Software Reviews by realbull2009250

The reviews and opinions below are posted by SnapFiles visitors. They do not necessarily reflect our opinion, and they are solely based upon the experience of individual users.

Exact Audio Copy Exact Audio Copy

Excellent cd ripper 4 stars
Exact Audio Copy(EAC) is a CD ripper, tagger, metadata searcher and burner which uses AccurateRip to verify the copy. It's fairly easy to use, but setting it up may be tricky if you don't know about the calibration well. You need a good standard legit CD to help calibrate it. If you use a CD that doesn't calibrate it well, EAC will spit out CDs and only copy certain ones. I had this problem and wrote an earlier review and gave a lower score, but I researched the problem more, found the solution and rewrote my review. The calibrating may be a problem for some who don't understand how to calibrate EAC and end up having problems with it, so it isn't that simple to set-up for everyone. But when you calibrated it correctly it's simple to use from there. I prefer EAC over other rippers because I favor the AccurateRip feature that is rarely found in others. EAC will rip your CD perfectly or near-perfect. You can be at ease to know that your music files will have no crackling or distortions that may ruin your speakers(it happened to me once). I can only complain about the GUI it's really old looking and needs an update, but it's functional. Overall, it is the best ripper to use. It's free and has all the tools others may have, but the AccurateRip feature is the main reason to have it. Price: Free
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Ashampoo Burning Studio Free Ashampoo Burning Studio Free

Great copier 4 stars
It has never failed me for copying CDs. I have used it for years and never had any crackling on the audio tracks, but it's possible that it could because there isn't a tool to verify the copied music files with something like AccuRip. Anyway, for what it's worth(FREE) it's a great copier that will satisfy general users and maybe some advance users. It's a Microsoft partner, so it will be compatible with Windows. It needs registration, so you'd probably better off using the GiveAway version, Burning Studio 2016 like I do instead. Price: Free
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Vivaldi Vivaldi

The real Opera browser 4 stars
Since Opera dropped their own Presto browsing engine for Chrome's Blink engine, things haven't been exactly the same. If you're a fan of that Presto engine browser then you should try Vivaldi which is made by former Opera developers who want to bring back that same experience. While this is the first 1.0+ release it is not a fully fleshed out browser, but it is very good for a 1.0+ release. It ran and started up fast on my fast Windows 7 64bit laptop with no problem, faster than Opera and FireFox. It feels really light and fast like the old Presto engine Opera. The one feature that I really loved about the Presto engine Opera was the tab stack and split window view. Now it is in Vivaldi! You can stack tabs and then view several windows simultaneously. And you can add extensions from the Chrome website and NOT a separate proprietary extension website like Opera. The only weak point I found is that certain options aren't added yet, but surely as the browser develops they will be included. If you are using Chrome or a Chrome based browser then definitely try Vivaldi. Price: Free
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Pazera Free Audio Extractor Pazera Free Audio Extractor

Simple converting 4 stars
Pazera Free Audio Extractor is a versatile and user friendly program. The GUI is easy to understand and converting a file is as easy as adding a file, choosing a preset and then press convert. It uses the FFMPEG encoders and decoders. It can convert video and audio files to MP3, M4A, AAC, AC3, WMA, OGG and FLAC. No converting to other formats such as APE, TTA, TAK or Shorten. For each encoder(accept for FLAC) you have plenty of presets to choose from. If you are handy at adding more command-line settings you can do that by selecting "Additional Settings" at the bottom. I would be great if you could add additional encoders and decoders to make up for the missing formats. If that was possible it could be your one stop program for converting audio files. If you are looking for an easy to use program with a variety of formats to choose from then this is a great choice. Very good for beginners and experienced users. Price: Free
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Free Download Manager Free Download Manager

The people's choice 5 stars
Well Snapfiles' description really describes it all about Free Download Manager(FDM). I've been using FDM since I used XP. When I had Vista I tried many other downloaders, but ended up sticking with FDM. On Windows 7 64x I tried Internet Download Accelerator(IDA) which is excellent(read my review), but I ended up switching to FDM again. Why do I keep coming back? I'm not sure, but it's like breaking up with an ex and getting back together again because you're infatuated with that person. Maybe I hate the nag screens to buy the premium versionscough...IDA, the pop-up ads(Download Accelerator Plus) or the shadiness(I'm looking at you FlashGet and Orbit Downloader!) of other downloaders. Maybe I like that it's open-source and genuinely free. Maybe I like that you can make your own toolbar skins(if you have the skills or patience). Maybe I like it because it supports Torrent files. Maybe I like it because it has been around longer than most other downloaders(EagleGet, DownloadNinja... you're still babies) and the code has been tweaked to refinement. Whatever the reason to why I keep coming back, I think FDM is here to stay from now on. Price: Free
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Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit

Free extra layer of protection 4 stars
If you use SpywareBlaster then you could understand that Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit(MBAE) works in a similar way. Basically it will protect you from being exploited by malicious codes which will prompt you to download and install malware or spyware, with or without the user knowing it. What MBAE does is stop the malicious code from executing. Once it does it will notify the user that an attack was attempted. Personally I've not tested it on infected sites... The free version only protects browsers(practically any of them) and some other options are disabled(available for premium only). If you want more options and protection for other applications then you have to buy the premium version, but the free version is enough for most home users. The free version is suppose to automatically install new versions, but it doesn't work for me. I always have to manually download the new version and install it. I feel that Malwarebytes has a good reputation, so it is nice to just have it just in case. Anyway what do you have to lose? It's free. And being that it is free and can give you an extra layer of protection is much appreciated. Price: Free
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UltraDefrag UltraDefrag

