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Guide on free software by Wisbech computer guru

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In his fortnightly I.T Crowd column, Philip Brooks, of Diamond Byte Solutions, Wisbech, guides us through free software...

There is a wealth of free software available for PCs and it’s a real mix of must-have programs and programs that are just fun to play around with.

Let’s have a look at just a few:

Free software (57698925)
Free software (57698925)

Ninite is a secure and easy-to-use online service that allows users to install multiple software programs onto a computer (Windows only) all at once.

To do this, go to the Ninite website, select which free software you’d like to install, then click Get Installer to receive an .exe file which contains the installers for all these programs. Because applications are installed from their official websites, the latest official versions are always downloaded.

Moreover, it automatically declines any adware and bloatware using the option to deselect the adware or suspicious extensions during the installation process.

Photo Editing: Paint.net is a quick, easy to operate photo editor, ideal for simple editing. It isn’t a rubbish copy of Microsoft’s basic Paint – it’s a proper photo editor with advanced editing tools such as layers, an undo history, a choice of filters, many community-created plugins, and a brilliant 3D rotate/zoom function

Office suite: Libre Office

Available completely free of charge, Libre Office includes tools for word processing, presentations and spreadsheets and is fully compatible with Microsoft document formats.

It includes hundreds of free fonts and templates and has a clear, easy to use interface.

All of the most common tools and options are intuitively placed so you won’t spend ages searching for the setting or tool that you need. It even allows you to convert PDF files into Word format.

Media player: VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player has a simple interface and is compatible with almost all video and audio formats. It supports DVDs and Blu Rays, plus MPEG and DivX streaming and can play videos as they’re downloading.

Security : Dashlane and LastPass are brilliant password managers, which let you generate and securely store unlimited unique and strong passwords quickly and easily.

Almost all of us have to keep track of a load of different passwords, due to the increasing number of web-based services we use, which is not easy (as we have mentioned many times before, NEVER pick one password, then re-use it over and over).

But with a password manager, all you need to remember is one master password – just make sure it’s both secure and memorable.

Do note that the free versions are limited to a single device – if you wish to use them across multiple devices (recommended for security), you will need to upgrade to the paid versions.

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