You want powerful software? You don't have to pay for it. Everything you need to be productive and secure on your PC is on this list, and it's all totally free.

By Eric Griffith (PCMag)
April 12, 2022

Best Free Messaging Software


Discord Image

Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Xbox, PlayStation

Millions of people worldwide use Discord for text and voice and video chatting—mainly while kicking each other's arses in online games or watching streams of gameplay from services like Twitch or Caffeine. Even Microsoft wanted to buy it. You can spend a monthly ($9.99) or annual ($99.99) fee to go premium for better video/audio quality and to upload larger files.


Best Free Remote Access


TeamViewer Image

Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, browsers

PCMag's top pick for software to take control of other computers is TeamViewer. Almost everything you need is free for personal use: desktop sharing, file transfers, and even chatting with remote users. The setup couldn't be easier. Take control of a remote PC over an internet connection with the app, or use a browser (even in Chrome OS) with the TeamViewer extension. (That said, remote access tools can be abused, so don't turn it on unless you're on the phone with the person you're allowing access to. Turn it off after.)


Best Free Video Conferencing

Zoom Meetings

Zoom Meetings Image

Windows, macOS, Linux, web, iOS, Android

Want to host an online conference for you and 100 of your closest friends? Zoom Meetings can let them all view what you're showing (or just your face) for up to 40 minutes from any device, even a smartphone. Plus, you can chat all you want. It's a PCMag Editors' Choice award winner, and it made our list of the Best Tech Products of 2021, too. (Also check out our guide to top zoom tips.)


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