Good & safe, but repeat defragging needed 3 stars
UltraDefrag has the following features: defrag, quick optimization, full optimization, individual file & folder defrag, scheduling, boot time defrag, command-line, full list report and file & folder exclusion. See their website for a very nice detailed explanation. Also it is fully compatible with 64bit OS. The GUI is simple enough for beginners. It has one-click buttons to start the several most used functions. But, clicking on the "Options" icon will bring up a .lua file to adjust settings which is mostly about filtering and GUI. This may bewilder beginners even though there are explanations written. A menu to add files & folders and check boxes would be much easier. UltraDefrag has a different approach to defrag files than others; it defrags only the necessary files(see website for details). Therefore if you want all files defragmented you'll need to defrag again. In my experience I used the "Full Optimization", but it left many defragmented files. Running a Defrag, Quick Optimization or defrag the files or folders individually will fix this. I also did a Boot Time defrag. Unfortunately the MFT files were not defragmented(I had to use Contig). I tried the "MFT Optimization" option which places movable MFT files closest to the unmovable ones. For my computer, it didn't seem to do anything. Overall UltraDefrag seems to be a good and safe defragger. The one click icons are easy to use, but other settings may be hard for beginners to set-up. Price: Free
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Puran Defrag Puran Defrag

Defrags great, but not quite user friendly 3 stars
The features of Puran Defrag include VSS & 64x compatibility, consolidation, optimization, auto-defrag, boot time defrag, quiet defrag, individual file & folder defrag, command-line, disk check, file & folder exclusion and scheduling. Also it has a feature called Puran Intelligent Optimizer(PIOZR) which claims to speed up your computer's performance by placing the most used files & folders at the beginning of the HD. The GUI is very simple, but maybe too simple. It has no toolbar with icons, but a Microsoft ribbon-type menu. The menu set-up is OK for experienced users, but maybe a bit too difficult for beginners because you need to know what to select in the option menu to set-up different defrag methods. Therefore several one-click buttons to select from a toolbar would be very helpful. It does a very good defrag job. After defragging I had no fragmented files and my restore point files were OK. I saw no difference in my computer's performance when I used PIOZR, but this may vary for each computer's situation. I also used the disk check & boot time defrag. A nice feature, but I was disappointed that it didn't defrag my MFT files(I had to use Contig for that). After analyzing you get a stat report & a limited list of the top 10 fragmented files. Except for some weak points, Puran Defrag has good features and performs very well, so it deserves a try. Hopefully the developers will make improvements in the next update(it has been 2-years since the last one) Price: Free
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MyDefrag MyDefrag

Good for 32bit, not for 64bit 3 stars
This is my 2nd review after using it for Win7 64bit. I've used this for 32bit OS and it worked very well. It utilizes the Windows API for moving files while defragmenting which is why it is slower than other defragmenters. The options(scripts) are easy to use. You can defrag, optimize and weekly to monthly defrags. To get more options you will have to use the command-line version or create scripts for it. Recently I used MyDefrag 64bit version on 64bit OS and noticed that my restore points were severely defragmented, up to 16,000+ fragments! Also many other files where not defragmented, but even more defragmented. In the end I had less HD space. I checked my restore points and they where all gone except for the last one. MyDefrag and some other defragmenters used on 64bit will break up restore point files causing them to be not deleted, but unrecognized and unusable on Windows. Also MyDefrag ceased development, so there will be no fix for this issue. MyDefrag is great on 32bit systems. It runs well, easy to use and safe to use. But, because of the issue it has on 64bit OS I cannot recommend it for 64bit systems. For 64bit systems it is best to use another defragmenter that will actively release updates to resolve bugs and will not destroy restore points. Price: Free
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DropIt DropIt

Simple file organizer 5 stars
DropIt is an easy to use file organizer. Just select options, create your folders and assign the files to go to those folders...and that's it. If the folders don't exist, DropIt will create them for you. Then just drag and drop a group of files on the target and it will move the files to the assigned folders. It's fast! There are other options such as encryption & compression, backup & restore, folder monitoring, ignore or skip certain files and much more. See their website for the list of options. Also it's portable. I cannot think of anything that would improve this application. I think it has everything it needs. It is really fast. So fast that I wonder if it is safe to use. The Windows OS API way of moving files is to copy the files first then delete the original when done. This is a safe method and takes a bit of time which is why the process is slow. But, DropIt does not seem to use this method. If a file or files become corrupt while moving them with DropIt, you may be out of luck. So I'd be careful with using it with really important files. Overall it is a really nice organizing application that does its job very well. So if you have a file full of various files this could help you. Price: Free
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7-Zip 7-Zip

Simple to use basic archiver 3 stars
7-zip is very light, fast, easy to use and has a simple GUI and 64bit support. All basic features are here for the casual user. Here are the formats listed on their website: "High compression ratio in 7z format with LZMA and LZMA2 compression Supported formats: Packing & Unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM. Unpacking Only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z." Also included are an AES-256 Zip & 7-zip encrypter, 7-zip self extractor, Windows shell integration, File manager, command-line version & FAR manager plugin." So far 9.20 has been the last stable version since 2010. A stable release has not had any new features or improvements for years. A new 15.05 beta version with improvements is available, so what is happening? Why are all these betas released with no stable one? Also the 8-bit GUI is just ugly these days. Some new icons with more options for the toolbar would be appreciated. It is a really good archiver if you only need it for simple packing & unpacking archives and not much more, but if you are looking for more features you will be better off using another archiver that can do the same as 7-zip and more such as PeaZip, Bandizip or ZipGenius. If you insist on using 7-zip then you are better off using the 15.05 beta version with fixes, but a stable version would be much preferred. Price: Free
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PeaZip PeaZip

