Instantly install and run all of today’s games with Steam

A few years ago, gaming wasn’t a big deal. Most computer users were focused on productivity and well, we thought that gaming PC’s were expensive toys for over indulged children.  I mean, wasn’t that what gaming consoles were for? It’s totally different today.  Gaming is now driving much of the PC innovation seen today, and game development is a multibillion dollar industry. That’s one of the reasons why I really like Steam. It’s one of the best ways to get today’s most popular games on a PC near you.

Steam gives you the ability to purchase, download, and play over 1,100 games from any computer. You can easily check out new releases, indie hits, casual favorites and everything in between.  If you’re bored and need a playing partner, it’s easy to find someone to play with, meet up with friends, connect with groups of similar interests, or host and join chats, matches, and tournaments.

Communication is key during gaming campaigns, and Steam allows you to chat with your friends while you’re gaming.  You can see when your friends come online or are playing games.  You can  and easily join the same games together. During play, you can chat with your buddies, or use your microphone to communicate in any game.

One of the biggest problems with gaming is keeping up with patches and updates. With Steam, that’s all taken care of for you.  With automatic game updates, hunting for patches and downloading from unorganized web sites is a thing of the past. On Steam, your games stay up-to-date by themselves.

If you’re a Mac and want to play your favorite games, don’t worry.  Steam brings PC’s biggest gaming platform and games to the Mac.  You can download your games to your Mac and play against your PC friends in multiplayer games.  If you’ve got an Android or iOS device, you can also play games on the go. Steam Mobile gives you access on your tablet or smartphone.

read full review | download Steam

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Keep your data and your family safe with K7 TotalSecurity

Cybercrime is everywhere. No one is immune, you just haven’t been victimized yet. Millions of computer users suffer due to fraudulent online activities. Every time you connect to the internet without the right protection, you risk being attacked by cyber criminals. Be it swindling money from your bank account, misusing your credit card, crashing your computer or even splashing your children’s pictures all over internet, they can attack without reason, rhyme or warning; and the results, depending on their success, can be devastating. This is one of the reasons why Alike tools like K7 Total Security. It’s a security package for Windows systems.

K7 Total Security is one of the most comprehensive PC security suites available today. Its abilities are recognized by industry insiders all over the world, it provides complete security against hackers and other evolving cyber threats. With it, you have comprehensive device control. You can set read/write/execute access to external devices (USB drives, and other storage devices, for example). It can scan USB disks as soon as they are plugged in and prevents malicious auto runs when any external device is plugged in, effectively vaccinating your USB drive before it gets infected.

K7 Total Security has one of the best scanning engines on the market today. Its Vulnerability Scanner detects vulnerable applications and informs the user about exploits that can be used through them to infect their computer. Its Enhanced Scan Engine scans for Flash and PDF based malware. Its enhanced Real Time Scanner algorithm is designed to provide zero impact on your system; and is capable of detecting exploits in any file type on your PC.

Read full review | Download K7 TotalSecurity

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Empower your development team with WampServer

If there’s one thing that I know well, its software development and the web.  While its not as easy as some people might think, its tools like WampServer that make things a heck of a lot easier than they could be. WampServer is a web based development environment for Windows, and its easy to use and admin.

Having a reliable development environment for your web apps isn’t just about a decent XML/HTML editor.  You need a web server to help you view your pages and see how they would react in the wild.  WampServer is a Windows web development environment. It allows you to create web applications with Apache2, PHP and a MySQL databases and then test them to insure they function correctly.

The functionality of a web server is to allow for the surfing or browsing of web pages. In order for that to happen, they have to be served up, or made available to the file browser.  This is WampServer’s main function. I’m not going to go into additional details here.  However, from an administration point, which is where Devs and Dev Managers will be concerned, WampServer’s easy to use.

With a left click on WampServer’s tray icon, you will be able to manage your Apache and MySQL services.  This gives your applications access to both web and database services so that specific pages can be displayed and database elements called and written to from them.  You can switch services online or offline, giving access to a broader audience or only to the localhost, or I should say, to yourself.

read full review | download WampServer

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Optimize your websites backlinks with Ksnipe Submitter

Getting your website or blog noticed isn’t always easy. Building a successful site takes time, effort and usually a lot of work. This is why I like tools like Ksnipe Submitter. It’s a backlink website profile building application for Windows.

Ksnipe is a fully automatic, keyword backlink building system. It adds backlinks to your websites through a number of different processes. Ksnipe supports auto Forum Profile Submitting, auto Bookmark Submitting, auto Directory Submitting, auto RSS Submitting and auto Article Submitting them to any number of different sites and services.

Ksnipe makes use of an internal user and site based profile. It can auto generate much of this information, and contains an email account automatic generation module, including email confirmation and validation, an original article automatic generation module, an article content auto-spin module, a captcha code auto-recognition module, a network resources automatic detection module, and an auto site submit module. All of these are carried out automatically so the software is very convenient to use and to manage your backlink resources with.

Ksnipe covers almost all aspects of generating high quality backlinks. It submits forum profiles, RSS, kinds of directories, articles, and socialization to target web sites simultaneously. You can also submit each individually, if you wish.

The software is highly customizable and supports scripting. With its simple yet powerful script commands, Ksnipe will complete all of your backlink related tasks automatically. If you’re not the scripting type, Ksnipe also includes a point and click automation module, allowing you to build scripts visually. Based on the keywords you provide, Ksnipe can automatically grab the tens of thousands of sites you want to backlink to, and generate the scripts to be submitted.

