Click on a link to download an app that looks interesting to you. Time flies, and recommendations get outdated as technology advances. Some apps have review dates. A recommendation without a review date may be as old as 5 years, and thus may no longer be relevant or useful.

Be careful when going through the install steps. Free software is often ad-supported. Ads deliberately try to mislead you into clicking on an oversized download link that is other than the one desired. You must carefully examine the text surrounding a link, and also hover over the link to review the name of the target to decide if the link is the correct one. Avoid clicking on offers to download and install third-party components, or make changes to web browsers, as they are not needed for the basic software package.
Google
A growing number of Google products are available, more than 100 according to Wikipedia.

The design of the Downloads and Links web pages is to group apps by function. Grouping these Google apps, both downloads and links, in one section on this page departs from that design, but there is a commonality of popularity, quality, limited advertising and often the requirement of a Google account that is used as an argument for this grouping.
Gmail - A "google account" or gmail is often your ticket to other google services. A gmail email account is not tied to your computer, your gmail account will not change if you change internet providers, your mail is not lost when your computer crashes, and gmail is accessible from any computer.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Google search - Considered by many to be the best search engine. Does not require a gmail account. Click on Settings (lower right of google.com page?) to explore extended functions of this app.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Google Earth - Satellite views of the planet. Zoom into a view of your house, your birthplace, your gradeschool, the Pyramids, Easter Island, the Great Wall, NYC. Fly over the Rockies or follow rivers in the flight simulator (Tools, Enter Flight Simulator).
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Chrome - See Browsers below.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Photos (link) - Unlimited free storage for photos and videos with some restrictions: Photo size limited or resized to 16MB. Video size limited to 1080p. See Google Photos Workshops.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Picasa has been retired. If you previously stored photos in Picasa, the link will show you how to access them.
Reviewed Sept 2016.
Google Calendar (link) - Recommended and popular calendar app. Optionally sync with your desktops, tablets, phones and share with family and friends.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
YouTube (link) - Videos including learn by watching, movie trailers, full length movies, concerts. Type in movies to search. Google acquired YouTube in 2006.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Google Drive - See Cloud Storage below.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Docs - Free alternative to Microsoft Word. Plus provides ability to collaberate online.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Sheets - Free alternative to Excel
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Slides - Free alternative to PowerPoint
Reviewed Oct 2016.
News - Google news aggregator.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Keep - Free alternative to Microsoft OneNote. Keep your notes, lists, photos, audio.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Blogger.com - Free weblog publishing tool from Google, for sharing text, photos and video.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Flights - Find airline tickets.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Translate - Translate a phrase or a website.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Maps - Lots of options.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
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Social Media
Twitter - A social networking app allowing communications in up-to-140 character "tweets". "Follow" friends and celebrities.
Reviewed April 2017.
Instagram - a social networking app for sharing pictures. For mobile only. Download the android app from Google Play.
Reviewed April 2017.
Skype - Video chat with family or friends. Also available for android phones.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
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Browsers
Internet Explorer is pre-installed on Windows computers. IE 11 is the latest and probably the last version.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Microsoft Edge is Microsoft's replacement for Internet Explorer. It is intended for Windows 10 and is pre-installed.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Chrome - Google's browser
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Firefox - browser from Mozilla. Depending on who's doing the measuring Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer may be the most popular or best browser of the three.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Safari - Windows version of Apple's browser. Lots of ads on the downloads page - carefully check before you click.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Opera - Has a history of being first with new browser features. Or if you just want to buck the popular trend in browsers.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
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Antivirus
Antivirus software is as important as ever. You can find products that score higher in testing, but running any antivirus software including the free Microsoft offerings is much better than nothing.
For Windows 7, Microsoft offers free downloadable antivirus software called Microsoft Security Essentials
Reviewed Nov 2016.
In Windows 8, Security Essentials is pre-installed.
Reviewed Nov 2016.
In Windows 10, the pre-installed antivirus software is called Defender.
Reviewed Nov 2016.
AVG free antivirus
Reviewed May 2017.
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Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is useful for sharing - among your devices or among friends and coworkers.

Three cloud providers are discussed. When you sign up for cloud storage, a folder is created in the directory "Users/[username]/" with the folder name of Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. You copy a folder to the cloud by moving it to this local directory.

By default files are SYNCed, meaning cloud storage mirrors storage on your computer. A file changed or deleted on one device, or by one person, is changed or deleted on all devices and the cloud.

You can save drive space by offloading big folders to the cloud. Do not rely on cloud storage as your only backup of important files.