The peas are ripe 4 stars
Since 7-zip has not been updated recently(last stable:2010), I wanted to change to a new zip/compress tool. PeaZip is probably the only open-source alternative to 7-zip that is worth using. It claims to support opening 150+ extensions and can compress to all the common type archives, mainly 7-zip, ZIP, ARC, TAR, ISO, but of course not RAR. It also has a variety of tools; splitjoin, secure password, scheduler, ChecksumHash check, CRC check, convert archive, secure delete and more. The layout is easy to understand and can be changed. The toolbar looks nice with buttons for the common functions. The toolbar can also be changed. The only downside of PeaZip are that some other tools are missing such as email, uploading and repair archive. I also notice that PeaZip is a bit slow when opening up an archive, about 1-2 seconds slower than 7-zip, but this is just being picky. Overall PeaZip is enough for the common user who just wants to compress and extract archives, and may have more than enough tools for them. The other advance users who are looking for the tools not offered by PeaZip may have to buy a Pro Zip software. But, I think PeaZip is not meant to be a Pro Archiver, but one for beginners and intermediate users. It is a great upgrade from 7-zip for those who want a change. Price: Free
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DriveImage XML (Private Edition) DriveImage XML (Private Edition)

Awesome back-up software 5 stars
This is one of the simplest HD/File back-up software to have. You can back-up HD to an image & then browse it, restore an HD to the same one or another, copy HD to HD and schedule it with Windows Task Scheduler. I wish more software would use Windows utilities with their own. It is a good way to create a light program. Also you can use it on a boot CD like BartPE, but you will need to download the plugin from their(DriveImageXML) website. It is very easy to use. I usually use this when I back-up my HD and migrate to a new HD. My only complaint is that since this process takes time, it would be great if they had an option to "shut down" the computer when it finishes the back-up job. Then I can just set it and go to sleep. It doesn't have some other features that other similar software have, but I love how simple it is and when I back-up files it doesn't interfere with anything else that I'm doing on the PC. Just use it! Price: Free
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Comical Comical

A forgotten pioneer 2 stars
Comical was once one of the popular e-comic readers and helped pioneer the software genre. It has a simple user interface with basic features. It's cross-platform and only supports .cbr and .cbz files. The user interface is good and simple to use, but since it has not been upgraded for years some advance controls are absent for example the use of the mouse-scroller. It is only a viewer so it lacks a library organizer. It is a bit buggy. If you have ecomics with HD images(which are common nowadays) it may not be able to extract the image and an error message will appear indicating that the image may be corrupted(but it is not). Also while receiving that error message it fails to create thumbnails of some images for the explorer on the side. It is better to use ComicRack or YacReader which are the superior e-comic readers with the most advanced features. Or, if you want something simpler I'd recommend HoneyView, SumatraPDF or STDU Viewer. All of these are updated regularly. Having not been updated in over 9-years, missing many advance features and buggy, it is difficult to recommend Comical. Perhaps someday the developer will raise it from its grave and update it. For now it is not worth using when there are better e-comic readers to choose from. Price: Free
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YACReader YACReader

One of the best ecomic viewers! 5 stars
I used YAC years ago when it wasn't very developed and lacked may features. But, now it has greatly improved and has become one of the best ecomic viewers! It supports all of the ecomic formats including PDF and popular image formats, customized viewing, image adjustments, library organizer with searhing and tagging. You can also import your comics to your mobile devices. It only lacks the ability to convert ecomic files like ComicRack. I did not like the bulky distracting icons that it used before, but thankfully the icons have changed to black flat-style icons which I like very much. Very easy on the eyes and does not distract when reading. Because of the conversion feature, I still favor ComicRack over YAC, but not by much. YAC could easily become my favorite. Even if you love ComicRack and satisfied, give YAC a try. It may become your favorite. Price: Free
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Foxit PDF Reader Foxit PDF Reader

My new default pdf viewer 4 stars
Foxit is full of options for free. I can't list them all here, but all the features that the average user would want is here. One thing that it does not have is a true PDF creator like Nitro Reader. Foxit can convert documents into a PDF, but it cannot create a customized PDF document or edit a PDF. If you want to create or edit PDFs you'll have to buy their Foxit PhantomPDF or use some other software. It is the fastest PDF viewer with many options(Sumatra is the fastest viewer, but doesn't have as many options) and can open large PDFs with reasonable speed. The only thing I don't like is the Windows ribbon GUI. It is rather large and takes up a lot of space, but you have the option to use the old GUI which has a thinner toolbar. Now Foxit Reader is the best free PDF viewer in my opinion. Price: Free
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Nitro PDF Reader Nitro PDF Reader

Great, but needs to be updated 4 stars
I've used Nitro Reader for Years and was always the best one to me compared to others. It's strong point is that it has a great PDF creator in which you can customize the PDF the way you want to. It also can extract content, snapshot, notes & commenting, form filler, Quicksign, web restriction and java script disablement. But, recently I work with PDFs with large images and Nitro seems rather slow when opening them and turning to each page. I really like Nitro, but the sluggish behavior has made me change to a new PDF viewer. Other PDF viewers have improved and there are PDF tools available to edit PDFs, so Nitro hasn't become a real necessity. Nitro 3 was a great improvement in the past, but it hasn't had any upgrades while the pro version is at version 9. If they improve the speed I'll definitely use it again. If you don't mind how slow it is when viewing large images then you should try it. Its PDF creator would be the main reason to use it. Price: Free
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Sumatra PDF Sumatra PDF

