PCs are a bit rubbish. Let's face it. And the fact is that you have to reinstall Windows every now and then because of the amount of nonsense that gets jammed up in the gears from all the applications that come and go. That's just the way it works.

Sadly, the task can seem like a bit of schlep what with all the discs and product keys to locate as well as the unending progress bars and constant re-starting to cement the latest in a long line of updates. Fortunately, though, there is one web service that can help you through the pain.

essentials software to improve your life ninite image 2



Secure By Design Inc.

Windows XP, Vista & 7


Ninite would be described by those in the trade as an installer but users might prefer to call it a little darling. It's essentially a one-stop-shop for all the desktop applications that you could want and it's incredibly simple to use.

All you do is head over to the Ninite site and start putting ticks next to the programs you want to download. They're grouped into categories to make it easier - Web Browsers, Media, Messaging, Imaging, Documents, Security, Runtimes, File Sharing, Utilities, Compression, Developer Tools and Other - and there's all your favourites including Skype, Spotify, Open Office, Dropbox, VLC, iTunes, Avast and all your friends along with a few that you've yet to meet.

Once you've got your lot selected, just hit the large button at the bottom that quite clearly reads "Get Installer" and Ninite will plop a perfectly formed, tailor-made, single .exe file on your desktop which will install the lot at your double click. It's perfectly formed because Ninite strips out any toolbars or other nonsense that the applications might try to install; it's tailor-made because it'll automatically select the language you need based on where you're dialling in from, as well as choose between the 32- and 64-bit versions accordingly and it's single because, well, there's only one of them.

It's all done at lightening speed as it does all the ticking and clicking for you and it's so good that it's almost worth re-installing Windows just to appreciate the magic. Like all the best things, it's free - unless you happen to be a large faceless company in which case you need to pay for desktop version called Ninite One, but doubtless you can expense that kind of thing against profits.

There's basically no downside to Ninite at all. It's the kind of service that makes you want to run round and kiss people but, if you know of anything similar that works better for you or have any tips for software or services that the world simply must know about, then tell us in the comments below.