Best Software

The top Firefox security and privacy add-ons

Stay safe and protect your privacy when you’re on the Web by using these top-notch browser extensions.

Block malicious Web sites, stop annoying ads, control your cookies, cover your tracks, and manage your passwords securely with this collection of free Firefox add-ons.

Read More »

The best browser for safe and speedy surfing

If you spend much time on the Web, you need more protection and better performance than you get from Internet Explorer 7.

You have several alternatives to choose from, but only one offers the top rendering speed, the best compatibility with major sites, and the most customization options.

Read More »

From paper to searchable PDF on the cheap

You don’t have to shell out $500 for software that converts scanned paper documents into searchable PDF or Office files.

One of the three programs I tested is the clear winner in turning all your scanned images into fully indexed documents.

Read More »

Get top-flight antivirus without spending a dime

Protect yourself from viruses and other online threats while skipping the annual subscription fees.

These three antivirus freebies may lack some of the costly bells and whistles (and associated system slowdowns) of commercial alternatives, but they stop malware unobtrusively.

Read More »

The best deals for sending faxes online

Online fax services let you ditch your landline and fax machine and fax from anywhere via e-mail or the Web.

The paperless office is not quite here, but three services in particular offer low-cost solutions that save a forest full of trees.

Read More »

Two top defraggers speed your disk accesses

Free, easy-to-use disk defragmenters and optimizers let you consolidate scattered files to maximize the performance of Windows XP and Vista.

One program lets you select for yourself which files to reunite and move to the fastest areas of your drive, while the other utility makes the disk-optimization choices for you.

Read More »

Transfer mammoth files reliably for free

File-transfer services make it easy and relatively reliable to exchange multi-gigabyte files with family, friends, or co-workers.

Xdrive and TransferBigFiles top the list of free file-transfer services, though each of the two imposes some limitations.

Read More »

Top free tools for rooting out rootkit spies

An easy-to-use rootkit detector and cleaner makes trapping this sneaky spyware a snap.

Whether you’re comfortable sorting through your PC’s processes and Registry keys manually or you prefer to have someone else do the sleuthing, there’s a rootkit detector for you.

Read More »

One online notetaker outshines the competition

Whether you just need to do a little brainstorming or you’re creating a multimedia scrapbook, one free notebook service makes collecting and sharing ideas a snap.

Or keep things super-simple by recording your thoughts in plain text via two other useful Web apps.

Read More »