Thursday Special: Freeware alternatives for paid software

Let’s say that you wanted to buy the PC of your dreams for a long time. You kept saving and saving until you had all the money so that you could get it. And after that, oh, pay the Internet connection, pay for a couple of games, pay for some website subscriptions and ultimately, pay for software. What ? Pay for software ? But you’ve just shoveled a ton of money for that PC and now you want to shovel more ? I know you don’t want to because money don’t grow on trees, so let’s take a look this week at what freeware alternatives we have for expensive applications out the.

Windows versus Linux. If you don’t need Windows for something specific, like gaming, you could benefit from changing it to, let’s say, Ubuntu. It’s very safe, easy to learn and, most of all, free. And there are loads of applications that can do whatever you are doing on Windows, although it may not be with the same program. Even games are becoming more and more accesible, though Windows still rules this domain.

Microsoft Office versus OpenOffice. The Office suite from Microsoft is another pain to purchase, even bigger than Windows itself. So, better switch it quick. The good thing with OpenOffice is that you don’t have to learn a totally new application, it has the majority of settings that you would find the MS Office.

Adobe Photoshop versus GIMP. We know that Photoshop is a good piece of software, but when money is an important issue, there are always alternatives. The Gnu Image Manipulation Program can give you a life free of worries of when the next update for Photoshop will appear (for upgrade costs).

Nero Burning ROM versus CDBurner XP. I think Nero is the best known CD burning software, but for some years the company has added more and more functions so that it does more than it’s supposed to, not to mention the costs. It’s alternatives does exactly what you would want from a CD burning software. Nothing less, nothing more.

Symantec Ghost versus Acronis True Image. To get rid of headaches you need a drive imaging software. Although Ghost is good, True Image can do better… for free. It’s reliable, fast and easy to use. One thing to note, if you have SATA disks or RAID arrays, better get the free Macrium Reflect.

WinRar versus 7-zip. 7-zip is free, small, opens a ton of archives and also has a small memory footprint. It even has it’s own archive format.

Of course, there are tons of other freeware alternatives for the software mentioned above. These are just some guidelines for you to know that you don’t have to pay big bucks (or any!) especially after paying for an expensive PC. But if you think that a particular piece of software is worth paying for then, by all means, purchase it. Just remember that if money is an issue, you can always find a freeware replacement.

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