When traveling, I take computer performance and security very seriously. After all, I’m working from the road and need to stay productive without any negative tech issues. Now though, because of the coronavirus pandemic, I’m working from home. One of my home-based projects is to make sure I’m using the best performance, productivity, and security apps and utilities possible. After all, I will once again be traveling and working from the road. Here are some of the must-have Mac apps and utilities I’ve found. Some of them are for PC’s as well. See what you think of my choices.
Must-have Mac Apps and Utilities
Here are some of the best performance, security, and productivity apps and utilities for your Mac.
My main work companion these days is a MacBook, so it needs to be ready for anything I ask of it.
Here is a selection of the best performance, security, and productivity apps and utilities.
CleanMyMac X cleans your Mac from all the unnecessary junk that we all gather from everyday computer usage. Yes, we all gather junk and the amounts gathered can be surprisingly large. CleanMyMax X frees up storage space and speeds up a computer. Who doesn’t like that?
SnagIt is an app I heard about years ago and never really appreciated until recently. Every day, without fail, I’m taking screen captures. And I’ll admit that I’m not good at it. I need all the help I can get. SnagIt is tops in capturing all sorts of screenshots. It also comes with editing tools to help you get those captures pretty and ready for public consumption!
Staying productive and organized is a challenge. I recognize that we all have our own ways of handling these challenges. I’m all for improvements in the way I do things. This tool brought a definite improvement!
If boosting productivity is one of your goals, Parallels Toolbox is a suite of easy-to-use tools. It streamlines your daily computing tasks. This toolbox comes with over 30 tools. It replaces needing multiple applications.
Everyone has their own answer to the question, “What’s the best Mac browser?” It’s true that Chrome uses a big share of system resources. It’s also true that even with many tabs open, it’s a high performer and solid browser choice. Using extensions to expand its usefulness is a big plus.
If you aren’t already aware of this, browsing the web without a VPN leaves a digital footprint. This makes it easy for people and sites to track you. A VPN can allow you geographical privacy. Maybe even more importantly, a good VPN can keep you safe. Safety is an issue, especially when you lack network control and access the web using both wired and wireless networks.
Having tested many VPN offerings, I settled on ExpressVPN because it offered good security and high levels of reliability at a reasonable price. Been using it for years and have NO complaints!
I’ve been a Backblaze user and big fan for quite a few years already. Time Machine is good for local backups, but it’s important to have an up-to-date offsite backup. Backblaze offers the best combination of value, storage space, and performance. I also really enjoy and learn a lot from reading the monthly newsletters!
Are you someone who geeks-out on system information? I’m not, but a MAC friend of mine is. He told me I must put this app into the article. He loves it. iStat Menus is an advanced Mac system monitor. It covers the gamut of stats on your computer’s system.
Got to love an app name that so “aptly” describes what it does! And who doesn’t like an app for free? Amphetamine is an app that lives in your menu bar. The app lets you override your energy saver settings and keep your Mac awake. See, told you the name was a good one! It’s free, so that’s a good price 🙂
Need to connect and access your Mac or PC from any device? When you need to work with what’s on your system as if you are sitting at your computer, Parallels Access is a great choice for a remote tool. This really helps when you’ve mistakenly left an important file on your computer and realize you need it. Parallels Access is downloadable from the App Store.
While I don’t pretend to understand how many of the functions my MAC does actually happen, archiving and compression are mysteries to me. I don’t care to unlock the mystery, but I do need to have a tool I can use for some of the formats that my macOS doesn’t seem to handle and archive well enough.
The Unarchiver has you covered no matter what crazy file format you have to deal with. And it’s free!
It will open common formats such as Zip, RAR, 7-zip, Tar, Gzip and Bzip2. The Unarchiver also handles more obscure formats such as StuffIt, DiskDoubler, LZH, ARJ and ARC, and can extract files from ISO and BIN images.
It can also extract files from some Windows .EXE files.
I have a feeling if you don’t already use this, you will use it a lot once you install it.
Download from the App Store
PRO TIP: If you’re wondering if a Password Manager is a good idea, and which one is best, no contest. 1Password for the WIN!
I’m always open to learning from readers. If you have some must-have Mac apps and utilities that I should check out please let me know!
P.S. Looking for other great holiday gifts for travelers? Check out my fun and awesome suggestions here.
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