The Complete Suite of Programs Needed After New Windows Installation [V2.0: Advanced]


  • Internet Tools

    Let's set up a comfortable and safe environment to surf the world-wide-web.

  • Mozilla Firefox

    Free Mac Windows Linux Android iPhone ... Android Tablet iPad Homebrew PortableApps.com Chocolatey Flathub AppImageHub Snapcraft BSD Haiku Gecko Website

    The best all-around browser that outperforms Microsoft's Edge in every aspect.
    And to tweak it with optimal privacy settings, I apply a bunch of settings recommended by Small PrivacyTools.io iconPrivacyTools.io. I picked the best rules of them and posted them here:
    https://telegra.ph/My-favorite-privacy-tweaks-to-Firefoxs-configurations-07-11 .

    Extensions to make it even better:
    Small uBlock Origin iconuBlock Origin.
    Small HTTPS Everywhere iconHTTPS Everywhere.
    Small Facebook Container iconFacebook Container.
    • I recommend using the privacy-focused search engine: Small DuckDuckGo iconDuckDuckGo

     

    Mozilla Firefox icon
  • uBlock Origin

    Free Microsoft Edge Vivaldi Browser Chrome Pale Moon Thunderbird ... Opera Node.JS Chromium Firefox Website

    Powerful, and lightweight extension to block ads and malicious scripts.
    Compatible with Firefox & Chrome.

     

    uBlock Origin icon
  • HTTPS Everywhere

    Free Web Vivaldi Browser Chrome Yandex.Browser Opera ... Chromium Firefox Website

    Forces websites to use HTTPS which make connection encrypted and difficult for outside people to spy on.
    Compatible with Firefox & Chrome.

     

    HTTPS Everywhere icon
  • Thunderbird

    Free Mac Windows Linux Homebrew PortableApps.com ... Chocolatey Flathub AppImageHub Snapcraft BSD Haiku Website

    Secure, private, speedy and customizable email, news, RSS, and chat client.
    A productive way to manage multiple emails.

     

    Thunderbird icon
  • EagleGet

    Free Windows Internet Explorer Chrome Firefox Website

    A decent download manager which will integrate to most browsers without problems, it lets the user decide if it should allow ads to appear inside the app (actually not intrusive ads, which is a good thing) or use it ad-free but limits the bandwidth in return.

    Here are some open-source alternatives that have positive reviews, although in my use case they didn't really deliver the good usability offered by EagleGet, so you might test them for yourself and see what suits you better:
    Small Xtreme Download Manager iconXtreme Download Manager.
    Small Persepolis Download Manager iconPersepolis Download Manager.
    /!\ Disclaimer: Do NOT expect Small Internet Download Manager iconInternet Download Manager 's performance and speed in any of these free download managers!

     

    EagleGet icon
  • qBittorrent

    Free Mac Windows Linux PortableApps.com Snapcraft ... BSD Haiku Website

    You might encounter torrent files every once in a while; this one is an excellent open-source bitTorrent client.

    • if you don't like it for whatever reason, your next pick should probably be: Small PicoTorrent iconPicoTorrent .

     

    qBittorrent icon
  • KeePass

    Free Mac Windows Linux BSD Mono Website

    Using the same password for all websites and services will put you in a high security risk, you should always use different passwords that are hard to guess. That's why it's always recommended to have your login information safely stored and easily remembered for you by using a specialized password manager, which handles the management and generation of unique, hard-to-break passwords and stores them in an encrypted database (sometimes called a Vault). KeePass is a local offline password manager, so your data are only your own, and you have the responsibility of taking care of backing it up.

    Alternatives that store your data on the cloud offering convenient data synchronization and official addons support:
    Small LastPass iconLastPass.
    Small NordPass iconNordPass.
    (both of them have a limited free plan that forces user to use a single device type)

    -
    Some rambling thoughts:
    1): I used to include Small Bitwarden iconBitwarden here, but removed it due to the lack of some major features (posted them on their forum: https://community.bitwarden.com/t/lacking-major-features-save-prompts-for-example/26695/5 ). In addition: within the last trial I gave it, I had a horrible experience with it, where I tried it for 6 days, and on the 7th day it 'suddenly' told me that my master password or email is wrong even though the possibility of me forgetting or mistyping the same password that I wrote at least once a day everyday is literally zero!!! Well, it was not exactly "suddenly" but it absurdly happened after changing my router's settings, and of course I tried different networks and platforms and devices, but it didn't help!! It just makes no sense. I also had copied the recovery code earlier, but turns out it's useless without activating 2FA and I didn't have it activated - therefore I was completely out of luck - and decided to forget about this software altogether and not recommend it!

