There's a wealth of free software and applications available so we've taken a look at the best ones that won’t crash your system.
Everything you could ever want... for free
Since its inception in 2004, Firefox has captured the imagination of internet users and has been the preferred net browser cutting into Internet Explorer's monopoly.
Innovation has been its driving force and the level of customisation available for it through its various add-ons and extensions has made it the preferred choice. This light and nimble web browser is cross-platform and supports Windows, Mac and Linux and it brought tabbed browsing into the mainstream.
Firefox comes with antiphishing support which helps the browser differentiate between genuine websites and those intended to store and retrieve your personal information.
Other features include enhanced tabbed browsing (each with their own close option), the ability to un-close tabs, search plug-in/add-on manager, and much, much more. One of the most useful features is the predictive search function within the Google toolbar that give suggestion of potential phrases and popular search terms as you typed. The automatic session retrieval option is helpful when your system crashes. And the most impressive feature is the availability of thousands of third-party extensions to make Firefox more powerful.
If you are on the net, then it would be no surprise if you spent most of your time chatting away with your friends online. But the problem with chatting is that if you have a Yahoo account you are not able to chat with your friend who has an AIM or any other account. This drawback can be overcome by using Trillian - a fully featured, standalone, skinnable chat client that supports AIM, ICQ , MSN, Yahoo Messenger and IRC.
It supports standard features such as audio chat, file transfers, group chats, chat rooms, buddy icons, multiple simultaneous connections to the same network, server-side contact importing, typing notification, direct connection (AIM), proxy support, encrypted messaging (AIM/ICQ), SMS support, and privacy settings.
Trillian provides unique functionality such as contact message history, a powerful skinning language, tabbed messaging, global status changes (set all networks away at once), Instant Lookup (automatic Wikipedia integration), contact alerts, an advanced automation system to trigger events based on anything happening in the client, docking, hundreds of emoticons, emotisounds, shell extensions for file transfers, and systray notifications.
If you want to explore other options, Pidgin is a very good choice because it also supports multiple clients and comes with a very amazing feature sets for such a small app.
NEXT PAGE: More free web browsers and a round-up of the best free photo sharing software on the net.
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