If you are a beginner in the world of PIC microcontrollers then you will probably have this question in your mind: Which programmer should I buy? This is an obvious question because there are tons of PIC programmers available from various vendors and if you search on the various online technical discussion forums for their reviews, everybody has his own opinion. This will confuse you more, and you will be ended up with nothing. I would suggest, just buy one that you can afford and that fulfills your need.
Having said that, I won’t recommend to buy one that requires a parallel or serial port. I also don’t recommend to try building the free PIC programmer circuits available on the internet. Most of them are based on either serial or parallel port which are disappearing from the modern desktops and laptops. Even if you do have those in your computer they may not work because those circuits rely on specific voltage and current requirements from the computer ports. At the end, you will be frustrated.