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Everyone who spends a fair amount of time on the computer has a few favorite applications, the ones you like for one reason or another. Maybe they help you get your work done faster or you like their looks and feel or perhaps because these are free.

And sometimes there are software you find irksome and think things could have been better. In any case, I always like to try out a few alternative software choices before I settle with any particular application mainly for two reasons: One, you would never know how good or bad the one you are using is until you try some alternatives and two: a bit of choice and competition can only be for the good of us users! Your motivation might be different: perhaps you want to find a free software that does the same task as the paid software you are using or maybe your favorite Windows application is not available on Mac or Linux.

Whatever maybe the reason, here are some sites that you can use to find alternative software and suggested applications.

LinuxAppFinder

alternative software

Missing your favorite Windows or Mac application on Linux? Try LinuxAppFinder. It provides a listing of popular Linux applications. Apart from that, it also lists popular Windows and Mac software and the Linux applications that can be used for similar purposes. Clicking on an alternative software listing will show you its description, rating and other related software. LinuxAppfinder is a great way to discover Linux software if you are new to Linux.

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AlternativeTo

software alternatives

AlternativeTo lists a large number of Windows, Mac, Linux software. Click on the ones you use or need to find alternative software for, and you will be presented with a list of software with similar functionality. Likes ala Diggs are presented alongside each listed software, that lets you gauge the popularity of the software. Additionally, you can filter the mentioned alternative by platform, likes or recent popularity as well. AlternativeTo also lists webapps like Dropbox and Evernote, just in case you are looking to shift to the web!

Osalt

replacement software

Osalt is yet another popular site that offers similar functionality. It lists Open Source applications as alternative to popular software that you might be paying lots of money for. Many of the open source software have come a long way in functionality and usability and they cover almost every purpose you can use your computer for. Mostly open source software are also free, so you should definitely check out osalt and see if you can find some good open source software that can replace the ones you are already using.

[NO LONGER WORKS] Wakoopa

Wakoopa takes a somewhat different approach. Wakoopa is a community where people share their favorite software. You can view most popular apps that other people are using on the Wakoopa home page. For personalized suggestions, you would have to signup and create a software profile listing the software you are presently using. In addition, you can also track how much time you are spending using each application.

MakeUseOf

Actually, this one goes far beyond suggesting alternative software! However, we also do our part when it comes to reviewing interesting or new applications. You should always check out the MakeUseOf directory that lists hundreds of useful web and mobile applications that you can use for a variety of purposes.

Do you have any applications you wish to switch over from? Sound off in the comments!

  1. Bob3000
    February 1, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I'm a huge fan of http://www.techsupportalert.com/
    Peer reviewed and plenty of user comments. And all free of course.

  2. retimer
    January 13, 2010 at 4:27 am

    It all depends on the OS you use. I prefer Ubuntu so I have no problem finding free open source software in repositories. Sometimes sourceforge helps me. So, get rid of commercial Windows and become opensource-guys!

  3. pevinsghost
    December 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    I use source forge whenever I'm looking for a program to do something.

  4. ACS
    November 30, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Searching for applications is one way to adopt open source. Developers who are looking for open source "code" can find it at the free site Koders.com.

  5. Joe
    November 23, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    softwaresuggest.com is a new site in beta as well.

  6. JK
    November 16, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I see you have added MUO directory in the list :D

    Nice list. Does anyone know of a "good" alternative to Adobe Flash (for animation). I have tried synfig, but I am looking for something more simple, something that would appeal to beginners.

  7. nvr
    November 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I understand you can't include all sites.. but techsupportalert.com is really an excellent site... It should certainly be here...

  8. Rama
    November 16, 2009 at 10:10 am
  9. Jeremy
    November 16, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I cannot believe you list your own website in your own article....

  10. Bob
    November 16, 2009 at 3:54 am

    Or use for-free-on-internet to get full legal copies from offers http://for-free-on-internet.com/

  11. r4i karte
    November 16, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Choice has been trumpeted as both an advantage and disadvantage of free software. Being able to choose what software you use and how is a good thing as is not being restricted to particular package because of vendor lock-in.

  12. MoiN
    November 15, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Fantastic Stuff!

  13. j6555
    November 15, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    You may also find this growing database of freeware alternatives helpful:

    http://www.freewarepharmacy.com/

  14. Aibek
    November 15, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    btw, great post Varun!

  15. Ammon
    November 15, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I Use This is a better Wakoopa alternative for Mac OS X, IMHO.

  16. Brendan
    November 15, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Sorry for being annoying, but the AlternativeTo link is wrong! In the article it's ".com", but it's really ".net". Now I'm off to look for spelling mistakes!

    • Aibek
      November 15, 2009 at 6:09 pm

      Corrected!

  17. C
    November 15, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    The link for AlternativeTo should be http://alternativeto.net/

  18. Skytrzer
    November 15, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    AlternativeTo is NOT http://alternativeto.com; But http://alternativeto.net.
    Please correct the URL

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