10 Free Must-Have Windows Networking Apps

By Joseph Moran | Posted May 08, 2009

As the famous proverb says, the best things in life are free. These 10 utilities may not change your life, but they’re all helpful with a particular aspect of networking and none of them will cost you a dime. (Unless otherwise noted, the utilities listed here are Windows-only.)

1. CrossLoop

When you want to get help with a computer problem from a friend— or help a friend with a problem—you can use the Windows Remote Assistance feature, but it doesn’t always work reliably through routers and firewalls.

CrossLoop, on the other hand, makes providing or receiving remote support a cinch. This remote desktop utility lets you view or control someone’s system (with their permission, of course) allows file transfers, and does it all over an encrypted link. CrossLoop installs quickly, works through firewalls with little to no configuration, and lets you connect to others using randomly generated 12-digit access codes. 

2. Gladinet

There are plenty of places on the Web where you can store many gigabytes worth of files.  Accessing such “cloud-based” storage usually involves logging onto a service via a browser and/or using a custom UI in order to transfer files, but Gladinet Starter Edition gives you a more convenient alternative.

Gladinet Starter Edition lets you access various online storage services as “virtual directories”, so you can get to your files right from My Computer on the Windows desktop. (The utility currently supports Amazon S3, ADrive, Google Docs and Picasa, and Windows Live SkyDrive).

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