The Best Free Alternatives to Paid Software

The Best Free Alternatives to Paid Software

The number of people using personal computers has exploded around the world. Each one of them requiring a system and software in order to use their machines for whatever purpose they desire, the cost of which can become quite burdensome to nearly anyone.

The price of common software that every person would use in their daily activities has really remained unchanged despite larger user bases and relatively little progression or innovation between versions. These disparities are noticeable in graphics programs, word processors, and antivirus software amongst others.

Word Processing and Office Software

Microsoft Office was the main choice amongst computer users largely because it was the only choice. That fact has changed substantially in the last few years.

Today, there are a variety of “Office” programs which aim to replace the outdated Microsoft software.

libreoffice 2

Now obviously they don’t include all of the same features, but they will do everything that 99.9% of users need them to do.

The two choices I wanted to highlight were OpenOffice (https://www.openoffice.org) and LibreOffice (http://www.libreoffice.org).

Both programs include a word processor, spreadsheet program, slideshow/presentation program, database program, and drawing utility amongst other features. Both OpenOffice and LibreOffice run on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

Those two programs offer the more traditional route for word processing software, although Google offers a charming alternative in the form of google docs (https://www.google.com/docs/about/). The options offered in this web based program are much more limited, whilst still offering all of the essentials. Additionally, documents created with Google Docs are very easy and simple to share with friends or colleagues.

Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is a critical tool for any PC user. It might be a sad fact, but the truth is that there are an ever growing number of digital threats online. Everyone is at risk through email, downloads, or just simple web browsing.

A lot of new computer systems will come with antivirus software included, albeit often a trial version or timed license version.

avira antivirus free

There are a number of free antivirus software options, some of which actually outperform their paid version competitors. For my money, or free choice, I would prefer Avira Antivirus (https://www.avira.com/). I have used Avira for years and never had a major issue or virus.

Of course AVG (http://www.avg.com/) and Avast (https://www.avast.com) are both excellent alternatives. You would be welcome, or even encouraged to experiment with each of them individually. Each of these programs has their own paid version which offer certain additional features and upgrades. I personally have never used the paid versions, but use your own discretion.

Another fantastic tool to use in tandem with an antivirus program is Malwarebytes (https://www.malwarebytes.org/). Malwarebytes is the premiere tool in finding malware hidden within your computer. Malware is a subgroup of malicious software which is often times completely hidden from you. It will typically collect data and generally slow down your computer.

For one software program that can target all of these problems, we highly recommend PC Cleaner Pro. Instead of installing separate antivirus software, anti-malware software, and registry cleaners, PC Cleaner Pro 2016 offers one easy-to-use alternative.

Graphic and Image Editing Software

Some of the most expensive software are graphical programs. AutoCAD can cost someone thousands of dollars, similarly Adobe Photoshop and its suite of programs can cost hundreds a year.

In terms of 2D and 3D digital drafting there are a variety of free options, however the free options tend to include little to any useful functions. For 2D drafting, nanoCad (http://nanocad.com/) offers a large amount of power for free, and the professional version will cost you only $180.

nanocad

For 3D drafting and viewing, SketchUp (http://www.sketchup.com/) appears to be the best option as it includes an intuitive and easy to use interface as well as compatibility with a large number of file types and programs.

sketchup

Being able to edit photos has become an artistic as well as professional pursuit in today’s world, so it seems to follow that the required software would be expensive. Fortunately, there are some great online tools that you can use within your own browser to effectively replace Photoshop.

Pixlr (https://pixlr.com/) offers the essential components and features of Photoshop with their editor and express programs. PicMonkey (http://www.picmonkey.com/) is another good resource, particularly useful for applying filters and retooling digital photos. SumoPaint (http://www.sumopaint.com/home/) is a unique tool, it offers a lot of similar features to paint but with greater control and variability. It would be a great tool for simply creating digital art or paintings.

pixlr

Language Software

There a number of ways to learn a language. Classrooms can be expensive and time consuming, so educational software was created to help people learn. One of the best known programs is Rosetta Stone, which can cost you hundreds for a program on one language.

duolingo

Duolingo (https://www.duolingo.com/) is a wonderful resource to learn any and all languages completely for free. Their site is beautifully designed, and the lessons offered are engaging with options to learn through sound, text, and speech. With Duolingo you are free to move at your own pace without being overloaded at the beginning.

Graphic Resources

Whether you are making a video, designing a website, or even just writing a blog it can be useful to have resources for free graphics such as icons, fonts, photos, backgrounds, color patterns, etc. A lot of sites will charge people for using these resources.

It may seem simple to Google an image or design and use that for your purposes, however that will likely get you into copyright or intellectual property theft trouble. Listed below are a couple of such free graphic resource sites.

Photos

https://stocksnap.io/

https://unsplash.com/

Fonts

https://www.google.com/fonts

http://www.dafont.com/

Graphics and Icons

http://365psd.com/

https://sketchrepo.com/

By using the software listed above, you never have to worry about paying hundreds of dollars for computer software ever again!

Perform a free scan with PC Cleaner Pro 2016 today and see just how powerful free computer software can be.

 

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