Read full review | Download Ksnipe Submitter

 

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Get access to all of your files on all of your computing devices with Dropbox

The Cloud.  If you don’t have a piece of it, you’re behind the times and you may be in a serious predicament.  Getting your own private piece of the cloud is so important that I co-wrote and edited an important piece on it for Information Week last summer. The gist of the article was alternatives for what I consider to be one of the absolute BEST online backup and file access tool on the internet today, and really the application and service to copy or beat – Dropbox. It’s a multiplatform tool; and again, it’s a must have.

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, documents, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all of your connected computers, phones as well as the Dropbox website. You’ll never be without the data you need, as long as you have an internet connection.

Dropbox makes sharing files easy.  You can invite your friends, family and teammates to any folder in your Dropbox, and it’ll be as if the data was saved right to their computers. You can send people links to specific files in your Dropbox if sharing an entire folder isn’t appropriate. This makes Dropbox perfect for team projects, sharing party photos with friends, or any number of file sharing needs.

If your computer has any kind of meltdown, and you lose EVERYTHING, don’t worry. Dropbox has you covered.  You can use Dropbox to restore all the data from your backup folders in a snap. It’s perfect for hard drive upgrades and computer rebuilds.

read full review | download Dropbox

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Remember things big and small from your everyday life with Evernote

One of the most important things that you can do with your mobile device, your computer or laptop is take notes. If you’re a student, educator, or business professional, then you know what I’m talking about. Keeping track of action items, assignments, lesson plans, etc., is something that everyone has an interest in. That’s one of the reasons why I like Evernote. This multifunction tool has specialized functionality in order to keep you organized.

Evernote makes it easy to remember big and small things from your everyday life, using your computer, phone, tablet and the web. With Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files and images are made available on every device and computer you use, anytime, anywhere. All you need is a connected device and available bandwidth. Evernote does the rest.

With Evernote, you can remember the things that YOU like. You can instantly save everything cool and exciting you see online. You can snap a photo, record some audio and save it to a note and have that note, with that cool content sync to every one of your connected endpoints. As such, you can take notes anywhere. If you’re always on the move, your notes and important information should be too. With Evernote, those important items are on every computer, phone and device you use.

Since notebooks sync instantly, Evernote makes it easy to work with remote friends and colleagues. You can share your notes and collaborate on projects with friends, colleagues and classmates regardless of their location, time zone, etc.  Evernote can be used to bring project information and teams together regardless of who is working on which parts, and can centralize all your information.

Read full Review | Download Evernote for WindowsDownload Evernote for Mac

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Mozilla Thunderbird – a modern email client that is flexible and powerful

Mozilla Thunderbird is an open source, multiplatform and extensible email client. It has been around under free license and stable since 2004 and now at versions 10 and 11 is a fully featured and mature product.

All the features that you would expect from a modern email client are present: HTML support, multiple account support, whereby you can keep accounts separate or merge them together, Web mail, POP, IMAP and Microsoft Exchange server support, calendar, address book.

Thunderbird was designed to stop junk mail and prevent viruses, and includes intelligent spam filtering, suggesting when it thinks a message might be spam, S/MIME, data signing and message encryption and a phishing detector.

We found the trickiest part was setting up an email account, and especially if you hail from a webmail environment. There is a wizard to help you through this part.

Download and installation is swift. The client product and the user interface are clean, easy to use. The product can easily be customised through Add-Ons, available via the Tools Menu. Mail is presented in a tabbed format, so it looks a little like Outlook.

It is a good idea to save customisation until well into the process, that way you can get an idea of Thunderbird’s speed, before burdening it with additional software.

Thunderbird has been praised for the search facility. In Version 10 this includes the ability search the web. Email searches can be saved as virtual folders. There is an activity manager which records email activity. This can be used if you need to check whether a mail was sent or received. Emails can be archived in a stroke.

We have high expectations of our email clients to provide extensive functionality and Thunderbird will not disappoint. Since email is such a fundamental part of our lives, we think the security features of this product are excellent. It should not be overlooked for those considering a new email client.

Read full review | Download Mozilla Thunderbird

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NetBalancer gives your the proper priority to your internet activities

Even in today’s world of high speed internet and wide pipes, prioritizing and monitoring what takes up the bulk of that personal bandwidth can be important.  If you have large files that you need to transfer quickly then pulling back incidental network traffic can be important. If you have small things that you’d rather move in front of that large file transfer, throttling the large transfer in favor of the low hanging fruit may provide the win.  That’s why I like NetBalancer. It’s a network utility for Windows.

NetBalancer allows you to browse and complete any internet activity easily, even when transferring huge files from one end point to another.  All you need to do is lower their network priority with NetBalancer. You can use NetBalancer to set network transfer rate priorities for any application, and monitor that traffic.

Applications with a higher network priority will gain more traffic bandwidth than those with a lower one. You can set download and upload speed limits for a process. You can manage priorities and limits for each network adaptor (wired vs. wireLESS, for example).  In short, you can define detailed network traffic rules.  You can group local network computers together, and synchronize and balance their network traffic.

The app provides a volume of information, including a system tray monitor and graphical representation of both traffic coming in and out of your adapters. While the free version is limited, the paid version is reasonably priced and depending on the amount of bandwidth you consume every month, may be well worth the purchase price.

read full review | download NetBalancer

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