10 free applications for Windows Vista

Today we would like to inaugurate a new section of our website. Here you will find articles and opinions about Windows Vista. Also, we will try to present free or open source applications that are made for Windows Vista.

For our first article we have a list of 10 free applications that work on Windows Vista, split into these categories: Antivirus Solutions, Anti-Spyware Solutions, Internet Browsers, Multimedia Players, Office Productivity Suites and Compression Tools.

Antivirus Solutions

Avast! Home Edition is one of the best antivirus solutions available on the market and yes… it is free for home users and non-commercial use. It has an interface that is easy to use and provides all the security features you need: standard real-time protection (including support for e-mail clients like Outlook), protection for instant messaging and peer-to-peer programs, a lightweight firewall that analyses all network traffic and a web shield that filters all HTTP traffic. The biggest drawback of this free version compared to the commercial one is the fact that you cannot schedule any tasks.

AVG Anti-Virus Free is one of the first antivirus solutions to offer support for Windows Vista. I personally used it for a few weeks and I was satisfied with it. The interface doesn’t look great but it is easy to use. AVG Free offers standard real-time protection for your system including support for e-mail clients and limited task scheduling features. Unlike Avast it doesn’t filter HTTP or network traffic nor does it offer protection for instant messaging and peer-to-peer programs, but the most impressive thing about AVG is the fact that it consumes very little resources. If you do not have a very powerful system, AVG might be the best antivirus solution for you.

Anti-Spyware Solutions

Spybot Search&Destroy is a pretty old anti-spyware solution that offers good protection. It offers two resident modules: the TeaTimer which blocks browser hijacks and malicious processes from loading in memory and the SDHelper that blocks access to sites known to install spyware. Spybot checks your system against a comprehensive database that is continuously updated and offers a good level of protection against spyware.

Ad-Aware SE Personal is a well known anti-spyware scanner that also offers support for Windows Vista. It has an easy to use interface that supports skins and does a pretty good job when finding and removing adware and spyware from your system. Unfortunately the free version of Ad-Aware does not include a resident protection system so you will have to scan your system manually.

Internet Browsers

I am sure you have already heard about Firefox – the most popular open source browser on the web. It offers plenty of great features such as: tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, integrated spell checking, session restore, phishing protection and live bookmarks just to name a few. It’s greatest strength is its extensibility. If you want a feature that is not included by default in Firefox, you have a big chance to find a Firefox add-on that will suit your needs.

Opera is another great internet browser, developed in Norway since 1994. Unlike Internet Explorer and Firefox, Opera is 100% compatible with all existing web standards. One of its greatest strengths is its rendering speed. Opera’s features list includes: tabbed browsing, fraud protection, widgets (similar to Firefox add-ons), built-in torrent client, an integrated mail client and the possibility of controlling the browser using voice commands.

Multimedia Players

GOM Player is a very simple, free and light multimedia player which frees the user from having to download additional codecs. This player supports most popular codecs (AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX plus many more) with its own embedded codec system. So you won’t have to look for appropriate codecs everytime you can’t play a certain video format. Another great feature is the possibility to watch video files while you are downloading them. The list of features doesn’t stop here. If you want to know more, just visit the GOM official site.

Another great multimedia player is the M2V Player. Unlike GOM Player it doesn’t have any included codecs. You must install them separately. The list of “bad” things seems to end here as this player can satisfy even the most pretentious users. With M2V Player you can play any movie format as long as you have the codecs for it. The list of features includes: customizable keyboard shortcuts, aspect ratio adjustment, easy subtitle configuring and resizeable windows.

Office Productivity Suites

If you don’t have money to buy Microsoft Office 2007 then you should consider OpenOffice. It is a free suite that offers similar features and a similar look to older Office versions like XP and 2003. It can also read and write most of the Microsoft Office file formats. If you don’t need the special features included in the latest Microsoft Office version or you have pretty basic needs, then OpenOffice is perfect for you. If you are a more pretentious user, you should consider OxygenOffice Professional – an enhanced version of OpenOffice that contains more extras like templates, cliparts, samples and fonts.

Compression Tools

7-Zip is a free archiving tool with a high compression ratio that supports most important compression formats: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR (for packing/unpacking) and RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS (for unpacking only). Its producers claim that for ZIP and GZIP formats 7-Zip provides compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip. We used this tool for a few weeks and it proved to be fast, very reliable and easy to use.

