Looking for a simple-to-use, quick-performing RSS feed reader? This pared-down freebie may fit the bill.

RiverGate RSS Reader isn't fancy and lacks extras that, admittedly, some of its free competitors offer. So why bother with it? For one, using it is as smooth and zippy as other readers can be sluggish. It offers the basics in the familiar three-pane e-mail client interface that so many feed readers rely on. It comes preloaded with a variety of security-related feeds, plus one innocuous celebrity gossip/newsfeed, but adding feeds was a simple process in our tests. The reader responded quickly and performed well for us.

Besides performing well, the simplicity of RiverGate is appealing. RiverGate RSS Reader is a good place to start for RSS novices, and for anyone who wants just a basic reader without a lot of confusing extra features and options.