Because of the small range of screen savers offered by default with Windows, I decided to search the web for other, better looking ones. Unfortunately most of the screensavers found were not free or, were free to download but you had to register and pay to use them after some time. Some are installed with some additional software such as unwanted toolbars, programs and even viruses, while others, even if they are announced to be compatible with Windows 7, do not actually work on this operating system.
Surprisingly, there's a lot of complexity in finding, downloading and installing such trivial software as screen savers. That's why I will share with you the top seven screen savers I've found, which you can safely install without getting your computer infected.
UPDATE: We have published a new roundup, with additional screensavers. You should check it out: The Top 7 Screen Savers for Windows in 2012.
Most of the links shared below provide either downloadable ".exe" files or ".zip", ".rar" archives that contain executable files. I have tested all of these screen savers and checked them for viruses so you can download them without being concerned that they might harm your computer. For each of these screen savers you can set up additional controls. To do that, go to 'Screen Saver Settings' and configure the parameters you desire, as showed in our article on how to customize Windows 7 themes.
Top Windows 7 Screen Savers
I open the list of our best screen savers with a Windows 7 theme-based screen saver from DeviantArt member - MarkyUppy83. To install this screen saver, extract the archive to the 'C:\Windows' folder. Once installed, you have several settings that you can use to customize: set up image duration, position, order, select from a large list of effects which to apply to your screen saver, you can even create your own playlist of songs to be played while the screen saver is active. For an even more interesting effect, I recommend to check the box for 'Start image painting on Desktop'.
For those of you with a passion for clocks, I recommend the AJScreenSaver. Here you can find 8 different types of clocks - from some more artistic ones like the handwritten digital clock to the childish Mickey Mouse clock.
If you like Windows 7 theme-based screen savers, I recommend another free one, called Windows 7 Theme Screen saver 1.0. For this screen saver you can customize the order of the images - random or repeat, the time interval between the pictures and whether to disable mouse move/click or key press to restore screen.
For those of you who are fans of Star Trek and the old Enterprise starship, this might be the right screen saver for you: mewho.com's System47 screen saver. Download the Version 2.2, unzip it and run the "system47 v2.2_setup.exe" file. Although it wasn't originally created for Windows 7 it works great on it. You have 8 different screen saver animations and you can choose from. You can set it so that only your favourite is displayed, or different ones at each start of the screen saver.
For interesting effects, what do you say about a screen saver that would simulate the ignition of your desktop with translucent flames? A fire screen saver lets you customize exiting screen saver settings, the speed of the flames, provides multi-monitor support and background music or flame sound.
NOTE: Although this screen saver looks great, be careful when running the installation process. You might also install a Crawler toolbar which you might not actually want. Make sure you uncheck the option 'Add Crawler Toolbar to my Internet Explorer & Firefox (Recommended)' on the 5th installation window.
Looking over the list of screen savers I've found so far, I noticed that the next one is exactly what's missing: a funny animated screen saver. It is called Don't touch my computer, episode 2 and, by using it, you leave a watchdog to protect your computer while you are away. If anyone tries to enter (move the mouse or press a key)... install the screen saver and see what happens. Press the ESC key to exit. The only downside of this screen saver is that pressing the M key you'll enter a menu with advertising.
For those of you who are anime fans, I close this best screen savers list with an entry dedicated to you: Bleach screen saver inspired from the Bleach manga series. I'm sure all anime fans know who the character shown in the screen below is.
In this article I've made a selection of the best 7 screen savers I've found for Windows 7. The number of available screen savers online is huge but many of them are either not free, have viruses or install different applications on your computer. Therefore you need to be really careful when installing them. If you have found any other cool screen savers, which don't install any unwanted stuff, please share them with us. I'll be happy to update the list. If you are interested in customizing other visual elements, don't forget to take a look on the articles recommended below.