Here are the best free services, programs, and apps that I’ve discovered over the decades.

Recent Changes

Financial Prudence
  • Android Messages lets you text from your Android phone through the web
  • BibMe builds and stores bibliographies in various formats (may screw up if the text has special characters like “á,” though!)
  • Blur (formerly known as “DoNotTrackMe”) masks your email address when opening new accounts or subscribing to anything
  • Gift Card Granny’s comparison portal helps card sellers
  • Google Apps; your authorized ones, those are
  • GotFreeFax freely faxes up to 3 pages’ worth of PDFs to numbers in the US and Canada, up to 2 times daily
  • MailTester attempts to check if any given email address is valid
  • Musicards: music flash cards (take screenshots before flipping cards, as they can’t be flipped back!)
  • Noteflight: an online music composition service
  • Prey: an open-source, cross-platform anti-theft program for computers & devices
  • ProtonVPN is a free VPN service from scientists at CERN
  • The Nicest Place on the Internet: for when you’re feeling severely discouraged about anything
  • Tunelark: interactive music-reading reinforcement
  • URL Uncover uncovers shortened URLs
Programs (mostly for Windows)
Media Editors:
  • Audacity: an advanced sound editor for BSD, Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Bfxr: a sound-effect generator
  • CloudConvert: online file converter (note: this is the only program on this page that I haven’t yet used myself)
  • FileHippo: a colossal software repository
  • F.lux: a utility that helps you sleep better by adjusting your monitor’s light during sundown
  • GifCam: a powerful, lightweight GIF recorder/editor
  • Inkscape: an open-source vector graphics editor
  • IrfanView: a lightweight multimedia viewer/image editor with extensive batch (multiple file-editing) capabilities and GIF frame extraction
  • PoseMotion’s Macrotune: basic music composition software (uses Music Macro Language)
  • MP4Joiner (note: decline the offered programs inside its installation procedure)
  • oCam: an ad-riddled screen-recorder that can also optionally capture microphone input
  • Paint.NET: a sophisticated image editor
  • Piskel: an open-source image editor for sprites and pixel animations
  • ShareX: a comprehensive screenshot-taker & screen-recorder
  • SunVox: a cross-platform music creation program
  • qBittorrent: a torrent creator & manager
  • The GIMP: a very sophisticated image editor
  • Tracktion 5: a cross-platform digital audio workstation (DAW)
  • Visual Studio Code: Microsoft’s official, open-source code editor
  • Yamb (Yet Another MP4 Box) multiplexes (“muxes”) and splits various audio & video files (local direct link)
Media Management:
  • AOMEI Backupper Standard can back up, restore, and clone hard drive contents
  • Capture2Text: OCR software
  • CLCL: a customizable clipboard manager
  • CPU-Z: system information software
  • Crystal Dew World: disk-drive benchmark-testing software
  • Everything by voidtools: an instant local search engine, far faster than Windows’ built-in search
  • IMGBurn backs up and burns CD/DVD/Blu-ray images
  • JDownloader allows the downloading of some normally-download-inaccessible video content
  • LibreOffice: a document-managing suite, rivaling Microsoft Office
  • PDFCreator makes PDFs out of anything printable (literally!)
  • PDFTK Builder rotates, splits, and joins pages of PDFs
  • RTMPDump: a command line-based toolkit for RTMP streams
  • SD Formatter fully formats SD cards to their original size, ignoring partitions; use “FULL (Erase)” and “ON” for Format Size Adjustment options
  • SpaceSniffer graphically displays your Windows’s disk space usage
  • VLC: an extensive multimedia viewer (also get vlsub: subtitles-downloading VLC extension)
  • Whitsoft’s File Splitter splits files into smaller chunks and then splices them together (for large-file transfer)
  • Win32 Disk imager writes images to USB flash drives and SD cards
  • WinCDEmu: an open-source virtual CD/DVD drive emulator
  • Yawcam: an open-source webcam tool
Google Android Apps
  • Apk Extractor, APKShare, and AppWererabbit can extract, share, and backup the original APK files to your apps (get the former two through F-Droid, a repository of only open-source apps)
  • AppSales: Paid Apps Gone Free & On Sale
  • AutomateIt automates actions based upon triggers (make sure to use your limited account credits to buy the infinitely more helpful “composite ‘AND’ trigger”), and also has a lock screen plugin that can be used to lock your device’s screen without the need to press a physical power button
  • Betternet: Unlimited Free VPN
  • Etar is far more graphically appealing than Google Calendar
  • GasBuddy shows you current nearby/select gas station prices
  • Google Opinion Rewards sometimes gives you free Play Store credit for participation in brief, occasional surveys (use it with Cashify and Dwolla to convert it into cash, albeit for a hefty fee)
  • MacroDroid lets you set up powerful macros for phone automation
  • Ibotta pays you (via PayPal) to buy groceries and other products that you already buy (and we can both earn $1 if you use my referral link!)
