In stark contrast with NCP’s Freebie Fridays blog posts, I present my top 5 best paid system utilities For Indie Developers. These will help ensure your PCs function (fairly) flawlessly and keep your indie studio humming along.
At number 5 is TorGuard, a highly rated VPN service. TorGuard provides secure tunneling and IP masking in order to thwart surveillance of your web activities. As an individual, protecting your privacy online is an important civic duty that contributes to the maintenance of human rights worldwide. As a technology company, maintaining privacy takes on a whole new dimension. Search patterns can inadvertently leak trade secrets and broadcast your company’s intentions, thereby degrading your company’s potential competitive advantages. Just as you secure your data, so should you secure your internet interactions.
- Protects your IP (both address and property)
- Protects your privacy
- Slows down your connection
- It’s a subscription. I hate subscriptions.
Starting at $5.99/month
Voice Meter Banana and VB Cable is my number 4 pick for the best paid system utilities for indie developers. Most indie developers are responsible for their own promotion. This often takes the form of YouTube videos and live streaming on Twitch. While there are several free apps that handle mixing multiple video inputs, such as OBS, there aren’t any comparable freeware applications specific to audio. To get your promotional message right, you have to get the audio right, and indie developers should look to the Voice Meter Banana suite as a paid solution. VMB and VB Cable creates virtual audio inputs and outputs, allowing you to adjust and monitor how the final mix will sound even in live environment.
- Creates Virtual Audio I/Os
- Allows you to get the audio levels of your stream right
- If you’ve read chapter 10 in my No-Code Video Game Development book, you know of the “too-many-dials” problem. This problem results from having one value that is controlled by several sometimes competing and conflicting settings. VMB complicates this issue.
At number 3 is Driver Easy. Driver Easy promises to detect and update drivers automatically. Driver Easy promises to save you hours of hassle. And in my experience, Driver Easy delivers. Too many of my development hours are spent computer wrestling, and that struggle is often the result of out-of-date and incompatible drivers. Driver Easy takes that off my plate by scanning hardware, identifying out-of-date drivers, and downloading and installing drivers. This ensures that I can get back to game development without skipping a beat. I was skeptical at first, but it really works.
- Saves time and money
- Auto detects and updates drivers
- It’s a subscription and I hate subscriptions
AOEMI Backupper Pro is number 2 of the best paid system utilities for indie developers. Game development necessitates a whole lot of software, obviously, much more than most other industries. For example, NCP’s main computer has 235 programs installed on it! I partition my hard drive so that the OS and applications reside on one and saved files reside on the other. Search the Freebie Fridays blog posts for my recommendations on data backup software. If the OS fails, I won’t lose all my hard work. And using AOEMI Backupper Pro ensures that I won’t lose weeks of my life to re-installing all that necessary software. The main advantage of ABP over other back-ups is its Universal Restore functionality, which allows users to install system images across disparate hardware. It’s a game-changer/lifesaver
- System Clone
- Universal Restore – dissimilar hardware
- Lifetime upgrades
- none worth mentioning
Number 1 is Kaspersky Total Security. It’s top spot reflects the importance of security the frequency with which I use it. On the security side, Kaspersky protects against malware, spyware, and viruses. I prefer Kaspersky over domestic competitors because the Wikileaks Vault 7 revelations showed that all American anti-virus software has been backdoored at the behest of the government. Kaspersky’s password manager is especially useful and in many instances automates logins.
- Not made in the USA: Wikileaks Vault 7 dump revealed that the US gov’t backdoored every American-based anti-virus software package
- Pwd manager/firewall essential for security
- I miss the intuitive firewall interface that Zone Alert provided so many years ago
- Limited VPN service
Starting at $79.95/year
And those are the top 5 best paid system utilities for indie developers in my estimation. Check the blog post for additional pros and cons, links, and prices. And if you’ve any recommendations, please leave them in the comments. Thanks!
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