Great pdf viewer 4 stars
When I want to view a PDF I'd like the viewer to display pages properly. Some of the free PDF viewers have some problems doing this. For example, if there are a mix of horizontal and vertical pages some viewers display the horizontal page with part of the next page which is vertical. Sometimes full page view is not possible. Sumatra PDF seems to have no problem with displaying the images the way I want it to...and that's the most important thing. Also its other strong point is the speed at which it can load and turn to each page. Some other free PDF viewers tend to be slow at displaying large images and freeze for awhile. In addition Sumatra PDF has all of the options you'd expect from a PDF viewer. You can custom view pages the way you want, zoom and set bookmarks. The interface is clean and easy to use, and the speed-dial page is really a great unique feature in Sumatra PDF viewer. Lastly, it is a great simple ecomic and ebook reader(other free PDF viewers can't do that). The only thing that Sumatra PDF lacks are extract, conversion, add notes and digital signing tools(and other features) that other free PDF viewers have. I'd love to see these features added in the future because it would make Sumatra PDF the perfect PDF viewer to have. But, if viewing is all you want to do then it is a 5-star PDF viewer for you. Price: Free
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Debenu PDF Tools Debenu PDF Tools

Good, but lacking 3 stars
I got really lucky a few years ago and received a free version of the pro version of Debenu PDF Tools(v2.2). The 3.1 version is available now and has watermarking and stamping, and flatten PDF to image PDF which the 2.2 version is lacking. Anyway the free version is lacking a lot of editing tools from the pro... too many to list in detail, but content extraction(but can do PDF to text), watermarking & stamping, print command, digital signatures, add password, page editing; ie cropping & rotating, bookmarking, attach & embed files, JavaScript editing, note & file removal, flatten PDF and custom PDF scripting are missing. But, if you just need something to do some simple editing, PDF to image & image to PDF, and like to do it on the fly from the explorer menu then this will be perfect for you. It's easy to use and works well. Price: Free
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Honeyview Honeyview

Great viewer, not editor or organizer 4 stars
HoneyView is great for those who just mainly want to view images and do a little tweaking. It doesn't have all basic editing features; no cropping, contrast, hue and saturation capabilities for example. If you need to edit images you can assign your favorite editor to open up from HoneyView. You can manage your pictures by moving or copying them. It supports a lot of compressed image file types and lossless camera type files too, but not raw. As an ecomic reader it is great. Reader controls are easy to use and viewing images is fluid. Great to use when you want to kick back on a weekend and read some ecomics. As an image viewer it is great to use, but it lacks many basic editing options and does not organize your images when compared to others. Price: Free
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STDU Viewer STDU Viewer

Great compact image viewer 4 stars
If you want just a small application to read ebooks or pdfs in addition to viewing some popular image files then this is the app for you. STDU Viewer is good for people who are not into organizing their files and just want to view them. It can view tiff, pdf, fb2, fb2.zip, pcz, dcz, djvu, cbr, cbz, test, wwf, azw, xps, jbig2, jb2, tcr, pdb and epub. I would not take points away from it just because it can't read MS word docs or any other word processing file because it's not that type of viewer. Why would anyone expect it to read doc-type files is beyond me. It can just be used as a quick viewer and is comfortable enough to be used as a main viewer. Very light program and available as a portable version, too. Not very feature rich, but sometimes simplicity is best. Price: Free
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ComicRack ComicRack

The best ecomic reader...seriously 5 stars
If you want a full packaged ecomic reader then this is it! It is pretty much the Calibre of ecomics or just imagine your favorite music/video file organizer. The library organizer is it's strong point. It organizes your comics into a very nice interface with details that you can download or add yourself. You can bookmark pages, change reading order, share ecomics over a network and convert ecomics. As far as viewing ecomics it has all the controls that you'd expect. The one feature that I love that I find missing in others is the magnifying glass. This helps to read comics without using zoom-in all the time. The only con that I can think of is that new users will be over-whelmed by its feature and options, and may take some time to learn. But once you understand the interface it will be easy to use. What can I say, it is the total package and available for Android and iPad, too. Price: Free
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Sleipnir Sleipnir

Now a ChromeBlink browser 4 stars
At first you may be a little confused by the interface. Actually the interface is set-up more similar to Opera than Chrome. The setting button(like Opera's) is on the left instead of the right. All ChromeBlink option's are there with the ability to sync devices and pretty much feels like Chrome. But there are some differences. The biggest difference is that the tabs have a website thumbnail on the tab, so you can distinguish each website tab. Also it has a "tab-stash" feature that was similar to Opera/Blink's when they tried to replace bookmarks(now discontinued in OperaBlink). You can create tab pages and "stash" your favorite websites on them; kind of like speed-dial tabs. Each tab looks like a speed-dial tab, but they are really opened website tabs. Very useful if you like to keep a lot of tabs open. I'd say it was a good idea that they dropped the Explorer/Firefox browser cap and created their own browser. Now they have the opportunity to be creative and innovative rather than riding on Explorer's and Firefox's back. I'd like to see more unique features to be added. I recommend that you give it a try. Price: Free
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Opera Opera

