Free software has been around long enough so that much of the really important programs have been tried and tested pretty well. These publicly verified alternatives often provide the same or even better functionality than the originals at a fraction of the price or even for free. Here are a few well-tested alternatives.
Many businesses go right to Dropbox, which, according to Gartner, is “the best-known provider of cloud file storage and sharing, with the largest user base for consumer services.”
Most Important Features
- Free storage
- Security (SSL or TLS)
- Mobile Apps available
- Collaboration and sharing
Features: 10GB of Free Storage, SSL/TLS. 2-Factor Authentication and 256-bit AES encryption of your data. It has apps for iOS, Android and Windows phone.
Box is very similar to DropBox, but it aims for more business-oriented usage. Box prides itself on being secure enough on a number of global compliance fronts. It functions similarly to Dropbox too – simply drag files into the application for them to upload. Unlike Dropbox, Box’s free, personal edition also integrates with popular programs like Google Apps, Office 365, and Outlook, and provides some advanced file-sharing features like granular permissions setting and custom URLs.
Features: 200GB of Free Storage, SSL/TLS and an Android app.
This is a Dropbox alternative that’s easy to use, offers plenty of free storage, and puts an emphasis on file sharing. It’s faster and simpler but doesn’t provide the labelling and infrastructure that Dropbox does. While file upload size is capped at 200 MB, Cloudup provides 200 GB of free storage to users. There is no version control and also no upgrade option.
Features: 15GB of Free Storage, SSL/TLS, 2-Factor Authentication, and 256-bit AES. Apps are available for iOS and Android.
If you’re already using other Google apps like Gmail, extending into its free file storage and sharing ecosystem is an easy option. Google Drive does provide a search function to find missing files. Users can share files on Google Drive privately or publicly.
- Adobe Illustrator Available for Windows only, Creative Docs .NET is a vector-based graphic design tool for creating illustrations, manuals, flow charts, icons, and the like. It offers advanced features like Bezier curves, styles, convert-to-curves, and curved-path text.
- Adobe Photoshop Here are two choices: GIMP, which is available for all platforms, and Paint.NET, which is Windows-only. Both programs offer powerful, Photoshop-caliber image-editing tools, everything from layers to special effects. Both are free software.
- Corel Draw Want to sketch, draw, paint, etc? In addition to an assortment of “digital brushes” including chalks, charcoals, and pencils, Artweaver offers the usual array of image-editing tools: crop, gradient-fill, transparency, layers, etc.
Free Netflix Alternatives
- Pluto TV. There might be services with more or even better content than Pluto TV, but none are cheaper. That’s because the service is completely free. You can sign up for the service and live-stream a bunch of channels, which cover a range of topics, from sports to comedy to news programming. Pluto TV is compatible with most of the popular connected devices, such as Chromecast or Roku, so you can even watch it right on your big screen.
- Tubi TV. Fans of streaming services are not used to seeing free services. But Tubi TV manages to deliver its ad-supported service at no cost to the user. You don’t even need to register in order to stream, but there are slight perks to signing up. There’s a bunch of content to stream, including movies from some of the top movie houses, such as MGM and Lionsgate.
Microsoft Project Alternatives
- Hansoft – http://www.hansoft.com
Hansoft is a great choice if you want the Gantt scheduling offered by MS Project but also want the option to apply Agile methods, use product backlogs, and allow resources to update their tasks themselves. After getting Hansoft up and running with only a few clicks, you can migrate your data quickly and conveniently using the Import MS Project XML. With existing plans imported, you can start using the powerful Reports & Dashboards for clean, intuitive project overviews to track and share progress with your stakeholders. The collaboration features — including a straightforward To-Do list for team members, a newsfeed, and comments — make the process of updating your plan and keeping it relevant much easier than MS Project. Hansoft is a Microsoft Project alternative that is free for up to 2 users.
- ProjectLibre – http://www.projectlibre.org
ProjectLibre is a fork from OpenProj, a free, open source desktop application designed to pretty closely emulate Microsoft Project of old. It does a reasonable job of imitating the layout and interface of Project so if you’re familiar with it, you’ll be able to download it and get going with very little learning curve; it’s easy to create a simple Gantt chart with the usual workflow; creating indented work breakdown structure (WBS), set durations, create links and assign resources. It even opens .mpp files although it can’t save them back to the same format. Instead, it saves them as XML files which is annoying. Project Libre is free software.