Free Software

The term "free software" means different things to different people. In some cases it refers to software that you can legally get without paying for it - "free-of-charge".

It can also refer to software which protects your freedom and meets the Free Software Foundation definition, in that you can:

  1. run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0)
  2. study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1)
  3. redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2)
  4. improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3)

This page lists software that is either available "free-of-charge" or that meets the FSF definition of free software, or, in many cases, both.


Definitions

Open Source Software
Software that has been developed by the Open Source Community, has its source code freely available and is under a free licence. Because the source code is available open source is distributed free-of-charge, because if the developers charged for it then someone else would take the source code and put out a free version. Open source software preserves your freedom and supports the open source development community, therefore it should be your first choice when looking for an application.
Freeware
Software that has been developed by commercial companies but is distributed free-of-charge. Freeware does not have the source code available, is released under a proprietary licence and, while it is "free-of-charge", it does not protect your freedom. Some freeware may contain spyware, adware or other undesirable components. It should be your second first choice when looking for an application and generally only when you can't find an open source application to do the job.
Shareware
Software that has been developed by commercial companies and is generally available for free for an evaluation period, then they expect you to pay for it. In some cases the evaluation period is unlimited or during the evaluation period the application leaves a mark on the document to show its status. Shareware is really free-of-charge software that is distributed for marketing purposes. Some shareware may contain spyware, adware or other undesirable components. Because of the limitations these applications have built in, open source or freeware applications are a better choice, where available.

The software listed below has been tested by and is recommended by members of the National Capital Freenet Free Software Discussion Group (NCF members only). For more information on each application have a look at the discussion group.

Many of these are also reviewed in our own Ubuntu Diaries Part I or Part II for Linux software, or on our Our Windows Open Source/ Freeware Project page for Windows software.

There is also a list of free software that I personally use at the bottom of my home page.


Anti-Spyware

Freeware

Anti-Virus

Open Source
Freeware

Astronomy

Open Source

Audio Editing

Open Source

BitTorrent

Open Source

Bookkeeping

Open Source

Bulk File Renaming

Open Source

Calendar

Open Source
Freeware

CD & DVD Burning

Open Source

Desktop Environments

Open Source

eBook Readers

Open Source
Freeware

→ See also: Free eBook downloads


Email Clients

Open Source

File Compression (Zipping)

Open Source
Shareware

File Managers

Open Source

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

Open Source
Freeware

Firewalls

Open Source
Freeware

Games

Open Source
Freeware

Genealogy

Open Source

Geography

Open Source
Freeware

Image Editors

Open Source
Freeware

Image Viewers

Freeware

Income Tax

Freeware

Integrated Development Environments

Open Source
Freeware
Shareware

Interior Home Design

Open Source

Media Players

Open Source
Freeware

→ See also: Free & Legal Music Downloads


Miscellaneous Utilities

Open Source
Freeware

Networking

Open Source

News Readers

Open Source

Office Applications

Open Source
Freeware

Operating Systems

Open Source

BSD Systems

Linux Systems

Windows-Like Systems


Password Management

Open Source

Photo Downloading

Open Source

PDF Creators

Open Source

→ NOTE: PDFCreator is no longer recommended due to the inclusion of a malware toolbar in version 0.9.8 and laterSoftware for Windows

Freeware
Shareware

PDF Readers

Open Source
Freeware

Scanning

Open Source

Smart-phones and Tablets

Open Source

Social Networking

Open Source

Text Editors

Open Source

Video Editing

Open Source

Video Viewing

Open Source

Virtualization

Open Source
Freeware

VOIP

Open Source
Freeware

Web Browsers

Open Source
Freeware

Website Design

Open Source
Freeware

Website Link Checkers

Open Source
Freeware

Window Managers

Open Source

WLAN routers and embedded system firmware

Open Source

Free & Legal Music Downloads


Free & Legal Books

Free Books
Free Audio Books
Free Software Books

Useful Web Resources

General Links

Data Recovery

Free Software Artwork

Free Software Media

Internet Connection Speed Tests

Market Share Statistics

On-line Virus Scanners

Search Engines

Security Testing

URL Compression

User Agent String

Switching to Linux & BSD

Background Information & Reasons to Switch:
Distributions & Applications:
How to Switch:

Fun Linux Ads


Supporting Free Software - T-Shirts and More


Computer Hardware & Parts in Ottawa


Computer Hardware OEMs