Major engine transplant, but still great 5 stars
Yes, Opera had some major surgery. The developers have gutted the Presto engine and replaced it with Google Chrome's Blink engine. The good news is that Opera is as fast as (or maybe faster than) Chrome and 100 compatible with its extensions/plugins. On top of that Opera is working its way up to create the same browser they once had with the Presto engine; the speed-dial, sync-devices, tab preview, clone tab and turbo mode are included. Also there are some other new features such as Discover(a built-in news feed), new book-marking style and more options in "settings" than Chrome. The bad news is that there are still some fan favorite features missing. The biggest one being the email client(which can be downloaded as a separate desktop application from their website). This is the biggest minus for Opera because many of their fans favored the browser just for that built-in email client. Will it come back? Who knows? I haven't heard about it returning in the new OperaBlink browser. Also the ability to re-arrange parts of the browser is unavailable. This was one of the most innovative features that was only available in the OperaPresto engine browser. Although the new OperaBlink is missing some of its features from the OperaPresto browser, I still think this is the best Blink browser to use. If you miss the old Opera then you may want to try Vivaldi browser, made by former Opera staff members, but (as of this writing)still in beta and not stable yet. Price: Free
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Toolbar Paint Toolbar Paint

Limited, but no other like it 4 stars
Toolbar paint makes it easy for you to make toolbar buttons for software. Supports 16 color, 256 color, 24 and 32 bit graphics, up to 64 buttons in a toolbar, button sizes from 16 to 48 pixels square, standard set of drawing tools and effects, optionally generate a mask when saving, load toolbars directly from executables and DLL's, rearrange toolbar image list by simply dragging and dropping buttons, merge image lists, gray scaling to create disabled button images, plug in support. This is an old program which may have some quirks on the newer OS's. Actually I couldn't get the drag and drop feature to work. It would be great if the author could update this program. For now it is just a decent toolbar maker program that you cannot get anywhere else for free. Price: Free
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Internet Download Accelerator Free Internet Download Accelerator Free

Super downloader 5 stars
Internet Download Accelerator(IDA) is an easy to setup and use download manager. It integrates with many popular browsers and can rip videos from most websites. It also has an FTP explorer to search URLs. I've been using IDA and have never had a problem, but only improvements with my downloads. If your looking for a download manager then you should definitely try IDA. Price: Free
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Paint.NET Paint.NET

Good for casual users, not for pros 3 stars
Paint.Net is a great image editor, but it is really meant to be a MS Paint replacement. Out of the box, it has all of the normal editing features, but if you want more out of it for various reasons then you'll have to install some plugins. Most of the plugins available are for touching up and manipulating the appearance of the image. For pro users, you won't have the control that you want from it. After using a program like PhotoShop, I got frustrated that I couldn't do certain things with layers on Paint.Net. It's a great editor for touching up images, manipulating it or saving it to different formats, but not much more. Maybe in the future they will build it up to PhotoShop like program, but for now it's best for the casual user who want a little more than MS Paint. I'd recommend Chasys Draw IES or GIMP for pro users. Price: Free
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Monkeys Audio Monkeys Audio

Go ape for this! 4 stars
One of the best compressed audio formats next to FLAC. Quality is lossless and compression is a tad better than FLAC which may matter if you have thousands of music files to archive. The interface is easy to use and has all of the features for the average user, but if you want more tweaking you'll have to open up the command-line version for more adjustments. The downside to using the APE format is that many of the popular portable audio devices don't support its playback. But it is perfect for storing files on an external HD. Price: Free
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AIMP AIMP

Winamp successor 5 stars
This is a great audio player. Too many features to list here, but it has all the features that you would expect from it and with changeable skins. It also has a plugin system to extend its features. Crackling during playback? Never experienced it here. I always had good sounding music when I used it. Any crackling you hear could be from either bad software or hardware; codecs, drivers, sound card, speakers or the music files themselves. Winamp is down and out. But if you loved Winamp, definitely try Aimp! Price: Free
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Geek Uninstaller Geek Uninstaller

Good uninstaller, but lacks features 3 stars
This is a good uninstaller. It supports x64 programs and will do what you want it to do; uninstall programs and scan for left over files. The only weak points this FREE version has is that it lacks many other features compared to similar software. It is NOT perfect on uninstalling leftover files as many may believe. The PAID/PRO version is much better and list the following features on their website: Real-time installation monitor, Batch Removal, Start-up programs management,Thorough and complete removal, Modern interface, technical support. It is good as a quick moderate uninstaller, but if you want something more thorough you will have to buy the PRO version or choose another uninstaller such as Advanced Uninstaller PRO 11 or Comodo Programs Manager. Price: Free
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Calibre Calibre

A must have! 5 stars
Go ahead. Try to find a better e-book manager/reader. You may find some good ones, but still not as good as Calibre. It is the most complete e-book manager/reader that I have used. Anything that you could possibly want to do with your e-books can be done on Calibre, so there really is no reason to mention the functionality here. If a feature is not in Calibre, you can bet that it will be included sometime in the future. Development support is constant with continuous updates frequently available. There is no need to use another e-boook manager/reader unless your favorite e-book store forces you to use their own. The worst thing that I can say about Calibre is that there should be a "skin" or GUI option. The current icons used are unappealing. Various icons are used from different icon sets, so Calibre has no themed look to it. If you are handy at changing themes, it can be done manually by changing the Resource/Image folder in the Programs folder. But most users would not know how to or bother to do it. So overall Calibre is definitely your one stop solution to all your e-book needs. Price: Free
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BitKiller BitKiller

