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The internet is full of free stuff and these are the ones worth downloading

Cause everyone likes free, useful stuff, right?

THE INTERNET IS full of free stuff. You probably knew that anyway but with more and more things being free to download, be they apps or programs, you might feel like you have too many options, and wonder which ones are worth your time.

There are a whole host of useful programs that will make things a little more convenient or easier for you. Here are our pick of the bunch.

F.lux
For: 
Windows, Mac, Linux

If your day involves working on a PC regularly, you may have felt bleary-eyed looking at a screen for prolonged periods.

F.lux avoids this by changing the hue of the screen from bright blue to a softer orange. It reduces the strain on your eyes, and claims to help you sleep better (as blue light tends to keep you awake).

Those using iPhones or iPads can find a similar option in Night Shift (Settings > Display and Brightness > Night Shift) while Android users can download Twilight.

Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 10.58.33 Source: F.lux

VLC Player
For: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android

A free media player that can play audio files and videos saved on your device. The sheer number of media formats it can play makes it a useful program/app for those who rather play saved files instead of streaming (which it can do as well).

LastPass
For: Windows, Mac, Linux, Browsers, iOS, Android, Windows Phone

More online accounts mean more passwords and usernames to remember, so the temptation to use easy to remember but weak passwords is high. LastPass is one password manager that helps you avoid this situation by saving and creating complex passwords for you.

It’s easy to use and essential if you value the security of your accounts (which you should, by the way).

Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 11.22.57 Source: LastPass

Avira
For: Windows, Mac, Android,

There are many antivirus services out there and Avira is one of the best free versions out there. It’s lightweight – you can run it in the background and not worry about it hogging resources – and straightforward to use meaning you’ll get to grips with it pretty quickly.

Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 11.38.52 Source: Avira

FoxItReader
For: Windows, Mac, Linux

Ever get annoyed at how you can view PDFs but never be able to edit or add in additional details? FoxItReader solves that problem for you by letting you create, edit and convert any PDFs you have on your computer.

Google Earth
For: Windows, Mac, Web, iOS, Android

A comprehensive and powerful tool, Google Earth lets you visit landmarks, explore cities and see the world from many different angles. On top of that, you can also explore the ocean, space, the Moon and Mars too.

Those of you lucky/rich enough to own a HTC Vive can use it in VR, where exploring cities and famous geographical landmarks is like standing in a small scale toy town.

Source: Google/YouTube

Recuva
For: Windows

Ever deleted an important file accidentally or lost files due to a computer crash? Recuva helps you recover them and can securely delete files too should you want to remove all possible traces.

Paint.NET
For: Windows

Want a more powerful version of MS Paint? Paint.net can do that and more, making it more a photo editor than anything else. If you want a free tool that’s closer to the likes of Photoshop, GIMP (GMU Image Manipulation Program) is a better alternative.

pdn40_kirkland Source: paint.NET

LibreOffice
For: Windows, Mac, Linux

If you want a program that feels close to MS Word and Office, then LibreOffice will make you feel at home. Much of the functionality you would associate with MS Office with presentations, spreadsheets and flowcharts some of the things you can create through it.

Source: LibreOffice - The Document Foundation/YouTube

AltDrag
For: Windows

A simple add-on which allows you to resize a window by holding down alt and right-clicking anywhere on it. By giving your alt button additional functionality, it will help you tame your desktop should you have numerous windows open at any one time.

Source: Ich Bin Dumm/YouTube

And if you’re feeling particularly lazy…

Then you should visit Ninite. Not only does it have a list of all the programs above (and more), it allows you to download, install and update them all in the one go, which cuts out a lot of the time searching for and installing programs.

Handy if you have a brand new PC or you don’t want to think too much about updates.

Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 12.14.01 Source: Ninite

Read: You can now pay for things using your phone (but only if it’s an Android) >

Read: Netflix users can now download films and TV shows >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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