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Released this week: 29 must-see downloads

This has been another busy week in the world of software releases, and there has been more news than normal in the field of security; both AVG and Norton products have been unveiled. AVG Internet Security 2012 is a step up from the free antivirus tool that many people will be familiar with, adding a number of handy protection tools to the equation including parental controls and online backup. Anyone looking for extra security, should look no further than the premium version of the program which offers protection against identity theft as well as system tuning tools.

AVG also updated its flagship virus protection software, AVG Anti-Virus — both the free and paid-for versions, with the latter providing additional checks for downloaded files amongst other things – and there is now a strong focus on minimizing the use of system resources whilst maintaining security. The company’s Rescue CD app, designed to fix problems with unbootable system, was also update, including the USB flash drive version.

But security news is about more than AVG — the 2012 range of Norton security products was also released. Norton Anti-Virus 2012 is now faster and sleeker than previous versions of the app, while still offering great levels of protection. The cloud philosophy is used in the Download Insight 2.0 feature to share details about potential dangerous files between Norton users, while the full security suite Norton Internet Security 2012 features an updated firewall and the same refined interface and improved performance.

It doesn’t end there. The free avast! anti –virus software was also updated, as was its paid-for big brother avast! Internet Security.  So whether you are looking for free security software for your computer, or you are willing to part with a few cents, there is plenty to choose from at the moment. Tackling security from a different angle is the updated version of O&O DiskImage which hit version 6. The latest enhancements include the option to backup individual files while the Machine Independent Restore feature enables you to restore a backup to a new computer, and you now have the ability to created backups of virtual partitions.

Moving away from security software, Screenshot Captor was updated to show that taking a screenshot can be much improved if you move away from simply pressing Prnt Scr. Converting videos and audio files can be a painfully time-consuming and complicated process, potentially involving the use of several different tools. The updated Free Studio, however, helps to make things easy as possible by bundling a whole load of converters into one handy tool. If you’re looking to convert video to watch on your iPod or PSP, or you like the idea of creating a DVD from YouTube footage, look no further.

If you like the idea of getting creative, Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X4 is a cut above the competition. There are more than 75 improvements and new features in total, including a redesigned workspace that makes it easier to work the way you find best — the addition of dual monitor support is something that will be welcomed by graphic workers everywhere.

IObit Uninstaller 2.0 has been released to make it easier than ever to remove unwanted software from your hard drive. The Forced Uninstall option makes it possible to wipe out even the most troublesome of programs, while the dedicated Toolbar section enables you to quickly find out what unwanted add-ons you have to remove. There is also a portable version of the app available for use on the move.

Finally, a number of updates to the major web browsers. Chrome 13 FINALChrome Portable 13Chrome 14 betaChrome Portable 14 betaChrome 15 devFirefox 6.0.2 FINALFirefox Portable 6.0.2Firefox 7.0 beta 4Firefox Portable 7 beta 4 and Opera Portable 11.51 were all updated in the last week. Opera Next v12.00 (build 1060) is an early preview of the next generation Opera, whilst Maxthon 3.17.1000, a web browser that mixes the best of Chrome and Internet Explorer, was made available. If you’re a Chrome fan, make sure you check out Comodo Dragon 13.2.

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