Essential Software Every Computer Needs

Posted on June 1, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

So you’ve brought home your brand new computer from the store and you are ready to get it set up. Over the years you will add different software to the computer depending on your needs. However, there are a few pieces of software that are essential from the very beginning.

Here is a list of the software that you will want to start off with on your computer, no matter what:

Anti-Virus Software

This is absolutely essential and shouldn’t be ignored. There are many malicious files and viruses out there which will do horrible things if they are accidently downloaded to your computer, including erase your files, email themselves to all of your friends and completely shut your system down. Before you start accessing unknown sites on the internet with your new computer, find reliable anti-virus software to keep yourself protected. Some of the best one are:

A Firewall

Most non-computer-savvy people don’t know what a Firewall is, but it is still a very important piece of software to have on your computer. It is a security measure which blocks all network traffic that could be harmful or any traffic which you did not authorize. But if you are using a Internet Security instead of an ordinary anti-virus, this should serve the purpose.

Your computer will automatically come with a Firewall in most cases, however it might not be very strong or block out as much as it should. It is probably a good idea to install something else so that you will have more extensive protection.

Somewhere to Back Up Your Files

If your computer crashes, what will happen to your important school work, your holiday photos or that novel you have been writing? If you don’t have your files backed up on another location, they could be lost forever. Backing up your data is very important so that you can make sure you will never lose your important files. There are many options, including using an external hard-drive, Google Drive, Dropbox or something else.

A Good Browser with Flash

Some computers will come with Internet Explorer as their default browser, but anyone who is computer savvy will tell you that Internet Explorer is one of the worst browsers to use. Most internet based vectors can exploit weaknesses in Internet Explorer so it is safer to not use it. There are many other better options for web browsers available out there, such as

Flash is also very important if you are going to be surfing the web because many websites use it in their intros or navigation menus and you won’t be able to view them properly without it. Also, many websites including YouTube won’t let you watch videos if you don’t have Flash installed.


In my opinion this is an incredibly valuable program that every computer should have. It is a completely free program which you can download online and it lets you make video calls to any other user with Skype anywhere in the world. If you live far away from any friends and family, have them download it as well and you will save hundreds in long distance calling charges. You can also use it to call phones for cheap rates and use it to text chat with your friends. It will change the way you communicate!

As you use your computer you will end up adding other programs according to your needs, such as word processing software if you do a lot of writing or Photoshop if you are editing photographs.  These are just a few of the first and most useful or important basic programs you will want to download on your computer when you first are setting it up.

There are a few pieces of software that are essential to download on a new computer, such as a firewall and McAfee antivirus.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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