Free Portable Applications - The Best

A Portable Application is a computer software program that is able to run independently from  a hard drive, USB drive, or an iPod, without the need to install any files into the system.

By using portable applications, you can take your “computer setup” with you, keeping all your favorite software in one suite. That’s a more intelligent approach than trying instead to minimize the number of programs you install, so their installation can be recreated on another device.

There are thousands of portable applications available, many of them are versions of installable programs. Using the list below, you can build a very powerful suite with the best of the best portable apps for different software categories:

Free Portable Anonymous Surfing Browser:
xB Browser — Download

“A portable version of Firefox with a well integrated Tor engine that uses the free Tor network. It’s easy to setup and doesn’t require advanced knowledge, but you will have to use it as a second browser for anonymous surfing in contrast to Vidalia or JonDo that also support normal browsing.” (Creates an empty folder in the user profile.)

Another option is to use a Portable Firefox with the JonDo-Portable service and the JonDoFox configuration. The advantage is that the JonDoFox configuration comes with many other specially selected security addons (NoScript, CS-Lite, Adblock Plus), installs as an alternate profile (allowing you to switch between normal and anonymizing profiles), and allows proxy switching between the Tor or JonDo anonymizing networks. However, the JonDo-Portable service requires Java and is more resource intensive.

Free Portable Web Browser:
Portable Firefox — Home | Download

Firefox is an excellent Internet browser to use for portable surfing, with many built-in security measures and addons. Additionally, you can run it from your flash drive so that most of your tracks will be stored on the flash drive and not on the computer you use. Note that some addons may not be portable. Creates crash files by default in the user AppData folder. In order to make it fully portable, see here.

Portable Firefox is excellent for use in a flash drive since it’s specially configured to reduce reads/writes to the disk and to run faster from a portable device. But note that you must run only the FirefoxPortable EXE file, otherwise it won’t be portable anymore. PortableApps is currently working on a portable version that allows trace free updates with the internal Firefox updater (at current it now works but with writing to the user folder).

PortableApps has an excellent and informative download site for their version of Portable Firefox (use the PortableApps Guide for installation tips). You can also get the winPenPack X-Firefox version, but it’s much more difficult to setup unless you use their suite.

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