The PC Advisor Downloads directory is a treasure trove of free software. Featuring 1,800 free downloads for PC, Mac and smartphone, we review the latest and best software apps.

Every day thousands of people search for the latest PC downloads, shareware, freeware and trialware. But what have been the 10 most popular software downloads of 2010?

Top 10 software downloads

Number 10: CCEnhancer 2.1

CCleaner is a popular powerful tool for locating and removing leftover files that might be cluttering up your hard drive (see number 6). But CCleaner Enhancer (now CCEnhancer) makes it better still by adding support for more than 270 applications to the program, which means it'll now free up even more valuable hard drive space.

CCEnhancer

Download CCEnhancer 2.1

Number 9: Paint.NET 3.5.6

Editing digital photographs or working with other types of image file need not mean working with a large, complicated and expensive editing package. Paint.NET was originally intended to be a replacement for the basic Paint tool which is bundled with Windows, but has grown into a program in its own right. The program has a beautifully clean and uncluttered interface, with tabbed files access making it easy to work with multiple images at the same time.

A free powerful image editor which puts some commercial software to shame.

Paint.net

Download Paint.NET 3.5.6

Number 8: Google Chrome 8

The big news with version 8 of the Google Chrome web browser isn't its smattering of new features - the PDF Viewer is now sandboxed by default, and there's support for the forthcoming Chrome Web Apps store - but rather its performance. End users have reported that it's now two or three times quicker than the previous release, which helps close the performance gap opened up by Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.

Google Chrome

Download Google Chrome 8

Number 7: VLC Media Player 1.1.5

This is a cross-platform versatile media player that does one thing well: attempts to play just about every format available. By installing VLC Media Player across your various computers, you can be assured that a video that plays back on your Mac will also play on your PC. It also supports internet-based media streaming, so you can use the player to listen to a streamed audio stream and much more.

VLC Media Player 

Download VLC Media Player 1.1.5

Number 6: CCleaner 3

This tool will remove unwanted information, temporary files, your browsing history, huge log files and even the settings left behind by previously installed software. It also includes a Registry cleaner and optimiser, which will find and remove entries and streamline the database.

CCleaner doesn’t stop there. It includes some security tools such as a data eraser so you can make sure files and information is completely removed from your PC.

CCleaner

Download CCleaner 3

NEXT: the Top 5 Software Downloads of 2010 >>

The PC Advisor Downloads directory is a treasure trove of free software. Featuring 1,800 free downloads for PC, Mac and smartphone, we review the latest and best software apps. Every day thousands of people search for the latest PC downloads, shareware, freeware and trialware. But what have been the 10 most popular software downloads of 2010?

Top 5 Software Downloads

Number 5: CDBurnerXP 4.3.8

A disc-burning tool that will enable you to create any disc from a basic data through to a Blu-ray master, there are few better than the rather fantastic CDBurnerXP.

In addition to creating data and audio CDs, you can also handle just about any blank disc including a Blu-ray, as long as you have a drive that can burn these discs. You can create bootable discs, open and create ISO distributions, as well as creating an advanced gapless audio CD which is essential if you have tracks you want to blend from one to the other.

CDBurnerXP

Download CDBurnerXP 4.3.8

Number 4: Office 2010 Trial Extender 1.0.0.3

Microsoft Office 2010 is so packed with new features that you may not have time to explore them all in the 30-day trial. But what if you could extend that to almost 6 months? That's the promise of the Office 2010 Trial Extender, and it's extremely easy to use. The program has just a single option, a "Rearm" button - hit this on the last day of your trial and it'll be extended to the full 30 days again. The process can be repeated five times, giving you a trial length of up to 180 days.

Office 2010 Trial Extender

Download Office 2010 Trial Extender 1.0.0.3

Number 3: Norton Internet Security 2011 - 60 day trial

Symantec Norton Internet Security 2011 is a versatile suite that includes everything you need to keep your PC safe from malware, online scams and identity thieves.

A fast and accurate antivirus tool monitors the file you access, your downloads, email attachments and more, detecting and removing any malware. The new Reputation Scan highlights new, uncommon or untrusted files, ideal if you think you may have been infected and are looking for the most likely source. And virus scans can be scheduled to run when your PC is idle so they'll cause the minimum amount of hassle.

Symantec Norton Internet Security 2011

Download Norton Internet Security 2011 - 60 day trial

Number 2: Hotspot Shield 1.54

Despite the name, Hotspot Shield can be used to protect both wired and wireless internet connections, and it has been designed to allow safe, secure internet access wherever you may be. From wireless hotspots in towns and cities, to making use of free internet connections in airports and hotels, there are risks associated with access the internet on the move. Hotspot Shield create a virtual private network which in turn helps to secure your internet connection and protect personal information from potential hackers.

Hotspot Shield

Downloads Hotspot Shield 1.54

Number 1: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2011

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2011 is the latest version of AVG's popular malware detector.

At the program's heart is a strong core antivirus engine, which monitors incoming and outgoing emails, as well as every file you access, detecting and blocking threats before they can cause any damage.

There's a new focus on performance in this version, though. Like some of the competition, AVG Anti-Virus Free now checks known safe files just once, rescanning them only if they've changed: once that initial check is out of the way, scans can be much faster than in previous versions.

AVG Antivirus

Download AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2011