Being security open source software advocates we have compiled a list of some of the best programs that we would recommend to everyone as alternatives to most major software. all software listed is either free and open source where possible or at very low-cost. These programs are used by me personally or have been evaluated for 1 year prior to recommendation (password mangers) this list took 3 years to complete and is the result of many years of experience personal testing, trial and error. what is on this list is exactly what i would use myself and recommend to family friends and even strangers who will listen.
Most Links in this post are “Ninite” links where possible for the sake of safe and secure downloads
What is Ninite?
Ninite is a package management system offering that lets users automatically install popular applications for their Windows operating system.
Ninite will do the following:
- start working as soon as you run it
- not bother you with any choices or options
- install apps in their default location
- say no to toolbars or extra junk
- install 64-bit apps on 64-bit machines
- install apps in your PC’s language or one you choose
- do all its work in the background
- install the latest stable version of an app
- skip up-to-date apps
- skip any reboot requests from installers
- use your proxy settings from Internet Explorer
- download apps from each publisher’s official site
- verify digital signatures or hashes before running anything
Open Shell is a computer software for Microsoft Windows that provides user interface elements intended to restore familiar features from past versions of Windows. It focuses on the Start menu, File Explorer and Internet Explorer — three major components of the Windows shell. In particular, it can serve as a Start menu replacement for Windows 8 and Windows 10 systems. (formally Classic Shell)
Why do we need this?
lets be honest windows 10 is a great move forward for the OS however to be blunt the start menu in windows 8 and 10 are horrifically bad and a giant leap backwards so if you miss the start menu this is for you.
Fluent-Metro is a skin that brings modern design and full customization to Open-Shell. It uses modern elements such as curved corners, flat borders, bold fonts, glyphs, depth, and other cues from Fluent design. It even has a floating border
privacy protection (Win10/11)
Spybot Anti-Beacon Anti-Beacon was designed to address privacy concerns for user of Microsoft Windows 10/11
mpv.net is a modern media player for Windows based on the popular mpv player. with native Windows interface Its goal is to provide the standard mpv interface on Windows along with a customizable Windows context menu, C# scripting, and a Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) for addons.
The K-Lite Codec Pack is designed as a user-friendly solution for playing all your video files. With the K-Lite Codec Pack you should be able to play all the popular video formats and even several less common formats.
K-Lite Codec Pack (Nnite link)
Malilspring is a fast and fully open source mail client for Mac, Windows and Linux
EM client is a user-friendly alternative to existing e-mail clients and calendar solutions. replacement for Outlook or Thunderbird.
LibreOffice is free and open source software The suite comprises programs for word processing, the creation and editing of spreadsheets, slideshows, diagrams and drawings, working with databases, and composing mathematical formulas originally based on OpenOffice which it now succeeds
Joplin is a free, open source note taking and to-do application, which can handle a large number of notes organized into notebooks. The notes are searchable, can be copied, tagged and modified either from the applications directly or from your own text editor.
Sumatra PDF is a free and open-source document viewer, it supports many document formats including: Portable Document Format, Microsoft Compiled HTML Help, DjVu, EPUB, FictionBook, MOBI, PRC, Open XML Paper Specification, Comic Book Archive file.
PeaZip is a free and open-source file manager and file archiver for Microsoft Windows, Linux and BSD made by Giorgio Tani. It supports its native PEA archive format and other mainstream formats, with special focus on handling open formats. I find it has a newer and more modern gui then 7zip and is a fork so handles 7zip files just fine
Foobar2000 is a freeware audio player for Microsoft Windows, iOS and Android developed by Peter Pawłowski. It is known for its highly modular design, breadth of features, and extensive user flexibility in configuration.see our article Listen To Music Like A True Audiophile! for a complete setup guide and list of essential components
DeaDBeeF is an audio player software often viewed as a Linux equivalent to foobar2000 but also has a windows version.
Quod Libet is a cross-platform free and open-source audio player, tag editor and library organizer. The main design philosophy is that the user knows how they want to organize their music best; the software is therefore built to be fully customizable and extensible
Tenacity is an easy-to-use multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, macOS, Linux and other operating systems. It is built on top of the widely popular Audacity but with removed telemetry along with other modern enhancements and is being developed by a wide, diverse group of volunteers.
XnView is an image organizer and general-purpose file manager used for viewing, converting, organizing and editing raster images, as well as general purpose file management.
GIMP is a free and open-source raster graphics editor used for image retouching and editing, free-form drawing, converting between different image formats, and more specialized tasks.
Darktable is an open source photography workflow application and raw developer. A virtual lighttable and darkroom for photographers.
Krita is a free and open-source raster graphics editor using the Qt visual toolkit and designed primarily for digital painting and animation purposes.
Olive is a free non-linear video editor aiming to provide a fully-featured alternative to high-end professional video editing software! it is still currently in alpha meaning it is incomplete and not fully stable. that said it is still in a league of its own and i would recommend it over any paid program.
