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Everybody can benefit from good IT software, but in the current economic recession they cannot always afford it.

The PC Support Group, office and home IT specialists, has devised some great tips to help the nation get their computers equipped with the best programmes without spending a penny.

Most of us are cautious of free internet tools, but the professionals at The PC Support Group guarantee that if we choose the right sites they can be even better than the paid-for alternatives.

The nationwide company, who offer customers full service technical support from the backroom to the boardroom, recommend users should only download programmes, suggested by a trusted source. Here are its top five freebies..

TOP FIVE PC FREEBIES:

1. Free Music Management Software
Sort out your online music collection without breaking the bank with Media Monkey.
Media Monkey is designed to scan your PC to find music and prepares it for you to organise. It allows you to arrange your music using categories and will even go online to retrieve album artwork.
The programme will synchronise music with most portable music players including iPods.

You can download Media Monkey from www.mediamonkey.com

2. Free Anti-virus Software
The internet allows your computer to become instantly vulnerable to viruses. While anti-virus software is very effective at blocking the bugs it can sometimes cost a fortune.
Protecting your computer doesn’t have to cost a penny. AVG is a great anti-virus protection service which is free for home users – there is a small fee for commercial use.

To download AVG, go to www.free.grisoft.com

3. Free Photo Editing Software
Adobe Photoshop is the leader in photo editing, but now there is a great free alternative which will allow you to produce excellent quality pictures without splashing the cash.
Gimp is a photo manipulation programme which allows the user to easily customise selected images.
Features include; photo retouching techniques, picture enhancement and correcting image imperfections.

You can find Gimp at www.gimp.org

4. Free Firewall Software
The internet can contain insecure sites. A firewall is designed to sit between your computer and the internet, to allow you to control precisely what enters and leaves your PC.
A great way to get this peace of mind is Zone Alarm by Check Point Technologies. This software is free for home users and charities.

You can download Zone Alarm from http://www.zonealarm.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp

5. Free Spam Filtering Software
SpamBayes is a great filter which can be easily installed onto any machine for free.
Once downloaded, the Outlook filter automatically categorises your incoming messages and will save your time and your savings by automatically remembering your previous preferences.

You can download Spam from http://spambayes.sourceforge.net/

Always read the Terms & Conditions carefully.

If you ever need any help with computer support, installing or configuring these or any more standard software then call The PC Support Group on 0845 2233116 or visit www.pcsupportgroup.com.