The mods thought that the original thread was getting a bit too long so I'm making a new one.
1) This thread is not another "cool programs" thread. It's just meant to show that there are free replacements for a lot of commercial software that people commonly pirate.
2) Please try not to give me a huge list of untested, random freeware. Let's try to list only the best or the better freeware/OSS.
3) PM me or reply if you find that a piece of software listed here just totally sucks.
4) PM me or reply with a review if you find that a piece of software listed on here totally rocks. Keep your reviews short though: 2-3 lines at most.
5) When you give a suggestion, please say which common commercial program it can replace (Winzip for example). A lot of you have been suggesting very specialized or very common utilities (eg. Ad-aware) that are often found for free anyways. Unless it is meant to be an open source/free alternative to some common commercial app , I won't list it.
means that it has been updated or newly added.
As far as I know, none of these programs have spyware. Please let me know if I'm wrong. Help me out with this.
Free games thread
Consolidated Security Thread
- Tons of freeware on this site.
- Wikipedia's own list of freeware. Suggested by eklass.
Computer protection and maintenance
- According to Schadenfroh's article, it has the best detection rate of any of the freeware AV solutions. It's also pretty bloatfree. I'm using it on both my desktop and laptop. It now does auto-update, along with an annoying popup that you can disable
**PC Tools AntiVirus
- "PC Tools antivirus just became freeware and it's far more efficient than Avast in my experience." - *suggest by Sickbeast*
Also, look at Avast Antivirus Home Edition
Check the Consolidated Security Thread
: Bitdefender Free Edition
. I installed this on the free NFR copy of Server 2003 that MS sent me. It works perfectly. Panda, antiVir, and others won't even let you install their free versions. The only downside is that it doesn't provide realtime protection.
(suggested by grimmie
). Check the Consolidated Security Thread
Embeded firewall software package
. " m0n0wall is a project aimed at creating a complete, embedded firewall software package that, when used together with an embedded PC, provides all the important features of commercial firewall boxes (including ease of use) at a fraction of the price (free software)." *suggested by b4u*
. It's a very professional looking office suite that is compatible (to a certain extent) with Microsoft Office.
(Word processor) and 602Pro PC Suite 2001
are good free alternatives too.
. It's pretty much the same as PDF955
, but without the nag popup. OpenOffice also has an option to export as PDF now.
- An open source PDF maker written in VB. *suggested by nagger*
. It's not as full featured as Outlook, but it's a great alternative to Outlook Express. If you want calendar features, take a look at the Calendar plug-in
. You can import your settings from Outlook if you export them first to a more generic format (CSV maybe? Don't really remember).
Also look at these free email clients: Eudora
(ad sponsored but very good), Foxmail
, and Pegasus Mail
. I mentioned this application as Calendar along with Thunderbird for an email client, but apparently they made it into a stand-alone application like Thunderbird and Firefox now. *credit goes to beer
Outlook Express backup
. This program seems to simplify the process of backing up OE. Outlook Express doesn't have an easy one-button way to backup all of your emails, settings, and address books. *Found on a website linked by Winchester*
- suggested by theAnimal
. No ads, small download, ugly icons, nice interface. Probably the plainest of the three listed here. Link updated thanks to diegoalcatraz.
- suggested by Flashram
. Freeware, but presented as a commercial product. Lots of features, cute icons, and relatively small download. I think they have a very small, unintrusive banner in one of the windows for themselves.
- suggested by Mem. Tons of features. Largest download. Nice icons and interface. Has a good community following too.
- suggested by several people. Lots of supported formats, including the 7z format which is supposed to be very good.
- They let you use their Federal Tax software for free. I tried it out last year and found it to be pretty easy to use.
- (suggested by hasu)
: Mercury Mail Transport System
. *suggested by b4u*
: Filezilla Server
- A little more difficult to use than GuildFTP
, but I've found it to be a lot faster.
. Filezilla recently replaced SmartFTP
as my preferred FTP client because SmartFTP started to nag me about purchasing a license if I'm a corporate user. Filezilla is great because it supports multiple connections to the FTP server. You can still browse the FTP server while downloading several files. Drag'n'drop support still needs a little work though because you can't drag into Explorer yet.
. It's pretty similar to Filezilla except that it supports connections to multiple sites using tabs.
. WinSCP is an open source SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) and SCP (Secure CoPy) client for Windows using SSH (Secure SHell). *Found in a thread started by everman
. "Nice little program" - suggested by MangoTBG
. It's simple, powerful, and free.
