In years past (from 2001-2010), we operated an anonymous FTP site here at the shop. It was created to provide customers with a one-stop destination for getting up-to-date versions of all the free applications we recommend and distribute. But as these programs’ sizes and update frequencies continued to rise, this arrangement became impractical.

So instead, we’ve compiled a directory of links for you – links that will allow you to download these things directly from their creators, thus ensuring that you always get the latest and greatest.

The Basics. These are the things we install on every new and refurbished machine we sell, and which we recommend every customer make use of. They’re all good, and – better still – they’re all free!

  • Firefox – the king of browsers. Like Internet Explorer, only more stable and secure. Install it and never look back.
  • Thunderbird – an able replacement for Outlook Express or Windows Mail that’s infinitely more secure.
  • AVG Free – perhaps the best anti-virus software available today – and it’s free.
  • Malwarebytes – virii aren’t the only kind of nasty ‘wares floating around out there. This app finds and destroys adware, spyware, and various other flavors of malware.

The Extras. We’re not big on loading machines up with extra fluff, but there are a few goodies we think you might find useful.

  • Adobe Reader – PDFs are everywhere. If you want to view them, you’ll need this.
  • OpenOffice – if you need an office suite that won’t break the bank, look no further. It looks and works like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc… but it’s free!
  • iTunes – organizes your music, converts your CDs to MP3s, syncs up your iPods, and (not surprisingly) offers a vast library of music to try and buy.
  • VideoLAN Client – the Swiss Army knife of media players.
  • ZoneAlarm Free – if you’re not behind some sort of hardware router or firewall, you really oughtta run ZoneAlarm.

Or, if you prefer, you can download our customized installer which will retrieve and install them all automatically.

We’ll be adding more things to the list as we discover/uncover/remember them.