Works, but...kinda slow 3 stars
Bitkiller is not a bad digital shredder. It has the basic shred methods; Write all 0's, Random Data, DOD 3pass, DOD 7pass, Gutman 35pass, but it offers nothing more. The interface is basic Windows GUI, but is very easy to understand and use. It has a drag and drop interface which is missing from other shredders. The weakest point of Bitkiller is that it is slower than other shredders. Compared to some other shredders, it took a 85mb file twice to three times as long to erase (using Gutman 35pass). With other shredders out there that are faster and offer more options, it is hard to recommend this. But if you just need a simple portable shredder to destroy small files then this may be OK for you. It is only at the 1.3v, so I think if the developer continues it, it can become a much improved digital shredder. Price: Free
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Partition Wizard Free Partition Wizard Free

One of the best, seriously! 5 stars
Some several years ago I was using a laptop with Vista OS installed on it. The laptop had a 250G HD in it but for some reason, MS likes to hog up a considerable amount of HD space for their OS which I think is unnecessary. Since there was no installation CD included, I couldn't reinstall the program without all the "junk" that was hidden with the OS. So I decided to use Minitools PW to migrate the partition to a new 500G HD. At that time I was pretty experienced with a PC, but I had never used partition software nor did I have any experience. To my relief the process was as easy as copy and paste. You can't get any easier than that! And that is the way it should be. Easy to understand interface and terms for novices and very easy to use. Price: Free
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Advanced Uninstaller PRO Advanced Uninstaller PRO

One of the best 4 stars
This is a great uninstall program for 32-bit & 64-bit programs. It has a lot of other tools included; file & registry tools, Internet browser tools, PC reporteranalyzer, start-up & service managers, privacy cleaner, start menu cleaner, font manager, control panel manager, web tools and PC health check. What "Raptozilla" was complaining about was the PC health check program. Even though you check for AU Pro to not start up, the health check program will still start up. This is rather annoying. Use Autoruns to stop the exe file from starting up. It does a thorough scan after you have uninstalled a program. Make sure you don't have many files on the desktop or it will take a long time. The only thing I don't like about it is the interface. The functionality works, but it is too retro looking. It still looks like it belongs to XP. I think the GUI needs a more modern look, but not necessarily a Win8 Metro style, though many may prefer that. Overall it is a good uninstall program even though you may not need the extra ones included in it. Price: Free
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Multi Commander Multi Commander

Great explorer 4 stars
This one of the best explorers I have ever used. There are a lot of features built in to it. Also you can customize buttons and hotkeys to your liking. I have used this on 32-bit & 64-bit Windows OS, Vista32bit & Win764-bit. Both work fine on each OS. But, when upgrading on the 64-bit Win7, I had many problems. The uninstaller will not uninstall certain files or registry keys, therefore when installing the update, it won't install correctly and have many errors. If you managed to get it installed, you can't uninstall the program again. Several times I had this problem and had to use system restore to alleviate the problem. It is best to use an uninstall program which will scan and COMPLETELY uninstall the program before updating. This is a good explorer for advanced users and may be too complex for casual users. I can't recommend the 64-bit version because of the upgrading problem. If you have a 64-bit OS, it may be best to install the 32-bit version until the developers fix the problem. However I have never tried it. Price: Free
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Wavosaur Wavosaur

On the heels of audacity 4 stars
I use this quite often for voice file editing and some music files. It is easy to use and understand for most computer users. It is portable and light. The developers are very actively working, so each update has a plethora of improvements, check out the update history. Recently a native 64-bit version has been released. It has a plugin system that is easy to use, but more plugins should be available. Files can only be saved as wav or mp3. The GUI is a bit retro looking and needs and upgrade. It is a great audio editor that will satisfy most, while not as great as Audacity, it is surely nipping at its heels and may be a head-to-head contender one day. Price: Free
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Opera Mail Opera Mail

Great for casual users 4 stars
Probably the only free email client that can compete with ThunderBird now. Formerly a built-in email client for Opera 12 browser(Presto engine) now it's offered as a separate program. I've been using it for years and rarely encountered problems. It is really easy to set-up; just type-in your email address and password, choose pop or imap mail and it will take care of the rest. It is a really solid email client that does mostly what you would expect it to do, but it lacks in extra features and cannot be expanded with add-ons like T-Bird. My only other complaint is that the spam filter does not work well as and has no options like T-Bird. Superb for casual email client users, but those looking for more may prefer T-Bird. Price: Free
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Contig Contig

Unprecedented performance 4 stars
It is probably the fastest defragmenter I've ever used. It can defragment files of 1000 fragments in under a minute or maybe 30 seconds. Other fragmenters will drag in performance compared to Contig. The command-line interface will steer away some, but you can get the GUI, Power Defragmenter to make things easier. You can defragment individual files, folders and drives. There is a feature called Triple Pass Disk Defragmentation which runs your file(s) three times to make sure it is defragmented. No other features are included, but it may be what one only needs. Watch out! You may fall in love with it and drop your other defragmenter. Price: Free
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Paragon Partition Manager Free Paragon Partition Manager Free

