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

After a fresh Windows installation, new users might get frustrated by the weakness of the default Microsoft apps. So, in this list I'm going to cover applications that will enhance the user experience for everyday tasks. And for that, I only picked programs that meet these criteria: • Should be free (not commercial), safe and preferably open-source. • Should be an offline native desktop app/client. • Does not require advanced technical knowledge.

Thus, the list is tailored to non tech-savvy home users, however, a section for people who are into computer programming and IT will be also added, which includes basic and commonly-used development and coding tools.

Malaz YI
Malaz YIList by Malaz YI, last updated 2022-08-29
  1. Internet Tools

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

  2. Mozilla Firefox icon

    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 PrivacyTools.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: uBlock Origin. HTTPS Everywhere. Facebook Container. • I recommend using the privacy-focused search engine: DuckDuckGo

    • Web Browser
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • BSD
    • iPad
    • AppImageHub
    • Snapcraft
    • Flathub
    • PortableApps.com
    • Haiku
    • Flatpak
    • Homebrew
    • Chocolatey
    • Gecko
    • ...
    Startpage
  3. Google Chrome icon

    I use Chrome as a secondary browser. Despite of its privacy compromises, it's got a the most robust security and stability. To minimize its privacy problems I use the following add-ons: uBlock Origin. HTTPS Everywhere. Decentraleyes. Privacy Badger. • Also, consider replacing the search engine to: DuckDuckGo.

    • Web Browser
    • FreeProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Chrome OS
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • PortableApps.com
    • ...
    main window
  4. uBlock Origin icon

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

    • Ad Blocker
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Microsoft Edge
    • Vivaldi Browser
    • Google Chrome
    • Pale Moon
    • Thunderbird
    • Opera
    • Node.JS
    • Chromium
    • Firefox
    • ...
    uBlock Origin screenshot 1
  5. HTTPS Everywhere icon

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

    • Privacy Tool
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Online
    • Vivaldi Browser
    • Google Chrome
    • Yandex.Browser
    • Opera
    • Chromium
    • Firefox
    • ...
    HTTPS Everywhere screenshot 1
  6. Thunderbird icon

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

    • Email Client
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • AppImageHub
    • Snapcraft
    • Flathub
    • PortableApps.com
    • Haiku
    • Homebrew
    • Chocolatey
    • ...
    Thunderbird screenshot 1
  7. EagleGet icon

    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: • Xtreme Download Manager. • Persepolis Download Manager. /!\ Disclaimer: Do NOT expect Internet Download Manager 's performance and speed in any of these free download managers!

    • Download Manager
    • FreeProprietary
    • Windows
    • Internet Explorer
    • Google Chrome
    • Firefox
    • ...
    EagleGet screenshot 1
  8. qBittorrent icon

    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: PicoTorrent .

    • Torrent Client
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • AppImageHub
    • Snapcraft
    • Flathub
    • PortableApps.com
    • Haiku
    • ...
    qBittorrent screenshot 1
  9. KeePass icon

    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: • LastPass. • NordPass. (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 Bitwarden 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.

    • ...
    Entry Templates Plugin
  10. Essential Apps

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

  11. PeaZip icon

    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: 7-Zip.

    • File Archiver
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • PortableApps.com
    • ...
    PeaZip
  12. LibreOffice icon

    The most complete, well-supported, open-source, and cross-platform office suite.

    • While Microsoft 365 (Office) is still more familiar to many people (especially when looking at LibreOffice's outdated UI), it's worth noting that Microsoft offers a free 4-years license for students, which you can grab from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education/products/office

    • Office Suite
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • Flathub
    • PortableApps.com
    • Android
    • ...
    LibreOffice Writer on Linux
  13. Unchecky icon

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

    • ...
    Unchecky screenshot 1
  14. HoneyView icon

    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: • nomacs: is even more feature-packed & is open-source. • ImageGlass: 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.

    • ...
    Main Screen
  15. SMPlayer icon

    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: • VLC Media Player: Undoubtedly the best FOSS; great engine with wide codecs support.

    • Media Player
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • mpv
    • PortableApps.com
    • Haiku
    • MPlayer
    • ...
    Playing video - Default Skin
  16. MusicBee icon

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

    • Other good alternative: AIMP.

    • ...
    Promo 1: Main Features
  17. SumatraPDF icon

    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: • Xodo: Modern PDF reader with free annotating tools, can be downloaded from the Microsoft store; it's also my favorite pick for Android. • Foxit 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 screenshot 1
  18. PDFsam icon

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

    • ...
    PDFsam screenshot 1
  19. HiBit Uninstaller icon

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

    • ...
    HiBit Uninstaller screenshot 1
  20. File Converter icon

    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 screenshot 1
  21. Qalculate! icon

    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.