. LeechGet is kind of like GetRight lite. LeechGet doesn't save the download to a temporary file before copying to your download directory. It also lets you save to different folders based on file type. It has an FTP browser and website parser built in too. The interface is nice although somewhat confusing and there are still a few random bugs. I've tried a lot of different freeware managers such as Star Downloader and FlashGet but I think LeechGet is the best. NOTE: FlashGet contains spyware too.
BFG10K also suggests using NetVampire
is another free full-featured download manager. Works great with firefox when coupled with flashgot. - Suggested and reviewed by The Green Bean.
- An easy-to-use offline browser utility. I've used this utility before and it works great for grabbing tons of files off a website or just copying the website on a superficial level. *Suggested by Nikamichi*
- It's a Flash based browser that uses a white list to allow kid safe sites. *suggested by Dasfox*
. Gimp 2.2 is supposed to be really good
. This one looks PERFECT for people who want a decent, free, easy to use photo editor. It's like MS paint on steroids and it supports layers! *linked by quikah in another thread
If you can spent a little money, I suggest Photoshop Elements. I decided to give Photoshop Elements a try and it worked fine for me. Here's a list of some of the stuff that it doesn't
support compared to Photoshop CS: masks, channels, action scripts, complex batch operations, multiple anti-aliasing styles for the text tool, and complex layer effects like drop shadow and buttonizing. PSE has a single anti-aliasing option for text. It supports batch operations but only for resizing and renaming. It also only supports a couple pre-done layer effects like drap shadows, so you can't specify angles and shadow depth, etc. A few people in this thread have suggested Paint Shop Pro
as an alternative to Photoshop. I used to use Paint Shop Pro and it's a great piece of software. I now prefer PSE because Photoshop is more of an industry standard and it's easier for me to just stick with the same interface. I'm a Computing and the Arts student, btw.
is a freeware vector-based drawing program. *suggested by ugh
- Seems to be a semi-popular freeware vector drawing program. *suggested by uethello
- Another freeware/open source vector graphics application. It looks pretty good. *suggested by eklass*
- Seems to be a semi-popular freeware layout program. *suggested by uethello
. I've been using Irfanview for a couple years now. It's very powerful and supports a lot of basic image editing functions. Through plug-ins, you can view just about any media file.
I used to also suggest a program called Slowview, but it has become a commercial program now with only a downloadable trial.
is another good image viewer. I've used it before and a few people have suggested it in this thread.
- @icon sushi
- I've been looking for a good FREEWARE icon editor for the longest time now. Mk4
suggested this in another thread.
IDE's and editors
Microsoft released an entire suite of Express
software for free. Suggested by kmmatney
. I use HTML-Kit for HTML and PHP editing. It has a built in FTP browser so I can edit files straight from my FTP server. HTML-Kit has tons of features and support for plug-ins to add more features.
WYSIWYG HTML editor
- "NVU is pretty much unmaintained anymore. KompoZer is a fork that has some fixes for the most annoying bugs." *suggested by Sciencewhiz
. Finally someone made a standalone version of Mozilla Composer! NVU is excellent for a free WYSIWYG editor.
is another editor that I've found. It uses style sheets to position everything so it doesn't work like regular WYSIWYG editors. It seems to support a lot of optimization and general effects for images too. The interface is really easy to use because you basically "paint" the webpage.
: Topstyle Lite
. Topstyle Lite is a great CSS editor. It pretty much lets you select CSS properties from lists. I tried the Topstyle Pro HTML editor trial and it's possibly the best HTML/CSS editor I've ever used.
. Possibly the coolest IDE I've ever used. Sometimes it has some weird quirks, but it works well for me. Also, Borland's JBuilder 9.0 Personal Edition is free for noncommercial use.
There are several other free ones out there. Google for them.
. "its freeware and can be bundled with jdk and tomcat if your running JSP. so far its not bad. knows the whole language and does type ahead etc. " *suggested by nourdmrolNMT1*
. It's great and it's free. Microsoft also released Visual C++ 2005 Express
Basic (VB) IDE
. I haven't used this IDE much, but it supports VB.NET. The interface seems pretty similar to that of VB6. It uses the VB.NET SDK which Microsoft provides for free. Microsoft also released Visual Basic 2005 Express
- Never tried it since I have VB6. I heard that it's pretty good.