Note: we did not include any free firewalls in our article because at this moment there are none available. If you know any free firewalls that are compatible with Windows Vista please make a comment using the options below..

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37 thoughts on “10 free applications for Windows Vista”

  1. Free Multimedia Player
    There is also Windows Media Player Classic which supports almost any file type you throw at it without needing codecs and has advanced features of other players like resizing windows, zoom, pan, subtitles, and the list goes on and on. And, it’s free…….

    Check it out. Just type Media Player Classic into Google to get it.

  2. Windows Media Player Classic
    We know, we reviewed Windows Media Player Classic and BSPlayer (both are free* and work great on Windows XP) but we had some problems with them and we decided not to include them in this article.

    *BSPlayer is kinda free, meaning, that the free version comes with ad-aware.

  3. AVG free
    I have the 64-bit version of Vista and the AVG free version wouldn’t install on that. I am using Avast! which seems to be behaving itself quite well.

    • AVG v Avast
      Im using the free AVG home edition which installed properly on my Vista 32bit version. I tried installing Avast but that wouldn’t install properly.

      • That is strange!
        What error are you receiving? When writing this article, I personally tested Avast on two computers with Windows Vista Ultimate 32 bit edition installed and it worked perfectly.
        Could you give us more details?

    • Re Avg on 64 bit
      Strange…it works ok on my son’s 64 bit system in fact he insists he recommended it to me…he didn’t of course but I see it running on his computers…I use Avast on a 32 bit system but did use AVG at one time

      • Try removing AVG before
        Try removing AVG before attempting to install Avast as many anti-virus programs wont allow another to install and will stop the installation before it is complete. Word of advice: NEVER have two anti-virus programs on the same computer at any one given time as if one scans, the other may think that this is virus activity and stop it and vise-versa. This flaw can allow all sorts of viruses, worms and trojans onto your computer without your knowledge!

  4. Vista Compatibility…
    Hi everyone! If you’re having problems running something in Vista, then right click on the setup (.exe) file, then go to Properties. At the top, there’s a tab that says ‘Compatibility.’ From there, you can choose the appropriate OS (Operating System) you want the program to run in (ex. Run Pedal to The Metal in Windows XP SP2 compatibility mode).

    • Compatibility Mode
      There is another thing to try for compatibility issues. Sometimes, the first time a program is run after installation, it needs to create some folders or whatnot in the user profile. Even using the XP SP2 compatibility settings don’t always help in such situations. For example, I ran into this situation with Lotus Sametime 7.5 (the IM program that goes with Notes and Domino Server). Right-clicking the shortcut and selecting “Run as Administrator” the first time I ran the program gave it the rights it needed to set up the folders it needed in the user profile. After that, it has no longer been necessary to do so. Obviously, only do this with programs you trust (duh!) but it’s something to consider if you get fluky behavior from a newly-installed program. –Steve

  5. Vista Firewall Control
    To enhance the Vista Firewall, I use the “Vista Firewall Control” from Sphinx. It is very easy to use and understand and I feel it gives me great control over incoming & outgoing program permissions. This is a free tool. It is not a full third party application, but rather a simple & effective GUI for controlling the native Vista Firewall.
    Home Page:
    Vista Control download page:

  6. Tuneup Utilities is a
    Tuneup Utilities is a another tweaker for vista certainly 1 of the best for XP.
    However it is not free but also not expensive.
    If you have the money then it is certainly a must.

    Spyware terminator is another free spyware scanner which does offer realtime protection
    I have found it quitte good but needs more testing

  7. Free Firewall
    For those needing a freeware third party firewall, As of 09/03/2007 Zone Alarm free version is Vista ready and so far I have not had any problems with the program. As most of you know, If your using a third party firewall, the firewall built into Windows should be disabled as using the two firewalls together may create problems.

  8. Revo Uninstaller
    For those needing a proper uninstaller ( anyone with windows ) including vista….

    Probably the best freeware uninstaller is:


    *ever noticed how all companies now advertise ‘free download’ ???? * Thus flooding the search engines and pushing out the adds for ‘free applications’ ?

  9. Firewalls
    Hi everyone! Here is what are FREE and work great with Vista! Firstly i use Zonealarm 7.0.362, here’s the link, (201.74k) http://www.zonealarm.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp?dc=56pus&ctry=GB&lang=en
    Secondly another one to try is this from Comodo, (31.34 mb) http://www.comodo.com/
    I have used Zonealarm for quite a while on my Windows XP and it gives me 100% protection, although i installed the 7.0.362 on my Windows Vista Home premium i have read conflicting reports about the new 7.1 version, so for now i’m sticking with what i know best! As for the Comodo Firewall well it’s a bit of a hardrive eater but you getting a superb Firewall and satisfaction in knowing your protected from malware, hackers etc, anyway hope these help anyone who needs help, personaly i don’t trust the Vista firewall!

