Here is what you need to get started with Winlink:
Download Winlink here.
This is the main software that you will be using.
Note: the file you are looking for will typically be near the bottom of the list and named “Winlink_Express_Install_X-XX-XX-X.zip” Where the Xs are the version number.
Download ITSHFBC here.
This is a propagation reporting software that is handy for using Winlink over HF.
Now to pick your software TNC modem.
You only need one, either one is up to you.
Download Direwolf here.
This is your software TNC modem that is free.
Download soundmodem here.
This is another software TNC modem that is also free.
Note: the download is near the bottom of the page named “soundmodem100.zip”.
VARA can be used for either HF or VHF/UHF (FM) and the website can be found here.
NOTE: most antivirus will trigger a false-positive with this software. You may encounter issues unzipping or even using the software. To install disable your antivirus for ~5 minutes and run as administrator. Once installed make sure the path to VARA (I used the defaults of C:\VARA\ for HF and C:\VARA FM\ for VHF/UHF) is in your antivirus exception list.