7 best ChatGPT alternatives I’ve tested

Google and Bing windows behind a phone with ChatGPT loaded
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Rokas Tenys)

ChatGPT has kicked off an AI revolution. Companies from Google to Microsoft, Amazon and Meta had all been working on AI projects for years, but the floodgates opened when OpenAI dropped ChatGPT as a free preview for anyone to use in late 2022.

Since then, we’ve seen many competitors and copycats come out to try and capture a piece of the AI market. Some are more focused on tasks and coding while some are purely conversational. Some are open source, some are actually multiple chatbots in one location and there are many more. If you prefer not to use ChatGPT — or specifically the free version that OpenAI has available for everyone — there are a fair amount of options.

So we decide to put together a list of our favorite ChatGPT alternatives that we’ve tested so far. Some of these run on the same large language model (LLM) as ChatGPT, but we felt they were different enough to merit inclusion.

Microsoft Bing with ChatGPT

Bing with ChatGPT on phone

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If ChatGPT lit the AI fire, Microsoft poured gasoline on it with its Bing chatbot. Bing Chat — or Bing with ChatGPT — takes the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) LLM behind ChatGPT and puts it in Microsoft’s search engine. Since its introduction, Bing has taken off and now has over 100 million active users daily.

Bing Chat operates fairly similarly to ChatGPT. You enter in a prompt, and the chatbot responds accordingly. However, there are a few notable differences. First, the Bing chatbot is plugged into the Bing search engine, so it crawls through the internet to find the information it needs to respond to your prompts. It also will provide you with follow-up prompts, cites its sources by default (mostly) and can be changed in tone to be more creative, more precise or to be balanced between the two.

If you want to try a chatbot for the first time, this may even be a better option than ChatGPT. And if you like it, there are a ton of integrations from your phone’s keyboard to the Windows 11 taskbar. So check out our guide to using Bing with ChatGPT and make sure to get on the Bing with ChatGPT waitlist

Google Bard

Google Bard AI

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google Bard is Google’s response to ChatGPT, which appears to have caught the search giant totally off guard. Bard uses a combination of two LLMs — Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) and Pathways Language Model (PaLM). PaLM in particular gives Bard a boost, bringing improved math and logic capabilities to the AI chatbot.

This chatbot is similar to Bing with ChatGPT and the ChatGPT you can access on Open AI’s site, but its features are a bit more limited. However, Google is regularly updating Bard's features through "Experiment updates" and has even upgraded Bard so that the AI chatbot can now write code. It is also decent as a research tool that you can hold a conversation with, even if it sometimes gets things wrong. We’re hopeful that its feature set will continue to expand as time goes on.

We even compared Bing with ChatGPT versus Google Bard and the results were surprisingly close. While Bing’s chatbot was better at certain things and was more accurate, Bard held its own. We also asked it to answer five controversial sci-fi questions and again, it did a surprisingly good job.

So if you want to try out Google Bard, make sure you get on the Bard waitlist. And use our guide on how to use Google Bard to get the most out of the chatbot.


You.com featuring YouChat

(Image credit: You.com)

You.com is a search engine that has actually had an AI chatbot longer than Microsoft’s Bing. Created by former Salesforce employees, the search engine introduced YouChat in December 2022 — upgrading to YouChat 2.0 in February 2023.

The big selling point of YouChat and its LLM called Conversation, Apps and Links (C-A-L) is that it can integrate You.com apps for sites such as Reddit and YouTube into its chatbot’s responses. 

YouChat showed some promise when we tested it, but the app integration is not fully there yet.

This is akin to what is called “multimodal” chat, which is when a chatbot either accepts inputs in more than just text, produces outputs in more than just text, or some combination of the two. For reference, ChatGPT is not a multimodal chatbot in the free research preview that most people can access, though its new GPT-4 LLM is a multimodal chat model because it can handle image inputs.

YouChat showed some promise when we tested it, but the app integration is not fully there yet. At this point, we would still recommend using Bing with ChatGPT, as it can provide additional context like YouChat as well as produce images through Bing Image Generator. Still, if you’re looking for an alternative to Bing or Bard, YouChat is a third option worth exploring.



(Image credit: AgentGPT)

Auto-GPT is a really cool ChatGPT variant, but it takes a bit of coding skill to work. At first glance, it is very similar to ChatGPT, and in fact, it runs on OpenAI’s GPT-4 LLM. But Auto-GPT is semi-autonomous, which is a game-changing feature.

With traditional ChatGPT, you have to do the work of prompting the AI. Say you are trying to build a business plan for a restaurant — you ask ChatGPT the prompt, it gives you a response and then you ask follow-up prompts to fine-tune the plan. But with Auto-GPT, you just set the chatbot a goal of developing the business plan, and then the chatbot will handle setting all the tasks, asking and answering follow-up prompts, etc. It eliminates a significant amount of the work you need to do.

