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The New-To-PC App & Program Guide

by Jake MacLaren

So you’ve just bought a PC, maybe this is your first PC or maybe you’ve switched out from the Apple club and are giving Windows a shot. If you’re looking for a few apps/programs to make your new PC life a little easier you’re in the right place. The programs below are all free.

  1. Avast Free Antivirus – Virus Protection

A top priority as a first install on any PC, virus protection is a requirement of any new PC. But if you’re short on cash now that you’ve bought a computer, the free version of Avast does a remarkable job making sure your computer stays protected as you browse the web (without taxing your computer). Rated the best free antivirus software of 2017 as per PCMag you can be sure you’re in good hands with this app.

2. Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera

While initially the only browser to surf the web, Internet explorer is just notthe browser it once was. The following are much better alternatives to browse and explore web pages online. Let’s go over each:

Google Chrome still stands today as one of the most heavily downloaded, secure, and fastest browsers. However, it also takes uses a lot of your computer’s processing power to keep your webpages open (laptop users watch your battery). You can also import your bookmarks from other browsers and sync your Google account for a smoother experience. Just keep in mind Chrome doesn’t support java web applications anymore so you will need to change browsers in the event you use webpages that make heavy use of those. Chrome also offers a wide array of free and paid extensions. Just keep in mind the more extensions you have the more your browser and computer will slow down.

Firefox is an excellent choice as well. Unlike Chrome it still supports Java and for many is still the go-to browser since its inception. It also offers a wide array of extensions available althoughit’s not quite as expansive as Google’s library. There has been some concern of the amount of data Chrome collects from it’s users, but with Firefox you can use a feature called Tracking Protection which will reduce tracking abilities of websites following you around the internet. I’ve noticed Firefox can be somewhat battery intensive on laptops so if you have multiple things on the go, maybe try to limit them to improve battery life.

Opera is a browser that many likely haven’t even heard of, however it shouldn’t be discounted for what it can do for you. This one is a particularly good choice for laptop users as I’ve found that it uses the least battery life out of all the web browsers. Plus it has battery saver option to reduce battery life even less. Another nice feature it has is a free VPN service that gives you anonymity and security while browsing. However, this does mean your browsing might take slightly longer to load (since it has to encrypt your data).

3. F.lux

Probably the app on this list that’s the most simple, but one you’ll be surprised you ever lived without. All computer screens give off a blue glow that can be hard on your eyes during the night and have even been linked to difficulty sleeping. F.lux gives you option to adjust the screen glow to an adjustable yellowish tinge that slowly changes over the course of the day to make it easier on your eyes. It’s based on the sunset of your location so that even if you’re travelling you can be sure your eyes won’t suffer. It’s a great addition to any new PC.

4. CCleaner

Another essential app to add to the repertoire of your PC, CCleaner keeps your computer clean by removing junk files (like cookies websites store on your computer) cleaning out your browser history, and keeping that Windows registry of yours in tip-top shape.

5. VLC Media Player

For PC users this is likely old news, but VLC Media player is great for playing any type of media. This is an especially great download if you have some family films you want to look at or DVD’s as Windows 10 doesn’t support video playback right out of the box. But this app isn’t just for video, you can play music and look at photos as well making it an excellent addition to your library of useful programs.

6. Sumatra PDF

While Adobe Acrobat Reader might be the first program you think of to read your pdfs (and it may have what you need when it comes to editing them) a simpler, less clunky program comes in the form of Sumatra. With the ability to read PDF, eBook (ePub, Mobi), XPS, DjVu, CHM, Comic Book (CBZ and CBR) file types you get a lot for free.

What are your favourite apps/programs you use on your PC? Did you find my list helpful? Let me know in the comments down below. Want more tech news and help in your life? Follow us on Facebook to get more great content.

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