Must-Have Software for your PC or Mac

A sandwich is only as good as its filling, and a computer is only is good as its software. Whether your computer is brand new or five years old, it is crucial that it is filled with the best and most up-to-date software available. Of course, computers are as unique and different as each of us, so there is no black and white list of what a computer should and should not contain. There are, however, a few programs that no computer should be without. Here are a few of those programs, some (or all) of which you might want to add.

Word Processor/Productivity Suite

A software staple for any computer, a word processor is something that most people will use, as it is often the reason for buying it in the first place. Many computers come with the Microsoft Office suite, but others such as Macs will require purchase of a word processor. Microsoft dominates this market, but there do exist some alternatives. WordPerfect is one such example, as well as some free online versions. It has to be said though, there is probably a reason why Office has become the standard.

Anti Virus Software

If you are going to spend any time online, antivirus software is a necessity. The good news is that you can find good antivirus software online for free. Although there are paid versions as well, the free ones are more than adequate. Just make sure that you do your research and avoid downloading anything that might carry a virus.

Internet Browser

The market for Internet browsers is more competitive than it has ever been. The most popular browsers are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Apple’s Safari. Debates rage online as to which is the best, but most of them will do the trick just fine.

Media Player

Another program which may already be on your computer, you will want something to allow you to watch, edit and save movies as well as home videos and DVDs.


You will need to download a PDF reader in order to view and save PDF files on your computer. The most popular one is Adobe Reader, which is available for free on the Adobe website. Most people find that this is enough to meet their needs, but there is a paid version available in the form of Adobe Acrobat. This would allow you to create and edit your own PDF files as well as combining them, converting them from PDF to Microsoft word documents and from Word to PDF.

Photo Editor

Although not a necessity, many people like to have software with which they can tinker with their photos without getting them professionally done.

Music Player

Again, not a necessity, but if you like to listen to music, you probably want iTunes or Windows Media to help you organize and play your MP3 files.

Well there you have it, your computer is now fully stocked. It’s now up to you to decide what other software you want to install – just maybe steer clear of addictive games!

Jared Renner is a freelance writer who loves computers and anything related to technology and gadgets.