The catch? You need to know how to code with Python. Auto-GPT relies on a Python environment to run. You also need to set up a ChatGPT API account with OpenAI to connect the GPT-4 LLM to the Python environment. So it’s not a simple chatbot to use, unlike the previous three we’ve discussed.

However, there is a way to try out Auto-GPT if you’re not a coding expert. AgentGPT is a free beta that already has the Python environment set up and is connected to the GPT-4 LLM. You can’t do a ton with it — the beta version limits you too how much time you can spend with Auto-GPT — but it still is a great way to try out Auto-GPT. And if you have a ChatGPT API key, you can connect it to AgentGPT and have it use your API key instead of the beta’s API key. We haven’t tried that feature yet though, so proceed at your own risk.


StableLM Alpha on Hugging Face

(Image credit: Hugging Face)

Stablity AI is another player in the AI space that competes with Open AI. Its biggest success is the Stable Diffusion AI image generator, but it has now launched an open source LLM called StableLM. You can try it out over at Hugging Face, an AI community site that has a free Alpha test of StableLM running that anyone can try.

There are some downsides to StableLM versus ChatGPT. StableLM is not trained on the same quantity of information as ChatGPT — it is trained on just 3 billion to 7 billion parameters compared to OpenAI’s 175 billion-parameter GPT-4 model. And it lacks the reinforcement training that consistently improves ChatGPT (this is done through users saying that they did or did not get the desired response from the chatbot).

Still, StableLM does work. we had it generate a business plan for a pizza restaurant and with some follow-up prompts, we was able to generate an executive summary, strategic goals and revenue projections. It wasn’t perfect and it was noticeably slower than ChatGPT, but it was impressive nonetheless. 

Most likely, StableLM will be a ChatGPT alternative to watch for the future, but it is still worth trying now.


CatGPT's iPhone ideas

(Image credit: CatGPT)

No, that’s not a typo. CatGPT is a real chatbot (catbot?) that you can use. This chatbot AI, like some of the other ChatGPT alternatives we’ve mentioned, is based on the GPT model that ChatGPT uses, but we promise you, it’s not the same experience.

That’s because, with CatGPT, every response is as if you were chatting with a cat. It’s completely free to use — though it features an easy way to donate to the Humane Society if you so desire. 

Is it a great research tool? Or a great choice if you want to code a website or build a business plan? No. But, it’s hilarious, and sometimes that’s all you need. Trust us, CatGPT is the purrfect ChatGPT alternative.


Poe AI

(Image credit: Poe)

Poe isn’t one alternative to ChatGPT — it’s several. The app was designed by Quora, the popular question-and-answer website, and it combines seven AI chatbots into one user interface. Let’s go through them one by one.

First, is Sage. Sage is a chatbot that runs on OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 turbo LLM and is particularly good for using languages other than English and programming tasks. 

GPT-4 should be trained on newer information from what we know, but since Poe is warning you, we suggest treading with caution regardless.

Then there’s Claude Plus and Claude-instant, both of which are developed by Anthropic, an AI company that is partially backed by Google. Claude-instant is a good tool for creative writing prompts and getting more in-depth answers. Claude Plus is similar but with better support for languages other than English. It only has limited access in Poe.

There is also Dragonfly, a bot powered by OpenAI’s davinci model, which was part of the GPT-3 LLM. It excels at short responses and does best the more context you can give it in prompts. And then there’s NeevaAI, which finds its information through the internet and is best as a Bing with ChatGPT alternative.

Finally, you also get access to ChatGPT and GPT-4, though access to GPT-4 is limited. Poe says that all the chatbots outside of NeevaAI have not been trained with information more recent than 2021, so the one thing to keep in mind is that responses could be outdated. GPT-4 should be trained on newer information from what we know, but since Poe is warning you, we suggest treading with caution regardless.

Outlook: Experiment away


(Image credit: OpenAI)

So if you want to try a bunch of ChatGPT alternatives at once, Poe is a great solution. There’s even an iOS app for your iPhone. The biggest downside is that the responses can be limited, which can be frustrating. But hopefully, between it and the six other options we’ve presented, you have plenty of ChatGPT alternatives to try out.

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.

  • FinomBabLeves
    What's a good one that won't keep telling me I'm being inappropriate everytime I try to get it tondo something humourous.

    Not after creating anything illegal or pornographic,.I just want one that doesn't treat me like a five-year-old who can't see anything slightly disturbing.

    So far Bard seems to be the least restrictive of the big ones but it's hit or miss as to what it will allow.