My favorite programs on Ninite.

Ninite is a terrific service for installing the latest versions of some of the most popular programs in use today. I use it myself to update Firefox, Thunderbird, iTunes and Adobe Reader, to name a few.
Recently I got curious about some of the other offerings from Ninite. There are some programs I found so useful that I’ve added them to my update list while others didn’t stay installed on my system for long as I didn’t feel them adequate to serve my needs. I list the programs I use here to give you an idea of what programs I like and use.

Web Browsers

  • Firefox – Hands down, my favorite web browser.
  • Chrome – I keep this handy in case I need a second opinion.

Security

  • AVG – This is my preferred virus scanner. It’s really come a long way over the years.
  • Malwarebytes – This gem has saved the day again and again. It hasn’t let me down yet.

Messaging

  • Thunderbird – My preferred e-mail client.

Online Storage

  • SkyDrive – On my first day of training at my current job, my instructor had the class sign up for accounts on SkyDrive for uploading the training materials. It’s really grown on me since.
  • Google Drive – It doesn’t hurt to have more than one file backup service. Google Drive has really improved during the past few months.

Media

  • iTunes – I use this often to keep my iPod filled with music that gets me through the day.
  • VLC – When I need to watch a DVD on my computer, this is what I use.
  • Winamp – I’ve been using this since the days of Windows 95. No reason to part with it now.
  • Audacity – This sound recorder comes in handy for recording my music. I have a LightSnake cable for plugging in my guitar to a USB port and just jam away.
  • K-Lite Codecs – I use this for watching video clips I download.
  • QuickTime – I really don’t use this often but keep it updated anyway as iTunes depends on it.

And the one program I don’t like from this category…

  • MediaMonkey – If you already have iTunes installed and want to continue using it to transfer your music to your iPod, don’t install MediaMonkey. It sets itself up to take over the music transfer duties, which isn’t necessary, considering iTunes already does a fine job.

Imaging

  • Paint.NET – Excellent alternative to Microsoft Paint. I’m having fun defacing my photos with it.
  • Picasa – This is coming in handy for storing and sharing my photos.
  • GIMP – I’ve been meaning to familiarize myself with this program but need to find the time to play around with it.
  • IrfanView – My favorite image viewer.
  • InkScape – I find this handy for vector-based doodling.
  • GreenShot – This screen capture utility is a real find. When you press the PrintScrn key, a menu pops up giving you options for capturing a window, a region of the screen or the entire screen itself.

Compression

  • WinRAR – I’ve been using this ever since I downloaded a .RAR file and needed to extract its contents.

Documents

  • Adobe Reader – The quintessential PDF reader.
  • CutePDF – This handy utility sets itself up as a virtual printer to make creating PDF files as easily as printing a file.

Developer Tools

  • Notepad++ – Indisputably the best Notepad replacement out there. It is seriously feature-packed to satisfy even the hungriest of power users.
  • PuTTY – A small but very solid telnet client.
  • WinMerge – Handy for comparing the contents of two folders.
  • Utilities
  • Auslogics – My favorite disk defrag utility. The option to shut down the computer after the defrag finishes is a huge plus.
  • TrueCrypt – This great utility creates highly encrypted file containers and lets you add files to it as if it were a disk drive. Not even the NSA can crack them.
  • Revo – My favorite uninstaller. Not only does it remove the program, it scans your system and registry for any remnants left behind and lets you remove those as well.
  • Launchy – Another great find. This program launcher makes it easy to launch your favorite programs by typing the first few letters of its name and then picking that program from the list that appears.

Other

  • Google Earth – A tool that’s fun and useful at the same time. I like zooming in on the heavily populated areas just to hear the screaming at the sight of my mouse cursor hovering overhead.
  • KeePass – My favorite password manager. Before this I was using Roboform which worked well for me but unfortunately it only let me unlock the full version a limited number of times. I didn’t want to bother with Roboform any longer, so I switched to KeePass and haven’t looked back since.

And there you have it. My favorite programs on Ninite. Check them out and before long they’ll be your favorites too.

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