Freeware Fridays | Top Tools Of the Week #8

freeware-signIn case you haven’t seen them, here are the most recent posts in our Freeware category. We hope you enjoy reading about these freebies, and maybe you’ll find a keeper in the mix.

 

VirusTotal-ico

Quickly Scan Any File with 40 Different Antivirus Engines

Having a good antivirus program installed on your PC is a must have. The additional ability to double check files using 40 different antivirus engines is not required, but it sure is nice to have.

 

usbsafeguard-ico

Protect Your Portable Files with USB Safeguard

Traveling around with a USB flash drive full of your personal files is often very useful. However, it can also be risky. USB Safeguard can reduce the risk.

 

mouse MouseTrap Locks the Mouse Cursor in a Multi Monitor Setup

MouseTrap is a free utility for Windows which can lock the position of mouse cursor in multi monitor setups. You can use keyboard shortcuts to lock and confine the position of mouse cursors.

 

kubuntu-icon

Screenshot Preview of Kubuntu Netbook Remix

I recently tried the newest version of the Kubuntu Netbook Remix (KNR). Take a look at the screenshots I’ve included here. You might consider trying this new OS on your netbook.

 

Clavier Makes it Dead Simple to Define Custom Hotkeys in Windows

Clavier is a nifty little utility for Windows which makes it dead easy to define your own keyboard shortcuts. You can use the keyboard shortcuts to launch programs, open folders, files, images, videos or possible everything in your hard drive.

 

ontario_theme

4 Free Themes for XP from Microsoft

Even though Windows 7 is becoming more popular every day, most people are still using Windows XP. Since you’ve had XP for so long, isn’t it time you gave it a fresh facelift?

 

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Linux Mint 9 is Expected to Release Very Soon

According to the Mint blog: "we’re about 1 week away from releasing Linux Mint 9". Take a look at this video showing off the newest version of Mint.

 

Be sure to let us know if you have a favorite freebie you’d like to see posted here. Our comments (below) are always open to you.

Wondershare USB Drive Encryption Giveaway On May 13th

USB Drive Encryption Wondershare Software will be together with Giveawayoftheday.com to provide free Wondershare USB Drive Encryption. This would be good news to those who intend to encrypt USB drives for their confidential personal and company data in case of data leakage over lost or stolen USB flash drives.

Priced at $24.95 originally, Wondershare USB Drive Encryption is free on http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/ on May 13, 2010. Please remember the free offer is only valid for 24 hours on May 13, 2010. Giveawayoftheday.com is a new initiative in the software distribution world, which everyday offers for FREE licensed software that users have to buy otherwise.

Wondershare USB Drive Encryption can help you protect USB devices with password, preventing unauthorized users from your sensitive data. With correct password, the encrypted data is viewable for you in any computer without USB Drive Encryption installed. It also has the ability to hide your encrypted data and protect the encrypted data from viruses.
Characterized with US military-level 256-bit AES algorithm, Wondershare USB Drive Encryption allows you to get the highest level protection available now for your data. It’s a good option for you and your company to encrypt USB drives.

With Wondershare USB Drive Encryption, I no longer have to worry about leaking my private photos and business secrets when my USB flash drive is misplaced, lost or stolen.Christina, a user of the test version of USB Drive Encryption said. That is exactly what Wondershare USB Drive Encryption wants to bring to users.

Protect Your Portable Files with USB Safeguard

usbsafeguard-ico Traveling around with a USB flash drive full of your personal files is often very useful. However, it can also be risky. These little thumb drivescan easily be lost or stolen. If you have personal information on them, the loss could cause you plenty of trouble. Fortunately, there are several free utilities designed to keep your personal files protected (encrypted) with a password.   USB Safeguard is a good option.

USB Safeguard is available as a single executable file named usbsafeguard.exe’. It’s only about 736k, so it will fit easily on most current USB drives. You’ll find that you actually have to move the usbsafeguard.exe file onto the flash drive before it will run. Once it’s started for the first time, you’ll see the following prompt for a password:

usbsafeguard-1

You can type in your password, or you can use the built in on-screen keyboard by clicking the tiny keyboard icon just above the first password field. You’ll have to enter the password twice to confirm it’s typed correctly.

