It's been a leading browser since its debut in 2008, especially when it comes to speed and minimalism. Chrome still ranks high as a browser to keep in your arsenal. Especially if you're a devotee to Google products—and it's built right into the ChromeOS on Chromebooks so much that it practically is the OS. However, it's probably not the browser you want if you're a privacy advocate.

PCMag's top pick for software to take control of other computers is TeamViewer. Almost everything you need is free: desktop sharing, file transfers, even chat with remote users. And the setup couldn't be easier. Take control of a PC over a Web connection and a Chrome browser (even in ChromeOS) with the TeamViewer extension. There is also a Windows app in the Microsoft Store and optional downloads to make installing TeamViewer on multiple PCs even easier—though it's only free for personal use.


Something to always watch for: crapware installers. To make ends meet, many creators of otherwise great free software, or the services that offer the programs for download, bundle in things you don't want. Worse, the installation routine obfuscates the steps, so you provide the unwanted program tacit permission to be installed. For more about how to spot and avoid this problem, see How to Clean Crapware From a New PC, and check out the Uninstaller section of this very free software collection.
If you want to use Microsoft Office on Windows and Mac desktops, it'll still cost you at least $69.99 a year for Office 365 Personal—and it's probably worth it for the power those programs wield. But it's not 100 percent necessary: the Web versions of Word, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel, Sway, and others all live for free at Office.com. You'll have to sign up for a Microsoft account to store files online using OneDrive (5GB are free). But there's no lack of free options if you can live without the full-test versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Freeflys: Another strong contender in the freebies space, Freeflys has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, The Doctors, Fox News and a handful of other media outlets. Similar to most of these sites, Freeflys utilizes email alerts to tell users about free-sample offers as they happen. The site also allows you to search for a specific product with the handy search bar.
×