Cyberduck, a free alternative to Filezilla FTP client

An FTP client can be very useful to upload big or multiple files for web storage or managing websites, unfortunately FTP is a very old and insecure protocol, all of your data, including your password will be sent in the clear, make sure you choose an FTP client that supports SFTP or FTPS for file transfers, open source Filezilla supports both and does an excellent job, but if you want an alternative Cyberduck is a sound one.

FTP client Cyberduck is a long time MAC only FTP client that has recently been ported to Windows, Cyberduck is a multilingual, lean and easy to use FTP client with advanced security features.

What makes Cyberduck a great alternative for FileZilla is that it will find out about your FileZilla websites settings and ask you if you want to import them. It also supports importing settings from other FTP clients.

Cyberduck for Windows
Cyberduck for Windows

Cyberduck supported file transfer protocols

  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
  • FTP/TLS, aka FTPS (FTP secured over SSL/TLS)
  • SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfers)
  • WebDAV (Web based Distributed Authoring and Versioning)

Cyberduck FTP client main features

  • Easy bookmarking with drag and drop
  • File synchronization of remote directories
  • Support for public key authentication
  • Expanding of .zip and .tar files remotely using SSH
  • Editing files on the server using an external editor
  • Bandwidth and concurrent transfers can be limited
  • Preserving timestamps when uploading or downloading

This free open source FTP client supports cloud storage services like Amazon S3, Google Storage, Google Docs, Windows Azure and Rackspace Cloud files. The Cyberduck FTP client works with open cloud software from Eucalyptus and OpenStack.

Visit Cyberduck home page

Free CD/DVD burning software Hamster Studio

Unless you burn DVDs daily or use DVD burning software for business purposes you don’t need to pay for premium CD burning software like Nero, there is a free alternative called Hamster Free Burning Studio and it does everything you need.

Hamster Free Burning Studio CD burning software has an eye candy and easy to use interface, automatically identifies the type of disk inserted in the tray, either CD, DVD or BluRay, its capacity and maximum burning speed of the disk, it will then use this information to display the fill factor of the files on the disk and if it is a rewritable disk it will give you the possibility of erasing it.

Hamster Free Burning Studio CD burning software
Hamster Free Burning Studio CD burning software

This free CD burning software is only 315Kb in size, supports drag and drop and it is good enough for data burning, creating a backup copy, creating music CDs, creating ISO templates and cloning of DVDs, CDs or BluRay.

Hamster Free Studio simple interface allows you to choose your favourite colour scheme for the software, the language you want to use and the possibility of using a compact mode with less choices.

When you install Hamster Free Studio it will offer you to change your homepage and default search engine but this is made clear and you can refuse it, other than that this excellent CD burning software is completely free and it gives you a good run for your money which you can save not having to buy more advanced programs like Nero burning software with features you might never use and are more difficult to master.

Hamster Free Studio main features

  • Burns on CD/DVD/BluRay disks
  • Can erase rewritable disks
  • Verifies data integrity of written files
  • Can create ISO templates

Visit Hamster Free Studio burning homepage 

How to reduce video file size to post online

It happens very often that you film a video with your camera or after downloading it from the web then find out that its size is huge making its storage and sharing difficult.

Windows Vista and above comes with a freeware called Windows Movie Maker, you can use it not only to edit your videos, add captions, narrating voices and special effects but also to reduce its size. This comes in very handy if you want to upload your a huge video to YouTube, DailyMotion or any other video streaming website with a limit on video size.

Windows Movie Maker publish movie
Windows Movie Maker

How to reduce your video file size using Windows Movie Maker

Open Windows Movie Maker:

  1. Windows Start>All Programs>Windows Movie Maker.
  2. Drag and drop the original video into Windows Movie Maker or alternatively choose File>Import Media Items.
  3. Drag video to your huge video down below to the story board where it says “Drag media here”.
  4. Click on “Publish Movie” located on the toolbar above your video next to a digital disc icon.
  5. Click next and choose the folder where you want to save your web optimized film.
  6. In the next window leave the default settings checked, where it says “Best quality for playback on my computer”.
  7. Click on “Publish” and wait for Windows to reduce the size of your video.

A 500MB mpeg film took me 8 minutes to convert to a 50MB .wmv file using an Intel dual core processor E5400, it is really that easy and free to reduce the size of your videos to upload to the web.

NOTE: Windows Media Maker is only found in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and above, if you are using Windows XP or below you are out of luck using this trick.

Free video converter and video file reducer

If your version of Windows does not include Windows Movie Maker you can download the free Hamster video converter and use the settings to tweak the video quality and video format reducing its size and easily upload it to YouTube.

Hamster free video converter
Hamster free video converter

Best free Windows registry cleaners

The Windows registry is a database in which Windows keeps track of relationships between hardware, software and the operating system. Over time the Windows registry will become saturated with redundant files and broken links that will slow down youw Windows operating system and make it sluggish.

