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: 3-D desktop that allows you to pin up notes and photos
  • DeskHedron: Create up to nine 3-D 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 3-D 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

Photo utilities

Productivity tools

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

Windows 7-style features for older PCs