There are many different free programs availble for use. However, knowing if a program is trustworthy or not is a litttle tricky. We have assembled a list of some of the most commons programs you would need, with links to a trustworthy download locations.
Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft provides, free of charge, a powerful anti-virus system called Microsoft Security Essentials (or MSE for short). The anti-virus is very effective against all common viruses, and is light on system resources. Remember to remove your current anti-virus before installing another.
LibreOffice is a free office program that is compatable with Microsoft Office. While it is not as widely supported or as feature rich, it is a useful tool for those who can’t use Microsoft Office for whatever reason.
Dropbox provides a convenient way to store data that you wish to share and store online.
Firefox provides a more safe, stable, and speedier online browsing experience than the default Internet Explorer on Windows.
Google Chrome is a free web broser that ties into your Google (Gmail) account to syncronize your bookmarks and settings. It automatically updates itself and it’s own version of flash, so you never have to wonder if you have the latest version.
For a free and easy to use backup program, grab CrashPlan. CrashPlan allows you to back up to an external hard drive, another computer on your home network, or even a friend’s computer!