Next you’ll be asked to save the password in a text file on your hard drive. This is a precaution you might want to take, just in case you forget the password later.

usbsafeguard-2

After that, you’ll get the main interface where you can add files from your flash drive that you want to encrypt. You can add files by dragging and dropping them into the large empty area, or you can use the Encrypt Allbutton to grab everything on the flash drive.

usbsafeguard-3

If you’ve added files by dragging and dropping, you’ll need to hit the Encryptbutton to move to the next step. Here’s what it looks like while it’s encrypting your files.

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After it’s finished encrypting, the original files will need to be removed. The following screen gives you several options for dealing with them.

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Here’s what it looks like when you are deleting files:

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Now when you look at the files on the flash drive, you’ll only see the usbsafeguard.exe file and the encrypted archive named image.dsk. That single image file could contain hundreds of files if that’s what you want in it. The size of you flash drive is the only limitation.

usbsafeguard-7

In order to get your files back out, all you have to do is run the usbsafeguard.exe file and supply the password. You’ll see all the files listed and you can select them and decrypt(unpack) the ones you want.

Here are three other file encryption tools we’ve written about:

Keep USB Data Encrypted With SafeHouse Explorer
Encrypt and Hide Data on Flash/USB Drive with Rohos Mini Drive
TrueCrypt | A FREE file encryption utility that is useful too

Techie Buzz Verdict:

This is a good solution for protecting files. I’m not very happy with the main interface that’s used to drag and drop files into. I think it might be more useful if it was more like a Windows Explorer file browser. That said, I plan to keep a copy of it.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Quickly Scan Any File with 40 Different Antivirus Engines

VirusTotal-icoThere are several online services that will allow you to check files for viruses or malware by uploading the files from your computer. One reason you might use one of these services is that you have downloaded a new program and you want to know if it’s safe to install on your computer. One of the services that I use most often is called Virus Total’.

Virus Total is a free, independent service that will analyze uploaded files with around 40 different antivirus engines. Here is the current list:

AhnLab (V3)
Antiy Labs (Antiy-AVL)
Aladdin (eSafe)
ALWIL (Avast! Antivirus)
Authentium (Command Antivirus)
AVG Technologies (AVG)
Avira (AntiVir)
Cat Computer Services (Quick Heal)
ClamAV (ClamAV)
Comodo (Comodo)
CA Inc. (Vet)
Doctor Web, Ltd. (DrWeb)
Emsi Software GmbH (a-squared)
Eset Software (ESET NOD32)
Fortinet (Fortinet)
FRISK Software (F-Prot)
F-Secure (F-Secure)
G DATA Software (GData)
Hacksoft (The Hacker)
Hauri (ViRobot)
Ikarus Software (Ikarus)
INCA Internet (nProtect)
K7 Computing (K7AntiVirus)
Kaspersky Lab (AVP)
McAfee (VirusScan)
Microsoft (Malware Protection)
Norman (Norman Antivirus)
Panda Security (Panda Platinum)
PC Tools (PCTools)
Prevx (Prevx1)
Rising Antivirus (Rising)
Secure Computing (SecureWeb)
BitDefender GmbH (BitDefender)
Sophos (SAV)
Sunbelt Software (Antivirus)
Symantec (Norton Antivirus)
VirusBlokAda (VBA32)
Trend Micro (TrendMicro)
VirusBuster (VirusBuster)

They keep those engines up to date with the latest virus signatures, and they also offer detailed results from each engine in their reports. Virus Total is available in nearly two dozen languages.

To use this service, you simply visit the web page, click on the file upload button, select the file and wait for it to upload. Once the file is uploaded, you will often have to wait a few minutes for the scan results to appear. If you think that sounds pretty easy to do, you are correct. However, Virus Total now offers an even easier method, the Virus Total Uploader.

After you install the Virus Total Uploader [Windows Only] on your PC, you can right click on a file, then Send tothe Virus Total site.

virus-total-uploader-context-sendto-menu

After a few seconds, your web browser will open up to show you the results of the antivirus tests from Virus Total.

That’s not the only trick that the Uploader has for you. When you launch it from your Start menu, you’ll see three other upload options in it’s interface:

virus-total-uploader-main-interface

  • upload a file by choosing it’s process name
  • select a file by browsing to it’s location
  • type in the URL of a file on the web

Go to the Virus Total Uploader page to get it.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Having a good antivirus program installed on your PC is a must have. The ability to double check files using 40 different antivirus engines is not required, but it sure is nice to have. If you’d like to try this application, I recommend it.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Freeware Fridays | Top Tools Of the Week #7

freeware-sign In case you haven’t seen them, here are the most recent posts in our Freeware category. We hope you enjoy reading about these freebies, and maybe you’ll find a keeper in the mix.

