How To Download Pc Apps

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Whether you just bought a new laptop, built a new desktop, or are doing a clean install on a new solid state drive, good for you! You must love the taste of a fresh new machine, but now you need to get back to zen productivity by recovering your files and installing programs.

How To Download Pc Apps

How To Download Pc Apps

We’ve put together a list of essential programs to get you started. Many of these apps are also available as web services, but the app versions have the advantage of offline access.

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Downloading movies or music to your local storage can be useful when you wait hours offline. Even if you want to write e-mails when an Internet connection is not available, you may want to read messages to which you write replies. Depending on the browser or network you use, relying on web services can also cause privacy issues.

From security utilities to productivity tools and plenty of recommendations for areas in between, here are the top app recommendations with a special focus on the best free software you can download right away…

Windows offers Edge out of the box, a browser based on the Chromium project that actually includes many features that Chrome doesn’t have, especially for Windows users, such as adding sites to the Start menu. Meanwhile, macOS offers Safari a very solid browser by most standards, especially if you live in the Apple ecosystem, and probably the reason a significant share (~40%) of Mac users don’t look beyond it.

And for many more the default choice remains Google Chrome, if only for its integration with other Google services. Chrome is also great for Android users as you can sync locally between devices.

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Chrome is a bit bland, though it supports extensions for a myriad of different things. However, from a security perspective, these same extensions can be a risk and the fact that Google records everything you do in the browser is not good for your privacy.

Open source Firefox is a stable browser with great privacy options. However, if you prefer Chrome as is, minus Google’s tracking methods, Ungoogled Chromium might be an interesting option for you. The problem is that while it disables many Google-based services, it doesn’t always replace them with something else, so you should only use it if you know what you’re getting into.

Many power users swear by Vivaldi. This browser’s claim to fame is how customizable it is. For example, it allows you to arrange tabs within tabs in one of 3 ways: with drop-down menus, with 2 rows of tabs, or by only showing all tabs in the active stack. You can add a sidebar to each side of the screen, with menus and browser apps (Notes, Mail, RSS and Calendar) and the option to add any website.

How To Download Pc Apps

The truth is that a ton of people still use terrible passwords. Even those who prefer to crack something harder than “123456” have the same login credentials for multiple sites. There is also the problem of forgetting which passwords go to which websites. Most web browsers have their own password managers, but they are not as good as proprietary third-party software.

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Password Manager is an essential plugin. If you haven’t already made your choice, we recommend starting with the open source Bitwarden, mainly because its free version works perfectly. For $10/year, you get extra features like encrypted file sharing instead of just text. Accounts are also available for couples and families/institutions. If you don’t like Bitwarden for whatever reason, KeepPass is a great free alternative.

Previously, we recommended LastPass as our top pick, but now its free version only allows access on one type of device: PC or mobile. If you’re willing to pay for a password manager, LastPass is pretty good, but you can also choose 1Password or Dashlane, which also includes a VPN service to hide your IP address from the websites you visit.

Cloud storage and backup are essential in your toolbox. Backing up and restoring information has never been easier, and despite the huge range of options, we’ve long been spoiled by Dropbox’s ease of use. Dropbox offers 2GB of free cloud storage, which isn’t much, but you can earn up to 16GB through referrals and some other tricks.

For photo-specific features, Mac users can enjoy the Photos app, which automatically creates albums based on people and places in photos, and syncs everything to iPhone and iPad with iCloud. For Windows users, we generally recommend using Google Photos, which includes similar features. Google Photos used to offer unlimited free storage for 16MP photos and 1080p videos, but now only offers 15GB of free storage shared with other Google services.

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If you have large storage requirements, we look at all the best alternatives and different price ranges before making a decision. The main alternatives to Dropbox and iCloud include Microsoft OneDrive, which is built into Windows, and Google One. Fortunately, competition for cloud backup is fierce and prices have come down quite a bit.

If you have sensitive files, you may want to use pCloud, which provides device-based encryption for paying users, meaning that even if your account is compromised, a hacker won’t be able to open your files without your devices.

For full data backups (terabytes of photos, videos, full drives), there are better alternatives than the above. First, you get specialized backup software, file versions, and often unlimited storage, so you can upload terabytes of data and be comfortable. Recommended cloud backup providers include Backblaze, iDrive, Carbonite, and SOS Online Backup.

How To Download Pc Apps

Both Windows and macOS have decent security if you know what you’re doing. General knowledge should be sufficient for power users, but the average user may want to add another layer of protection that doesn’t burden your system.

Must Have Windows Apps And Software For Any New Pc

Malwarebytes is the first tool you should consider. A seasoned expert in preventing malware attacks and rootkits, it’s great and free for personal use. If you prefer not to install an antivirus on your computer because you’re afraid of more detection, Emsisoft Emergency Kit for Windows can be placed on a disk that you can plug in only when you need it. There’s also, which you can use to scan downloaded files for threats before opening them.

For simple note-taking, there’s OneNote, which Microsoft offers as a free cross-platform app. If you have a Mac, you may prefer Focus.

Microsoft Office remains the king of office productivity, and few will have much trouble justifying an Office 365 subscription if you need it for work and take advantage of more apps and perks like 1TB of OneDrive storage.

There are many alternatives here too. On the Windows side, if you want a more Microsoft-like free Office suite, try FreeOffice. Other free options include LibreOffice — some of our writers swear by it, while others hate it. The open source office suite offers all the basics and then some. The same goes for WPS Office Free.

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Apple ships all Macs with the full productivity suite (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) at no charge, which is a great way to get started without worrying about documents, spreadsheets, or presentations.

For coders and developers we have to give a shout out to Sublime Text, possibly the best text editor you’ll find. Notepad++ is a good open source alternative, but only for Windows. Meanwhile, Microsoft has slowly but surely gained a ton of adoption with its free, cross-platform Visual Studio Code that many like.

There are many PDF editors that offer free versions that include features that Acrobat Reader does not have. We’ve written a full guide on the topic, but as a quick shortcut, you can try PDFsam to merge, split, extract, rotate and blend your PDFs. It is also cross platform.

How To Download Pc Apps

If you prefer to use a desktop email client, we like Postbox for its lifetime pricing policy (a 30-day free trial is available). For 2 accounts, eM Client is free and highly customizable. Firefox users will be right at home with the open source Mozilla Thunderbird, while Mailbird is good for power users willing to pay.

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The video chat and messaging apps you need will largely depend on who you want to talk to. The most ubiquitous personal messaging platforms are WhatsApp and Messenger (aka “Facebook Messenger”), both of which offer native desktop apps. Apple users are happy to use iMessage, which is more private, but not all may be available on the platform (the iPhone also sends SMS in the same app).

Zoom is synonymous with video chatting, offers local recording and screen sharing, and is your best bet for reaching a large group (although you can talk to more than just one person).

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