    • ...
    Main window
  22. SyncBack icon

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

    Similar apps: • SyncToy: 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. • Alternate File Move: surprisingly lightweight, even though the UI seems very minimal, the app's functionality is on par with the other apps!

    • File Sync Tool
    • FreemiumProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • Android Tablet
    • ...
    Main window
  23. VeraCrypt icon

    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.

    • ...
    Langage
  24. Secure Eraser icon

    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: • Hardwipe. • Alternate File Shredder. • HiBit Uninstaller 's built-in shredder.

    • ...
    Secure Eraser screenshot 1
  25. Productivity & Customization

    Tools to improve your efficiency and get more productive.

  26. CopyQ icon

    Lightweight clipboard manager with searchable and editable history.

    • Windows 10's built-in clipboard is actually not bad at all, you may consider giving it a try before using a third-party application.

    • ...
    Shows a list of previously copied text or images.
  27. Listary icon

    Listary is a file/folder lookup tool and a program launcher at the same time. It's way faster than Windows Explorer's search, you can locate your files in the blink of an eye as you're typing, just double press Ctrl and the search bar will pop up. On the first run, the app introduces a very helpful tutorial for new users.

    • ...
    Listary screenshot 1
  28. Open Shell icon

    A continuation of the great Classic Shell's project which is well-known for people wanting to replace Windows' start menu with a more familiar looking one. It offers several options to customize the taskbar as well.

    • ...
    Open Shell screenshot 1
  29. QTTabBar icon

    A tool that brings tabbed browsing to Microsoft's Windows Explorer, for faster and convenient navigation between multiple folders.

    • ...
    Tabbed Explorer
  30. VueMinder Calendar icon

    A productive calendar that pops up on your desktop to remind you of important events. There are hundreds of tools that do that, but the majority are either cloud-based or email-synced apps. I personally do not like to sync or keep my data on the internet, so after a bit of searching I eventually stumbled upon some offline desktop apps and found VueMinder to be the best even in its free lite version, I believe it does the trick for most people without the need for the paid one.

    Other similar productive calendars: • UKs Kalender. • Rainlendar.

    • ...
    VueMinder Calendar screenshot 1
  31. Joplin icon

    Note taking and to-do application, which can handle a large number of notes organized into notebooks. The notes can be synchronized with various cloud services. Notes are primarily written in Markdown, but also features a rich text editor.

    • If you need more easy-to-use note taking app with more convenient sync, I'd suggest: Notesnook if your notes are just texts (or you can pay for media/file attachment support). • Or if you want an all-rounder with a very simple yet beautiful interface, then: Zoho Notebook is here for you. While it only offers 2GB of free storage, I think it's plenty a lot for most people. (It's my go-to notes app, and I'm quite happy with it)

    • Note-taking Tool
    • FreemiumOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • Self-Hosted
    • AppImageHub
    • Snapcraft
    • Google Chrome
    • Flathub
    • Cloudron
    • Homebrew
    • Chocolatey
    • Termux
    • Firefox
    • PortableApps.com
    • ...
    Desktop and mobile apps
  32. Multimedia

    Tools for media downloading, and entry-level production/design.

  33. Audacity icon

    Editing sound files the professional way!

    • Audacity has a kinda overwhelming interface, and getting it to work with mp3 files (or other proprietary formats) can be really user-unfriendly; that's where a better looking and simpler option might be needed (trading off less advanced features tho), and for this I recommend: Ocenaudio.

    • Audio Editor
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • PortableApps.com
    • LAME
    • ...
    Audacity screenshot 1
  34. Paint.NET icon

    Paint.NET was first designed to replace Microsoft's Paint; but later became a considerably powerful image editing software. Despite its extremely light size, it's very capable piece of software once you get the hang of it and extend its functionality using some of the many available plug-ins.

    Other options: • Photoscape: fun and simple photo editing software for quick image enhancement and fixes. • GIMP: advanced image editor with a steep learning curve for beginners.

    • ...
    Paint.NET screenshot 1
  35. youtube-dl icon

    Youtube-dl is the ultimate best script for downloading videos; not only from YouTube but from countless video hosting services too. For better conversion processes, it's recommended to have FFmpeg beside it. It may look unsuitable for beginners due its command line interface, but I decided to add it here because it has one of the most well-written, easy-to-follow documentations.

    Graphical alternatives: • Youtube-DLG: Based on Youtube-dl, less stable though. • 4k Video Downloader: Freemuim (free with limited features).

