A lot of times when you need to get something done on your computer and think that perhaps there’s a program that can do it for you, you most likely go to your favorite search engine and research away. By the time you’re an expert looking for the best free software, you might find yourself a fan of freeware, so you might even look forward to receiving updates on cool new programs. Sound familiar?
Looking for software online has actually become easier these days. Do you want to see a comparison of all similar software for a specific task? There’s an app for that. Do you want to see all alternatives to a specific program? There’s an app for that too. You probably knew this from using the many rich repositories of software available on FileHippo, SourceForge, etc. However, there are other more recently developed applications with interesting approaches to listing software that might just help you find what you need quickly and painlessly.
UseTo Compare Similar Software
Have you ever wanted to find a program that can solve a specific problem and ended up tempted to try multiple applications because you didn’t know which one was superior?is a website that can save you time and even money.
is a brilliant site that offers a very useful approach to software. You simply type the task you’re trying to accomplish on the site’s search bar, and you’ll be presented with software suitable for your specified task. What makes it stand out from other software repository sites is that it lists several products at once and displays in a nice comparison chart all the common features of the products so you’ll know exactly which ones can perform additional tasks or not.
You’ll also know how popular the application is currently, as well as user ratings, which can help you when you’re indecisive after being exposed to so many different solutions. It’s also noteworthy to add that the site only shows you free software. If you’re not looking for a specific software but are just exploring and browsing, you can find common tasks such as listening to music online, sharing desktops, etc.
Other cool features of the site include ways to filter software by platform (desktop or mobile) and ask questions about the software.is one of those sites that you’ll see and immediately think: “Man, this is a great idea someone should have come up with a long time ago!” It’s definitely a bookmark-worthy tool you won’t want to miss.
Use AlternativeTo.Net To Find (You Guessed It) Software Alternatives
Catch Free is a nice tool for finding software, but since it lists free solutions only, you may be limiting your options. Sometimes, what you need may only be performed by paid software. Or you may be looking for open-source software only. In either of these cases, I absolutely recommend one of my most-visited bookmarks, AlternativeTo. You can use this site by first typing in the name of the software you’re trying to find an alternative for. After that, you’ll see a list of similar software sorted by user “likes”. You can filter by platform, just as you can in CatchFree.
What’s cool about this site is that you can add suggestions easily. You don’t even have to register since you can actually use your account from Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Additionally, if you aren’t particularly looking for alternatives to anything but enjoy discovering new software, AlternativeTo’s front page is also a great way to explore new programs.
Use MakeUseOf’s “Best Of” Lists, Directory & “Cool Websites & Tools”
There are plenty of resourceful lists on our site that will point you to some of the best applications and services for a variety of platforms. Here are a few of them:
- Best 117 Windows Programs
- Best 103 Mac Apps
- Best 100 Linux Applications
- Best 100 Android Apps
- and more
Another good source of information regarding all things applications is our Directory, where we present quick reviews for new programs or web apps.
The methods listed here assume you’re actively looking for software. If you’re just generally excited about software but not exactly seeking new software, you can always just let technology blogs do the job and present you with new, exciting suggestions. All you have to do is keep yourself updated with technology blogs like this one via your RSS feed reader.
One feature post to look for is our Cool Websites & Tools posts, which are published every day, and feature new and free applications in easy-to-digest chunks. It’s where you can still catch absolutely free apps now that we have switched to reviewing all types of free and paid software.
Now it’s your turn. How do you discover the best free software and apps? Let us know in the comments!
Image credit: Matthias Pahl