DaVinci Resolve originally designed for Hollywood’s elite colorists, DaVinci Resolve has been used on more feature films and TV shows than anything else because it lets you create images that are simply impossible with other tools. DaVinci is also the world’s fastest growing and most advanced editing software!
DaVinci Resolve (studio version is the paid version made for studio productions)
Cakewalk is a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) it has been around for 30 years it is a fully featured program and is free
Reaper REAPER is also a fantastic daw and really can not be beat as far as paid solutions go comes with a 60 day trial 60 USD after that
MuseScore is a scorewriter for Windows, macOS, and Linux, comparable to Finale and Sibelius, it is ree and open-source.
Emsisoft No-bloat dual-scanner protection for your Windows PC review Live a Secure Life: Emsisoft Anti-Malware for more details and a mini review
Bitdefender Free Edition while it lacks customization, options and extra features. Its protection is outstanding and second only to our paid recommendation and is s light on computer resources so if you absolutely can not afford a paid solution this is a no brainer
1Password is a password manager developed by AgileBits Inc. It provides a place for users to store various passwords, software licenses, and other sensitive information in a virtual vault. this is unique as the program is not limited to just passwords..
Bitwarden is a free and open-source password management service(open source alternative to other solutions.
Macrium Reflect Home
Macrium Reflect is an incredibly powerful software that allows you to create and schedule effective backups.
AOMEI Backupper Easy simple way to backup you computer data (much like Acronis used to be but it has now become bloated and lost focus) Backupper is on a subscription model but also offers lifetime keys for a very reasonable price.
WinSCP is a free and open-source SFTP, FTP, WebDAV and SCP client for Microsoft Windows. Its main function is secure file transfer between a local and a remote computer. I find it more stable and user friendly than Filezilla
Vivaldi is a freeware, cross-platform web browser developed by Vivaldi Technologies, a company founded by Opera Software co-founder and former CEO Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner and Tatsuki Tomita. and truly seeks to be a browser for people who want to take control of their user experience its also great for power users
A fork of Firefox, focused on privacy, security and freedom
uBlock Origin is not, is a wide-spectrum blocker, which can function as a standard “ad blocker”. but can also be used to block scripts) and/or RequestPolicy (to block all 3rd-party servers by default), using a point-and-click user interface.
Proton VPN High-speed Swiss VPN that safeguards your privacy.
Revo Uninstaller is an uninstaller for Microsoft Windows. It uninstalls programs and additionally removes any files and Windows registry entries left behind by the program’s uninstaller or by the Windows uninstall function.
MediCat USB is a Free multiboot USB stick a software toolbox for diagnostics and recovery
S.M.A.R.T. Data Reader
crystalDiskInfo gives you a complete readout of all your computer’s SMART information, as well as a current temperature and health status.
What is S.M.A.R.T. Data?
S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology; often written as SMART) is a monitoring system included in computer hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), and eMMC drives. Its primary function is to detect and report various indicators of drive reliability with the intent of anticipating imminent hardware failures.
Keyboard Function Testing
Aqua’s KeyTest displays the bios and the Windows key codes of the key you pressed most recently, as well as its symbol. Furthermore, it can run a led test to verify if all the LEDs – the NumLock, the Caps Lock, and the Scroll Lock – are working as they should
Aqua Key Test (hosted on geekhack)
OBS Studio Free and open source software for video recording and live streaming.
MSP360 Connect is a solution for remote control and desktop sharing remote Assistant encrypts connections and includes text and voice chat functionality.
HandBrake is a free and open-source transcoder for digital video files, originally developed in 2003 by Eric Petit to make ripping a film from a DVD to a data storage device easier. Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions. and now is a full fledged encoder
ImgBurn is an optical disc authoring program that allows the recording of many types of CD, DVD and Blu-Ray images to recordable media. Starting with version 184.108.40.206, ImgBurn can also burn files and data directly to CD or DVD. It is written in C++.
ALL IN ONE DOWNLOAD FOR NINITE LINKS
DeepL Translator is a free neural machine translation service developed by DeepL GmbH (Linguee), based in Cologne, Germany.] it is more accurate and nuanced than Google Translate.
Private Search Engines
Startpage allows users to obtain Google Search results while protecting users’ privacy by not storing personal information or search data and removing all trackers. Startpage.com also includes an Anonymous View browsing feature that allows users the option to open search results via proxy for increased anonymity. Because the company is based in the Netherlands, it is protected by Dutch and European Union privacy laws, and thus is not subject to United States surveillance
Private email Provider
Tutanota is a end-to-end encrypted email software and freemium hosted secure email service Its business model excludes earning money through advertisement, but relying solely on donations and Premium subscriptions.non-primary The motto of the service “einfach.sicher.mailen” means “easy.secure.mailing”
qBittorrent is a cross platform open-source software alternative to more commercially clients that often come with malware or bloatware that can compromise the users computer (utorrent, bittorrent, ect)
we provide a download link to this file sharing software expecting it to be used in lawful ways We shall not legally be held responsible for any unlawful actions by users who use it this statement is to be held true in perpetuity.