Free Alternatives to Paid Software

When you buy a new pc/laptop and you switch it on fo the first time. You will be welcomed with messages from companies such as Norton, Nero, Microsoft, TuneUp to mention a few. Your excitement will be short lived when you get the message “you have 30 days left to try the product”. 

norton notification

In this post, we would be providing you with free alternatives to some paid software.

Word Processing

A word processor is a computer application used for the production (including composition, editing, formatting, and possibly printing) of any sort of printable material. In this category, the most popular and most used is the Microsoft office (retail value at $125 for the cheapest which is the Microsoft Home and Student Edition).

Microsoft Office is a suite of products developed  by Microsoft Corporation  that includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Publisher, PowerPoint and Outlook. Each program serves a  different purpose and is compatible with other programs  included in the package.  The suite of programs is compatible with both the Windows and Macintosh operating  system.

You can purchase this online or at any computer shop.

OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages.

It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose. To download, visit OpenOffice.

Security

Computer security is a branch of computer technology known as information security as applied to computers and networks. The objective of computer security includes protection of information and property from theft, corruption, or natural disaster, while allowing the information and property to remain accessible and productive to its intended users. Anti-Virus software is used to prevent, detect, and remove malware, including but not limited to computer viruses, computer worms, trojan horses, spyware and adware. Computer security, including protection from social engineering techniques, is commonly offered in products and services of antivirus software companies.There are several products out there to serve this purpose. Among these are:

Avast:

Avast is one of the most popular antivirus applications, which can be downloaded for free. If we need a reliable tool which will protect our computer from any threats, this application is surely what we need. Avast protects our computer against all kinds of viruses and trojans, as well as all kinds of spyware.

Avast! Free Antivirus is the freeware version of the Avast! antivirus software available to Microsoft Windows and Linux users, while Avast! Pro Antivirus is offered to businesses and users who want additional features. Priority updates are delivered automatically using PUSH update technology in Avast! Pro Antivirus.

The free version of this software gives you a one year licence and can be downloaded from Avast.

Avira:

Avira is another high quality free antivirus and it is ranked among the best anti-virus. Avira is still a top notch antivirus scanner with outstanding detection rates of malware, higher than almost every other antivirus according to tests. Avira is still a good choice for a free antivirus scanner, particularly for high risk users.

However, there are some minor reservations. First, Avira does not include web or e-mail scanning capabilities; this is only available in the paid version. The lack of an e-mail scanner is not a disadvantage, it just means that Avira won’t warn you of infected emails before you open them. But should you open an infected email, Avira will still spring into action, so it doesn’t mean that you’re not protected from email-based infections. Also, Avira contains a rather intrusive advertisement every time it updates. Although Avira had signature updating problems in the past, this issue seems to be fixed now.

You can load the free version from Avira.

AVG:

AVG is also a decent choice for a free antivirus. Although this venerable antivirus has had some shaky results in detection in the recent past, it now offers a high level of protection. This is probably due to the inclusion of a fully-fledged behavioural blocker that is the “Identity Protection” protection. This provides a very important additional layer of protection, on the other hand though a similar protection level can be achieved by using one of the free antivirus above alongside a separate behavioural blocker. Unfortunately AVG free has grown considerably in size, has very slow scan speeds and also advertisements (but they can be disabled).

These free antivirus programs are excellent software that provide a real alternative to the major commercial anti-virus products.

I will just give a quick run down of the major commercial anti-virus products.

Just to mention a few.

Photo Editing

After capturing those memorable moments on our phones or on a standard camera. Sometimes we need to edit the picture, correct the red eye, add some effects, sharpen, brighten or even save in a format suitable for what we might need them for. The whole process illustrated above is simple referred to as “photo editing”. There are several photo editing software available today. Below are a list of paid and free photo editing software.

Corel Paintshop Pro

PaintShop Pro X4 is the latest version of PaintShop Pro – version 14 – and comes with a large array of additional pieces of software and tools. You can buy PaintShop Pro X4 as the standard, ultimate or photo and video ultimate version depending on what you want and how much budget you have.

Adobe Photoshop Elements

Adobe Photoshop may be the world’s most famous image-editor, but it’s a complex, professional tool with a professional price tag. Photoshop Elements is the ‘amateur’ alternative. It’s much cheaper and it’s designed not just for experts, but novices and intermediate photographers too.

It’s designed around Adobe Photoshop, and in its Full Edit mode it has many similarities with Photoshop and the same techniques can often be used in both programs. Some of Photoshop’s more advanced features have been taken away in Elements, though, and a range of novice-friendly quick fix tools and effects have been added, with Quick and Guided Edit modes designed for less experienced users.

The underlisted are some other major commercial photo editing software:

Serif PhotoPlus

Xara Photo and Graphic designer

ACDSee Photo Editor

The following are top rated free photo editing software that would deliver the package whenever you need it.

Picasa

Picasa is a free photo management program from Google that can be used to organize and manage all of the images you have stored on your hard drive. In addition to allowing you to manage your photos, Picasa allows you to perform basic edits and gives you many options for sharing those pictures with others (such as photo CDs, or prints ordered from one of the online vendors supported by Picasa).

The GIMP

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free software raster graphics editor. It is primarily employed as an image retouching and editing tool and is freely available in versions tailored for most popular operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux.

Paint.NET

Paint.NET is a proprietary freeware raster graphics editor program for Microsoft Windows, developed on the .NET Framework. Paint.NET was originally created by Rick Brewster as a Washington State University student project,and has evolved from a simple replacement for the Microsoft Paint program into a powerful editor with support for layers, blending, transparency, and plugins.

Note that the free versions cannot in any way replace the major commercial versions.

Before you pay for that software try finding out if a free alternative is available else where or you can get in touch with us via Facebook, twitter or Email.

Sources: techsupportalert, PCworld, Google, Wikipedia, tech-ease,

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2 comments

  1. Good article. The free programs you stated above get the job done just as well as their paid counterparts without the need for pirated software.

  2. Thanks. Would have included OS, File Compression softwares, File converters etc to the post but didn’t want it to be too long (so we don’t bore people with too much story).

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