Cheaper alternatives to expensive software

Buying new software is almost a necessity these days, but college students typically do not have the luxury of buying expensive software that will need to be continuously updated. Fortunately, there is a more convenient and budget-friendly option.

What is AlternativeTo?

AlternativeTo is a website that suggests free or cheaper alternatives to web-based software, computer software and mobile apps. The alternatives are sorted based on various criteria, including recommendations from users of the site. Another feature of the site is the different tags for different software, making finding alternatives easier. For example, there are tags for Mac, Windows and Blackberry.

How much does it cost?
The website is completely free to use, and most of the alternative programs are free as well, so you can save money and possibly find a better program without breaking the bank.
How does it work?

You can go to the AlternativeTo website and download or access the different programs you want. Many free applications do not require any installation. The site even has an alternative to itself.

Examples
Microsoft Office can cost over $100 for the full suite. AlternativeTo has many options listed, including Open Office, a completely free, fully functional alternative to the Microsoft suite.
Adobe Photoshop is also over $100 for all of the features. AlternativeTo suggests GIMP, a completely free alternative that has nearly all the functionalities of Photoshop.

Check it out at alternativeto.net.

NICOLE NOGA can be reached at science@theaggie.org.

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