Here's what I look for... Not in order of merit 1) Upon installation lists changes made to the system, so it's easy to uninstall. Eg Changes to your right click context menu, put themselves in your quicklaunch bar etc.. It's best if it runs without installation, those I usually try. 2) Asks permission to autostart instead of assuming it. Either that or makes it easy to stop program from autostarting. I hate hunting for the option or even worse it's not possible and you have to do it manually. 3)Easily toggable (for some software). Allows you to easily to temporary disenable and enable with one click. Normally they also have some way of signalling if the application is functioning or not .This allows you check quickly if a newly installed program is causing problems such as stopping access to a webpage 4)Ability to run transparently. It kind of gets irriating to see your taskbar and sytem stray full of programs. You would do this once you are sure this application is pretty stable on your setup. So you don't need to do 3). 5) Free if possible 6) Configurable. - Only for power user freaks. It's the difference between Proxomitron and Webwasher for example.But if you need to change the configuration by altering text files using notepad, no thanks... 7) No ads or adware of course. If it uses Ads state so up front. Resource light ..