Colocation America’s Great Computer Tools Series: Desktop Tools

best computer tools
12.02.15
Q.C. Crea

We at Colocation America are still amazed every time we unearth a tool that makes our computer-lives that much easier. So, we had a thought: let’s share them with you. And yes, this is all opinion based, non-promotional awesomeness. Enjoy.

So here is our first installment in our Great Computer Tools series: Desktop Tools.


1. Ninite

download all the things with ninite

Photo Credit: ninite.com

If you haven’t used Ninite yet, you’re really missing out. It’s the ultimate download tool—hands down. Especially if you’re setting up a new machine, Ninite will save you potentially hours of researching and downloading.

Ninite breaks down programs into categories, so if you’re looking for Messaging or Imaging applications, Ninite will have the best (typically free) programs right there for you. Just check the ones you want and then get the installer.

Ninite’s installer will automatically download the programs you selected onto your machine. And the best part is, they uncheck all the unwanted toolbars and other applications no one wants automatically as well. It really couldn’t be simpler. Once the installer is finished all the programs you wanted will be ready to go—no hassle. In fact, the majority of the remaining programs on this list can be downloaded with Ninite! Best. Tool. Ever.

Try Ninite


2. F.lux

warm your screen with f.lux

Photo Credit: campusghanta.com

We were a little skeptical with f.lux at first, but we’ve been using it for over a year now and haven’t looked back.

F.lux softens, or warms, your screen based on the time of day to protect your eyes. At night, instead of looking at a bright, bluish screen, f.lux will warm the colors to reduce the strain of looking at a monitor.

Studies have shown that doing so could be the reason for sleeplessness, but with f.lux, it eliminates that problem altogether. There is some getting used to this program, but it’s well worth the adjustment period. Give it a shot!

Try f.lux


3. Malwarebytes

antimalware malwarebytes

Photo Credit: malwarebytes.org

In our estimation, there’s not a better anti-malware application on the market. With real-time monitoring, consistent updates, and detailed and fast scans, there’s not much that gets by Malwarebytes.

It also pairs well with Windows Defender and can save you so many headaches by just installing it. Go ahead, give it a shot!

Try Malwarebytes


4. CCleaner

crap cleaner piriform

Photo Credit: sftcdn.net

We chose CCleaner because paired with Malwarebytes, there’s really nothing that should slow down your computer.

CCleaner stands for “Crap Cleaner” and it does just that. All the old temporary files, browser caches, old Windows Update files are swept away with the push of a button. CCleaner also has a neat startup section that cleans up unnecessary programs which slow your computer during startup.

There’s nothing like cleaning up your computer. A clean computer is a generally a fast one. You’ll be thanking CCleaner before you know it!

Try CCleaner


5. 7-zip

7-zip compression

Photo Credit: vikitech.com

Have you ever received a .zip file? You know, the folders that have the zippers on them that can be sometimes frustrating as all get-out to open? 7-zip helps with that.

In our experience, 7-zip is the lightest, most unobtrusive compression/file archiver we’ve used. And it’s free. Other programs like WinRAR are great, but it can be annoying how many times they ask you to pay for it. And we don’t like annoying.

With great right-click options, and an easy to understand interface, 7-zip is a no-brainer.

Try 7-zip


6. Greenshot

screen captures with greenshot

Photo Credit: bp.blogspot.com

We’ll let Greenshot’s website do the talking for us: “Greenshot – a free screenshot tool optimized for productivity.” And that is the truth. Being able to capture any part of your screen and then add usful things like arrows or numbers (when detailing steps) is a godsend.

We use Greenshot everyday when showing each other steps on how to do things, or just sharing interesting things we see. In fact, we use it a ton on our informational blogs or resource pages.

It’s a great tool and the best part is how light it is. Most programs that do what Greenshot does take forever to load and have some type of on-screen presence. Greenshot stays back in your hidden icon section of the taskbar, just waiting to be used.

The captures are fast and the uses are many. We love Greenshot!

Try Greenshot


7. Unchecky

unchecky the boxes

Photo Credit: ex.ua

Unchecky unchecks those little boxes during software installation that can be easy to miss and annoying as all h-e-double-hockey-sticks. It just sits back and does the work for you. You’ll never miss another one of those boxes again. A true time-saver.

Try Unchecky


8. VLC Media Player

VLC player

Photo Credit: wikisend.com

For our money, VLC is the best media player on the market, simply because we have yet to see it fail. It’s great for those odd types of files other media players can’t seem to figure out. If VLC can’t play it, it’s most likely corrupt.

The interface is awfully customizable, as well, offering just about any type of audio/video-playback tinkering you can think of. It’s also fast and intuitive. Give it a shot.

Try VLC Media Player


9. Paint.NET

more than just ms paint

Photo Credit: deviantart.net

Paint.NET is like MS Paint, but with that one or two extra features you always wish MS Paint had when you’re using it. Now, obviously Paint.NET has more than just one or two more features than MS Paint, but you get the drift.

Paint.NET is that program you want to use when you don’t want to get into the intricities of Photoshop, but want a little more than what MS Paint offers. In our opinion, it’s a must have.

Try Paint.NET


10. Calibre

calibre ebook organizer

Photo Credit: wikimedia.org

This one is a little off-the-wall compared to the others on the list, but it’s functions are not to be ignored, especially if you’re an avid reader.

Calibre does just about everything for e-books. From an easy to use library, to converting just about everything to an e-book, Calibre does just about everything to make your e-book reader life so much simpler. It’s great.

Try Calibre


I hope our list of great desktop tools helps make your computer-life so much easier. If you think we missed a big-ticket application, comment below or email blog@colocationamerica.com and we’ll update the list as we see fit! We love your suggestions!

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