Powerful tools for desktop and laptop

There's no need to spend large amounts of money on software.  Lots of quality software is available free of charge.  Let's have a look at the very best operating systems, antivirus software, office packages, cloud storage solutions and graphical packages. 


I. Linux

Linux Tux

Microsoft still dominates the operating system market for desktop and laptop users.  However, Windows is by no means the only option available.  There's Apple of course with its own operating system called OSX.  Unfortunately both OSX and Windows aren't freeware.  

There's a quality alternative called Linux.  This operating system is available free of charge.  In the past Linux was considered to be too complex for most users.  That has changed drastically since Ubuntu and Linux Mint, two similar Linux distributions were created.   Both distro's are aimed at former Windows users and are easy to use and straightforward.  Linux systems are also relatively immune to viruses.  That doesn't that sound appealing?


II. AVG Antivirus


There's a free version of AVG Antivirus available that protects users from viruses, spyware and malware.   This basic version offers sufficient protection for most users.  AVG also provides premium versions that offer firewall and anti-spam protection.   An alternative to AVG is Avast. 




III. LibreOffice



LibreOffice is a free office package available for Windows, Mac and Linux.  LibreOffice contains a word processor, a spreadsheet, a database program, a presentation and drawing program, ... The package is compatible with Microsoft Office to some extent.  Basically LibreOffice looks like a stripped-down version of MS Office.  It has the look and feel of MS Office XP.   

LibreOffice has a cousin called OpenOffice.  Since both packages are based on the same code the differences are limited.  


IV. DropBox


DropBox is a great file backup, sync and sharing solution.  You get 2 GB of storage for free.  Thanks to a referral program you can earn up to 16 GB of extra space.  Backing up your most crucial documents shouldn't cost you a dime.

Google Drive and Box are similar cloud storage solutions that offer free space as well.




GIMP is also called the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is freely distributed for image editing and photo manipulation. It's a powerful piece of software that will offer most users sufficient options and is available for Windows, Linux and Mac.

The very expensive, complex Photoshop program still holds a significant edge over GIMP.  However, when it comes to bang for the buck GIMP is in a league of its own.