Ok for free 2 stars
It's a good partition manager for people who want to create, move, resize, align, format and delete a partition. You can also covert file systems, too. Some other free partition managers can do the same. It can analyze FS integrity, support large HDs and has a boot manager to allow you to choose which OS you want to boot up. It's compatible with systems from XP and up, and supports MAC, too. The GUI is easy enough for beginners. I went to the website to find and compare the free version with the trial/paid one...talk about finding a needle in a haystack! It was really difficult to find. I guess it is to encourage people to download the trial version and buy it. From a business point of view it is understandable. There are many missing features, too many to list here. But the most significant features that are missing are no boot iso and you cannot copy or clone a HD to migrate to a new one. Because of these disadvantages, it is hard to recommend this over other free partition managers which can do the same and more. If you want to do any copying or backup you will have to install another one of their softwares. Mind you their software installs are quite large which go up to around 100 mb. No native 64-bit version. Also I contacted customer service to ask a question with no reply. Overall, it's a fair partition manager for small jobs, but you will need another one or try/buy the upgrade for more serious jobs. Visit their website to compare versions if you can find it. Price: Free
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RIOT RIOT

A must have image compressor 5 stars
For graphic or web designers, a good image compression software is an essential tool. RIOT is the best out there. It can be installed to the computer, be portable or installed as plugins for GIMP, XnView and IrfanView. The GUI is decent and understandable, but may confuse or be too much for casual users. It can compress images to jpg, png or gif. There are decent options for each compression. Jpg files are adjusted by compression percentage, and png and gif files are adjusted by color count and color quantization algorithms. With some simple adjustments, one can achieve small sized images with lossless or near lossless quality. The jpg compression calculations are fast, but the png and gif compressions are a little slow, but it depends on the selected options, too. While jpg, png and gif are the most popular images to use, it would be great if more file formats were supported. Personally I like using it as a XnView plugin which gives me easy access to the program. I use XnView to browse through images and select the image I want to compress and then just click-on RIOT icon. Then my image conveniently opens up in RIOT. Give it a try! Price: Free
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Converseen Converseen

One of the best image converters 5 stars
A very nice image compressorconverter. With the right settings, you can get lossless quality. My compressed image was reduced from a 11mb bmp to just under a 1mb jpg with no noticeable quality loss and at 780kb with only minor distortions. The conversion is very fast, too. There are plenty of formats to choose from and some rare ones such as PNG32, PNG24 and PNG8. But while you can select from many different formats, you can only adjust settings for jpg and png files. Other features include a preview window, resizing, rotating, x and y resolution, renaming and output folder selection. The GUI is very simple and understandable, but the first time I used it, I didn't realize that I could use a scroll bar on the left side to reveal other features under the preview window and you can separate the window from the image list window. I wish there could be details after compression/conversion. Overall it is one of the best image converters I have ever used and better than most commercial ones. BE CAREFUL! I don't take points off for this, but this software has the trickiest way of trying to get you to install 3rd-party software...and there are several of them. When first installing, the 3rd-party software windows looks like the agreement window to click OK to agree. It does not look like a 3rd-party software installing window at all. If one does not carefully read, 3rd-party software could be installed easily by accident Price: Free
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Caesium Caesium

Amazing conversion for free 4 stars
I'm reviewing the 1.6.1 version, but I've been using this since the 1.5.0 version and tried versions before that. This has improved a lot since I first tried the 1.4 versions. The early versions would leave the compressed jpg with those jagged blocks around images that we have become familiar with. But the more recent versions fixes all of this! Compressed jpg images are virtually lossless, near or perfect conversions in my experience, but it depends on the quality setting in which you choose. It's right on par with Adobe PS own built-in convert image for web compressor. Conversion is fast, too. Many times the conversion time was almost instant. The GUI is very simple with icons used in the menu bar drop down list, but there is an option to show the toolbar, but the toolbar has no icons. What happen? I can see my cursor hover over tiny buttons/dots to click-on. Maybe the developer didn't see this as important or perhaps it will be added in the next version or just eliminate it. You can set the quality and image file you want to convert to or the same as input. You can manually resize the image or keep the aspect ratio. And you are able to choose where to save the file(s). There is also a preview of the image(s) you want to convert. After you compress your image(s) you can see details of the percentage that it was compressed to. My only complaint is that it only converts to JPG, PNG and BMP. How about GIF? An amazing converter that definitely deserves much more recognition. Price: Free
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Inkscape Inkscape

Best free vector program 5 stars
I'm an experienced Adobe Illustrator user, but recently the price of the software is very taxing. Therefore I wanted to try some free vector software. The program is very amazing for a free vector program. I have used about all the features here and you can pretty much do anything that Illustrator can do. The placement of the tools, controls and terms will take time to get use to because they are different from the commercial vector programs. Also there is no support for Adobe plugins, but Inkscape comes with loads of its own filters and a filter editor. It is very fast starting up (on my 64bit OS) and feels very light and doesn't stress my CPU. Overall it's great and easy to use. A beginner may be able to do some things without looking at the manual. No other free vector program on Windows can match it. Price: Free
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Defraggler Defraggler

Good for novices, not for pros 3 stars
Piriform's Defraggler is good for inexperienced users, but definitely not for more experienced user's. Defraggler falls short on it's actual job purpose. It tends to be slow during big defrag jobs and doesn't do a thorough job. Many files were left fragmented after it finished. I had to use a different defrag program to finish the job. Defraggler is probably good for small jobs only. The inexperienced or average user may think it is great and be satisfied, but there are much better free defraggers available; Auslogics Disk Defrag, Puran Defrag, MyDefrag and Contig. Price: Free
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Silver Key Silver Key

