Below is a list of my favorite free windows software, I feel is the best in it`s field. They are often better then their commercially available counterparts. I have included a brief description of what the software does and why it is better then the rest. I take into consideration functionality, security, stability, configurable options and ease of use. If you think I need to modify the list, you can e-mail me.
Avira - Free anti-virus with top rated virus detection rate.
Malwarebytes - Free anti-malware software. Recommend using it as a second security software scanner. When installing both Avira and Malwarebytes, I recommend disabling Malware’s real-time detection.
CCleaner - Cleans up old unused files and settings.
Thunderbird - Fast, secure and customizable e-mail client software by Mozilla. Customize and add a wide range of features from the Thunderbird add-on page. Unless clearly marked otherwise the add-ons on that page are made by third-parties and checked then approved by the makers of Thunderbird.
LibreOffice - Office suite that includes software for word processing, spreadsheets, slide-show presentations, diagrams, drawings, databases and mathematical formulas.
7-Zip - Combine files to reduce size. Make them easier to send and download. Packing and unpacking in a number of formats 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM. Also unpacks ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z. Faster and provides a higher compression ratio compared to other programs. Can build self-extracting files. Also can encrypt files and calculate SHA-256 sum (hash).
cdrtfe - Great open-source disc burning software with portable version available. Supports CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs. Writes data, ISO images, video, and audio discs.
ImgBurn - BEWARE the installation package has OpenCandy ADWARE! To prevent it from installing, you have to do custom (not full) installation. I included it on this list even tough it has adware because of all the advanced settings and features it has.
InfraRecorder - No longer updated and still in beta version but still great functioning open-source software. Supports CD and DVD discs. Writes data, ISO images, and audio discs.
Exact Audio Copy - Advanced audio CD ripper / grabber that can look-up artist and song information to attach to filename. Adds and edits ID3 tag information. What sets this program apart from others is it`s ability to find read errors from a scratched CD. Different read modes for fast ripping when you are not concerned about errors or slower modes that have advanced error detection. Tells you where in a song an error occurred and options to read a damaged disc. Has ability to compress files to MP3 or other formats. Also can convert MP3 files to WAV format for audio CD burning. Built-in simple WAV editor that can trim, normalize, detect / remove distortion, noise reduction, fade in / out. Also has built-in audio CD burner.
GIMP - Advanced versatile graphics manipulation software. Image retouching, resizing, cropping, free-form drawing, converting between different image formats, and much more including advanced editing. Supports many formats including JPG, GIF, PNG, TIF, BMP and many more.