Getting Comfortable With The Basics

Must-Have Computer Tools and Software

Essential tools I always install on my computer and home network! Glenn

Fix a Technical Problem – Find Solutions to your technical problems; visit Microsoft Support Solution Center.

PDF-XChange Editor – Those wishing to View/Edit/Modify and even OCR Image-based PDF files on their Windows PCs now have a FREE pdf reader alternative to the Adobe Reader! The PDF-XChange Editor is smaller, faster, and more feature-rich than any other FREE PDF Reader/ PDF Viewer/ PDF Editor. The FREE download of the PDF-XChange Editor it”s easy to used without limitation for Private use.

  • At the right side of the page in the “Download Now, Try this product for free!” section. Choose the “64 bit MSI Installer” for most Windows 10 computers.

This is the PDF viewer I use on all of my Windows computers. To use all of the editing features, you will need to buy the license, but viewing and printing are completely free.

PDF-XChange Viewer –  The smallest, fastest, most feature-rich PDFreader/viewer available, an alternative to the Adobe Reader!
At the right side of the page in the “Download Now, Try this product for free!” section. Choose the “EXE installer (32/64 bit) | 16 MB.

PDFescape is a free, online PDF reader, editor, form filler, & form designer.

Free PDF Form Filler –  Fill out PDF forms using existing form fields or use the text tool. PDF text, checkbox, radio, list, and drop-down fields supported. Quickly tab from field to field.

Microsoft PowerToys is a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity.  Find My Mouse – Double press the left ctrl key to activate a spotlight that focuses on the cursor’s position.

Convert Case  The Easy Way To Convert Text Between Upper Case, Lower Case, and Sentence Case. This online Case Conversion Tool is designed to allow you to convert blocks of text into any case and copy and paste them back to your own document.

No Monthly Cost Land-line Phone

Google Voice  One number: a single phone number that rings all your phones – Google voicemail: voicemail like email – Voicemail transcription: read what your voicemail says –

Custom greetings: vary voicemail greetings by the caller – International calling: low-cost calls to the world – Block calls: send unwanted callers straight to voicemail – Record calls: record phone calls and store them online – Conference calls: join several people into a single call – Screen callers: hear who is calling before you pick up

Free home phone with Obitalk and Google Voice – Swap your landline for Google Voice with an OBi

The $40 OBi100 VoIP Telephone Adapter and Voice Service Bridge by Obihai telephone to internet adapter  You plug Internet, electricity, and a phone into it. What it doesn’t have is any service, so on its own, all you can do is call other OBiTalk users. You can, however, log into Google Voice with your device and use that as your phone service. And since Google Voice is free (for now), there are exactly zero charges for this setup.

GV911.COM Enhanced E911 for Google (TM) Voice Users – Designed for VoIP users who would need to dial 911 and reach a live local Police / Fire Department dispatcher in case of an emergency.

A Google approach to email. – Gmail is a new kind of webmail, built on the idea that email can be more intuitive, efficient, and useful. And maybe even fun. After all, Gmail has:

The Last Password You’ll Have to Remember! – LastPass brings all of your usernames and passwords together in one secure place, allows you to autologin to your favorite sites, makes shipping and billing forms a breeze to fill out, and helps you manage your digital life. Create Your Account for free!

Image Resizer for Windows is a utility that lets you resize one or more selected image files directly from Windows Explorer by right-clicking. – Free Fax Service – Fax cover page plus 3 pages per fax maximum free, 2 free faxes per day maximum.

Get Carbonite; it’s easy to use. It isn’t enough to back up to a hard drive, and you have to have an off-site backup as well. – Rules of backup are simple – there’s got to be two copies of everything with a third copy offsite. Francis Ford Copolla had all his scripts, his laptop, and his backups stolen! It would be best if you had an off-site option as well.

TeamViewer – the All-In-One Software for Remote Support and Online Meetings. Remote control any computer or Mac over the internet within seconds or use TeamViewer for online meetings.  Remote control: Control computers remotely via the internet, as if you were sitting right in front of them. Whether you are providing spontaneous support or working from your home office, TeamViewer lets you get the job done. TeamViewer is free for all non-commercial users!

The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, network inventory, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, security benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.

Amazon Prime – FREE Two-Day shipping on all eligible purchases for $79 yearly, plus free access to Amazon Instant Video and the ability to borrow books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Wi-Fi Access Point – Outdoor POE Wi-Fi range extenders! NanoStation

Zamzar or FreeFileConvert

Need a file converted to another type of file? You don’t need to fiddle with desktop software as long as you’ve got a browser. Zamzar and FreeFileConvert can convert files into different file types, and each supports a wide range of formats.

Ninite installs software fast with default settings and says “no” to browser toolbars and other junk. Ninite runs on Windows XP/Vista/7 and works in the background unattended and 100% hands-free. On My systems, I use Chrome, Firefox, Skype, iTunes, Picasa, Reader, CutePDF, Essentials, Flash, Flash (IE), Java, Google Earth, and FileZi

A NAT Router’s Inherent Security

Although NAT routers are not generally purchased for their security benefits, all NAT routers inherently function as very effective hardware firewalls. As a hardware firewall, they prevent “unsolicited,” unexpected, unwanted, and potentially annoying or dangerous traffic from the public Internet from passing through the router and entering the user’s private LAN network.

OpenDNS is fantastic, and I recommend it to everyone. It’s safer and more responsive than any other DNS service.

Google Public DNS is a free, global Domain Name System (DNS) resolution service that you can use as an alternative to your current DNS provider.

EASEUS Partition Master Home Edition is a FREE ALL-IN-ONE partition solution and disk management utility. It allows you to extend partition (especially for system drive), manages disk space easily, settles low disk space problem under Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Win7/Win8

magicJack costs $35 plus shipping and handling. – One year of free local and long-distance calling to the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, along with all the other great magicJack features, are included with your initial purchase.   An additional year of service is $39 for magicJack.

System Recovery Tools

Hiren’s BootCD 15.1 for Windows, Hiren’s Boot CD is a collection of open-source data recovery, backup, and anti-malware utilities.
Note: To download, go to the downloads page, scroll to the bottom of the page. The link is in the light green box (Filename:; this is a large file 592.5 MB. It may take 1 to 2 hours to download.  How to run Hiren’s BootCD from USB Flash Drive.

How To Boot Into Safe Mode On Windows 8 or 10 (The Easy Way) – One of the most common steps when troubleshooting a PC is to boot into Safe Mode. For a long time, this has been achieved by pressing the F8 key; this all changes with Windows 10 and its Automatic Repair mode. But what if we want Safe Mode?

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