Symantec’s Norton Personal Firewall 3.0.3 is a simple and effective firewall application that’s easy enough for novices to use, yet powerful enough to protect your system and offer a wealth of configuration options.
While NetBarrier X 10.4.1’s default configurations are probably either too permissive or too secure for most users, customization will allow for all the Internet and network access you need, while protecting you from the bad guys.
IPNetSentryX is not for novices, nor will it protect your Macintosh single-handedly. But, if you understand how to analyze network traffic and want to keep using OS X’s built-in firewall, IPNetSentryX can be a powerful weapon in your security arsenal.
Flying Buttress is a very nice addition to Apple’s built-in firewall, providing easy access to features that would otherwise be unavailable unless you are capable of configuring OS X’s built-in firewall via the Terminal interface.
If you can adjust to a more-complicated interface, MYOB’s FirstEdge 2.0 and AccountEdge 2006 far outclass QuickBooks in terms of features.
TurboTax Deluxe may be the only tax-prep application available for the Mac, but there’s no reason to feel cheated. TurboTax is a great program thanks to its ease of use, excellent educational features, navigational freedom, and superior error checking.
If you have to create and edit Word and Excel documents—but you don’t need all of the high-end features available in those programs—ThinkFree Office offers a viable and inexpensive alternative.
Pages 2 provides excellent word processing features in a package that can also act as a top-notch desktop publishing application.
Painter Essentials 3 is an extremely powerful program that gives beginning artists the ability to create beautiful artwork, as well as the freedom to experiment in ways they may never have dreamed possible.
In a pre-iLife-and-iMovie world, VideoImpression 2 would be a huge leap forward for home-video editing, but today, great home-video editing software for your Mac is old news. VideoImpression 2 doesn’t even rise to the level of the original iMovie.
Now Up-to-Date & Contact 5.0.4 is overkill for users whose needs don’t extend beyond basic contact management and calendaring. But for small businesses, Now Up-to-Date & Contact is an excellent choice.
Swift Publisher 1.0.3 is an inexpensive, easy-to-use desktop publishing application that allows you to easily create a wide variety of documents—from newsletters and letterheads to posters and catalogs.
Interface quirks aside, Opera’s customizable search tools and shortcuts make it a worthy browser, especially now that it’s ad-free and premium-free.
Mozilla’s Firefox and the Omni Group’s OmniWeb help you navigate better
PhotoPrinto 1.2 is a well-designed, easy-to-use application that makes quick work of creating albums from your digital photographs.