The three named providers support an option to unSYNC specified folders. If you unsync a folder, the folder will be deleted from the local directory, but remain in the cloud. To retrieve a folder from the cloud, you reSYNC the folder. Each of your devices can have its own sync scheme. For example, you might leave all files synced with your desktop, but unsync some files on a laptop with less hard drive space.
Google Drive - Google offers 15 GB of free storage.
Check if a Google Drive Workshop is scheduled. Google Photos offers unlimited free storage for photos and videos. See Google Photos Workshops.
Reviewed May 2017.
OneDrive -  Microsoft offers 5 GB of free storage. Caution: The general cloud storage description above applies to Windows 7 and Windows 10. Windows 8.1 behaves differently.
Reviewed Nov 2016.
Dropbox - Dropbox offers 2 GB of free storage. It's popular because it may be the easiest to setup and maintain.
Reviewed Nov 2016.
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Photo/Video
VLC - Plays multimedia, DVDs, Video CDs, Audio CDs ... all formats.
Reviewed May 2017.
Any Video Converter freeware can convert into most formats.
Reviewed Sept 2016.
IrfanView is a free, popular, fast image viewer with options to rotate, compress, crop, convert format, edit brightness, contrast, and tint, create a stand-alone slideshow that can optionally be copied to a CD, and more.
Reviewed Sept 2016.
GIMP is free software suitable for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert-quality photo-retouching program, an online batch-processing system, a mass production image renderer, or an image-format converter. Almost as capable as Photoshop which typically sold for more than $700. Because GIMP has so many options, it takes time to learn how to use it.
Reviewed April 2017.
PixResizer - Resizes single photos and multiple photos in batch mode; converts between image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG, and TIFF); rotates images; converts to gray scale. Be careful! Most of the "download" buttons on the page are designed to trick you into downloading an app other than PixResizer. Hover over a button and examine the target url.
Reviewed Sept 2016.
FastStone Image Viewer- A fast, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor. includes  red-eye removal, e-mailing, resizing, cropping and color adjustments and much more. Simple to use but also offers a 95 page pdf help guide.
Reviewed April 2017.
PhotoRazor - Easily reduces photo file size; saves resized photos to a separate folder so you do not lose your large original photos.
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Internet Tools
RoboForm and RoboForm2Go - Password manager stores passwords on USB flash drives. Fills forms with a single click, all your login's in one place, saves passwords, access from anywhere.
Check out the RoboForm Special Interest Group.
Reviewed May 2017.
Microsoft Expression Web 4 - a full-featured professional tool for designing, developing, and publishing compelling, feature-rich websites that conform to web standards.
Reviewed May 2017.
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Office
LibreOffice - LibreOffice is the power-packed free, libre and open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base. WPS Office - Formerly Kingsoft Office, a great alternative to Microsoft. Available for Apple, Android, Windows and Linux. Open almost any file type, fully compatible with Microsoft Power Point, Word and Excel built in PDF converter. Office Tabs - Is a powerful office addin to view, edit and manage documents, workbooks or presentations etc via a Tabbed View in Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 and 2010. Microsoft Office has not supported tabbed view by itself yet. Office Tabs solves this issue. With Office Tabs, you can manage multiple documents within a single window easily and quickly.
Reviewed May 2017.
Microsoft Office Converter - Use to convert files and images for Microsoft Office programs, from Office 97 to Office 2003. These additional converters and filters are for older or seldom used documents or image formats. Acrobat Reader - Supports viewing, printing and annotating PDF (Portable Document Format) files created by Acrobat. Before clicking "Install Now", you probably want to decline the optional offers. Remember this each time you install an update.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Duplicate Cleaner - Find and delete duplicate files, music, photos, and documents. As instructed, "always back up your computer."
PDF to Microsoft Word Converter - The title says it.
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System Tools
Free Commander - has many features, but the reason I use it as an alternative to the Search Box or File Explorer is because of a more intuitive interface as well as speed when searching for a filename on my computer.
Reviewed June 2017.
CCleaner - Removes unused files from your system, freeing up hard drive space, purportedly allowing Windows to run faster. Cleans internet history. Contains a registry cleaner. Back up your system first.
Reviewed April 2017.
AOMEI - Create a backup copy of your system and data. Check if a Backup & Recovery SIG is scheduled.
Reviewed Oct 2016.
Belarc - Creates a profile of installed software and hardware.
Reviewed April 2017.
Revo Uninstaller Freeware - Search and remove all remnants of programs you want to uninstall. Scroll down to the Freeware download.
Reviewed Nov 2016.
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