The mega list of Nerd-approved, awesome and completely free software and online resources
Psst. Looking for some quality free software? There is a ton of free software on the Internet and, believe it or not, some of it is incredibly good. There’s also a lot of bad free software out there, some of which you definitely don’t want installed on your computer.
The challenge is separating the quality ones from the … how to put this delicately … not so crash hot ones. If you’d like to learn more about how you can identify good and bad free software, this article here has you covered.
In this article, our goal is to provide you with an expanded list of great, completely free software. So without any further ado, here’s our mega list of fully nerd-approved free software you can install to your computer with complete confidence.
Remember, if you need our help installing new software or if you just want advice, you can always call us at 1-800-919-6373. Alternatively, you can fill out our contact form.
Productivity in the office:
This full suite of productivity software will equip you with everything you need to run an office. It includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software and a database along with an impressive bunch of supporting software. Having been in active development for close to ten years, this software is impressively stable and feature-rich. With rival products costing in the hundreds, Apache Open Office has to be one of our top pics for safe, free software worth having on your hard drive.
Skype is a video conferencing tool which allows you to speak with anyone, anywhere in the world, completely free. All you need is an Internet connection. It’s incredibly easy to use and works on Windows PC or Mac. Sooner or later, you’ll need it!
Sooner or later you’re going to need to compress a file. Compressing a file makes it smaller and it’s a good idea to do this with large files you plan to send via email. A great free compression program is WinRAR. It isn’t fancy but it gets the job done. And it works perfectly on a Windows machine or a Mac!
This graphics software is built around the same logic as leading commercial graphics software, yet it is completely free. You can use it to retouch photos as well as create your own graphics from scratch. There’s a bunch of tutorials you can take to get up to speed and an active, generous community of fellow-users to support you.
This is an impressive piece of audio software. Developed by a dedicated team of volunteers, this software is fully open source (meaning the code is freely available to other developers). This software is feature-packed and will let you create beautiful audio. Perfect for musicians and podcasters.
If you’re involved in any kind of creative endeavor, sooner or later you’ll need some decent stock photography. Pexels is a fantastic repository of completely free photography, spanning all kinds of categories, from abstract backgrounds to electronic components.
Vector graphics, great for creating logos, diagrams, and any vector art. Given the cost of its competitors, it’s nothing short of amazing to have access to this growing suite of professional grade vector drawing tools for free.
SketchUp is designed to be an accessible, free, easy to learn tool for 3d modeling. SketchUp is the perfect tool for planning a room or mocking up your next big project. Even better, it comes with a range of useful tutorial to get you started and to give you plenty of room to grow.
Reference and learning:
Duolingo provides free language lessons online. The lessons are delivered in the style of a tutorial and gradually increase in complexity as you learn. The lessons are fun, interactive and on point. Duolingo’s goal is that anyone can have access to learning a second language.
GCG is all about giving you the skills you need to live and work in the 21st Century. Want to take a course and get your knowledge on point on a specific topic or software? If there’s a skill-set you need but don’t have, chances are that GCF Global is going to be a great place to begin your knowledge quest.
If you ever look at something and think, “hmm… how does that thing do what it does,” then this is the site you have been looking for. This site comes with a category 6 nerd warning. You have no idea how long you can spend learning about how stuff works. Stuff you didn’t know existed will suck you into a black hole of curiosity and you may only emerge several hours later. It’s fascinating stuff but it’s like chocolate for the brain. It’s hard to stop.
Reddit is surprising. At first glance, it just looks like a regular forum where people jump online to express their opinions and talk shop about niche areas of interest. The thing that makes Reddit so valuable is it attracts experts and gurus like molasses attracts fireflies (I think). If there’s some niche field of knowledge you want an expert opinion about, chances are there will be a Reddit catering to your precise informational needs.
You’ve probably heard of Wikipedia, the world’s go-to repository for knowledge about anything you can imagine. Well, Techopedia is a bit like Wikipedia for nerds. It’s a living, online encyclopedia for technical knowledge. If you ever come across computing jargon which sounds like gobbledygook, just jump onto Techopedia and all shall be revealed.
Fun, enlightenment and frivolity (oh my)
If you don’t listen to podcasts yet then we really recommend you give them a try. Podcasts are the antidote for all the content-free social media soundbytes flying around out there. 99% Invisible is a classic example of a podcast which can enrich your life. This podcast explores everything to do with design. From architecture to escalators, this podcast never fails to amaze. While it is free, you can donate to the podcast if you love their work.
And here’s another podcast worth trying: Freakonomics. The purpose of Freakonomics Radio is to help you “discover the hidden side of everything”. This podcast absolutely delivers, giving you interesting insights into what the statistics reveal about life. It’s thoughtful, provocative and bountiful with new ideas.
This music service is gloriously free and a beautiful way to discover new artists from all over the world. Jamendo is a huge repository of music (over 500,000 tracks) that has been released under Creative Commons licenses. The founders of Jamendo describe their philosophy like this: “any artist in the world is entitled to share their music and should have a chance to be heard.” It’s hard to argue with that!
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