    • ...
    youtube-dl screenshot 1
  36. Tweaking Windows

    • Enhancing privacy by blocking Microsoft's spying methods/functions.
    • Boosting performance by getting rid of the pre-installed bloatware.
  37. ShutUp10++ icon

    Free Anti-Spy tool for Windows 10. Just tick some check-boxes and you should be ready to go!

    • A free open-source alternative that does similar functionality with less options but clearer and easier way is: DisableWinTracking.

    • ...
    ShutUp10++ screenshot 1
  38. Windows10Debloater icon

    A handy script (PowerShell Script) that will save your time uninstalling pre-installed apps and deactivating unnecessary resource-consuming services.

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • ...
    Windows10Debloater GUI
  39. WindowsSpyBlocker icon

    Just one executable, and with only few keystrokes, it will add a pile of firewall rules to block Microsoft's outbound telemetry domains. (A major downside for some people, that it goes a bit too far, as it will even block Outlook/MS Live's services and the Microsoft app store).

    • ...
    WindowsSpyBlocker screenshot 1
  40. Runtimes & Frameworks

  41. C++ icon

    ** Download the latest Visual C++ Packages; many apps you may want to use, could require it: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2977003/the-latest-supported-visual-c-downloads.

    • ...
    C++ screenshot 1
  42. C# icon

    ** Download the latest .NET framework runtime; many apps you may want to use, could require it: https://dotnet.microsoft.com/download/dotnet-framework.

    • ...
    C# screenshot 1
  43. Python icon

    ** A rapidly growing programming language, so there is a high chance you'll come across some piece of software that uses Python ("Youtube-dl" listed above is one example): https://www.python.org/downloads/windows/ .

    • Programming Language
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Symbian S60
    • BSD
    • AROS
    • Haiku
    • AmigaOS
    • OpenSolaris
    • MorphOS
    • ...
    Python screenshot 1
  44. Development Tools

    Plus other OS testing tools, and widely common IDEs and text editors.

  45. PyCharm icon

    One of the best IDEs for Python.

    • You might also like this classical-looking, beginner-friendly IDE: Thonny.

    • IDE
    • FreemiumOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • ...
    PyCharm screenshot 1
  46. Microsoft Visual Studio icon

    Visually Studio is used for C# and VisualBasic programming (these languages were developed by MS so they have extended features for them) as well as other languages such as: C, C++, F#, and web scripting languages.

    • IDE
    • Free PersonalProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Online
    • .NET Framework
    • ...
    Microsoft Visual Studio screenshot 1
  47. Visual Studio Code icon

    An excellent cross-platform text editor, and the world's most used one.

    • A great alternative: Atom. • A forked VS Code clone without the Microsoft's branding, telemetry and licensing: VSCodium.

    • Code Editor
    • FreeProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Chrome OS
    • ...
    Visual Studio Code screenshot 1
  48. AutoHotkey icon

    AutoHotKey scripting is fun!

    • And so is AutoIt !

    • ...
    Tray menu
  49. VirtualBox icon

    VirtualBox is amazing for testing different OSes.

    • The direct rival of VirtualBox is: VMware Workstation Player.

    • ...
    VirtualBox Manager
  50. MultiBootUSB icon

    My favorite bootable drive creation tool for multiple Linux distros, it has QEMU built-in, which allows you to live-test the distro in a separate window without rebooting!

    • ...
    MultiBootUSB screenshot 1
Page 1 of 2

• 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.


This list was created by Malaz YI Jul 10, 2019 and was last updated Aug 29, 2022. The list has 44 apps.

You can create your own lists from our large database of apps either for your own sake or if you want to share some great apps with other people.


Comments

   relevance • date
Peter Mello
CommentAug 17, 2021

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.

1 reply
Malaz YI

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]

Reply written Aug 18, 2021

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JustanotherMalaysian
CommentMar 19, 2021

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

1 reply
Malaz YI

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

Reply written Aug 18, 2021

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tibi97427
CommentJun 7, 2020

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

1 reply
Malaz YI

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

Reply written Jun 7, 2020

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Joao Alexandre
CommentDec 8, 2019

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.

1 reply
Malaz YI

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.

Reply written Dec 16, 2019

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TheEmperorArt
CommentNov 28, 2019

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.

4 replies
Malaz YI

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.

Reply written Dec 10, 2019

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TheEmperorArt

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.

Reply written Dec 10, 2019

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Malaz YI

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.

Reply written Dec 10, 2019

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TheEmperorArt

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.

Reply written Dec 11, 2019

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