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Links to useful software...

Tune-up and optimisation tools - (tested December 2010)
It is a good idea to clean up the junk files and disk clutter, repair registry errors and compact it, eliminate unwanted services and software and restore your PC's lost performance. These utilities will optimise your Windows PC.

Program

Rating

    

Program

Rating

Performance Toolkit 1.0

6/10

    

BoostSpeed 5

7/10

System Mechanic 10

9/10

    

TuneUp Utilities 2011

9/10

Advanced System Optimizer 3

7/10

    

Advanced System Care

7/10



Email software - (tested November 2010)
First we had Outlook Express, then Windows Mail, but now nothing is bundled with Windows and you have to download an email client yourself. Here are six great programs that will keep you in touch with your friends, work colleagues and contacts.

Program

Rating

    

Program

Rating

Windows Live Mail 2011

8/10

    

Pegasus Mail

9/10

Zimbra Desktop

8/10

    

Thunderbird 3.1.6

9/10

Eudora Open Source Edition

9/10

    

IncrediMail

8/10



Privacy software

Your computer conains a lot of personal information about you. If someone got access to it or if your laptop was stolen they could access your online banks, shops and more. These six programs will help to protect you.

Program

Rating

Tested 2008

Program

Rating

History Sweeper

6/10

    

Cyberscrub Privacy Suite 5.0

9/10

Privacy Guardian

8/10

    

Privacy Suite 2008

9/10

Privacy Controls

7/10

    

Privacy Killer

7/10


Office Suites

Microsoft dominates the office suite market, but there are many alternatives that are almost as good. Rival products are packed with great features and many are free or inexpensive. On test are six office suites that you can use instead of Microsoft's offering.

Program

Rating

Tested 2008

Program

Rating

Lotus Symphony

7/10

    

StarOffice 8

9/10

ThinkFree Office 3.5

6/10

    

GoBeProductive 3.04

6/10

SoftMaker Office 2008

8/10

    

Corel WordPerfect Office X4

9/10


Web browsers

The files stored on your computer often contain personal information that you would not like to be made public or be accessible to someone that got hold of your computer, like a hacker or thief. Here are tests six encryption programs that will keep your files safe and secure.

Program

Rating

Tested 2008

Program

Rating

Internet Explorer 8 (beta)

8/10

    

Firefox 3

8/10

Opera 9.5

8/10

    

Flock 2 (beta)

10/10

Safari 3.1.1

5/10

    

SeaMonkey 1.1.9

7/10


Encryption software

The files stored on your computer often contain personal information that you would not like to be made public or be accessible to someone that got hold of your computer, like a hacker or thief. Here are tests six encryption programs that will keep your files safe and secure.

Program

Rating

Tested 2008

Program

Rating

Dekart Private Disk

8/10

    

KaKra Private Disk

7/10

Universal Shield

9/10

    

FreeOTFE

7/10

SafeBit Disk Encryption

7/10

    

ViPNet SafeDisk

7/10


Computer monitoring software

If you have ever wondered what your partner, child, employee or flatmate is doing on your computers, you can easily find out using monitoring software. It's like spyware, but you run it on your own PCs to track usage and make sure people aren't accessing websites they shouldn't, playing games instead of doing homework and so on.

Program

Rating

Tested 2008

Program

Rating

AceSpy

5/10

    

Golden Eye 4.50

8/10

Power Spy

9/10

    

SpyAgent

9/10

System Surveillance Pro

7/10

    

XPCSpy Pro 3.21

8/10


Firewalls

All-in-one security kits are common these days, but are they a “Jack of all trades and master of none?” One advantage of building your own toolkit is that you can choose the best – or the cheapest - tools for the job. On test are six firewall programs that are an essential part of any security suite.

Program

Rating

Tested 2008

Program

Rating

Iolo Personal Firewall

5/10

    

Outpost Firewall Pro 2008

9/10

InJoy Firewall 4.0 Personal

7/10

    

PC Tools Firewall Plus 3.0

8/10

Webroot Desktop Firewall

7/10

    

Comodo Firewall Pro

8/10


CD Rippers

We all have large collections of music CDs and now that MP3 players are widespread you should converting the discs to digital format using an audio ripper. Even if you already converted your music, modern players have a far greater capacity than earlier ones and you can re-rip your library at a higher quality. Here are six popular rippers.

Program

Rating

Tested 2008

Program

Rating

Music Studio 3

7/10

    

Audiograbber

7/10

CDex 1.70

7/10

    

dBpoweramp

9/10

Easy CD-DA Extractor

9/10

    

FreeRip Basic

5/10


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