Google Pack review

Google Pack is an idea so simple it’s a wonder no-one’s already thought of it. Bundle together a group of 13 programs, all designed to make your computer easier to manage, search and secure. Stuff them into an easy-to-use downloader and flog them for, well, free.

Google Pack has a number of programs most PC Pro readers will have heard of. Norton AntiVirus 2005, complete with a six-month subscription to online virus updates, Ad-Aware SE Personal and Mozilla Firefox are the headline acts.

But it’s Google’s own software that will really make a difference to your everyday PC use. Google Toolbar blocks pop-ups, allows spellchecking of browser textboxes and has a Google search box built in, while Picasa is a superb image-browsing utility. Google Desktop delivers a wide range of online content to your Desktop, and the Google Pack Screensaver is an exceptionally simple but fun screensaver that creates montages from the pictures in any folder you choose.

Adobe Reader 7 is a handy inclusion if you’ve just reinstalled Windows, and Trillian, a one-size-fits-all instant messenger utility, means you won’t have to use different programs if you have an IM account with more than one provider.

Best of all, both Google Earth and Google Talk are included. And, if you’d prefer not to have one of the programs suggested by Google Pack, removing them from your download package is as simple as removing a tick from the box.

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