Overwhelmed by the Free Stuff section?

Here are my top picks instead!

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For Everyone

Brave, based on Google's Chrome browser, is privacy and security focused.

With built-in ad, script, and tracker blocking - combined with crypto-wallets - it's really hard to find anything that compares.

If you have trouble installing it on Ubuntu-based distros, use this.

Hopefully they release deb and rpm packages like everyone else in the near future!

Bitwarden is not only a free password manager - it's open source.

With options to use their cloud service or self host, it's hard to go wrong!

Kdenlive (KDE-Project Non-Linear Video Editor) is considered by many to be the best free video editor. It works best on Linux, using the AppImage package. Here's a good tutorial video.

I'm currently using ShotCut, instead, as I find it to be more stable.

CopyQ is a cross-platform clipboard enhancement app, comparable to Ditto or the Office clipboard tool. I just switched from Ditto because it wasn't available on Linux.

OBS Studio is the best way to record or stream any video on your computer with live effects.

Not only is Signal Private Messenger, well, private - it treats every platform the same. Want to share media with your Android friends who can't use iMessage if you're an iOS user? You all should be using Signal instead!

Discord is my favorite video-chat client, with the nicest UI and highest quality audio and video I've ever seen. Facebook and Google video chat options don't hold a candle to it, while they are definitely simpler to use. I have been looking into Jami however, which may soon replace it due to licensing and P2P reasons.

For those who were only taught one thing about how to use a computer - how to use one application suite called Microsoft Office - (which is a travesty) switching to another suite of office tools is going to be a tough sell.

For everyone else, LibreOffice is seen for what it is - a powerful tool for nothing.

Most computers have middling sound systems. EQ software can help! It can make laptop speakers and cheap headphones alike sound much better.

Note: If you have any audio issues, like hearing yourself through the speakers - these might be the culprit.

Advanced Users

Of course, it's hard to pick the 'top pick'. While this list is in no particular order, Linux Mint Cinnamon deserves to be first on this list.

While it is considered to be 'the most user-friendly Linux operating system' by many, I would take it a step further - it is, in my opinion, the operating system with the best out of the box experience, hands down.

Yes, there's going to be compatibility issues if you aren't expecting that - not all hardware or software is made for Linux. But if y0u go in understanding that's not the OS' fault, and ready to try alternatives, it really is the best.

(If you're an advanced user willing to maintain your system a bit, learning Arch - or a derivative - rewards for your effort.)

Warning: Changing your operating system is simple, but you can delete all your stuff if not careful.

Now we're getting into nerd territory. Ever wanted to run your own cloud easily without paying for licensing of server software, or expensive Synology hardware? YunoHost is a great way to start. Some knowledge of Linux command-line recommended for initial setup, but may work fine for you. Great if you have a spare computer lying around.

If you have a bit more knowledge already, FreeNAS seems to be better maintained - as well as more flexible and powerful.

Warning: Changing your operating system is simple, but you can delete all your stuff if not careful.

More nerd stuff here - ever wanted multiple bootable disk images on one flash drive?

Of course you have. Say hello to Ventoy.

Warning: Changing your operating system is simple, but you can delete all your stuff if not careful.

This Boot Repair Disk does exactly what it says, for Linux/Windows partition tables. It won't fix OS or UEFI problems though.

Falcon Four's Boot CD is a general computer repair toolkit.

Most people don't know Windows 10 installation media is free - but the license usually isn't.

You can download the installer free from Microsoft's site.

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