Here are the best free services, programs, and apps that I’ve discovered throughout my scavenging of the vast Internet over the decades.

Recent Changes

Information & Services
  • Acronym Finder explains unfamiliar acronyms
  • Better Business Bureau provides businesses’ credibility (or lack thereof)
  • Betternet is a free VPN service
  • 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 e-mail address when opening new accounts or subscribing to anything
  • The Canvas Network, Codecademy, Coursera, EdX, Free Code Camp, and the Khan Academy provide certain free online courses for subject-specific learning (though the quality for at least some of them is debatable)
  • Consumer Reports provides unadulterated feedback on products
  • Free Map Tools can measure circles of distance from a radius in Google Maps and more
  • shortens URLs
  • Google Apps; your authorized ones, those are
  • Google Books provides limited/full previews of many books
  • Google News keeps you up-to-date on the latest world events
  • Google Scholar provides article/patent viewing
  • GotFreeFax freely faxes up to 3 pages’ worth of PDFs to numbers in the US and Canada, up to 2 times daily
  • International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP): probably the world’s largest classical sheet music repository
  • Kelley Blue Book evaluates going rates for automobiles (and is very professional; even dealers use it to gauge prices!)
  • MailTester attempts to check if any given e-mail address is valid
  • Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People is highly technical and probably too encompassing for beginners, but is nonetheless interesting
  • PolitiFact keeps readers politically knowledgeable, accurate, and updated
  • Reddit is the world’s largest online discussion forum (“Reddit” is a pun off of the phrase “read it”)
  • Snopes verifies the legitimacy/illegitimacy of chain e-mails, folklore, myths, rumors, and general misinformation
  • Travel Time Calculator calculates the true time of flights that cross over multiple time zones
  • URL Uncover uncovers shortened URLs

Financial Prudence

Windows Programs
  • AutoHotkey: programming language that can be used to build macros
  • CLCL: a customizable clipboard manager
  • vTask Studio offers simple yet incredible (and incredibly light) automation tools
Media-Editing Tools:
  • Audacity: an advanced sound editor
  • CloudConvert: online file converter (note: this is the only program on this page that I haven’t yet used myself)
  • IrfanView: a lightweight multimedia viewer/image editor with extensive batch (multiple file-editing) capabilities
  • MediaCoder: a comprehensive but buggy video & audio transcoder/editor
  • MP4Joiner (note: decline the offered programs inside its installation procedure)
  • Paint.NET: a sophisticated image editor
  • The GIMP: a very sophisticated image editor
  • µTorrent: a torrent creator & manager
  • Yamb (Yet Another MP4 Box) multiplexes (“muxes”) and splits various audio & video files (local direct link)
Media Management:
  • IMGBurn backs up and burns CD/DVD/Blu-ray images
  • MagicDisc: a virtual CD/DVD drive manager/mounter
  • LibreOffice: a document-managing suite, rivaling Microsoft Office
  • PDFCreator makes PDFs out of anything printable (literally!)
  • 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

Google Android Apps
I seek out apps with the fewest permissions needed. ★ = no internet permissions.

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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!)
  • MidSequer ★ is a piano roll-based music-notating app
  • Mobi Calculator FREE ★ shows real-time answers to calculations via a dedicated answer bar
  • Mobile 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 provides commission-free stock-trading, if you can stomach its forced T+3 after every sale (when compared to its competitors)
  • 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

Google Chrome Extensions
  • Auto Refresh can easily set specified tabs to auto-refresh at independent rates
  • 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!
  • Chromium Wheel Smooth Scroller smoothens one’s page-scrolling experience (at the cost of some space bar functionality)
  • Don’t track me Google improves privacy
  • DoNotTrackMe Blur: Online privacy protector that masks your e-mail from websites by providing fake e-mail addresses, and with paid features anonymizes even your credit card number and more
  • Ghostery protects your privacy (and thus may hamper accessibility to social media-based accounts)
  • Gif Delayer delays playing .GIF (pronounced “jif”) images until they are fully downloaded
  • Gmail™ Notifier is open-source and plays a sound when a new message comes in
  • Hacker Vision darkens websites’ colors while maintaining general visual appeal
  • 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 website deals/product prices
  • NotScripts may be a pain to set up, but it provides virtually impenetrable protection against malware whenever investigating suspicious websites, as well as an excellent background into seeing just exactly which websites are doing what
  • 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)
  • Turkopticon rates Amazon Mechanical Turk requesters