Software rarely used in each laptop
If you’re lucky enough to receive a new desktop PC or laptop for Christmas, or have treated yourself to one in the sales, you’ll need to ensure it’s equipped with a full set of essential software. This can be a costly process
It doesn’t have to be that way though. Today, you can kit your new PC out with a full suite of essential software without paying a penny. You don’t have to sacrifice quality, either – these programs are all packed with features comparable with their paid-for counterparts.
Windows 10 comes with its own security software in the form of Windows Defender. It’s a capable program, but not without a few limitations. Perhaps the most important of these is its sheer popularity; if nobody opts for a third-party program and Defender gains a monopoly on the antivirus market, it will become the number one target for criminals, putting millions of people at increased risk.
This excellent free security suite gives all-round protection from online threats, including viruses, ransomware, and spyware. Its detection rates are excellent (as verified in independent tests), and its hands-off approach means you can simply install it, then leave it to get on with protecting your PC without any further input. It’s a superb security package, and our choice for protecting our own machines.
It’s not fun or exciting, but a regular backup routine is a good habit to get into with your new PC. Its drives are (hopefully) a long way from failing, but you never know when you might accidentally overwrite something crucial, fall victim to a virus or ransomware attack, have your device stolen, or knock it on the floor in a whisky-fuelled post-Christmas accident.
EaseUS ToDo Backup Free even includes compensatory measures if a backup is missed for any reason (if your PC is switched off, for example), and can shut it down automatically once it’s finished. Get into good habits and install this superb free backup software on your new PC immediately.
File Recovery Software
You’ve just un boxed a shiny new PC or laptop, and transferred across all your most important files. Data recovery is probably the last thing on your mind, but it’s all too easy to accidentally delete one of those essential files when you’re getting everything organized, or make a simple but costly mistake with the Recycle Bin later Once you’ve deleted something, you need to act quickly to recover it before the hard drive space it occupied is overwritten by new data. Installing a file recovery tool after the data is already lost could do exactly that, so you need to have a recovery app installed at all times so you can act swiftly if the worst happens.
Recover offers both quick and deep scans, giving you the best chance of finding and restoring your lost files. Everything it finds will be labelled using a traffic light system so you know the chances of it being fully restore able. Grab it now and be prepared; it’ll barely make a dent in your new PC’s storage, and it could be a real life-saver.
VLC Media Player
The most important feature of a media player is its ability to tackle any video or audio file you can throw at it, without the need to waste time downloading codecs and add-ons. Just open a file, and you can almost guarantee VLC will be able to play it instantly – no messing around.
It’s not just a simple player though – far from it. Although it’s brilliant from the moment you install it, VLC is also hugely customizde, letting you configure pretty much every aspect of how your media looks and sounds, whether you’re playing some music while working on a laptop or enjoying a 4K movie on a connected TV.
VLC is compatible with any operating system, so it’s also brilliant if you’ve been the lucky recipient of a macOS, iOS or Android device recently.