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Recommended Software: PC Edition

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Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion and many software may have skipped my mind

Browser

I recommend Mozilla Firefox Developer Edition. It's open-source and highly customizable. Firefox is the only browser that does not use Chromium as its base in the current ecosystem.

After installing Firefox, you can configure it to your liking. Personally, I disable sharing technical data, Pocket, sponsored shortcuts, and change the default search engine from Google (just a personal preference).

Here are some add-ons/extensions I recommend:
  • uBlock Origin
  • Bitwarden
  • Dark Reader (or similar extension)
  • Multi-Account Containers
  • Tranquility Reader
Media Related Extensions
  • SponsorBlock
  • SoundFixer
  • Return YouTube Dislike

Media Players

Audio Player: MusicBee is my go-to audio player.

Video Player: I use VLC and Media Player Classic (HC or BE); either one works well.

Documents & Images

Office Suite

While I use Microsoft Office 365, LibreOffice is an excellent free and open-source alternative.

Text Editor

For simple text editing, the built-in Notepad is usually sufficient. However, it struggles with large files or coding tasks.

Two better alternatives are:
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Notepad++ (or Sublime Text, though Sublime Text is shareware)

VS Code is more powerful than Notepad++, though a bit heavier.

Image Editor

As a paid option, Adobe Photoshop is unmatched. For a free alternative, GIMP is excellent.


Antivirus
For most users, Windows Defender is sufficient if you are connected to the internet.

For higher security needs if you work in a high risk environment, consider Kaspersky, ESET, Sophos, or Bitdefender.

Tweaking Tools

  • I recommend Winaero Tweaker for general tweaks.
  • Use O&O ShutUp10++ to limit telemetry and advertisements.

Audio & Video

Video Converters

FFmpeg is the best video converter but is CLI-based, which can be inconvenient. Handbrake is a great free alternative with a graphical user interface that uses FFmpeg in the backend.

Video Editor

DaVinci Resolve offers an outstanding free version that outperforms many paid video editors.

Desktop Video Recording

OBS Studio is the best option. It can be a bit finicky but excels at its intended purpose.

Audio Editor

Audacity is the best free and open-source audio editor (Adobe Audition is the best paid editor).

Tagging
There are multiple options like Musicbrain Picard but Mp3Tag is simple and Efficient to use(lightweight too)

Media Centre

There are multiple options here too. I use Plex but you can use Kodi or Emby too. All of these are good at their job

File Compression and Decompression

  • For free software, 7-Zip is excellent.
  • If you don't mind occasional nags, WinRAR is good.
  • PeaZip is also a solid free option.

Game Manager

Playnite is a versatile video game library manager that integrates with various platforms including Steam, Origin, Uplay, Xbox for Windows, Epic, and more.

Utilities:

  1. Bulk Rename Utility: Batch rename files and folders based on various criteria (supports regex).
  2. Teracopy: A superior file copying tool compared to the default option (Windows' Robocopy is also good for advanced users).
  3. Everything: A much faster and more efficient search tool than the default Windows search.
  4. WizTree: A disk space analyzer that graphically shows which files are taking up space.
  5. Bitwarden or KeePassXC: Both are excellent password managers. I recommend Bitwarden for its ease of use.
  6. Calibre: The best software for ebook management and conversion
  7. Microsoft PowerToys: A collection of useful utilities from Microsoft.
  8. ShareX: An advanced screenshot tool for more than the basic Windows snipping tool.
  9. NVCleanstall: A compact installer and updater for Nvidia drivers without telemetry, allowing you to choose which components to install.
  10. qBittorrent: An open-source file-sharing client using P2P technology for downloading or sharing files.
  11. MSI Afterburner: A tool for over/underclocking GPUs and monitoring them (mainly for Nvidia GPUs).

System Information:
  • CPU-Z & GPU-Z: Provide detailed information about your hardware.
  • CrystalDiskInfo: Offers detailed stats and diagnostic information for HDDs.


Communication

Messengers
  • WhatsApp Desktop from Microsoft Store. You can use two WhatsApp accounts by installing WhatsApp Desktop Beta separately.
  • Telegram Desktop
  • Skype, Teams or Zoom

Discord: Despite privacy concerns, many communities rely on it.

IRC

HexChat is a free and lightweight IRC client with theme support.

VPN

Most free VPNs are not trustworthy. ProtonVPN's free version, despite its limitations (limited server locations and no P2P support), is the best available.

Backup

Macrium Reflect was my top recommendation, but its free version has been discontinued.

Veeam Agent for Windows is now the best free backup solution, despite some limitations.

Email Client

Two options: For paid, nothing beats Outlook.

For free and open-source, Thunderbird is the best choice.
Top Comments
Benevolent Benevolent
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combine everything with flow launcher u'll get mac spotlight like search

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Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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try once "Agent Ransack" for searching files.

Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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Is Firefox better than Edge?? I have been using Edge for more than a year and it has been good for me till now. 

Beacon Beacon
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Firefox is more privacy centric then Edge

Benevolent Benevolent
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combine everything with flow launcher u'll get mac spotlight like search

Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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Thanks for this
Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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Wow... thanks for compiling... Now a days people are not focusing much on pc... And nowadays list of useful apps is being hardly shared... Was looking out for this since long... Thanks

Deal Newbie Deal Newbie
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I second this. 
I have the same setup, just for VPN I use mullvad (no, it does not have port forwarding anymore sad )
and for media (audio) I use spotify with spicetify. 

Beacon Beacon
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This post is reserved for software that I recommend to avoid

Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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Excellent topic.

VU.

Community Angel Community Angel
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if you use your PC for streaming or playing audio/video files, try FxSound. It enhances the audio very well. I always connect my laptop to TV to stream and have bene using it for years. 

https://www.fxsoun...m/

If your moveis wake up the neighbors when the music is booming and lowering the volume makes dialogues mute, use soundlock. Works to a great extent. 

https://www.3appes.com/sound...k/

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