For a free Internet filter, K9 Web Blocker does its job well, providing a broad collection of options for customizing your remote Web supervision needs. The app comes with a handful or so of predesigned filters and an option to customize. With more than 50 categories for organizing Web sites, and the keyword-free proprietary K9 rating system, the Web monitoring and blocking aspects of the software functioned well. K9 also has categories for blocking sites that have been detected as potential malware threats. Equally impressive--and a little bit scary--was the log that detailed not just blocked Web sites but also … Read more
Although it's not bursting at the seams with features and customizations, FLV Player should appeal to users who need a lightweight tool for watching Flash-formatted videos. The freeware program can also stream content directly off the Internet. CNET Download.com Editor Seth Rosenblatt takes it for a spin in this First Look video.
I'm always looking for a little bit more performance from my PCs, so I regularly use Piriform's free CCleaner utility to clear out the clutter on my systems' hard drives. (Note that CCleaner is donationware, so if you find yourself using it regularly, drop a few ducats in the virtual coffer.)
The last time I ran CCleaner on my XP test machine, it freed up almost 2GB of hard-drive space by removing temporary Internet files, sweeping out the Recycle Bin, and deleting various Windows updates and other system and application files I no longer needed. Then I clicked … Read more
Anti-virus software is a necessary evil (unless you're a Mac or Linux user, am I right?), but it doesn't have to be a costly one. Witness Grisoft's AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition, which offers robust virus protection without any money changing hands.
The just-released version 8.0 includes a spiffier, easier interface and a new feature called LinkScanner, which promises protection from malicious links returned by Web searches. Better still, AVG 8.0 adds anti-spyware to the mix, bringing it closer to that other free anti-virus favorite, Avast. (The latter includes rootkit protection as well, which AVG still … Read more
The volunteer developers of The GIMP have been working hard to develop a polished, user-friendly, and freely distributed image editor. Available for Windows and Mac users, and in a portable edition for the PC, the separated palette windows may disturb those users who are used to more traditional layouts. Still, your comfort level should grow exponentially as you discover how pain-free the program is.
One of the most powerful general-purpose image editors around, the GNU Image Manipulation Program is eminently comparable to Photoshop. Older features include channels, layers and masks, filters and effects, tabbed palettes, editable text tools, and color … Read more
Circumventing FTP servers, online storage, and tertiary e-mail accounts, Pando either generates a link for instant messages and Web pages, or e-mails your recipient a tiny attachment. When you click that attachment or link, Pando connects to its server and downloads the "package," as the Pando people call the contents of your attachment. You even have 14 days to grab the "package" … Read more
Seventy-five million downloads can't be wrong, right? Phenomenally popular security program AVG Free has upgraded to Version 8, and Editor Seth Rosenblatt takes a first look at the revamp.
New features include a blessing of a new interface that's clean and easy to use, LinkScanner to minimize the risk of clicking on dangerous links during searches, and more.
If you're into freeware antivirus and antimalware apps, chances are you're running either AVG Free, Avira Antivir, or Avast. Avast Home Edition guards your PC and the network with multiple shields that scan executables and files. You can select parameters for scanning, and even choose wildcards to exclude specific file types. You can adjust the sensitivity level for the program's detectors when it comes to scanning downloaded files, instant messages, e-mails, and a host of P2Ps. Its efficient interface opens up window after window to tweak its settings to your liking, for novice to advanced-level protection.
Though … Read more
ManyCam is the freeware tool users who need their Webcam for more than one chat program simultaneously. It creates a "virtual" Webcam that replicates your currently installed camera. It then lets multiple applications access the video stream without conflict.
ManyCam is compatible with Yahoo, MSN, CamFrog, PalTalk, ICQ, Skype, YouTube, and more. Once you've installed it, you need to set ManyCam as the primary input for program that you want to use. It'll automatically start when activate your Webcam through that program. The application includes a bunch of gimmicky features that let you change aspects of … Read more
Sun Microsystems has released the first beta for OpenOffice.org 3 for Windows and Mac. The new version of OpenOffice, which is a popular open-source competitor to Microsoft Office, looks to offer users improvements on every component from interface to features to behavior.
OpenOffice now natively supports OS X, so Mac users won't have to install the X11 module before running the suite. Full Vista support is also included in the beta, and didn't cause any problems during light testing. Notably, OpenOffice 3 includes filters for the new Microsoft Office document formats such as DOCX and XLSX as … Read more