  • Loop – Habit Tracker helps you solidify daily habits in a fun, task-completed way
  • Midi Sheet Music (patched) shows MIDI music on staff notation
  • MidSequer is a piano roll-based music-notating app
  • Mobi Calculator FREE shows real-time answers to calculations via a dedicated answer bar
  • Natural Metronome can calculate BPM values based on your tapping speed and perform considerable beat subdivision
  • No-frills CPU Control manages your device’s CPU (but needs root access!)
  • NextApp’s FX File Explorer (and its Root Add-on for rooted devices)
  • NetGuard funnels your network connections into a VPN that prevents user-specified apps from accessing the internet (and its earlier 0.21 version has no annoying notification bar presence)
  • Power Toggles supplies various widget and notification bar shortcuts for devices that lack them
  • ReceiptPal gives you gift card-redeemable points in exchange for snapshots of your everyday receipts
  • Recurrence pops up specified notification-bar reminders with adjustable icons and which can optionally repeat regularly
  • Robinhood offers somewhat-glitchy yet commission-free stock-trading
  • Rotation Lock Adaptive (Free) gives you full control over all orientations that are possible with your device
  • Screen Filter darkens your screen beyond its normal lowest brightness setting (but it is not a battery-saver for LCD screens—which always blast the same amount of light underneath, which is just graphically blackened—and it may detrimentally affect touchscreen capability while active, especially with the Amazon Appstore app)
  • Simple Notepad is extremely modifiable and has many flexible widget layouts for instant viewing
  • SketchBook Express lets you draw straight lines as well as type text onto exportable graphics
  • Slidejoy earns you money through your lock screen (I could split a referral bonus with you if you let me know after signing up through my referral link!)
  • Status Bar Expander drops down your status bar with a press instead of swiping from the top
  • Titanium Recorder records microphone-captured audio with excellent mic gain management
Google Chrome Extensions
  • Auto Refresh can easily set specified tabs to auto-refresh at independent rates
  • Blur: Online privacy protector that masks your email from websites by providing fake email addresses, and with paid features anonymizes even your credit card number and more
  • Bookmark Search lets you search through your bookmarks from the URL bar
  • Boomerang (future-scheduled messages) + replies to Google Voice‘s Gmailed SMS receipts = future-scheduled texts! (Don’t use it for emails with attachments)
  • Center Image displays directly viewed images in the middle (instead of the upper-left corner) of the screen
  • Chromium Wheel Smooth Scroller smoothens one’s page-scrolling experience (at the cost of some space bar functionality)
  • Context Menu Search lets you pick search engines to send highlighted text to when right-clicking
  • Deluminate: inverts screen colors for nighttime-reading
  • Don’t track me Google improves privacy
  • Force Background Tab 2.1.0 (direct link; unzip it and have Developer mode “load unpacked extension” on the folder) forces new tabs to be loaded in the background (2.1.0 was the last version before malware was introduced into the extension)
  • Ghostery protects your privacy (and thus may hamper accessibility to social media-based accounts)
  • Gmail™ Notifier is open-source and plays a sound when a new message comes in
  • Honey searches for coupon codes for your orders on retailers like Amazon, and has its own HoneyGold currency that can be accumulated (by purchasing from various Honey-affiliated online retailers) for gift card redemption
  • Invisible Hand searches for bargain deals and better prices on website products/services
  • One-Click Extensions Manager can enable/disable extensions in two clicks
  • Put New Tab on the Right
  • SmileAlways ensures that all of your eligible Amazon shopping links to Amazon Smile (i.e., free donations to a charity of your choice)
  • Quick Tabs lets you search through your open tabs (or recently closed ones) by name or URL
  • Read Aloud: A Text to Speech Voice Reader
  • The Great Suspender suspends select inactive tabs for more efficient memory use
  • Tracking Token Stripper cleans up Google-tracked URLs after loading
  • uBlock Origin is a pure ad-blocker, unlike rigged Adblock Plus (but breaks Honey)
  • Vimium helps with mouse-less browser navigation (try pressing “f”)