Windows 7, while known for its performance and stability, is not exactly the most feature-packed and exciting operating system out there. A number of features and programs that most users take for granted are not available in the system itself and need to be installed separately. Let’s take a look at a few now:
Google Chrome is the most popular browser these days, particularly among those who know their way around a computer. There are plenty of reasons: it’s fast, secure, and has an enormous number of extensions available to make it even more useful and customizable, which is important since this is likely to be the most used piece of software on your computer.
Windows comes with Internet Explorer as the default web browser. While it has improved significantly over the years, it still lacks many of the features that make alternatives like Chrome attractive. Chrome, for example, has a much larger extension library.
Firefox is the other major choice worth considering. Like Chrome, it is fast, features an enormous library of extensions and add-ons to expand functionality, and has lots of features to improve your security and privacy.
While the browser might be the most used software on your computer, your antivirus program is probably the most important, especially with Windows 7: this version of Windows lacks the built-in protection of the newer Windows operating systems.
When it comes to antivirus, there are several good choices, depending on what features you want and whether you want to pay for the software. The website av-test.org conducts tests of all the major antivirus software out there and provides detailed ratings and reviews. Their current top choices for Windows 7 are Avira Antivirus Pro 2016, Kaspersky Lab Internet Security 2016, Norton Security 2016, and Trend Micro Internet Security 2016. You can’t go wrong with any of these choices.
Having access to cloud storage is almost essential these days, especially if you use your computer for business, and Dropbox still tends to be the most popular. It’s reliable and affordably priced. Alternatives include Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. They all do pretty much the same thing.
Finally, we can’t forget about our entertainment! iTunes is, of course, extremely popular, but another excellent piece of software is VLC. VLC is a free media player that has become famous for being able to play basically any file type you can throw at it. Windows 7, by default, will be able to play many of the most common files, but there are plenty that it just can’t handle without additional software, and VLC takes care of that.