There is plenty of good software available on the internet these days, without having to pay a small fortune. This page is just to highlight some of the software out there that I use all the time and often find indispensable. Most of it is from smaller software houses or individuals. Much of it is free or pretty cheap.
Ashampoo is a little known German company, I think. They produce some pretty good software at reasonable prices and, quite often, a new release will mean that the older version is made available free of charge – obviously in the hope that you will like it enough to pay for the upgrade. I currently use their Burning Studio Free for ripping and burning CDs. Only basic, but it does the job admirably. I also use Music Studio 2016 – now updated to Music Studio 2018 – for converting mp2 files to mp3. Backup 11 Pro cost me about a tenner, I think, and is a simple to use program for backing up those important files.
Piriform is another small company producing excellent software for free. They also do paid-for versions, but I find the free stuff is generally good enough for my uses. CCleaner is well known amongst those in the know,as one of the best hard drive cleaners out there. I also use Speccy, which is excellent at telling me all the details about my machine.
Malwarebytes has long produced one of the best anti-malware programs available. Again, they do a paid-for version, but the free one is generally good enough, I find, for cleaning most of the nasties out.
Log4OM is a feature-rich amateur radio log book that is completely free to use. Constantly updated by the developer and with plenty of online support from the forums, it is proving to be popular amongst logging software users. For me, I found it a little complicated to set up and I found that I don’t use many of the features. However, if you are looking for a fully-featured logging program, with CAT control, contest mode, built-in DX Cluster info and much more, then this is well worth a look.
For code editing (mainly for PIC and Arduino microprocessors, in my case) I’ve recently found myself to be quite liking a piece of software from Microsoft. Whilst I am far from being an expert in using Visual Studio Code, I do find it quite easy to use and also easy on the eye. And it’s from Microsoft. And it’s free! What’s not to like? Before that, I was using Notepad++, which is also to be recommended.
Em Client is my preferred email client. I like the classic style interface and – again – I find it intuitive to set up and use. The free version only allows for two accounts to be synced up at any one time, but that’s fine for me (and I would guess, many others). I also like that it syncs seamlessly with my Google Calendar.
For Desktop Publishing (of which I do very little, nowadays, admittedly), I have always used Pageplus from Serif. The company is moving into more high-end products now, but their last iteration, Pageplus 9, is still available from the Legacy section of their store for just 20 quid. And for that money, it is a tremendous piece of software, in my opinion.
azzCardfile is an excellent replacement for the old Microsoft Cardfile program, dating back to Win 3.1. Not wanting the complications of a full-blown database, I have been looking for something similar to Cardfile for a long time and azzCardfile fits the bill perfectly. Intuitive to use; small footprint and speedy, I find it perfect for many of the things that I want to track and I now use it as my main Amateur Radio Log Book, due to the large amount of info it can hold. I’m not sure if the developer is still working on it, as sadly there doesn’t seem to have been much activity for the last couple of years. The program costs about twenty quid, but can be used freely if you are willing to put up with the occasional nag screen.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation to any of these software companies and can only vouch for their respective softwares, in as much as to say, I had no problems with any of them.
You use at your own risk.