My PC Essentials

My PC Essentials

As my new laptop is about to arrive, I need to get it all setup. Any time I get a new PC or laptop, there are certain programs that I download straight away, so here is a list of my PC essentials;

For Browsing;

  • Google Chrome – My browser of choice, because, well, who the hell still uses ie? I also prefer chrome to firefox, I like the look more, I like how it syncs to my phone and I use a lot of other Google stuff so it fits in well.
  • Firefox – Because one browser is never enough. For some reason one of my google app accounts will not let me access Google Drive unless I sign out of all other accounts, which is a right paid, so I use Firefox solely for this account to combat the problem.
  • CyberGhost – A free VPN, which I use because Virgin seem to think that not only can they charge me an extortionate amount for fibre (because they’re the only provider in my area) but that they can then control what I can and cannot view! CyberGhost is an easy and free to use VPN which allows you to surf anonymously and visit websites unrestrictedly.
  • Hola – Another free VPN, doesn’t work as well as CyberGhost at unblocking websites, but I just use the chrome extension exclusively to watch Netflix in countries other than the UK

For Security;

  • Microsoft Security Essentials – free and easy to use, non intrusive (no ridiculous pop ups every 2 seconds) this anti virus takes care of my everyday worries.
  • AdwCleaner, Junkware Removal Tool, Malwarebytes & Hitman Pro – I have these four programs downloaded and renamed 1-4 in the order above. If something did happen and I ended up with malware or a virus, I use these programs, in the above order, and I’ve always been able to get rid of the problem. Plus, they’re all free…..

For Coding;

  • Notepad++ – my text editor of choice. Notepad is fine, but I like how Notepad++ has syntax highlighting, auto complete, is open source, and is compatible with multiple languages.
  • Python 2.7 – because I code in Python, I learnt in 2.7, and I haven’t learnt enough to know whether I should bother switching to 3.0
  • GitHub for Windows – I’m still getting to grips with GitHub, but one thing is for sure is that anything that helps me not use command line at this point is a good thing. Currently I find that GitHub for windows is much easier for me to use to sync my files with my GitHub account.

For Downloading;

  • uTorrent – I used to just use plain old simple BitTorrent, but lately I’ve grown fonder of uTorrent. It has bandwith prioritising and scheduling, and uses less than 6mb of memory!
  • VLC Media Player – VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. I just really wish that the logo was different, for some reason I really hate that cone 🙁

For File Sharing;

  • Google Drive – I’ve tried a few file sharing options, as I work from a number of different computers, I have recently moved to saving absolutely everything on the cloud. I found Dropbox too small, and even when I trialled Business Essentials the larger Dropbox was almost impossible to use in the way I wanted, and support was incredibly frustrating, so I gave up. I have a Google Apps account so the 30GB allowance is working well for me. I don’t use it to sync media downloads so I have plenty of space for documents and spreadsheets, and I can access them easily from anywhere.


  • Gimp – a free and open source image manipulation program, pretty easier to use and there are plenty of online tutorials if you want to do some really funky stuff. I mostly use mine for tweaking photos and graphics.
  • Tweetdeck – I use the desktop app, and this is one thing I couldn’t live without. I currently run or help to run 7 twitter accounts, so Tweetdeck helps me keep track of notifications, tweet from multiple accounts, and most importantly, schedule tweets. From my group accounts I will often schedule tweets advertising the next meeting up to a month in advance, and also random tweets with interesting and relevant content, so as not to spam followers with multiple tweets in one go, I can spread them out.
  • Team Viewer – free remote control software, I have in the past been using more than one laptop/desktop at any one time, and often forgetting to save documents on the cloud, being able to nip in and out of each computer from anywhere can come in handy. It’s also nice to log into my home pc from work, and set off a few downloads to be ready for me when I get home.

If you can think of any other essential programs I have missed, please let me know!

Thanks for reading!
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