View Google Maps Offline with GmapCatcher

GmapCatcher is a freeware utility for Windows, Mac and Linux which can be used to save Google Maps in your computer for offline viewing. The application comes handy, when you do not have internet access and want to view a Google Map. Read More |Tweet This

puppy-logo

Macpup Opera 2.0 is Launched Fast Portable Linux

It’s small, fast, free and really pretty to watch. It’s a great place to start for those who’ve never used Linux before. Read More | Tweet This

mp3-player-ico

iTunes Alternative SharePod Rocks

SharePod is a small portable freeware alternative to iTunes. You can store it right on your iPod and take it with you everywhere you go. Read More | Tweet This

How to Change Windows Screen Resolutions Using Hotkeys

HotKey Resolution changer is a freeware utility for Windows which can be used to change Windows screen resolution in just a single key stroke. Read More | Tweet This

FileTrack Helps Tracking Changes on a Shared File

FileTrack is a freeware utility for Windows which can be used to track the changes made on a shared file. You can use it to monitor changes made on files shared over a network or with files shared with other users of your computer. Read More | Tweet This

ultrasearch-icon

Hide Your IP Address and Surf Anonymously with UltraSurf

Do you need to hide your IP address so that you can surf the web anonymously? Do you need to get past internet censorship or blocked websites? If so, UltraSurf may be a good solution for you. Read More | Tweet This

axxcrypt-ico

Encrypt Your Files Quickly with AxCrypt

For those who need to encrypt files, AxCrypt integrates it’s actions into the Windows right click menus. This makes it an easy to use solution for security and privacy. Read More | Tweet This

Be sure to let us know if you have a favorite freebie you’d like to see posted here. Our comments (below) are always open to you.

iTunes Alternative – SharePod Rocks

mp3-player-ico [Windows Only] SharePod is a small portable freeware alternative to iTunes. There’s no doubt that iTunes is a fantastic program. However, it’s about a 93mb download and it’s not going to be on every PC that you might want to hook your iPod up to.

The advantages of SharePod are it’s small size and it’s portability. SharePod is a single executable file about 5mb in size. You can move the SharePod.exe file onto your iPod and take it with you anywhere you go. It will run right from the iPod without any installation.

Here’s what it looks like:

sharepod-main

SharePod will let you do many of the things that the huge iTunes app will do, such as:

• Add and remove music and videos from your iPod
• Add, remove and edit playlists
• Add and remove album art
• View and backup photos
• Copy music, videos and playlists from your iPod to PC
• Import music/videos into your iTunes library
• Tag editing
• Drag n drop to and from Explorer

Besides the typical iPods and Nanos, SharePod also supports iPhone and iTouch. The only major drawback I’ve found, is that it requires Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework to be installed. Everything I’ve tried works flawlessly, and the interface is nice and simple.

Note: Another iTunes alternative we’ve discussed here is Floola, which is also free and portable.

Download SharePod

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I enjoyed trying SharePod and I plan to keep it on my Nano. It’s so handy being able to add and remove songs from any computer I’m using. If you don’t have a portable utility like this already, you should give this one a try.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Hide Your IP Address and Surf Anonymously with UltraSurf

ultrasearch-icon [Windows Only] UltraSurf is a tool that hooks your web browsers up with a free anonymous proxy. It hides your true IP address. Why is that important? I found a good answer at about.com:

When connecting to the Internet, your home computer (or network router) is assigned a public IP address. As you visit Web sites or other Internet servers, that public IP address is transmitted and recorded in log files kept on those servers. Access logs leave behind a trail of your Internet activity. If it were possible to somehow hide your public IP address, your Internet activity would become much more difficult to trace.

UltraReach, the group behind the UltraSurf application, talks about a another good reason for their service. Their purpose is as follows:

UltraReach is the first company with a mission that offers Internet technology and service immune to the national Internet censorship in China. The outstanding performance of our service has made UltraReach Internet well known among the users who seek the Internet freedom in the censored country, and at the meantime attracted heavy attacks from Chinese Internet police.

In other words, UltraSurf allows users to get past internet censorship. I don’t know exactly how it works, but I’ve tried UltraSurf and so far I’m impressed with it.