Great archiveexe encryption 4 stars
Very good software. It installs easily with no problems and uninstalls clean, too. I've used the free edition for a while and have now this standard version. It has a very strong encryption using industry-standard AES cipher, you cannot retrieve the file(s) without the password. The file size is unlimited to make an encrypted parcel(zip)exe file. It has some unique features that other free ones don't have; the ability to create parcels, hidden in other innocent looking files and size obfuscation to hide real size of small parcels. The default encryption mode is AES 256-bit encryption, but has optional Blowfish 576-bit, Serpent 256-bit, Triple DES 168-bit and Twofish 256-bit. Each encryption mode has the option to select bit encryption. My only disappointments are that there is no 64-bit version(for the Enterprise version only) and no multi-processor utilization (again, only for the Enterprise version). These two features should at least be in this standard version. I recommend for all to try it out. A good stable software and worth downloading to try out. Price: Free Trial ($29.95)
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Fotor Fotor

Good for quick one button editing 4 stars
Fotor comes off quite impressive for a young program. Photoshop Elements it is not, it is geared towards amateurs or the average user at home. It has a nice GUI and user-friendly. The one-button editing features are usually not so good, but with Fotor, it is surprisingly not bad. For more advance editing, you can manually adjust the pictures with some quality editing tools. The controls are smooth and easy to use. The adjustments such as saturation and blur/sharp work well, but I feel the contrast function is a too strong and should have a broader range of adjustment. And there is no "levels" adjustment to tweak adjustments. I'm pressed with the crop options which many other editors lack. You can choose from manual cropping to several squared ratios. It supports the popular image formats and surprisingly, RAW. It feels very light, starts up quickly and applies adjustments effortlessly. I'm running Win7 64-bit, 8gig ram with a quad CPU, so I don't know about computers which are weaker than this. It is available for all PC platforms including mobile phones, Iphone and Android, but not for Linux. From my experience there were no batch processing, EXIF & other properties editing and portable version. Overall it is great for simple and maybe some advance editing. With this program starting out like this, I'm eager to see how far it will develop. Price: Free
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xps2img xps2img

A very good converter! 4 stars
I'm reviewing the 3.27 version. Sorry, GimpGuy, but this tool has its purpose for people who work with XPS files and may need to reassemble them. I have a Win7 HP 64-bit and the standard viewer cannot save to PNG, JPEG, etc., only the file name can be changed. XPS2IMG starts up very quickly, very light and can be installed as a normal program or as a portable file. It has various other settings; DPI, size, page number select, CPU priority settings and other settings/options. It supports drag & drop, too. As far as its main purpose, it can convert to the various image formats that it supports well. The interface is straight forward and simple, so it isn't very attractive. Maybe a new GUI would be nice. Also it cannot do batch processing which I think should be included in the future. Also a feature to rearrange the pages and print to PDF would be great. Overall it is a great tool for those who need it. Price: Free
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Secure Archive Secure Archive

Excellent encryption archiver! 5 stars
I was looking for a native 64-bit encryption software and found this one. The Snapfiles description above describes the features well. The program installs easily, seems very light and starts up instantly. It is basically an archiver with more security options. You can create an archive in which to add, delete and extract files. Also you can create a self-extractor(EXE file) that extracts the contents automatically after entering the password. It has drag & drop and right-click features. You can create an archive or secure delete by right click. Settings include CPU settings (for priority), view options, preallocate disk space for new archives, copy process on drag & drop and adjust the number of secure delete passes. Advance options include saving time stamps & file attributes & paths, calculate CRCs, archive hidden & system files and securely delete source files after archiving. There is one glitch/problem I have with it. The "New" button & "New" command under file menu does not work, it does nothing. Luckily the drag & drop and create from right-click features remedies this glitch/problem. It is a great encryption program for those who need a free one. And it has a 64-bit version and free for personal or commercial use. But for those who already have an archive program with a built-in password encryption feature may not need this. Also it is unfortunate that this program has not been updated in 2 years. Hopefully development will continue. Price: Free
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Kryptel Kryptel

Good encryption at a fair price 4 stars
I received the Standard 6.2.3 version as a giveaway. I have a Win7 64-bit system and when I first used it I had a problem. It encrypted a DOC file and decrypted it OK. The file is displayed in Kryptel's own explorer interface, but I could not open it up in MS Word. I got a message from MS Word that the DOC file didn't exist. It was a good thing that I used a test version. Anyway it worked OK on my 2nd try. Maybe the problem was because of no native 64-bit version? It is very easy to use. Just go to the file you want to encrypt, left click, select encrypt on the menu and the program opens up where you can enter a password. I don't know the password letter limit, but it can be at least 20 letters long. The encrypted file will change into a Kryptel file extension, so when you want to decrypt the file, just click on it and it will open up in Kryptel. It also has a batch mode, encrypted file modifier, tag-on comments, scan for encrypted files, drag & drop, add files, file based key, verify after encryption, command-line mode, interface options, roll-back option, data recovery tool for corrupted encrypted files, shredder and file compressor. It has some very minor graphical glitches, no built-in EXE self-extractor creator and I think it needs a 64-bit version. But overall it is very good. Price: Free Trial ($39.95)
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PhotoFiltre PhotoFiltre

A superb image editor 4 stars
A quality and easy to use editor for beginners and advance users. It has an easy to use interface and has all of the common filters built in. This new free version now handles layers. It can accept the popular file formats including PSD files. If one knows how to use it, some professional quality work can be produced. The bad points is that it doesn't support 8bf filters(only for the paid version) and some PSD files are not rendered correctly. Price: Free
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