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14 favourite free internet tools

Downloads to help you with your life online

We've put together the best 14 software downloads. We've got a universal messenger, a way to troubleshoot email problems, and programs to keep yourself safe. These are the software tools that come to the rescue. And best of all, most of them are free.

Email and IM

The internet is all about communications but, as we all know, it's not always as easy to communicate as it should be. The following downloads will help you with email, instant messaging, and social networking.

eMail Tracker Pro

Tired of being whacked by spam? Not sure if an email message that you received is legitimate, or is instead a forgery or from a scammer? Then give this program a try. It gives you a set of tools for examining any email message that pops into your inbox.

eMail Tracker Pro traces an email back to its true point of origin, shows you the IP address and location of the sender, and tells you whether the email header was tampered with in order to fool you.

In addition, it provides contact information for the domain from which the message was sent so that you can report any abuse.

In order to use eMail Tracker Pro, you'll have to copy an email message's headers into the program. These headers, however, don't refer to the Subject line, From line, or such. Instead, they're something usually hidden. How you find them varies according to your email software. For example, in Outlook 2007, right-click a message and select Message Options; you'll then see an internet headers field.

The program says that it integrates directly into Outlook, but I was unable to integrate it with Outlook 2007. Unfortunately, it's not free either. But in the spirit of this feature, there is a full-featured 15-day free trial.

Price: $29 (around £15) - but with a 15-day free trial.

ePrompter

If you've got multiple web mail accounts, such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail, you can easily spend far too much time checking each account for new mail.

This simple freebie neatly solves the problem. It automatically logs you in to all your webmail accounts, checks for new mail, then tells you how many new messages you have for each.

In addition, you can read the messages from right within ePrompter, so you don't have to go to your webmail account. You can also delete and compose mail. When composing or reading, you won't get a full range of options as you would when you're on the webmail site. But for quick-and-dirty email, it's all you'll need.

Don't expect a fancy interface; this program is as bare-bones as you'll find. Also, it may not be obvious at first how to set up a new mail account; select Menu, New Account, and follow the directions.

Note that this program works fine on Windows XP, but I was unable to get it working on Windows Vista. Also, if you have a Hotmail email address, select the LiveMail option in ePrompter when you're setting up the account to check; I was unable to get it working properly as Hotmail, but it worked fine as LiveMail.

NEXT PAGE: Digsby and SMTP diagnostics

  1. Downloads to help you with your online life
  2. Foxit Reader and Advanced LAN Scanner
  3. More downloads to help you solve problems online
  4. Downloads to make email and IM easier
  5. Digsby and SMTP diagnostics
  6. Free security downloads


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