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
Anti-Beacon was designed to address privacy concerns for user of Microsoft Windows 10
Video Player And Codec Package
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.
user-friendly alternative to existing e-mail clients and calendar solutions. Best 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
CherryTree Is An All-In-One Note-Taking App For Windows And Linux
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
Easy, fast and powerful audio editor
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.
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!
Register and download
DaVinci Resolve (studio version is the paid version and just that 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.
ConfigureDefender utility is a small GUI application to view and configure important Defender settings on Windows 10. It uses PowerShell cmdlets, with a few exceptions to change the Windows Defender settings. Furthermore, the user can apply one of three pre-defined protection levels: DEFAULT, HIGH, and MAX it a easy way to harden windows defender if you do not wish to use a third party anti malware solution
Recommended Anti-malware solutions
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 Edtion
while 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.
Acronis True Image is a software product produced by Acronis that provides data protection for personal users including, backup, archive, access and recovery for Microsoft, OSX, iOS and Android operating systems.
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.
TorGuard This VPN is privacy-friendly, and its robust security features give you a lot of freedom to customize your experience and also is great for use while torrenting.as the name implies Torguard is not associated in any way with The Tor Project and actually is named for its roots in relation to its original goal of protecting users of the the BitTorrent file distribution system it has long since expanded to become what we feel is the most secure and most powerful VPN more commercially aware options may have better marketing but you will be more secure and faster. (we recommend the “bundle” package for best experience.)
Uninstaller and leftover cleaner
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.
Free multiboot USB stick a software toolbox for diagnostics and recovery
Screen capture and broadcasting
OBS Studio Free and open source software for video recording and live streaming.
MSP360 Remote Assistant 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
CD/DVD creation and 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 22.214.171.124, ImgBurn can also burn files and data directly to CD or DVD. It is written in C++.
ALL IN ONE DOWNLOAD FOR NINITE LINKS
AdGuard for Android. AdGuard is a unique no root ad blocker for Android that removes ads in apps and browsers, protects your privacy, and helps you manage your apps.
AdGuard Pro The excellent iOS ad blocking in Safari already known to the users of the regular version. By providing access to custom DNS settings, the app
Google Translation alternative
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.
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
an 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”
other useful tools
Aqua Key Test
this program lets you check to see if all keys on your board function properly – it can also be used to check for ghosting and/or nkey rollover support testing.
(link leads to geekhack a keyboard enthusiast forum which hosts the tool)
an cross platform open-source software alternative to more commercially clients that often come with malware or bloatwarethat can compromise that may 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 statment is to be held true in perpetuity.
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.
crystalDiskInfo gives you a complete readout of all your computer’s SMART information, as well as a current temperature and health status.