    2): On the lookout for a truly good FREE password manager, I literally tried every available option out there that supports browser extensions (I see it as the bare minimum requirement for a convenient password manager) but couldn't find any software that even comes close to the awesomeness of Myki !! ( it's indeed criminally underrated, maybe due to its non cloud-sync approach which could have turned some people off, but on contrary, that's the aspect I do appreciate the most! ). --- Edit: All this talk is gone to void right now, as the product has being abandoned by the developers, thus I fell back to the good old classic manager: KeePass.

     

    KeePass icon
  • Essential Apps

    Everyday utilities that everyone needs to carry out daily tasks or do some basic actions.

  • PeaZip

    Free Mac Windows Linux BSD PortableApps.com Website

    Simply the greatest archive manager supporting all compressed files formats with handy encryption features, all within a nice UI.

    • If you prefer something ultra-minimal, you should be looking at: Small 7-Zip icon7-Zip.

     

    PeaZip icon
  • Unchecky

    Free Windows Website

    Unchecky will automatically deselect adware (in form of bundleware/bloatware) from software installations.

     

    Unchecky icon
  • HoneyView

    Free Windows Website

    Now let's get rid of Microsoft's awfully slow and useless image viewer with this fast, clean, lightweight image viewer.

    Alternatives you may consider:
    Small nomacs iconnomacs: is even more feature-packed & is open-source.
    Small ImageGlass iconImageGlass: is another popular open-source image viewer with a clean interface, but I didn't personally find it exactly useful in my use case as it failed to open TIFF images.

     

    HoneyView icon
  • SMPlayer

    Free Windows Linux BSD mpv PortableApps.com ... Haiku MPlayer Mac Website

    Let's replace Microsoft's default video player with this much better and much more helpful media player.
    SMPlayer: is much faster. While it doesn't have the best looking interface out of the box, you do have the option to apply a number of provided skins.

    Other recommended alternatives:
    Small VLC Media Player iconVLC Media Player: Undoubtedly the best FOSS; great engine with wide codecs support.

     

    SMPlayer icon
  • MusicBee

    Free Personal Windows Website

    MusicBee helps you in organizing and managing your music files, playlists and libraries in a very appealing, user-friendly, customizable interface.

    • Other good alternative: Small AIMP iconAIMP.

     

    MusicBee icon
  • SumatraPDF

    Free Windows Website

    A viewer for PDF and EPUB (an e-book format). Sumatra is hands down the best for the task in terms of speed and functionality, however, it doesn't have any editing tools and no impressive look either (looks kinda outdated).

    Other good options:
    Small Xodo iconXodo: Modern PDF reader with free annotating tools, can be downloaded from the Microsoft store; it's also my favorite pick for Android.
    Small Foxit Reader iconFoxit Reader: Supports PDF & EBUP along with other formats with decent amount of features, BUT it has bundleware in the installer, shows ad banners inside the app, has "send usage reports to improve experience" option enabled by default! Luckily though, all of these cons could be easily fixed by going to the settings.

     

    SumatraPDF icon
  • PDFsam

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Website

    As PDF documents have become so common nowadays, from time to time you'll probably need to edit them (like merge, or split them). PDFsam is here for that.

    Other options:
    Small PDFTK Builder iconPDFTK Builder: basic features, minimal design for lightweight size.
    Small AlterPDF iconAlterPDF: Proprietary freemuim software. The free version is more than enough though.

     

    PDFsam icon
  • HiBit Uninstaller

    Free Personal Windows Website

    This is an underrated hidden gem! An awesome uninstaller for completely removing programs, their leftovers, and registry entries.

