Recommended: Ninite.com

So this past weekend I wiped and reloaded my Dell laptop… twice. Long story. Anyhow, each time I had the need to download and install what, for me, is a fairly standard set of free applications – browsers, utilities, communication programs, and the like. Ninite image

Typically that task takes a while – go visit every program’s website, find the download link, download the program, run through the install dialog, click Next about 4 times, etc. But this time I remembered Lifehacker’s glowing review of Ninite.com and gave it a whirl. And let me just say it here: Ninite does not disappoint.

Ninite is a simple-to-use bulk installer for Windows applications. You hit the Ninite.com home page and select the apps you want to download and install. There are, at present, 68 choices in categories ranging from Browsers, Media, and Imaging to Compression, Developer Tools, and Security. When you’re done making your selections, you hit the “Get Installer” button and a small (500KB-ish) .exe file is downloaded to your machine. Run it, and it will sequentially download and install all of the applications, using the default installer settings.

The two best things I can say about Ninite are that (1) it has a fairly comprehensive list of downloads and (2) it works exactly as advertised. The only apps I needed to download separately were the Adobe Air runtime and my non-free backup software. It likely saved me a couple of hours each time I used it. Worth checking out next time you do a nuke-and-pave.

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