Internet is bread and butter these days for so many of us, so this tool collection wouldn't be complete without a proper set of browsers and FTP clients.
Most of these are free, but a few are not. Prices are given "for information only". I do not own or sell these software, so make sure you get the latest data from the relevant companies by checking directly on their websites.
Editor Rating: 9/10 - Highly recommended!
A couple years ago, the browser war was called for Microsoft, with over 95% of users surfing the net with Internet Explorer (IE). Netscape - IE's main competitor - kind of dropped out, and IE prevailled. Most of us thought the game was over. Firefox proved us wrong. This late comer from Mozilla took our screen by storm with a dazzling implementation of web standards, tabbed browsing (How can you surf Internet without tabs?), close search engine integration, a highly customizeable user interface, quality add-ons greatly increasing the browser's capabilities. In a matter of months, Firefox carved it's place in the browser world with millions of downloads and went on to capture an amazing 30% of all Internet browsing in Europe. (Not sure what the share is in the states, but it's huge). It can now also be downloaded together with Google search directly, making it a tool of choice for all of us search addicts.
Editor Rating: 8/10 - Recommended!
Yeah, I know, Opera. Opera has it's fanatics, and well, I am not one of them. Still I can recognize a great software when I see one, and Opera is really cool. Fast and effective. Tabbed browsing, of course. Can zoom the content of a window. Actually zoom, not just change the text size, but zoom the whole page/pictures too so that you can easily view the fineprints, show bigger letters without messing up the general appearance of the page. Plenty of shortcuts means that you almost never need to use your mouse. You can change the browser's style sheets to display pages differently, which can be very usefull if you are developping a website, or simply like to see a website differently from the norm. Really, this browser would have deserved to be better known, for it really is worth it.
It's looking good. Very good. IE 6 was very backward in many ways.
The simple fact it didn't have tabs meant I didn't use it at all, but there is more to it
and IE 7 is closing the gap with a clean interface, decent tab browsing, a full screen
mode that's really full screen (and still allow for tab navigation), better css support
(much better - once people really use it, website designers will be able to produce better
web design without constantly having to find clumsy workarounds just for IE)... all in all,
I would say it isn't my favorite, but nevertheless a huge improvement over past versions.
CoreFTP isn't very pretty but it does the job beyond the expectations off a freeware, including Secure Shell support (SSH), which means you can use it to do some admin work too, unlike many other free FTP clients. It includes nice file management features including a local file search, filters (to show only HTML and PHP files, or just gif and jpg for instance) and of course an FTP site manager. A whole lot more than first meet the eyes.
Clean looking interface, good performance and free for non-commercial uses. It's a good product. No SSH support unfortunately, but a decent range of functions. All in all a good solution.
If you are going to part with cash, this is the one I recommend. Clean looking, simple, powerful, reliable, supports macros, on-the-flight compression,...pretty much everything you can think of, beside cafe-making that is. And it IS cute too. ;-)
Please contact me if you wish to suggest another tool in this section.