     

    HiBit Uninstaller icon
  • File Converter

    Free Windows Windows Explorer Website

    With a great amount of formats support, it is one of the best, straight-forward, file conversion utilities I've come across on Windows.

     

    File Converter icon
  • Qalculate!

    Free Mac Windows Linux Website

    Qalculate is an advanced scientific calculator with simple interface.

    Edit: MS Calculator went open-source, and became much better ever since. So you may not need any third-party application depending on your needs.

     

    Qalculate! icon
  • SyncBack

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Android Android Tablet Website

    A robust tool to backup, synchronize and mirror your drives. The free plan does all these basic operations without any major limitations.

    Similar apps:
    Small SyncToy iconSyncToy: although it's a discontinued product, but it is one of the simplest synchronizing tools to ever exist. It was the first tool I ever used to 'echo' (mirror) my backup hard drives in a speedy manner.
    Small Alternate File Move iconAlternate File Move: surprisingly lightweight, even though the UI seems very minimal, the app's functionality is on par with the other apps!

     

    SyncBack icon
  • VeraCrypt

    Free Mac Windows Linux Homebrew PortableApps.com ... Chocolatey BSD Website

    Everyone needs a highly private space to keep their sensitive data safe. VeraCrypt will help you create an encrypted container or partition that no one can break into.

     

    VeraCrypt icon
  • Secure Eraser

    Free Personal Windows Website

    Deleting files the normal way (even with permanent shift-delete) is not the right way to go to prevent them from being recovered again!
    For that, you should consider using a specialized software that implements multiple overwriting algorithms to make sure no one will ever be able to get them back.

    Other similar alternatives:
    Small Hardwipe iconHardwipe.
    Small Alternate File Shredder iconAlternate File Shredder.
    Small HiBit Uninstaller iconHiBit Uninstaller 's built-in shredder.

     

    Secure Eraser icon
  • Productivity & Customization

    Tools to improve your efficiency and get more productive.

• This is an extended list for the [V1 Basic] list I made before: https://alternativeto.net/list/5857/must-have-apps-after-fresh-windows-install .

• This is a subjective list of software that I usually install on my family and friends' computers, many of which are pretty useful for getting the most out of Windows; for both regular home users, and experienced ones.

I hope the list has been a bit of help to you all.
Thank you for spending the time reading all the way up to here.
#MZ
Edited by: Malaz YI.



Comments on The Complete Suite of Programs Needed After New Windows Installation [V2.0: Advanced]

TheEmperorArt
· Nov 2019 · Helpful Not helpful 2 Helpful Report as spam

Cool list! I think you should consider mentioning Foxit Reader as well since it has all of Gaaiho Reader's features plus has epub support.

reply

Thank you, I'm glad you liked the list.
Foxit Reader is indeed popular and pretty practical, but the thing that prevents me from recommending it to people is the fact that it has some seriously annoying banners inside the app promoting their other products, moreover, the installer has many bundled bloatware (can be opted out, but inexperienced users usually just click 'next' in every installation process).
Anyway, I will be soon updating the list, I'm going to edit the PDF software, if I find anything really better than Sumatra and Gaaiho.
Thank you again for liking the list.

You can easily disable the banner and ads by going in the settings. It has 2 optional installation one for avast and the other for a VPN you can opt out very easily by clicking the big Decline button. I think even inexperienced users are smart enough to decline it.

Well I didn't actually know about that, I will give it a new try and see how it works out for me. But generally speaking, an app that has optional "bloat-ware", in-app ads banners, and collecting data to improve user experience option enabled by default, is not a trustworthy app for me. I know, you might say that all these things could be solved easily. An app with everything set up and ready to use in a safe and convenient manner out of the box is definitely a better option than an app you'll to go through a bit of hassle to suite the users needs. If I don't find such an option, I will add Foxit to the list with a warning of those cons mentioned.
Finally, I appreciate the time you spent for giving your opinion and suggestion.

So for you you'd rather have more privacy in an app. I use foxit for it's functionality that's it.
I personally don't mind if an app has telemetry especially since everything has it from Maps to the browser. And majority of apps of course will have them enabled as it goes to improving the app itself. There are a few good apps out there that unfortunately do have optional bloat as well but it's usually easy to click.
Now I'm with you when it has to do with apps that install bloat without user consent or knowledge or actively logs user data without proper encryption or sends said data to obscure places like what UC browser was doing.
To disable the ads/banner you go into the settings > general, scroll down and you'll see the option to disable them.