It’s easy to use. Just download it, double click the EXE file to run it, then start surfing.

ultrasurf-exe

Once it’s running, you’ll see a simple interface.

ultrasurf-interface

It will also launch Internet Explorer and you can start surfing if you want to. If you don’t want to use Internet Explorer, just close it and use your other web browsers. You can also go into the settings and tell UltraSurf not to start Internet Explorer.

If you’d like to, you can check your IP address at whatismyip.com to find out what it is. You’ll see that running UltraSurf changes your address after it starts up.

You can download UltraSurf here.

In the past, the writers here at Techie Buzz have shared some other surfing tips with you. Here are a few:

Are Web Proxy Servers Safe To Enter Passwords?
How To Access Blocked Websites
How To Access Blogspot Blogs From China
Unblock and Access YouTube From China

I’ve also written about two free web browsers that let you surf anonymously.

Xb Browser
OperaTor Browser

Techie Buzz Verdict:

UltraSurf is one of the easiest ways you can find to surf the internet with anonymous freedom. I can’t tell you if it can bridge the great Chinese firewall, but the authors of this program are dedicated to doing that.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Freeware Fridays | Top Tools Of the Week #6

In case you haven’t seen them, here are the most recent posts in our Freeware category. We hope you enjoy reading about these freebies, and maybe you’ll find a keeper in the mix.

souptoys-iconHours of Fun with SoupToys on Your Desktop

Kids of all ages will love playing with this unique set of desktop toys. They are so amazing, you have to see them to believe them.

palemoon-icoPut Firefox into Hyperdrive with Pale Moon

Do you want to get a speed boost in Firefox? If so, give Pale Moon a try.

chromium-logoGoogle Chrome May Stop Showing HTTP in the Address Bar

A recent build of the Chromium web browser is displaying web addresses differently now. This has raised a some concerns, since Chromium is the basis for Google’s Chrome web browser and millions of users may be affected.

no-wordGreat Free MS Word Alternative DeVicky Word

If you can’t afford to buy MS Word, there are plenty of free alternatives. I’ll show you one that I really like using.

Fix-It-Center-SolutionsFix Common System Problems with Microsoft Fix It Center Online

Microsoft Fix It Center offers quick fixes to common Windows problems and takes the trouble out of troubleshooting.

Be sure to let us know if you have a favorite freebie you’d like to see posted here. Our comments (below) are always open to you.

Hours of Fun with SoupToys on Your Desktop

souptoys-icon [Windows Only] Souptoys is a collection of toys that you can play with on your PC desktop. Rather than tell you about it, I’ll show you in a video …

Link to video

As you can see, each type of toy has it’s own physical properties and you can place them on your screen so that they form a Rube Goldberg device. If you’re a kid playing with this, you may not care if you make anything interesting. These toys are simply fun to play with.

Here’s what the home site says:

Designed with players aged 5 to 12 in mind, but enjoyed globally by everyone, this physics sandbox game replicates a child’s wooden toy box full of toys, including basketballs, robots, wooden blocks, snowmen, cannons, flying bees and a pirate ship. With its open-ended design, the possibilities are endless and players are limited only by their imagination.

As you continue to build your own playground, you can save the toy placements as “playset” files. You can also download playsets from the home site or use any of the dozens of playsets that come with the program.

souptoys-logo

Download Souptoys

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I had fun playing with Souptoys and I can’t wait to show it to my nieces and nephews. The only thing I’d wish for, is that Souptoys was an open source project that everyone could contribute to. I’d bet there’d be an explosion of new toys to play with every day.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Google Chrome May Stop Showing HTTP in the Address Bar

chromium-logo One of the most recent builds of the Chromium web browser is drawing some criticism. As you may know, Chromium is the open source browser project that Google’s Chrome web browser is based on. In the Chromium version 5.0.375.3, something new showed up. The address bar was not displaying the normal http://in front of addresses. It was reported in the issues at Chromium’s code site as a possible bug.

URL BAR

However, it turns out that this is an intentional move, and it’s started a fairly heated debate there. Some of the people posting there do not want to have the http prefix removed. Some people argue that it’s a feature that everyone will eventually want.

Apparently, if you need to copy and paste the address from the Chromium address bar, it will automatically add the httpprefix, even though you don’t see it. This will need to happen in order to use copied URLs in other applications.

In my opinion, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem as long as the feature works as they say it will. I sometimes wonder why we even need to type the wwwin the address. It’s a waste of time and I’ll be happy if it goes away for good.

What do you think? Be sure to comment below.