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It’s Totally Recommended Software

We support open-source security software and have created a list of the best alternatives to major software. The programs on this list are free open source or very affordable. I have used or evaluated these programs before recommending them. It took me 3 years to complete this list, based on years of personal testing and trial and error. These are the programs I recommend to anyone, including family and friends.

Most of the links in this post are Ninite installer links. This guarantees safe downloads. Any other links are from the original author source.

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

Start Menu

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.

Open Shell

Recommended skin:

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

Spybot Anti-Beacon

Video Players

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)

Mail Clients


Thunderbird.is a fast and fully open source mail client for Mac, Windows and Linux


EM Client

EM client is a user-friendly alternative to existing e-mail clients and calendar solutions. replacement for Outlook.

EM client

Office Suite

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

LibreOffice (Ninite link)

Note Taking

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.


PDF Reader

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.

Sumatra PDF(Ninite link)

File Archives

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

PeaZip (Ninite link)

Audio Players

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  

Strawberry 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

Quod Libet

Audio Editor

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.


Image Viewer

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.

XnView (Ninite link)

Image Editor

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.

Gimp (Ninite link)

Darktable is an open source photography workflow application and raw developer. A virtual lighttable and darkroom for photographers.


Graphic Design

Krita is a free and open-source raster graphics editor using the Qt visual toolkit and designed primarily for digital painting and animation purposes.

Krita (Ninite link)

Video Production

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)

DaVinci Resolve

Music Production

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.


 Anti-Malware Solutions

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

Bitdefender Free

Password Managers

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.


Computer Backup

Macrium Reflect Home

Macrium Reflect  is an incredibly powerful software that allows you to create and schedule effective backups.

Macrium Reflect Home

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.

AOMEI Backupper

FTP Client

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

WinSCP (Ninite link)

Web Browsers

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


Browser Extension

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.

uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin (firefox)

VPN Service

Proton VPN High-speed Swiss VPN that safeguards your privacy.

Proton VPN


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.

Revo Uninstaller(Ninite Link)


MediCat USB is a Free multiboot USB stick a software toolbox for diagnostics and recovery

MediCat USB

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)

Screen Capture/Streaming

OBS Studio Free and open source software for video recording and live streaming.

Open Broadcaster Software

Remote Assistant/Conference

MSP360 Connect is a solution for remote control and desktop sharing remote Assistant encrypts connections and includes text and voice chat functionality.

MSP360 Connect

Video Encoding

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

HandBrake (Ninite link)

CD/DVD Creation/Management

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, ImgBurn can also burn files and data directly to CD or DVD. It is written in C++.

ImgBurn (Ninite link)


All In One installer

Miscellaneous Services

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.

DeepL Translator

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”


File Sharing

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. 

qBittorrent  (ninite link)


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