JonasPT
· Dec 2019 · Helpful Not helpful 2 Helpful Report as spam

This is the most useful list I've seen here. I use Joplin as a secure note taking app. It has a portable version and can sync in the cloud (example: Nextcloud). It also has a Web Clipper for Firefox and Chrome, which is really useful.

reply

Thank you Joao, I was actually planning on updating the list and add more productivity apps, so after searching and testing several options, your suggestion helped me decide what note-taking app to choose, so thanks a lot!
I've just finished updating the list. Please let me know what do you think and if you have any more suggestions, I will definitely take them into consideration.


tibi97427
· Jun 2020 · Helpful Not helpful 1 Helpful Report as spam

Nice list ! But just as an observation : the link for the Microsoft Office student offer isn't available anymore.

reply

Thanks mate!
I will update the link right away, I'm so grateful for pointing that out!
Have a nice one.


RogueScholar
· Aug 2021 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

This is not only a very astute assessment of the current software landscape for Windows users, but also a very cogently assembled presentation of them; you are to be highly commended for creating and maintaining it as you do. :)

That said, we wouldn't be proper nerds if we didn't have a bunch of strongly-held and nuanced opinions about our particular nerd domains, right? So for the sake of nothing more than my own peace of mind, I'm including below a few thoughts I had about various aspects as I read this. I don't expect them to have any impact other than possibly triggering your own reevaluation of available alternatives upon your next update.

  1. Calculators

The one and only recommendation in your proffer that I had a strong negative reaction to was SpeedCrunch. So much of any digital device's raw power is derived from mathematical operations that it's patently ridiculous that almost all available flavors of operating system from Windows to MacOS to UNIX-like distributions all neglect to include an application that can conveniently and intuitively serve as a drop-in replacement to a good ol' scientific calculator (I still carry a Sharp EL-W516TBSL in my attaché case wherever I go and am continually surprised at how often I pull it out).

Sadly, I don't think SpeedCrunch satisfies either the convenience or intuitiveness qualifiers of my earlier statement; the UI still requires users to find so many function nicknames by trial-and-error and the minimalist GUI keypad feels straight out of the Bronze Age and is obviously a non-priority for the developers. I'm only aware of one project in this space that has the maturity, UI and feature set that would merit recommending or using myself, and that's Qalculate!. It's certainly not perfect, I think it might even be guilty of allowing feature creep to hamper the clarity of the menus and keypad layouts, but I challenge anyone to spend thirty minutes exploring exactly what it's capable of doing, from combinatorics to matrices to periodic table data and up-to-date currency conversions, and lack a profound sense of amazement at the end.

  1. Password Managers

I don't have that much experience with Myki, it seemed to hit all the right notes when I gave it a brief implementation during my last evaluation period, but neither did it demonstrate any unique advantages or novel functionalities from what I saw. It may have changed or you might just know it better, I won't take issue with its inclusion either way. What I WILL take issue with is the inclusion of LastPass in any serious review of the vast number of products in this space. They were already seriously dysfunctional as a commercial software house during the LogMeIn period, but post-Francisco/Elliott acquisition they've become nothing but hot SaaS garbage. That's of course just my opinion, though I would truly be surprised to encounter anyone with a depth of InfoSec knowledge who genuinely held an overall satisfactory opinion of their current position in this vertical. If you included them because you do indeed feel as such, I hope that you'll reply and tell me what I'm missing, I mean that.

Personally, I think Bitwarden is the only viable option at the moment for a non-power user that is yet to be convinced of the rationale for investing in a commercial password manager offering. The fact that they are simply able to keep pace with the feature sets of the plethora of for-profit competitors verges on the miraculous, let alone are able to stand out in some ways like password generation and a free, managed cloud sync option without losing focus or abandoning their no-cost tier verges on the miraculous, in my opinion. Add to that the fact that their middle-of-the-road hosted service that is essentially at or above feature parity with all the "big boys'" $30-$60/yr. plans despite only costing $10 by comparison, and I'm ready to call a TKO for the bout. We could talk about 1Password or even Dashlane as viable alternatives, but those don't suit the list's tone as well as BW.

