Through years of computer use consensus has been reached on the optimal programs that have the lightest load on the wallet.
- Thunderbird - extensible email client, also chat client for GTalk, IRC, Twitter, Jabber, & Facebook Chat
- Pidgin - Multiplatform chat client (AIM, ICQ, MSN, IRC, Yahoo, etc)
- LibreOffice - Multiplatform, runs on Java, opens very many formats.
- Kingsoft Office - Mimics Microsoft look and feel. Tabbed browsing. Free for personal use.
- Notepad++ - Lightweight text editor perfect for coding or taking notes, tabbed browsing.
- PDFCreator - Create PDF Documents by printing
- SumatraPDF - PDF Document Viewer
- jDownloader - Runs on java, downloads from very many different hosts, stores premium accounts, handles CAPTCHA, resolves links, checks whether links are up
- Flashget 1.7x – very simple and fast download manager. Use in conjunction with flashgethack to get 30 connections per server and upset webmasters.
- Tixati - Best torrent client that puts you in control and has exceptional blocklist capabilities.
- GIMP - Complex image software with many capabilities. A freeware photoshop.
- Paint.NET – Useful image editor with layers.
- Inkscape - SVG editor
- Irfanview - Lightweight image viewer, batch editor
- LibreCAD - Free AutoCAD replacement
- Blender - 3D Modeling
- Bryce - 3D Landscape
- Colorcop - Sample colors from anywhere on your screen
- Blender - Video Editing via visual sequence editor.
- Foobar2000 - Great audio player with many features
- Daum Potplayer – integrated codecs/filters, can use external codecs/filters
- VLC - integrated codecs/filters
- Audacity - Audio editor
- Outpost Firewall – Most secure firewall for advanced users
- TinyWall – Powerful and free firewall suitable for intermediate users
- BitDefender - Top of the line paid Anti-Virus
- Kaspersky - Top of the line paid Anti-Virus ($0 with rebate sometimes)
- Microsoft Security Essentials – Basic free antivirus, slow definition updates
- Truecrypt - Hide files by encrypting them with advanced algorithms