. I haven't used it much but it seems to be really cool. It's very similar to Visual Basic 6.0 in the layout. Microsoft also released Visual C# 2005 Express
: When it comes to text editors, you're going to get lots of suggestions. Some will suggest the power of Vim or xemacs, others will prefer the simplicity of Notepad+ or Editpad Lite. Personally, I strive for something in between the two. Some discussions on the pros/cons of vim
*Suggested by beer
. Comments also by beer
Some good alternatives
- a generally polished product that is designed for programmers, with syntax highlighting for all sorts of languages. It's very similar to UltraEdit without the nagware or $35 cost. *Suggested by beer
. Comments also by beer
features collapse functions, i.e you can + and - your code, but it isn't a very active project, although it has some nifty features. *Suggested by beer
. Comments also by beer
very nice all-round editor, has lots of nifty features, as well as a whole bunch of plugins that can be automatically downloaded and installed using the built in plugin manager. *Suggested by Sunner
. Comments also by Sunner
- Good notepad replacement with tab features and lots of syntax highlighting support.
. It's a free and simple audio mixer/editor that supports mp3s.
ID3 Tag Editor
. It supports freedb search so not only can you search for entire albums, you can also search for individual songs.
is another freeware ID3 tag editor suggested by Anubis
. This program REALLY helps in organizing thousands of mp3s. You can look up ID3 tags for individual mp3s.
- Mp3 tag editing tool written in VC++ 6. *suggested by Dasfox*
. Search the software forum for mp3 ripping. These two programs seem to be the favorites. (CDex suggested by Elemental007)
nsafreak suggests burnatonce
. I used to have this program in this post, but it didn't seem to work very well at the time so I removed it. nsafreak reports that it works well for him so give it a try if you need a free ISO burning program!
General burning -
cKGunslinger suggests CD Burner XP
Winchester suggests Mp3 Doctor
for burning audio CDs. iTunes
, recently came out for Windows and, I believe, it supports CD burning and ripping.
- Suggested by xgi
- Great for playback and really easy conversions between audio formats (just make sure to install all the output plug-ins that you want).
: Ranish Partition Manager
*Suggested by sciencewhiz
*Suggested by sciencewhiz
defragger. "Worked much better than the disk defragger in XP, which refused to completly defrag my drive. There's another program on the site too, buzzsaw, which runs in the background and defrags your drive during idle time, but I haven't tried that one." - KenSimone
: PC Inspector File Recovery
. Suggested by logic1485.
: D.I.K.O. suggested by FrustratedUser - "I've been using it for a couple of DVDs now and it works great."
. I can't believe I forgot about this one. *Suggested by b4u
- A free opensource DVD decoder! *suggested by Monzie
in a thread started by beer
- DVD Shrink is software to backup DVD discs. You can use this software in conjunction with DVD burning software of your choice, to make a backup copy of any DVD video disc. *suggested by mr899
: DVD Decrypter
- Great for burning any kind of cd/dvd image. Suggested by ss284
. Link fixed by ShadowBlade
- "Developed for the conceptual stages of design, Google SketchUp is a powerful yet easy-to-learn 3D software tool that combines a simple, yet robust tool-set with an intelligent drawing system that streamlines and simplifies 3D design." - *suggested by midnightrat*
Caligari trueSpace 3.2 free full edition
- Pretty cool 3D modeling with animation features. Suggested by FrustratedUser
- Description taken from their website: "open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback." Suggested by CZar.
Modeling and animation
- Free 3D modeler and animator written by a guy who works at nVidia. *suggested by uethello*
(suggested by hasu)
3D polygon mesh modeler
: Wings 3D
- "Wings 3D is a polygon mesh modeler inspired by Nendo and Mirai from Izware."
Winchester suggested the following video/3D rendering software:
Maya Personal edition
: Nice, but leaves a massive watermark on rendered images. It still has lots of functionality of the full version though!
: gmax is a free 3D modeling and animation tool based on Discreet's award-winning 3ds max.
: Perfect for students, DV camera owners, video enthusiasts or anyone exploring video editing - Avid Free DV software is an easy, free way to join the Avid family and test-drive the industry-standard editing interface used by more professionals than any other video editing solution. This version is a Vietnam POW camp diet version compared to the full version, but hey it works.
DopeFiend's review of Avid FreeDV
- "Yes, it's free and that's great. However, I tried to import some large (~16Gb) DV files into it that I'm working on, and it told me that it only supports .jpg and .mov imports. Plus, the interface goes to pot on a dual-screen setup; the program maximises itself to the width of both screens (grr) and all the palettes become corrupted."
*suggested by TP*
Removed links to my old website, I no longer own it and it appears to have been taken over by advertisers, do not want users unintentionally visiting a malicious website. Moved back to Software, resticky.
-Schadenfroh (AT Mod)