in your task bar, it`s accessible from any application. Comes with a host of other features such as dictionary/thesaurus access and even a calculator. If that`s not enough for you, it`s totally customizable. A serious second choice is the new Google DeskBar which shares many of the features of Dave`s Search Bar but is geared exclusively to Google searches.
Best Free Download Accelerator Updated
Star Downloader 1.43 is not only free of charge, it`s free of ads, spyware and other undesirable extras packed into most free download accelerators. On top of that, it is blindingly fast and has a raft of features including automatic mirror site detection, automatic resumption of failed downloads, download scheduling, anti-virus integration and more. If you are not yet using a download accelerator, go get this product and start counting the time you save. The faster your internet connection, the more you will gain. Users with slow modem connections will, unfortunately, benefit least. (1.4MB)
Best Free Trojan Scanner/Trojan Remover New
Ewido the best of a new crop of anti-Trojan programs. On my recent tests over at www.anti-trojan-software-reviews.com it emerged as was one of the few products that could reliably detect polymorphic and process injecting Trojans that were totally missed by anti-virus products like Norton and AVG. No, it`s not as good as TDS-3 or Trojan Hunter but you get what you pay for. You see, the free version of Ewido doesn’t have a memory monitor but the on-demand scanner is so good you`ll have no complaints. The free version download is actually the same as the paid version but after 14 days the memory monitor becomes non-functional. I recommend all readers download the product and scan their PCs weekly. I suspect you may be surprised at what you will find. I`ve also included a link to my full Ewido review for those who want to know more about the product prior to downloading.
Best Free Web Site Ripper New
HTTrack is one impressive product: it`s easy to use, has an excellent user interface, offers every feature you could want, is blindingly fast and free of any adware as well. If you like to download web sites so that you can "browse them offline", this is the product to get. (3.23MB)
Best Free DLL Cleaner Updated
Over time most PCs become cluttered up with the unwanted remainders of long deleted programs. DLL Archive is a free utility that will scan your PC for DLLs that are no longer referenced. You can then archive the unwanted programs away or delete them entirely. Archived items can easily be restored to their original location if any problems arise. (227KB)
Best Free File Cleaner
I`ve tried quite a few commercial products designed to clean unneeded temporary files off your hard disk but must say that the free utility "Empty Temp Folders" ranks with the best. It takes a few minutes to set up but after that, just press a button to recover many megabytes of disk space. (667KB)
Best Free Resource Meter
This is cute. TinyResMeter is an itsy-bitsy system monitor. Unlike many other monitors, it doesn`t consume a lot of CPU utilization in order to tell you your CPU utilization. In addition to CPU usage, you can optionally monitor cache, RAM, page file and swap file usage, running processes and threads, disk space utilization and a number of other parameters as well.
Also built-in, is a screen grabber that saves the current screen to disk when you press PrintScreen. How they fit all this into 96KB beats me.
Best Free Spam Filter for the Average User Updated
Mailwasher is for most folk, the easiest way of dealing with Spam. It`s a free email preview utility that allows you to check your email on your mail server before you download it to your PC. The advantage of this approach is that you can kill unwanted messages including spam, viruses and large attachments before they get anywhere near your computer. Mailwasher automatically flags for you any messages containing viruses and possible spam which makes for quick and easy identification. It also will send a message back to the spam mail sender saying that their message could not be delivered. Hopefully this will encourage some spammers to take your name off their mailing list. The free version only handles only one POP email account but that`s sufficient for most users. If you need multiple account try XTerminator which provides many of the same features of Mailwasher though with a less elegant interface.
Best Free Spam Filter for Experienced Users Updated
When it comes to effectiveness, POPFile beats the pants off most other spam filters I`ve tried. But this effectiveness takes a little time to develop. POPFile is a statistical filter so it has to be trained to recognize your spam from your normal mail. It takes a week or so before it starts becoming accurate and best results may take a month or more. POPFile works as a proxy mail server so that means that it can be used with any POP email client. Setup is reasonably straightforward for experienced users but beginners should stick with Mailwasher. Outlook users should check out SpamBayes, another open source statistical filter that offers an Outlook plug-in that makes it more more convenient to use.
Best Free PopUp Stopper Updated Updated
The Proxomitron is not like your average popup stopper. It operates by filtering and transforming all your Web pages on the fly. As a result you can not only stop
pop-ups but pop-unders, ads, flash animations, status bar scrollers and just about anything else. Besides, next time you are asked what pop-up stopper you use, you can answer; "why, I use The Proxomitron" and how cool is that. The first link below is to version 4.5, the last and final version of this superb utility. The following two links offer useful setup and usage tips. Note: For Novice PC users I suggest you try the news Google tool bar rather than The Proxomitron. It`s free as well and has an excellent popup filter built in. It`s not as flexible as as The Proxomitron, but it requires no setup. As a bonus it also makes Google searches easier.
http://computercops.biz/files/ProxN45.exe http://accs-net.com/smallfish/prox.htm http://www.sankey.ws/proxomitron.html http://toolbar.google.com/
Best Free Sticky Notes Utility New
Some people hate these programs others swear they can`t work effectively without them. I used to be in the first category but with so many things on my plate these days, I`m slowly being converted. The function that I find really useful is the reminder that pops up at a designated time and date. I use it for simple things like "put up the latest issue on the web site." ATnotes is a neat implementation that features configurable alarms, resizable windows, variable fonts and a host of other useful features. The product is remarkably similar to the commercial sticky notes utility called, TurboNotes. Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Maybe not. (723KB)
Best Free Secure Erase Utility
Eraser is a free, GNU license utility that will securely erase files, folders or even whole disks from any Windows or DOS PC. Eraser overwrites data area with selectable random data patterns and also wipes data in the paging file, Internet cache, temporary files, Internet cookies, unused disk space and a number of other places where data can secretly lurk. It handles FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS partitions as well. Erasing files with high security will always be a difficult and time consuming task and can never offer absolute 100% safety. However Eraser makes the task about as easy as it be, with a security level beyond most conceivable
requirements. An impressive package. (2.6MB)
Best Free Outlook Express Backup
This free utility allows you to do a full or selective backup of OE`s critical files including mail folders, newsgroups, address book and identity settings. Simple, effective ... neat. (2.1MB)
Best Free Process Viewer New New
PrcView has long been my personal choice but Process Explorer has pushed it aside. The reason? A better display setup coupled with more features and even more information. Process Explorer uses two vertical panes. The top contains all active processes while the second shows either all the handles opened by a selected process or, optimally, a list of DLLs and memory mapped files. A very handy search feature allows you to work backwards from named DLLs or handles to the owning process. A gem. Freeware, 230KB.
Best Free Inventory Tool
AIDA32 is arguably the best system inventorying tools I`ve used regardless of price. It will document just about every aspect of your hardware and software configuration. Throw in the fact that it checks out networks, gives memory benchmarks and that it is totally free, and you end up with a product that should be in everyone`s toolkit. Download from the link below but remember to download the documentation as well. Corporate users need to register - but there`s still no charge. The developer announced in March 2004 that the product has been frozen and there will be no more development. However, as of today, it is still the best in its class.