When I first went off to college I was touched when my parents bought me a laptop to help me study. “You need this,” they said, meaning they’d bought it for me to use to study. Both of them went to college and neither of them had needed a laptop or a computer but they were right. Computers offer us so much, they make so many different tasks easier and can even make the impossible possible that need is the right answer. When I went off to college I did need that laptop, just like I need the one I have today, which I write on every day.
Computers aren’t one trick ponies either. That first laptop was bought for me to use to study, but my parents aren’t soft. They both knew that it could and most likely would be used for other things too, least of all browsing the web, which itself opens up infinite possibilities.
The computer itself, however, is only half of the equation. You’ll quickly start coming up against limitations if you don’t match your shiny new hardware with capable software. Unless you’re a coder, your computer will only ever be as good as the programs you’re running on it. So whatever you want your computer for, whatever you need it to do, you’re going to need the right software to help it do it.
So what do you need your computer to do?
1. Help you work or study
The most obvious job for a computer is writing documents, making spreadsheets etc. If you have a computer that can help you do all of this then you’ll be able to work or study much more efficiently, you’ll be able to get a lot more done. Microsoft Office is the obvious choice in this respects but it comes with a hefty price tag. There is also the free Google Drive and its productivity suite that includes the excellent Google Docs and Google Sheets. Another free option, that doesn’t require an internet connection, is Libre Office, which has an even more extensive library of apps than Microsoft Office.
2. Browse the web
The internet is the other main task that every PC will be tasked with. Accordingly, all the big tech players, and a few smaller ones too, have their own web browsers for you to try. They’re all great at getting the job done but relatively speaking Chrome is good for speed, Firefox for Privacy, and Edge for security. The plucky little underdog in all of this is Opera browser, which is constantly innovating and finding ways to improve your browsing experience.
3. Play Games
OK so the sensible people reading this will be thinking nobody needs to play games, but if you bought your PC to play games on then you need it to play games. Video games are a world in of and of themselves. There is no one-stop shop where you’ll be able to find every game, which makes download portals like Softonic all the more important.
We’re always keeping our ears to the ground about new games and writing about what games are the most popular. We even spend quite a bit of time keeping you up to date with the best free games and how you can start playing them. If you want us to keep you up to date with the best games for your computer then you should sign up for our newsletters. If you want to download the essential gaming programs for your new PC right now then start clicking the links below now.
4. Play Music
Music is everything and everywhere. How we consume music has been a constant state of revolution for over 20 years now. From CDs to Napster to iTunes to Spotify we’ve gone from having a few songs at our fingertips to thousands to every song ever recorded. It is an amazing time to be a music fan as there are more ways to listen to music than ever before. If you want your computer to play music, or help you discover new music, then these are the essential programs you need to download.
5. Play Movies
Movies and TV series are in the same boat as music. The internet has changed everything and puts all sorts of viewable media in your hands legally. If you’re a film buff your computer can offer you unlimited access to enough movie, both old and new, to last a lifetime. If you already have a collection of movies on DVD or elsewhere then you’ll need to program to play them on. Check out the essential movie playing programs and apps below.