The best things in life may be free, but most software isn't. Limited functionality, annoying adware, and pesky nag screens mean even most "free" software isn't actually without cost.
Anyone who has explored the world of free utilities knows the woes of saving a few bucks. But have heart, ye short of dollars; when it comes to boosting performance, snagging spyware, or protecting your privacy, Download.com has software that debunks that old saying about the mythical free lunch. If you need a beefy, dynamic FTP client, SmartFTP is tough to beat. Does your PC sound as if it's about to go into orbit? Look under the hood with SpeedFan. Ridding yourself of gnarly spyware and the associated headaches won't cost you a penny with HijackThis, Microsoft AntiSpyware, or Spybot - Search & Destroy. When it comes to utilities, here are 10 of our frugal favorites.