Open Office - This is a free version of an office suite much like Microsoft office. However, unlike Microsoft office, it is very light and does not take up much CPU power. It's fast, clean and can do just about everything office can, and it's free.
Avast Anti-Virus - It's free, it does everything Norton does, and has an option for active scan to constantly run and monitor all in and outgoing traffic. It updates it's database almost daily without you noticing (until the notification pops up) and has won multiple awards. It's less CPU intensive then other virus programs and does just as good of job.
VLC Media Player - The best Video player on the internet period. You can do just about everything, watch just about every video and even rip Flash movies from the internet. It's a small download, very fast and doesn't waste your time, space or CPU with a bulky UI. You can even toss a DVD into your PC and stream it for everybody on your network. It really is the full package for free.
Filezilla - A free and clean FTP client. I don't know how many of you use FTP programs but this is probably the best free one you can find. The only real issue with it is the limitations on dragging and dropping but that does not really matter anyway.
Spybot Search and Destroy - I am sure many of you know this one as well but it's a free adware/spyware killer. It will scan your PC for all types of nasty shit and zap it dead. It will also immunize your PC so you don't end up getting other annoying infections.
portableapps.com - What this site does is allow you to install full version applications on your USB flash drive. This will allow you to take it any ware and no matter what computer you plug it into, your apps will be full usable and accessible right from the flash drive with no installation needed.
Foxit Reader - Simply put, get rid of Adobe Reader and install this. Adobe Reader is full of crap you don't need, constantly updates for no reason, is slow and wastes to much space. Foxit Reader is not only as fast but has support for all the same file types and features Adobe Reader does.
InfranView - This is a graphics viewing program. It is much like Windows Picture Viewer (the program that displays photos when you click on them) except much faster, with more features and less CPU intensive. This thing not only operates faster then Windows Picture Viewer but can do so even if you have 32 other applications open and running.
Gimp - I have been asked a million times by people on here and other places for Adobe Photoshop. Well, Gimp is the free equivalently. It's an open source program with constant updates and improvements. You won't be able to do all the professional things Photoshop allows but 99 percent of people who want a program like Adobe Photoshop don't use it for those things anyway. This program is a great free tool I suggest looking into.
Firefox - Most of you use this but if you don't, do so right now. Best browser on the Internet.
DbPowerAmp - From ripping or writing cds, to converting music file(like MP3 to WAV) this program does it all. Its fast, clean and a small download. It's a pretty common app but its worth putting up here for those who don't already use it.
NVU - Free Open Source WYSiWYG Web Editor. It's like Dreamweaver, but it doesn't implement CSS very well. Other than that, probably the next best thing for web editing software.
Scribus - Open Source Alternative to InDesign and QuarkXPress Desktop Publishing Software.
Audacity - An audio recording program that can be used instead some of the higher priced tools like Acid Pro or Pro tools. It is perfect for the amateur musicians and won't break the bank. It's open source and runs very well.
Ubuntu Linux - Looking for a free alternative operating system to windows? Well Unbuntu is it. It's a version of Linux which is a open source, free operating system that is extremely popular. Ubuntu is easy to use, can be run on just about any machine, no matter the age and is extremely fast. It's so good that Dell is starting to offer it with it's PC's instead of Windows. Since it's designed around free software it focuses on using only the best no cost apps and doesn't want people dishing out $400 for products of less quality then open source ones.
Miro Free Alternative to Windows Media player. It's open source, free and runs very well. It's a great program to start a media hub around. From HD videos, to Internet TV and Bit-torrent, this piece of software can replace the annoying glitches, bugs and wasted CPU power that Windows Media Player offers. It doesn't do any one thing the best, but it does each well and offers them in one package.
AVG Anti-Rootkit is an application used to detect and remove rootkits. Rootkits are used to hide the presence of a malicious object like trojans or keyloggers on your computer. If a threat uses rootkit technology to hide itself it is very hard to find the malware on your PC. AVG Anti-Rootkit gives you the power to find and delete the rootkit and to uncover the threat the rootkit is hiding.
Ad-Aware: anti-spyware version provides you with advanced protection against spyware that secretly attaches and takes control of your computer, resulting in aggressive advertising pop-ups, sluggish computer activity, even identity theft through stolen bank details, passwords, and credit card account numbers. Free updates too.
Avira AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic: reliably protects your private computer against dangerous viruses, worms, Trojans and costly dialers. Can run in real-time mode and updates daily.
BOClean: protects you against a full spectrum of malware, automatically removing these programs from memory, your hard disk and your registry without the need to reboot or drop your internet connection. BOClean safely neutralizes these threats instantly without any risk of damage to your files or computer. Updates are FREE, and the update download and installation process is (or, in the case of network deployment, can be) completely automated.
Exact Audio Copy: Allows you to rip (store) you CDs onto your computer without a loss in sound quality.
SpywareBlaster: SpywareBlaster can help keep your system spyware-free and secure, without interfering with the "good side" of the web. And unlike other programs, SpywareBlaster does not have to remain running in the background. Prevents the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware, browser hijackers, dialers, and other potentially unwanted software. Blocks spyware/tracking cookies in Internet Explorer and Mozilla/Firefox. Restricts the actions of potentially unwanted sites in Internet Explorer.
SpywareGuard: provides a real-time protection solution against spyware, Fast Real-Time Scanning engine - catch and block spyware before it is executed (EXE and CAB files supported) with signature-based scanning for known spyware and heuristic/generic detection capabilities to catch new/mutated spyware. Download Protection - prevent spyware from being download in Internet Explorer. Browser Hijacking Protection - stop browser hijacking activity in real-time. SG LiveUpdate - provides an easy updating solution. Small size - with a small size and small definition sizes, download and updates are quick. Report Capabilities - keep a detailed log of all spyware detected
SUPER ©: If you need a simple, yet very efficient tool to convert (encode) or play any Multimedia file, without reading manuals or spending long hours training, then SUPER © is all you need. It is a Multimedia Encoder and a Multimedia Player, easy-to-use with 1 simple click.
WinPatrol: uses a heuristic behavioral approach to detecting attacks and violations of your computing environment. Traditional security programs scan your hard drive searching for previously identified threats. WinPatrol takes snapshot (real-time) of your critical system resources and alerts you to any changes that may occur without your knowledge. You'll be removing dangerous new programs while others prepare to update their definition/signiture data files.
WordWeb - it is a free dictionary program. It opens up really fast.