A registry cleaner is a piece of software that runs on the Windows operating system, issues involving the registry could cause you to lose your personal data, or make the computer completely unusable, you need to be very careful with it, all of the registry cleaners will allow you to store a back up copy of the old configurations before cleaning it. The program will scan through the registry keys and point out any issues which it finds, the most usual problems are registry keys pointing to non existent files already deleted, or registry keys left by long gone uninstalled software as well as pointers to missing DLLs, listings of no-longer-valid file extensions, invalid paths, invalid ActiveX Controls, and much more.

A good registry cleaner will attempt to fix those keys, leaving your registry slimmer and your computer prepared to run free of junk once again, some cleaners will also compact and defrag the registry making it easier and quicker for Windows to access the keys.

List of free Windows registry cleaners

ACleaner: This two-button Windows Registry cleaner lets you search for problems and then fix them. You can choose which Registry sections to include and restore a backed-up version of the database if you encounter any problems.

AusLogics: Auslogics Registry Cleaner offers a simple wizard-based interface. You can choose between quick and advanced scans, and undo any previous changes. If you choose to run an advanced scan, the program lets you select the categories you want to target.

Eusing: Eusing Free Registry Cleaner will repair registry problems with a few simple mouse clicks, this is one of the easiest to use registry cleaners, there is a pop up window when you start the program asking if you would like to donate.

Eusing free registry cleaner
Eusing free registry cleaner

Comodo System Cleaner: Comodo System Cleaner is a powerful suite of utilities and tools that allows you to make your Windows based computer faster, more efficient and more secure, this program is a full suite that includes a registry defragger.

Wise Cleaner: The free version of this registry cleaner has no registry compactor (defragger), but otherwise it quickly identifies orphaned registry keys and makes them easy to fix.

The best free antivirus software for Windows

If you just got your new shiny Windows 7 out of the box and are thinking about how to protect yourself from spyware and malware online, free antivirus software does a pretty good job, there is no need to shell out any cash if you are the average Joe Doe.

Most viruses get into computers thanks to people installing cracked software, they themselves authorise that trojan to be installed together bundled with their cracked program. The most stupid thing a user can do to infect his computer with a virus is to install a pirated premium antivirus which is likely to contain a backdoor trojan.

Here goes a list of free antivirus software that is compatible with Windows 7, there is no reason why you should not look after your operating system security, even more given that you have to pay nothing, this is not a free trial, this is truly free antivirus software with regular updates, if you want extra features you can upgrade to their paid for version, but otherwise it works just fine.

  • Avira Antivir Personal Edition: In addition to protect your computer from viruses, Avira will block Internet companies tracking down what sites you visit, the software can detect spyware too.
  • Avast! Antivirus Home: With a silent moe to stop annoying warning pop ups, this is a set and run antivirus, it can monitor cloud services reputation and protect your computer in real time monitoring P2P, instant messenger, network, email and downloads.
  • AVG Free Antivirus: It will quickly scan your computer for viruses and malware, optionally installing a toolbar that can check if the site you are visiting is safe, the free version protects emails and web browsing but not instant messenger.

Wipedisk securely wipes the whole hard disk

If you are giving away your computer, selling it on eBay or simply discarding it, and want to make sure that no personal data is left behind, then you will need to safely erase everything, including the operating system. Luckily there is some free software that will help you to do that, WipeDisk.

WipeDisk erases physical and logical disks (complete harddisks or single partition) securely and fast, this tool overwrites the information sector-wise, from the first sector of the disk to the last one, this is particularly important to correctly delete data and stop computer forensic tools.

Secure data wiper Wipefile
Secure data wiper Wipefile

The erasing program supports 14 different wipe methods: 2 US Navy standards, the standard of the US Department of Defence, US Airforce and the NATO.

If you only want to securely wipe files and folders and not the whole hard disk, you can use WipeFile or Eraser, they both are free utilities to securely delete single files beyond recovery.

Visit WipeDisk homepage

Review: Virtual webcam software Video2Webcam

Video2Webcam allows you to chat via instant messenger faking your real identity online, this software is really easy to use, all you have to do is browse to any video file you have stored on your hard disk showing a dog, a hot girl, a cartoon or anything you like and to the other end of the cam it will look as if it was you. Video2Webcam also you allows to stream a URL and select an entire folder.

With Video2Webcam you don’t even need to have your own webcam, and if you do have a webcam, you can also switch between the real cam and the virtual cam, easily and quick. What I liked most of this software to fake webcam users and stream video online, is the simple and easy to use interface, if you know how to browse to a folder, you know how how to use it.

Video2Webcam supports a wide range of files,  avi, asf, flv, mp4,mpeg, mpg, ram, rm, rmvb, wmv, etc. You can also use a picture format like .jpg or .gif and it works with all kind of instant messengers, MSN, Yahoo messenger, Skype, ICQ, Stickam and many more.

Video2Webcam virtual webcam
Video2Webcam virtual webcam

Besides the possibility of pretending to be Barak Obama chatting on MSN you can also use Video2Webcam to stream video live and show your holiday videos to your friends with no need to send it to them or use this software to show a video clip of your favourite film to someone you are chatting with.

This virtual WebCam is well worth the price. If you are someone who uses messenger daily chances are it will be of use for you. Video2Webcam does not contain any adware or spyware, you can try it free for 30 days with a watermark to make sure it works as expected before you buy it.

Visit Video2Webcam homepage