Seven Hot Free Windows Downloads That Actually Work

Back in the day more or less every add-on utility was either a limited time trial or it cost you a few bucks, while the free stuff was generally more trouble than it was worth, stripped down, or buggy. This standard seems to have finally changed with the launch of Windows 7 Microsoft's newest operating system functions with a lot of useful add-on applications that are entirely free.

I know, it's all a bit overwhelming. Now there are so many great utilities to choose from it could take months to find the the ones that are best for you. So to help you out, I've compiled a list of 7 stellar utilities that will make your day-to-day working life a little easier.

1. Dropbox

I'm not saving the best for last. Dropbox is a revolutionary utility that will allow you to securely store large files online and keep all your machines synchonized. All you have to do is drag and drop the files, and they're available to any other devices you have running the program.

You can even store selected files publicly online for anyone to see/use. Your free dropbox is 2GB, but you can buy additional storage if you need it.

2. Evernote

Evernote is a real lifesaver. Think of it as an online notebook that remembers everything, and "remember everything" is their motto. Usable on multiple operating systems and mobile platforms, Evernote allows you to catalogue everything from pictures, to sound bytes, to entire websites. Like Dropbox, this program synchronizes with other devices. Evernote also has charater recognition software. Got some note scawled onto a cocktail napkin? Just scan it in!

Free for the first 40MB.

3. WinSplit Revolution

The tiling powers of WinSplit are unmatched in the Windows utility world. It will help you keep your precious desktop space neat, organized, and easy to use. No more time-consuming dragging and resizing!

Free for download.

4. Launchy

A program intended to keep you organized. With Launchy, there's no need to key up programs. Instead of searching through start menus and folders just type a keyword into launchy and it will use a shortcut to open the app or file you asked for. This program is very handy when a client calls and you need to access her file quickly. Instead of searching your app folders just type her last name into launchy and Voila!

Free for download (donation suggested).

5. VLC Media Player

VLC Player is awesome. It draws all the commonly used video apps into a single utility. VLC is a completely free, codec-rich program that allows you to play everything from DVDs to obscurely formatted videos. No more need for Quicktime or Window's Media Player's downloads (which are often impossible to find). It's all built in.

Free for download.

6. System Information for Windows

SIW, or "System Information for Windows", acts as a cataloguer for all the nitty-gritty elements of your system: software, Active X controls, hardware details such as BIOS version, and network information. In addition, it can help you retrieve license keys, measure temperatures of your processor, and more.

Not only is this a free download, it's also "portable", meaning it's a standalone utility that doesn't require any installation.

7. Recuva

This clever utility will help you recover errantly deletes files. Recuva (actually pronounced "recover") is a file that can retrieve unsaved or accidentally deleted information - assuming you haven't already overwritten it. Recuva scouts out all the files flagged for overwrite and gets them back to you quickly, completely, and efficiently.

Free for download.

There are tons of free utilities out there. This is only a tiny sample of my personal favorites. The online universe is growing quickly. As it grows it is offering ever increasing choices, and the quality of these choices is improving.

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