Light weight applications certainly make your computing simple and fast, there are certain light weight counterparts available for almost each and every application you use for your regular needs, and its slowly becoming an installation free world, we do have online tools and services as well.
Here I have tried to list the light weight as well as online tools, which can be helpful in utilizing your system resources at its fullest and a Table which tells you about the unique features are at the end. Don’t Miss the Table !! and a PDF of this table is also available at the end
Audio players are the applications everybody has and all of us love music. So which player do you use? If I am not wrong, majority is with Winamp, no-doubt, Winamp probably has everything you need as a music lover, but as far as light weight application is concerned, try Foobar2000, its extremely light weight with just 2.64Mb of setup file. Player approximately consumes 1.9 Mb of your RAM, this is very less as compared to others. You can read more about Audio Players here ( 5 Popular and Free Audio Players Tested).
Video Player doesn’t generally hamper much of your computer performance as when you are using a video player, resources are dedicated to it fully because at that time you cant work on your computer, but you might face some problem while you are running some other application in background, so the preferred light weight video player is VLC, as far as I have seen it can play almost any format you can offer it, can also be used as an audio player.
PDF readers are another must have, Acrobat Reader is the most well-known PDF reader ever, recommendable counterpart of Acrobat Reader is Foxit and Cool Pdf Reader, and if you don’t want to install anything you can use PDF Hammer or PDFescape. You can read more about PDF Readers here.( 5 Popular PDF readers which are free)
MS-Office is the Office Suite, generally used by almost everyone, Google Docs is a better replacement for your office suits, its an online tool, no installation required, if you have an Internet connection with good speed, it works like a charm. For offline users Open office.org is good substitute, I personally haven’t used it but people who have used it have a good word for it.
I have always used free Antivirus Softwares for my system, so, no experience with the paid ones, still NOD32 is preferred by several users, I prefer AVG and Avira Antivir, both are quite light weight, free and efficient antivirus. More about Free Antivirus Softwares can read here.
These days several Messengers are available, I have used only Yahoo and MSN Messenger, and I prefer the web messengers for both of them, i.e. Yahoo Webmessenger and MSN Webmessenger. You will find them little less in features, but if you messengers to chat with your online friends, these are pretty cool.
Download Managers are very helpful to achieve fast downloads, Free Download Manager and Download Accelerator Plus are the best full featured download managers, they are light weight and automatically get associated with your web browser. You can check out How to effectively use Free Download Manager in depth
Dictionary and Thesaurus If you need only a Dictionary, Wordweb is the best option, and in case your requirements are that of a Dictionary and Thesaurus both, you can go for TheSage’s English Dictionary and Thesaurus Apart from these, online options are also present i.e. Ninja Words. More can be read here about Ninja Word.
P2P File Sharing Limewire is well-known application of this field, but for me Frostwire worked better, yet as per the system requirements both have same requirements, but Frostwire is pretty lightweight as compared to Limewire. For file sharing Dropbox is also a great way, as of now its in beta, and you can only start using it with an invite only.
Generally some of your imaging needs can be fulfilled by MSN Paint, and in case, your requirements are beyond this, Picasa is best in my view, it has several options, even the worst quality picture you clicked due to lack of lighting arrangements, can be made live with it, and even Irfan View ( Check out How to reduce image sizes in batch ) is recommended by many, Picasa and Irfan View both are light weight.
Compiled List of All of the Light Weight Tools with Unique Features
(Apart from being
|Download File Size|
|Audio Player||Foobar2000||Supports almost all the audio formats.||2.64Mb|
|Video Player||VLC||Almost every video format can be played without|
any extra codec downloads.
|PDF Reader||Foxit||Almost everything you would need out of a PDF|
|PDFescape||Dependent upon connection speed|
|Office Suite||Google Docs||Fully online, no installation Required||Dependent upon connection speed|
|Antivirus||AVG||Offline updates||22.5Mb + Updates|
|Avira Antivir||6.9 +Updates|
|Messengers||Web MSN and Web Yahoo||Fully online, so no installations||Dependent upon connection speed|
|Download Managers||Free Download Manager|
|Download Accelerator Plus||7.66Mb|
|Dictionary and Thesaurus||The Sages English Dictionary and Thesaurus||7.21Mb|
|P2P File Sharing||Dropbox||Dependent upon connection speed|
|Imaging Tool||Picasa||Transfer, find, organize, edit, print, and|