that gives you access to thousands of games, game mods, and plenty more.

VLC Media Player

We live in a video-centric world, in which there's been an explosion of video formats. Most video players can't play them all without having to add codecs, sometimes for a fee. VLC Media Player will play any video format you can throw at it -- if VLC can't handle it, no one else probably can, either. It takes up little RAM, and is simple to use. What else could you need?


It's a dangerous world out on the Internet, filled with malware, Trojans, viruses, and more. Software from big-name companies promise to keep you safe, and they will, for a free -- and annual fee. That adds up to a lot of money pretty fast. Avast! keeps you safe as well, and it does it for free. It's simple to use and requires little RAM or system resources. I use it on all my systems for home and work, and can vouch it does the job.

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