I have some other more minor thoughts, but they'll have to wait until after I've gotten some sleep. Again, truly fantastic list, definitely the best I've read on AlternativeTo by far.

reply

Thank you very much Mr. Peter, I'm indeed flattered by your overwhelmingly nice words!
Of course, all opinions and thoughts are welcomed, and in fact encouraged, because I myself doubt some of the decisions I've made with the list sometimes, and I feel the need for other people's evaluations and advice just to make it even better and more useful.

  • "Calculators" was one of the surprisingly difficult tools to pick. I tried a couple of suggested alternatives on here, but most really missed something, and I don't know why I have skipped Qalculate, maybe it escaped me and went oversight.
    But I just took a look at Qalculate. And man, it turns out exactly what I have been looking for! So, thanks a lot for the first suggestion that made its way to the list!

  • "Password Managers", the section that I knew for sure would fire lots of debate and was always hesitant about it.
    I'm fairly new to password managers, I started using them at the same time I created this list, and I actually discovered them & learned about their importance from the community of this very website. I started off with BW.. So in my expectations, I hoped it would be as simple and efficient as my firefox's or chrome's built-in password managers, so I could save myself some time looking up tutorials and documentations, because personally I believe that a good piece of software is one that excels at approaching new users without making them feel like it's a whole new world they have to go through and discover. But that wasn't the case with BW unfortunately.

  • For example, when you create a new account, the browsers' built-in managers pop up asking you to save the new login; Bitwarden, however, did not.

  • On input forms, browsers suggest a random password to use, which is the key feature and essence of any password manager, but Bitwarden did not, because you have to do it manually. So I said to myself "Okay, no problem I will do it manually .. My security is worth it".. Now the login has been saved to my account.

  • Once you have a password saved for any domain, the browser's default behavior was to show a popup asking you to the fill form with one click, but Bitwarden did not, because this too was supposed to be done manually.. Here I was like "What's the point?!!". Those very basic automation features are actually what I really care about besides a convenient sync and automatic backup. Eventually I failed to see how Bitwarden could prove to be any useful. Having everything done manually was a deal-breaker. So I gave up on it and started testing the other popular alternatives out there, but I kept LastPass out of the equation due to its discouraging hacks history.. And none of the mainstream password managers really clicked with me because of the constraints they had on their free tiers, mainly the limit of 50 logins, when I have over 80 and for other various reasons such as bad form detection or broken auto-fill feature and so on.

Later I gave LastPass a try, and man, it was simply what I have always been wanting, no more no less! - Or wait - maybe there were some missing wishes actually; like being open-source, and offering more 2FA options, and the security of their unknown servers would always haunt me in the back of my head. But still, usability-wise, it was checking all the marks for me!

Fast-forwards few months later, I discovered Myki, and again, it wasn't as easy to get into as LastPass was, but definitely easier than Bitwarden, I liked it a lot, and felt safe using it when realizing that my vault is my own responsibility. Despite its different and unique setup approach from other password managers, it felt to make lots of sense to me. Thus I stuck to it.

It's getting too long now, sorry for boring you with this long poorly-written story, I will jump straight to the bottom line:
I don't claim LastPass, NordPass or Myki are the absolute best, each one has its own minuses, but one thing for sure, their user-friendliness is way out of the league of Bitwarden. BW just requires too much unnecessary work to make the most out of it. Bitwarden had me some seriously creepy issues that made it impossible for me to recommend to anyone (the one I mentioned above in the list relating to changing the router's settings).

Edit: Myki is now dead. I went to the classy good old KeePass which is really awesome. While it doesn't do much, but at the few things it does, it does it right.

Thank you a lot for your lovely input again, and have a nice day/night!
Looking forward for more thoughts and recommendations.

[Edited by MD98SY]


JustanotherMalaysian
· Mar 2021 · Helpful Not helpful -1 Helpful Report as spam

QTTabBar is something I needed for a long time, going to try it out. Thanks!

reply

You're welcome! I'm glad to help!


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