In Must have free softwares for your company, I have highlighted portable applications (portable apps) for many reasons.
Before I go any further, a portable app is a computer program that you can carry around with you on a portable device and use on any Windows computer. When your USB flash drive, portable hard drive, iPod or other portable device is plugged in, you have access to your software and personal data just as you would on your own PC. And when you unplug the device, none of your personal data is left behind.
Personally, portable application has help me in a lot of ways. For instance, my web browser behaves exactly like it always do when I was away on vacation, I have all the required softwares ready for my presentation on that big meeting, the passwords to my online banks are with me while traveling and I have all the utilities with me to troubleshoot family or friends PC problems.
Here are more reasons why you should use portable apps…
Easy to install (and uninstall)
I personally don’t like software that anchored itself heavily on the Windows system files. It leaves a massive trial in the registry even after you supposedly uninstall it and it may slow down your computer. However, installing a portable apps is as easy as extract and use. If you don’t like the portable apps after some time, just delete it from your computer.
Easy to backup
If you do a clean reinstall of your Windows or buy a new computer, most probably you have to reinstall all your favorite applications and reconfigure them all over again. I have experienced this dreadful process until I used portable apps. Because portable apps never anchored itself to host computer, I can easily backup the applications by simply copy and paste the applications to another storage device such as my thumb drive. Once I complete reinstall my Windows, I can copy the applications from my thumb drive back to my host computer and all my applications are as good as it used to be.
It follows you!
OK, maybe I missed the main point here. Of course portable apps are meant to be portable. Like the namesake, you can carry your applications with you (just your applications without the computer!). This is particularly useful when you are on vacation. No more extra luggage for your notebook. Just a thumb drive in your pocket. When you want to go online, check your mail or chat with family members, all you need to do is find a cyber cafe and plug the thumb drive into the computer and start using your very own applications. No more worries about missing softwares on the host computer. Also, all of your data and settings are always stored on your thumb drive so when you unplug the device, none of your personal data is left behind.
You can’t online over a cuppa in Starbucks with your thumb drive though. But hey, you are on vacation, remember? Another thing I would like to stress here. Since thumb drives are extremely portable (meaning small), they can be easily misplaced. You must install some kind of password protection on the thumb drive to protect your personal data. Some thumb drives come with this feature. If not, you can try out Folder Lock.
Almost all of the portables apps in the market today are freewares. A great place to start is PortableApps.com. You can find almost all kind of free portable apps you ever need there. However, all of the applications are Windows based.