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Best free stuff online: Hall of fame

PC World

By Kim Zetter

(IDG) -- These days, it seems that just when you get attached to a free offering on the Web, its proprietor either takes it away or starts charging for it. But some top-notch, long-running freebies are here to stay -- at least we hope they are. Here's our free stuff hall of fame.

Adobe Acrobat Reader: Must-have utility for reading PDF documents.

AOL Instant Messenger: Our favorite instant-messaging program on the Web. (Note: PC World provides computer content to AOL.)

Citysearch: A directory of what's happening in your city; great if you've got a life or are looking for one.


This is one in a five-part series on free stuff -- have a look at other installments. INFOCENTER
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DSL Reports: All broadband news and information, all the time.

Efax: Lets you get faxes via e-mail, no fax machine or phone line required.

Encarta: An encyclopedic world at your fingertips.

Evite: Automates invitations; if only it could clean up after the party.

Google: The best big-name search engine for taming the chaotic Web.

MapQuest: Maps and driving directions when you feel a little lost. Lots of helpful free articles from this publisher of legal reference books to get you ready for your day in court.

PC Pitstop: A personal pit crew (and PC World partner) dedicated to helping you optimize your PC's performance.

Pretty Good Privacy Freeware: Personal encryption for times when it's no one's business but your own.

Winamp: Unobtrusive MP3 player free of ads or proddings to upgrade.

Yahoo Mail: Still the most reliable and hassle-free no-cost e-mail service.

This is the fourth of a five-part series featuring various free Web tools. The next installment will focus on charity services.


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