So much of our lives is spent online that is hard to imagine getting through our daily routines without our computers. We use them for work, to communicate, to shop, to stream entertainment and to socialise. Yet amazingly, many of us don’t actually know much about the software we have on our computers.
For many people, buying a computer and turning it on is the major setup step. They might download a few programs for work, or their favourite messaging service, but beyond that, little thought goes into what other software might be beneficial.
This blog post will talk you through what we think are some of the vital software applications to install on your computer in 2022. There’s a good chance you’ll already have most of these installed but if not, then this guide is for you.
In today’s world, a VPN is absolutely essential. In the simplest terms, VPNs makes a public network into a private one. They increase a user’s privacy and security by masking their IP address and rerouting their connection through other servers. They can also allow users to access content that is regionally restricted.
Some people still think that the only reason to want to hide your internet activity is because you’re doing something illegal or are trying to hide what you’re doing from your partner or parents. This is an outdated and closed-minded viewpoint. Of course, there are some people who use VPNs for those reasons but the main reason to use one is to protect yourself and your data.
Our personal data, including our search histories, has become incredibly valuable. Companies invest heavily in figuring out how to identify, track and appeal to customers. Governments use the same methods to monitor their citizens. It’s all really creepy and invasive. The best VPNs aren’t free but they will help you maintain your privacy online. It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing your every click isn’t being monitored.
A usage monitor is one of the most basic bits of software yet it can help you to extend the life of your computer and prevent problems before they start. A usage monitor doesn’t really need any explanation – it monitors how your computer is functioning and logs the resources that different programs are using to run.
Why is this essential? Say you’ve downloaded a new game – maybe it’s the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts sequel – and your computer slows down or the fan starts making a lot of noise. With a usage monitor, you can check and make sure that it actually is the game that’s causing the problem and not a different program you forgot was running in the background, or worse, a bit of malware that’s messing with your system. A usage monitor won’t fix any problems but it will make you aware of them before they become a serious issue.
A password manager might not be a necessary piece of software; however, it can make your life so much easier that once you have one, it’s hard to remember what life was like before it. Even though we know it makes our accounts more vulnerable, many of us use the same password for multiple websites because it’s just too difficult to remember so many unique passwords.
A password manager keeps track of all of your passwords, so that you don’t have to. Once you’ve downloaded a password manager, it remembers all of your user names and passwords, and most will automatically fill that information in for you the next time you visit that site. These are simple tools with huge potential benefits.
Open source creative tools
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Once you’ve installed the software necessary to keep you and your computer safe, it’s time to have some fun. The last few years have let most of us explore hobbies that we had always been interested in but never had the time or the courage to try. Many people discovered what creative folk have known for a long time – even if you aren’t incredibly talented, the artistic process makes you feel good.
A lot of artistic hobbies require an investment in materials, which can take up a lot of space and be a hurdle to starting if you aren’t sure you’ll enjoy it. Digital art is a great way around this. There are tons of open source art tools that can let you find the creative outlet that is best for you. Whether it’s painting, drawing, editing photos, writing, animation or anything else, there’s software available to help you.
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