  10. cant download softwares/songs
    hey,i m using vista home basic from about 2 weeks but its looking ridiculous now to handle it as whenever i download anything a error comes that “u need permission from the administrator”,and then i have to cancel the installation.plz help me out or one day i’ll bang my pc wth any heavy object nearby.plz reply soon.

  11. vista
    Hi there, I recently bought a pc with vista application and I find it very unfriendly. May be because I’m so used to Xp. What’s troubling me the most is that whenever I receive an attachment, I would click on it and then this grey BIG POP UP BOX comes up titled: ADD DOWNLOAD where it’s asking for user name, password, malicious, mirror, download type, group, save to folder, save as , comments’, etc. I really don’t know which username do I use or I need to tick malicious or mirror etc. Has anyone seen this??? And if I click on open it does not let me through the file. Also my powerpoint and word windows disappeared. What do I do? Do I need to reinsert the cd that came with this pc?? I’m using this wordpad which is so limited. I have power point presentation and I had to use our local library to work on it with a usb. When I used my pc at home, all the powerpoint point tools don’t show up just the text. How frustrating, I have to go back to the library later on. Can anyone be patient enough to help me out and give me if not detailed at least a brief instructions??? Thnaks for your time. gemma

  12. Zonealarm Firewall
    I have used the free version of Zonealarm for as long as I had Vista, and I’ve had very few problems with it. The ones I did encounter fixed themselves, and are probably related to my hardware, because there is no mention on the forums.

  13. ESET antivirus and firewall
    Seriously! You all need to stop using poor and “free” antivirus tools. ESET Smart Security is the best, least reasource intensive, high-security suite you will find out there. Give the free 30 day trial a go, at least. (Remember to play with the firewall.)

    Other than that,7-Zip’s user interface is non-native to Windows and the menus are crap. Good compression technology, and it could have been a good app. It is too bad the interface was not given much time.

  14. avast! Antivirus & Spybot SD
    After testing several free antivirus programs on Windows Vista Home Premium, I’ve concluded that avast! Antivirus was the most stable and provided the best protection overall. Paired up with Spybot SD, these two programs offer you free, reliable, and stable protection from unwanted virus’s, spyware, malware, etc. I originally had the two previously mentioned programs installed along with Ad-Aware SE, but Ad-Aware SE and Spybot SD did not seem to work smoothly together. They would recognize eachother as spyware themselves. After removing Ad-Aware SE, I’ve had nothing but a promissing and safe computing experience.

  15. Can’t access links from email
    I downloaded that new Google thing and didn’t like it. When I removed it, the inability to access a link from email started. The links I had as shortcuts on my desktop wouldn’t work either. Anyone know how to fix this?
    I use MS Explorer as my browser.

  16. Free Vista Programs
    Here are some programs that are 100% compatiable with vista, they work great, and are all FREE!!!
    Please note; some of these programs offer a ‘better’ pay version, but having these programs (free versions) are better than nothing. I personally use the below mentioned programs and am really pleased with them!

    Advanced System Care:

    Avast Antivirus Home Edition:

    Open Office (better than Microsoft Office in my personal opinion):

    Spybot Search and Destroy:

    PC Tools- Firewall Plus:

    Here are some sites that talk about and offer more FREE vista programs:



    Note: ALWAYS scan downloaded programs with your antivirus before installing, and NEVER download from a site that you don’t trust! If in doubt, don’t do it. *Go to the saved location, right click and click scan with (your) antivirus!


  17. Seriously outdated recommendations
    After a lot of research and a lot of field work, I strongly disagree with the antivirus recommendations and in a sense I feel like they are misleading users to download programs that don’t score as high on tests. The writers should go to sites like AV Comparatives and read their reports (http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2009/06/av-comparatives-may-2009-report-three-winners.ars). Avast! and AVG are resource hogs, and have become much more bloated over the years, I would have recommended AVG v7, and Avast! when these were in their prime. The times have changed, I would recommend Avira and urge people to purchase either ESET’s NOD32 or Kaspersky, both offer top protection as well.

    I can’t believe you guys passed up VLC for the media player section.

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