We discussed some freeware and some open source alternatives to popular paid software titles. Here’s a summary of our recommendations:
Antivirus and Security: avast! Antivirus, Comodo Internet Security, AVG Antivirus Free Edition
Office: OpenOffice.org (OOo)
Cleanup and Optimization: Glary Utilities, Windows Check Disk & Disk Defragmenter
Backup and Recovery: DirSyncPro and Box.net
Photo Editing: Windows Live Photo Gallery or GIMP
Graphics Editing: Inkscape
Video Editing: Windows Live Movie Maker or Cinelerra
We touched on the major categories. Remember, there are thousands of more alternatives out there.
You can search for alternatives in the SourceForge directory, where most open source projects are listed. You can also search osalt.com (standing for open source as alternative) for a commercial product and it will list similar alternatives.
Download.com is a good place to search for freeware and shareware. But to prevent wasted time, carefully search for and read the fine print and limitations on the vendor’s website. You don’t want to configure and learn a new program just to find out in thirty days that the majority of the features will become inactive unless you’re willing to pay.
Always remember, don’t try to download or use pirated software. It’s illegal, unfair, and unsafe!