Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


Windows 10 and MacOS: Here are the six apps I install first

Here are the six apps I install first, whether I'm setting up a Windows 10 PC or a Mac.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

Following on from my "iOS or Android: Here are the five apps I install first" piece, I noticed that there a similar theme when I'm setting up a new Windows 10 PC or Mac system (again, something that I do regularly) -- there's a handful of apps that I install before doing anything else.

And again, they are identical on both Windows 10 and MacOS.

Spooky, eh?

Must read: How sensitive is the FLIR Lepton thermal camera built into the Blackview BV9800 Pro?

Yes, it's still my daily driver browser despite my dabbling with Firefox. While the first apps that I fire up on Windows 10 and MacOS are Edge and Safari respectively, I do that in order to download and install Google Chrome.

I like Chrome for a number of reasons which mostly come down to me using the Google ecosystem a lot for work and also the fact that Chrome gives me a consistent and incredibly integrated experience no matter what platform I'm using.

This is a single app that features over two dozen different utilities that help me get work done -- from taking screenshots to making animated GIFs to resizing images to working with compressed files.

It's great because it puts all these utilities into a single place, and the experience is very consistent on both Windows and MacOS.

Blackview BV9800 Pro - in pictures

Setting up a new device means entering passwords, and rather than rely on autofill in Google Chrome or the Apple Keychain, I have a separate password manager. I've gone with LastPass because this it is packed with features -- especially security features that allow me to lock down my LastPass account -- and it works on a whole raft of devices.

Where possible, I like to have two-factor authentication protecting my online accounts, and where hardware 2FA isn't possible, then an authenticator app is a good alternative.

While many password managers have authenticator apps built in, I went for Authy because it means I keep my passwords separate, and also get an app that works on pretty much any platform you can think of.

Again, it's one app that works on both Windows and MacOS and gives me a consistent user experience whether I'm using a PC or a Mac.

I've been using this for years and enjoy the fact that it can adjust to my needs, it's simple when I just want to click on something and get it to work, and it has advanced features when I need them.

I've been using this VPN service for years, and while I've tried others, I keep coming back to it because it's easy to use, no-fuss, just works, and the app is one of the best I've used.

It's weird how Freedom feels the same no matter what platform I'm using it on… I just click and start surfing.

Fixing up a 30-year-old Swiss Army Knife - in pictures

Editorial standards