We often get asked what's the "best" software for some specific purpose. Here's the general consensus among channel operators.
But in the end, "best" is a highly personal thing. Our recommendations reflect our personal choices in non-professional, at-home situations. We encourage everyone to experiment and find their own personal "best". All of these recommendations come at no cost to home users, unless noted.
If you're running Windows 8, Windows Defender is builtin.
For XP, Vista, and Win7, we recommend Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). It was renamed to Windows Defender in Win8.
MSE/Defender regularly get good scores on third party detection tests, and rarely if ever give false alarms. And, we think it's important that once configured, they quietly keep themselves updated, not bothering you until your attention is actually needed. We consider them to be great protection for anyone who is already following basic security practices.
Keeping Software Up To Date
We recommend running Secunia PSI from time to time, to make sure all of your software (not just Windows) is as secure and up-to-date as possible.
Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera ... web browser choice is often hotly contested. We say: try them all. Make your own choice.
Disk space visualization
ISO image mounting
ISO image recording/creation
We don't feel that "registry cleaning" serves any real purpose. But a lot of people like CCleaner for general system cleanup of temp files, recycle bin, web history, etc. It does include a registry cleaner, if you are so inclined.