If it sounds to good to be true then it is. That’s a good rule of thumb to go by, but rules are made to be broken and we’re about to break that old adage ten times over.
Here are ten of the best freebies the Internet has to offer:
10. Microsoft WorldWide Telescope 2.1 – This software download gives you access to the same ultra hi-res images that astronomers use in their research. You can browse the night sky, zoom in on astronomical features and see the amazing detail of God’s creation.
9. Gimp – Here’s a powerful photo editing program that could easily sell for over $100, but you can download it for free. Gimp gives you control over your pictures with professional level retouching and enhancement tools. Every photographer, amateur or professional should have this on their computer.
8. Google Earth – I can’t say enough about this program. I use it all the time, for work and just because it’s so much fun. Google Earth lets you zoom in to any spot on the globe and see detailed satellite images. In the latest version you can even fly in at an angle and see buildings in 3D. You can plot directions, take a peak at Area 51 (even though it doesn’t really exist) or see what your house looks like from a bird’s eye view. It’s also a great tool for teaching kids about geography.
7. AVG Internet Security – AVG offers an excellent freeware version of their anti-virus utility and even includes free monthly updates. AVG is easy to use, features resident protection, an email scanner and repair or quarantine of the infected file. This software is offered free for home use only.
6. Firefox – Simply put, this is the best Internet browser available. It’s much more secure than Internet Explorer and has hundreds of third party add-ons available which allow you to expand the functionality of your browser to better meet your needs.
5. Picasa – Another great freebie from Google. Picasa allows you to organize your photos, easily edit and add effects, share pictures via email with friends and family and even publish your pictures to a website.
4. e-Sword – The best free Bible software I have tested so far. The basic installation comes with the King James Bible, Strong’s numbers and Strong’s dictionary. But you can also download free commentaries, maps, devotions, dictionaries, graphics, STEP libraries and multiple Bible translations.
3. Gmail – I have been a Gmail user since the first month Google debuted the service. Gmail originally offered a whopping 1GB of storage when most free email services were still giving a paltry 10MB. Today, Gmail allows 6.7 GB and that number increases by the minute. Gmail’s most impressive feature is it’s ability to filter out spam. I have five email accounts pointing to my Gmail address and I receive over 3,000 spams a day. Gmail manages to identify all but 10-20 of those. I can live with that! Gmail also includes a powerful word processor, spreadsheet and calendar.
2. Zoho – Zoho goes head to head with Google’s Gmail and online document tools and surprisingly beats them in most areas. They offer a sleek web based email interface, word processor, spreadsheet, notebook, planner, project manager, web conferencing, presentation tools and more. I’ve been using Gmail for years but I’m tempted to switch to Zoho in the near future.
1. Open Office – Does the thought of dishing out $400 for Microsoft Office make you sick? Try Open Office first and you may descide to keep your $400. Open Office includes software for word processing, spreadsheets, graphics, presentations and databases. Essentially, it does everything Microsoft Office does and in most cases, just as well. Open Office is an extremely poweful document creation and management software suite. So much so, that you may actually feel guilty not paying for it at first. But don’t worry, it really is free!