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Library Technology – Reviews, Tips, Giveaways, Freeware

12 Free Tools to Keep on Your USB Stick

Posted In Utilities - By Techtiplib on Saturday, September 15th, 2012 With No Comments »

In this article, I’m going to write about 12 useful tools you can carry around on your USB stick to accomplish useful tasks in your daily life.


NirLauncher is collection of more than 150 free utilities created by NirSoft. Nirsoft, if you didn’t know, creates all kinds of amazingly useful apps for Windows to do pretty much anything you can think of. They have programs for recovering passwords, viewing wireless networks, viewing browsing history, viewing open TCP/IP ports, testing Internet download speed, monitoring folder changes, and lots more. All of the utilities can be run from your USB drive without needing to install anything on the host machine.

Microsoft Safety Scanner

It is always essential to carry around a portable antivirus program with you at all times. Especially, if you have to copy files from someone else’s computer to your USB stick, it’s best to scan all those files first and make sure they don’t contain any viruses. Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free utility that you can download to your USB stick, which contains all the latest virus definitions.

Infra Recorder

Infra Recorder is a great portable app for recording CDs and DVDs on the go. You can also create disc images and even use the program to copy an existing CD or DVD to another disc or image. It’s a very simple to use program and supports rewritable CDs and DVDs also.

System Explorer

System Explorer is a nifty little utility with a lot of features. You can use it to get detailed info about processes, startup programs, add-ons, windows services, drivers, network connections, and more. You can also use it to quickly scan files with online services like VirusTotal and Jotti. You can also quickly other system information including fonts, audio and video codecs, user accounts, and lots more. Make sure to click the Download Portable Version in the link above.

VLC Media Player Portable

It’s always a good idea to keep a good media player on your USB stick in case you want to play a file on someone’s computer and they don’t have a media player installed or don’t have the correct codecs installed. The portable version supports a wide variety of video and audio formats including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4,DivX, XviD, WMV, MP3, etc.

GIMP Portable

GIMP is a popular freeware program for editing photos. I’ve used GIMP quite a few times off my USB stick, so that’s why I am recommending it. A lot of times I have a friend or family member who wants to email some pictures, but they are huge. I just fire up GIMP, resize the photos for them and they are good to go! It also supports layers and other advanced photo editing features.

KeePass Password Safe

KeePass is one of my favorite programs because it’s absolutely essential if you are someone who is really serious about securing their passwords. Also, I use a different password on just about every site, so it’s hard to remember them all. KeePass is encrypted and very secure and a great way to keep track of all your passwords while on the go.


Recuva is a great program that you can use to recover deleted files or photos. It works on hard drives and external media like flash drives and SD cards too. It will give you a list of files that can be recovered along with their recovery potential and a preview of the file too. The program has been around for a long time and works very well.

SoftPerfect Network Scanner

A network scanner comes in really handy if you need to quickly see all the devices on the network and get info like their IP address, MAC address, host name and more. The program can also find shared folders, listen for open TCP ports, remotely shutdown machines and lots more.


TreeSize is a program that quickly scans hard drives or network locations and will tell you exactly how all the disk space is being used. You’ll quickly be abel to tell which folders are the biggest, all the way down to the file level. I’ve used it many times when I go home to my parents house and they can’t figure out why they don’t have any more space left on their hard drives! Another good one is SpaceSniffer.

Firefox Portable

Obviously, if you need to browse while on someone else’s computer, it’s always a good idea to use a portable web browser. That way there is no history of your browsing stored on their computer. It’s a nice way to keep your track clean and not have to worry about anyone else snooping around in your stuff later on. If you forget to log out of your email program or if they have an add-on that saves any login info typed into the browser, you could allow someone else to access your account. Using a portable web browser prevents that.

Pidgin Portable

The final program I use is Pidgin so that I can log into my Google Talk account and chat with friends. It works with a lot of services like Yahoo, ICQ, AIM, IRC, Samtime, etc. Really useful when you need to chat while using a different computer and you don’t want to type in your credentials.

Via online-tech-tips

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